Not Just for 'Girls'

roller derby team updates name to shift focus from gender

Max Martinson, photos by Luong Huynh

In an effort to be more inclusive to everyone who contributes to and appreciates the sport, the Chippewa Valley Roller Girls have officially changed their name to Chippewa Valley Roller Derby. This change comes as part of a movement within the roller derby community to eliminate gendered or sexualized language from leagues and team names. The change from “Girls” to “Derby” is intended to shift focus toward the athleticism and skill of the competitors and away from “the spectacle of seeing women participate in a full-contact sport,” says Patti Cleary, a.k.a. WenchCraft, #37. The term “girls” has proven to be insufficient in describing the population that participates in the games. In the wake of this change, the league hopes to spread its wings and expand into a traveling team, with the Chippewa Valley having two teams, because who doesn’t love a good intra-town rivalry? If you’re looking to get involved in the Chippewa Valley Roller Derby – on skates or off – you’re in luck. There are opportunities to participate for anyone who has interest. Information about meetings, the name change, rosters, and tickets can be found on their new website,