If you drove past Stotzky Park last Thursday night, you might have thought a fight broke out during “roller disco” night.
Or, maybe you thought a hockey game broke out, but without any sticks or pucks.
But what actually was happening that night was roller derby, the full-contact, all-female sport that goes back to the 1930s and ’40s and was later shown on television.
A roller derby league looking for new players was invited to give a demonstration during last Thursday’s roller disco night at Stotzky Park’s roller hockey rink, according to Brooke Cassidy of Lake Grove, who is one of the coaches of the Strong Island Derby Revolution, which is currently the only roller derby league in Suffolk County.
“We did a demonstration to show people what it’s all about,” said Ms. Cassidy, whose roller derby name is Eve’l EnforcHer.
She explains: “My middle name is Eve, so that’s where the Eve’l comes from, and when my kids were little, I was in a Lamaze group and they called me the enforcer because I was the treasurer and if you didn’t pay the dues, I would kick you out.”
Other players have names like Ann T. Virus, Ice BreakHer and Helluva Fite, according to the league’s website.
The Strong Island Derby Revolution is considered a league, which means it can have multiple teams, Ms. Cassidy said. It normally has two teams: the Revolution and the Slaughters of the Revolution.
“Right now, we’re going through a transition where we don’t have enough players for a second team, so it’s just the Revolution now,” Ms. Cassidy said.
“We are always looking to expand,” she said. “We love roller derby, so anything that helps letting us do it more is good.”
Roller derby is played with two teams of about 14 members, which have 60-minute “bouts,” Ms. Cassidy said.
Each team has one “jammer,” who wears a star on her helmet, and four “blockers.”
The jammer skates around the circle and gets a point for every opposing player she passes. The other team’s “blockers” try to prevent this, but they also try to block so their own jammer can get free, according to Ms. Cassidy.
The league is hoping to return to Riverhead in October to give another demonstration and recruit players, Ms. Cassidy said.
Players must pass a “skills test” before they can compete, she said.
“For the new people, we teach you everything you need to know, but it helps if you have skating experience.”
The league currently has players ranging in age from 21 to about 53, she said.
Photo caption: The Strong Island Derby Revolution, which is currently the only roller derby league in Suffolk County, put on a demonstration at Stotzky Park last week to show people what the sport is about. (Courtesy photo)