FLOOD WARNING - Roller Derby invades Placer County Fairgrounds this Saturday

Roseville's events center offers space for roller derby team’s first home bout
By: Steven Wilson,
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Who: Flood Water Roller Derby vs. Port City

When: 12 p.m., Saturday, April 8

Where: Placer County Fairgrounds Events Center, 800 All America City Blvd., Roseville

Tickets: $10 - $25

Basics: Flood Water Roller Derby empowers women though athleticism, teamwork, competition and volunteerism. The organization is always accepting new recruits who would like to learn and play the sport of roller derby.

More Info:


Derby Schedule:

Apr. 8 – vs. Port City

June 10 — vs. SO Derby

July 8 — vs. Loco City

Aug 5 —  vs. Jefferson State

October 28 —  vs. Basin Bombers

Dozens of polyurethane wheels will screech and slide across the concrete this Saturday as dozens of local roller derby skaters hit their home track in Roseville for the very first time. 

Flood Water Roller Derby (FWRD) has existed for five years as a 501c3 non-profit, but this will be their first home bout as they take on the Port City Roller Girls for a 12 p.m. matchup at the Placer County Fairgrounds’ event center. 

“It’s a huge accomplishment for us,” FWRD’s cofounder Laurel 'Bad Astral' Hanson admitted. “It’s been our vision, to play in Roseville, since we formed the team in June of 2012.

“From the very beginning, Placer County Fairgrounds welcomed us to practice at night, when they’re closed. We’ve continued to practice twice a week, unless there’s an event, for almost five years. But it took some doing to be able to host an event here.”

Thanks to persistence from the entire Flood Water team, which went out of their way to crash a Placer County Fair Association Board of Director’s meeting and let the board members know they were serious about hosting a match, their dreams are finally coming true. 

“They initially approached us about hosting the event, and we responded by taking 20 people into their board room and presented diagrams and gave them all the info they needed,” explained FWRD’s other cofounder Rena Garcia, who is also know as Shadow Soldier to Derby fans and her teammates. 

Roughly half of Flood Water’s team reside in Roseville or Rocklin, but the group also has members from surrounding counties. 

On Saturday, each of them will get a chance to showcase their skills on skates in front of their families and friends in their own neck of the woods. 

“We’ve had support from the community since day one, and they wanted to watch us, but they didn’t want to travel,” Hanson confessed. “We partnered with a Woodland team for one season and co-hosted events, and Woodland is only 20 minutes away. But very few people made the journey. So we knew, if we wanted to grow, we needed something right here in town.”

Flood Water’s founders believe their new home court will help them become eligible to join the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) — the end goal of any league looking to graduate from local curiosity, to national presence — and one day become able to compete at an international level. 

“It’s the fastest growing female sport in the world and it’s in consideration for the Olympics,” Hanson pointed out. “So we built this to ultimately reach that level.”

Although the roller derby ladies can appear unapproachable or scary at first glance, quite the opposite is true. 

Most first-time roller derby attendees become fans of the sport, despite their initial misgivings, and it’s because of the ladies suiting up. Skates, makeup and uniforms cover up the hard-working, eccentric and dedicated athletes underneath. Athletes who compete for the love of the sport and for friendly competition. 

“If you want to see true athleticism in a full-contact environment between women, then this is your sport,” Hanson said. “We train hard. At least twice a week, we’re out here for three hours, and most of us get in another workout during the week. You have to be extremely fit to play derby.”

Their names are pretty great, too — Ramjet the Rookie, Zero Fox, Flipper Dee Bird, Sweaty Letty, Sugar and Fiest, Scary Mary Jane, Cancer Crusher and Lowdown Dirty.

“That’s one of the best parts of roller derby,” Hanson joked.

In addition to the game, the event will feature a vendors village filled with merchandise, raffle tickets, and beer. Tickets are only $10 and available online at

As a non-profit organization, a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to other local non-profits.