The brilliant Vienna Rollergirls are coming over to play Auld Reekie Roller Girls this coming weekend... but they've hit on a problem.
A last-minute cancellation by one of their hosts means that as many of 6 of their skaters have nowhere to stay in Edinburgh for the entire period they're visiting.
We know that the derby community is full of helpful and supportive people so:
If anyone can put up any number (up to 6) Viennese roller girls from 16th to 21st May, then you will have their eternal gratitude. (Edinburgh much preferred, but I suspect that in reasonable distance would work if needed.) Contact: Sabine HansaBlast Anderson or Anke Schaffartzik via Facebook if you can help.
Situation resolved: thanks to You Sayin Bolt of Bairn City Rollers, housing has been found for all of the potentially homeless skaters for Vienna. Thanks to everyone who offered a place for them!
The WFTDA have released the latest version of their minimum skills, and have split opinion within Derby. In this Article Go-Go-Gadget-Skates and Buffy Boiler will look at the implications from the perspective of a skater and a referee.
Buffy: First of all, I'd like to address what the new minimum skills actually mean for non-WFTDA leagues. Basically, they are as big a deal as your league wants them to be. The first page of the document has some interesting stuff to say that I think a lot of people are forgetting:
The minimum skills are:
- Required for charter team skaters playing WFTDA sanctioned games.
- Strongly recommended for skaters playing in interleague scrimmage or games.
- Strongly recommended for skaters playing in intraleague (home) scrimmages or games.
- Recommended for new skaters to graduate to contact drills and intraleague (home league) scrimmages.
What this means is that if you're a new league or for whatever reason just don't yet have a sufficient number of skaters to field a team who all meet the new minimums you can still scrimmage, and even bout, as long as you agree it in advance with any prospective opponents. The goal of this update is not to turn Derby into a game for only elite-level skaters, but it is definitely a move to ensure that WFTDA tournaments and games between WFTDA members represent a good standard of play.
I do expect that in the near future the new minimums will become the standard for interleague competition, as more and more teams are able to meet them - but remember that as the standard of play rises so will the standard of coaching available. The way up for a new league hasn't suddenly become longer, but it does maybe need a little more thought now.
Gadget: So early April saw the release of the updated WFTDA Minimum skills assessment to a very mixed review from my fellow skaters.
First and foremost, I’d like to echo what Buffy has so rightly pointed out, these minimums are only compulsory for WFTDA leagues! Of course they are strongly recommended for all others. If a league plays under the WFTDA ruleset, it would make sense for that same league to start updating their minimum skills for the league as a whole, whether WFTDA or not.
Buffy: The old minimums were built primarily with safety in mind; though I think it's fair to say that was never their sole purpose. For instance 25 in 5 was not a safety requirement, but it helped ensure a base standard of athletic ability which was necessary for competitive play. Just as 27 in 5 represents the increase in the general athleticism of the sport today.
Gadget: Lets look at what’s been added and taken away. We see the addition and subtraction of various skills. Like so many other skaters, I am glad to see the back of the unnecessary baseball slide fall. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use this fall in active gameplay. The new minimums focus very much on specific skills that, if you were brought up on the old minimums, you very quickly learned you needed to succeed in the game. As well as skill, it is upping the expectation of speed from the skaters, with the addition of 27 in 5 and being able to complete one lap in 13 seconds from standstill. Other skills that have been introduced are reverse crossovers, transitions. A lot of the minimums now have clearer descriptions on what is expected, thus making it far easier for leagues to interpret and teach to their aspiring future derby players.
Buffy: Derby is no longer simply a game about skating fast and turning left. The sport has evolved in ways few people could have anticipated in 2009, when the minimums were last updated, and as a result the modern game changes pace and even direction very quickly. So I think it's right that things like transitions are now seen as part of the core skill-set. As many of us will have seen, a poorly executed transition can lead to serious injury. Putting too much torque on the ankles can lead to anything from strains and sprains to spiral fractures (where the bone is broken by twisting it, not snapping - which almost always requires surgery). To say nothing of the obvious risks to suddenly changing direction and falling in front of other skaters.
This aside, the bulk of the minimums have actually been streamlined - the section on "sticky skating" (or skullcrushing as some called it) has been condensed to one line: "Propels self while keeping all 8 wheels on the floor." Skaters now simply have to be able to competently land legal hip and body checks while skating at a decent speed. It's less about box ticking and more about ensuring that people are comfortable and, most importantly, safe on skates.
