The Bruisers versus the Surly Girlies. It sounds like something out of West Side Story -- only with skates. Actually, it's the latest blood-sport death match between the take-no-shit Arizona Roller Derby chicks, who hit the hardwood for their first match of the new season on Saturday, September 24, at Castle Sports Club, 11420 North 19th Avenue. These gals got game, and the setup goes something like this: Each five-member squad elects a player called a "jammer." The goal of the jammer is to start at the rear of her team and scratch and smack her way through the pack until she reaches the front. The jammer then attempts to lap the other skaters, earning a point for every opponent she passes.
This is not so easy, as the other team's members smack back -- hard -- in an attempt to keep the jammers from passing. There are two periods per game, and each lasts 20 minutes. The team with the most points at the end wins. Injuries are common, and the rules -- such as they are -- are loosely enforced.
Badminton to the bone
Somebody call the ASPCA. Rumor has it that little birdies are getting smashed in Scottsdale on Saturday, September 24. The birds in question are shuttlecocks, and the smashes are those over-the-net shots that nobody but Flash Gordon can return. The event is the Arizona Smash Bash Badminton Doubles Tournament, hosted by the Arizona Badminton Club. The site is Horizon High School, 5601 East Greenway Road. The tourney starts at 8 a.m. and continues 'til 7 p.m. There's an entry fee for participants, but spectators are welcome and are admitted free of charge. Call 602-570-4162 or visit www.azbadminton.net. -- David Gofstein