There is a rebirth of sorts going on, and a part of it is happening right here at Fort Irwin.
Roller derby was extremely popular in the 1930s and 40s, but almost completely disappeared in following years, in part due to decreased popularity of scripted matches and rehearsed drama.
Modern roller derby is back, and is the fastest growing female sport in the world, according to Renee Mora, founder of the â€œHeavy ArmHer Roller Derbyâ€ team at Fort Irwin. Moss, who skates under the alias â€œTa Kill Ya Trixi,â€ explained the appeal of derby.
â€œThis is an activity that is just about you, itâ€™s all about female empowerment,â€ she said.Â â€œWe get out here, we skate, we have fun together, we have this camaraderie, itâ€™s just a sisterhood.â€
Mossâ€™ love of the game is shared by the team trainer and coach Kalyn Renee Smith who skates as â€œLilâ€™ Red Riding Dirty.â€
â€œItâ€™s very feminine, and yet itâ€™s a hard core sport at the same time, so thatâ€™s totally appealing to me,â€ said Smith.Â â€œItâ€™s just a really great group of people that get rid of all the stressors of everyday life, and youâ€™re not thinking about anything thatâ€™s been bothering you, itâ€™s just fun and intense and a great workout.Â Itâ€™s the best thing Iâ€™ve ever done.â€
The basics of derby are simple. Two teams of five skate for two 30-minute periods. Each team designates a scoring player, called a jammer, to try to pass players on the opposing team. The remaining players are called blockers and try to prevent the jammer from passing them.
Modern roller derby has become an international sport dominated by all-female amateur teams.Â However there are a growing number of male, co-ed, and junior roller derby teams. Derby is also under consideration to be included in the 2020 Olympics.
On military bases, itâ€™s growing because itâ€™s a sport military spouses can pick up and take with them from post to post, Moss said.
Prospective skaters, new or experienced, are welcome to learn more about the sport by coming to a practice session at the Freedom Fitness Center every Friday at 6p.m. The team can also be found on Facebook, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.