Roller derby, the noble sport of reckless rollerskaters smashing each other into the track, first appeared in the US in the 1950s. Since then it’s evolved from an entertaining novelty to an internationally recognized sport with fiercely competitive leagues and packed venues. Lucky for diehard fans or people just learning about roller derby: the teams at the top are from cities with a lot to offer.
Austin is known for its music scene, nightlife, cuisine and roller derby royalty: the all-star team the Texecutioners. The movie “Whip It” was based on a novel by one of their skaters and is credited with bringing roller derby into the spotlight. While the movie didn’t always show realistic skating, it did a lot to boost public awareness and bring enthusiastic new skaters into leagues across the country.
London is the city that brought roller derby to Europe and fostered the international community abroad. In 2009 they hosted Europe’s first roller derby tournament, Roll Britannia, with 12 teams from the UK and Germany. Their all-star team - London Brawling - is one of the highest ranking teams in the world. Catch a London Rollergirls game in between visiting all the great, free national museums, quality pubs, and ambling by the Thames.
Los Angeles, California
This team might hold the claim to the best weather. Palm trees, sunsets over the ocean, young punks skating in empty, neglected swimming pools -- but these ladies take more physical risks on the track. Led by the Hollywood Scarlets, Angel City Derby Girls are one of the top teams and the original league based in Los Angeles.
Independent coffee shops, grunge music, food trucks -- a lot of great trends got their start in the pacific northwest and modern roller derby is one of them. Rose City Rollers brought the sport back from near obscurity and Portland now has a thriving community with over 400 skaters.
Also a coffee capital, Melbourne is known for a thriving arts scene, beautiful beaches, and friendly people. Melbourne’s own Victorian Roller Derby won the World Cup in 2016 against long-time contender Gotham Girls.
New York, New York
Central Park, Times Square, Madison Square Gardens are only a few of the reasons people visit New York City. New York City’s Gotham Girls are no less impressive as living legends and 5-time winners of the Roller Derby World Cup. Catch on of these monumental games knowing you’re part of history in the making.