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My Derby Year – 2008

Posted by blitzdames on January 7, 2009

Roisin Roulette N17 - Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames

Roisin Roulette N17 - Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames

My name is Roisin and I am addicted to skating.

 

 

I first came to the Blitzdames open practice in September last year, then took a couple of months off for an op, coming back in November 2007.  I’ve had quad skates and in-lines before, skated on streets and in parks and at roller discos but never really learned to do any more than go quite fast and stop quite slowly.  I think I have skated more in 2008 than all the rest of my life put together; and as I learned to skate in 1975, that’s quite something.  It has all been great.  So what were the highest points of 2008?

Early in the year, the Blitzdames took a minibus load of skaters down to the London Roller Girls Boot Camp.  This was a grand day out, marred only by Kiki Kasplat breaking her thumb in the newbie scrimmage (some girls apparently didn’t understand the ‘light contact for safety reasons’ instructions) and Rip Lashes sustaining a knee injury; I also travelled to Tottenham Green to watch 3 bouts in London in 2008 and enjoyed the atmosphere, skating and cupcakes.  Sadly our home venue doesn’t let us sell food or drink….. Blitzdames also travelled to support their favourite teams bouting in Glasgow.

 

We had a great mixed practice with Middlesbrough in the spring and were kindly provided with beds or floorspace and a top night out in Middlesbrough with the Milk Rollers, which we  followed by skating (somewhat gingerly) with Leeds Roller Dolls the next day.

 

My first bout was against Glasgow  in April – the first bout for me and quite a few other Blitzdames; we had seen Glasgow bout in London (with our Violet Attack guest skating) so we knew it was going to be a close game;  they had 13 skaters to our ten and were in the lead at half time.  I think our endless endurance drills paid off and we came back to win by a narrow margin.  It was a fiercely contested bout; I played blocker and jammer and was knocked into a complete backwards somersault at one point.  Just before the end of the bout I trailed my right hand behind me as I fell and bent back 3 fingers –  two of them are still swollen now in December… for months I couldn’t dress or wipe without thinking of the Glasgow girls…!

 

In sunny May we skated 20 hot and bumpy outdoor miles round Cannon Hill Park raising money for PHAB camps (a local children’s charity), and hosted a roller disco.  With cakes! 

 

June was all about the Team Canada bout; we met them at their hostel and had a meal together the night before and partied with them after the bout, but the actual bout was the most physical and competitive event in which I have ever been involved.  I hit the wall wheels first on two occasions, and we have a big venue with loads of trackside clearance.  Every Dame was battered and bruised after that one; Gun Bunny broke a toe but still get her heels on for the after party.

 

In July we screened the UK premier of Hell on Wheels and on the same day had a boot camp/open scrimmage event.  Some of our girls went to Rollercon; the rest of us made the most of the summer and skated outdoors in venues as far afield as Wolverhampton and Kings Norton.

 

August and September were quieter months, apart from Leeds Boot Camp, with some time spent fund raising and promotional skating.  Eliza Doolethal broke her hand in practice.  We had a fabulous day shooting our 2009 calendar at various glamorous locations round Birmingham; my husband remarked that if we spent as much time training as we did posing we’d surely be world beaters by now, but he’s just jealous.  And he can’t skate. 

 

In October we travelled to Glasgow for the fabulous Glasvegas training camp hosted by the Glasgow girls with Ivanna S Pankin and Trish the Dish; we bouted London Roller Girls travel team, London Brawling, the following week and although we knew they were very good we were still surprised by the eventual score.  We had Armalite Angie, Marla Mayhem, Sister Grimm and Liv or Die helping out as we had injuries and unavailable skaters; hopefully the rematch will be closer… we definitely learned from the experience.

