Today is a very exciting day for London Rollergirls. Our all-star travel team will play their first game in the 2012 WFTDA East Region Play Offs tonight at 7pm (GMT). Needles to say, we are all extremely excited here in London and will be cheering them on all the way.
Participating leagues include:
- Gotham Girls Roller Derby
- Philly Roller Girls
- Montreal Roller Derby
- Charm City Roller Girls
- Steel City Derby Demons
- London Rollergirls
- Boston Derby Dames
- Carolina Rollergirls
- Dutchland Derby Rollers
- DC Rollergirls
Game schedule for the weekend is as follows:
Friday, September 28th, 2012
10:00am – 3pm UK
Game 1 Carolina Rollergirls (#8) vs Dutchland Derby Rollers (#9)
12:00pm – 5pm UK
Game 2 Boston Derby Dames (#7) vs DC Rollergirls (#10)
2:00pm – 7pm UK
Game 4 Montreal Roller Derby (#3) vs London Rollergirls (#6)
4:00pm – 9pm UK
Game 5 Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1) vs Winner Game 1
6:00pm – 11pm UK
Game 3 Charm City Roller Girls (#4) vs Steel City Derby Demons (#5)
8:00pm – 1am UK
Game 6 Philly Roller Girls (#2) vs Winner Game 2
10:00am – 3pm UK
Game 8 Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 412:00pm – 5pm UK
Game 7 Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 3
2:00pm – 7pm UK
Game 9 Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 5
4:00pm – 9pm UK
Game 10 Winner Game 6 (philly!) vs Winner Game 4
6:00pm – 11pm UK
Game 11 Loser Game 5 vs Winner Game 7
8:00pm – 1am UK
Game 12 Loser Game 6 vs Winner Game 8
This could finally be the year the Ultraviolent Femmes win the London Rollergirls championship, but they’ll have to get through the Suffra Jets first on June 9th. Not enough for you? The lovely ladies of the Paris Rollergirls are our guests this time, facing off against the Steam Rollers. Season 4 Bout 6, last chance to see our league teams this year, tickets on sale this evening!
Get your tickets here, it’s going to be awesome!
It’s finally here! The event we have been waiting all year for: the very first Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup starts today in Toronto, Canada. Oh, how I wish I could be there to see it live but for those of us unable to hop on a plane, here is the bout schedule so you can watch all the action on DNN.
This is a link to the live coverage:
Today and tomorrow, each team will play the other teams in their bracket before going n to the elimination rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
The following bout schedule is based on local time in Toronto. If you are watching in the UK, the time there is 5 hours behind.
Thursday Dec 1st
|5:00pm EST||Team France v Team Canada|
|5:30pm EST||Team Germany v Team Australia|
|6:15pm EST||Team Argentina v Team Ireland|
|6:45pm EST||Team USA v Team New Zealand|
|7:45pm EST||Team Brasil v Team Sweden|
|8:00pm EST||Team Australia v Team Finland|
|9:00pm EST||Team USA A v Team USA B|
Friday Dec 2nd
|9:30am EST||Team Ireland v Team England|
|10:00am EST||Team Scotland v Team New Zealand|
|10:45am EST||Team Canada v Team Sweden|
|11:15am EST||Team Germany v Team Finland|
|12:00pm EST||Team Brasil v Team France|
|12:30pm EST||Team USA v Team Scotland|
|1:30pm EST||Team Argentina v Team England|
|2:00pm EST||Team Sweden v Team France|
|2:45pm EST||Team Canada v Team Brasil|
|5:30pm EST||Seed 4 v Seed 13|
|6:00pm EST||Seed 5 v Seed 12|
|7:30pm EST||Seed 6 v Seed 11|
|8:00pm EST||Seed 7 v Seed 10|
Saturday Dec 3rd
|9:30am EST||Seed 8 v Seed 9|
|10:00am EST||Loser of game 1 v Loser of game 2|
|11:30am EST||Winner of game 1 v Winner of game 2|
|11:30am EST||To Be Announced v|
|1:00pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|1:30pm EST||Seed 1 v Winner of game 5|
|2:30pm EST||Seed 3 v Winner of game 3|
|3:30pm EST||Seed 2 v Winner of game 4|
|4:30pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|5:30pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|6:00pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|7:00pm EST||To Be Announced v|
Sunday Dec 4th
|10:30am EST||To Be Announced v|
|11:00am EST||To Be Announced v|
|12:30pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|1:00pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|2:30pm EST||To Be Announced v|
|4:30pm EST||To Be Announced v|
Go Team England!!!!!!