Gadget: Personally, at first I was disheartened at seeing the addition of 27 in 5, particularly because I remember how long it took me to achieve in the first place then again when returning from injury. However after some reflection, I think it’s a great addition. Having 25 in 5 before wasn’t really that good of an indication of a skaters endurance. Yes they can skate fast for 5 minutes, but could they skate fast for multiple jams in a row? Most of a period? A game? Unfortunately for some skaters, the answers to these questions are no. I also feel that new and old skaters alike will benefit greatly from the inclusion of these skills, making them better, more skilled derby players in the long run. I love that I can transition, not particularly fast, but I can. And I look forward to the day that I do this on track without having to think about it.
Buffy It's probably been apparent that I'm all for this change, especially as the WFTDA have been careful to be inclusive in their approach. They are not saying you must be able to skate this well to play, they are simply saying that this is the standard expected in their own competitions. I've seen skaters who could technically pass their minimums thrown into bouts well before they were ready, this is disheartening for the person concerned - it's easy to keep a nice strong stance when you're asked to do so for a minute or two in order to be assessed on it, it's quite another to be able to maintain it while keeping up with a fast pack and trying to not be taken out by an opponent.
As a referee I technically do not need to be able to pass minimum skills, the required standard of skating for referees is entirely up to the leagues they train with. Most leagues will use the minimums for skaters as the basis for referee training, and there will be a level that each league expects before allowing a new official to start refereeing scrimmages and then later bouts. Personally, I'm an advocate of strong skating skills for referees. We need to be fast at OPR and able to quickly change pace to follow the skaters from the inside, this is particularly true of Jam Refs. We also all need to be confident enough to do all this without thinking about what our skates are doing, while making decisions which can drastically alter the game.
Buffy: The old minimum skills really were the minimum required. Some may find it disheartening to hear this but very few established skaters were struggling with any of the old skills. A skater who can pass these is actually pretty good, not merely safe to share a track with. This means that when new skaters do pass, they'll know that they're at a higher standard than the generation of skaters before them was when they first took to the track. Our sport is evolving and improving, which I think we can all agree is a very good thing.
Gadget: Yes it will take time to be able to do all of these skills. Chances are, you can probably achieve most of them, if not all already. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t. Everyone else had to learn and you can too. You need to work hard, the same as you did for your original minimums. Your league will thank you for it as you will become a better skater who is more agile, fast and overall more skilled.
My final thought is that I’d like to echo what Buffy has said, these new skills will make new skaters joining bouting ranks more equipped to deal with the state of play that is now happening at scrimmages and bouts.
So, ECDX is now less than 8 weeks away! How ready is the team? Cider (ARRG): We bout all year round, so we're always ready to play Roller Derby. We just need to remember to pack party hats and sun block and we're there!
Rogue (GRD): As ready as we’ve ever been, I reckon! It was important to us to plan and train far in advance for this event so we’ve been working very hard at playing as a solid unit for a while now.
Is there any specific training that your team have been doing to prepare, eg extra scrimmage/off skates training/teambuilding? Rogue (GRD): Yes, everyone on the team has taken on some sort of off skates training. This has taken many forms. Some people are going to the gym, some do Cross-fit, running, strength training or even Parkour! This means that everyone has been making a huge commitment, as the team already train 3-4 times a week. It’s a lot of work and time for everyone. This team is dedicated!
Crazy (ARRG): Yes - lots of intense off skates, focus on team work and a lot of work on our technical skating skills lately - we jumped at LRG's invite to go play at Anarchy in the UK III because we knew that would give us a couple of really challenging games and bring the team together just before ECDX. And the lovely Hot Wheels invited us down for a bout the week afterwards, which was great in consolidating our team work a bit more. For the next few weeks we have booked in a lot visiting teams to scrimmage against us, so that we can do as much as we can to raise level of the ARRG teamwork dream work! We also have an exciting scrimmage with Gotham, and a pre ECDX bout with another WFTDA league organised for when we get to the States to acclimatise us before ECDX starts. Bouting in New York AND Philly!
