Montreal hosted a women’s international roller derby tournament this weekend at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau.

The tournament was organized by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), a leading organization in international roller derby.

The weekend saw teams from as far as Australia, England, and Finland compete, making it the tournament with the most international guests on the circuit.

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    The Montreal tournament is a qualifier for the finals to be held later this year.

    According to event organizer Plastik Patrick, roller derby in Montreal is a popular sport but is struggling to find its place in the mainstream.

    “Montreal Roller Derby has been a really popular league in the derby world,” Patrick said. “I think the sport has really grown. It’s become like a professional sport. It needs to find its audience.”

    “Roller derby is more than a game of pummeling your opponent to the ground,” said Jessica Paternostro of the Montreal New Skids on the Block, who were competing for a third place at the tournament.

    “I would call it a very physical game of chess,” Paternostro said. “[In] chess you need a lot of strategy which I feel you need in roller derby because you’re playing offense and defense basically at the same time but it’s also physical because you’re using your own body to get the points.”

    The next Canadian stop on the WFTDA tour will be Vancouver on September 16-18.