February 3, 2010
NOTE: So here is my preview on the Wild West Showdown, which ran last week in Thee Kitsap Smokestack. Since it came out, I figured I’d post it here too. Enjoy!
For a weekend in February, Bremerton, Wash., will become the center of the roller derby universe, as more than 20 teams from around the country converge on Kitsap County.
From national powerhouse the Philly Roller Girls, to the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association National Champion Oly Rollers, derby’s upper echelons will be battling it out in three days of knock-down, drag-out roller derby mayhem at the Wild West Showdown, hosted by Kitsap’s own Slaughter County Roller Vixens.
“We’re totally excited,” Slaughter County’s Kitten with a Whip, one of the tournament organizers, said. “We met with the (Kitsap County) Fairgrounds and they’re excited for it. We’re excited to see some of the teams we never thought we would and to have the opportunity to play some of those teams.”
The tournament, which kicks off Friday, Feb. 26 with Slaughter County’s All-Stars battling Central Coast Roller Derby (Paso Robles, Calif.) and concludes Sunday, Feb. 28 with Everett’s Jet City Bombers taking on Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby (Honolulu), will bring together derby powers from around the country, but primarily teams in WFTDA’s Western Region. The region proved to be the best in the country last year, with the Oly Rollers toppling the legendary Texas Rollergirls’ Texecutioners, while fellow Western Regioners the Denver Roller Dolls and Rocky Mountain Roller Girls placed third and fourth respectively. Rocky Mountain (Denver) will also make the trip, as will fellow Colorado natives the Pikes Peak Derby Dames.
Overall, the tournament features seven of the nation’s top 16-ranked teams.
Also slated to attend the tournament are Pacific Northwest powers Rose City Rollers’ Wheels of Justice (Portland, Ore.) and the Rat City Roller Girls of Seattle. The Bellingham Roller Betties round out Washington’s players, while Oregon’s representatives are strengthen by the Lava City Roller Dolls (Bend, Ore.) and the Emerald City Roller Girls (Eugene, Ore.). Making the trip up from California are San Francisco’s Bay Area Derby Girls and Sacramento’s Sacred City Derby Girls, while the Sin City Rollergirls hail from Las Vegas.
Two more tournament contenders come from a little farther into the desert: Tucson Roller Derby and Arizona Roller Derby (Phoenix). New Mexico’s Duke City Derby also returns to the northwest.
So just how did Bremerton get selected to host the first major WFTDA-sanctioned event of 2010?
“Rat City had kind of mentioned the idea to us,” Kitten said. “And we were the one team that had the venue to support that (kind of tournament).”
The more the team thought about it, hosting the event became a no-brainer.
“We realized, ‘Wow, we’ve got this venue, so why don’t we host it?” she said.
Getting approval from WFTDA to hold sanctioned bouts was a must for Slaughter County.
“We wanted to make it so if they were going to take the time, that they were sanctioned,” Kitten said. “And that we had enough bouts.”
After finalizing the sanctioned bouts with WFTDA, a two-month process thanks to the national tournament coinciding, the focus turned towards the myriad non-WFTDA leagues in the Pacific Northwest. That led to securing the Fairgrounds’ President’s Hall for challenge bouts.
“This way everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this derby weekend,” Kitten said.
Tickets for the tournament are currently available and are sure to go fast as derby girls and fans from around the country are already buzzing about the competition. Tickets are $15 for Friday and $25 each for Saturday and Sunday. Three-day tickets are $55. They can be purchased online in advance through BrownPaperTickets. The tournament will take place at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion, as well as another of the President’s Hall. A variety of vendors and food will also be available. More teams could be added as well, as registration was slated through the end of January.
In addition to the sanctioned tournament, the challenge bouts will simultaneously be taking place, featuring skaters and teams from around the western U.S., as well as themed bouts and co-ed bouts.
As comes with any derby bout, there’s always an afterparty. But unlike normal (read=stellar) afterparties, this tournament has the potential to be among the mothers of all afterparties. Consider this: If an afterparty is as fun as they normally are, and that’s with two to four teams, imagine what happens when more than 20 teams of derby girls descend on Bremerton. In short, it will be out of control and amazingly fun. Slaughter County has already made preparations to ensure such an end.
The three days will split bar duties between the 19th Hole and the Horse and Cow, both in neighboring Silverdale, and at Romeo’s in Bremerton. Check the tournament program for specifics on which bars are hosting the afterparty which nights. But fear not about driving. The league is running shuttles from the hotels, the pavilion, the afterparty locations and back again all weekend long.
“I’m just excited to see that many derby girls under one roof in my own town, “ Kitten said.
Now that you know a little more about the tournament itself, take a minute to get to know some of nation’s elite squads (in no particular order):
The Philly Roller Girls have long been considered one of the nation’s top five teams, a fact further proven in hosting the national tournament last year. And while they may not have had the showing many thought, falling to 128-121 to Cinderella’s Rocky Mountain, they twice defeated New York’s Gotham Roller Girls, 2008’s national champs, last season. The Liberty Belles and skaters like Robin Drugstores, Gloria Grindem and Teflon Donna will be eager to show that they still deserve to be considered among WFTDA’s elite. On day two, they’ll bout the Oly Rollers in what is arguably the tournament’s top bout. Philly is ranked No. 6 in the country by the Derby News Network and are ranked No. 2 in the East Region by WFTDA.
