Archives for August 2012

Roller Derby Dictionary

As most of you probably know, we are PROUD fans of the hard core ladies of the Texas Rollergirls. While we are no strangers to what goes on at a derby bout, some of you might need a little Derby 101. The basic premise is something everyone can follow but for a rookie derby fan, some of the commentary can be a little confusing. We’d like to eliminate any wonder and give you a quick run down on what you might hear at the next Rollergirl bout!

Roller derbyFirst things first. What the heck is a bout? Not about, a BOUT. Your first derby vocabulary word is actually the name of a single roller derby “game” or “match”. Each bout lasts 60 minutes with two 30 minute periods.

The jammer is the skater on the track who is able to score points. Things can get a little jumbled during each bout bu you can always keep track of the jammer by the STAR on their helmet. The jammer starts out behind the pack (the mass of blockers made up by both teams)¬†and has the task of scoring points for every skater she laps. But before scoring any points, the jammer must lap the entire pack once (known as a nonscoring pass). A trick move to watch out for is known as passing the star. This is when the jammer removes her panty (don’t worry, not that kind of panty. In roller derby, the stretchy cover on the skater’s helmet is called a panty) and gives it to another member of her team, giving them the ability to score points as the new jammer. These team mates are known as pivots, who stay to the front of the pack to help regulate speed. Where the jammer can be identified by the star on their helmet, the pivot will have stripes.

Next is C-block. A C-block is a very powerful hit delivered when skating parallel to another target. The attacking skater will suddenly curve their skates toward their target and connect with the chest of the opposing skater. It’s called a C-block because the path that the skates make during the hit make a c-shape. The chest is one of a number of areas on the target zone, or the area of the body that can be hit. Other areas include the hands, hips, abdomen and front or sides of the legs. Other areas like the head, neck, back, and leg below the thigh are illegal target zones. Hitting any of the illegal areas will result in a penalty.

For more basic Derby 101 facts, check out the Texas Rollergirl page! So the next time you find yourself cheering on your favorite Texas Rollergirl team, you can impress your friends with your vast knowledge of derby terms! Happy hitting!

photo from Texas Rollergirls flickr


History of Skating 101

roller skates skating rinkSince you’re all getting back into the swing of things at school, we thought we’d host a little history lesson of our own. But we won’t be talking about world wars and economic booms, we’re talking about SKATING! What else!?

First thing is first when diving into the history of roller skating. We have to talk about the first pair of roller skates! While I’m sure there were plenty of people attempting to “walk on wheels” to pass the time, the first KNOWN roller skate was invented by Joseph Merlin, a known violinist and violin maker, around the year 1760. As the story goes, Merlin was scheduled to perform at the Carlisle House Mansion in Sofo Square, London. It was a masquerade party and Merlin wanted to impress the crowd by playing his violin while gracefully rolling around the stage on his newly invented skates. Everything was smooth sailing until his skates sent him crashing into an expensive mirror. He not only broke the mirror and his violin, but his pride as well. Needless to say, his SMASHING performance didn’t stir up the attraction to skates he was hoping for.

While you might assume these first skates were made with quad wheels on two axils, much like what the average skating rink rents out, Merlin’s original included in-line metal wheels. Maybe he should have gone for a more stable base first!

We’ll be sure to fill you in on other fun skating facts and invite you to pick our brains with any questions you might have! Now, take this information and impress your friends! Gosh, you’re smart!


Welcome welcome welcome, one and all, to the new Playland Skating Center blog!

playland skate centerWe are so excited to launch this blog and we wanted to give you a heads up on what to expect here! Consider this your GO TO hot spot for staying in-the-know on upcoming events here at Playland, as well as follow ups on how much fun we had at our event! We reserve the right to brag all about the fun we have so you can expect photos, videos, and recaps from Featured Fridays, bouts by the Texas Rollergirls, and more!

Also, we’re going to be sharing fun stories, facts, and BLASTS FROM THE PAST that all revolve around skating. It’s what we do, it’s what we love, and it’s why YOU keep coming back! So why not learn more about skating throughout history and how it can actually improve the quality of your life?

Along with following us on Twitter and Facebook, we invite you to leave comments on our posts. Ask questions, give suggestions, share your own skating stories, and help reaffirm our belief that Playland is home to some of the greatest patrons around!

Did I mention we’re excited?

Happy skating!