What are the team/wider league doing to help with finances for this international opportunity? Rogue (GRD): The whole league, as well as our families and friends, have been amazing in helping us to raise funds for this. To try to list the ways that people have helped would be to miss something out. Fundraising efforts have been as diverse as bag-packing at a local supermarket; a photo exhibition at a local café run by our own Phoenix; and a Grd Auction. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped us and I hope we can make them proud. Click here if you’d like to help out! http://www.glasgowrollerderby.com/get-in-touch/donate
Cider (ARRG): So much! It's unreal - I think everyone in the league has helped in some way which is a bit single teary for us as a team. We feel really supported, and a bit overwhelmed by the sacrifices people have made for us. Our limited edition merch, designed by Admiral Attackbar, has been a huge bonus because not only does it raise money for us, but it's also amazing quality. We love the designs! You can buy them here: http://auldreekierollergirls.bigcartel.com/products. Our Sponsorship and Advertising Committee have pulled off some brilliant and fun fundraising events for us this year too – like our huge 5th birthday party which will be happening this Saturday, which has lots of lovely surprises happening on the night. This will help us raise further travel funds. You can find our more here: http://www.facebook.com/events/193068510841007/
Do you know anything about the teams you’re up against? Crazy (ARRG): Of course! We did some fairly intensive research as soon as the sanctioned teams were announced by ECDX Organisers - it's frightening how organised our team was at online research or creeping as we call it. There was a 12 hour overnight 'ARRG mass creep' period where the whole team did this massive impressive feat of internet stalking and voting to suss out who we wanted to play! We've been keeping an eye on both teams - Ithaca and Dominion - and where they are appearing in rankings; who they're playing and who they're beating; but I guess it's really only when we get there that we'll get a real sense of the level of play.
Rogue (GRD): Long island are ranked 93rd, and Columbia 39th, in the WFTDA rankings but who knows what that means? Teams don’t tend to give much away and it’s hard to find recent footage online. However Columbia are playing against Charm City (17th) this weekend and I’ll be watching the results of that one very closely! I also know from being in touch with members of both teams that they will play hard and play to win, but that they are lovely people and I can’t wait to meet them.
How do you think the team will perform? Rogue (GRD): The team have all been reminded to pack our A game. We’ll be playing to win!
Cider (ARRG): I think that we've been performing well lately as a team and consistently improving with each bout or tournament, so if we keep our focus I know we can perform well. It just all depends on how well the other teams perform against us I guess. We've trained hard and we'll go in with the usual 100% and see where that gets us!
What are you most excited about?
Crazy (ARRG):How long have you got?! It's ECDX!!! Roller Derby in America! Food in Philly! Rocky steps! Team Sauna! And most exciting, is knowing the rest of ARRG will be watching and cheering for us. We want to make them all proud. Hopefully squeeze a bit of shopping in also... And also, just to say it is such a great chance for two Scottish teams to represent themselves in the States … and if the Team Scotland after-party was anything to go by (from the World Cup) we should have fun doing it!
Rogue (GRD): Oh, so many things! I’m excited to get there and play with the team and see all of our hard work pay off. I’m excited about the opportunities that this could create for us. I’m excited about the future of GRD. I rarely stop being excited about roller derby!
Get yourself along to The Mercantile in Dundee for Dundee Roller Girls pub quiz on 9th May at 7.30pm.
Teams of up to 5 people and £3 per head.
First prize is a cash prize, with prizes for 2nd and 3rd place too!
What better way to start your weekend than with a pub quiz on a Thursday night! And you get to help raise some cash for your friendly local derby team at the same time. It'll be a fun filled night and not to be missed.
The event page can be located here https://www.facebook.com/events/579555658735459/
This year's intraleague on Sunday 25th May will have a Transformers theme: Revenge of the Fallen. Skaters from FVRG will split into the AutoBlocks and DeceptiQuads for one day only to battle it out on track. The line-up will showcase six of the leagues newest skaters: Tri-Sarah-Tops; Bambi; Tiny Tearaway; Johnny Hangover; WhoopAsh and Elburnzo. This will also be the debut outing for ref Wendy Snarling!
The FVRG bout will be held in Grangemouth Sports Complex. Tickets are charged at £5 in advance, and under 14s go free with a paying adult. Due to the limited seating at this venue, tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis - and from Brown Paper Tickets only.
Join the Facebook Event to keep up to date with the latest news.
It may appear to have gone quiet on the FVRC front recently, but behind the scenes, it's been a busy time. It has been a bit of a slog, but the good news is that the end, or rather, the start, is now in sight.
We've had an ongoing "wheel amnesty", looking for old, unloved indoor wheels that you no longer use, which we can use on kids' skates. In addition, we're now appealing for donations of any old kit that you no longer have any use for, which is doing nothing but clutter up your house. Any pads or even skates which you or your kids have outgrown would be gratefully recieved. They don't have to be perfect, merely functional (and safe, obviously!). We won't be able to have full spare kit for everyone, but we would like to have at least bits and pieces that we can lend. If you have any wheels or kit that you would like to donate, please contact us either on Facebook or by emailing email@example.com.
Similary, we're also looking for people to help out in various ways - no derby experience neccessary! Being involved with the Cubs doesn't have to mean being a coach, there's lots to do so it's all hands on deck. Contact us if you'd like to be a part of the fun.