 

We had planned a bout against Birmingham Alabama this winter but the Tragic City girls couldn’t raise the funds needed to travel and we had to find a replacement fixture at short notice.  So November brought the Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz to Birmingham and a more evenly matched bout, although there were a number of issues with interpretation of the rules.  Bee was injured, Sleazy Rider was away, Gun Bunny hadn’t jammed for months, Eliza Dolethal was still out, and I was vomiting on the day and had to sit the match out after the first few jams, so we were pleased to win.  We’re looking forward to going to Stuttgart in January for the return match.  (Birmingham Alabama is rescheduled for summer 2009).

 

There has been plenty of drama off track too; engagements, break ups, moving in and moving out, derby weddings, tempers lost and truces reached; skaters have taken on and given up responsibilities in the league for work and family reasons; Helen Fury and the Skatrix (now known as Cupid Stunt) are tearing themselves away to concentrate on developing Severn Roller Torrent and Justine Credible has taken over as our Head Ref.

And that’s just the stuff I’m allowed to mention…

 

So, in December we’re having an open practice on 6th (new starters welcome) and a mixed practice with the Leeds Roller Dolls on the 13th.  That’s a pretty busy derby year for a league which this time last year was struggling to recover from the mass departure of the girls who then formed Central City Rollergirls.  Maybe we’ll see them on the track next season. 

 

Maybe we’ll see you?

 

Happy New Year everyone. 

 

Roisin Roulette

N17

Posted in B'ham Blitz Derby Dames, europe, United Kingdom, Updates/Intros | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blitz Dames Victory in Battle with Stuttgart

Posted by Fury on November 28, 2008

bobgroup1

Making roller sports history again, the Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames hosted the Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz in the first ever pan-European bout held in the UK.  The bout was an heart-pounding, ever-changing competition that many Midlands fans said was the most exciting derby match they’d ever seen. 

The teams consisted of abbreviated 12 player rosters, although Birmingham’s jammer Roisin Roulette soon had to remove herself from the competition due to illness, resulting in a team of 11 for most of the bout.  Birmingham was also skating without two of their most experienced players, having lost Bee Sting to an injury and Sleazy Rider rider to work obligations (something has to keep us in skates!).  But, the Dames were bolstered by the presence of Helen Fury – who cancelled a holiday to fill in at very short notice, jammer Tear E. Hatchet – just back from injury herself, and the debut of blocker Victoria Cross.   Stuttgart Valley Rollergirls showed their own dedication to the derby grail even before the bout began, having persevered through a series of travel nightmares that extended their trip to Birmingham by 10 hours!

First Period

Scoring was close for the first few jams as the teams evaluated each other.  SVRG’s Blitzkrieg Baby grabbed the first lead jammer status of the evening, but no points were scored in that jam.   Early on Stuttgart showed their ease with body checks and general derby physicality, whilst the Dames started with a strong defensive strategy.  Differences of opinion over WFTDA guidelines and the still-young 3.1 ruleset emerged early, and sometimes re-appeared throughout the bout, but Justine Credible fulfilled her first bout as head ref with grace and authority, calling official time outs as needed.  

By the second jam, Birmingham was creating chaos as jammer Violet Attack earned the lead jammer moniker and called off the jam just as SVRG’s jammer Dolly BustHer reached the pack, Birmingham’s more experienced blockers also showed their offensive side by creating chaos with hard checks.   Stuttgart’s Miss Tsunami roared into the third jam to score 4 points to Blitzdame’s 0 and by the end of jam four the score was nearly tied, at Birmingham 6, SVRG 5. 

In the fourth jam Roisin Roulette jammed her first and only run, despite her condition.  With the help of the Dames’s blockers to clear a path, she gained two points as Polly Purgatory scored zero. Fortune appeared to turn as SVRG’s Public Enemy initially grabbed lead jammer status and two points the next jam, but was soon trapped by blockers Kiki Kasplat (who executed one near-horizontal block)and pivot Elle Fire as Union Jack jammed for four points and called off the jam.  Jam 5 was an immediate reversal as the Dames’ Tear E. Hatchet gained lead jammer, but the SVRG got the point spoils, at 4 to Dames 0.  This success came at a price, and Stuttgart started jam 8 with a full penalty box.  As the jam whistle blew, SVRG had one extra skater on the track, providing some confounding moments until the ref crew sorted the situation.  The UK’s youngest rollergirl, Birmingham’s Gun Bunny, came out blazing to the lead jammer status in her first jam of the game despite a recent roller derby hiatus.  In this close race, both teams garnered another three points.

