The Magnolia Roller Vixens to host roller derby bootcamp

JANS - The Magnolia Roller Vixens, Metro Jackson’s roller derby team, announce their four day boot camp for prospective skaters and referees on Oct 1st, and Oct 3rd from 7pm to 9pm at the National Guard Armory on Northside Drive in Clinton. “This boot camp was designed to teach anyone interested in being a skater or a ref the basic skills and rules needed to play roller derby,” says Dena Radcliffe, Chair of the Skills and Practice committee. “We are recruiting women ages 18 and up, men and women ages 18 and up for our ref crew, and boys and girls ages 12 and up for our junior team.”

Megan Voos, Recruitment Chairperson says “Often, when I invite people to check out roller derby, I get the response ‘I don’t know how to skate.’ Well, here’s your chance to learn and become a part of the fastest growing sport in the world. Not only will you learn the fundamentals of roller derby, but we will pair you up with a Big Sister to encourage you along the way.” Roller derby is played on a flat track, usually of concrete or wood. A roller derby game is called a “bout,” which consists of two thirty-minute halves. Each half is made up of several two-minute “jams.” Each jam features five players from each team, four players called blockers, and one jammer from each team. The object is for the jammers to score points by passing members of the opposing team. At the end of the bout, the team with the most points wins.

“This can be a rough sport,” Elizabeth Ronie, a referee, says. “I attended several bouts and was interested in becoming part of the team, but I was very intimidated by what I saw. I hemmed and hawed for a few months before I finally joined the team. I really regretted the lost time.” She adds “I promise these girls are not nearly as scary off the track! They are lovely, helpful people.” Magnolia Roller Vixens was formed in 2008 and is a community-wise sports initiative for adult females. The Magnolia Roller Vixens promotes and fosters the sport of women’s flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among its team members and staff.

The governing philosophy is “by the skaters, for the skaters.” The league adopts the rules and regulations of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and is a WFTDA Apprentice League. Certain gear is required for all skaters, Radcliffe says. “We will have very limited gear available to borrow on a first come-first serve basis. To ensure the opportunity to skate, you may want to purchase your own gear before boot camp begins. You will also need your own mouth guard.” In addition to the mouth guard, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and helmets are also required. The cost of the boot camp is free for members and $5 per night for non-members. Email for more information.