Roller Derby girls will wheel into Covelli Centre this season

Youngstown’s girls roller- derby team will realize its dream this season by adopting Covelli Centre as its home.

The Little Steel Derby Girls will have four bouts this spring and summer at the downtown arena, marking the squad’s ascent to the Valley’s biggest indoor venue.

It’s also a milestone that reflects the quality of the team, both on and off the track.

Playing at Covelli has been the goal of Little Steel ever since the team was founded in 2008. But the girls didn’t want to make the leap until they were good enough.

So for its first three years, the team played at Youngstown Skate roller rink while it gained experience and built a fan base.

For its May 19 home opener, Little Steel will split into two squads — the Lawless Rollers and Yo Drama — and play a doubleheader against the Lansing (Mich.) Derby Vixens and the Central Ohio Roller Dolls.

The rest of the season at the Covelli Centre looks like this:

June 30: Ruckus in the Rust Belt tournament.

July 28: Lawless Rollers vs. Ohio Roller Girls, and Yo Drama vs. Sandusky Roller Girls.

Aug. 25: Lawless Rollers vs. Naptown Roller Girls, and Yo Drama vs. Morgantown Roller Vixens.

All games start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Covelli box office and at Children under 10 get in free.

Little Steel Derby Girls play flat-track derby, according to team president Tifany Griffith, who says the sport is family-friendly.

For the uninitiated, here’s how the game works:

Five girls from each team are on the track during play: four blockers and a jammer. Points are scored by getting the jammer through the pack — one point for passing each opposing player. It gets physical — players get knocked down as they race around the circular track.

Scoring is limited to 2-minute periods before teams replace players. Each bout is divided into two 30-minute halves.


The Morley Arts Building — home of Ballet Western Reserve and the Oakland Center for the Arts — will open its doors Saturday for Building Art 3, its annual fundraiser.

Admission is $25 ($15 for seniors and students), and proceeds will pay for repairs and renovations to the building at 218 W. Boardman St. in downtown Youngstown. For reservations, call 330-744-1934.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will include prizes, food provided by downtown restaurants, drinks and live entertainment.

Guests will be guided through the building’s five studios and its theater for a series of mini-performances.

“If people want to see the culture and talent we have in this city, then this is the event to go to,” said Virginia Hartman, director of BWR. Dance, music, theater, singing and visual arts will be highlighted.

Each mini-performance will be presented twice in the evening, so guests can decide what they want to see and when they want to see it. Seating will be offered for all performances.

Also, about 30 pieces of art provided by Daniel Rauschenbach will be on display.

Here is the performance schedule:

7:20 p.m.: “Moving Through,” a ballet piece by Hartman featuring BWR dancers accompanied by Michael Gelfant, principal cellist of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

7:50 p.m.: Musical-theater professionals Liz Rubino and James McClellan perform.

7:30 until 9:45 p.m.: The Dubiel Quartet performs several times on the second floor.

9 p.m.: “Moving Through” by BWR.

9:30 p.m.: Rubino and McClellan.

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