COLUMBIA — Columbia is home to a variety of alternative sports teams. Three of the most popular options include roller derby, bike polo and disc golf.
Here's a rundown:
Roller Derby: CoMo Derby Dames
The CoMo Derby Dames is flat-track roller derby league with two regular teams, the Brass Knuckle Betties and the Astronaughties.
There is also a mixed travel team, which competes in other cities and states against other flat derby teams. According to their website, their mission is to support female empowerment and promote the popularity of roller derby as one of the few women's contact sports.
For those interested, a "Future Dames: Beginners practice" is held every Monday night from 9 to 11 p.m. at Empire Roller Rink. This gives newcomers an opportunity to test out the sport and learn the basics in a safe, fun, non-competitive environment. Registration is not necessary.
First-time participants are instructed to wear comfortable workout clothing, and to bring a boilable mouthguard. There is a $5 fee, which covers skate rentals. Protective padding is available to borrow for those without their own.
Endurance practices are held every Thursday evening from 8 to 10. A weekly scrimmage is held every Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Fundraisers and official bouts are scheduled on an individual basis. A calendar can be found on the official website. For up-to-date information and commentary follow the Derby Dames on twitter @comoderbydames.
Bike Polo: CoMo Polo
CoMo Polo is a tight-knit co-ed group, brought together by a shared love of bike polo, which is similar to traditional polo except bicycles are used instead of horses.
Each team has three people, who use home-made mallets to hit rubber balls into small goals on either end of the field of play. All players are required to keep their feet off the ground at all times.
Pick-up games are usually played to five points, while tournament-style games are timed.
Since the club's start in 2008, it has grown to host both a men's and a women's team, which travel to other cities and states to compete against national and international teams.
In Columbia, pick-up polo games are held every Wednesday night at "7:15ish p.m." on the roof of the Hitt Street parking garage, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Cosmo Park.
Disc Golf: Columbia Disc Golf Club
Founded in 1983, the Columbia Disc Golf League is made up of teams of golfers on all levels. There are professional and amateur leagues for both men and women, as well as events for those who prefer playing singles matches.
The club sponsors competitive events throughout the year, including summer and winter leagues. It are well-known for the Ice Bowl event, held annually, typically in late January. A complete schedule of events, competitions, and club meetings can be found on their official website.