Team Scotland Roller Derby have just released the press release below, listing their World Cup Squad of 20 skaters representing Scotland at the next Blood and Thunder World Cup.
While understandably mostly Auld Reekie Roller Girls and Glasgow Roller Derby skaters, there is also representation from Aberdeen's Granite City Roller Girls and Dundee Roller Girls. London Rollergirls and the Seaside Sirens present one skater each to the roster.
Of the 20 skaters, 8 are veterans of the 2011 World Cup team (including London Rollergirls' Sarah Oates).
Team Scotland have also launched a fundraising website on GoGetFunding to raise money for the tournament. http://gogetfunding.com/project/get-team-scotland-to-dallas
We are very pleased and excited to announce the TEAM SCOTLAND 2014 WORLD CUP SQUAD!!!!
Admiral Attackbar - Auld Reekie Roller Caitlin O'Carroll - Auld Reekie Roller Girls Ciderella - Auld Reekie Roller Girls Clinically Wasted - Granite City Roller Girls Crazylegs - Auld Reekie Roller Girls Fight Cub - Granite City Roller Girls Jess E. Ska - Glasgow Roller Derby Marshall Lawless - Glasgow Roller Derby Milky - Dundee Roller Girls Minnie Riot - Auld Reekie Roller Girls Mona Rampage - Glasgow Roller Derby Rock'N Riot - Granite City Roller Girls Rogue Runner - Glasgow Roller Derby Sarah Oates - London Rollergirls Skinner Alive - Auld Reekie Roller Girls Splat - Glasgow Roller Derby Suffra Jett - Glasgow Roller Derby The Bexorcist - Seaside Siren Roller Girls Velosidy - Auld Reekie Roller Girls Yin & Bang - Auld Reekie Roller
Has your favorite Scottish Skater made the list?!! This also kicks off our Fundraising drive to get the Team to Dallas in December, here is the link to our Go Get Funding pagehttp://gogetfunding.com/project/get-team-scotland-to-dallas.
Please help support team Scotland!!!!
As always when trying to watch international derby hosted in another country, time zone conversion gets in the way.
The Scottish Roller Derby Blog is here to help you out!
Below is a table for the correct times (
and links for WFTDA.tv streams and FlatTrackStats predictionslinks to Blaze Streaming Media's YouTube Archive) for all Auld Reekie and Kokeshi Roller Dolls bouts in both UK and Japanese time zones.
I've also included a few of the interesting Division 1 bouts on each day as well (but for the full schedule, see the Big O website itself).
I have tried, for Kokeshi, to provide some Japanese transcriptions of team names in bad Katakana, just for accessibility's sake.
- General Info at
Auld Reekie Roller Girls are also hosting Viewings of the ARRGvTuscon and ARRGvEmerald bouts on Saturday and Sunday, starting 90min before each bout begins, at the Safari Lounge (downstairs) in Edinburgh.
|Time (Host)||Time (UK)||Time (Japan)||Track||Event||Archive Link||FTS Prediction|
|Day 1 ("Friday")|
|2pm Fri||10pm Fri||6am Sat 6時 土曜日||2||Kokeshi v Humbolt こけし 対 ヘムボルツ||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|4pm Fri||12am Fri/Sat||8am Sat 8時 土曜日||2||ARRG v Arizona||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|8pm Fri||4am Sat||12pm Sat 12時 土曜日||1||Texas v Oly||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|Day 2 ("Saturday")|
|9am Sat||5pm Sat||1am Sun 1時 日曜日||1||ARRG v Tucson||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|7pm Sat||3am Sun||11am Sun 11時 日曜日||2||Kokeshi v Arizona こけし 対 アリゾナ||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|7.30pm Sat||3.30am Sun||11.30am Sun 11時30分 日曜日||3||ARRG v Sac City||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|Day 3 ("Sunday")|
|11am Sun||7pm Sun||3am Mon 3時 月曜日||1||Texas v Philly||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|1pm Sun||9pm Sun||5am Mon 5時 月曜日||1||ARRG v Emerald||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|1pm Sun||9pm Sun||5am Mon 5時 月曜日||2||Kokeshi v Pikes Peak こけし 対 ピケスピイク||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|5pm Sun||1am Mon||9am Mon 9時 月曜日||1||Philly v Oly||YouTube||FTS Pred|
|7pm Sun||3am Mon||11am Mon 11時 月曜日||1||"MVPs" v Team USA||YouTube||N/A|
2013 was a big year for Scottish Roller Derby on the international scene, as Glasgow Roller Derby's Irn Bruisers and Auld Reekie Roller Girls' Twisted Thistles both made the trip across the Atlantic to play in ECDX, the first UK teams other than London Roller Girls to start competing seriously against US teams on their home ground.
