American Roller Derby
Durning, it's heyday In the 1950's Roller Derby was a popular form of TV entertainment with rehearsed comic violence and pre-ordained outcomes. By the 1970s the sport had lost favor with the American public only to be revived, some thirty years later by women in a grassroots movement to restore the competitive side of the sport with the emphasis on athleticism and a strictly followed set of rules. I became interested in photographing the game when in 2018 I visited a roller derby match, or as it's officially called a "bout", at the San Fernando Valley league arena in Sylmar, California. I surprised by what I saw that evening! Everyone there was having a laugh. And the camaraderie between teams was strong and genuine, something I’d rarely seen in competitive sports. It was unpretentious refreshing fun to watch. Since then I have shot several SFV matches and always discover something new each time. The more I see, the more I understand the dedication and love the athletes have for Roller Derby.