It’s loud, it’s rough and it’s brimming with girl power. Roller Derby has come to Rolla and it’s starting off strong.

It’s loud, it’s rough and it’s brimming with girl power. Roller Derby has come to Rolla and it’s starting off strong.

The Rolla Rockets, the town’s newest sports team, held their first home bout this past Sunday night, July 23, at The Centre. This inaugural game marked the result of months of training and organization, and the beginning of a new local sporting outlet.

Originally, the team was known as the Wildwood Rollers and held home games around Pulaski County. They were never able to find a set place to hold home bouts, so they reached out and relocated to Rolla, changing their name to reflect their new permanent home at The Centre. When not hosting bouts, the team can travel as far as Lincoln Nebraska, where they competed in the first game of their season.

The team got together in April and has spent these past months training and coming together as a team. Krystal Shea, a Rolla Rocket and team organizer, said it was a little rough at the beginning, as they were pulling people from different teams and introducing girls who had never played before to the sport. Eventually, Krystal said they all got on the same page and began working as a team.

“It definitely takes a team,” said Krystal, also known as “The Vixenator” when wearing her skates. “Every single one of our members put in a lot of effort.” Krystal said over 30 people contributed to making the Rolla Rockets happen, not only by working as coaches and team members, but as a marketing team to help bring others to Rolla to set up home bouts.

The Rolla Rockets also value teamwork in the community, and will highlight a local charity or non-profit each bout, donating a portion of their ticket sales to benefit their home. A portion of Sunday’s proceeds went to the PCRMC Baby Steps Fund, according to Krystal.

“We are proud that we can have a tangible, positive impact in our area,” the team says on their website. Krystal Shea echoed that sentiment.

“We like to give back to our community,” she said. “Anything we can do to help out.”

Sunday’s matchup pitted the Rockets against the SCDC Hell’s Bells from St. Charles, and gave the local community a chance to get introduced to the world of Roller Derby and cheer for their new local team. The bout started with introductions, and community members leapt up to high-five their favorite Rocket when she took her initial lap around the gymnasium.

The game consists of a series of short matches called jams, where both teams field five members. Each team designates one teammate, called the jammer, to score points by skating around and trying to lap the members of the opposing team. Each team plays offense and defense at the same time, trying to help their own jammer while blocking the opposing team.

The Rockets had to make up quite a point gap, but the team managed to narrow it down to a difference of only 30 points by the end. For their first home bout, Krystal said, the team did great. She added she’s excited to see how the team will do in the future.

The Rolla Rockets are scheduled for two more home meets this season, one in September and another in November. The exact day has not been finalized, but can be found on their website, rollarockets.com, once their opponent is set up. Each season consists of eight games, with four of them being home games where locals can gather and cheer.