No one gave Olympia’s Oly Rollers much credit as a derby team in 2009, as it paid of big time. The Cosa Nostra Donnas stepped up to every challenge they faced last season, resulting ultimately in hoisting The Hydra, WFTDA’s championship trophy. Loaded with talent and speed, including national speedskaters like Atomatrix, Sassy, Tannibal Lector and Heffer, named MVP of last year’s nationals, Oly proved they have what it takes to challenge the nation’s best, beating Gotham, Texas and Denver en route to the crown. Their opening-round battle with Rose City is sure to be one of the Wild West Showdown’s gems. Oly enters 2010 as DNN’s No. 1 team nationally. WFTDA also has them slated as No. 1 in the West.
Rocky Mountain were one of the national scene’s Cinderella stories a season ago, beginning when former Pike’s Peak trio Deranged, Psycho Babble and Ecko Girl joined the squad prior to the 2009 WFTDA Western Regional tournament, strengthening a team that already included skaters like Whipity Pow and Frida Beater. They ended up thumping Tucson, Rose City and Denver before running into Oly, ultimately preceding a fourth-place finish at nationals. While their first bout will be against Bellingham Saturday, in will be Sunday’s bout with Bay Area that fans will be waiting for. DNN ranks Rocky Mountain No. 5 in the nation, while WFTDA slates them at No. 3 in the West.
Rose City was disappointed in their 2009 finish, falling to seventh place at the Western Regional a year after co-hosting the national tournament with Rat City in Portland. But with a strengthened Wheels of Justice roster including Blood Clottia, Hurricane Skatrina, Napalm Beth, Mercyful Kate, Miss Mel Mangles and a number of equally talented skaters, Rose City will want to use this tournament to prove they belong in the national discussion. In their opener Friday against Oly, they’ll get a rematch of last year’s 157-151 loss to Oly that kick-started the Oly Rollers rise to prominence. But that’s just the first of many challenges, as they have arguably the toughest slate at the Showdown, also battling Bay Area and Philly before the weekend is over. Rose City is ranked No. 8 by DNN entering 2010, while WFTDA puts them in at No. 5 in the West Region.
Becoming a WFTDA-sanctioned league a year ago (and debuting against the Oly Rollers), Slaughter County has wasted no time showing they belong, ultimately proven in hosting this year’s Wild West Showdown. And while they’ll have their hands full in opponents Central Coast and Tucson, it’s a great opportunity to show where they are against squads outside the Northwest. And with skaters like On’Da Sligh, Brawlyanna, Rollin’ Dirty, Anna Barbera and more, they have the size and speed to pack a serious punch. And, with home-field advantage, the Kitsap derby faithful should be on hand to catch SCRV in what amounts to two of their biggest bouts to date. WFTDA has Slaughter County ranked 13th in the West Region.
In all honesty, not much by way of their results exists online, so its tough to say exactly what Slaughter County will be up against. But judging by their 2010 schedule (which includes bouts against fellow Showdown participants Sacred City and Emerald City as well as Los Angeles’ Angel City Derby Girls), they’re up for the challenge (they also bouted Bay Area last year).
Rat City sprung onto the national scene in 2007 and 2007 by twice finishing second at the national championships. They just missed out on a tourney appearance last year, placing fourth at the Western Regional, beating Bay Area before falling to both Oly and Denver. But veteran forces like Carmen Getsome, Billie Boilermaker, Re-Animate-Her, Anya Heels and a host of other Northwest derby household names are going to among the Showdown’s most battled-tested teams. While they host Tucson on Friday, a Sudnay bout with Philly will be another of the tournament’s most touted bouts. WFTDA ranks Rat City as No. 4 in the West, while DNN has Rat City ranked ninth in the nation.
Tucson had perhaps the toughest opening bout of anyone at last year’s regional tournament, taking on Rocky Mountain, seeded prior to its aforementioned additions. But despite losing to both Rocky Mountain and Duke City, Tucson rebounded with a one-sided 185-91 doubling-up of Pikes Peak to finish ninth. They did finish second place at the Western Regionals in 2007 however to earn a berth at nationals. Skaters like Whiskey Mick and Sassy Sue were among the league’s founding members in 2003, joining up with Arizona and the Texas Rollergirls to host the first modern inter-state bout in 2004. Current skaters like Deadlock Doe Holliday and Helen Wheels only enhance their ability to ad to their history. After Rat City on Friday, they’ll battle hosts Slaughter County Saturday. Tucson is ranked No. 9 in the West by WFTDA.
Making the trip up from Eugene, Ore., Emerald City is quite familiar with a number of the teams at the Wild West Showdown. This should only help the Emerald City Skatesaphrenics as they prepare to take on Central Coast and Bellingham at the Showdown. Bellingham topped Emerald City at Knocktoberfest last October (a tournament hosted by the Rainy City Roller Dolls in Centralia) 84-76 in the 30-minute bout, eventually taking third place by beating SCRV’s Death Rattle Rollers. Skaters like Ambrusia and Surly Q, along with Rocka Rolla, Rex Havoc, Pow Wow and more, will be eager to avenge last season’s loss to the Betties.
Arizona Roller Derby is another that helped usher in the new wave of the sport, also forming in 2003. And while AZRD had a tough go last season, it was against some top-flight competition, falling to teams like Pikes Peak and Angel City. However, they beat Sin City last season 95-82, so you know skaters like Rayna Rage, Deez Nutz and Gratuitous Violet can hang with the Showdown pack, especially considering their first tourney bout is going to be again Sin City. They’ll battle Lava City on Sunday. Arizona is ranked No. 12 in the West by WFTDA.
