in Champaign-Urbana’s first ever roller derby bout
How many rocket scientists does it take to set up a roller derby bout?
Apparently, the answer is two. That’s how many were on hand Friday night to help lay the track for Champaign-Urbana roller derby‘s sold-out exhibition bout. In a university town there’s a lot of spare expertise floating around. I’m pretty sure we had the most precise track ever measured out in the history of the sport, and the league is only four months old.
Mrs. Myrmecos (a.k.a. Elle Camino) skates for the Boneyard Bombshells, and that brings me to the point of this post. I was given the opportunity to slip inside the track’s inner circle as official photographer for this inaugural bout.
As those of you who follow this blog know, I don’t normally shoot anything larger than a dung beetle. Sports photography is an entirely different beast from my usual nature gig, full of fast action in low light and with strong constraints on composition and lighting. So I spent the last few weeks in high-ISO training to make sure I had the rudimentary skills to do the job. It was a challenge I was happy to face, though. I’ve been a derby fan since I started following the Copper Queens back in Tucson, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the sport picking up steam here in C-U. Fantastic bunch of women, too.
Houchebag (#M-7) takes a corner
The full set of photos from the bout is posted in the gallery here, but I’ve also pasted a selection below the fold.
Cruel Whip, jammer for The Paign, stretches before the bout.
Cruel Whip’s lead jammer status is signaled by the ref. A fan shares my timing and triggers his flash at just the right moment.