As with London's initial experiences, ARRG and GRD made a splash, both doing much better than many of the US natives had expected. This year, both leagues are sending their A teams to different events - GRD is targetting Spring Roll in Fort Wayne, and Auld Reekie are off to The Big O in Oregon this coming weekend.
The Big O is a yearly tournament hosted by Emerald City Roller Girls (based in Eugene, Oregon) since 2012. It's no stranger to international visitors: in 2013, Australia's Victorian Roller Derby flew across the Pacific to compete there, and the UK's own Southern Discomfort participated in the first ever international men's derby bout at the same event. As that implies, The Big O is not just a WFTDA or women's derby tournament: there is also a significant Men's Derby bracket and Junior Derby tournament as well.
Auld Reekie will be joined as International contenders amongst the US teams by Japan's Kokeshi Roller Dolls. Okinawa-based Kokeshi are one of the oldest Japanese derby leagues, naming themselves after the distinctive round-headed Japanese wooden dolls (こけし) which also appear on their logo. Like many of the Japanese derby leagues, KRD are mostly composed of American nationals, drawn from the ranks of United States Forces in Japan and their partners. The Big O will be Kokeshi's first international bouting experience.
Both ARRG and KRD will be competing in the "lower Division 2" tournament bracket, out of the three WFTDA brackets available.
With Glasgow Roller Derby's Spring Roll planning to be covered in a later article, we caught up with Auld Reekie's Ciderella and Kokeshi's Riot Earp and Dark Passenger to get their thoughts on planning for, experiencing, and learning from, international tournaments.
(ARRG) The Thistles’ first trip across the Atlantic made something of a splash as both ARRG and Glasgow Roller Derby outperformed expectations at ECDX. Now that the USA is adjusting to the quality of top European teams, are you expecting your experience of the Big O to be different?
(Cider) In some ways yes. This is going to be a much tougher tournament as the teams we are playing are mostly ranked a lot higher than we've played before and the ranking system is a lot more settled than it was last year. However last year I'm sure we felt the same; we were travelling overseas to play teams ranked higher than us then as well. it is only looking back at that experience that this time around seems more challenging. We still just want to go out and play the best that we can and show the rest of the derby community what we can do.
(KRD) According to Flat Track Stats, KRD have relatively few interleague bouts under their belt, thanks to the relatively recent growth of derby in Japan. How are you preparing for your first really big derby tournament challenge?
PRACTICE! We practice as much as we can first. Only a handful of us have been to a tournament so we are heeding the words of those experienced skaters to mentally and physically prep ourselves. We also have been working together as a team to coordinate travel and fundraising plans, as this is such a long trip. (Riot Earp)
KRD is preparing for our very first tournament in several ways. We have weekly scrimmages, we are practicing 3 days a week and participate in off skates workouts with groups or on our own. (Dark Passenger)
(ARRG) Over the past year, the Thistles’ Ranking has pretty much continuously increased, according to Flat Track Stats metrics. In addition, you’re ranked as the best (non-London) team in the UK by UKRDA’s subset of FTS’s rankings, and have a comfortable spot in Division 2 of WFTDA’s rankings, heading up the European contingent. How important was the experience of ECDX to your improvement as a team? Is there a point where every league has to start looking across the Atlantic for more challenges?
(Cider) In terms of improvement as a team, ECDX was certainly a focus for us in our training but I don't necessarily think that a tournament itself improves a team, I believe it is the work behind the scenes that does that. Travelling overseas and knowing that this was our one (very expensive) opportunity to get into Division 2 that year was certainly a good motivation! That being said, tournaments are so different to single games that any experience a team can get attending them is vital if you are serious about progressing up the rankings. They take a lot more out of you and as a unit you need to be smart about how you play the long game. It can also be a bit overwhelming the first time you travel anywhere with your league, so the more experience you can get the better. That way you can focus on the game when you are there and not everything else happening around that. As for going across the Atlantic to get those chances, well I really hope it does not get to the point where all leagues have to do this. Obviously if leagues want to do it, well that's great, it is a wonderful experience to see derby around the world and have that challenge against long-running leagues. The more a team climbs in the WFTDA rankings at the moment, the more likely they will need to go overseas to get the match ups they need, however, as there are now more European leagues doing this, hopefully it should have a knock on effect for the rest of Europe. In my opinion, the main reason top European leagues are forced to look elsewhere for games is due to their initial entry point into the WFTDA ranking system. Most start near the bottom, which means a fair sized rankings gap between themselves and perhaps other European leagues who have climbed the rankings but are actually similar in skill level. The team ranked higher then struggles, as they know they wont be able to get the point differential they need in that game to maintain their position. If there were a lot of teams ranked at their level that they could easily travel to, this would not be an issue as they could help that team out and then average out their ranking elsewhere, however, at the moment in Europe there are not enough near-by teams who have similar ranking levels for this to work. Hopefully with the amount of European teams crossing the Atlantic this year, the gaps will close and we can spread these rankings around. Although then I am sure other parts of the world will have the same challenges as derby progresses elsewhere.
