When Roller Derby the marathon became Roller Derby the game.


The Miami News – Google News Archive Search.

Please click onto the link above. My cousin James Meyers found this newspaper account from January 1937 covering the Coral Gables Derby “race”. As you can see from the standings, the first team to skate 2850 miles would win. Usually the meets would last from 30 to 35 days. And Johnny Rosasco’s team (he and his woman partner) was in the lead, as most of the teams had covered the same distance, but they had lapped the field more than anyone else.

http://hbrd.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/derbypost.png click to see photo of winning couple!

It was at this meet (one and half years after the first Roller Derby in Chicago) and months before the fatal bus crash that famed Sports writer and columnist Damon Runyon became friends with my father and together devised the five and five team game that is the basis for all Roller Derby today……and was skated in all subsequent events.

Please note on the final night of this event, the jam was not timed, so the field could be lapped many times (ugh, powerjam). This of course was not a factor in the game format that followed.

Irving Wayne, mentioned in the article, was my mother’s brother and James’ grandfather. Keep track of the history so you can tell your grandchildren all you know about the game you love.

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