Behind the Scenes with Rubber City Rollergirls

Off the track, my name is Misty Smith, wife, mother of 2, and I work as a Medical Assistant for the last 12 years. With Rubber City Rollergirls, I’m Miss D KrippleHer #3022!  Join me behind the scenes to learn what the Rubber City Rollergirls are all about!

Who are the Rubber City Rollergirls

The Rubber City Rollergirls are a nonprofit 501(c)(3), family friendly, organization that was created in 2008. RCRG’s mission includes giving back to the community, particularly causes that affect women and children. We do this through charitable donations, fundraisers and most special to us, our “Skate for Kids” program, which provides special skating event for homeless and other at-risk children, free of charge.

Rubber City Rollergirls
Rubber City Rollergirls

This season the Rubber City Rollergirls still wanted to do more, so we are donating a percentage of proceeds, from each game to different charities. January’s game we were honored to help family’s in need at The Ronald McDonald House.  RCRG was able to provide a free night stay for all the family’s in the entire Ronald McDonald House. This past game, a percentage of proceeds will be going to Make-A-Wish Foundation. RCRG is truly a team with a heart!

Becoming a Rubber City Rollergirls Derby Girl

Becoming a derby girl…. I have to thank my “derby wife”, Valkillree, for introducing me to the idea, 3 years ago. She was wanting to try out and suggested I come with her, I went and fell in love at the first practice, watching the derby girls skating and hitting each other for a purpose sounded like a new sport I had to join. I grew up skating, so I figured this was going to be very easy to start and be good. I had no idea there would be so many rules to learn and follow. Then all the basic skills to hitting, falling, basic derby stance then strategies. It was not as easy to become an awesome derby girl quickly.

Then I realized the “idea” of roller derby that many people thinks of, such as… elbows to face or stomach, tripping, flipping girls over rails… wasn’t the “real” roller derby sport that is played today.  Most derby leagues in our area play derby on a flat track, since a bank track is very expensive and time consuming to set up and break down before and after every game and/or practice, especially if the league doesn’t have their own facility. Many people don’t realize that we are not just a group of girls that show up once a month to skate together and try to win. We are a team that is part of a league, we actually pay to play. Just like any other type of sport, there are monthly dues, attendance requirements and a handbook to be signed by every derby girl in the league.

Miss D KrippleHer #3022

Rubber City RollergirlsOne of the greatest things about becoming a derby girl has to be the derby name and number you get to come up with. I personally, wanted to make sure I came up with a derby name that was family friendly and just awesome. With help from my husband and a couple people at work, Miss D KrippleHer #3022, is who I go by on the track.

My first season, I started on the “B” team (JV), then after just a couple games, I was moved to the “A” team (Varsity), I was very excited and nervous at the same time. All I wanted to do was play and learn to become the best derby girl I could.

The second season, I was voted Captain of the “A” team and played with the “B” team when they didn’t have enough girls for the roster, I played a lot and loved it.

This season, so much has changed- all for the better, we started out with only 1 team and we all have to fight for a place on the final roster. Competition is what we all love, so it’s not easy for our coach to choose only 14 girls to place on a roster, with 2 alternates, when the league has about 20 eligible girls. With so much talent on our team, I’m very honored again this season to be voted as their captain. It’s such an amazing feeling that the team thinks of me as a good leader.

What I Love about Rubber City Rollergirls

Rubber City Rollergirls is a league of women from all walks of life, mothers, grandmothers, doctors, students, attorneys, teachers, medical assistants, photographers, supervisors, business owners, and the list goes on. All of us women, enjoy the competition, friendships and hard work that is takes to make a great derby team. Rubber City Rollergirls is like a family that consists of derby girls, coaches, volunteers and refs, we would not be able to play and keep the league running, if it wasn’t for everyone doing their role within the league.

Rubber City Rollergirls
Rubber City Rollergirls

Worst Injury from Roller Derby

Rubber City Rollergirls
Rubber City Rollergirls

Most of us derby girls get plenty of the typical scratches , floor burns, bruises, twisted ankles/wrists, aches and pains from hitting each other and falling to the ground. My worse injury happened during the very last home game of my first year. I happened to play the first game, with the “B” team, and then again with the “A” team the second game. It was only about 10 minutes in the first half, the team we were playing was pretty rough and tough. I was trying to contain/stop the opposing teams jammer, the next thing I knew I fell to my knees (improperly, of course), heard a snap. Immediately I knew I broke something. I didn’t just break a bone, I broke 2 bones, a spiral fracture in my left leg, my tibia and fibula both were broken. Surgery was done the next day, metal rod and 4 screws were placed. My first question to my surgeon was, “Will I be able to play derby again?” He sort of looked at me for a second and said, “I don’t see why not”. That’s all it took. I was only off my skates for a total of about 2 months, just in time to make attendance for our home opener for the next season.

My Biggest Supporters

My family has supported me and my crazy new love for roller derby from the very beginning. My husband, Brandon, is happy to see me doing something I enjoy. My son, Jaxon, who is almost 3 yrs old always wears his “derby T-shirt” that I made him, to our games, on the front it says, “My derby mommy and beat up your soccer mommy“, I have some friends that play soccer or that happen to be soccer moms. Then my daughter Madisyn, who is almost 15yrs, is also usually watching me at every game, and have participated is different Rubber City Rollergirls events, parades and fundraisers. My parents are also there supporting me and giving me advice at the games. And I can’t forget my wonderful sponsors, Pauline’s Place in Barberton, Couture Tattoos in Canton, and Dr. Fantelli Unity Health Network, help support the cost of being a derby girl. If it wasn’t for them, it would be very difficult and expensive, I would probably go broke. All the support that I have, from my family, friends, sponsors and even co-workers means the world to me.

Attend a Rubber City Rollergirls Event

I know there are plenty of people in our community that have hesitation on coming to a derby game, but it is truly an exciting time for children and adults. Cost to our games are also very reasonable and even cheaper if you get them prior to game day. Personally, I have not found one person that doesn’t enjoy themselves at  our games, so that has to tell you something.

Rubber City Rollergirls Schedule

Rubber City Rollergirls bout it out at John S. Knight Center

Rubber City Rollergirls

John S. Knight Center
77 E. Mill Street
Akron, OH 44308

77 E. Mill Street
Akron, OH 44308

For more details for Rubber City Rollergirls, check out our website,, or on Facebook, we have pictures, sponsorship opportunities, charity information, merchandise, ticket information and schedule details. Plus we are always looking for League Sponsors, Individual Sponsors, new derby girls, refs and volunteers so if you are interested contact us.

Miss D KrippleHer
Rubber City Rollergirls, Captain
Director of Business Development
Fundraising & Sponsorship

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*Images courtesy of Fraley Memory Productions and Bruce Gates (Read AOM review with Bruce Gates here.)

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