(ARRG) Compared to the lineup at ECDX, the Thistles are facing twice as many bouts, against higher ranked opponents (including the intimidating Arizona, ranked #29 by FlatTrackStats at the time of writing). How do you prepare to face these really tough opponents?
(Cider) Last year when we went to ECDX we arranged a couple of extra games around the area to get the most out of the trip over there; whilst we only played two games at the tournament, we actually played 4 in a short amount of time; so we do have the experience of playing a good amount of teams over a short space of time. However, the toughness of these teams is not something we have had much experience in. We've prepared the only way we know how; by training as hard as possible on and off skates to make sure we are physically and mentally up to scratch. We are approaching this tournament with our usual positive attitude and a set of goals we wish to achieve as a team one of which is to get another good climb up the rankings.
(ARRG) This year, a few more UK teams are heading across the water to ECDX, including Tiger Bay Brawlers, who you narrowly defeated just a few weeks ago. How do you rate their chances in the tournament, given your experience?
(Cider) I think all the teams will do well at ECDX. As I said before tournaments are a great experience and perhaps a league with no experience of overseas travel and tournament weekends might find it a bit overwhelming, however, one of the benefits of being a derby league in Europe is that over seas travel and tournaments are hard to avoid. I'm very excited to see how these teams progress and hopefully I will be able to catch a few of the games on the live stream.
(ARRG) Also joining you as the only other non-US team at The Big O are Okinawa’s Kokeshi Roller Dolls. What advice would you give them in approaching the tournament, especially facing a really tough team like Arizona (as you both will be)?
(Cider) It is really important as a team to have clear goals going into a tournament and that everybody is on the same page. No matter what gets thrown at you in a game, focus on the bigger picture and remember it is a team effort. When you know you are going up against a tough team with a much higher ranking I think you should always aim high but be realistic about the situation; you're probably not going to get a 2:1 win ratio against them, but what can you get? Do you just want to get through the match alive? (There have been games where this is all I've wanted!) Get lead a certain percentage of the game? Shut down their point accumulation? Have a goal (or goals) and see them through. If you don't achieve them all, that's okay, just reassess afterwards, pick yourself up and have another look at them; maybe there is something you can learn from not having reached them that will help your team progress further.
(KRD) The Big O is not just a chance to play challenging teams, it’s also a chance to meet other skaters. With some very impressive Division 1 teams in attendance, who are you most looking forward to meeting? Are you looking forward to meeting your fellow non-US team, Auld Reekie Roller Girls?
(Riot Earp) There are a few big names thrown around the team as far as whom they HAVE to watch and want to meet, but personally, I’m excited to meet anyone and everyone! In my eyes, every skater there is an unbelievable athlete and work hard to be there. Each skater is special and amazing in their own way and I absolutely cannot wait to take it all in. We are extremely excited to meet ARRG. Being a non US localized team it’ll be great to make connections and learn and brainstorm on how they operate overseas and how it could help us improve.
(Dark Passenger) We are extremely excited to meet Auld Reekie as well as all the other teams there competing. We are all so excited to be a part of The Big O, I don’t think there’s really any team we’re really looking forward to meeting. We can’t wait to meet all the teams!
As well as a WFTDA Division 1 bracket, The Big O also features a significant Men’s Derby schedule, and a (West-coast) oriented Junior Derby schedule as well. What bouts are you looking forward to trying to catch, schedule permitting?
(Cider) I really am looking forward to seeing Kokeshi play, that will be good. I would also like to see Texas - Rose, however, the timing overlaps with one of our games so I am not sure if I will get to see any of it. As for the Men's and Junior's, I would like to see what I can as it is always exciting and there is always something to learn!
(Riot Earp) Being able to see Live Derby at this scale not on a computer monitor is more then we can ask for in the first place I know just being there to watch is going to be more then we could have asked for. We also just found out team USA will be there bouting the MVP mash up… this is one no one will miss!