And, as if the Championships wasn’t enough excitement for one month, just one week later New York’s Gotham Girls, joined the banked-track LA Derby Dolls and WFTDA’s Rocky Mountain and Windy City in a very different kind of tournament. In a first for modern roller derby, new production team Catalyst teamed up with Kitten Traxx to organise the first Pro Roller Derby Challenge: Chicago Invitational with $10,000 prize up for grabs.
In addition to being the first tournament in the current roller derby revival involving prize money, it was also first times that WFTDA teams faced each other on a banked track. Rocky Mountain were the favourites to win because they already had another banked track win against San Diego 125-100 but Windy City and Gotham have only played the one game on the bank before.
On Friday, Gotham played Rocky Mountain, followed by Windy City facing LA. on Saturday, then the losers of Friday’s action played for a $1,000 prize while the winners played for $10,000 — with second place getting $3,000.
Contrary to expectation, the LA Derby Dolls took home the first prize, with Rocky Mountain coming in second, followed by Gotham in third place and Windy City finishing fourth. The MVPs for the tournament were Cris Affliction for the LA Derby Dolls, Wreck N Shrew from Windy City, Fiona Grapple from Rocky Mountain, and OMG WTF for Gotham.
The final between Rocky Mountain and LA was a nail bitingly close bout with 9 lead changes and 3 ties. Rocky Mountain started off in the lead but in the end the tables turned with Rocky cutting it close going into the last jam of the game with a tied score of 108-108 with their jammer in the box. It was all over when LA’s Chargin’ Tina broke the tie to give LA the win with a final score of 113-108.
What does this mean for roller derby? It’s not the only sign that derby might be heading towards becoming a professional sport. Its popularity is still growing at a rate of knots so we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds. In the mean time, there is plenty more exciting roller derby coming up in the sport’s very first World Cup starting on the 1st December.
Last weekend was the most exciting weekend EVER in British roller derby. London Rollergirls competed for the first time in the WFTDA East Region Playoffs- and they kicked ass! After much speculation before the tournament from the international derby community about whether London were up to the challenge, the girls in pink and black really showed them who was boss. They won 3 out of 4 of their games, all against leagues ranked much higher in the region but London saw, matched and beat them, with the exception of 2E Philly, earning a very respectable 5th place in the tournament.
In their first game against 7E Carolina, London stormed in and beat them by almost 100 points. I had done my best to shield my eyes from the internet all day so as not to find out the score before watching it on the big screen so it was a pure joy to watch London advance to the quarterfinals with a 160-67 victory. It was very close for the first few jams with neither team scoring many points but London’s Kamikaze Kitten had the first power jam, scoring 13-0 as Carolina’s jammer was in the penalty box. Vagablonde was up next to jam and scored a hearty 19 points for London, giving them a a 34-2 lead with 22 minutes left in the first half. Carolina managed score a few more points in the first half as Kamikaze Kitten was sent to the penalty box with a 9 point jam from Holly Wanna Crackya. Points crept up slowly for both sides for the remainder of the half, and at the break it was London with a surprisingly large lead at 86-34.