Sin City has had a rough go in WFTDA-sanctioned bouts, having gone on a 10-game skid since 2007 in such battles. But having lost several of those battles narrowly, like against Arizona last year, they’ll be eager to test their mettle with some strong new additions alongside some of their vets. And while their all-star roster isn’t yet announced, you can bet they’ll be motivated, with Arizona their first bout at the Wild West Showdown. Following that, they’ll face Hawaii Pacific on Sunday. WFTDA has Sin City checking in at No. 15 in the West Region rankings.
Making the trip up from New Mexico (their skater base is largely from Albuquerque and Santa Fe), Duke City was one of 2008’s top stories, earning a trip to nationals after a huge regional victory over then-reigning national champs Kansas City. Led by Kamikaze Kim, the Munecas Muertas feature a number of talented skaters, including Muffin, Miss E. Vil and Amanda Jammitinya. They’ll battle Jet City in their first bout, which should be interesting, as Duke narrowly lost to a Rose City Axles of Annihilation team that Jet City just topped. They’ll also do battle with Sacred City, with both those bouts slated for Saturday. They finished 2009 ranked 16th after falling to Oly, beating Tucson and eventually falling 105-103 to Bay Area to finish sixth at regionals last year. WFTDA places Duke City at No. 7 in the West.
Everett’s Jet City Bombers are another team eager to improve on a strong 2009 finish. Hungry for a regional berth, the Bombers will look to use this tournament as a benchmark on the path to meeting that end. In addition to opening against Duke City, they’ll also battle Hawaii Pacific. Jet City will rely on skaters like Precious N Metal, Connie Torturous, Molly Python and Mona Agony, among others, especially since they’ll be without Re-Animate-Her, who now skates with Rat City. As stated above, they take a big win against Rose City’s AoA as momentum into the coming season.
San Francisco’s B.A.D. Girls were right there with Rat City and Rose City as nationals hopefuls from a year ago, but like their counterparts, fell just short. But also like the others, they had much to be happy with from their regional showing. Bay Area lost a tough fight with Rat City before topping Pikes Peak. They then beat out Duke City for fifth at the tourney and finished 2009 ranked 15th by DNN. Skaters like Taxi Scab, Demanda Riot, Sassy Slayer and Co. are another that hope to get a jump start on 2010 at the Wild West Showdown. After opening against Hawaii Pacific then Rose on Saturday, then get a battle with Rocky Mountain Sunday that should be another Showdown highlight. BAD is No. 6 in the West according to WFTDA.
The Bellingham Roller Betties may be one of the tournaments more underrated teams. While they may not pack the big national-level wins of some of their WFTDA competitors, the Betties have some serious talent in the form of skaters like Chaos Fury, Walker Texas Mangle’her, Beretta Garbo, Helen Damnation, Tulla Jit and many more. As previously stated, they beat Emerald City last October, and will use that as motivation in facing Rocky Mountain on Saturday, their toughest bout at the Showdown, before rematching Emerald City Sunday.
The Hawaii Pacific league has been one growing since splitting from the Honolulu Derby Girls in 2008. After growing enough to sport two homes teams and an all-star team, they’re ready to start challenging their mainland derby sisters. They hosted the San Diego Derby Dames (and fell 108-81) last year, proving they can battle with solid teams. They’ll get another chance to prove that at the Showdown, as they battle Bay Area, Jet City and Sin City in three bouts that should give them a good read on where there are beginning 2010.
Skating out of Bend, Ore., Lava City is another that has familiarity with teams like Emerald City and Rose City thanks to their geography. Last year, Lava City’s Cinder Kittens just fell to Slaughter County 59-56 at the Atomic Rollergirls-hosted D-Day in the Desert tourney. Unfortunately, their next bout wasn’t as close, with Atomic getting its first ever win at Lava’s expense (however, it wasn’t all-star teams). That said, they should be another that teams would be wise not to overlook. They also have an uphill battle at the Showdown, facing Pikes Peak Saturday and Arizona on Sunday.
Just as Colorado Springs’ Pikes Peak seemed to be gaining momentum nationally, Pikes saw three of their biggest names transfer to Rocky Mountain. But teams at the Showdown can’t overlook Pikes skaters like Kamilla BloodSpilla, Fanny Fister, Hawaiian Punch and Count Smacula. And while a big prospective bout against Rocky Mountain won’t be happening, Pikes will still have its hands full with Lava City Saturday and Sacred City Sunday. WFTDA ranks Pikes Peak No. 10 in the West Region.
Sacramento’s Sacred City Sacrificers may be last here, but they’ll certainly be among the pack. In addition to the Showdown, where they’ll take on Duke City Saturday and Pikes Peak Sunday, they’ll take on teams like Bay Area and Angel City in 2010. Another squad the opposition would be wise not to underestimate, the Sacrificers are a scrappy squad that will fight until the final whistle. WFTDA ranks Sacred City No. 11 in the West.
September 7, 2009
I had never seen the Oly Rollers lose.
Not the Cosa Nostra Donnas. Not the Prima Donnas.
I’ve seen them skate against several different teams and skill levels.
But until Saturday night, I’d never seen an Oly team on the wrong end of the score board after 60 minutes of flat-track action.
But thanks to Rat City’s Reign of Terror, that all changed.
