Rat City Roller Derby

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Rat City Roller Derby
League logo
Metro areaSeattle
CountryUnited States
TeamsRat City All-Stars (A team)
The Rain of Terror (B team)
Derby Liberation Front
Grave Danger
Sockit Wenches
Throttle Rockets
Track type(s)Flat
VenueSpartan Recreation Center (Shoreline)
Climate Pledge Arena
Org. typeLLC

Rat City Roller Derby is a women's flat-track roller derby league in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 2004 as Rat City Rollergirls, LLC, the league has incorporated alternative cultural influences, and has inspired and mentored other leagues. Rat City is a founding member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA),[1] and has achieved success on the WFTDA stage, qualifying for WFTDA Playoffs every season, including a second-place finish in the 2007 WFTDA Championships.

League history and structure[edit]

The league was founded as Rat City Rollergirls in 2004 by "Dixie Dragstrip", Lilly "Hurricane Lilly" Warner and Rahel "Rae's Hell" Cook.[2] Nearly 2000 fans attended the first league home team championship in October 2005 at a former navy hangar in Magnuson Park, as the Derby Liberation Front defeated the Throttle Rockets 52-32.[3]

The Rat City Rollergirls hosted the 2006 Roller Derby "Bumberbout" Flat Track Invitational on Saturday, September 2, 2006, in the KeyArena at Seattle Center.[4] 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.

In February 2008 Rat City first hosted the Rust Riot Pacific Northwest Tournament, predominantly featuring B-teams from Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Rat City's Rain of Terror defeated the Rose City Rollers' Axles of Annihilation to win the tournament.[5]

In 2009, 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. Ticket sales for the first bout of the season vastly exceeded expectations of KeyArena management, filling more than 4,000 of the 5,500 seat capacity in what is referred to as the 'lower bowl'.[6] That season, Rat City averaged 4100 fans per event.[7]

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.[8]

On June 5, 2010, the Sockit Wenches defeated Grave Danger to win the season 6 championship.[9] The lower bowl at KeyArena was sold out, with over 6000 fans in attendance and 6885 tickets sold.[9]

In late 2017, Rat City rebranded as Rat City Roller Derby.[10]

Business structure and organization[edit]

As a business enterprise, the league is registered as a limited liability company, Rat City Rollergirls, LLC,[11] 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.[12]


Adult teams[edit]

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

  • Derby Liberation Front - 2005,[3] 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Season Champions.
  • Grave Danger - 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2019 Season Champions
  • Sockit Wenches - 2006, 2008[9] and 2010 Season Champions
  • Throttle Rockets
  • Rat Lab - Introduced in 2010, the training ground for new members of the Rat City Rollergirls, have not yet been placed on a home team.

The travel teams are:

  • The Rain of Terror - Rat City's B travel team, which competed in the 2008 Rust Riot exhibition tournament with northwest roller derby leagues.[13]
  • Rat City Rollergirl All-Stars - Rat City's all star travel team, which competes against other leagues in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

Junior league[edit]

In July, 2007 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.[14] At the 2007 National Tournament, the Seattle Derby Brats skated against Tucson's junior team between the tournament games.[15] 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.[16]

The Seattle Derby Brats has teams for multiple levels of play. The youngest group of skaters (ages 8 to 11), known as the Tootsy Rollers, play a positional-blocking version of roller derby with little contact. The Tootsy Rollers are split into four teams: Lemon Drops, Acid Pops, Orange Crush and Turquoise Terrors. Division I (ages 11 to 17) is made up of four teams:Poison Skid'les, Evil Angels, Battle Axles, and Stunflowers. Division I plays positional roller derby with more in-depth strategy. Division II (ages 11 to 17) features full-contact play. The teams in Division II are in three tiers, listed in order of skill: the Toxic AvengHers/Mighty Rollers, the Ultra Violets, and the all star travel team, the Galaxy Girls.

