Big Easy Roller Girls hit the rink to bring a whole new meaning to ‘hit like a girl’

CrimZen Doll, a Big Easy Roller Girl, practices blocking on the rink.

Nick Ducote

CrimZen Doll, a Big Easy Roller Girl, practices blocking on the rink.

Nick Ducote

One local sport has been empowering women in an unconventional way.

Miss Brutalicious, of the New Orleans roller derby team, the Big Easy Roller Girls, has been on the team for over seven years. She was introduced to the sport by a co-worker and quickly joined the team.

Roller derby, a high contact sport, has been an outlet for women to relieve stress and embrace their “aggressions.”

She said she loved the gritty mentality of the game and its alternative approach to women’s sports.

“Roller Derby is a great and empowering sport for women. There aren’t a lot of outlets for full contact aggressive sports and most women coming up through school and college aren’t encouraged to have that kind of outlet or participate in those kinds of sports,” Brutalicious said.

The game is played in a rink and the players have to skate around it counterclockwise. In order to score points they have to pass up members of the other team, usually in a fierce, physical manner.

Being a part of the Big Easy Roller Girls has changed the lives of several skaters, including one of the team’s captains, Ms. Tangles. She began roller derby weighing 270 pounds and has since lost over 100 pounds after being on the team a few years.

She attributes being in better shape to the sport that gave her a new outlet. She also loves the sport being open to everyone no matter how they look.

“I just get a real feeling of accomplishment every day when I skate. I think we all feel that way about roller derby. There’s so many types of women, so many different body types, there’s a place for everyone. No one can join this league and say ‘oh I’m too small, oh I’m too big.’ Everybody can do roller derby. You just have to have the right attitude and the excitement to get out there and try it,” Tangles said.

The Big Easy Roller Girls not only thrive off of getting passed opposing players, but building a sisterhood that makes them better outside the rink.

“This is not only the personal and physical challenge, but the bond with the women. Roller derby brings women from all different walks of life together that normally wouldn’t have anything in common and we all come together for the love of the sport,” said Tangles.

The ladies also run the league, take on real business ventures, and gain real life sports knowledge while playing roller derby.

The Big Easy Roller Girls may be better known for their antics at the “Running of the Bulls” in the French Quarter, but don’t forget they are still one of New Orleans unspoken success stories.