(Dark Passenger) There are so many bouts we’d like to catch. The big one would have to be Texas Roller Girls vs Rose City.
Going to the USA is expensive. How do you decide how to raise funds for this kind of outlay, and how are you spreading the word about your events?
(Cider) Well we have some fantastic committees, especially marketing and sponsorship. They look at the figures and come up with some inventive fundraising ideas. We have an awards ball on June 21st which will be a lot of fun; Crazylegs is threatening to turn up in a wedding dress (the theme is dress fancy) so it is really not to be missed. Obviously after the success of our limited edition t-shirts last year, we've rolled out a new design which is friggin awesome and you can get right here. I really love a well designed t-shirt as a fundraising aid as everybody wins; the league gets some help and the buyer gets a great tee. We also have another boot-camp coming up on the 19th July, so save the date, it's going to be a good one! [Auld Reekie have held a range of fundraising events, including a Comedy Night at The Stand last week.]
(Riot Earp) FUNDRAISING FUNDRAISING FUNDRAISING! But yes in all seriousness along with mentally and physically prepping for this tournament we also had to financially prepare. The dollstars created a t-shirt line and have been selling them as well as setting up a GO FUND ME account. We also have been smaller fundraisers such as bake sales and babysitting for donations. Every penny has helped and we appreciate all those that have donated.
(Dark Passenger) The league has been fundraising since about October using GoFundMe and by having bake sales and by creating a unique Okinawa Roller Derby shirt.
Finally, what are your aims for the team with regards to the Big O as a competition and an experience? (For KRD, are you hoping this will raise awareness of Japanese derby, internationally? )
(Cider) Come back alive haha. We really want to climb further up the rankings, we are aiming high, Division 1 in fact, though we know this is a hell of a challenge. I think we really just want to see how we sit against teams ranked in the Division 1 area. No matter what happens this week, we will come back with a much clearer picture of what we need to do to progress further up the rankings and hopefully we can pass on this knowledge to other European leagues too, so that we can all benefit.
(Riot Earp) I think above all here in Okinawa we work hard to spread the word of derby. Most on island have not heard of it or have an ill-conceived notion of derby and assume we play 1970’s punch in the face derby. KRD works hard to help the sport of derby grow here in Okinawa and in mainland Japan. We hope that KRD being at the BIG O will not only help get our names out there but also the other leagues such as Tokyo Roller Girls and Devil Dog Derby Dames known. This is just the first step in what will be a long, fruitful adventure in derby for Kokeshi Roller Dolls.
(Dark Passenger) We are hopeful that KRD’s appearance at the Big O will bring an interest to other leagues to come out to Asia and skate against us and the other leagues on Mainland Japan and Okinawa. We are definitely planning on more international travel and participation in tournaments in the future.
This article would not have been possible without the assistance of ARRG's Double D-struction and KRD member "ghostopolis" on Reddit.
On Saturday 19th April, Mean City Roller Derby will be hosting a Fresh Meat taster session to recruit new skaters into their Roller Derby league. The event will be held in The ARC in Glasgow Caledonian University from 1pm until 4pm. Both males and females aged 18 and over are welcome.
To reserve your space and secure a loan of equipment, email email@example.com with your skate size and the equipment that you require.
Please see MCRD's Facebook Event for full details.
As you may have seen elsewhere, UKRDA has announced the ratification of a new Transgender Policy, which will be published for non-UKRDA members to see in due course. They have also appointed a Transgender Liaison co-held by two of Glasgow Roller Derby's own: Jodie Stanley and Freyja Gosnold, both of whom have huge experience and expertise in LGBT topics.
I think this is definitely a very positive thing, and look forward to seeing the policy document itself. Certainly, the rapid development of a Transgender Policy given the relative youth of UKRDA and Modern Roller Derby once again shows how positive and inclusive Derby can be, especially compared to other sports.
This article was edited after the fact to include a link to the Derby News Network article, which includes a copy of the policy document itself ( http://www.derbynewsnetwork.com/2014/04/ukrda_ratifies_no_questions_asked_trans_policy ). Having had a chance to read it quickly, it seems to be as well thought out and constructed as I could expect such a policy to be, and is definitely at the forefront of such policies in sport.
The full UKRDA press release is included below:
Roller derby organisation unveils transgender policy
The United Kingdom Roller Derby Association (UKRDA) has today [Wednesday, April 16] announced the appointment of their new Transgender Liaison and the ratification of their Transgender Policy.