Skating at home at Skateland in Olympia, the Primas included usual Cosa’s Mary Stoppins, Intended Anger, Trickk Tracy, Foxy Blocker and Wax Job, presumably as another opportunity to get ready as Oly, ranked No. 1 in the Western Region, prepares for the WFTDA Regional Tournament Oct. 2-4 in Denver.
But with Reign of Terror full of talent as well, it was up to either team to set the tone early. Unfortunately for the Primas, that team was Rat City.
The tone was set early as Rat City’s Rebel Belle lined up against Mary Stoppins, one of Oly’s top jamming threats. But when the whistle sounded signaling the end of the first jam, it was 5-0 Rat City. Before tonight, I’d yet to see Mary Stoppins shut out. Little did I know that Rat City would shut out Oly jammers in five of the first six jams, allowing Rebel, Sister Piston, Riot Act, Ima Handful, Eddie Shredder and Deadly Aim to open a 27-4 lead. Stoppins was shut out in her first four jams.
It seemed like every time the Primas began to mount an assault, Rat City at least clung to their heals. For example, in three straight jams Oly was able to post four points in each. In two of those jams, Rat City kept nibbling away, adding two points in each. Then Skate Trooper opened up for 13 for Rat, setting the Seattle-based skaters out front 44-16.
Oly was getting strong blocking on the night from Trickk Tracy, Lil Bit Naughty, Halle Scary, Betty Blockade and Co., but the Reign of Terror seemed to constantly find a way through.
For example, with Sister Piston jamming for Rat, Lil Bit Naughty and Trickk were sitting on Piston big time, frustrating her as the jam wore on past the minute mark. But sure enough, a huge block by Skate Trooper freed up Piston after an otherwise stellar blocking effort, allowing the jammer to scoop up three more points when it appeared a big zero was on the way.
Penalties didn’t help either, as Oly, which as a team skated as clean as I’d ever seen them, suffered many a trip tot he sin bin for the jammer, best illustrated by Intended Anger, who at one point in the first half was the jammer in four consecutive jams, thanks to starting in the box for three. That afforded the Reign of Terror another 18-2 run to go up 65-23. The run did have one casualty for Rat however, as one of my fav Rat City blockers Clobberin’ Mame had to leave the game with an injury. I couldn’t tell what had happened or exactly where she was hurt, so I don’t what to speculate as to how. But I certainly do want to say I hope you’re all right Mame!
The Primas mounted a nice run at the end of the first half to close the gap. In fact, the Primas scored 23 points in those four jams, collecting two scoring passes from each from Mary Stoppins and Foxy Blocker. Had it not been for a 12-point jam by Deadly Aim, Rat would have been shut out in all four of the final jams of the first half. Still, the Primas closed the gap to 77-46 at the half, which, as anyone familiar with derby knows, is anything but a safe lead.
Halftime was pretty fun for multiple reasons as well. Featuring a merby scrimmage with members of Puget Sound Outcast Derby, the fellas put on a crowd-pleasing show as Team Hollywood Chuck Bury battled Team Quadzilla. Really, the scrimmage became more of a one-ups-manship contest between Chuck and Quad, but that doesn’t mean it was any less crowd pleasing. For example, early on, Quad took a spill in front of Chuck, forcing Hollywood to take to the air to leap over Quadzilla. Later, Hollywood got the best of Quazilla for points, but Quadzilla, not one to leave the last laugh hanging, performed one of the slickest derby moves seen yet…the in-motion pantsing! All joking aside, the fellas put on a great show yet again.
But perhaps the best part of this halftime was the debut of Referee Crack Attack! In donning the stripes for the first time, Crack Attack joins her father, Papa Crack, as one of the only father-daughter reffing tandems! Normally a highly skilled Rainy City blocker, we gave a loud cheer when she was able to send Chuck to the box late! Nice job (and happy birthday!!!) Crack Attack!
Unfortunately for Oly, the second half started much like the first, with Rat City opening play on a 36-9 run to go up 113-55, a lead they’d never surrender from the bout’s opening whistle. Ima Handful capped the nice run for Rat with a 15-point jam (her second 15-pointer on the night).
Nothing settled well for the Primas early. Trying to get a jump start on the second half, the Primas turned to Stoppins yet again. Somehow, Mary lost her jammer pantie and didn’t realize it until she tried unsuccessfully to call off the jam. She had to skate around the entire track again to pick it up, barley getting it back on before the jam ran full time. While Stoppins had collected four points, because she couldn’t call it off, Skate Trooper kept going and eventually nabbed six.
Oly did start putting together some quality runs late, but simply couldn’t get enough momentum going. For example, Oly shut down the Reign of Terror for just two points in the next five jams following Handful’s 15. Rat City was shut out in four of those. But Oly scored just 18 themselves (less than four per jam) during that span, only closing the gap to 115-73 (although to be fair, Foxy Blocker in the final jam of that series called it off defensively (and wisely) with Rebel Belle right on her heels).
Aside from a 19-point jam by Intended Anger to close out the bout, and some huge hits, Oly couldn’t keep things much closer on the scoreboard, as Rat City went on to win 142-112. Wax Job had a huge hit that got the crowd up and roaring late however, leveling jammer Belle for zero points while Foxy Blocker got five back.
But more than anything, the thing keeping Oly from getting comfortable was a wall of white-and-green blockers throughout the bout.
