Derby Dispatch: Updates from the flat track

As the summer skates by here in Central PA, local roller derby teams are beginning to announce recruitment events and July-August bouts. Want to catch a bout – or are you brave enough get in on the action? Now’s your chance. Here’s the roller roundup:

Dutchland Derby Rollers

What’s happening: The Dutchland Derby Rollers, established in 2006, is sending out their Orange Crush team to face down the Pottstown Roller Derby‘s Sabotage squad in a superheroes vs. villains themed bout on. Doors open at 6:30p.m. on Saturday; wheels hit the tracks at 7p.m. Tickets are $10 plus processing online and $15 at the door; teacup humans from age 6-10 get in for $5 (kids under 6 get in free.) Some of the proceeds will benefit the Women’s Center of Montgomery County, so you can catch the bout and feel good too. The Dutchland Rollers are also inviting interested parties to try out this Sunday, July 12, at 10:30p.m. Think you’re ready?

What you need: For the Saturday night bout, you will need money, something to put your ass in so you can catch some track action up close and personal, and a mug – there’s going to be free beer. Yes, you read that right – free beer; just bring a mug! (If you forget a mug, it’s fine – you can buy one.) If you plan on going to the official afterparty at Doc Watson’s Irish Pub, you might also need a designated driver. For the Sunday tryouts, you will need $5 and a mouthguard – the rest of your gear, including your skates, will be provided for you.

Hanover Black Rose Rollers

What’s happening:

You can catch the busy (and badass) babes of the Black Rose Rollers this Saturday, July 11 at the Sharpshooters Grille, beginning at 1p.m.. They’ll be washing bikes as part of the festivities for Gettysburg Bike Week. Want to catch a bout? Got you covered. Their AllStars team battling the Lehigh Valley Roller Girls this Sunday, July 12,  at Magic Elm Skateland. Tickets are $5.30 in advance and $7 at the door. Doors will open at 5p.m., and the throwdown starts at 6p.m. Now, theoretically, what if you’re inspired to skate after watching that flat track warfare? Well, start brushing up on your flat track finesse. The Black Rose Rollers are recruiting and will be hosting tryouts at Magic Elm Skateland on Thursday, August 27, 9-11p.m. Prospective skaters, prospective referees, and prospective non-skating officials are all welcome to try out.

What you need:

For the Saturday afternoon bike wash, you will need your manners. For the Sunday evening bout, you will need a blanket or folding chair (whatever your standard sports-watching DIY seating is) and your elbows – seating’s first-come, first-serve, so you better get there early or be prepared to nudge if you want trackside seats. For the August 27 tryouts, you will need a helmet and skates (or you can rent them at the facility.) They’ll have some gear available to borrow at the tryouts, but the wise skater would bring their own kneepads, etc. Things you don’t need to bring? Any skating experience – newbies are more than welcome! (If you’re looking to be a nonskating official, of course, you don’t need skates or a helmet, though you might want to bring your courage.)

Harrisburg Area Roller Derby (HARD)

What’s happening: The track queens of HARD have been around since 2006. Currently coached by local derby greats like Nash Villain and Renegade Raven, HARD is delighted to announce their 2015 recruitment event. They’re inviting fresh meat to see if they have what it takes to fly on the flat track on July 21, from 7:30-10:30p.m. at the Olympic Skating Center in Enola. This session will be part informational and part practical – they’ll be teaching attendees about the rules and regs of roller derby and about HARD itself, as well as some of the skating technique itself.

What you need: Your own bodacious bod! That’s it. HARD is supplying skates, pads, helmets, and general hardassery. If you’ve ever wanted to check out roller derby and you’re anywhere in the Harrisburg area, this is your time. Join the girls in green and see if you have what it takes to block or jam.

York City Derby Dames

What’s happening: The York City Derby Dames are gearing up for their upcoming bout against the Free State Roller Derby Rock Villains. Elbows will fly August 9th at the Roll ‘r’ Way Family Skating Center. Doors will open at 3:30p.m., and first whistle blows at 4p.m.

What you need: You’ll have to purchase tickets – they’re $10 plus service fee in advance and $12 at the door. (Kids under 10 get in free – gotta start ’em young.) You’ll also want to bring a cab number or sober friend, because there’s going to be an afterparty at the Granfalloons Tavern and you know you wanna party with these ladies. If you’re bummed because you’re in the York area and you don’t see a recruitment night here, buck up: the Derby Dames are always accepting new skaters. Check the “Join Us” section on their website for the deets.


Ready for recruitment season? Good. All you need now is a get-hype derby demolition playlist. Here, we’ll start you off:


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Posted in Out & About, Out & About – Harrisburg, Out & About – Lancaster, Out & About – York

Ed Hirtzel is the Summer 2016 Fly intern. She’s currently an English Honors student at Millersville University. Her hobbies include scribbling, writing both fiction and nonfiction, and compiling useless information about cryptids.

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