LOS ANGELES (AP) — Roller derby, once a comical exhibition dismissed by athletic purists as not much more than pro wrestling on skates, has made another comeback.
Only this time it's a legitimate, female-empowering sport for little girls, and there's nothing fake about the blocking and bumping. Or the pushing, shoving and occasional clobbering. As well as the bumps and bruises that go with it.
"I once broke my finger, and I get lots of bruises and twisted ankles," says 11-year-old Amber Sniderman, who skates under the name Bamber. Her mother, Killo Kitty (aka Staci Sniderman), coaches the Los Angeles Junior Derby Dolls.
Despite its rough and tumble nature, roller derby, invented in Chicago in 1935, has become one of the country's fastest growing female sports over the past decade.