Rat City Rollergirls

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Rat City Rollergirls
League logo
Metro area Seattle
Country United States
Founded 2004
Teams Derby Liberation Front
Grave Danger
Sockit Wenches
Throttle Rockets
The Rain of Terror (travel)
RCR All-Star Travel Team
Track type(s) Flat
Venue KeyArena and ShoWare Center
Affiliations WFTDA
Org. type LLC
Website ratcityrollergirls.com

The Rat City Rollergirls is a flat-track roller derby league in Seattle, Washington. The league is composed of four member teams for intra-league play, an all-star travel team that competes with other leagues, and another travel team that plays in exhibition games with other leagues. Founded in 2004 as Rat City Rollergirls, LLC, the league has incorporated alternative cultural influences, and has inspired and mentored other leagues. Prominent players, coaches, and other participants come from various backgrounds which is typical of the diverse culture of Seattle, and the diverse culture within the sport. The Rat City Rollergirls have been among the most successful leagues in athletic competition, placing second in the WFTDA Championships in 2006 and 2007. The league and individual participants have been depicted in media as exemplary role models who are smart, sexy and tough.


The home teams for play within the Rat City league are:

  • Derby Liberation Front - 2005, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Season Champions.[1]
  • Grave Danger - 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Season Champions
  • Sockit Wenches - 2006 and 2010 Season Champions
  • Throttle Rockets
  • Rat Lab - Introduced in 2010, it's the training ground for the next superstars of the Rat City Rollergirls and consists of new skaters on the league who have not yet been placed on a home team.

The travel teams are:

  • The Rain of Terror - The travel team that competed in the 2008 Rust Riot exhibition tournament with northwest roller derby leagues.[2]
  • Rat City Rollergirl All-Stars - The all star travel team for competition with other leagues in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

Junior League[edit]

In 2006 a junior league was established, the Seattle Derby Brats. The Seattle Derby Brats are an independent organization that rents practice space from Rat City. They were the second junior league to start and the first to have a public bout. The first inter-league junior bout was the Tuscan Derby Brats vs The Seattle Derby Brats at the 2007 WFTDA Nationals. They were the fourth team to be part of the JRDA, the Junior Roller Derby Association but are no longer affiliated.[3] At the 2007 National Tournament, the Seattle Derby Brats skated against Tucson's junior team between the tournament games.[4] The Seattle Derby Brats were founded and coached by Krista Lafontaine Williams ("Betty Ford Galaxy") formerly of Rat City and currently skating with the Rainier Roller Girls. Betty Ford Galaxy retired from coaching junior derby at the end of the 2014 season. Many other local skaters have helped coach and hold board positions.[5]

The member teams, aged 11 to 17, of the Seattle Derby Brats are:

Division II age 11 to 17 Full contact

  • Toxic AvengHers
  • Mighty Rollers

All Star Full Contact Travel Team

  • Galaxy Girls

Division I age 11 to 17 Positional

  • Poison Skid'les
  • Evil Angels

Age 8 to 11[edit]

  • Tootsy Rollers

The youngest group of girls, also known as the Tootsy Rollers, are loosely split into two teams: the Orange Crush and the Turquoise Terrors. They play a positional-blocking version of roller derby with little contact.

PFM Practice Squad[edit]

Another independent, but loosely associated organization is the PFM Practice Squad. Composed of skaters in training, as well as recreational derby players who do not wish to commit at the level of league play, the PFM Practice Squad has had a number of their alumnae go on to league play with the Rat City Rollergirls, the Dockyard Derby Dames, the Jet City Rollergirls and the Tilted Thunder Rail Birds.[6]

Rat City Rollergirls league history[edit]


On March 6, 2010, Rat City Rollergirls had a turnout of 5,185 in KeyArena. According to announcements that evening this was record attendance for both Rat City Rollergirls and the largest attendance to women's roller derby in history.

On June 5, 2010, the Sockit Wenches defeated Grave Danger to win the season 6 championship. During the evening, it was announced that they had sold out KeyArena.


