Track of the Dolls: Derby Dolls Compete

Derby Dolls

When I was a kid, we used to go to the Olympic Auditorium to see the Roller Games featuring the Los Angeles Thunderbirds aka T-Birds.

1972 Los Angeles Thunderbirds - Coed

1972 Los Angeles Thunderbirds – Coed

It was exciting, particularly when they did “the whip” – where the team would propel a skater full speed down the track. Frankly there was never a dull moment with all the fights and bravado on full display. The sport dates back to the 1940s,. Imagine my disappointment to learn that the Roller Games in those days were what is called “scripted sports entertainment.” Bummer. 

The Derby Dolls have brought back the banked track roller derby league, but this time with all women engaging in an unscripted “full-contact sport played at a breakneck pace.” The bout I attended was the Sirens vs Fight Crew.  In addition to the game, there was a half time concert – Characula with her band – and a vendor room selling cookies, socks and other assorted products. Outside, food trucks were selling grub to the spectators.

Photo gallery after the jump

 Photos by Paula Lauren Gibson/AfroPix

A few more games are coming up: Saturday November 8, 2014 will be the Varsity Brawlers vs Tough Cookies; Saturday November 22, 2014 will be the Double Elimination Home Team Playoffs; Saturday December 6, 2014 will be the CHAMPS. Purchase tickets online here. Prices including fees: VIP- $43.00 plus $3.00 fee General Admission- $16.75 Senior (65+) $32.50

1910 W. Temple Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90026




About Afropix

When my father gave me a Kodak Brownie as a child, I fell in love with photography. I have been shooting pictures ever since. I am also an avid genealogist and can trace one of my family lines back to 1620! Check out my photography at!
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