To Have And To Hold: What exactly is a derby wife?

Being assigned a big sister when I joined roller derby seemed to make perfect sense.

My big sister was the person that showed me the ropes, paired up with me for drills, sent me encouraging words and so on. Then another term was thrown at me-derby wife. Derby wife?

What’s a derby wife?

Let me tell you…

Bobbi Pin & Annie Anthrax



1) You knew who she was almost from the start. It was a look, an understanding and a connection. For me, it was comfort with one and that deep rooted connection with the other. Oh yeah, I have two wonderful derby wives. Most of my teammates do as well.



Chrissy Calamity & Sonic the Trackhog

2.) Your derby wife(s) is the person that knows the “I need a drink” look and insists on taking you to the bar for an after practice beer. The things you discuss over that beer are sacred and not to be repeated. Here’s the deal, an after practice beer usually means you need to blow off some steam. This steam usually involves a teammate or perhaps multipleteammates. It’s the time where it’s safe to call so-and-so a bitch, get the grudge off your chest and move on. The next time you see the “bitch,” I can guarantee all is well and you’ll smile like nothing happened. Sure, you can vent to anyone, but with a derby wife, no one else will know, it won’t get blown out of proportion, it won’t cause a rift on the team, no one will get mad at you, etc. And your wife understands that tonight so-and-so is a bitch but tomorrow she’s your teammate and friend.


Shrewd & Richie (photo by Matt Ruddick)


3.) She’s your voice of reason. My derby wives always have my back. I am confident in knowing that. I also know that they will be the first people to tell me when I am wrong and out of line.


JJ & Tiffany




4.) She’s the one person your spouse is not allowed to be jealous of. It’s an understanding.


Elizabeth Tailher & Alotta Pushie


5.) She’s knows when you’ve had enough at the after party. She will hold your hair back when you finally realize you’ve had enough. She makes sure you get home safe and checks on you the next day. (She will probably make fun of your hangover or groan in unison with you.)


SLAMbot & Breckin U. Down



6.) She knows enough about you medically that in the case of a trip to the hospital, you won’t be given sulfa based meds. She knows any major medical conditions. She has your partner’s number and relays all the necessary information. She keeps the team in the know. She doesn’t leave your side.


Juke Skyblocker & DG OZsome




7.) She celebrates your accomplishments, both derby and life related, and picks you up when needed.


Slipper E. Noodle & Anvil SmasHerNasty



8.) She becomes your best friend off the track.



A derby wife means different things to different women. My wives are my very best friends.

How did you find your derby wife?

“Mine is kinda weird. Me Slam and Mary were a threesome marriage and bflat is my mistress/wife on the side. Good thing I’m a one man woman and like boys or my personal life could be messy if it followed my derby life. Anyway me and slam were broken wrist twins and she is a totally amazing person!” -Breckin U. Down

“I knew who my wife was when she yelled at me for not telling her about some health issues I had. I just knew then.” -Slipper E. Noodle

“It’s weird. I have my wives, Juke and DG. I love them. And I have a derby soul mate, that is no longer with us.” -Betty Fhite

Betty Fhite & Jane Damage


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