Texas State students bring roller derby to San Marcos
By Billi London-Gray
Last Friday, Sept. 2, a young woman wearing a T-shirt and athletic shorts roamed the Quad holding a clipboard while she yelled an invitation at passers-by: “ARE YOU A BAD ASS!?”
So goes the recruiting message of the newly formed women’s roller derby team in San Marcos. And it’s working remarkably well.
Casi Moss, a sophomore at Texas State and a communication design major, is one of the students at the forefront of the recruiting efforts. Moss designed a poster that can be seen on walls and bulletin boards around San Marcos advertising the roller derby with a pin-up cowgirl.
“It started as just a student club, but a lot of local residents were interested, so we decided to try and make it a community organization that is open to everyone,” Moss said.
The team has recruited around 20 local women, many of whom are Texas State students.
“It’s kicking off faster than we anticipated,” Moss said. “We are ready to get things started.”
Roller derby is an extreme sport for women characterized by rough competition and dramatic athletic personas. Competitors create alter egos, complete with flashy uniforms, trademark moves, and noms de guerre like “Smackie Robinson” and “Clob Dylan.”
During competitions, referred to as bouts, racers roller skate around a flat track and earn points by lapping their opponents. Of course, the easiest opponent to lap is one who is lying on the track. While there are rules that prohibit tripping, punching and head butting, roller derby gets its rough-and-tumble reputation because of the hard-hitting nature of the sport.
Moss and team organizers Ashley Taylor, a senior majoring in theater education, and Kenzie Moss, a sophomore also majoring in communication design, have created a Facebook group page for San Marcos Roller Derby. To find out more about the team or to sign up, send a message to one of the organizers through Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in participating in roller derby should have medical insurance, quad roller skates, a helmet, a mouth guard and protective pads. At this time there is no cost to join, but that could change in the future. In order to hold sanctioned bouts, the San Marcos team is seeking acceptance by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), which requires annual dues.
The team is still in the process of securing practice and competition facilities, but Moss thinks the team will hold practices in San Marcos and participate in bouts with the Austin league. Once enough women have joined to form several teams, San Marcos could form its own roller derby league.
So why should you consider stepping out for roller derby?
“It’s a great way to make some friends and be part of a team,” Moss said, “as well as keeping in shape and kicking ass.”