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Our friends and sponsors at the Scarehouse made this wonderful video explaining a few things about the SCDD and Roller Derby in General:
The Steel City Derby Demons are a skater owned and operated organization. We are Pittsburgh’s only all-female roller derby league, comprised of strong and independent women from the nation’s home of superb sports teams. The Derby Demons are taking all the action and exhilaration of yesterday’s roller derby and combining it with punk rock flavor, resulting in maximum entertainment! With flat track roller derby leagues growing from 30 just a few years ago, to over 100 worldwide today, this new incarnation of an old sport is growing by leaps and bounds!
The Demons have three teams; The Steel Hurtin' is the A-Team, or Varsity team, and the B-Unit and the Blitzburgh Bombers are the B-team/Junior Varsity teams. They play teams from other cities that are on similar skater skill levels. If you are an old fan of ours, perhaps you might remember our four home teams. The Bitch Doctors, the Hot Metal Hellions, The Slumber Party Slashers, and the Wrecking Dolls were four teams comprised of all of the SCDD members that played each other. In 2009 these teams were dissolved officially in order for the SCDD to focus on inter-league play against other cities, secondary to our league's growing talents and ability to dazzle roller derby fans on the national stage. Many other roller derby leagues around the nation have done the same, in response to the sport's growing popularity and visibility nationwide.
The Steel City Derby Demons are proud members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Founded in 2004, the WFTDA promotes and fosters the sport of women's flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues. The governing philosophy is "by the skaters, for the skaters." Female skaters are primary owners, managers, and operators of each member league and of the association. Operational tasks include setting standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determining guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues. All member leagues have a voice in the decision making process, and agree to comply with the governing body's policies.
What's the history?
In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, America's first "spectacle sport" was born.
Invented by Leo Seltzer, roller derby originally simulated cross-country skating, with participants furiously circling a track approximating the distance between New York and LA.
As skaters became faster and more adept at lapping the track, occasional crashes would occur as they tried to pass those ahead of them. Like any great promoter, Seltzer soon realized these collisions were the most thrilling part of the game, which he tweaked to maximize the carnage.
Two teams of five skaters now circled the pack, with each team sending out a "jammer" to skate around and lap members of the opposing team. Derby became a full-contact physical sport, with elbows, body-checks and fights galore. And the fans loved it.
By the early '50s, roller derby reached its peak, with games regularly drawing 30-40,000 fans and skaters gracing the covers of national magazines. The sport sustained its popularity through the '70s, but then slipped into pop culture oblivion — until now.
Today, in post-millennium America, "everything old is new again" — including the roller derby. A neo-derby renaissance is fully at hand, with aggressive all-girl skaters jamming the pack to restore the sport to its hard-hitting former glory.
In addition to the 100+ US leagues formed in recent years, the new roller derby finds itself in locations as diverse as Germany, Mexico, and New Zealand. A new generation of fierce female athletes is paying homage to the energetic, explosive traditions of derby past, while updating them slightly for a more sophisticated, modern audience.
With a post-feminist, punk-inspired DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos and a hearty helping of raunchy rock'n'roll, this ain't your grandpa's roller derby. Gone are the co-ed teams (in favor of "red hot, girl-on-girl action"). Traditional "time-out" penalties have been replaced with a spin of the much-dreaded "Penalty Wheel," which dispenses wild consequences, from spankings to spontaneous karaoke, for fouls committed during play.
With veteran leagues like NYC's Gotham Girls Roller Derby and Austin's Texas Rollergirls, and other start-up leagues around the country determined to revive this outrageous, crowd-pleasing sport, a nationwide roller derby revolution has definitely begun.