Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Roller Derby is a bit like Nascar, track, and football all rolled into one sport - if you added roller skates, fishnet tights, and face paint. The sport has had a recent resurgence as an all-female, woman organized game, and we can proudly claim the Wine County Crushers as our home town team.
Skating Derbies originated in the 1930s. Not much has changed in the way the game is played over the years, unless you count the pseudonyms (Nacho Friend and Aces Cracked are two nicknames of players on the Yakima team) and wild outfits. A full contact sport, two teams of 5 take to the track in an attempt to score points by lapping members of the opposing team. Games consist of a series of matchups or “jams” where a “jammer” is identified and becomes the key scorer for the team trying to rack up as many points as she can. There is a no holds bar attitude in keeping players from scoring, so elbows, legs, crashes, pushing, and tackling are all used to keep the opponent from getting points. Players are required to wear protective gear including; mouth guards, helmets, writs guards, and elbow and knee pads – however, if it were me, I’d be wearing full body armor.
Yakima’s Wine Country Crushers just celebrated their second year as a team. Touted as a 501(c)3 non-profit the group aims to build a strong community and promote other likeminded non-profits through the sport of roller derby. The team is working towards developing a long term community institution and resource that promotes sportsmanship, athleticism and confidence.
The team plays several home games this year and you can buy tickets or learn more about the team by visiting their website.
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