Shanghaied Roller Dolls

Astoria’s Flat Track Roller Derby League

Roller derby has come to the North Oregon! The Shanghaied Roller Dolls, a flat track women’s roller derby league, was founded in September 2011. Flat track roller derby is a fast-paced contact team sport that requires speed, strategy, and athleticism. The flat track version of the sport evolved in 2001, and has quickly grown to encompass more than 400 leagues worldwide. Flat track roller derby gained popularity over banked track roller derby largely due to the ease of setting up a flat track--it can be done on any flat surface that is suitable for skating, such as skating rinks, basketball courts, parking lots, and even airplane hangars. The Shanghaied Roller Dolls' home is at the Astoria Armory.

Currently, almost thirty women participate in rigorous practices that include basic skills training such as proper falling and stopping which reduce the risk of injury, endurance training for speed, and special drills performed in a “pack” dedicated to the plays they’ll eventually be executing during a “bout” such as blocking and jumping. These women, of all size, shape, age and skill level, practice hour after hour in hopes of being ready to compete in a bout this year.

What Is Roller Derby?

Roller derby is certainly not like football or baseball in that there is no ball put into play. Instead it more closely resembles a race, in that one skater, called a jammer, must get through a pack of skaters and pass all her opponents. Two teams of five players each are on the starting line. The teams consist of three positions -- jammer, blocker and pivot. The jammers for each team are in the back, and start after the rest of her team skates off. The whole goal is for the jammer to lap everyone on this oval track and begin scoring points. If the jammer cannot get past her opponents, no points are scored by her team. For every opponent a jammer passes, she scores a point. The pivots set the pace for the pack. Both the pivots and blockers attempt to make it harder for the opposing jammer and easier for their own jammer to score. Roller derby skaters find themselves simultaneously playing offense and defense as they skate around the track.

Check out our Calendar for upcoming practices and appearances. To learn more about the Shanghaied Roller Dolls, visit their website at and like them on Facebook.