Big Easy Rollergirls
|Metro area||New Orleans|
|Teams||Confederacy of Punches
|Venue||UNO Human Performance Center|
Big Easy Rollergirls or BERG (est. 2005) is an all-female, flat-track roller derby league in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. In 2011, BERG converted from an LLC to a non-profit corporation, but does not have 501(c)(3) status. It is also a member league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
The Big Easy Rollergirls league was founded in the spring of 2005, and had planned their first bout during Mardi Gras 2006. Unfortunately, the league was disrupted by and had to regroup following the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, beginning competitive play on September 16, 2006. After a citywide tryout, BERG had two teams and more than 30 active members its first season. The debut bout was won by the Hor-Nots (v the 'Aints) 128-123 in overtime before a sellout crowd.
In their second season, the Big Easy Rollergirls doubled their membership with new recruits and was able to field four local teams: Confederacy of Punches, Crescent Wenches, Marigny Antoinettes and StoryVillains, as well as a travel team, the Big Easy Rollergirls Allstars. By the fourth season, the Big Easy Rollergirls switched to a two-team structure: The Big Easy Allstars (A team) and the Crescent Wenches (B team). The Marigny Antoinettes are now the incoming year's "Fresh Meat" and the StoryVillains are now the recreational team composed of retired Big Easy Rollergirls skaters. Under the leadership of training manager and Allstars captain Jamie Schmill, the league has experienced a steady, four-year slide from 9th in their region (South Central) to 24th.
Now beginning their eighth season, the Big Easy Rollergirls organization has continued to grow and evolve, maintaining a rigorous athletic training regimen (both on skates and off) while regularly contributing to community service oriented efforts around New Orleans. Charities and organizations BERG has worked with include the Slaughter, Louisiana Volunteer Fire Department, Arabi Wrecking Krewe, New Orleans City Park, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, NO AIDS Task Force, Common Ground[disambiguation needed], KaBOOM!, KIDsmART, and the Louisiana SPCA.
The Big Easy Rollergirls are a diverse group of female athletes, ranging in age from the twenty-one to over fifty. By day, they are dental hygenists, community college students, teachers, lawyers, stay-at-home-mothers, and waitresses.
For their first two seasons, home bouts were held at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World in Algiers, New Orleans. The league currently holds their home bouts before large crowds (400 - 600 attendees) at the University of New Orleans Human Performance Center.
Voted “Best Local Sports Team,” by local magazine Where Y’at in their first season, the league's mission continues to be to encourage and empower women through the sport of all-female flat-track roller derby. In doing so they provide alternative athletic entertainment while supporting charitable organizations that benefit the community at large.
In October 2011, Big Easy were ranked number one by the Derby South organization, which represents leagues from five southern states.
After the 2013 season, they are ranked 93 in the world by the WFTDA.
- Tulane University Magazine - News
- Bynum, Chris (December 16, 2005), "Spin Sisters", Times Picayune
- Rollergirls want some aggressive skaters- NOLA.com
- Barkoff, Eva Jacob (May 2006), "On a Roll", Times Picayune
- The Big Easy Roller Girls: Through Hell and High Water, pt. 1 : NOLA Indymedia
- "October 2011 Rankings", Derby South
- "Current Rankings", WFTDA
- "12/8/2006 WFTDA National Rankings", WFTDA [version of 23 February 2007]
- "Current WFTDA Rankings", Derby News Network, October 2007
- Big Easy Rollergirls web site
- Big Easy Rollergirls Myspace page
- Official website for San Fermin in Nueva Orleans
- Women's Flat Track Derby Association web site
Sources and bibliography
- April 2008 - W Magazine - Bruce Weber spread on New Orleans features the Big Easy Rollergirls
- November 2007 - NOLA.com launches Flat Track Fever
- March 2007 - USA Rollersports Magazine "Frivolity in a Forgotten City"
- March 2007 - New Orleans Magazine "Easy Rollin'"
- Feb. 2007 - Times Picayune "Back to Basics"
- Dec. 2006 - Health & Fitness "Rolling Thunder"
- Nov. 2006 - UNO Driftwood "Roller Derby Action"
- Nov. 2006 - NolaFugees.com "Warriors of the Flat Rink"
- Oct. 2006 - Times Picayune "Rocking and Rolling"
- Oct. 2006 - Times Picayune "Rollergirls Make Algiers Their Rink"
- Oct. 2006 - The Gambit "A Sport for the Well-Wheeled"
- Sept. 2006 - The Gambit "Hot Picks"
- Sept. 2006 - New Orleans Magazine "People to Watch"
- Sept. 2006 - Tulane New Wave "Big Easy Rollergirls Ready for Prime Time"
- July 2006 - WTUL Community Gumbo "Through Hell and High Water""
- June 2006 - Where Y'at Magazine "Big Easy Rollergirls named 'Best local sports team'"
- March 2006 - CNN with Anderson Cooper
- July 2007 - Times Picayune, "Big Easy Rollergirls to reinact [sic] famed bull run"
- July 2008 - International Herald Tribune, "Roller girls give chase in La. version of bull run"