These Sisters Can Skate

by Olivia Ligman

What sport requires the players to wear knee pads, wrist guards, helmets and … roller skates? It’s Roller Derby.

Roller Derby is one of the roughest and toughest competitive team sports out there, and it’s closer to home than you might think. Central Wisconsin can proudly say that it hosts it own Roller Derby Team. The Mid-State Sisters of Skate (MSSOS) have their home rink in Arnott, and have enjoyed use of that space since the team was founded in the Summer of 2010.

However, they are currently looking for a Winter practice space, as the Arnott rink is not available for use in Winter and the Waupaca rink is on ice for the Hockey season. Hockey players usually do make for good Roller Derby members, (and vice versa) but, unfortunately, you can’t roller skate on ice and you can’t ice skate on a dry rink (without probably seriously injuring yourself, at least).

The MSSOS are a team of all kinds of women, from nurses to teachers, business owners to college students. And that’s one of the factors that makes Roller Derby so appealing to many women. Anyone can be involved in Roller Derby, regardless of lifestyle or differences. They can all come together to participate in a fast-paced and thrilling contact team sport.

The Sisters are currently recruiting for the upcoming season and are always welcoming new skaters. They offer to teach new members how to skate if they don’t already know how, and welcome any experience level; anyone from ex-hockey skaters to someone who has never skated in their life can give Roller Derby a shot.

The Sisters also often give back to the community. They donate a portion of all their bout proceeds to local non-profit organizations, including the Portage County Humane Society and the Wisconsin Special Olympics. Community events are often attended by the team as well, like Trivia Unplugged, which is coming up on October 23.

The team members also get to have a lot of fun. For example, not only do they get to be rough and rowdy in the rink; they also get to choose a rink name. Some of the current rink names are: Lolly PopYa, the Euthanizer, and Alba Quirky. Along with these fun names, there is always the sense of belonging that inevitably comes with being part of a team. These women practice, compete, learn, and grow as a team, together.

Of course, there are also the officials, volunteers, and sponsors that have helped make and continue to make this team what it is today, and hopefully continue to be for a long time to come. Anita Bandaid and Vomit Comet are the Sister’s officials and there are numerous volunteers that support the team, most notably Bob and Barb McDonald.

These Sisters of Skate are certainly an amazing group of people and a force to be reckoned with on the rink. For more information you can check out their website at

Pictures are courtesy of the MSSOS.

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