Rat City put together such a concentrated team effort. It was certainly the best I’d seen them represent in the south Puget Sound region (I should say, I’ve never seen a Rat City bout yet…just their skaters in bouts or scrimmages). Deadly Aim and Skate Trooper in particular gave Oly fits all night.
Actually, I’ll get to see them in the scrimmage capacity again next weekend as Rainy City is hosting Rose City and Rat City in another round of closed scrimmages. It’s always a blast when these three get together, and even though this one is early morning, you know I’ll be back on here with the details!
Rainy City next takes on Jet City on Sept. 19 at home, challenging the all-star team the Jet City Bombers! This should be another very tough bout for both teams and a great challenge for Rainy City in the face of another stiff competitor. You won’t want to miss it!
I posted this before, but what the heck. We’re always open to suggestions!
Now that the blog has been around for a little while, what are some things you’d like to see included? What do you like about? What could be done better? Don’t hold back! I’m a journalist first and foremost, so I know how to take constructive criticism. Besides, can’t get better if you don’t try to shore up what might not be working so well. So again, feel free to suggest some things you like or dislike, or simply what kind of things you’d like to see in the future.
Word to yo mothers.
August 12, 2009
EVERETT – They say that in our country, all men and women are created equal.
But not on this day. Last Saturday, the men of the Puget Sound Outcast Derby decided to challenge a female mix team, featuring skaters from the Rat City Rollergirls (Seattle), the Dockyard Derby Dames (Tacoma), the Rainy City Roller Dolls (Centralia), the Fort Lewis Bettie Brigade and the High Desert Darlins (Hermiston, Ore.).
On this day, there could be only one.
OK…so it really wasn’t that serious; please excuse my pension for the melodramatic. There were only two refs and no scorekeepers or NSOs. But it was still fun. Basically, the scrimmage was set up to allow PSOD to warm up before they hit the East Coast, where they’ll b taking on a host of other teams in search of merby supremacy!
The Skate Deck in Everett hosted the event, which I had never ben to before. However, based on carpet alone, I fell in love with the Drome away from Drome.
Actually, the similarities didn’t stop there. From neon overhead to hardwood underneath, I really enjoyed the atmosphere the Skate Deck provides.
As for the action, I’ll try to put together as complete as I can the teams that skated, although this was my first merby experience, so there’s several I didn’t know. I also didn’t know a handful of the ladies, so I’ll do my best.
On the merby side was RCRD coach RyRod, Trampires coach Hollywood Chuck Bury, Rat City coach Quadzilla, as well as The Duke of Delridge, Sass Squatch, G. No-Evil, Buster Fuzz and the Grimm Streeper. That leaves three I didn’t know, but apparently a couple of them were fairly new too.
On the derby side was MyTai Smashya and Rusty O’Tulle of Dockyard’s Trampires; Vitamin V and Streeperella from Dockyard’s Hellbound Homewreckers; Clobbern’ Mame, Wile E. Peyote and Swede Hurt of Rat City’s Sockit Wenches; Toot A. Lou from RCRD; Suicide Red from Ft. Lewis; and everyone’s favorite roving skater, Whomping Willow (this time reppin’ the High Desert Darlins; interesting side note…all five times I’ve seen Willow skate it’s been with a different team). I think I might have missed one skater on this side, but going back through my pics can’t tell for sure. Sorry in advance if I did! Feel free to fill in any blanks for me.
Again, since this was wasn’t anything official, I just wanted to kind of take it all in, especially since I’d never really see men skate competitively (save for a scrimmage in my early going). Some of the men were significantly larger than their female counterparts. I couldn’t help but wonder if this physical edge would also lend an advantage on the floor.
This really wasn’t the case. Again, no scores were kept and everything stayed in a friendly, yet competitive, mood. But, both teams were right at each other throughout, with big hits doled out from both sides of the sexes.
Ultimately, in the first half, I thought derby may have been slightly up, but it was impossible to say for sure, since both teams had some very nice jams.
What was even more exciting about this bout was the mini-match-ups it created. Like RyRod going up against Toots (and Chuck and Quadzilla similarly going up against some of their skaters). You could tell, at least in the case of RyRod and Toots, that both wanted to win any kind of one-on-one moment.
At the ‘half,’ using the term loosely, the teams mixed it up, so both were coed. That allowed everyone to mix up the style of play a little bit, especially for some of the skaters not used to skating with women from other leagues, not to mention the men. Again, both sides were pretty evenly set-up; no one team ever took lopsided control.
It was also nice to see the more competitive side of some skaters, like Sass, who I had only seen ref prior to this one.
Throw in the fact that I got to cheer with the Rainy City supporters and I was a happy derby camper.
Hopefully the event did prove a nice warm-up for the fellas, who are heading easterly to defend their reputation among merby’s finest. It was also nice to see the guys, many of whom are coaches, physically demonstrate the very strategies and tactics they so often articulate to their skaters.
So again, good fun all around. It’s always a pleasure to see new skaters and familiar faces in new capacities. Afterward, we headed to the pizza joint next door and proceeded to build our buzz with Willow and Duke, Streeperella and the Grimm Streeper, MyTai and Vitamin V (we being myself, mt.tilicum, chun lethal and slaughter-kinney). It was a great laugh-filled time, probably a little louder than most Everett Alfy’s-goers were expecting. But thanks to each of them for providing some fun before our two-hour trek back down I-5.
Don’t forget to register for the Rainy City Roller Dolls golf tournament!
