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Hell on Wheels: The Rise of Roller Derby in Michigan [VIDEO]

The Downriver Roller Dollz next bout is a double header on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Skateland, 23911 Allen Rd., in Woodhaven.

Update: 1/24/14 7:22 p.m. -- adds detail, correction 

Women’s flat track roller derby is being called one of the fastest growing all-women sports in the United States.

“Five years ago, there were roughly 10 to 20 teams in Michigan,” Allan Joseph, head non-skating official with the Downriver Roller Dollz, said. “Right now, there are over 40 teams in the state, and the sport is still in its infancy.”

The International Olympic Committee recently suggested adding roller derby to the 2020 Summer Olympics, Joseph said.    

The Downriver Roller Dollz formed in 2012, and finished second in the Mitten Kitten Tournament last year after a hard fought battle with the Oakland County derby team.

Comprised of women from virtually every city in Southeast Michigan, the Dollz are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

The game consists of two teams with five skaters. Both teams have a designated jammer, who tries to break past blockers and score points. Players must act offensively and defensively simultaneously.

Tami Joseph, a blocker for the Dollz, plays for the excitement, teamwork and sheer fun of the sport. 

“It’s therapeutic," said Joseph aka "Jakkin Sally," who joined the team over a year ago. "It gives you motivation and it gives you drive,” Joseph said.

“It’s a high-action sport…almost like being in a battle. You can go to derby and hit someone and not get in trouble for it,” she said, jokingly. 

The Dollz next bout is a double header on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Skateland, 23911 Allen Rd., in Woodhaven. The first bout starts at 6:30 p.m. and will consist of two 20-minute halves. The second match starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Kids get in free. 

“It’s a really fun sport to watch even if you’re not going to play," she said. "If you want to see some fun and excitement, or see some girls knock each other around I suggest you come.”

Want to Join?

Information on the team's upcoming recruitment boot camp and 2014 game schedule can be found by clicking here

andrew.thurlow@patch.com 

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