History of ADRD

Adelaide Roller Derby was formed in 2007 by a small group of women passionate about roller skating and community.
In February 2008, ADRD hosted the first interstate roller derby bout in Australia, Skate of Origin. Played against the Victorian Roller Derby League, this bout attracted over 1400 people and gave Adelaide its first taste of roller derby... and it kept coming back for more!

Playing host to the Sydney City “Assassins” and the Northern Brisbane “Brawl Stars”, the Adeladies split into two teams for this event: Phantoms and Tornados. Both Adelaide teams were victorious; however, the real reward was the chance to play and party with our interstate derby sisters.

In 2010, ADRD’s home season grew even bigger with the addition of a fourth team - a gang of ghoulish femme fatales who call themselves the Wild Hearses. They raised hell on the track, but were defeated in the grand final - an epic sellout double-header - by those feisty gals of the highway, the Road Train Rollers.

In 2010 ADRD also made history by hosting the Great Southern Slam - the biggest roller derby tournament ever held outside of America. Around 500 roller girls from all over Australia and New Zealand gathered over three days to knock skates and party hard. All of our girls and even some of the refs dressed up and faced off in challenge bouts, while the Adeladies did us proud in the tournament itself, coming third overall.

ADRD launched its inaugural season in July 2008, contested by two teams: the Mile Die Club and the Salty Dolls. The nautical lovelies of the Salty Dolls emerged from three hard-fought bouts as the undefeated champions. Undeterred, MDC partied like winners.

In 2009, the league continued to grow, introducing an army of new skaters as well as a brand spanking new team: the Road Train Rollers. All teams did themselves proud on the track, however the heavenly hosties of the Mile Die Club took out the season undefeated, thus rightly claiming 2009 as Year of the Leopard.

In addition to the thrills of the domestic season, the Adeladies and an army of their most fervent supporters travelled to Melbourne in August 2009 to once again challenge VRDL, for Skate of Origin 2. In an emotionally charged contest that saw the two teams neck and neck for the duration of the game, Adelaide emerged victorious after two gut-wrenching overtime jams.
ADRD finished 2009 with a bang, holding its first interstate double-header in late September, Skate of Emergency.

The home season of 2011 saw the Salty Dolls once again take out the Grand Final, in an undefeated season. Once the home season had wrapped up, the Adeladies travelled three times in quick succession, taking a selection of ADRD refs with them, to play away bouts against Perth Roller Derby, Newcastle Roller Derby League, and Pirate City Rollers in Auckland, New Zealand. The Adeladies returned victorious three times, much to the delight of the whole league, both those who anxiously watched via textcast and Twitter feeds, and those who travelled along as supporters.

In June 2012, ADRD once again hosted the Great Southern Slam, only this time it was even bigger. Eighteen tournament teams competed for the Golden Thong and a total of around 45 leagues participated in the event, with many not in the tournament bracket skating in match-up bouts or themed challenge bouts, or helping officiate, as five tracks of roller derby ran across a three day event. TGSS 2012 was a huge success, once more uniting the Australia-New Zealand region’s ever-growing derby family. The Adeladies again made the league proud, coming in fourth in the tournament.

From humble beginnings not so very many years ago, ADRD has grown into a large and successful league; however, our focus remains the same: the promotion of flat-track roller derby within a nurturing community environment and—most importantly—to always have as much roller derby fun as possible!