First, recapping: The four-man scramble will feature a shotgun start with action starting at 2 p.m. The cost for the event is $40 and includes 18 holes at Tahoma Valley, a cart rental and a post-round drink ticket. The event also includes a raffle featuring an assortment of prizes, as well as longest-drive and closest-to-the-pin challenges.
Tahoma Valley Golf & Country Club is located at 15425 Mossman St. SW in Yelm. Golfers must pay and register prior to the tournament. For more information or to register, contact Julie Miller (Lucyville SlugHer) at (360) 451-6941.
In perpetration for this event, I went with mt.tilicum to the small 9-hole course near Tumwater Airport. While I was hitting straight and (relatively) deep on my drives (which remember, means driving with a 4-iron), my short game and approach were horrendously out-of-sync. I can tell I need to hit the range once or twice more, but overall, was happy with where I was considering I hadn’t played an actual course of any kind since twilighting Bellingham’s Lake Padden back in 2004.
But get ahold of Lucyville and join us! It’s gonna be pretty sweet (and it comes with a drink ticket!?!? Come on!?!?!?!)!
Also, I’m still looking for potential recap-ers. Let me know if you’re interested for the Aug. 29 bout between the Rainy City Roller Dolls and the Trampires!
July 1, 2009
There’s truly no place like home for a season-ending bout.
Last weekend, I got the pleasure of joining the Kitsap County-based Slaughter County Roller Vixens for their final bout of the season, There’s No Place Like Home. With a Wizard of Oz theme, the SCRV Dorothys took on the Lilac City Rollergirls’ (Spokane) SheWolves, while the SCRV All-Stars did battle with 7 + 7, a mix team feature seven skaters from Oregon and seven from the Rat City Rollergirls.
And while the action on the track wasn’t the closest (the SheWolves claimed a 174-89 win while the SCRV All-Stars won just as handily, 169-65), there were two things that really impressed me about this bout.
First, location, location, location! For the first time, Slaughter County was able to make use of the Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion. Utilizing a sport court on borrow from Jet City (Everett; isn’t the derby community rad?), the Pavilion proved a great derby atmosphere, with a nice section of elevated seating providing some great birds-eye views on the action.
Secondly, with about 400 people turning out, it’s great to see the fan support. Derby was not the only option in Kitsap last weekend. The derby literally had to compete with The Thunderbird Rodeo, happening literally at the arena right across the street; the Kitsap BlueJackets, who had a game at the Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields, also right across the street; Fathoms of Fun, Port Orchard’s community festival; and I’m sure there was more going on too. Kitsap County is one of those places where nothing happens for four weekends in a row, then five different things you want to do are all packed into the same Saturday. So the turnout was definitely a great sign! Hopefully that means more Fairgrounds bouts in the future. And not to go too far into speculation, but word is SCRV may be getting their own sport court a la KitCo sometime in the future, so god luck with that too!
Now, on to the action. I was announcing alongside side Stab-Her Lee and Haulin’ Oates, giving me pretty much the best seat in the house. I was however a little busy, so many individual moments and mentions, as usual, escaped me for these purposes. But, I did make a more concetrated effort to at least take note of some of the skaters who really impressed me. To the action!
The SheWolves and Dorothys first did battle, and while the score was a blowout, it never felt like it was as wide open as it ended up being. The jammers, as usual, were on point, with Onda’ Sligh and Evil Jenevil doing most of the jamming. Sligh was her usual all-over-the-effing-place self, but did take some pretty hard hits from SheWolves blockers that left her battered and bruised. Jenevil did a nice job handling the bulk of the load, but a few jams her blockers had some issues opening up holes for her. Gun’Her Gombos was also pretty busy from the jam line, but ran into similar issues as Jenevil. The only reason Sligh was more successful is because her crazy skating relies less on opened holes and more on opening her own. But the Dorothys did have some solid blocking efforts, particularly from Goodilicious, Throb-N-Robyn and KnockerHer SocksOff.
It wasn’t enough to keep the Lilac crew at bay however. Jammers Schwanna Boom Boom and Whomping Willow skated extremely well, cruising around the track like flying monkeys.
They also got some nice blocking assistance from Dirt E KT, Graham SlamHer, Ida B Choazz and others. Baby Snakes also had a strong all-around bout.
Again, while the score was never really too close after the first 10 or so jams, both teams kept the intensity high and the hits hard, still making it an enjoyable match to watch. Mad props to one of my personal SCRV favs too, Nerd Rage, who not only busted out a ruby red fanny pack for the occasion, but also sported a green limestone glove in honor of the recently passed Michael Jackson. Nice touch!
The second bout was similar, but kind of the mirror image if you will. The SCRV All-Stars, consisting predominately of Terrormedixxx with some Death Rattle Rollers in the mix (whereas the Dorothys were largely DRR), did battle with 7+7, a mix team of Rat City skaters along with a mix of skaters from the Lava City Roller Dolls (Bend, Ore.), the Coos County Roller Girls, (Coos Bay, Ore.), and the Emerald City Roller Girls (Eugene, Ore.). That made for a great opportunity to see lots of skaters I haven’t seen before, catch up with a few I had, but also made for an interesting bout as none of these girls had skated together previously.
Again, after the opening five to 10 jams, this one was also a blowout. And while it too happened early, it mimicked the first bout in terms of action to keep myself, and presumably other fans, paying attention.
