Twelve top teams from the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association travelled from as far away as Melbourne, Australia, to Philadelphia this weekend for the International Championship of Roller Derby at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
The full contact sport that features teams of five skaters gliding around an oval in two minute “jams,” or races, to see who can block and dodge the members of the other team to score the most points.
The three-day event at the Liacouras Center featured hard fought bouts to take home the top prize. Ultimately, the Victorian Roller Derby League of Melbourne, Australia, would defeat the defending champions, the Rose City Rollers of Portland, Oregon.
The team from Down Under put up 180 points to Rose City’s 101 in a very physical match-up that resulted in tears and hugs on both sides.
While the mood during the tournament was tense at times, the event never lost its spirit of fun. Intermittent dance breaks were taken by both fans and competitors.
As the women skated and slammed into each other on the course the scores of fans watching cheered and supported their teams with passion and respect for the opponents. At the end of each bout no matter who or lost, there were hugs.