On my last visit to the UK, Jessica took me to see a Roller Derby match. This is her latest hobby.
I'm all for any hobby that gives you some form of exercise, whether it's walking a dog, or fell running. Skating, of course, works out the legs, hips, and bum, as well as being an aerobic exercise. Add to that, that you are fighting off the competition, and it brings in a whole load of other benefits (including working off aggression!).
This was the first time I had actually watched a proper bout and I found it very interesting. Watching the referees was as entertaining at watching the teams. Their hand signals were as clear as a those of a top rugby ref! No misunderstandings here. Everyone obeyed the rules and when the ref gave a time out in the sin-bin, the culprit went immediately. (After all, the longer you argue before hand, the longer it takes before you are back in the game.)
Sadly, there was one major injury during the bout. There had been a few nasty falls, and I noticed that everyone stopped, and kneeled facing away from the incident. In this case, the level of respect shown was outstanding. Not only did everyone turn away (excluding those dealing with it of course), but the whole hall fell into silence, allowing the incident to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. It was soon realised that it was serious, and all of the players and officials moved to their respective benches, facing away from the track, while the first aiders did their job. In the end, the girl was able to walk to the ambulance with what seemed to be a dislocated arm. Very painful.
After the girls completed their bout, there was another one with some boys. This, needless to say, was much more aggressive. There is a line, some distance from the track, which it is recommended you do not cross. It was in the right place. One lad crashed and nearly ended up in my lap. Had I been just 1 foot further forward, he could have shared my lunch.
Very interesting afternoon. If there was something like that in our town, I would be the first in-line to enroll.