It wasn’t all smooth bearings for Gun, however, as in Jam 16 she was the target of a full-body take-down hit from Miss Tsunami that threw both players far out of bounds, after the jam had been called off!  Fortunately the medical staff checked her over and she was soon bout-fit again, and Tsunami was sent off to the penalty box after an official time-out.  The Dames came back for jam 17 in energetic fashion as Tear E. scored lead jammer and four points, whilst SVRG’s Public Enemy failed to score.

Throughout the first period, and indeed the entire game, Blitzdames’ Hilda Blizzhard and Stuttgart’s Dolly BustHer showed impressive versatility in a variety of roles, from jamming to quick pack blocking strategy.  Pack performance was also demonstrated by Saintly Sin of Birmingham, who showed tactical agility in defensive and active blocking roles.  The Blitzdames had a more unified strategy than SVRG throughout the first period, allowing them to achieve a 19 point lead by the end of the first half, at a score of 49-30.

Second Period
The Birmingham Dames were beginning to feel the strain of being a jammer down, and SVRG increased their focus to gain momentum in the second half.  However, Birmingham’s line up managers, Von Bitch and Jack Attack from the London Rockin Rollers, rallied to reorganise the team through the entire second period.   These honorary BlitzDames for the evening showed precision in their ability to rotate tired skaters and match skater skills to track needs.  Newer Blitzdames skaters Diamondback Belle and Victoria Cross also volunteered for increased track time, both blocking actively and keeping the pack pace.

The first jam started off well for SVRG, with 3 points to Blitzdames’ 1.  The next jam saw the Dames change focus to holding Stuttgart’s jammer in the pack, keeping them from scoring at all whilst Violet Attack fought her way through to still gain 4 points.  SVRG’s Miss Tsunami demonstrated quick thinking and quick footwork to slip past blockers in jam 3 as the Dames were clearing a path for their own jammer.  Tsunami then scored 6 points, and called the jam off just in time to allow the Dames only one point.  The fourth jam was marked by confusion as Polly Purgatory unsuccessfully attempted to call the jam off despite no lead jammer.   During this jam Blitzkrieg Baby showed renewed determination as took down Violet Attack. By the end of this jam Stuttgart had lessened the divide to only 9 points, at 56-47. 

In jam 5, Stuttgart got lead jammer but Blitzdames’ Tear E. outscored her, with four points to Public Enemy’s three. Then, in jam 6, the Dame’s pivot, blocker 2 and blocker 3 ran a combination at the front of the pack to envelope Blitzkrieg Baby within the pack whilst Gun Bunny scored a fantastic eight points and called the jam, with Stuttgart’s jammer only managing to gain four points. This again increased the Dames margin, and was followed up with an another six Birmingham points to SVRG’s three in Jam 7 with Violet Attack facing Public Enemy, for an overall score of 74-57 in the Dames’ favour.

In the next jam SVRG’s jammer Polly Purgatory was met a solid defensive wall at the front from Birmingham blocker Helen Fury and
Union Jack-U-Up after her first pass. Polly stepped inside the track to pass the wall and this time was promptly sent off to the box for the major penalty of cutting the track. However, SVRG rallied and blocked effectively to prevent the Dames’ jammer capitalising on having the being the only jammer on the track.

In jam nine there was no lead jammer and Birmingham’s pivot was sent to the penalty box. During the long two minute jam the Dames scored zero while veteran Birmingham skaters flew to the front of the pack in a display of impromptu leadership to hold SVRG’s jammer Miss Tsunami after she scored one point.  Miss Tsunami then fouled, resulting in a visit the the penalty box before the full two minute jam finished.

