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Female Leagues Lead Roller Derby Revival

Across America, hundreds of women are leading double lives. By day, they are teachers, mothers, waitresses, even reporters. But by night, they are performance athletes participating in a revival of one of America's most violent sports: roller derby.

This weekend, Las Vegas will play host to a first-time-ever convention of more than 30 modern-day women's roller derby leagues. Alex Cohen of member station KQED, herself a member of the L.A. Derby Dolls league, reports.

There are more than 80 Derby Dolls, each has taken on an alter ego and a nom de guerre -- names including Juana Beat'n, Tara Armov and Venus D' Maulr.

Versions of this sport have been played for seven decades. The first modern-day all-girl roller derby league popped up four years ago in Austin, Texas. There are now nearly 40 leagues scattered throughout the country from the Rat City Roller Girls of Seattle to the Windy City Rollers of Chicago.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alex Cohen is the reporter for NPR's fastest-growing daily news program, Day to Day where she has covered everything from homicides in New Orleans to the controversies swirling around the frosty dessert known as Pinkberry.