Down and Derby
"Required reading for anyone who's searching for new ways to be fearless."
Carrie Brownstein, Sleater-Kinney








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 20,000 skaters in more than 500 leagues around the world, with hundreds of thousands of die-hard fans.

Down and Derby: The Insider's Guide to Roller 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.

Special sections include: roller girls and community service; the origins of derby league names; advice for tournament travel; derby crushes, wives, widows and weddings; tips for winning the after-party; the annual derby convention Rollercon; derby tattoos; junior roller derby and men's derby.

Cover by Jay Vollmar Graphic design by Jenny Comperda Layout by Pauline Neuwirth
Photos by: Beth Been, Marc "Stalkerazzi" Campos, Michael Coyote, Jules Doyle, Boss Hogg, Craig Lammes, Kerry McClain, Darren Michaels, Paul Robertson, Joe Schwartz, Penny Smith

Praise for Down and Derby
"A rock'em, sock'em history & 'how to guide' by two roller girls about the derby they love to death. Told in a no BS style that makes you feel like an insider sharing a beer after the match. This is sparkly terrific & bad ass !!"—John Doe of X

"Axles of Evil and Kasey Bomber are two of the most sincere, awesome, kick-ass women I've ever met. They are champions of Roller Derby—and not just in a flashy way but also in a really smart way. Being able to have learned to skate under their wing has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Down and Derby is the next best thing to training with them personally. If you love Derby this is the book you’ve been waiting for.”—Ellen Page, star of Whip It!

“Part manifesto, part how-to-guide, Down and Derby demystifies the world of roller derby, showing readers it’s as inclusive as it is cool. After finishing this book, you no longer have an excuse for keeping your boring name or for never trying on a pair of skates. This is required reading for anyone who's searching for new ways to be fearless.” —Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney

"Derby is one of the most extraordinary, empowering and intriguing worlds I've ever found in any subculture in my life. When you read about derby, I think there's a part of your heart that is forever changed." —Drew Barrymore

"As the author of an old Roller Derby book, let me just say this to the new kid on the rink: up with Down and Derby. Whether you're already a Derby doll or a doll wannabe it's required reading."—Frank Deford, author of Five Strides On The Banked Track

"Fast, seductive, kooky, cunning, foxy, cheeky, bad arse and most importantly, no buillshit. These words not only describe Down and Derby, but the authors themselves. Veterans in the world of roller derby, Axles and Kasey are an inspiration to derby girls everywhere, myself included!"—Zoë Bell, actress and stuntwoman

“Feminism can come in the form of placards and protests, but Down and Derby proves that a girl's liberation can also involve strapping on a pair of skates, taking on a kick-ass nickname, and throwing a few hip checks in the process.” —Marisa Meltzer, author of Girl Power