PFM Roller Derby[edit]

PFM Roller Derby was formed as a practice group for skaters wishing to try out for Rat City, and for many years rented track space from Rat City, however the organization, a registered non-profit, has always been independent from Rat City. Composed of skaters in training, as well as recreational derby players who do not wish to commit at the level of league play, PFM alumnae go on to league play with the Rat City Rollergirls, the Rainier Roller Girls, the Dockyard Derby Dames, the Jet City Rollergirls, and the Tilted Thunder Rail Birds. Since 2018, PFM has held practices and scrimmages at Magnuson Community Center.[17]

In popular culture[edit]

Members of Rat City attending the premiere of Blood on the Flat Track at the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival

The 2007 documentary, Blood On The Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls,[18] was directed by Lainy Bagwell and Lacey Leavitt.[19] It played at 14 film festivals around the world, including screenings in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, as well as Aarhus, Denmark. It was released on DVD in Canada in October 2009[20] and in the United States in February 2010.[21]

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

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][24]

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.[25][26] After casual observers noted the absence of similarity, the matter was dropped in September 2008 without further legal action.[27]

The Rat City Rollergirls logo artwork was designed by local Seattle artist, Ego.[28]

WFTDA competition[edit]

The Rat City All-Stars competed in the 2007 WFTDA National Championships in Austin, Texas. They placed second, to the 2007 national champions the Kansas City Roller Warriors.[29] In the qualifying round, they beat the 2006 and 2005 national champions, the Texas Rollergirls, who placed third.[30] 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.[15]

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.[31][32][33]

In November 2008, Rat City Rollergirls and the Rose City Rollers co-hosted the Northwest Knockdown national championships at the Portland Expo Center.[34] 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.


Season Final ranking[35] Playoffs Championship
2006 3 WFTDA[36] 5[37]
2007 2 WFTDA[38] 1 W[39] 2[40]
2008 1 W[41] 3 W[42] R1[43]
2009 4 W[44] 4 W[45] DNQ
2010 5 W[46] 5 W[47] DNQ
2011 4 W[48] 4 W[49] DNQ
2012 5 W[50] 5 W[51] DNQ
2013 13 WFTDA[52] 3 D1[53] R1 D1[54]
2014 16 WFTDA[55] 4 D1[56] DNQ
2015 13 WFTDA[57] 3 D1[58] R1 D1[59]
2016 15 WFTDA[60] 3 D1[61] R1 D1[62]
2017 16 WFTDA[63] 4 D1[64] CR D1[65]
2018 16 WFTDA[66] CR[67] DNQ
  • CR = consolation round


