/ Modified sep 3, 2015 2:43 p.m.

Tucson Hosts International Roller Derby Playoffs

Top three out of ten teams will advance to the world championships in Minnesota in November.

Roller derby Terminal City (Vancouver, BC) versus Blue Ridge Rollergirls from Asheville, NC
Danforth Johnson Photography

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Over the next three days, bleacher creatures are guaranteed to witness some of the best hip checking, jamming and duck walking in the world.

Didn’t get that? It probably means you should brush up on your roller derby lingo before checking out the women’s international playoffs, which start in Tucson Friday.

Ten teams will lace up their skates to play for the chance to advance to the world championships in Minnesota this November. Among them are seven U.S. teams, two from Canada and the team that wins for miles travelled, coming from Melbourne, Australia.

Gigi Owen, or Pixie Axe as she’s known in the rink, plays for a Tucson team that’s not competing this weekend. She said roller derby has exploded in popularity over the past ten years – and while the sport is extremely physical, that’s not its only appeal.

"All of a sudden you feel like you can do anything else in your life. You can tackle anything else."

Skater Scald Eagle from the Rose City Rollers (Portland, OR). Photo courtesy of Danforth Johnson Photography.

"A lot of women come into this thinking that they can’t do it, or they’ve never done anything like this before," she said. "And then you get in there and it’s really powerful. All of a sudden you feel like you can do anything else in your life. You can tackle anything else."

Tackling in the rink, by the way, is not allowed.

The women’s flat track roller derby international playoffs are taking place at the Tucson Convention Center today through Sunday.

Click here for more information about the playoffs.

Click here for more information about Tucson Roller Derby.

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