London got off to a strong start in the second half with a 6-0 jam to Kamikaze Kitten, and London remained strong until Carolina jammer Thrashley finally got lead and some points for her team on the sixth jam. Carolina managed to regain some control and score a 10-3 jam to make it 108-46 with 20 minutes to play. They continued to claw their way back and with 15:52 left in the game and the score 111-57. But, with 4:30 to play Carolina’s Ginger Clobbers was sent to the box leaving London’s Kamikaze Kitten to score a victorious 19-0 that made it 134-57 with 4:30 to play, and four jams later London had the win at 160-67.
London were up next against 2E Philly, one of the toughest contenders in the competition. After proving that they more than deserved to be at Regionals, London were faced with their toughest challenge of the tournament and the first half of the bout turned out to be extremely one-sided. Philly were ready for London’s close-to-the-jam-line setups, and London could not come up with an alternative before it was too late. Philly put up an iron defence for the entire first half with London only getting lead jammer 4 times and after the first 15 minutes, Philadelphia were in the lead with 47-3. Philly slowly extended their lead for the rest of the first half, stopping London from scoring by calling off each jam as London’s jammer was about to re-enter the pack. With 6 minutes to go, Vagablonde was called for a major illegal procedure to give Philly the first powerjam of the bout. Stefanie Mainey, Axis of Evon, and Ninjette did their best to hold back Gloria Grindem, but Philly still extended their lead to 74-3. Mo Pain then took over the power jam and scored another 12 points. London’s Stefanie Mainey captured lead in the final jam of the half and scored 3 leaving the score at half time 90-6.
London changed their strategy during the second half. For the first 7 minutes, Kamikaze Kitten, Stefanie Mainey, and Vagablonde leapt, dodged, and somersaulted their way to outscore Philly’s jammers 13-4. London ended a 5-jam scoring drought as Stefanie Mainey adroitly leaped around a linked-arm 2-wall for 4 points as Vagablonde played good defense against Persephone. With 15 minutes to go, Philly led 110-26. However, Philly did not let London catch up. Persephone held a strong defence on Stef’ Mainey, keeping her in the pack while Goldy scored an 18 point jam. Philadelphia got yet another power jam right at the end of the game making the final score a 140-53 victory for Philly.
In their next game against Boston, London continued what DNN called ‘the best run ever by any bottom seed in a WFTDA tournament’ winning against 6E Boston, 142-95.
Boston’s Claire D. Way got lead and a 3-0 on the first jam, but Boston’s jammer Lil’ Paine was sent off before she’d got through the pack and London’s Vagablonde scored a strong 10 points before getting sent off herself. Boston jammer Sugar Hits scored 8-0, flipping the lead for the third time in three jams, 11-10 Boston after 5 minutes. Both team’s jammers were sent off again leaving a very close 23-20 score with Boston in the lead. London finally retook the lead on a 9-0 with about 11 minutes left in the first half. London performed some strong blocking took lead jammer status fairly consistently for the last ten minutes of the half and pushed their lead out to 61-41 before the last jam whereKamikaze Kitten scored a 14-0 that made the half time score 75-41 to London
London scored well in the first few jams in the second half pulling ahead to 97-43, but Boston’s Sugar Hits landed a critical 15-0 that took the 54-point London lead down to 97-58 with 21 minutes of the game remaining. Ivana Shankabitch was sent off after jamming against Vagablonde resulting in a power jam for London’s Kamikaze Kitten, leaping the apex multiple times and scoring a 25-0 that made it 126-61 London. With 12 minutes left, Boston’s Sugar Hits scored 20-0 moving the score to 126-81, but that was the last time that Boston looked like they had a chance to win. From there, London succeeded in playing very defensively, scoring a few but hardly giving up and points. The final score was 142-95 to London.
The 5th place bout was the first WFTDA regional game played between teams not from the US – London vs Montreal. After April’s London-based tournament Anarchy in the UK, London had a score to settle against the Canadians in neon. This turned out to be one of the most exciting bouts of the weekend.
