That's the epic question, isn't it? How can you explain roller derby to a complete stranger, and actually make them want to come? As roller derby players we're constantly having to explain this sport. Over and over again. So, as responsible members of the roller derby community, when we're bombarded with curious people asking if we "throw bows" and "hit bitches," here are a few tricks to the trade on how to keep it exciting, legitimate, and honorable.
2. Use Visual Aids. When explaining roller derby sometimes you just have to shut your mouth and use your body. Don't tell people about roller derby, show them. Give them a taste of what roller derby is like! Grab a girlfriend and actually demonstrate how you land a hit, a t-bone, or a partner-hit. I find myself doing this all the time. These things will grab their interest, give them a better idea of how the sport is played, and they'll want to see it in full-speed with skates on. Don't have a fellow derby-mate to grab? Use them (if you're comfy with it). Trust me, showing is better than telling.
We all know the details of roller derby like the back of our hands. We know the in's and out's, the illegal play, the complex rules, but whoever we're explaining this to doesn't need to know. In fact, they don't want to know- at least not yet. Once they come to a bout or two and get the hang of the sport they'll start asking you those complicated questions- trust me. Be patient, and you will be rewarded.
So if this wasn't enough to steer you on the right track (get it? track?) I've enclosed a pocket-sized version of an explanation for your reading pleasure courtesy of Penny Trait:
"It's a contact sport played on roller skates. Only one player from each team can score by getting past the opposing skaters so you knock her down so she doesn't get through or knock her teammates down so your girl can get through".
A little condensed, but feel free to add your own zest. My best, and last piece of advice would be...
The Original Skankster