Finally, with a view to raising some much-needed funds, we now have a PayPal account so we can accept donations. I, along with a group of skaters from Fierce Valley Roller Girls, am climbing Ben Nevis next month and have decided to try to raise some money for the Cubs at the same time. Any donations would be much appreciated, and would make the blisters worth it! Our PayPal account can be found
here Remember to look out for further information, hopefully coming soon. If you're not already on our mailing list, drop us an email and we'll add you, to make sure you don't miss any important annoucements.
Continuing in our look back at how our Nasty Nessies diarists feel now, one year later than their initial diary, we have the case of Scarlet O'Horror (or is it Scarolott?). Her original diary is here.
I would sit myself down and say: you will LOVE this sport, so buy better gear to start with. You're just going to have to keep upgrading otherwise. Also, working on your crossovers pays huge rewards!
Last year, you mentioned that most of your derby heroes were drawn from bouts and training videos you'd seen online. Since then, have your heroes changed, as you've hopefully managed to see more derby first-hand?
I had a blast at ARRG's bootcamp - all the women who were teaching there were wonderful and really encouraging. I think my heroes of the moment though are my team mates, who have kept us going through recruitment, getting through mins, and encouraging us all on our way.
Of course, you're now mins-passed (under the old WFTDA mins, at least ;) ), and so one difference between last year and how is that you'll have been scrimming. Given your enjoyment of blocking last time we spoke, I guess you're enjoying scrimming even more?
I LOVE it!! We've been to Dundee's open scrim, and some of the girls were able to scrim in a mixed team in Edinburgh, and it's just such an adrenaline kick to get on track and be working in a team. It'll be even better when it's an all-Nessie team!
Around the time of the last diary, you'd just decided to change your skatename from Scarlett O'Horror to Scarolott, as that skatename was already in use. Now we hear you're thinking of changing back...
I'd always loved Gone With The Wind, so was gutted that my chosen name of Scarlett O'Horror was already in use by a skater in the States, so went and chose a new name. However, I've recently had some advice that some skaters have agreed to share a name - especially if they're in different continents and unlikely to bout together. So - if anyone from the TSDD is reading, I'm trying to get in touch to see if your Scarlett O'Horror would mind a Kiwi/Scottish namesake with a different bouting number...!
Starting out, the Nessies got some help from the derby community, with Granite City running the first bootcamp to push your skills up. Now you're in a position to pay it back, what have you been adding to the derby community?
NNRG went up to Shetland to help out when they first started up, so I'm really looking forward to them coming to see us for a friendly scrim. I'm doing my best to get as many folk involved as I can!
What're your plans for the future? The Nessies have been tight-lipped about their plans for the next year, although we've seen the first ever public bout featuring two of your skaters in the past month! Will we see a Nasty Nessies bout by the end of the year?
It would be awesome if we could. In the meantime, we're getting more skaters through mins, and will keep going to open scrims when we can - we're all really keen to get a bout up and running!
Speaking for LDD, Duke Boxx had this to say: "We certainly can't wait to welcome family and friends to our first ever public bout and also the Central Belters first ever public bout. So come along and cheer on some girls popping their bouting cherry and we can certainly sweeten the pot with some yummy home baked goods, goodies to be won and what is set to be fun an exciting roller derby."
We at GCRG are exited to announce that we will be playing Glasgow Roller Derby's Maiden Grrders for our 2nd home bout of the year on the 11th of May.And once again, there will be FREE ENTRY for everyone. Yup that's right, no door charge! We are limited to 250 spectators, so get there early to guarantee entry.
Don't forget your pennies for the Merchandise Stands, Raffle and charity cake stall.Doors open at 2pm, first jam whistle 3pm. All ages welcome (under 18s must be accompanied with a responsible adult).
Check out the event on Facebook
Date:Sat, 11/04/2013 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm< Location: Beach Leisure Centre
See map: Google Maps
|TITLE||DATE||HOME LEAGUE||HOME TEAM||HOME SCORE||AWAY SCORE||AWAY TEAM||AWAY LEAGUE|
|Saturday Fight Fever||11/05/13||Granite City Roller Girls||Northern Fights||Maiden Grrders||Glasgow Roller Derby|
“FINALLY…ROLLER DERBY RETURNS TO ABERDEEN!!”
After more than a year away, the Granite City Roller Girls were once again hosting a home bout! On March 30th, they played host to the awesome Middlesbrough Milk Rollers who were making their Scottish debut.
