About The Cincinnati Rollergirls
The History of the Cincinnati Rollergirls
The Cincinnati Rollergirls is the area’s first all-female, amateur, flat track roller derby team. Founded in late 2005 with its first season in 2006, the team is owned and operated by its skaters, women from around the region who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds and occupations.
Every member of the Cincinnati Rollergirls — the skaters, coaches and officials — is a volunteer. Skaters buy their own skates, gear and uniforms and also pay monthly dues. All proceeds from dues, sponsorships, ticket and merchandise sales go back into the organization to cover costs such as venue rental, insurance, travel, tournament and league fees, advertising and supplies.
Two teams make up the Cincinnati Rollergirls: the Black Sheep, the varsity or A team; and the Violent Lambs, the JV or B team. The Black Sheep and the Violent Lambs have played roller derby teams from all over North America at CRG’s home venue, the Cincinnati Gardens, and away.
The Cincinnati Rollergirls have received many accolades from the community. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory declared June 19, 2010 Cincinnati Rollergirls Day, and the Cincinnati Rollergirls have been voted Cincinnati’s Best Amateur/Semi-Pro Team by CityBeat readers every year since 2011. The team also gives back to the community by volunteering at charity events, making donations to local nonprofit organizations and offering free tickets to organizations such as the Armed Forces Ticket Association and Most Valuable Kids of Greater Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Rollergirls Mission Statement
CRG will be recognized as a nationally-ranked top 10 competitor in flat track roller derby. Skaters are CRG’s most valued assets, and the league is committed to providing skaters with the training, facilities, and coaching needed to fulfill the league’s mission.
CRG will be an energetic and creative organization that is supportive and involved in its community. CRG staff and skaters will uphold professionalism and exhibit camaraderie and exceptional performance in pursuit of the league’s mission.
How Flat Track Roller Derby Is Played
Invented by sports promoter Leo Seltzer in the 1930s, roller derby thrived in the U.S. until the 1970s, when high transportation costs shut it down. In 2001, a group of women in Austin, Texas revived the sport. Playing it on a flat track instead of the traditional banked track, they turned what was once a staged spectacle into an unscripted, athletic, full-contact, competitive team sport, now played by hundreds of teams around the world.
Roller derby games, sometimes called bouts, are divided into two 30-minute periods. During a game, two teams of five skaters each face off on the track. Each team consists of a pivot, three blockers and a jammer. The pivots, who wear stripes on their helmets, set the pace and lead the other blockers in a pack. The jammers, who wear stars on their helmets, score points by fighting their way through the pack and passing members of the opposing team.
When the whistle blows, the pack and the jammers take off. The first jammer to make it through the pack legally is designated the "lead jammer." The jammers must lap the pack once before sprinting through the pack again to score points by passing members of the opposing team. A jam lasts a maximum of two minutes, but the lead jammer has the special ability to call off the jam early by hitting her hips with her hands. This strategy typically locks in a higher number of points for her team than her opponent’s team for that jam. Blockers try to stop the opposing jammer from passing them and scoring while helping their own jammer make it through the pack and score. The team with the most points at the end of the bout wins.
Flat track roller derby eliminates the barrier of the guardrail in banked track roller derby and brings the action closer to the fans. They can sit on the floor at the edge of the track and get an unencumbered view of every hit, whip and pass.