Dutch Roller Derby

If you’re not Dutch, then it’s unlikely that you’re familiar with Roller Derby,  the rough perfectly Dutch, predominately women’s sport.

This sport started out in the US in the 1920s but has made a significant comeback since the 2000s.  Amsterdam has every reason to be proud of it’s super fun and strong women who are the face of this sport.

Two to three times a week women of all kinds meet for a common purpose of playing the sport they absolutely love at the Amsterdam Velodrome, located in the west of Amsterdam.

Women come and go throughout the night and greet each other like they’ve known each other forever.  They are full of smiles with skates in their hands, elbow pads, mouth guards, knee pads, and helmets.

After several warm up exercises for both their heart rates and throats (there’s tons of yelling in this sport) they are ready to conquer in their A versus B teams in a scrimmage match.

This sport is not the most simple to understand and involves a great deal of commotion. There are two sets of five players that are on the court at once. Once the whistle blows, what is referred to as jammer from each team tries to get in front of the group.  The jammer then attempts to pass her opponents.

The sport is controlled, however is still quite aggressive.  But anything too out of hand will put you in the penalty box for inappropriate play.

It’s completely entertaining for spectators but is much more complex then it appears.  Those that play are empowered women and very team-minded and is very clearly a good match for the Dutch open minded type of character.  After beating each other up in the game they hug each other at the end. It’s a one of a kind game and community.
For the past eight years that this league has been rolling, they have competed throughout Europe, changed venues, and introduced many new skaters.  The Amsterdam Roller Derby is an alternative and intriguing scene.