In jam 10 The SVRG’s jammer, Blitzkrieg Baby showed impressive stamina. Helen Fury first took Blitzkrieg out, but didn’t know when to stop and had to spend some quality time in the penalty box for blocking out of bounds.  Union Jack U-Up continued the punishment by delivering a stunning block to take out Blitzkrieg Baby again, legally this time. However, Blitzkrieg still managed to gain nine points during the long two minute jam.  With Birmingham ganering only three points this jam, the gap was again closing.  Blitzkrieg amazingly stepped back on the track as a blocker for the next jam, but soon left for a tripping penalty.  During that jam SVRG’s Public Enemy scored 2 points and strategically called off the jam before Birmingham’s jammer hit the pack.

SVRG again made a strong showing in jam 12 as Polly Purgatory took lead jammer status and scored four points to Birmingham’s zero.  This made the score the closest since the beginning of the game, at 77-73.  By jam 13 both teams were showing signs of fatigue.  SVRG’s jammer lost focus and had to go to the penalty box soon after getting lead jammer status.  Birmingham’s jammer was noticeably coasting more, and missed inside holes as she skated behind a two-blocker SVRG wall at the front of the pack, whilst a second Dame missed her pivot’s cues to stay back so that the SVRG skaters would hit 20 feet and have to let the jammer go.  Several fans in the stands expressed their frustration as neither team scored during the two minutes.

bob2By jam 14 both teams pulled out their ‘dream team’ line-ups, and the Dames again managed to widen the gap just a fraction, by scoring 4 points to Stuttgart’s 2.  With the score at 81 -75 and very little time left on the clock, jam 15 also required veteran-heavy skater presence on the track.   Birmingham jammer Violet Attack came out again against Blitzkrieg Baby.  Knowing that if the scores remained the same it would be a Birmingham victory, Violet Attack got in front of her opposing jammer and did some amazing positional blocking preventing the Stuttgart jammer from scoring at all.  Neither jammer passed through the startled pack a second time. Some of the crowd were bewildered, with Violet Attack receiving boos from the Stuttgart supporters but cheers from those supporting Birmingham. This was a fine demonstration of tactical thinking, positional blocking and the power of a properly deployed backside winning it for Birmingham (and England!), final score Blitzdames 81-75. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in B'ham Blitz Derby Dames, Bouts/Recaps, United Kingdom, Updates/Intros | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Looking for RELIABLE bloggers

Posted by hooligal on October 29, 2008

I can’t do this on my own! Inter Derby is a wonderful idea but I only have so many hours in the day to scour the net for international derby news. So PLEASE help me!

I need bloggers and casual submitters. Even if you just add interderby@yahoo.com to you league newsletter and tell me your upcoming events, that would help! But I would really like a few good women to do bout recaps, submit press and general updates on whats happening in your corner of the globe.

Just send an email to interderby@yahoo.com !

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates/Intros | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

SRDL’s Open House in Saskatoon, Canada

Posted by reginarollergirl on September 19, 2008

Several of us Regina Rollergirls are heading up to Saskatoon for the SRDL’s open house and Black and White Scrimmages.  There will also be a boot Camp with Coach Lime afterwards.  I am so pumped to hear from Coach Lime again, the guy is a deadly wealth of knowledge and just an all around cool guy.

If you are in the Saskatoon area and you want to check out the open house it is on Saturday, September 20th from 1-4.  Admission is by donation at the door!  Come check out some deadly derby action and they are even recruiting.  Go ahead come check it out and fall in love with this deadly sport!

Love and Bruises,
–Doom Cookie

Posted in canada, Updates/Intros | Leave a Comment »

Working towards debut season

Posted by Sue Beyer on September 12, 2008

The Northern Brisbane Rollers (NBR) began in January 2008 and based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia are working towards their debut season starting in April 2009. With 15 regular derby skaters who have passed the first minimum skills test, it’s looking good. “We hope to have at least 30 regular derby skaters by February 2009”, says Chyna Rhino one of the founding members of NBR. “Interest in the beginner derby nights held at Albany Creek Skateaway is increasing, with many eager girls attending regularly”.

