Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby athletes are “just rolling with it”


Photo provided by Leah Bosler

Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby promotes a close knit team aspect and inclusion for all.

Sarah Bomhoff, Staff Writer

Although many people may not be particularly talented at roller skating, as for people in the Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby, skating is right up their alley. 

Affiliated with the Junior Roller Derby Association, Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby is a club created in 2012 with a purpose to encourage kids to participate in the sport. Since then, they have grown along with the sport of roller derby itself. The club consists of a traveling team, Sodak Attack, and a recreational team, the BabyDollz. According to Team USA Roller Sports, the high intensity sport is played in 40 different countries with 1,500 leagues and more on the rise.

Roller derby is a unique sport that requires a great deal of mental and physical toughness. The game is played with five team members on the floor while two teams are competing against each other. Four of the skaters are called “blockers” and one player is titled the “jammer.” The objective of roller derby is for the selected jammer to skate a lap around the opposing team in order to score points. All of this is done within a two minute time period which is called a “jam.”

LHS sophomore Sydney Gates, has been skating on the traveling team, Sodak Attack, for five years, along with several other LHS students. Throughout her experience, Gates says that it has been a valuable opportunity for her not only because of the sport itself, but also her team dynamic makes the activity even more enjoyable.

“Even when we are down 100 points at half time, we have a dance party and just have a great time,” said Gates.

Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby has a goal to empower the younger generation through  derby and also encourage the idea of inclusion. The team has bonded together as Roller Dollz competes locally, nationally and internationally, giving teammates an opportunity to become a tight-knit group.

“My favorite part is how we aren’t a team that just cares about winning,” said Gates. “We are just one really big family.”

As derby is a full contact sport, the pandemic has taken a swing at derby leagues across the country. As of right now, neither teams from Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby are competing, but they have high hopes of hosting summer camps beginning in August and continuing into their competitive season throughout the later months of 2021.