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Canberra Roller Derby

Went to see the Canberra Roller Derby. The local team, the Vice City Rollers, were playing the Sydney City Assassins. It was held at the AIS arena, which holds 4,000 or so. It was nearly full. Women outnumbered men by three or four to one. There were lots of young girls there.The basketball court was marked out with a flat-track circuit.

The sport is fast moving and exciting to watch. The players are on roller skates and wear skateboarder helmets and pads. Each side has a player called a "jammer" who attempts to skate to skate past four of the other team's players, known as "blockers". The blockers attempt to stop the other team's jammer and open a gap for their own jammer. Points are scored for each player passed by the jammer. The players were very athletic; apparently a few of them were former speed skating champions. The sport is unusual in being a contact sport for women. Major infractions get you sent to the sin bin for two minutes. At times Sydney had three of its players in the bin, making it hard to score, especially when one of the players in the bin was the jammer. Seven major penalties lead to you being sent out of the game (one Sydney player was).

Oh yes, Canberra won 153 to 95, which pleased the partisan local crowd no end.