Let There Be Roller Derby! Maine Legalizes Sport
By Kathryn Skelton
Skate on!Roller derby is officially legal in Maine.
An emergency bill that looked to expand the state's roller-skating statute to allow physical contact during derby practices, clinics and bouts became law this week.Heather "Hard Dash" Steeves of Portland, who skates on the Maine Roller Derby's internationally ranked all-star team, said there was never the looming threat of police coming in to shut down a game, but it did hang over the sport.Maine Roller Derby, the largest, oldest league in the state, is in the middle of fundraising for a $400,000 home base in greater Portland. Organizers worried that being technically illegal could interfere with financing, insurance and starting a youth league, she said.
"Our future is now a lot brighter," Steeves said.
Maine has nine roller derby leagues, two of them men's leagues.
The newest is the Lewiston Armory-based Androscoggin Fallen Angels, which has 18 active members.
"I am absolutely thrilled, as is the team," said Taylor "Nacho Muffin" Hodgdon, Fallen Angels' president. "We believe that it's brought a lot of positive attention to the sport. With it being legal, I definitely see more good things to come in this state."
Grab your skates and get ready to hip check: They're looking for more members and holding an information night May 4.