Dubuque's new roller derby team breaking boundaries - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's new roller derby team breaking boundaries

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The Eastern Iowa Outlaws' home games are at Dubuque's Five Flags Center. The Eastern Iowa Outlaws' home games are at Dubuque's Five Flags Center.

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The Eastern Iowa Outlaws are part of the new wave of roller derby.

"Back in the 70s it was more, kind of, WWF, kind of some staged roller derby," team owner and head coach Michelle "Dead Lee Danni" Miller said, who added roller derby is now making a new name for itself.

"Derby started coming back as a sport back in 2002 down in Texas. Since then, it's spread to the east cost, to the west coast - to the Midwest about the last four years," she said. "Currently, Iowa has approximately 11 teams."

Miller formed the Eastern Iowa Outlaws in February of 2010, and their first game was in October.

Teammate Kathie "Sgt. StrikeHer" Saunders said it's a great way to meet people.

"Quad cities, we've met so many people from there. Iowa City, Des Moines has two teams, Waterloo's starting a team," Saunders said. "It's really kind of cool, you meet so many more people, and - again - we know them by their derby names."

The women's derby names, such as Saunders' "Sgt. StrikeHer" and Miller's "Dead Lee Danni," are alter egos to the so-called derby girls' other lives.

"We have homemakers, we have students, we have grandmothers, we have businesswomen," Miller said.

She said roller derby is about as full-contact as a women's sport gets.

"You have to have a rough and tough side to you or at least be able to bring that to the track the day of the event," Miller said.

"Nothing to hurt anyone, physically," Saunders said, "but you don't want them getting past you, so a good hit is a good hit, you know?"

While playing roller derby may break the occasional bone, it also breaks boundaries.

"Women usually aren't allowed to play football. Women typically aren't shown or out in the public being able to...be able to do a full-contact sport," Miller said. "This is kind of the new full-contact sport for women."

Now, it's a full-contact sport available to women in the tri-states area. See the team's Website by clicking HERE or checking out the link on the left of the page.

The team practices in Monticello and has home bouts at Dubuque's Five Flags Center.

Every month, the Eastern Iowa Outlaws pick a charity or non-profit organization to sponsor. For November, the team is donating some of the proceeds from their home bouts to the Opening Doors women's shelters in Dubuque.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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