WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published May 29, 2012, 07:22 PM

Duo Hoping to Bring Roller Derby to Devils Lake

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Roller derby is a sport that's gaining popularity fast, with more than 200 leagues nationwide.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Roller derby is a sport that's gaining popularity fast, with more than 200 leagues nationwide.

Two women are hoping to roll the concept out in the Lake Region. Roller derby isn't like the game people remember in the 70s. Devils Lake derby organizers say now it's for everyone.

It's more than a sport. It's a chance to let your individuality shine.

"Skaters have derby names. They sort of have derby personas. Alter egos they like to call it a lot of times," Tiffany Roberts said.

Roberts moved to Cando, ND, last year. She says organizing a team is her way of bringing people together.

"Looking for some new friends, something new to do, and I thought, you know, 'there's a team in Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot.' I think it's time for Devils Lake to get a team also," Roberts said.

Roberts met Charity Haugland, who goes by the derby name Charity Bomb. They formed a bond over roller derby, and hope others do the same.

"And having a group of girls that end up being pretty good friends because of working together on this team," Haugland said.

Roller Derby may be fast-paced and hard-hitting, but it's an easy game to learn, and it's open to everyone. No experience is required.

"All shapes. All sizes. All ages of women can be part of a roller derby team. You don't have to have any skating experience. We will train. It's become very organized. It's regulated," Roberts said.

"It's kind of like, I hate to put it this way, but think of NASCAR. They're always going in one direction, but you're waiting for the crash," Charity's husband Gary Haugland said.

They also hope to show potential derby girls that anyone can be an athlete.

"It's really an opportunity, even if you've never played any organized sport before, to come out and really challenge yourself," Roberts said.

The two helped organize an exhibition match featuring derby girls from around the state this Saturday night at Ruger Park.

They hope to show the public how much fun derby can be.

Team organizers aim to recruit about 15 girls to form a team. A meeting is scheduled Tuesday, June 5, at 7 p.m. at the Devils Lake Elks lodge.