Long Beach Roller Derby


Besides football and soccer, one of the fastest growing sports is roller derby being played in the greater LA and Long Beach areas. We recently had the opportunity to shoot some action photos of a few of the teams competing.

As you can see from these shots, these girls definitely mean business! Check out some of their names to see what we are talking about: “Rancho Sancha,” “Ida Capitate,” “Legs,” “Block Lobster,” “Vice Versa,” “Buster Chassis” and “Kiwi Herman.” And those are only a handful from one of the teams.

Not only do these ladies play to win, they sport some interesting team outfits, too like leopard embellished knee pads and short, shorts.

Besides the fun names and the colorful attire, some fast facts if you didn’t know already, roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members’ roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) in which both teams designate a scoring player (the “jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer—in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. Roller derby is played by around 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, nearly half of them outside the U.S.

While the sport has its origins in the banked-track roller skating marathons of the 1930s, Leo Seltzer and Damon Runyon are credited with the basic evolution of the sport to its initial competitive form. Professional roller derby quickly became popular; in 1940 more than 5 million spectators watched in about 50 US cities. In the ensuing decades, however, it predominantly became a form of sports entertainment where the theatrical elements overshadowed the athleticism. This gratuitous showmanship largely ended with the sport’s contemporary grassroots revival in the first decade of the 21st century.  Although some sports entertainment qualities such as player pseudonyms and colorful uniforms were retained, scripted bouts with predetermined winners were abandoned.

Modern roller derby is an international sport dominated by all-female amateur teams, in addition to a growing number of male, co-ed, and junior roller derby teams, and was (as a roller sport) under consideration for the 2020 Olympics.

We enjoy taking photos like this to show how diverse we are and that we are always at the ready to shoot a great sporting event.