Last Saturday, I took in a night of Chicago Knockouts Roller Derby. The Punk-Rock Punishers narrowly defeated the Horrific Hunters 14-13 in a hotly contested battle. My recap is at My Night With the Chicago Knockouts on Patch.com. The Chicago Knockouts is billed as "Hard hits. Big Personalities." and they deliver as billed and more.
I have seen other roller derby leagues over the years, but it has been a couple years since I last attended a bout. My schedule finally allowed me to catch the Chicago Knockouts in action and I was anxious to see what they had to offer.
When I knew I could make last Saturday night, I reached out to the Knockouts, via their Facebook page. Owner-skater The Crimson Vixen patiently and eagerly answered my questions.
The Fleetwood Rink in Summit provided an intimate setting, where fans sat (or stood) very near the track. Colored lights and lively music created a fun ambiance.
We talked to a few fans to learn about the Knockouts. The biggest difference form other derby I have seen is the scoring. This score would be a lot lower than in other leagues. The reason lies in points earned by the "jammer" as she circles the track. While the Knockouts bouts have much lower scores, the intensity is amazing. In fact, the lower scores create a tense situation all night, as each point is really crucial.
The night of action literally came down to the last second. The crowd was hot as the skaters fought to the very end.
After the bout, the skaters took a lap around the track, slapping hands with the fans. Afterwards, they mingled and took pictures for a short period, before departing for the after-party, which was open to all.
The Punishers will now face the Retro Rumblers on March 14 for the Season II title. It promises to be another exciting evening.
According to Crimson Vixen, Season III should start later this year, although plans are not finalized. Vixen and I do have some plans for interviews and other fun stuff along the way. I'll be updating things as announcements are made. Stay tuned.
Thank you to the Chicago Knockouts and especially the Crimson Vixen for the hospitality and for being very patient with my questions. We will definitely return for more action and we encourage all to check out the Chicago Knockouts.
Go to ChicagoKnockouts.com for more info. Also follow the Chicago Knockouts on Facebook for more frequent updates and other fun stuff.
Crimson Vixen and me in Summit, IL-February 2020.