Getting to know the women of Cape Cod Roller Derby
These ladies are really on a roll!
A warehouse in Dennis Port has taken on a new identity recently for a group of about 40 Cape Cod women. Located on Shad Holl Road, the Cape Cod Media Center serves as home base for the Salty Dolls of the Cape Cod Roller Derby League—and participants in the all-female league refer to the center, affectionately, as the “Doll House.”
For each practice or bout, the players lace up their old-fashioned four-wheel roller skates, and don knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, mouth guards and a helmet. Face paint is optional—but encouraged!
“A lot of people remember the theatrical aspect of roller derby from back in the day,” says Lynne Duquette Perera, 38, the league’s founder and president. “Now, it’s a little less theatrical, and a little more of a sport.” The Salty Dolls follow the rules and regulations of the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association, an international organization that governs the sport of women’s flat track roller derby.
The Cape league is flat-track roller derby, which means the sport is played on a flat surface that is suitable for skating, such as roller-skating rinks, basketball courts and parking lots. Each bout lasts 60 minutes, with two 30-minute periods made up of a series of matchups known as “jams.” Typically, a jam, which is something like a mini period, lasts from 15 seconds to two minutes, depending on what the lead “jammer” is able to accomplish. Designated by each team, the jammer is usually a speedster and tasked with maneuvering and fighting her way past a cluster of the opposing team’s blockers, while her teammates, in the same way, try to block the opposition’s jammer. The jammer’s goal is to zip around the track and pass players on the opposing team; each trip around, and every opponent passed, racks up points.
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