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a roller derby participantLADIES: ROLL UP your fishnet stockings, hike up your skirt, bare your tattoo and lace up your roller skates—the Derby Dolls are hell-bent on making women’s professional roller derby a reality in San Diego. An offshoot of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls, the team’s 40 members strive to be “the fastest, most fearless ladies outfitted in fishnets.”

More striking than the Dolls’ uniform —described by member Erin Shems, a.k.a. Lizzie Thrasher, as “kinda punk, kinda rockabilly, kinda burlesque”—is the gutsy athleticism on display at any team practice or bout. Made up of professionals and moms in their late 20s to mid-30s, the team practices twice a week at Skateworld in Linda Vista. The 2007 season opens March 31 (bouts are also held at Skateworld).

“I love skating with such a talented group of women and playing this aggressive sport—it’s not your ‘normal’ woman’s sport,” says Shems. “You have a smile on your face the whole time you’re getting hit.”

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