The policy creates a uniform standard of treatment of transgender skaters, and ensures the protection and safety of transgender skaters throughout the UK, with UKRDA member leagues committing to adhere to the policy. This includes safeguarding the confidentiality of trans* skaters, and ensuring that they are supported not just by the law, but by UKRDA policies.
Mistress Malicious, chairwoman of the UKRDA, welcomed the announcement. She said: “This policy makes the UKRDA one of the most forward-thinking and inclusive sports organisations in the country.
“Skaters in our member leagues come from all walks of life and with this policy, we ensure that transgender skaters feel safe, supported and welcome within the UK roller derby community.”
To oversee the integration of the Transgender Policy, the UKRDA has appointed Glasgow Roller Derby skater Jodie Stanley as the organisation's Transgender Liaison. Jodie is a policy manager within a national LGBT organisation. "I hold a Senior Management position within a national LGBT organisation, and bring to the role vast experience in creating and influencing national and local policies and frameworks, ensuring that they represent lgbt people as widely as possible and reflect their differing needs."
Jodie will be co-performing this role with fellow GRD skater Freya Gosnold, who Freya has a great personal and political investment in trans* advocacy and support, and will be a wonderful asset to this role.
Jodie said: “I'm excited that UK roller derby is creating a breakthrough arena for transgender representation in our sport. Transgender people statistically engage far less in sport, partly due to structural discrimination - and I am delighted that roller derby is the sport which is breaking the barriers of gender, making it all about the sport and not about anatomy.”
Freya added: “Roller Derby has the potential to really pave the way for trans representation in sport, at all levels of competition, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to use my experience as a trans person and activist to support our sport and our community on this journey.”
Even hotter than the release date of the new OITNB, we're now hotting up for SEASON 5 of Glasgow Roller Derby's Home Teams!!! Saturday 26th April sees Glasgow's 4 home teams come together in a fantastic season opener, aiming to rack up some serious points that will put 2 lucky teams in good stead for a place in the much-coveted final!
Tickets are available in advance, however if you're flying by the seat of your pants, they will also be available on the door.
The two teams last met in February 2013 at The Peak in Stirling. Although Fierce Valley took the win in ‘Love Hurts’, it was a tough bout and came right down to the last jam. Both teams have come up against some stiff opposition over the past year – with both celebrating wins and losses – so it's all to play for in this year’s ‘Block Stock and Two Smokin’ Jammers’!
If you would like to cheer on the Parma Violents in their next bout, there are still seats available in their hired bus. The return journey costs £18 per person. The coach will leave from the main car park in Grangemouth Sports Complex at 8am sharp on Saturday 26th April, then after the action-packed bout, the coach will leave Preston to head back home at 9pm. The travel time is approx. 3 hours 20 minutes each way, plus a rest stop.
To reserve your seat on FVRG's Coach Trip, please email BoutManagement@fvrg.co.uk with your name and contact details. Seats will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Payment will be taken on the day.
Back in 2012, Lead Jammer magazine burst onto the stage as one of two new UK-based Roller Derby Magazines. At the time, Scottish Roller Derby blog editor Sandy caught up with LJ editor Moxie McMurder to talk about the launch. Two years later, it seemed like a good time to catch up with how the magazine, and Moxie, had changed along with derby itself.
We last interviewed you a little more than two years ago, right at the time of the launch of Lead Jammer Magazine. What do you know now about the publishing business that you wished you knew then?
To be honest I still feel like I’m learning something new with every issue, the things I struggle with are late submissions and having to chase people for articles they’ve promised me. It’s resulted in the issue coming out later than planned which of course pushes back subsequent issues but I feel a real responsibility to put out the best issue I can, so I won’t rush things. It’s still very much a learning experience.
The last time we talked about your plans for the future of the magazine. Have those plans changed in the last two years, or are you still on track for world domination?
Oh I still want world domination haha, I still want Lead Jammer to be the Rolling Stone of roller derby! I would love to take more of the opportunities that come our way such as sponsoring events however it’s difficult when you’re not sure if it’s worth the monetary risk. I’ve been burned by that. The only real plan I have for the mag is to make sure it’s always an interesting read and reflects all the different experiences and facets of roller derby.
And, outside of the magazine itself, how do you think derby has changed since Lead Jammer was launched: can you see a difference reflected in the articles you get submitted?
Men’s roller derby and junior roller derby have gotten a lot bigger so we have articles reflecting that. With the WFTDA rules changes and the next roller derby world cup there isn’t a shortage of people with opinions and a willingness to put forward new ideas.
You cover quite a range of Derby related topics in the magazine, ranging from some fairly technical through to more accessible articles. How do you balance the content from issue to issue, and what is the editing process to bring an issue together?
