It's four minutes in and I find myself clapping harder than ever while singing “Auld Reeke you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind...” to the tune of
What makes roller derby such an enjoyable event to watch is its combination of excitement, personality, adrenaline and easily graspable rules.
As part of this year's Fringe, the Edinburgh roller derby league, Auld Reeke Roller Girls (or ARRG, as they like to call themselves) brings two fantastic matches against some of the top teams in Europe: the ARRG's all-star reserve team, also known as the Cannon Belles, face the unforgiving Finish team, the Dirty River Roller Grrrls; and a most anticipated match between ARRG's all-star team, the Twisted Thistles, and their main rival (currently ranked No. 2 in Europe), the London Brawl Saints.
What makes roller derby such an enjoyable event to watch is its combination of excitement, personality, adrenaline and easily graspable rules. Each team has five players on the track: one is the jammer who is in charge of sorting all sorts of body obstacles in order to gain some points (one for every blocker she passes). The remaining four are the blockers who both aid their jammer, and prevent the other team's jammer from moving too far in the track.
This is definitely far from any traditional contact sport; it requires skill as much as a lot of personality. Each player has a made-up name that often describes their ability on the track. From Violet Death to McPain and Temple of Doom. Of course these names shouldn't be taken literally, but they do add to the fun of this sport! If you feel like seeing a lot of flying bodies, excited commentators, a very energetic crowd, and some funky skating, my only word of advice is that roller derby can become addictive. Oh, and prepare folks, 'cause next time the Auld Reekie is taking on London!