What place do men have in roller derby? – Part 2

Posted on December 15, 2011 by


Yesterday I shared some of Bear Grylled’s thoughts on men in roller derby. Today we continue this line of thought. I asked Bear whether he thinks the emergence of “all-male” teams threatens women’s roller derby. This was his response:

No. I think that like netball, gymnastics, callisthenics, ballet and others, there are some sports that women are more suited to and are more graceful and elegant at! I have played netball and a woman knows how to position her body in a way that gives her a positional advantage and roller derby is no different.

I think all-male teams add a different perspective to the sport and that may focus less on the agility and speed and more on the force and strength of the sport. At the present in my limited understanding, women’s derby is the more dominant and popular, while merby is in its exhibition and demonstration stages, where male referees may feature in a themed Demonstration bout at a convention (eg Team Awesome vs Team SeXY at Rollercon 2011 in the US, and last year’s Mustachio Nuts Vs the Pussywhips in Australia).

I am aware that there are all male leagues and teams in America, and they may have been bouting for many years. However women’s Roller Derby is established and has a niche place in America and some of the big names in the sport are American females (eg Bonnie D Stroir, Ivanna S Pankin and Suzy Hotrod). There are also some big name men (eg Quadzilla, Thomas Referson and Hambone) who are referees as well as bouting participants in roller derby. As roller derby’s popularity sweeps the world and more people get snared into its net, it’s only natural that women and men, boys and girls will grow up with it, grow into it, grow out of it, but mostly equally participate in it as individuals and as a family. I like the idea that the worldwide derby family welcomes everyone no matter what their gender or ability is, and families can participate in the sport together.

How do you feel about merby?

Visit Diary of a Derby Wannabe tomorrow to read about Bear’s take on the Roller Derby World Cup.


Image by Jeremy Pass’em

Posted in: LimboLand