NBR has also recently been approved by the ‘Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading’ as an incorporated, not-for-profit Co-op. Being an incorporated co-op provides a flat structure that the founding members of NBR were interested in pursuing, while still enabling NBR to provide insurance for it’s members under Skate Australia.

For more information on the Northern Brisbane Rollers, check out the website at: www.northernbrisbanerollers.com.au

Posted in Northern Brisbane Rollers, oceania, Updates/Intros | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We’re Back…kinda sorta

Posted by hooligal on September 5, 2008

Inter Derby is back, huzzah! I’m still in the process of setting up new bloggers and such, but we’re back for the sake of saying so.

That being said, I’m still looking for bloggers and contributors.

Gimmie an email interderby at yahoo.com if you want to write full time, or just would like to submit an event, bout recap, press release, news coverage, ANYTHING.

So what’s been going on while I was away?

Rollercon took place, the ultimate getaway and meet and greet for international rollergirls. Leagues from all over the world came and there is no longer a Team World vs USA, oh no, with all the leagues springing up everywhere there was actually enough attendees to do Team UK vs Team Australia or the Farkin’ ‘Elles vs Cor Blimeys as they named themselves, with Team UK coming out on top 43-28!

Team UK and Australia

Team UK and Australia

Canada fielded two teams, East vs West, with East skating their way to victory.

Team East (Blue) vs West (Red)

Team East (Blue) vs West (Red)

London Rollergirls are hosting the first European tournament July 18-19th 2009. Open to all European teams, but all roller fans are welcome to come watch and/or help out! Stay tuned for details on that!

They also have their first intraleague bout with their BRAND NEW teams coming up Sept 27th. It’s gonna be the Ultraviolent Femmes giving some lashes to the fearless SuffraJets for the first one. The other team, yet to debut, is the Steam Rollers!

And my own team London Rockin Rollers are set for another border crossing adventure to take on the Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz in Stuttgart, Germany, also on Sept 27th. A year after our first game and defeat, we are back in a bout aptly named Time For Revenge!

Posted in Announcements, B'ham Blitz Derby Dames, Bouts/Recaps, Calgary Roller Derby, Calgary Roller Derby Association, canada, E-Ville Roller Derby, europe, Hammercity Rollergirls, London Rockin Rollers, London Roller Girls, Melborne Grind Girls, montreal roller derby, oceania, Oil City Roller Girls, Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz, Sydney Roller Derby League, Terminal City Rollergirls, Toronto Roller Derby, United Kingdom, Updates/Intros, Victorian Roller Derby | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Roller Blitz Old Skool Roller Disco in Birmingham, UK

Posted by Fury on May 20, 2008

 

Sweet, sweet Brummie Roller SkatingThe UK has a thriving roller disco scene and now Birmingham is about to revitalise the beloved roller disco locally and polish it to a mirror-ball shine. The Roller Blitz event promises to bring the joy of eight on the floor to a new audience, showcase Britain’s VIP jam skaters, and give the rest of us an excuse to dust of our skates for a groovy alternative way to fitness. 

The floor has bags of room for everyone, there will be games and a raffle. Besides, there’s little else this fun that donates a portion of the profits to Cancer UK. Set your supersonic sights on B4 7ES and come skate with us!
http://www.myspace.com/rollerblitz

 

Posted in Announcements, Press, Random Reads, United Kingdom, Updates/Intros | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Scandinavian update!

