Derby dolls equipped with body pads, mouth guards and a thirst for victory will take the rink Saturday for the third annual “Black and Blue Ball” homecoming bout at Rollerland Skate Center.
The bout — the name for a roller derby match — will feature the two home teams of the Fort Collins Girls Gone Derby roller derby league, the Chanel Cartel and the Deathrow Dolls.
Instead of sporting their traditional derby garb, the skaters opted to wear formal attire to keep with the evening’s homecoming theme. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as well.
“It’s a good natured poke at all that [homecoming] stuff,” said Emily Zaynard –iOna Switchblade on stage — a skater for the Chanel Cartel.
The girls prefer to be called by their derby names when they are talking about roller derby.
“It’s kind of a persona thing. People know us and cheer for us by our derby personas,” Switchblade said.
Each derby girl must register her official name in a national registry of derby dolls. There are no restrictions on names except that there cannot be two of the same name nor names that are too similar to each other, she said.
Started in 2006, the Fort Collins derby league is comprised of three teams. There are two home teams, Chanel Cartel and the Deathrow Dolls, who bout each other. There is also a traveling team, the Kung Fu Donnas, which is comprised of the best skaters from both home teams.
This year, the Kung Fu Donnas have played teams from other leagues in Colorado, as well as teams from Omaha, Neb. and Salt Lake City, Utah.
But for the Fort Collins Girls Gone Derby league, the Black and Blue Ball is their “signature event,” Switchblade said.
The event is special to the teams because “our very first bout [as a league] was called the Black and Blue Ball,” she said. “It’s usually the craziest, fun event of the year.”
For the first time, CSU students will be able to purchase discounted Black and Blue Ball tickets for $7.
“We wanted to get more CSU support,” Jesse Herron, head of the bout committee for the league, said of the new discount.
Non-student tickets are $10 pre-sale and $15 day-of the event. The bout starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at Rollerland Skate Rink.
Staff writer Kelli Pryor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.