That’s a lot of wheels.

So someone asked me what leagues I had taken pictures of. There are a lot of people who have been to more but sadly there are many more people who have seen a lot less. Going to see other teams is a very good way to get some real world experience.

If you are just starting to get into photography, look around you. There are very likely some local leagues that are a short road trip away that you can go visit when your favorite league isn’t doing something. Some of the smaller leagues especially are very open to photographers who want to practice their skills. Maybe there’s even an upcoming tournament that you can go to and see a bunch of different teams all at once for a really good price.

Even if you can’t take photos at the event, you can watch some great games, meet people, and see what other leagues are doing and how their venues are set up. Just thinking about how you’d handle a certain venue is a good exercise in itself. What kind of lights do they have? Does one light source blow everything out or is it a weird mix of different types of light? Will it change through the day or, even worse, through the bout? (Places with big panoramic windows, exterior loading dock/breezeway doors, or skylights are notorious for this). Is the light consistent or are there a lot of dead spots? Do they seem to allow remote flashes and where would you put them? Is there annoying hockey glass or other shiny stuff to watch out for?

Anyway, I made a list and I suppose I will update this as I go. It is alphabetized and the cities of origin are according to each league’s official website. Here you go:

  1. Arch Rival Roller Girls (Saint Louis, Missouri) [ 4 local teams, 3 travel teams]
  2. Arizona Roller Derby Tent City Terrors
  3. Atlanta Roller Girls (Atlanta, Georgia) [2 travel teams]
  4. Babe City Rollers
  5. Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls (Bloomington, Indiana) [2 travel teams]
  6. Blue Ridge Roller Girls (Asheville, North Carolina)
  7. Brew City Bruisers (Milwaukee, Wisconson) [2 travel teams]
  8. Burning River Roller Girls (Cleveland, Ohio)
  9. Carolina Wrecking Balls
  10. Central Mass Maelstrom (Massachusetts)
  11. Charm City Roller Girls (Baltimore, Maryland)
  12. Chicago Bruise Brothers
  13. Chicago Outfit Roller Derby (Chicago, Illinois) [3 travel teams]
  14. Cincinnati Battering Rams
  15. Cincinnati Roller Girls (Cincinnati, Ohio) [3 travel teams]
  16. CoMo Derby Dames (Columbia, Missouri) [2 travel teams]
  17. Connecticut Death Quads
  18. Dallas Deception (Dallas, Texas)
  19. Dark River Derby Coalition (Quincy, Illinois)
  20. DC Rollergirls
  21. Demolition City Roller Derby (Evansville, Indiana) [2 travel teams]
  22. Denver Roller Dolls
  23. Detroit Derby Girls (Detroit, Michigan)
  24. Duke City Derby (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  25. Dutchland
  26. Fox Cityz Foxz (Appleton, Wisconsin)
  27. Ft. Wayne Derby Girls (Ft. Wayne, Indiana)
  28. Gold Coast Derby Grrls (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
  29. Gotham Girls Roller Derby (New York City, New York)
  30. Grand Raggidy Roller Girls (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  31. Green Country Roller Girls (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
  32. Harm City Homicide (Baltimore, Maryland)
  33. Houston Roller Derby (Houston, Texas)
  34. Jet City Roller Girls (Everett, Washington)
  35. Kansas City Roller Warriors (Kansas City, Missouri)
  36. London Rollergirls
  37. Mad Rollin’ Dolls (Madison, Wisconsin)
  38. Magic City Misfits (Orlando, Florida)
  39. Memphis Roller Derby (Memphis, Tennessee) [1 travel team + 2 local teams]
  40. Midwest MEGA Team (North Central Regional challenge team)
  41. Milwaukee Blitzdkrieg
  42. Minnesota RollerGirls (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota)
  43. Mississippi Valley Mayhem (La Crosse, Wisconsin)
  44. Montreal Roller Derby
  45. Naptown Roller Girls (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  46. Nashville Roller Girls (Nashville, Tennessee)
  47. New Jax City Rollers (Jacksonville, FL)
  48. New York Shock Exchange (New York, New York)
  49. No Coast Derby Girls (Lincoln, Nebraska)
  50. North Star Roller Girls (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  51. Northwest Arkansas Roller Derby (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  52. Ohio Roller Girls
  53. Omaha Roller Girls (Omaha, Nebraska)
  54. Oly Rollers (Olympia, Washington)
  55. Paper Valley
  56. Peoria Push Roller Dames (Peoria, Illinois)
  57. Philly Roller Girls (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  58. Pike’s Peak Derby Dames
  59. Pioneer Valley Roller Derby Dirty Dozen
  60. Portland Men’s Roller Derby
  61. Puget Sound Outcasts (Puget Sound, Washington)
  62. Race City Rebels (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  63. Rock City Riot
  64. Rockford Rage (Rockford, Illinois)
  65. Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (Denver, Colorado)
  66. Rollergirls of Central Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
  67. Rollergirls of Southern Indiana (Evansville, Indiana)
  68. Rose City
  69. Sioux City Korn Stalkers (Sioux City, Iowa)
  70. Sioux Falls Roller Girls (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
  71. So Ill Roller Girls (Marion, Illinois)
  72. Springfield (Springfield MO)
  73. St. Chux Derby Chix (St. Charles, Missouri)
  74. Saint Louis GateKeepers (Saint Louis, Missouri) [1 travel team + 3 local teams]
  75. Suburbia Roller Derby
  76. Super Derby Bros. (MRDA challenge team)
  77. Tampa Bay Derby Darlins (Tampa, Florida)
  78. Texas Rollergirls (Austin, Texas)
  79. Minnesota Men’s Roller Derby [TC Terrors] (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota)
  80. Wasatch Roller Derby
  81. Windy City Rollers (Chicago, Illinois)
  82. YMMD (Des Moines, Iowa)

And here’s a list of leagues I have seen live but not taken pictures of, for what it’s worth. (This list gets shorter every year!)

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One Response to That’s a lot of wheels.

  1. Paul Oberle says:

    Great post.. totally share the same sentiments. I think it was in 2005 or 2006, I found myself in Omaha for a week, with a new Canon Rebel kit camera and was a bit bored. On a lark, I Google-d roller derby in Omaha and found they had a team… sent them an email asking to shoot a practice… and they agreed. It was a very poignant ‘photography event’ for me… the images were amazing and it was my first real time playing with panning and capturing motion. I was hooked. Luckily, my job provided me with plenty of overseas travel so between 2007 to 2010, I shot roller derby teams practicing (never was there for a match) in the UK, France, Australia and Germany.

    Now I am a professional photographer… as a day job.. but when time permits and I have nothing going on.. or if I am ever overseas in a foreign country… you can bet I am looking for a roller derby team to play with (with my camera).

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