The Claremont Colleges roller derby team, the only collegiate team on the West Coast, will host its first bout against Arizona State University March 3 at Pitzer College’s outdoor basketball court.
“We are just really excited to be hosting our first bout ever against another college,” team captain Carmen River Abbe SC ’18 said in an email to TSL. “This will also be the first time playing in an official game for a lot of our players, so we are just really excited to be able to participate in something like this.”
The team have never seen ASU play before and “have no idea how our skill levels might compare,” Abbe said.
This year, the 5C roller derby team’s roster has fluctuated between 20-25 members. There are currently 15 members who have passed the skills test required to compete, Abbe wrote in an email to TSL.
In order to pass the skills test, members have to skate one mile in five minutes and be able to stop in different kinds of ways, Abby McCarthy PZ ’21 said. Those who pass the skills assessment can play contact (hip-checking, pushing, etc.) and participate in local open scrimmages and other games.
This Saturday, the 15 players who will be skating against ASU come from all of the 5Cs except Claremont McKenna College, McCarthy said.
This semester, most of the team members hail from Scripps, though that usually fluctuates, Abbe wrote in an email to TSL. Last year, the team drew a lot of players from Pomona and Pitzer, but they’ve since graduated.
The group has one and a half hour practices twice a week with their coach and a third hour-long captains’ practice that is followed by a team lifting session, team member Devon Frost SC ’20 said in an email to TSL.
Students who have no past experience can still join the team. Usually, the greatest number of new members join at the beginning of the year.
“Most of the fall semester is spent teaching [new team players] how to skate,” Abbe wrote in an email to TSL.
There are only four collegiate roller derby teams in the nation, so competition options are limited.
“We are hopeful, though, that the movement of collegiate roller derby will spread and that sometime in the future there will be teams closer by to play,” Abbe wrote in an email to TSL.
If students are interested in joining the roller derby team, they can contact at firstname.lastname@example.org, or keep their eyes open for recruiting at the beginning of fall semester next year.
“We would love to have you. Our practices are also always open for people to come by, check us out, and try on loaner gear and see how skating feels,” Abbe wrote in an email to TSL.