From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Rollergames)

Official RollerGames logo
GenreRoller derby
Sports Entertainment
Created byDavid R. Sams
Michael J. Miller
William Griffiths, Sr.
Directed byChet Forte
Presented byChuck Underwood
David Sams
Shelly Jamison
Wally George
StarringRalphie Valladares
Jennifer Van Galder
Kristine Van Galder
Georgia Hase
Chuck Skull
John "Guru" Drew
Bill Griffiths, Sr.
(other skaters, see rosters)
Theme music composerDouglas Cooper Getschal
Opening theme"Rock & RollerGames" by D.C. Getschal
Ending theme"All In The Game" by Jarrett Michaels
ComposersDouglas Cooper Getschal
Jarrett Michaels
David Sams
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producersDavid R. Sams
Michael J. Miller
Burl A. Hechtman
ProducersDavid R. Sams
Michael J. Miller
Production locationsLos Angeles, California
Camera setupMultiple
Running time60 minutes (including commercials)
Premiere episode: 2 hours
Production companiesWorld Alliance RollerStars, Inc.
Sams/Miller Productions
Motown Productions
Qintex Entertainment
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 16, 1989 (1989-09-16)[1] –
1990 (1990)

RollerGames is a U.S. television series that presented a theatrical version of the sport of roller derby, and featured a number of skaters who had been in the Roller Games league (1961–1975), as well as younger participants.[2] It was broadcast for one season (1989–1990). The series came from the combination of Roller Games owner William Griffiths, Sr. and the television production team of David Sams and Michael Miller. Chet Forte served as the show's director for its entire run. Chuck Underwood served as play-by-play commentator while Sams provided the color commentary. Former TV reporter Shelly Jamison was trackside reporter and Hot Seat host and conservative commentator Wally George hosted halftime segments known as RollerSports Central.

After a 30-year absence, Fox Sports 1 began to air the series again on August 1, 2020 to celebrate the series' 30th anniversary. A fan page on Facebook was also launched.


The show took place in the Super Roller Dome (which was actually an airport hangar), where all matches were broadcast. Instead of a banked oval track, a figure eight track was used where one side was heavily banked. It included obstacles such as the "Wall of Death" (which was located on the heavily banked side) and the "Jet Jump." The only ones who could score during each 45-second scoring cycle were the "jetters," who wore helmets and got six points if they got above the top line for three steps on the Wall of Death without going over, and two points if they got between the two lines for three steps. The "Jet Jump" had a 12-foot marker that allowed six points if the jetter got past it, and two if the jetter landed in front of it. In either case, the jetter had to land safely. Also, there were only four skaters on the track at a time (instead of the usual five).

The rest of the cycle involved traditional roller derby elements of scoring one point for every opponent lapped. The players got as many 45-second cycles as possible within four six-minute quarters (cut down from eight 12-minute periods in traditional roller derby). The team with the most points won. The last cycle went the full 45 seconds regardless of what the period clock said.

The first jetter to legally enter the jetwave won the status of "lead jetter"; s/he could signal the referees to cut off the cycle early, by tapping his/her helmet. S/he could also enter the jetwave again for more points, but only after s/he had passed all the opposing team's skaters. (This was extremely rare, but it happened occasionally.)

As a tiebreaker, two skaters would skate around a pit full of alligators. The first skater to skate around the pit five times or to throw his or her opponent into the alligator pit was declared the winner. The debut episode was the only time live alligators were ever used, as no ties ever happened after that (although a "news report" featured another tiebreaker). The episode revealed one of the rare times that the T-Birds lost the championship, with the Violators taking it after the T-Bird skater got pushed into the alligator pit (although later footage revealed that Skull, the manager, cheated by interfering, but the Violators got to keep the Commissioner's Cup in spite of that).

Instead of a penalty box, skaters that committed misdemeanors sat in a "penalty pod," one of each was located on either side of the broadcast booth where Sams and Underwood called the action. Because the rules said there were always four skaters on the track, a jetter got one bonus point each time they passed the skater inside the pod. Referee Don Lastra (and the other referees) frequently referred to the penalty pod as "jail," and would tell skaters who got a penalty to "go sit down." (Lastra would also fine players specific amounts of money; these fines were to be paid out of pocket as a check and given to him, since he issued the fines. Fines usually were issued if the act incurring a penalty came in between a period or after the end of the game, but the players who got fined always said vindication was theirs, and thus a moral victory was earned).


The "world famous" Los Angeles T-Birds were one of the teams used for the show. Other teams were the Rockers, Hot Flash, Violators, Bad Attitude, and Maniacs...all of whom were members of the fictional World Alliance of RollerSports (which is the actual legal division name of Sams' company). Many of the athletes that skated for Griffiths in the past were used for RollerGames. (The Hot Flash team was referred as "Hollywood Hot Flash" on a couple of occasions.)

Some of the most visible skaters included twin sisters Jennifer & Kristine Van Galder, the "T-Bird Twins" (two blonde waitresses that Sams recruited while dining at a trendy LA area eatery), "The IceBox" Robert Smith, brothers "Mr. Mean" Harold Jackson & "Monster Man" Bernie Jackson, Michael Flaningam "The California Kid", "Skinney Minnie" Gwen Miller, "Electric" Randi Whitman (who got her nickname because of her hair), "Stars and Stripes" Matt Bickham, "Dar The Star" Darlene Langlois, "Latin Spitfire" Patsy Delgado, "Sweet" Stephanie Garcia, and Rocker Speed Skater Michael "Fish" Fischer (along with guitarist on the RollerGames theme song, who was forced to leave the team before the first telecast because he broke his hand in practice), and Ralphie Valladares, whose daughter Gina skated for Hot Flash.

Other past Roller Derby personalities to appear on RollerGames included "Mizz" Georgia Hase, the cantankerous heel manager of the Detroit Devils and Bad Attitude, and "Little" Richard Brown, the Maniacs' top skater who got to manage and coach several skaters on RollerJam and previously skated for several teams including the Philadelphia Warriors, Baltimore-Washington Cats, L.A. T-Birds and Eastern War-Chiefs. "Dar The Star" Darlene Langlois was a former T-Bird herself, having been wooed away from the team by another former T-Bird turned Rockers manager, D.J. Terrigno. However, Dar remained on good terms with her former team, frequently coming to the aid of the T-Bird Twins after they were temporarily separated and defending them against the derision of Sweet Stephanie.