Consider them north Jersey’s toughest all-girl athletic league: THE GARDEN STATE ROLLERGIRLS (www.gardenstaterollergirls.com) are warriors on wheels.
Consider them north Jersey’s toughest all-girl athletic league: THE GARDEN STATE ROLLERGIRLS (www.gardenstaterollergirls.com) are warriors on wheels. Their craft? Roller derby—a sport played in exciting matches called “bouts” on traditional quad roller skates.
“It’s a very fast-paced contact sport, so it’s great for fans of hockey and rugby,” says league vice president Monika Smyczek—known on-track as Kitty von Karnage (her teammates include Lady Vengeance and Belle N. Somebashin’). “It’s also one of the only sports that has the players on offense and defense at the same time.”
The 40-member league is made up of two teams: the Ironbound Maidens and the Brick City Bruisers, who compete against each other and face off against teams from other states. Smyczek, a manager at a software company (other team members include a guidance counselor, an electrician and a nonprofit exec), calls the Rollergirls “serious athletes” who are invested in their sport—never mind those bruises and falls. Smyczek says watching a bout is fun for everyone: “It’s very family-friendly. We encourage people to bring their kids—and their grandparents.”
Burning to see them? All of the Rollergirls’ home games are played at the Inline Skating Club of America in Wallington;
tickets range from $10 to $12. Upcoming events include an intraleague bout on August 14 and a doubleheader on September 25 (Maidens vs. Toronto and Bruisers vs. Central Massachusetts).