The Rat City Rollergirls announced a change of venue from the hangars at Magnuson Park to the KeyArena at Seattle Center and ShoWare Center in Kent.[7]

Ticket sales for the first bout of the season vastly exceeded the preparations of the venue management, filling more than 4,000 of KeyArena's 5,500 seat capacity in what is referred to as the 'lower bowl'.[8]


In February the Rat City Rollergirls host the first Rust Riot Pacific Northwest Roller Derby Tournament with skaters from Washington, Oregon and Idaho and defeats Rose City Rollers to win the tournament. Tickets quickly sell out for each bout of the 2008 season.

On the weekend of November 14–16 the Rat City Rollergirls and the Rose City Rollers host the Northwest Knockdown national championships at the Portland Expo Center. Entering the competition ranked third in the nation, the Rat City Rollergirls were defeated in the first round of competition by the Windy City Rollers.


The Rat City All-Stars competed in the WFTDA National Championships in Austin, Texas. They placed second, to the 2007 national champions the Kansas City Roller Warriors.[9] In the qualifying round, they beat the 2006 and 2005 national champions, the Texas Rollergirls, who placed third.[10] Eight teams went to Austin to compete in the 2007 Texas Shootout National Championships, four from the eastern regional division and four from the western regional division, these notable teams included: the Carolina Rollergirls (fourth place), the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, the Tucson Roller Derby, the Detroit Derby Girls, and the Windy City Rollers.[4]

The Rat City All-Stars beat the Rose City Rollers in Portland, Oregon.[11]

Sweeping the WFTDA Western Regional Tournament, the Tucson Dust Devil, in an upset of the formerly top ranked Texas Texecutioners, the Rat City All-Stars rose to first in the national roller derby rankings, up from third, and rose to the first seed for the championships.[12][13][14]


The Rat City Rollergirls hosted the 2006 Roller Derby "Bumberbout" Flat Track Invitational on Saturday, September 2, 2006, in the KeyArena at Seattle Center.[15] The Texas Rollergirls won the championship, retaining undefeated status. The Rat City Rollergirls finished second.

Within the Rat City Rollergirl league the Sockit Wenches won the season championship at Sand Point on October 21, 2006. They beat the formerly undefeated Derby Liberation Front, scoring the decisive points in the final seconds of the match, and of the season.


Derby Liberation Front wins the league championship.


Rat City Rollergirls league founded.[16]

Cultural significance[edit]

The league is a prominent example of a subcultural trend which combines diverse strains of post-punk, third-wave feminism, the reexamination and re-creation of 1950s recreational pursuits, new burlesque style, a do-it-yourself ethic, and sports for all women. As the number of roller derby leagues have increased quickly since 2005, the Rat City Rollergirls have provided inspiration and peer mentorship to other leagues.[17][18]

Business structure and organization[edit]

As a business enterprise, the league is registered as a limited liability corporation, Rat City Rollergirls, LLC, which is owned by the skaters. Although stakeholders in the enterprise, the skaters are not currently paid for their participation.

The RCRG make extensive use of a social media forum (phBB) to structure their organizational and social interactions.[19]

Rat City Rollergirls in popular culture media[edit]

Documentary Film[edit]

Blood on the Flat Track co-Director Lacey Leavitt, editor Wes Johnson and co-director Lainy Bagwell at the film's premiere, 2007 Seattle International Film Festival. Woman at right is one of the Rollergirls.
Some of the Rollergirls, attending the premiere of Blood on the Flat Track.

The 2007 documentary, Blood On The Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls,[20] was directed by Lainy Bagwell and Lacey Leavitt.[21] It played at 14 film festivals around the world, including screenings in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, as well as Aarhus, Denmark. It will be released on DVD in Canada in October 2009 and will release on DVD in the United States in January 2010.[needs update]

Trading Cards[edit]

During the 2007 season, the Rat City Rollergirls were featured on trading cards.

