I attended my first roller derby event with my friends yesterday (as a spectator only, I hasten to add, since I would in all likelihood be knocked over by even the tiniest opponent due to my lack of balance and low BMI) and was pleasantly entertained by what was happening. I mean, I didn't quite understand what was happening, but I knew that there were girls in shorts being rather violent. I couldn't help but warm to the sport, although I maintain that it is never going to replace ice hockey as my favourite modern-day gladiatorial equivalent. This conversation took place about ten minutes after the game had begun, and please bear in mind that none of us had seen such a sport before.
Me: Dude. Where's the ball?
Wetsoks: What ball?
Cublet: There isn't one.
Me: No ball?! But... how do they score points?
Cublet: They skate around and then, um... well, it's something about overtaking people. Those ones are called Jammers (pointing out one person from each team who has a star on their helmet)
We watched in silence for a few moments while Wetsoks googled roller derby information.
Wetsoks: Okay. Ah, I see what's happening now! There is one Jammer, one Pivot and three Blockers per team.
Me: I don't... what?
Wetsok: (patiently) The point is for the Jammer to get past the blockers - who as you can clearly see are "stitching" although they can also do something called "cross-stitching" - and then overtake the group for a lap. Every time they pass the group again, they get a point for each member of the opposite team who they overtake. Each shift is called a "jam" which lasts two minutes.
Me: (perplexed) I still don't... Dammit, Carol Vorderman, this doesn't make sense.
Wetsoks: Stop calling me Carol Vorderman!
Me: Then stop being a genius.
Sarahnator: Your momma's a genius. In bed.
Wetsoks: Think of it like Quidditch.
Me: There's still aren't balls. I need balls to make sense of it.
There was a horrible moment of confused silence before we broke down laughing. In conclusion, roller derby is very fun, but I would prefer it with balls. I promise that's not a euphemism.