Work brought me to Houston last week and San Antonio this week so I was near Austin and I absolutely had to see their famous roller derby, TXRD. Austin is one of the remaining bastions of banked track roller derby, from back when it was strongly inspired by WWF wrestling and more of a scripted show than a serious sport. The game has evolved, since then, into the serious, flat-track sport that I’ve loved watching around NYC, but a few places like Texas still play it on the original banked track with some of the old antics. I got to see the Hellcats spank the Holy Rollers, who you might remember was the antagonist team in the movie Whip It. I was expecting it to be a bit silly or fake but I was thoroughly impressed.

For one, the banked track makes the pack skate really fast. With all this speed required by the whole team, there’s no room for slow brutes. The jams only last for 1 minute too, so the jammers have to really hoof it to catch the pack even once and score their 4 points. I was quite impressed by the athleticism all round.

In Austin’s particular version of this sport, they’ve chosen to outlaw fighting but still make entertainment out of it, by using the Penalty Wheel. Bad girls have to spin the wheel to pick a mini-contest against their opponent. We saw them do arm-wrestling, pillow fighting, long jump and relay. The mini-contest winners earned a few points for their team and it was indeed entertaining, especially the pillow fight. I definitely liked this as much as flat-track derby and the atmosphere was fabulous. I salute you, Austin, for “keeping it weird” and still achieving a highly competitive sport.

Your mom’s derby – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV9J_2–iGQ
Pillow fight – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0ZZqwQBV3Y
An instructional video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoL8MEnSmBI

6 Responses to “TXRD”
  1. Come back anytime! Much love to you and much appreciation for your words!

  2. Reblogged this on Austin Banked Track Roller Derby and commented:
    Much Love, Respect and Appreciation for those that stop by and those that keep coming back.

  3. kdisleaze says:

    OMG, I can’t believe you saw roller derby in Austin – that’s amazing!!!! I am so jealous!!! Whip It is one of my favourite films and I think the last time I saw it was with you in Stranraer, of all places!!! I definitely want to go there one day! :)

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