I do my best to make sure every issue is different and covers as wide as range as possible. When writers contact us they’ll sometimes ask if we have a topic in mind and sometimes I don’t so it’s up to them to pick a subject and all I ask for is a team logo and a photo or two to accompany the piece. This can be a saga in itself as we need the photographers permission before we print a photo and sometimes getting that photographers details is harder than you might think, sometimes we don’t get a response from the photographer which then means we need to look for another way to fill the page and make it more interesting than just black type on a white page. We’ve been very lucky when it comes to writers and submissions for the magazine. We’ve got people who have never written anything and we have experienced writers and bloggers. We have articles that are full of the authors personality and we have writers who like to take a more serious approach and we have some regular contributors who are brilliant! Coming back to photographers we’ve been so lucky to have access to some fantastic photographers who help us out all the time and we really appreciate that.
Putting the bones of the magazine together is fairly simple, it’s the design aspect of it that’s tricky. I’m taking a more active role in the design of the magazine now, before it was my husband who did that side of things. I’m enjoying working on the magazine in a more creative way as before my job was sourcing the articles and photos and placing them into InDesign but I had limited knowledge of how to make a page look good. I’ve been learning a lot more about InDesign, Photoshop and anything else that might help me keep the magazine looking good.
Do you have a favourite interview or article from the first two years worth of Lead Jammer issues?
The Brighton Brat’s Victorian Guide to Roller Derby in issue #7 was fantastic and I really liked the interview we did with Dave Wruck the director of Derby Baby. We’ve had some great writers and illustrators work with us and we’re always looking for more!
Does working on the sport you love take away any of the magic of why you fell in love with it to begin with?
My relationship with roller derby was already quite bruised when I started the magazine, if anything the magazine made it easier to stay in love with roller derby. Roller derby is a strange sport, it can break our hearts but we still can’t bring ourselves to quit. For the most part working on Lead Jammer is a lot of fun but there are days now and again when I feel like I’d like to quit. I’m not afraid to speak my mind which bothers some people and when a ton of negativity is thrown at me for having an opinion on roller derby it can get a bit much. However when I get a random email or Tweet out of the blue from someone telling me how much they love the magazine that makes it all worthwhile. The magazine is written by skaters for skaters although I’d hope a fan of derby would enjoy it just as much as a skater.
Lead Jammer is now the official magazine of the Heartlands Series, the largest annual tournament in the UK. How did you get involved in becoming their sponsoring magazine?
They actually approached me about becoming the official magazine of the Heartlands. I was really touched that they'd like us to be involved. I'm a big fan of the Heartlands series. It gives local teams the chance to really be a part of something and gives established as well as really quite new teams the chance to take part. This year the Heartlands has grown to include many more teams and I can only guess next year will be even bigger. It's really helping to build the roller derby community.
With a lot of more general interest publications folding, or becoming more web than print based, how do you see the future of magazines in general and Roller Derby magazines in particular?
I think when it comes to Lead Jammer there will always be a place for a physical copy, much like fanzines being a part of the DIY subculture my hope is that Lead Jammer provides the roller derby community with something they would want to own/collect.
As for magazine’s in general, I’m not sure. My husband and I subscribe to Empire magazine and I’d always go for a physical copy rather than reading it on my phone/tablet. That said we are looking into getting a Lead Jammer Mag app/download up and running so people can have the choice of a hardcopy or something they can read on their phones/tablets etc...
In another two years, who knows what will have changed in roller derby? Hopefully, we'll have the chance to go back and continue this series with a third look at Lead Jammer in 2016!
Lead Jammer Issue #8 is out now, via mail-order or at selected Roller Derby Vendors.
On the 29th of March 2014 Granite City Roller Girls will face off against Dundee Roller Girls’ Silvery Tayzers. This will be the third time the teams have played each other in the space of 4 years – a period of time that has seen a change in the look, the feel and the integrity of our sport and as such, a change in The Fights and The Tayzers. Clinically Wasted and Milky offer an interesting retrospective into how their leagues have developed in this time, and their aspirations for the future.
Granite City and Dundee were the first younger leagues to spring up in Scotland after the teams on the central belt had become more established. As a result, the leagues formed a symbiotic relationship, assisting each other wherever they could.
