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Roller Derby action-packed family fun

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Screaming crowds, wheels racing around the track, collisions and crashes. If you're thinking NASCAR, think again. Those are the sights and sounds of roller derby.

Roller girl Marci Perry is better known as Crimson Vendetta. She used to work at the derbies, but decided she wanted to get in on the action.

"It's cheaper than therapy," Perry said. "It's a great group of girls. I've never really been in an all female organization that works so well together and is so supportive of each other and even the opposing teams. It's all about respect, and it's just great to be part of something bigger than me and that so many people love to come watch."

Perry said not all the stereotypes are true. While you do have to have some attitude to be a derby girl, the bouts are good clean family fun.

The bout is made up of two minute jams, or plays. Each team is made up of one jammer, who scores one point for each opposing player she passes, and four blockers, who try to hold back the opposing team's jammer while also clearing the way for their jammer.

First-timer Grace Christian said she loves the competition and the excitement, and is definitely hooked.

"I just like that it looks like they're having a lot of fun while they're doing it," Christian said.

Christian said she loves to skate, and the Cape Fear Roller Girls are her inspiration to try derby.

Another first time fan Julia Tillery said the bouts are a blast, but her favorite part is the players. She loves that it's girls in the spotlight, but a diverse crowd in the stands.

"You can find men, guys, boys sports everywhere. We're overrun with it," Tillery said. "When you see something fun and cool and exciting and competitive with women, you know, I just think it's good to get girls out here. There's men, women, kids, boys, girls."

Perry said it's not as rough as you may think, but it does hurt. She said you learn to love the pain if you love derby.

The Roller Girls' next derby is set for April 30 against the Blue Ridge Roller Girls.

For more information about the Cape Fear Roller Girls, visit http://www.capefearrollergirls.com

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