Saturday, November 26, 2011

Art and Derbyface

If you are familiar with me, you know I dabble in art. Because I'm a multi-tasker, I try to combine my loves; to combine derby and art can be a difficult thing.

I know a lot of artists involved with derby; some of my local favorite photographers are Joshua Craig, A Boy Named Tsunami, Bill Rhodes, Joshua Billingsley and Punk Blocker.  What these people do is fantastic; they have an eye for the game and catch the most amazing moments.  They have one of the hardest jobs, to document the game and make us look awesome at the same time.  That's pretty difficult to do with women suffering from "derby face".

If you've played the game for any amount of time, you know we all exhibit the symptoms of derby face.  Don't make me call you out; I'm pretty sure I could find an incident of derby face for every player ever.  I don't care if you're Suzy Hotrod, or Nellie Newbee, there is a picture of you somewhere making some crazy looking face while you're hitting someone or avoiding a hit.  Don't get me wrong, some of us make awful faces just standing still; I admit, I am one of those people.  See some of the pictures below.
Even Joshua Craig cannot avoid taking Derby Face
Special kind of derby face..."jammerface"
Moong awkward face
Courtney Mann caught a whole lot of derby face here.

It's a proven fact that you can see a higher incidence of derby face when people are jamming; I call this "jammerface" and giggle every time I see pictures of it.  I don't know what it is about jamming, but the faces we all make are pretty damned amusing.  Some jammerface involves a tongue hanging out, or just squishing up the features.  On the other hand, some of us have scary jammerfaces, like Moong's up there.  Personally I'd rather see a player have derby face than a blank look of panic, because then I know they are engaged in the game.  Whenever I see a girl with a thousand yard stare going on, I get nervous for her.

Once again, I'd like to bring it back to the AMAZING photographers who are charged with telling our story on the derby track, and manage for the most part to avoid making us look awkward and strange.  It's OBVIOUS that each one of these people are incredibly talented. Please support each and every photographer who donates his or her time and energy to this game we all enjoy.
A Boy Named Tsunami
Bill Rhodes
Joshua Billingsley
Punk Blocker


  1. Thanks for the shout out. Love the blog! It would be fun to set a Derby Face Gallery.

  2. I think that would make a great art show...hint hint.

  3. HA! not a bill rhodes photo in the bunch! I feel vindicated, or something... seriously, though, it is a sport, not fashion or a wedding and people involved in sport should be giving their all, which means faces of intensity

  4. Amen Bill. Part of the beauty of this sport is that it's real. It's not just a bunch of plastic dolls looking pretty on skates. So I leave the awkward faces in (mostly). It shows the intensity, the pain, the confusion, the exhilaration... All the emotion that goes along with derby.

  5. I love love love the pictures that make us look real and strong.

  6. How do I keep from doing ANGRY REF face? Gotta be loud, always intense, rules going thru my head like crazy. Saw a pic of me at a bout looking like I was going to snatch the head NSO bald-headed, and we weren't even arguing. :(

    1. It's hard. I get accused of giving people ugly looks on the track all of the time, but it's because I'm concentrating and I tend to have "bitchy resting face". Derby is intense, hopefully people understand you aren't being a jerk.