By Gabi Lecusay, Senior
Ms. Philp, one of iPrep’s newest members to the incredible variety of teachers we have in our high school, has had quite an interesting past-time filled with just as interesting friends and acquaintances. In this article, we interview one of her friends by the name of Felix Thomson because of his experience with Roller Derby. Ms. Philp explains that she tried the sport for some time, however, persists that Felix is definitely a professional on the topic.
To give you some background about the sport, Roller Derby is an American sport that started out in Chicago in 1935. With a pair of roller skates, a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads, a mouth guard, a Roller Rink, and a lot of courage, you're ready for a Rugby-on-wheels type of gameplay. Roller Derby is not as friendly of a sport as it may sound. The point of the game is to have a “Jammer” ride rough and hard through a wall of players- or “Blockers”- to try and make as many laps as possible without falling out of bounds in order to score points for the team. If the opposing team is able to keep the Jammer from passing or is successful in knocking them out of bounds, a point is lost for that round and the game moves on to the next. The interview with Felix Thomson is below:
How often did you play the sport? What position did you play?
Thompson: Okay, I will start with how long I played. I played Roller Derby for about three years- between 2012 to about 2014. The positions I played in Roller Derby were Blocker and Jammer. Interestingly with Roller Derby you’re not going to find any teams that play for any schools, they’re mostly independent leagues.
How would you describe Roller Derby to anyone who hasn’t heard of the sport before?
Thompson: A question I hear very often that I should honestly have a better answer for but I don’t! Often, I guess, the best way to describe it is… It’s a race. Ultimately it’s a race. It’s a race where one player from each team is attempting to score points for their team and they score them by actually passing or lapping opponents from the other team. So, the goal is for your team’s Jammer to get through a full lap and the goal for the other team is to block that Jammer from getting past. That would be the best way to describe the flat track roller derby.
Have you played any other sports?
Thompson: Have I played any other sports? Seriously? No. No, I wasn’t a very good athlete. Roller Derby is pretty much the only sport I’ve ever played at a professional level.
Do you think we could bring either sport to iPrep?
Thompson: It can be… but, I will say one of the biggest- I guess- prohibitive things about Roller Derby is cost and severe chance of injury. You know, even from a referee stand point there is a chance you are on roller skates and it is a full contact sport. So there’s absolutely risk of injury but at the same time there’s a Junior Roller Derby association where skaters under 18 with varied levels of contact.