Montreal took the first lead jammer after a very slow pack start from both teams, with Georgia W. Tush taking a 4-0 over Kamikaze Kitten but London got the first powerjam opportunity of the game when Mange Moi El Cul was sent to the box. The first few jams were very close with a score of 10-8 to London after three jams. Montreal got back in the lead and when London called their first timeout, the score was score 31-10 to. Montreal. Iron Wench was sent off soon after and Kamikaze Kitten used the powerjam to take the lead 41-35. Vagablonde extended their lead to 45-35. London continued to score and at halftime, they were leading 68-46.
London came out of the break strong, winning the first 6 jams of the half and taking lead on 5 of them to extend their slight lead to a controlling one at 112-53; It wasn’t until 12 minutes had passed in the half that Montreal’s Iron Wench finally got a lead jammer status. Two jams later, Montreal did manage to get a desperately needed 12-0 on the jam to make it 121-69, and Iron Wench added a bit more with a 4-1 jam to make it 122-73 with 13 minutes left. The game just got closer and closer as Stefanie Mainey was sent to the penalty box twice leaving Iron Wench to put the score at 122-97 London. Georgia W. Tush then scored a 14-0 jam that made it 122-111 with 5:26 to play. Montreal’s score crept up for the next few jams in spite of excellent defence from London making it 129-118 with 2:22 left. It was nail-bitingly close right up until the very last minute with Iron Wench was up against Kamikaze Kitten in the final jam, needing at least two scoring passes to win. Iron Wench got lead jammer but had a very tough time in her opening scoring pass. however, Kamikaze Kitten was completely stuck for almost a full minute. Right when it looked like Iron Wench was about to score, Stefanie Mainey hit her to the inside, saving the game for London. Kamikaze Kitten finally escaped the pack and scored a 4 point pass that put the margin just barely out of reach. Though the jam went 8-4 to Iron Wench, it wasn’t enough to make up Montreal’s 6 point deficit, and London won by the skin of their teeth, 137-135.
Well done London!!!!!
How long have you been playing roller derby?
Kit: Since Autumn 2008
What positions do you play?
Kit: I jam, block and pivot, a bit of everything – where I am needed at the time! I want to work on my blocking and hit harder
What skates/pads and other kit do you use?
Kit: My skates are a pair of Riedell 395 boots, quite bare boots with no padding, took some time to wear in but once that’s done you L-O-V-E them, and I do L-O-V-E my skates. I use ProTec knee and elbow pads, SFR wrist guards, Triple Eight helmet – they do a model that fits my head perfectly, and it comes in my teams colours, the London Rockin’ Rollers, Red & Black so perfect match!
Which leagues would you recommend watching?
Kit: All leagues! as much as possible!! There are lots of footage out there, on YouTube, DNN and on teams websites so just dive in!
Which derby skaters inspire you the most?
Kit: Quadzilla, Swede Hurt, Suzy Hotrod , The Mighty Mighty Bash, Jack Attack, Von Bitch, Vagablonde, Stefanie Mainey … err.. there are so many skaters out there, each with a different style and skills that I look up to!
Tell us about your craziest/ most memorable bout?
Kit: I had a great bout when my mum was over to see me/us in action for the first time, think it was LRR v CCR , we won , and I was some kind of lean mean jamming machine! Was fun.
What injuries have you sustained so far in your derby career?
Kit:I had ‘jumpers knee’ about 1.5 ago, but knee is all fine now, however I managed to break my ankle when trying out for team Sweden end of May so I’m on crutches right now, or on crutch I should say, just got rid of the cast – after 7 long weeks, and have a nice funky boot and walk with one crutch, feels better and stronger every day and I can’t wait to be back on my skates
What is your training regime?
Kit: I usually cycle everywhere in London on a daily basis, and was going to take up running again this summer, which I will do as soon as I can run again. I also want to try yoga to ensure that I’m more flexible.
Do you have any top fitness or nutrition tips to share?
