Catfights abound

SportsSunday, June 24

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I don't like sports. Wait — let me rephrase that. I don't like televised, male-dominated activities that involve balls, pucks, sticks, bats, clubs, rackets, gloves, grassy or astro turf-covered playing fields, courts, ice-covered arenas or rings. But I can get behind roller derby, especially the primarily female, amateur grassroots revival that's been occurring all over the country. A girl-on-girl contact sport that generally takes place in a roller rink, roller derby involves a series of short races or "jams" between two teams of five players: one "jammer," the only player who scores points for her team by working her way through the pack and passing every member of the opposing team; three blockers, who play defense and try to keep the jammer from scoring while propelling their own jammer forward; and one pivot, who controls the speed of the pack, calls her team's plays, keeps an eye on the opposing team's jammer and, if necessary, serves as the last line of defense against said jammer. See some live derby action when the Tampa Bay Derby Darlins host "Bottoms Up" this Sunday. Switchblade Sisters vs. The Black Widows and Vice Grip Vixens vs. Cigar City Mafia, Sun., June 24, 6 p.m., United Skates of America, 5121 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa, $10 in advance/$12 at the door, tampabayderbydarlins.com.

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