WEEKEND: Roller Derby doubleheader comes to Laconia on Saturday (372 words)

LACONIA — Female Roller Derby, a throwback to the post World War II era, is coming to the city this weekend at the Laconia Ice Arena when the Granite State Roller Derby All Stars will take on the Hartford Area Roller Derby team at 5 p.m.

The event will be a double header with the second match featuring two of the Granite State's home teams — the Demolition Dames and the Fighting Finches.

Roller Derby is played in short bouts by five skaters from each team skating clockwise around an oval. One skater is a designated scorer or jammer who scores a point for each of the members of the opposing team she catches up to and passes.

At Saturday's event, each bout will begin with a demonstration so the audience will know how the game is played.

Women's roller derby is enjoying a world-wide resurgence and, according to an article in Sport Illustrated on line, was one one eight sports being considered for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

According to an article from the Altantic Monthly, the pros for including roller derby as an Olympic sport were that it is a female-based contact sport that involves intelligence, athleticism, and strength. Working against it was the idea that the International Olympic Committee wouldn't make enough money on it to support it and the sport's continuing penchant for using "outlandish costumes and bawdy nicknames" for its teams and players.

The flat-track version of the sport evolved in 2001 and has grown to encompass nearly 400 leagues throughout the world. Granite State Roller Derby began in 2010 and is a registered non-profit organization that works with local charitable organizations.

To the best of anyone recollection, this will be the first time roller derby has come to Laconia. The doors open at 4 p.m. and the Granite State All Starts meet the Greater Hartford Roller Derby at 5 p.m.

Fans will have an opportunity to create posters, participate in raffles and sign up for prizes including tickets to the Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR race on Sunday.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Children under 5 are free. Advanced tickets can be purchased through the leagues website at www.granitestaterollerderby.com or at the Spank Alley Stake and Board Shop at 59 South Main St. in Concord.