More than 230 people, including skaters from Dundee and Edinburgh, made their way to the Beach Leisure Centre in Aberdeen for what was sure to be an epic homecoming for the GCRG’s Northern Fights.
In addition to the usual merchandise and raffle stalls, the GCRG put on a cake stall to raise funds for the Dialysis Unit/Renal Ward at Abereen Royal Infirmary. The stall was manned by the teams 2 biggest fans, Batman & Robin! Raising a whopping £229.53.
With the skate outs done, kit check completed and demonstration finished, it was time to get underway…
MMR claimed Lead Jammer in the opening 3 jams through Ella Storey & Lolly Go Sprightly and opened up an early 11-8 lead. The Fights were up to the challenge though. They fought back almost instantly taking the next 4 Lead Jammer positions with 4 different jammers (Rock’n’Riot, Clinically wasted, Moscow Cruel and Crimson Chaos) which allowed them to take a 16-8 lead! MMR then exploded out of the blocks and for 8 straight jams, they claimed the lead jammer role. During that time, Ella Storey and Terri Sudron made full use of 2 power jams after Crimson Chaos was sent to the bin for cutting track. Clinically Wasted and Rock’n’Riot did their best to spark a quick comeback by leading the next 2 jams and getting another 7 points on the board but MMR were proving difficult to stop as they continued to explode off the jam line, taking 5 of the last 6 jams and adding another 16 points to their tally so far. Kami Tazzy, Ruby Riot and Moscow Cruel were able to add a few more points to the Fights score as the half drew to a close but at the end of period 1, it was MMR who were in control.
Half Time Score = GCRG 32 – MMR 120
During the half time break the raffle was drawn by GCRG’s very own Frost Damage who has only recently been released from hospital after a serious condition had kept her there for a few months. She is at long last on the road to recovery and it was lovely to see her back involved with her second family!
The second half got underway and MMR couldn't have asked for a more imposing start. Ella Storey racked up a whopping 30 points in the first jam after Rock’n’Riot had been sent to the bin early on for a low block. Moscow Cruel and Clinically Wasted did stage a brief fightback by getting another couple of points up for the Fights but MMR just could not be contained. In Jam 5, Lexi Palmer’ Off took advantage of a cut track foul by Moscow Cruel and scored 13 points in her one and only jam of the entire bout! Great effort! Ella Storey returned to the fray again for MMR with another 4 points in Jam 6 before Terri Sudron made full use of a power jam after a cut track foul by GCRG Jammer Crimson Chaos. She rattled in another 15 points. The Middlesbrough girls were not only jamming well, but jamming smart. The GCRG jammers may have been second out of the pack but they were constantly hot on the heels of the MMR girls, forcing them to call the jams off early. But MMR kept plugging away, adding a few points each jam and steadily increasing their lead. Jam 13 saw Krusty make her first appearance as a jammer in a long time for GCRG but even she was struggling to find a way through MMR’s tough defensive walls. Rock’n’Riot took a huge (legal!) block in Jam 15 which staggered her. She shakily returned to her feet and finished the jam but you could see that it had taken her by surprise. Jams 17 and 18 were again immense for Middlesbrough. Lolly Go Sprightly was awarded a power jam after Moscow Cruel cut track and was sent to the bin. She smashed in an impressive 30 points. Then it was the turn of Terri Sudron. Unfortunately, Moscow began the next jam in the bin but when she returned, she cut track again which allowed Sudron to notch up 25 points for her team. As the game drew to an end, Ella Storey got herself another 10 points, but GCRG’s Northern Fights had saved the best for last. In any sport, one of the key components is ending on a high note and Kami Tazzy did exactly that. MMR’s jammer Moose couldn’t stay out of the bin and Taz took full advantage. In only her 4th jam of the bout, she put another 15 points on the board. On every pass of the pack, she whipped the audience into a frenzy and they almost blew the roof off the Leisure centre, cheering BOTH teams on right until the final whistle!
Final Score = GCRG 54 – MMR 285
BEST JAMMER – ROCK’N’RIOT
BEST BLOCKER – KRUSTY
MVP – CLINICALLY WASTED
BEST JAMMER – ELLA STOREY
BEST BLOCKER – THE LITTLE GRRMAID
MVP – TERRI SUDRON
A fantastic bout which had everything you could ask for. Drama, suspense, action, big (but fair) hits and an amazing finish. The fans were fantastic, the NSO’s and referees did a sterling job but the praise rightly goes to all the girls on track. They put on one hell of a show for the Aberdeen crowd! A huge thank you to Middlesbrough for making the long journey up north and I’m sure everyone at GCRG wishes them all the best in the future!
- Photography by Vikki Pearce Photography