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Who started the Rollergirls, and are there other teams like it in the area? 

Blake Pontchartrain: N.O. Know It All

Hey Blake,

Who started the Rollergirls, and are there other teams like it in the area?

A fan

Dear Fan,

  Sports promoter Leo Seltzer introduced roller derby to the U.S. in the 1930s. As televisions became more common in the 1950s and '60s, fans could watch the sport from their living rooms. That bolstered the sport's popularity until the 1970s.

  Roller derby had a revival in the early 2000s in Austin, Texas, with all-female derby leagues competing on flat tracks instead of the banked tracks of the past. The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), organized in 2004, is an international governing body for roller derby and has 243 member leagues from all over the world.

  The Big Easy Rollergirls (BERG) was founded in 2004 by Kate Parker, Laura Mogg and Jeannie Detweiler and is one of the 20 original WFTDA charter leagues. The all-female team's first season was 2006-2007. Currently BERG's AllStars team competes nationally, and its Crescent Wenches compete regionally. BERG's home bouts are at the Human Performance Center on the campus of the University of New Orleans.

  The Cajun Rollergirls of Houma and Red Stick Roller Derby of Baton Rouge also are officially affiliated with WFTDA. Other nearby recreational teams include the Northshore Roller Derby in Mandeville, Pearl River Roller Derby, Sister City Roller Derby of Slidell and Acadiana Roller Girls in Lafayette. The Crescent City Derby Devils is a recreational coed team that formed in New Orleans in 2011. The New Orleans Brass Roller Derby, an all-male competitive roller derby team, formed in 2013.


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