Really, it’s hard to mention any one girl from the SCRV All-Stars because literally everyone who skated in that bout had a moment or two minimum to be happy about. Brawlyanna, Lolli Von PerkiPops, QT Krusher, Ree Arrange’Her, Roller Rage Rosie, Rollin Dirty, Mistress Von Trample, Ruby Rotten, B Murda and Tune’Her up skated did their steady-as-usual game. Ree Arrange’Her was especially on point in this one, as was Roller Rage Rosie. Bashley Blaze and Speedy Guns Haul-Ass were solid jamming all night, easily finding paths through the much smaller 7+7′s. But I was super impressed with one SCRV skater in particular in this one: Anna Barbera.
Not only did she spend the majority of the bout blasting Seattle or Oregon girls left and right, but she also took the jammer cap late in the bout. To take it even farther, she scored a point! It was a great effort capping a great night for badass Anna Barbera! Nice work!
On the 7+7 side, Rat City’s Ima Handful seemingly did all the jamming! She definitely got a little worn by the end, but she skated very strongly throughout. Petty Rage from Lava City and Dolly Demented from Coos County did a nice job, as did Rat City skaters Sake Bomb, Foxy Throwdown, Grim Chi and Slutnik. But my favorite moment for the 7+7′s came late when Des Demona **(thanks to Izzy Wright for letting me know Des is formerly)** of the Emerald City Roller Girls got low and picked a great angle to accelerate and lift Bashley Blaze an inch or two off the ground before the huge (and legal) hit sent her into the sport court. Great hit capping a great effort for Des Demona! It was easily the biggest hit on the night. **(It would appear then that Emerald City was not part of this team afterall)**
Overall, judging from the action on the floor and the final scores, it probably would have been a little better had the SheWolves and All-Stars bouted with the Dorothys and 7+7′s on the undercard, but I’m sure it was a great skating experience for all teams involved in terms of exposing some strengths to continue and some weaknesses to shore up.
On a HUGELY important side note, this was the final regular bout for SCRV announcer Stab-Her Lee, who will step away from the position to focus on her crazy-ass busy-ness, which includes, but is not limited to, multiple bands, jobs, cupcakes, clothes and I’m sure a shit-ton more.
In making my official bout announcing debut a few weeks back, it was StabHer who taught me the most, almost always through her sterling example! From promoting sponsors to adding some unmatched wit behind the mic, she’s truly been an asset during her three years with Slaughter County. It’ll be sad to see her step away, but understandably so. And as she’s stated previously, she’ll be back as a fan and I’m sure won’t be able to stay entirely away. But it was great working with both StabHer and the equally witty Haulin’ Oates last weekend! I think my favorite part was when KnockHer came up to me at th afterparty and mentioned the skit we had performed in the beginning, in which StabHer and Haulin’ were the god and wicked witches from Wizard of Oz and I was the cowardly lion. I believe KnockHer’s comment was “You were the stoned guy they told to stay in the car!” Waking lion…stoned guy in car…I’ll let you decide which is more fitting.
Secondly, it was great to see a lot of the girls we camped with in Atomic City back out for this one! In addition to the SCRV team and the Rainy City team, Baby Snakes, Whomping Willow and Schwanna Boom Boom all skated for Atomic in that one. Also, Petty Rage as well. It was awesome being able to see some teams out there with a little greater face familiarity! Although, given that camping trip, some people are probably less recognizable now… Also, Ima Handful and Sake Bomb were both at the Rat-Rose-Rainy scrimmage the week before. There may have been others, but as I said on twitter, I’m “meeting derby girls too quickly. Even derby names not standing out like they used to!” But that’s a good thing!
The afterparty was pretty fun, although I had to head out kinda early to drive back down to Oly. It was great getting to hang out with Ms. Von Trample and Tripart, her beau and the friend I walked with during our 1999 PHS high school graduation!, as well as talking sonic youth with Kitten with a Whip, talking a variety of awesomeness with Jenocidal and Nerd Rage, and getting to freak it in a soul train-style dance line with both StabHer Lee and Schwanna Boom Boom. Needless to say, my drive back to Oly was much dreamier!
Lastly, if you haven’t bought your tix yet you should! Rainy City will be hosting a double header on July 11, now with BEERGARDEN!
You can find out more about that bout, and all of its awesomeness, here.
Lastly, big congrats to the Breakneck Betties for winning Rose City’s crown last weekend, with equally big props to the High Rollers for getting there! HRMF! Also to the Guns N’ Rollers, who just fell to the Standing Heathers.
One more sidenote I forgot to put in the original…If you need fireworks still so you can blow the shit out of some shit on the fourth, then Slaughter County has you covered!
Alright…see ya on the 11th kiddies!
June 24, 2009
Ah homecomings. Sometimes they can be the thing we look forward to, even need, more than anything else. Sometimes they can be the things we need to avoid at all costs.
Luckily, I got the witness the former last weekend in a very special scrimmage at the Rollerdrome in Centralia. Before this scrimmage, I’d seen a Rat City team and I’d seen a Rose City team. But until Saturday, I’d never seen a Rat-Rose battle. And while this was just a scrimmage, it was easy to see why both teams are revered in the derby world.
Throw into that mix some action from my favorite clan of derby divas, the Rainy City Roller Dolls, and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a good time!
Rainy City played host to the scrimmage double-header, which since it was a scrimmage I won’t be super detailed about the action on the floor. Basically, this was an opportunity for both teams to get together and, under supervision of several refs, practicing skating under the new WFTDA 4.0 rule set. It gave refs a chance to see how it changes their side of things and it gave score and penalty trackers, like myself, a little more to check into as well.
