Topics:  opinion, roller derby league

Roller derby isn't a sport

I UPSET a colleague last week when I observed that, photogenic as it undoubtedly was, roller derby should not have featured in this newspaper's sports pages.

I upset him more when I offered the opinion that roller derby is at best a crude amusement.

After the initial anger had subsided he invited me to define sport.

That's tricky. I can tell you what I consider to be important sports: football (the real one with the round ball), cricket, the rugby codes, tennis and athletics, but then I am happy to acknowledge that in sport, as in many aspects of life, I am a boring traditionalist.

You will notice that these sports combine finely honed skills, finesse, strategy and guile and to excel at them requires a high degree of strength and fitness. I accept without debate that there are many more activities that deserve to be respected as sports, but which don't hold much interest for me.

Reluctantly I'll admit that basketball counts, although I'll argue long and hard that it is a game invented so those who are freakishly tall and ungainly have something to do during PE.

But I digress. Let's return to the subject of roller derby which my enthusiastic colleague describes as the fastest growing sport in the world. Yeah, right.

As far as I can tell it involves a number of well-built young women in various stages of undress, roller skating with malicious intent. I have no doubt that there is an element of sweaty physicality involved and there might be some tactics employed. But, basically, it looks like an excuse for violence and brutality with a dubious element of perversion thrown in for salacious pleasure.

I concede this spectacle drew a crowd. It's natural that some people were curious and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some strange men went along to ogle the scantily attired participants in the hope that various bouncy bits might fall free of their inadequate harnesses.

In the end I think that there is one guiding principle to clinch the argument. If it involves wearing fishnet stockings then, however sporty the players might appear, they are not taking part in a sport.


Top Fishing Spots

Local Real Estate

Featured Jobs

Rockhampton jobs listed daily



Around the Network

Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Weekend Planning?

The best boating spots
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Search for a property online right now.
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

Horoscopes

Taurus

You need a diagnostic framework to work through professional issues. Look at the big picture to sort out the details. Power struggles in your...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save