Kit: I have started using derbalife shakes, as I get out of my house without any breakfast, and want to get going quick so am a bit too impatient to make a proper breakfast that really suited me. I think its good to do as much varied sports as possible, I need to work on my upper body strenght now, so that’s what I’ll do whilst I’m not able to run or skate or cycle, as well as work with building up my left foot and leg of course, its a bit weak right now to say the least!
What is your favourite ‘boutfit’ to wear?
Kit: I like the red LRR outfit. We also have our own LRR pants, which are a pair of customised Y fronts, they are quite cool – I just need to get used to having my huge ass on show! I also have a tiger romper suit that I’m quite pleased with.
Roller derby seems to be becoming more and more popular in the UK, what do you predict for the future of UK roller derby?
Kit: I think its going to continue to grow, and hopefully the fan base will catch up with the amount of aspiring roller derby skaters we are seeing right now. We all have to work hard on spreading the word! (As well as getting as awesome as we possibly can, but that’s a given!! )
You’re from Sweden, do you have much contact with the roller derby scene over there?
Kit: Yes, I know Vix Viking, one of the first London RollerGirls, she is from a town near to my home town (we are both for the fine South of Sweden) and has started a league there now, Crime City Rollers. I recently went over to Stockholm to try out for Team Sweden – that’s when I broke my fucking’ foot! Luckily enough it happened towards the end of day 1, and the coaches recently told me the wanted me on the team!!! I’m so excited about that! I know Knickerblocker Glory too , she is of course on the team, all of the Swedish skaters were all awesome , so I’m very much looking
What do you predict for the future of roller derby in Europe?
Kit: It will grow and take over everyones’ lives and we’ll all be one happy roller derby family. (Fingers crossed) I also think the level will go up very quickly and hopefully the public will start to realise what a thrill it is to watch a game, and how much fun it is to follow a derby team.
I just spent a week in glorious New York where I passed my time hitting up all the essential tourist spots- the Empire State Building, the Guggenheim gallery, Central Park, oh and lets not forget the Gotham Girls Roller Derby warehouse!
On a quiet, industrial looking street in the trendy Brooklyn district of Williamsburg, lies the home of the Gotham Girls. From the outside, it looks like any other unsuspecting industrial building but when you duck underneath the metal shutter a world of beautiful derby is revealed.
Karin Bruce, aka Chassis Crass and David ‘Lefty’ Liebowitz started up the Gotham Girls Roller Derby in 2003 and they held their first bout in 2004. Since then the league has become one of the top-ranked leagues in the world.
The league is made up of four home teams: the Bronx Gridlock, Brooklyn Bombshells, Manhattan Mayhem, and Queens of Pain. These teams play within the league and also compete with member teams from other WFTDA leagues. There is also a rookie’s league called the Meatpacking District.
The Gotham Girls also have two inter-league competition teams: the Wall Street Traitors and the Gotham Girls All-Stars, The Gotham Girls All-Stars represent the league in sanctioned WFTDA inter-league competitions that count towards WFTDA national rankings.
While I was training with them, what struck me most was their athleticism. These women work hard for their sport. The first 30-40 minutes of training consisted of what I would consider an intensive plyo workout, but for them it was just a warm up. Their All-Star team practice between 8 and 12 hours a week, not including any fitness training they do in their own time and it shows.
The next thing I really noticed was how organised the whole operation was. The league is a registered non-profit organisation and there was a huge team of supporting members at practice, including referees, bench coaches, score keepers, even an on-hand physio therapist and many others, each with their own dedicated roles. It also helps that they have their own warehouse, complete with digital projected scoreboard. They really are set up to play some serious sport.
If you ever get a chance to watch them, I would definitely recommend it. They really are ‘promoting the physical and mental strength and independent spirit of amateur female athletes’, as their mission statement says. It really was an inspiration for a rookie like me so I’d better get my skates on an do some jump squats!