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PHOTOS: Roller derby's resurgence in the Last Frontier

Princess Penalty, of Orange Crush, Rage City's B-Team, warms up before a bout with the Mat-Su's Boom Town Derby Dames. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The Mat-Su Boom Town Derby Dames warms up before a bout with Orange Crush, Rage City's B-Team. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The Mat-Su's Boom Town Derby Dames warm up before a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The Mat-Su's Boom Town Derby Dames before a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The Mat-Su's Boom Town Derby Dames right before a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush takes to the track for a bout with the Boom Town Derby Dames. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
A referee checks Boom Town Derby Dame HusLynn's gear before a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dame Assault and Pepper sets up a block during a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush's NESS U. UP checks Boom Town Derby Dame jammer Darwin's Fury. The jammer scores if she can pass all the other skaters on the track. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush jammer Ice Crystal tries to make her way through the pack to score. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dames jammer Sheeza Maniac pushes her way through the pack to score. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dame Darwin's Fury sweats it out in the penalty box during a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Shove N' Tell talks strategy with her fellow Boom Town Derby Dames during a timeout in a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dame jammer Kami Toe takes a spill while trying to stay inside the track. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush jammer Madd Tatter falls while trying to pass Boom Town Derby Dame Sheeza Maniac. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush's Volatile Violet blocks Boom Town Derby Dame jammer Shove N' Tell. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush jammer Ice Crystal takes a hit from a Boom Town Derby Dame. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dame Knockems Raezor loses a skate during a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dames Shocker Khan and Kami Toe block Orange Crush jammer Madd Tatter. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Boom Town Derby Dame coach Revolution Riot during a bout with Orange Crush. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Orange Crush's coach gives her team a pep talk during a bout with the Boom Town Derby Dames. Roller Derby first came to Alaska in 2007 with Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls, and has steadily grown ever since, with teams sprouting up in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Juneau and Kodiak. Dec. 7, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

The sport of roller derby has been around since the 1930s. Back then, it resembled a World Wrestling Entertainment match, with made-up rivalries and fake crashes. Fast-paced bouts (two 30-minute periods) were conducted on banked tracks.

Roller derby is different today. Teams of five women compete on a flat track and, more often than not, there is more of a spirit of camaraderie than rivalry. Gone are the fake crashes, replaced with real checks, bruises and occasional broken bones. Roller Derby isn't for the faint of heart.

Points are scored when one team's "jammer" pushes her way through the pack. Sometimes she can lap the pack multiple times during a two-minute "jam," scoring more points. On her way through the pack she must avoid getting pushed to the ground or shoved off the track.

A Dec. 7 bout, titled 'Twas the Fight Before Christmas, pitted Orange Crush (the B-Team of Anchorage's Rage City Rollergirls) against Mat-Su's Boom Town Derby Dames. Orange Crush won 206-142.

Roller Derby came to Alaska in 2007 when Rage City was founded. It's grown steadily since, with teams emerging in Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, Wasilla and Juneau.

Every player plays offense and defense. But for women who skate, it's more than a sporting event; it's a chance to support a diverse group of women, empower them to succeed, and have fun.

Women interested in learning more about the sport, and possibly participating, should head to the Rage City Rollergirls' recruitment social 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Steam Dot Coffee in Anchorage's Sears Mall.

Contact multimedia editor Loren Holmes at loren(at)alaskadispatch.com.