The biggest game in Dockyard Derby Dames roller derby history is this weekend, as Tacoma's undefeated champion team stands a chance to get taken down.
The roller derby league, which consists of four teams of women who compete against each other throughout the derby season, is coming to a head Oct. 24 for the championship bout between the nearly undefeated Trampires and the Femme Fianna.
The Trampires have been the reigning champions for the Dames' first two seasons. In a bout between the two teams earlier this season, the Femme Fianna won a close game by a measly four points - the first time The Trampires have ever lost a bout.
"When you have a dynasty or a reigning champion and there's a possible threat to their title, it's a really exciting thing," said Melanie "Rita Beata Maid" Robinson, media relations coordinator for the Dames and skater for the Femme Fianna
The Dockyard Derby Dames' two remaining teams, the Marauding Mollys and the Hellbound Homewreckers, will duke it out in a grudge match during the evening as well.
The four teams have played each other several times throughout the season, which started in February. The approximately 60-member league trains several times a week with a bout every four to six weeks during the season. The league's all-star team, featuring the best skaters from each of the smaller teams, competes against other roller derby teams throughout the West Coast. (The Dockyard Derby All-stars will also battle the Lava City rollers from Bend, Ore., Nov. 7).
Over the past three years, one of the few full roller derby leagues in the state has developed a strong volunteer and fan base.
The fast-paced, full-contact sport has been known to attract a wide variety of spectators, from hardcore hockey fans to local politicians.
"It runs the gamut," Robinson said, noting that the spectator sport is also truly an athletic event.
"It's not the campy, staged sport that it used to be," Robinson added.
The Dockyard Derby Dames are governed by a set of athletic standards from the national Women's Flat Track Derby Association, although they do hold on to the tradition of clever roller derby monikers, from Rita Beata Maid to Dakota D. Stroya and Red Die #5.
"We really are dedicated athletes," Robinson said. "It is high-action, full-contact sport. But it's also a sport where the personality of the athlete really shines through."
The Dockyard Derby Dames are also a self-supported, fully operational non-profit organization, and dedicate a portion of all of their proceeds to a handful of local charities (proceeds from the championship bout will go towards the Pierce County Commission on Domestic Violence).
"For this season, it is definitely going to be the most exciting game of our season... you're going to see some skaters on this track that are very hungry for this win."
Check out the championship bout, support a good cause, and possibly even get a bruise or two yourself at 6 p.m. (doors at 5 p.m.) at the Tacoma Soccer Center, 2610 Bay St. E. Tickets are $12 at the door.
The season closing after-party for the Dames will follow the bout at the Hotel Murano, 1320 Broadway Plaza.
Find out more about how to get involved with the Dockyard Derby Dames at www.dockyardderbydames.com.