What is roller derby?

Janna may be the pinnacle of professionalism in the office, but after hours, she’s kicking tail as the punk-rock-roller-derby persona, Jannarchy. Roller derby is a sport about pageantry and strategy. Audience engagement, both in the seat and on social media, is essential for the roller derby league to exist and host tournaments nationwide.

Janna found her fascination with roller derby in high school, and it was further fueled by the 2009 film ‘Whip It’ when she was graduating college. After that, it was all skates, makeup and elbow pads as she discovered her new passion for the sport. Roller derby has a reputation for being violent, and maybe back in the 70s and 80s, it was — but these teams value safety above all. They ensure each that team is properly trained and padded up, and roughhousing is kept to a minimum. Jammers attempt to score points by lapping the other teams on a flat rink, and blockers attempt to stop the jammers from passing their teams. The team with the most points in each ‘jam’ at the end of the bout is victorious!

Janna says it’s always a good idea to try skating before breaking into a physically and financially demanding sport like this. Rent skates, support your local rinks and have fun — and if you decide it’s not for you, no harm done! However, if you desire a rush of speed and fantastic characters, roller derby may be your new favorite sport.

Janna Stevens

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