Roller derby is actually a rather entertaining and legitimate sport.

You may have noticed a photo featuring roller derby players on the front page of Monday’s Herald. I took that photo at the season-opening bout for the Oskaloosa Mayhem Girls. I also did a story on the team for the Tuesday, March 6, issue of the Herald.

After talking with OMG team members for the story and witnessing one of their bouts first-hand, I must say, I’m impressed.

I had seen roller derby on TV and I’d done a story about the sport many, many months ago. But, I’d never actually seen a roller derby event in person until this past Saturday.

When I entered the Penn Activities Center Saturday night, I was pleased to get a highly-informative program with my ticket. The program actually educated me on how roller derby works, which was helpful in keeping track of what was going on during the bout. Of course, this also helped me know when to take photos, as well.

I’m not sure if other roller derby teams do this, but I actually liked some of the music being played during the bout. In particular, I liked the fact that they played Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy.” I can’t think of a more appropriate song for roller derby.

Those who attended Saturday night’s bout will know that, although roller derby is not a mainstream sport like basketball, for example, it is a real sport with real competition going on. By the way, OMG earned a decisive win over their competition, the River City Dames of Anarchy.

It was also great to see area residents of all ages show up to Saturday’s bout at the PAC. It was certainly a family-friendly event, which is not surprising considering the fact that many roller derby women have families of their own.

This became evident during what I would call the “half time” break in the bout. Children in the audience were called on to the roller derby track to try and catch T-shirts shot out of one of those T-shirt cannons you see at other sporting events. The high fives given to the audience by both teams at the conclusion of the bout was also good to see.

Roller derby is one of those things I never expected to cover when first entering the field of journalism. But, I don’t think I’d mind doing it again some time.

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