History of Derby

Roller Derby began in the 1930’s starting as a race and later turning into a full contact sport. Overtime the sport became popular and more widely known in the 1970s and 80s where bouts were wrestle type games with outcomes that were fixed and tracks that were sloped or “banked.”

Roller derby was reborn in the year 2000. This new game of roller derby is 100% real and has become extremely strategic and requires athleticism. The game itself remains fast and fierce however the track has become flat. A flat track is economical, requires more from the skater as they must use their own physical strength to get speed and momentum, and a flat track allows the fans to experience the game on the level that the action takes place.

In 2004, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Alliance (WFTDA) was formed to “promote and foster the sport of women’s flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues.” The governing philosophy of the WFTDA is “By the skaters, for the skaters.” Leagues such as the Maui Roller Girls are skater owned and operated.

Derby originally came to Hawaii in 1956 with the Honolulu Warriors who played at the Old Civic Center, while the franchise moved to Chicago in 1972 many in Hawaii still remember the days of roller derby on our islands. They talk about the excitement and share the joy for the game. In almost a surreal tone there has been a curiosity about derby and its return to Hawaii.

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