Men's roller derby coming to the Capital Region?

By Jessica Pasko

men's derby.jpgWe've already got two women's roller derby teams in the Capital Region, so why not a men's team?

That's what George Dunckley, aka Museknückle wants to know.

The current Albany All Stars Roller Derby referee is looking to get a guys team going locally. Among other things, he's looking for a few good men.

Dunckley has been skating since September as a ref for the ladies, something his wife - a former AARSD player - helped him get into. But lately he's seen some men's derby on the Internets, and it's got him intrigued.

"I've decided to be an athlete in my old age," he laughs. (Eds. Note: He's 37.)

He wants to give the derby a shot himself - and he says he knows some other refs from AARSD and the Hellions of Troy who feel the same way.

Men's derby teams are starting to crop up around the country, including at least a dozen teams between Baltimore and Montreal. Regionally, there are teams in Northampton, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the Hudson Valley. And then there's the Big Apple's New York Shock Exchange.

The Men's Derby Coalition , while nowhere near as established as sister organization, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, is looking into becoming a bigger, better organization with official rules and regulations. The organization even held a big conference in March in Northampton to try to build some momentum for men's derby rolling.

For now, the men's teams follow the same rules as WFTDA, but it's, well, a little rougher and more aggressive. Dunckley says that if women's roller derby is like NASCAR, then men's derby is more like demolition derby.

Of course, it's not easy putting together a brand-new men's derby team. A suitable practice space can cost anywhere from $60 to $500 an hour, and they have to be just right. He's also working on figuring out other costs and is actively recruiting members. So far there are about 6-10 people who seem really interested. He's also planning to start scouting local roller rinks more often to look for fresh meat. You need 14 players for a full roster, and he's hoping to get 25 interested men so they can hold actual bouts against one another.

Dunckley says he really likes the inclusive nature of roller derby as a sport, because it's something that almost anyone can get involved with. Men's teams men's teams can include anyone from former hockey players to people who just like to get dressed up.

Want to play? Or just find out more? Send an e-mail to albanymensrollerderby@gmail.com.

Like everything else these days, there's a Facebook group for it too.

Comments

Pretty cool -- Speaking of men's sports...does anyone know of any men's soccer clubs around here for the spring/summer? (Or anytime of the year for that matter!) My boyfriend has moved to Albany and had to leave behind his soccer club, so he's been looking for one around here. I'd appreciate any recommendations you may have! Thank you :)

The skaters on the poster are Jonathan R of the New York shock Exchange (MDC shirt) and Davy Jones from Pioneer Valley Roller Derby's Dirty Dozen.

How is it rougher and more aggressive than women's roller derby?

@Lana - because they're rougher and more aggressive then women.

Oh boy! Another sport where we can watch guys be violent and aggressive. Yeah, you go get 'em! Show them what manly men you are.
How about you let the ladies have a sport for once?

Sounds like fun! Then my insurance company called.

I'm curious... what happens if you get injured in one to these matches? Do the insurance companies !#@$% with you?

@Lola Maybe some women, but not derby girls.

@daley You will have to get supplemental roller derby insurance, most likely from USARS. But no, your insurance can't deny you coverage because you were playing a sport. Or because you were car surfing, for that matter.

@Lana actually, if you've ever played derby, and had to scrimmage with the guys, then you would agree with my statement.

@Lola I've been playing roller derby for three years and I've scrimmaged with plenty of guys. It's the same game with the same rules. I'm not saying they don't hit harder, but that doesn't make it a "rougher, more aggressive game."

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