Rat City Rollergirls Bring It To The Rink

The popular, all-female roller derby kicks off its eighth season at Key Arena.

Photo courtesy of Jules Doyle, Rat City Rollergirls League Photographer.

Rarely will the words “roller skates” be used in tandem with terms like “rough,” “bad-ass” and “bruised forearm,” but the ladies of Rat City Rollergirls (RCRG) are an exception — and proud of it.

Founded in 2004, RCRG is the city’s only all-female, flat-track roller derby league. Often adorned with tattoos, menacing face paint and an occasional black eye (as inflicted by the other team), participants gladly buck the traditional images associated with roller skates — 8-year-old girls with pigtails, and such.

They don’t mess around. With names like “Shovey Chase,” “Death by Dollface,” and “Rumble Fist,” the 80 women currently on the hometown, four-team league rosters strap on their skates and unleash their alter egos as they compete in roller derby — a sport that combines the agility of speed skating, the strategy of NASCAR, the theatrical drama of the WWE and the aggressive fury of the UFC.

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Currently, the Rat City All-Star team is ranked seventh worldwide in the Derby News Network and sixth in the West Division of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), which considers more than 30 West Coast teams from San Diego to Bellingham.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, Seattleites can watch this rough-and-tumble sport firsthand as 2012 RCRG season kicks off at the Key Arena. The opening double-header will feature all four Seattle league teams. Derby Liberation Front will take on the Throttle Rockets, followed by a hard-hitting matchup between Grave Danger and the Sockit Wenches.

This season, the RCRG bouts will not only include inter-league play, but also summertime matches featuring Rat City’s Rain of Terror (the second-string travel team) and the All-Star team against a host of visiting teams that will be announced in the future.

Forget about using those roller skates for a leisurely stroll. Just ask RCRG — once the skates go on, no more Miss Nice Girl.

Rat City Rollergirls Season Kick-off at Key Arena | Saturday, Jan. 21 | Doors at 4:30 p.m.