For potential skaters as young as four entering the sport, this is not the roller derby their grandparents grew up with.
In its former incarnation in the 1970s, roller derby resembled pro wrestling on skates, with illegal moves such as punching, biting, hair pulling, tripping and, presumedly, staged clothelines, packaged together with larger-than-life personalities bellowing into a microphone during interviews in the oval track's infield.
Today's roller derby is a sport, not a sideshow, and Maple Ridge resident Liane Bennett hopes it will be one that's inclusive for male and female players of all ages.
"There's not too many junior leagues around for the little kids," said Bennett, currently in the process of forming a new group in Maple Ridge. "If we stop with just the adults, we're going to find that derby's going to drop. It's going to disappear again like it did before. If we can get the younger generation interested and get them playing, then it'll just keep going on."
Bennett, a landscaper and mother of one son, is a former player-turned referee in the Reign Valley Vixens league.
A wonky knee turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for Bennett, who, by driving a hearse outfitted with curtains and a miniature skeleton that dangles off her rear-view mirror, lives up to her "Annie Autopsy" monicker.
A bowling accident in which she twisted her knee and tore ligaments dashed her hopes of playing - for now.
But before the post-mortem was complete, "Annie Autopsy" re-invented herself and subsequently resurrected her roller derby avocation by becoming an official.
Moving forward, Bennett hopes this new league will get rolling this summer.
The Ridge Meadows Roller Derby League is a not-for-profit sports league, with the goal of teaching players from four years old and up the rules and nuances of the sport.
The goal of each team is to move its "jammer" through the opposing team's pack (blockers) to score points.
Defenders are permitted to use their hips and upper arms to prevent the "jammer" from sifting past them.
Parents worried their children will be splayed around the arena like downed dominos, clutching broken wrists or ankles, can rest assured that contact is minor, at most. Knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, helmets, and mouth guards are mandatory.
"We're still trying to work through the fine lines, but we just want to basically teach them the rules of the game, how to play it, and just no heavy hitting," she said with a laugh. "The kids are basically going to be skating around and playing the game like the adults would. It's about trying to get your skater through the pack, and keep a good distance... we'll be gentle!"
The league includes a Level 2 roller skating coach who will teach beginners how to stay upright on eight wheels on a flat track. As well, veteran skaters and experienced referees will offer their expertise to those unfamiliar with the old-fashioned quad skates. Today's inline rollerblades are permitted for training purposes, but for bouts (matches), players must wear quad skates only.
The league also welcomes adults, and there is no age limit to who can play.
An information and registration day will be held Saturday, July 9 at Ruskin Hall, located on the corner of 96th Avenue and 284th Street from noon to 3 p.m.
Registration packages are ready for boys and girls, men and women interested in signing up.
"It'll be for guys and girls; it'll be co-ed," Bennett said.
Buoyed by the knowledge there are more than 40 junior leagues scattered around the US, Bennett believes her new league will take wing.
She added, "Guys leagues are starting to pick up. There's one in Langley, they're called The Murder, and I think they're the only ones in B.C. right now. I'm hoping to give them a team they can play against and maybe we can build something."
Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m., a few players gather at Maple Ridge Secondary at the lacrosse box for an outdoor practice. When the league starts, Bennett hopes to find a venue somewhere in Maple Ridge. Presently, she is also looking for sponsors.
Bennett is slowly on the mend, and hopes to return soon.
"It's getting close," she said. "You might see me out there next year."
For more on the new league, email firstname.lastname@example.org.