Today, you should… try out for the Badfish Roller Derby team

TUESDAY, JAN. 28

The history of roller derby in Long Beach has a persistent, albeit convoluted past. Years of various teams forming and then disbanding and then reforming haven’t made for the most cohesive, unifying presence in the area.

Several years ago, Long Beach lost the banked track at the Spruce Goose Dome, near the Queen Mary, which served as a regional destination for local banked and flat-track bouts and practices. And despite commendable, though ultimately unsuccessful attempts by local roller maven Mimi Masher to bring a rare, banked track back into the public sphere, it’s fair to say that the roller derby scene in Long Beach has been dealt its fair share of hard blows.

But anyone familiar with or involved in the sport understands that these skaters can take a few blows and bruises, pick themselves back up and keep on skating—with or without a banked track to call home.

Flat-track roller derby, a version of the sport that’s not quite as fast or dramatic as its sloped-floor counterpart (banked track roller derby), is notably less expensive to preserve and has maintained a considerable local presence.

Leagues like the Long Beach Derby Gals, Beach Cities Roller Derby, Redrum Renegades of Long Beach and the Badfish Roller Derby continue to keep the momentum rolling as the few competitive flat-track women’s roller derby teams repping the LBC as their hometown.

And, it just so happens that Badfish Roller Derby are looking for new players to join them for the 2020 season. Today, at El Dorado Park West, Badfish invites anyone in the community who’s interested in the sport to try out for their team. There, you can meet league members, learn more about the team and observe one of their practices.

Another great thing: Experience is always a bonus, especially for a high-energy contact sport such as roller derby. But, anyone who can hold their own on skates is encouraged to come out; Badfish will teach and train you in all things roller derby.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Please, for the love of all things “rolly,” don’t forget your safety gear. There are six essentials you’ll need to play, otherwise, Badfish won’t let you on the rink. You’ll need knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet, mouth guard and, of course, quad skates. You want them, you need them, make sure you have them.

The Badfish Roller Derby tryouts will be held at the El Dorado Park West Basketball and Hockey Courts (2760 E. Barrios St.) from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The park’s basketball and hockey courts are located off N. Studebaker Rd and E. Barrios St., with plenty of parking in the lots next to the courts. For more information check out the Badfish Roller Derby Facebook page, here or their website, here.

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Cheantay Jensen is an editorial intern who covers art and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post.
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