-Roller derby in Dundee has always been close with GCRG. They made the journey week after week to help us with every aspect of derby - from putting us through our minimum skills to helping us structure our league. It's fair to say that we wouldn't be the team we are without the help they gave us in the start, and their continuing support. (Milky) -The relationship between Aberdeen and Dundee goes back along time, before I had even put on a pair of skates myself. The maturing of both leagues has ran side by side, and for a while it almost felt like we had a conjoined league of Dundeen where we would attend each others training and in fact GCRG’s first ever closed door bout featured a few of the Dundee girls. -(Clinically Wasted)
Riding off the back of Highland Fling, Dundee hosted their first ever home game in November 2010. Their opponents - GCRG's Northern Fights. -A select few of us remember bouting GCRG - our first home bout as Dundee Destroyers. We didn't have any tactics really, we were just ecstatic to be sharing the track with our big sister league. We didn't take ourselves or the bout too seriously. As newbies we were all still caught up in the novelty of bouting - I think the majority of our time was spent considering uniforms, chants and face paint. Needless to say, GCRG had the edge on the day and took home the win. (M) -We were flying high with all the good intentions and in our fishnets, high socks and pants we were ready to kick butt. Dundee so kindly got somebody to film the occasion so it can eternally be watched. The video always makes me smile, because I remember how much fun we had that game, playing against our sisters. (CW)
And if you haven't seen it already, here is a link to the video by Dylan Drummond: Northern Fights vs Rippin Kittens 2010
Time marched on. Outside of these two league's UKRDA were fighting for recognised sport status, London RollerGirls had joined WFTDA, people were taking knee down starts…remember them? Our sport evolved. And then these sister leagues played again, this time in Aberdeen.
-By our return bout the following year, we were now Dundee Roller Girls. Skating under a new name and colour and with new ambitions and values. The team was much more focused - we'd spent months studying our tactics, rules and honing our skills. The atmosphere for us was a little more tense this time as we were aiming for a win. The bout was hard fought from both sides, but again GCRG just pipped us in the final minutes. It was the best we'd skated as a team and the closest we'd come to victory. We finished proud of ourselves and incredibly proud of our friends in GCRG who had grown so much and who continued to teach and support us. (M)
- The game was hard, well fought, close and most of all fun. The level of derby and strategy had changed, but that buzz of seeing your friends play well made it all worth while. (CW)
Fast forward to now, in 2014. DRG and GCRG have both had an incredible few seasons. Both teams are serious about progressing our sport and promoting the athleticism and empowerment they've worked so hard to achieve. Each team has changed vastly since they first lined up against each other in 2010; Dundee are in fact a completely different league with only 4 rostered skaters playing from the original line up, and Granite City only having 3 original Fights playing. Despite all the changes the two teams have experienced, they've continued to meet on track throughout the years, together and as opponents, still supporting our derby sisters and always proud of each teams acheivements. -We've remained each other's biggest fans. For me, I still frantically follow Twitter feeds for away scores as if it were for my own league. Regardless of the outcome of our upcoming bout, there's not a team in the world I'd rather share a track with, and not a team in the world I'd rather drag my battered body to share a pint with afterwards! (M)
-We always love catching up with the Dundee girls, and when we hear of their upcoming games it's as if we are skating with them! Tentatively waiting for scores on twitter and facebook! People have come and gone and attitudes have changed but I know for certain one thing; at the final whistle, we will all hug, we will go grab a beer and we will all party like it’s 2010! (CW)
Granite City Roller Girls play Dundee Roller Girls Saturday 29th of March 2014 at the Beach Leisure Centre in Aberdeen. Doors at 2.00pm for 3.00pm. Free Entry.
Having missed last July’s Men’s European Roller Derby Championships at the same venue, I headed to Birmingham’s Futsal Arena for the inaugural Men’s Roller Derby World Cup not quite knowing what to expect. As it turned out, what I should have expected was large crowds, great atmosphere, bathroom queues, new favourite teams and skaters, more lycra than I've ever seen in one place, and singing. Lots of singing. Not to mention, of course, some top quality derby action across the full weekend.
The start of the tournament wasn't without its problems, as a broken barcode scanner led to delays in allowing fans into the arena, but these were dealt with quickly and professionally by the event staff. With skaters being allocated team spaces away from the main action, it was up to the fans to pick the best vantage points to watch the opening ceremony. Both tracks had plenty of seating, with bleachers and chairs laid out, but as is usually the case, the floor space seemed to be most popular. After hearing tales from the Euros, I went armed with everything I thought I’d need apart from one essential - a cushion, which would prove to be a bad mistake over the course of a weekend sitting on cold, hard floors. After the opening ceremony, in which each of the fifteen teams was introduced and welcomed by the crowd, the tournament kicked off with a bout between England and Argentina. Despite a partisan crowd, Argentina, who had travelled with just eight skaters, didn't take long to impress with their play. Day one was made up of round robin play, half hour bouts with no stoppages for time-outs, and bouts were staggered throughout the day on both tracks. It was easy to move between the two areas and possible to catch most of every bout, if you could find space to watch from.