As far as the teams go, Rose City came up with a mix of Axes of Annihilation and Wheels of Justice skaters, fielding mostly both teams. Rat City brought a mix of A and B team skaters as well, but seemed to share throughout the scrimmages. Rainy City had about eight skaters on hand, so they jumped in the mix some too.
The morning — that’s right, morning – began at 9 a.m. with warm-ups before Rat City’s A Team took on the Wheels of Justice. That was a nice way to start the scrimmage, setting the tone for both skaters and officials to see what, if anything, was noticeably different under the new rule set. Rose City was definitely the dominant team on the track, but Rat City was without some of its regulars too.
The Wheels of Justice didn’t up, more than doubling up Rat City. They were skating fast, hitting hard and showing just why they’re ranked fourth in the Western Region by WFTDA. Three members of the Wheels racked up 20+ point jams and another scored 19 in one go. But that didn’t keep Rat City from trying. Ultimately, Rat City starting getting into penalty trouble however, with Valtron 3000 committing three majors and nine minors in the scrimmage.
The veterans like Blood Clottia and Cadillac were jamming like crazy, but it was relatively new skater White Flight turning some serious heads, scoring five grand slams for 25 points in a single go. Rat City had some solid performances from the likes of Billie Boilermaker, Wile E. Peyote, Katrina Whip and Ima Handful. But again, it was a scrimmage, so take all these recap notes with the appropriate grain of salt. The teams got together at the half to chat about what was different or just give each other feedback in general.
During the first bout, I was able to work on my own multitasking, both penalty tracking for Rat City while also shooting some photos. It was nice to see that I’ve still got it from my days as a sports reporter where I’d have to cover the game play by play, take my own stats and notes and shoot photos. Also, it was cool to see more hits from the inside of the circle. Normally, I’m stuck on the outside shooting, so that was a nice way to mix it up.
While the A-Team bout was the main event, it was the B game I was excited for. It was an interesting format. Rat City had less B-team skaters, so the Axles of Annihilation lined up against Rat City for a jam, then Rainy City for a jam, more or less. Sometimes Rat City would stay out for back-to-back jams, sometimes Rainy City would.
This was what I was excited to see. You see, Rose City’s Mercyful Kate and Napalm Beth were two of the original Rainy City Roller Dolls before heading south to Portland. So when Rainy City lined up opposite Rose City – and those two in particular – everyone wanted bragging rights, scrimmage or no.
Personally, I had never gotten to meet MercyFU in person, much less seen her skate. And Napalm, whose old Oly house I know share with a pair of RCRD skaters and mt.tillicum, is also a force on the track. All I knew was this was gonna be fun!
It was hard to gauge who was specifically doing well in the second scrimmage, just because Rainy City and Rat City kept swapping out, but playing Rose City as a team (just different lineups). But for Rose City, both Napalm and Mercyful had nice return trips to the rink they used to skate in. Smackya Sideways as always was strong, as was Scrappy-go-Lucky, J.K. Rolling a nd Edie Disorder. For the Rainy City side, Suzzi Sidebomber had another nice outing, as did Make’Her Mark, Miss Mel Mangles and Lucyville Slug-Her.
But I think it was Holly Hobbler for Rainy City that provided my favorite moment of the bout. Known affectionately by her team as Tiny Jammer (as in ‘Hold me closer Tiny Jammer’), she’s been a force blocking the last several bouts as well, adding to her versatility. But what really impressed me was when she found herself out front all alone with no one to hit but Smackya Sideways. Instead of shirking away, Hobbler lowered her shoulder and sent all her momentum in Smackya, who (no offense smack! nothin’ but love!) is about three Hobblers at least. Needless to say, the blow barely sent Smackya skating a different line, much less knock her down. Still, it was the thought and fearless tenacity that counted! In fact, immediately after, Hobbler also drove one into Napalm, albeit with similar results.
Rat City did OK in its intervals too, but again, Rose City took the combo-scrimmage handily again.
But again again, this was just a scrimmage, so no one was putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllables, so to speak. Still, it was a great way to spend three hours of a Saturday morning! Even ref Papa Crack said he enjoyed the morning go-round.
On the penalty tracking side, the only new thing for me was getting the send-offs right. Where it used to be that four majors in a half would send you off, it’s now five trips to the box total. You could commit 20 minors for your five trips, five majors, or any combination therein. Otherwise, things seemed to be pretty much business as usual.
On a completely unrelated related note, I also got to go to the Mariners game that night! It was a pretty sweet M’s win, 7-3! Talk about a busy day! But, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
On an entirely different note, I’m going to be announcing with Stab-Her Lee Saturday at the last bout of the season for the Slaughter County Roller Vixens as their party team for the even, the Dorothys, gets ready to take on the Lilac City Roller Girls’ (of Spokane) SheWolves. Originally, a B-team of all-stars for SCRV was going to take on a team of Coos County Roller Girls, but now it looks like it may be a mix of multiple Oregon skaters, which should be pretty sweet! The theme for the bout is ‘There’s No Place Like Home,’ so make sure you bring your Ruby Reds or some such shit. This time it’s at the Kitsap Fairgrounds and Events Center, so that should be an interesting new venue too. Come on out and say hi! It’s gonna be awesome!
Also, Rainy City is prepping for its next home bout on July 11! Here’s more on that too:
So, until next time, catch ya on the flip side of the dolla dolla yo’s.