The rough-and-tumble Atomic City Rollergirls are excited about the start of their fourth season, which kicks off today.
They will be skating at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, their first bout, or game, since signing a contract making the venue their home base.
"Before we bounced around to different places. It's good to have a home," said Julie "Val Death" Valdez, president of the Atomic City Rollergirls.
It's also the first time they've had 24 women in the league.
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"The sport seems to be taking off," she said, adding that their last two bouts, held last fall at the Toyota Center, were sell outs.
Only seven members of the Atomic City Rollergirls League are veterans, skaters who have skated more than one season.
"The rest have been skating with us from last November forward, so we call ourselves a fresh team. Half of us are fresh meat," Valdez joked.
They will be squaring off against the North Idaho Roller Derby team, one they have not played against before.
"We're not familiar with them. Their league has been around for a couple of years, yet we've never competed against them," Valdez said. Even if the North Idaho team isn't as seasoned as we are, we're going in thinking we need to play our best."
"We're expecting a lot of competition and heavy fighting. We're not sure how the bout will go but we're prepared to face a really difficult team," she said.
If you have not attended a roller derby bout, prepare yourself for a lot of physical contact between players, and players and the hardwood floor.
These women play rough and have had all winter to perfect their booty blocks and lightning-fast jam sprinting skills.
The doors of the Toyota Center open at 5 p.m. and the women roll onto the floor at 6 p.m.
Admission is $12 adults, in advance, $14 at the door; $8 in advance ages 6-12, $10 at the door; and free for ages 5 and younger. One dollar of each ticket sold will be donated to the Children's Development Center.
"A portion of all tickets sales of every bout goes to a charity. We are a nonprofit, so we give back to the community," Valdez said.
Advance tickets for today's bout are available at Ticketmaster.com and yourtoyotacenter.com, at the box office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by phone through Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000.
Their next bout will be against the Snakepit Derby Dames on May 22 in Coeur d'Alene.
For more information on the team and their full 2011 schedule, go to atomiccity rollergirls.org.