There chiefly as a Power of Scotland supporter, most of the day was centred around finding the best viewing spots for their bouts. The first match-up against Japan was particularly exciting as they were an unknown quantity prior to the tournament. It soon became apparent that, although skilled skaters, their derby knowledge, especially when it came to rules, wasn't up to the same standard. Their exciting play and enthusiasm endeared the team to the crowd and they enjoyed lots of support throughout the weekend. Scotland’s next bout against Belgium was a much tighter, tenser affair, in which Scotland had to come back from an almost forty point deficit to overcome the Belgians in the last ten minutes. The final bout against the experienced Canadian team went as expected, although the score wouldn’t have been obvious listening to the cheers and support from the many Scottish supporters in the crowd.
Overall, day one was a great success, almost everything ran to time, queues for food and bathrooms were under control (particularly for the surprisingly clean portaloos outside) and the atmosphere throughout the day was fantastic.
Day two saw the start of the knockout stages and the move to traditional hour-long bouts. This meant that bouts were running concurrently but it was still possible to move easily between tracks to see the action on both. It also led to the first real delays and overruns of the tournament, but for the most part, these were efficiently dealt with and bouts generally started on time.
For the PoS supporters in the crowd, day two was all about the bout against the pre-tournament favourites, Team USA. After two bouts the previous day in which they had given up less than twenty points altogether, the feeling was that any points against them would do. For an hour or two before the bout, PoS supporters could be seen filling up spaces around the track, easy to spot with an abundance of face paint, Saltires and tartan. Songsheets had been handed out the previous day with a selection of chants and songs, and the crowd put them to good use. The crowd before and during the bout was probably the noisiest of the weekend - apparently a few Team USA skaters commented afterwards on the “wall of noise” coming at them on track - not least when it came to the national anthems. As at most sporting events, the singing of Flower of Scotland raised the roof and was a genuine hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck moment. The support from the crowd was incredible from the start - after all, everyone loves an underdog - and every jammer making it out of the pack was greeted with a massive roar. It took until midway through the second half for Scotland to make the breakthrough to get some points on the scoreboard but it was definitely worth waiting for. I’m not sure that I've ever experienced anything quite like the last quarter of the bout as Scotland went on to surpass expectations and score forty points, and by the final four whistles, the team and the crowd were celebrating like they had won the tournament. I’m sure that more happened that day but it was all a blur after that!
By the start of day three, it seemed that a bit of derby fatigue had set in, as the early bouts weren't as well attended. Several of the later scheduled bouts had been brought forward to compensate for the lack of light later in the day, which meant more of an overlap than originally planned. With the final set as Team England versus Team USA, the track the final was scheduled for began to fill up hours in advance, leaving the bouts on the other track to be played out to small audiences. For a neutral, probably the most tense and exciting bout to watch was the Plate final between the Wizards of Aus and Team Wales. Hard-fought and close throughout, the bout came down to the final jam, with the Wizards of Aus finally triumphing 201-200.
All traces of derby fatigue had disappeared by the time of the final, with every seat taken and spectators standing several rows deep at the back. As expected, the crowd was heavily in favour of Team England, but the skill displayed by Team USA was enough to ensure that they got their share of support, although perhaps the biggest cheer of the afternoon came when an Argentinean skater took the mic during half time to propose to his girlfriend (thankfully, she said yes). After the inevitable conclusion to the final, each team had a final chance to get back on track (albeit without skates on) for the closing ceremony, which also gave the spectators the opportunity to show their appreciation for the contribution that each and every skater had made to the success of the weekend.
Overall, from a fan’s point of view, the first ever Men’s Roller Derby World Cup was a great success. Facilities in the arena, while not ideal, were sufficient (although I have it on good authority that the men’s toilets were particularly unpleasant by the end of the weekend). The general atmosphere throughout the tournament was fantastic, the spectators giving great support to all of the teams there. The spirit of the weekend was summed up for me in one act - a collection from the crowd of over £1,000 to help the Argentinean team with their expenses. Although finishing joint seventh and fifteenth respectively, I think that Argentina and Japan were the teams of the tournament. Argentina in particular impressed everyone with their skill and determination, and were unlucky to be forced to forfeit their bout against France due to being left with three players after five foul outs, and the general consensus is that Japan will be a team to watch at the next World Cup. Speaking of which, when and where is it, and can I book my tickets now?