  1. ^ "Member Leagues". WFTDA. April 2006. Archived from the original on 9 April 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  2. ^ Dizon, Kristin (14 May 2004). "This Rat pack is ready to roll: Female skaters want to revive Seattle derbies". seattlepi.com. Seattle Post-Intellegencer. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b Broom, Jack (17 October 2005). "Derby dames crown winner". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 19 December 2005. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Bumbershoot: Find out how the Rat City Girls roll and kick it with Kanye". seattlepi.com. Seattle Post-Intellegencer. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  5. ^ Reynolds, Chris "Hurt" (3 February 2008). "Liveblogging from the Rust Riot | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  6. ^ Shay, Steve (11 February 2009). "VIDEO: Rat City Roller Girls rock n' roll in Key Arena debut". West Seattle Herald / White Center News. West Seattle Herald. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  7. ^ Brodeur, Nicole (21 January 2013). "The best kind of growing pains for Rat City Rollergirls | Seattle Times Newspaper". old.seattletimes.com. Seattle Times. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Rat City Rollergirls and KeyArena Celebrate Earth Month | KeyArena". www.keyarena.com. Key Arena. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Reynolds, Hurt (7 June 2010). "Rat City Breaks Modern Attendance Record | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  10. ^ "A Brief History". Rat City Roller Derby. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Corporations: Registration Detail - WA Secretary of State". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  12. ^ 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. ISBN 9781450314978. S2CID 16094610.
  13. ^ Chansanchai, Athima (31 January 2008). "Rat City roller girls get ready to rumble". seattlepi.com. Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  14. ^ Derby Brats skater name master list
  15. ^ a b Texas Shootout – 2007 Women's Flat Track Derby Association Championship Tournament Archived 2007-10-17 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Seattle Junior Derby brats relish hard knocks - The Enterprise Newspapers; August 22, 2008[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Alumnae – PFM Roller Derby".
  18. ^ Blood On The Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls Archived 2011-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Seattle International Film Festival, 2007 Archived 2007-07-31 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Blood on the Flat Track Lainy Bagwell and Lacey Leavitt". exclaim!. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  21. ^ Frost, Bill (17 February 2010). "Blood on the Flat Track, The Box, The Informant, Open Graves, Sorority Row". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  22. ^ Roller Derby: Meet the players
  23. ^ "Game review: Frozen Codebase Jam City Rollergirls for WiiWare". 8-Bit Central. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  24. ^ Frozen Codebase Partners with The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)[dead link]
  25. ^ Rat City Rollergirls bump up against Starbucks
  26. ^ Starbucks Asks Rat City Rollergirls to Change Their Logo, The Stranger, May 23, 2008.
  27. ^ Starbucks Backs Off, Leaving Rat City Rollergirls Logo Intact, The Stranger, September 18, 2008.
  28. ^ "Invalid Friend ID". Archived from the original on 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  29. ^ Rat City Rollergirls lose championship bout
  30. ^ Home | Derby News Network
  31. ^ Seattle Post-Intellegencer, February 26, 2007
  32. ^ Tucson Roller Derby, Dust Devil 2007 Archived 2011-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Arizona Daily Star reporter Kevin Smith live-blogs the action, February 18, 2007 Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Northwest Knockdown - 2008 WFTDA National Roller Derby Championship". WFTDA. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Current Rankings", WFTDA
  36. ^ "12/8/2006 WFTDA National Rankings". Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-23., WFTDA [version of 23 February 2007]
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  38. ^ "Current WFTDA Rankings", Derby News Network, October 2007
  39. ^ "Dust Devil 2007", Flat Track Stats
  40. ^ "Texas Shootout 2007", Flat Track Stats
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  42. ^ "Battle Royale", Flat Track Stats
  43. ^ Marshall, Justice Feelgood (20 November 2008). "2008 WFTDA Nationals: Complete Recaps | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  44. ^ "Current Rankings". WFTDA. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  45. ^ Marshall, Justice Feelgood (2 October 2009). "Western Regionals Capsule Recaps | Derby News Network". Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
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  47. ^ Marshall, Justice Feelgood (1 October 2010). "2010 West Region Playoffs Recaps | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  48. ^ "Current Rankings". WFTDA. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  49. ^ "West 3rd Place: 4W Rose City Beats 6W Rat City For First Trip to Championships, 186-134", Derby News Network, 25 September 2011
  50. ^ "Rankings – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  51. ^ "2012 WFTDA West Region Playoffs - Women's Flat Track Derby Association". wftda.org. WFTDA. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  52. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2013". WFTDA. January 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  53. ^ Jennings, Hannah (30 September 2013). "D1S 3rd: (3) Rat City Bankrupts (4) Detroit, 254-129 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  54. ^ Deadwards, Lisa (9 November 2013). "D1C: Ohio Traps Rat City, 230-212 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  55. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2014 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. January 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  56. ^ Wise, Beck (7 September 2014). "D1S 3rd: Minnesota Slaughters Rat City, 197-142 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  57. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2015 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. January 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  58. ^ Fristoe, Chelsea (13 September 2015). "D1D: #4 Rat City Traps #3 Philly Roller Derby, 178-154". Derby Central. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  59. ^ "D1 Champs: Angel City Exterminate Rat City, 169-101". Derby Central. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
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  62. ^ Defiance, Brooklyn (5 November 2016). "2016 WFTDA Champs: #6 Texas tramples #11 Rat City, 238-50". Derby Central. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
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  67. ^ "2018 Playoffs Atlanta Game 13: Rat City vs. Sun State – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New tournament
WFTDA Western Regional Tournament winners
Succeeded by