Sense of community in roller derby

Mina Woo, Incheol Jang, Guangzhou Chen, Toni Liechty, Andrew Kerins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sport can provide an important vehicle for experiencing a sense of community (SOC), however, limited research has explored SOC among players within non-mainstream sport contexts, such as roller derby. This study explored roller derby skaters’ experiences of SOC. Ten female roller derby players aged 25 to 57 completed photo elicitation interviews, which were analyzed thematically. Findings indicated that the accepting atmosphere and symbols enhanced a sense of membership and belonging. The self-governing nature of roller derby enabled players to exert influence on teams and leagues. As players provided emotional support for each other and engaged in competition, they experienced the fulfillment of needs. Through meaningful moments, players shared emotions and built connections, which developed SOC within the team and the sport. Findings are discussed in light of SOC theory as well as Sense of Community in Sport (SCS) theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jan 30 2024


  • Photo elicitation
  • roller derby
  • sense of community
  • women’s sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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