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The inaugural Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown, an international flat-track roller derby tournament, will take place February 24-26, 2023, at the Warren J. Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium, in Thibodaux.
This action-packed, family-friendly three-day event is hosted by youth team Red Stick Roller Derby Juniors (RSRDJ), based in Baton Rouge, La, and Team Louisiana Roller Derby. Featuring 15 competing teams across multiple divisions, it is the largest roller derby tournament to ever be held in Louisiana and first to feature both adult and youth roller derby teams. In total, competing skaters and staff will be traveling to Louisiana from over 25 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces to compete on the track.
Falling the weekend immediately after Mardi Gras, Y’Allstars is positioning itself as “Louisiana’s Mardi Gras Roller Derby Tournament” and will offer participants and spectators alike the opportunity to enjoy just a few extra days of Mardi Gras fun.
The tournament creates a new competitive stage for “collective” roller derby: all competing adult teams consist of top-tier skaters from various leagues who collectively form “superteams,” each representing a specific state, region, diaspora or other commonality. Among the competitors are 3 diaspora teams, whose members share a common cultural background or heritage.
The teams and divisions include:
Women’s Division: Team Louisiana Roller Derby; Black Diaspora Roller Derby; Team Florida; Team Indigenous Rising; Jewish Roller Derby; Team Michigan; Team Tennessee; and Team Texas
Open Division: Beast Side Roller Derby (many states); Chicago Roller Derby; Team Florida; and Ruff Ryders (Texas/Co./Az.).
Juniors Division: (ages 17-under)Red Stick Roller Derby Juniors (Baton Rouge); Rome (Ga.) Junior Roller Derby All-Stars; and South Texas Scallywags (Conroe, Texas)
The weekend’s schedule includes 15 flat-track roller derby games open to the public through ticketed admission – nine Women’s Division games, three Juniors Division games, two Open Division games and a Saturday night Mardi Gras-themed exposition game, called the “Mardi Brawl.” Team Louisiana will be playing on Friday 2/24 at 8:00 p.m., and at TBD times on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26 depending on the outcomes of their preceding games. Red Stick Roller Derby Juniors will be playing at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 25 and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 26. A full schedule of games is available at www.yallstars.com/tournament-
The event will also have an in-venue market with over a dozen vendors, concessions, and additional entertainment including performances, prizes, and a costume contest during the Mardi Brawl.
“We basically wanted to throw a big roller derby party right on the heels of Mardi Gras, one that attracts top teams and gives Louisianans the chance to discover and fall in love with this incredible sport,” said Tournament Organizing Chair Kaitlyn Estes. “We have big hopes that Y’Allstars will build new excitement around roller derby in Louisiana and become a recurring event that happens right after Mardi Gras each year.”
“Roller derby has always been a niche sport, one that can fly under the radar, but we think it’s about time that Louisianans see what our state and sport is made of,” said Team Louisiana Co-Captain, Cameron Hendrie. “The skaters on our team represent leagues from across the state, so Y’Allstars is truly an event for the state as a whole. We are proud to say that such a major roller derby event will be hosted here at home.”
Tickets range from $16-$38 for adults and $10-$20 for children ages 6-17. Children ages 5 and under are admitted to the event for free. The tournament will also offer a live stream, to be broadcast via YouTube.
For more information on the Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown, including purchasing tickets, visit www.yallstars.com and follow the tournament’s official social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.