Posted by Holy Hooligan on May 19, 2008

Since the last update things have actually moved forward. We finally found an indoor place to skate! A hockey rink that is without ice during a few summer months. So there finally have been some real practicing over here! And there is some real progress too! Once out there skating, everyone is learning new stuff all the time. And all those months just thinking about it feels like they never happened. So now we are looking for recruits, and many of them since we still are quite a small group of skaters and refs trying to make this work. And we really have to make things work! The first bout with an all swedish team ever will probably take place early next year. There are still things to work out so that is all I can say right now. But this means the Stockholm skaters really have to work hard so they can put up a fight!

If things are looking brighter in the real world, the same goes for the virtual one. Stockholm Rollerderby(in swedish, it is rollerderby not roller derby) have finally got the website up and with a neat domain! Rollerderby.se is all ours! It is still in beta and only in swedish, but it will grow in the near future. And hopefully it will also be translated into english too. While you wait for that you can always check out the web board that also have been opened up for the public. Log in and get a username!

Well that’s it for now. I’ll post more as things progress over here.

A couple of Stockholms rollergirls!

Posted in europe, Stockholm Roller Derby, Updates/Intros | 1 Comment »

London Brawling vs Irn Bruisers video interview

Posted by hooligal on April 24, 2008

Lesbilicious magazine caught some of the derby action in London England, and asked them some fun and silly questions:

Posted in Glasgow Roller Girls, London Roller Girls, Press, United Kingdom, Updates/Intros | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Update from Australia (at least southern Australia!)

Posted by toxicjudy on March 7, 2008

Greetings and salutations from Melbourne!

I’ve now been back on Australian shores for a fortnight having returned from my sojourn across SE Asia and I’ll tell you this much, the past two weeks have been a flurry of activity, whatwith catching up with what’s been going on in our league but in roller derby in general.  I will report that I did not stumble across any fledging leagues in Singapore. Not that I was looking… hard. 

Anyway, I’ve been slack with keeping you up to date with Australian roller derby so enough chitchat, let’s get started…

I might tackle this chronologically and briefly.  Two weeks in derby can sometimes be a lifetime!

Disclaimer: I apologise if this news is Victorian heavy but I am a VRDLer through and through and haven’t had a chance to hook up a State rep to fill me in with their news yet.

February 16th saw the season opener bout for the Victorian Roller Derby League with the Dead Ringer Rosies vs. the Toxic Avengers at ‘Love Hurts’.  By all accounts – and trust me, I think I got recaps from nearly every bouting skater and official – it was a tightly contested bout with the Dead Ringer Rosies pulling away in the last 3/4 of the bout to defeat the Avengers 108 to 88.  The refs had their work cut out for them but not as much as the penalty ref! (Big thank you to Hot Lips from Sydney Roller Derby who posted the clip from our VRDL bout.)

The following weekend saw history being made with the inaugural Skate of Origin… Adelaide vs. Melbourne… state vs. state… you get the picture.

Skate of Origin 2008 VRDL Travel Team

With a crowd of 1000+ quickly filling the Jubilee Pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds, this bout was always going to be a fight to the finish. Jam after jam saw the lead change, skaters were digging in and hitting hard but with seconds left in the bout, VRDL snatched victory from ADRD’s hands, 86 to 83.

ADRD put on one spectacular show and we thank them for the opportunity and challenge!

Another special thank you goes out to the members of the Sun State Roller Girls for representing at the Skate of Origin! Seeing the Brisbane contingent was definitely one of my highlights from Adelaide… To think that a year ago, Brisbane was putting on their very first demo! (Evil Doll, you rock my world!)

On another note, I would just like to mention that it has now been just over a year since a group of strangers with skates decided to throw all caution to the wind and form the Victorian Roller Derby League. The past week has been full of reminiscing and good times and every day I am grateful that I am part of such a wonderful sport with such a wonderful community – locally, nationally and internationally.  *le sigh*

For a touch of housekeeping, our new website is up and running and you can find links to photos from the abovementioned bouts on the righthand menu. 

That’s all…

toxic judy xx

Posted in Adelaide Roller Derby, Announcements, Bouts/Recaps, Sydney Roller Derby League, Updates/Intros, Victorian Roller Derby | 4 Comments »