Get Down

Join Magers & Quinn and the Minnesota Roller Girls Sunday, October 3, at 4:00pm, when Alex “Axles of Evil” Cohen discusses Down and Derby: The Insider’s Guide to Roller Derby.

Ever wonder how roller derby began? What the hell is going on during a bout? Whether you’re woman enough to don a pair of skates? Alex “Axles of Evil” Cohen and her new book Down and Derby: The Insider’s Guide to Roller Derby have all the answers.

When most Americans hear the words “roller derby” today, they think of the kitschy sport once popular on weekend television during the seventies and eighties. Originally an endurance competition where skaters traveled the equivalent of a trip between Los Angeles and New York, derby gradually evolved into a violent contact sport often involving fake fighting. But after nearly dying out in the nineties, derby has been making a comeback. From a mere handful of leagues in the United States just a few years ago, there are now more than 17,000 skaters in more than 400 leagues around the world, with hundreds of thousands of die-hard fans. Down and Derby will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the sport. Written by veteran skaters as both a history and a how-to, Down and Derby is a brassy celebration of every aspect of the sport, from its origins in the late 1800s to the rules of a modern bout to the science of picking an alias to the many ways you can get involved off skates.

Informative, entertaining, and executed with the same tough, sassy, DIY attitude–leavened with plenty of humor–that the sport is known for, Down and Derby is the first and last book on derby you’ll ever need.

When she’s not knocking heads, Alex Cohen is the host of All Things Considered on KPCC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. Yeah, really.

This event is co-sponsored by the Minnesota RollerGirls. Members will be on hand to enforce proper derby etiquette and to recruit new rollergirls and volunteers.

The Minnesota RollerGirls are part of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), a national governing body for female-only, skater-owned, flat-track roller derby leagues. The Minnesota RollerGirls league was founded by the Donnelly sisters in August 2004 and has grown from 6 original members to a current roster of 80 skaters, 8 referees and coaches, and countless volunteers. All participants are unpaid amateurs and the league provides insurance coverage for practices and bouts. The Minnesota RollerGirls are dedicated to our local communities and charities and we invest our time, effort, and a portion of our event proceeds to local, and sometimes national, charities. For more information please visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Details are here.–David E