This week I attended a one-time screening for a movie called Derby Baby. It was a documentary film on women who play roller derby. It was a small screening in a town called Wilmette. Over the past year I have been introduced to the culture and world of roller derby by my girlfriend. I have been able to experience many different events related to the culture, but this movie brought a different life to the culture of roller derby. I never looked at the sport or hobby as a culture but have realized what a culture it is for many people.
The clothing that is worn, the love, the passion, the life, the commitment; these are all so different that my lifestyle. People who love roller derby commit their lives to it, their free time; their friends are all in roller derby or volunteer. The sport is volunteer ran, the games, the practices, the players, no one is paid for what they do. Not many cultures of sports are like this, which makes them very unique. I used to find myself judging the people in roller derby, assuming they were all outgoing and spontaneous people, but over the past year and from this movie I have learned it is an outlet for many.
It is a place where quiet people can bring out a different side of them and a place where the outgoing can be more crazy and exciting. Roller derby is not just a game for entertainment; it is a way of life for many. The level of commitment depends on the individual. A player not only plays but volunteers, joins a committee within the league, coaches, trains, parties, they do it all. You can also have a love for derby and not play; you can be a referee or a fan who is highly involved. The possibilities are never ending. It is a passion that many do not know about, like many other cultures it is waiting to be found.