About the Cincinnati Rollergirls
The History of the Cincinnati Rollergirls
The Cincinnati Rollergirls is Cincinnati’s first amateur flat track roller derby team. Founded in late 2005 by Christa Zielke and Paula Estes, the team is owned and operated by its skaters, who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds and occupations.
The skaters, coaches, officials and support staff of the Cincinnati Rollergirls are all volunteers. Skaters buy their own skates, gear and uniforms and also pay monthly dues. All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales, skater dues and sponsorships go back to the organization to cover the costs of venue and practice space rental, home game production, insurance, travel, tournament fees, marketing and advertising.
As an internationally-ranked member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, CRG fields two competitive squads for inter-league play: the Black Sheep, the varsity or A team; and the Violent Lambs, the JV or B team. After a decade at the Cincinnati Gardens and three seasons at Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse at Xavier University, CRG now plays most of its home games at Xavier’s Cintas Center.
The Cincinnati Rollergirls have received many accolades from the community. Former 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 nearly 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.
Meet the Cincinnati Rollergirls
Learn more about Cincinnati Rollergirls skaters and support staff.
The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby
Invented by sports promoter Leo Seltzer in the 1930s, roller derby thrived in the U.S. until it fizzled out in the 1970s. In the early 2000s, the Texas Rollergirls revived the sport on a flat track instead of the traditional banked track. The ability to play the game on just about any flat surface helped roller derby spread across the world, and what was once a staged spectacle became an unscripted, highly athletic and fiercely competitive sport.
In today’s roller derby, two 15-skater teams play two 30-minute periods. Each period consists of multiple “jams” in which one jammer, three blockers and one pivot from each team face off. The jammers, who wear stars on their helmets, score points for their team by passing blockers from the opposing team. The blockers from each team skate together in a pack and play offense for their own jammer and defense against the opposing jammer at the same time. The pivots, who wear stripes on their helmets, have the special ability to accept the star helmet cover from their jammer, become the new jammer and score points.
During a jam, skaters may legally block opponents with their hips, shoulders and rear. Players can receive 30-second penalties for a variety of illegal actions, including elbowing, tripping, back blocking and cutting the track. Each jam ends after 2 minutes or when the lead jammer – the first jammer to pass through the pack legally – calls off the jam by hitting their hips with their hands. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Read the complete rules here.