Feature article on MSNBC[edit]

Several of the members of the Rat City Rollergirls were profiled in an article on MSNBC.[22]

Video Games[edit]

In 2008 the Rat City Rollergirls were a featured league in a video game developed by Frozen Codebase and the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.[23]

Trademark Dispute with Starbucks[edit]

In May 2008, Starbucks initiated an inquiry as to trademark infringement between the Starbucks logo and the Rat City Rollergirls "skater portrait in a circle" logo.[24][25] After casual observers noted the absence of similarity, the matter was dropped in September 2008 without further legal action.[26]

The Rat City Rollergirls logo artwork was designed by local Seattle artist, Ego.[27]


Season Q4 ranking[28] Playoffs Championship
2006 3[29] 5[30]
2007 12[31] 1[32] 2[33]
2008 1 3[34] R1[35]
2009 4 4[36] DNQ
2010 5 5[37] DNQ
2011 4 4[38] DNQ

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seattle Times, October 17, 2005.
  2. ^ Rat City roller girls get ready to rumble
  3. ^ Derby Brats skater name master list
  4. ^ a b Texas Shootout - 2007 Women's Flat Track Derby Association Championship Tournament
  5. ^ Seattle Junior Derby brats relish hard knocks - The Enterprise Newspapers; August 22, 2008
  6. ^ http://www.pfmrollerderby.org/alumnae/
  7. ^ http://www.ratcityrollergirls.com/venue.html
  8. ^ http://www.westseattleherald.com/articles/2009/02/09/features/features/feature01.txt
  9. ^ Rat City Rollergirls lose championship bout
  10. ^ Home | Derby News Network
  11. ^ The Oregonian, February 1, 2007
  12. ^ Seattle Post-Intellegencer, February 26, 2007
  13. ^ Tucson Roller Derby, Dust Devil 2007
  14. ^ Arizona Daily Star reporter Kevin Smith live-blogs the action, February 18, 2007
  15. ^ Seattle Post-Intellegencer, September 2, 2006.
  16. ^ Seattle P.I. May 15, 2004
  17. ^ The Tri-City News - Your Best source for Local Community News delivered in print or online
  18. ^ Log in: HeraldTimesOnline.com
  19. ^ Ferro, Toni (October 2012). "The rat city rollergirls and the potential of social networking sites to support work". Proceedings of the ACM Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication. 30 (1): 157–166. doi:10.1145/2379057.2379089. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Blood On The Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls
  21. ^ Seattle International Film Festival, 2007
  22. ^ Roller Derby: Meet the players
  23. ^ Frozen Codebase Partners with The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)
  24. ^ Rat City Rollergirls bump up against Starbucks
  25. ^ Starbucks Asks Rat City Rollergirls to Change Their Logo, The Stranger, May 23, 2008.
  26. ^ Starbucks Backs Off, Leaving Rat City Rollergirls Logo Intact, The Stranger, September 18, 2008.
  27. ^ http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=2774016
  28. ^ "Current Rankings", WFTDA
  29. ^ "12/8/2006 WFTDA National Rankings" at the Wayback Machine (archived February 23, 2007), WFTDA [version of 23 February 2007]
  30. ^ "February 2006 Dust Devil Invitational Rankings" at the Wayback Machine (archived February 23, 2007), WFTDA [version of 23 February 2007]
  31. ^ "Current WFTDA Rankings", Derby News Network, October 2007
  32. ^ "Dust Devil 2007", Flat Track Stats
  33. ^ "Texas Shootout 2007", Flat Track Stats
  34. ^ "Battle Royale", Flat Track Stats
  35. ^ "2008 WFTDA Nationals: Complete Recaps", Derby News Network, 19 February 2009
  36. ^ "Western Regionals Capsule Recaps", Derby News Network, 19 February 2009
  37. ^ "2010 West Region Playoffs Recaps", Derby News Network, 3 October 2010
  38. ^ "West 3rd Place: 4W Rose City Beats 6W Rat City For First Trip to Championships, 186-134", Derby News Network, 25 September 2011

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New tournament
WFTDA Western Regional Tournament winners
Succeeded by
Texas Rollergirls