Inter Derby

World Wide Derby Domination

Posts Tagged ‘international’

Slow Evolution of International Derby

Posted by hooligal on May 21, 2009

Bar a few months last year, I realised that I’ve been skating in England for over a year.  My league had been bouting away games here and there in that time, but we have only just launched our first home inter-league season here in London.

The evolution of derby abroad seems a bit slower then that of American counterparts, for many different factors. Venues are hard to secure, the sport is new so no one has herd of it, and training is done with no previous experience, just a lot of internet research.

England, compared to my homeland of Canada, is a small country. A small country with a hell of a lot of people. A Lot of people who don’t play hockey.  So normal venues I’m used to (hockey arenas in the summer) just aren’t available here. Big, open, skateable areas are either non existent or extravagantly expensive. Due to the cramming of millions of people in a small place, buildings are built with the idea of conserving space. In a country where their major sport is played on grass, there is just no need for many places that would be ideal for derby…cause you just can’t skate on a football pitch! I hear about many leagues internationally having problems finding appropriate areas to house their practices and bouts, which will definitely hinder your growth as a league and expend a lot of energy, stress and phone credit.

Once you find a home, you need skaters! Leagues, American or not, go through the growing pains of begging their friends, family and co-workers to join this amazing sport, and some staying or leaving. Recruitment outside a social circle rarely takes off until after a first public bout. However in America you have many leagues making both local and nationwide media coverage, everything from music videos, commercial adverts, talk shows, game shows to your traditional news media forms. The media is intrigued by an old sport making a new comeback. People hear about it and they want to join, and they will actively seek out their local league.  However in places like England or Germany, the sport never existed here. It’s completely new, and that can be a disadvantage to creating initial interest. The sport has to build its own following from scratch, which can be a longer process.

Then we have training. In Canada and America it’s usually not a very far drive to a well experienced league. Training and coaching tips are shared, bootcamps are well attended and it snowballs to improve athleticism at a rapid pace. Overseas you will have the chance that maybe an experienced player will be vacationing and want to come visit your league. My league has been going for two years, and when they started they had to not only learn to skate and play the game, but also teach others to do the same. To women who are neither coaches or technically trained athletes, it was a daunting task. Now two years down the line we have honed and defined many skills in teaching fresh meat, and the pace that they learn things now is much faster then fresh meat who learned a year ago. Leagues receiving training help from experienced skaters grow and evolve far more quickly, and it seems only one in Europe has had much help and has far surpassed other leagues.

There are many things that hinder and slow the development of the sport abroad, besides venues, publicity, and training, small cultural factors may also play a part…for example in Canada skating (though mostly on ice) is a national past time. Not so much here. Language barriers may be stopping non-english speaking countries from learning the rules, or about the sport at all. Germany and French Canada seem to be the only ones, but I know that many members of leagues in both those countries speak English.

Nevertheless, derby always seems to persevere. It may take a couple more years for the sport to grow here, for leagues to be large enough to have full intra league seasons. We may have to practice in small venues. And we may have to find new and exciting ways to catch the media’s eye, but we will do it. This year saw my league’s first season, Europes first tournament, and new leagues popping up all over the world every day.  Next step: World Wide Derby Domination!!!!

Oh, an American leagues…feel free to spread your knowledge to your international sisters by paying us a visit! 😉

Posted in Random Reads | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Blitz Dames skate to victory in Stuttgart

Posted by blitzdames on February 6, 2009

Final Score 98 – 71: The Blitz Dames skate to victory in our first international away bout!

Well, the travel team are having a well-deserved rest after a fantastic weekend in Stuttgart, hosted by the fast, fierce and foxy Stuttgart Valley RollerGirlz at the Sport Stuttgart Arena. It was the first time the Dames have travelled abroad for a bout and it was definitely well worth the air fare!

We pulled ahead to a decisive lead early in the bout, but it was very evenly matched for the rest of the first half with Stuttgart giving as good as they got. The Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames led 68-39 at halftime.

In the second period, Stuttgart came out hitting hard and gained some ground on us, but they were no match in the end for the stunning jamming skills of Hilda Blizzhard, Tear E. Hatchet, Union Jack-U-Up and especially Violet Attack, who zipped through the pack again and again!

Stuttgart were great hosts as well as great players. They and their massive crowd of enthusiastic supporters couldn’t have given us a warmer reception, or a better afterparty! We partied till the wee hours at the Keller Klub, with badass music, a riotous burlesque show and the crazy band, Action Team (imagine Electric Six crossed with the 118 118 guys…), plus plenty of beer a-flowing.

Kudos also to the stripey ones. As well as SVRG’s own refs, and two of our lovely Blitz Dames (Justine Credible and Kiki Kasplat), we were lucky enough to be joined by LRG’s own Ballistic Whistle and Crash Test from Canada’s Terminal City RollerGirls. Crash Test congratulated us afterwards on skating well and playing ‘a good, clean game – for roller derby!’

The Blitz Dames after their win

The Blitz Dames after their win

Posted in B'ham Blitz Derby Dames, Bouts/Recaps, europe, Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz, United Kingdom | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

International Fresh Meat

Posted by hooligal on September 10, 2008

I got sent a link today to another international blog (please, send them my way!), which was unique to other blogs I’ve seen. An anonymous fresh meat skater from New Zealand is recounting her experiences from day one of joining derby. It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve been fresh meat, and it’s great to go back to the day where getting my first set of pads was an electric experience. And of course its 100% international, hey hey!
So check it out! Pads ‘n’ All – The Confessions of a Skater Girl

Posted in oceania, Random Reads | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

WFTDA goes international!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by hooligal on February 21, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/19/08
Contact: Mercy Less
Marketing/PR Chair, WFTDA
marketing@.. .

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is proud to announce that
membership is now open to Canadian Leagues! The WFTDA has overcome
administrative and legal hurdles to take this exciting first step
towards becoming a global organization. Our northern sisters will be
eligible if they meet the membership requirements put forth for all
WFTDA leagues:

-75 % of games must be flat track

-Teams in league must be comprised of female quad skaters only.

-51% of league owners must be flat track derby skaters.

-67% of league management must be flat track derby skaters

For additional requirements and paperwork, go online to:
www.wftda.com/ membership. html

Since 2004, the WFTDA has promoted and fostered the sport of womens
flat track derby. The governing philosophy of by the skaters, for
the skaters is adopted by all fifty two member leagues who include
women as primary owners, managers, operators and skaters. All member
leagues have a voice in the decision making process and are entitled
to be nationally ranked, play standardized games and access to future
sponsorship opportunities.

The WFTDA and its member leagues look forward to more flat track derby
in the US, Canada and, some day, the world!

Posted in Announcements, canada | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »