MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Team Mexico

Posted: by camelondiaz
Tags:  articles international derby interviews mrdwc2016

As one of six teams new to the Men's Roller Derby World Cup, Team Mexico are something of an unknown quantity.  When the first MRDWC was held, the sport was still growing in Mexico, but now they're heading to Calgary and the Red Group, alongside Finland, Ireland, Japan, Scotland and defending champions USA. [After this article was written, Colombia dropped out of MRDWC 2016, and Mexico was moved to Group Green to even out the groups. They now face Canada, Spain, Germany and Wales.]

Corina Fischer told us more about bringing together the team, and its aims for the tournament.

Mexico logo

*Team Mexico will make their debut at the Men's World Cup.  What are your aims in the tournament?

Most of all, we want to let the world know about the talent we have in our country, we look forward to sharing the track with all the amazing teams that are attending such an important event.

*You are in the largest group in the tournament, which also includes defending champions Team USA and last time's fan favourites NinJapan.  Which teams are you most looking forward to playing?  If you have time, who are you most looking forward to watching play?

Playing Team USA is a pleasure that not everyone has, so we are really looking forward to playing them.

*What's the level of interest in roller derby in Mexico?  How did you go about recruiting and selecting the team for the World Cup?

There's several men's roller derby teams in Mexico, so getting skaters interested in trying out for Team Mexico wasn't an issue.  We did two tryout dates, both with good attendance.

*What have you been doing in terms of fundraising and preparation for the trip to Calgary?

We had a GoFundMe campaign, we've been selling merch, and of course we have been able to reach our goals with the support of our sponsors Mota Skates en Espanol, S1 Helmets, DerbySkinz, Latin Roller and Roller Rey.

*This year, MRDWC are promoting the lead up to the Cup with the "Road to Calgary" tag.  In the spirit of this, what bouts and training have you been doing in preparation?

We've had scrimmages all year, along with a preparation game against the MRDA 3rd place team, Texas Men's Roller Derby.

*After the last World Cup, several national saw increased awareness and interest in roller derby. What are your hopes for the sport in Mexico?

This is a growing sport, the feeling of community is what makes it greater.  And now with our participation in the MRDWC 2016 more men will want to try this amazing sport.

  • Team Mexico's first game is against Japan - at 12 noon Calgary time - on Thursday on Track 1, followed by Ireland at 5pm on Track 2. The official MRDWC schedule is located here.  More information on Team Mexico can be found here. [Due to schedule changes, Mexico now face Wales on Track 1 (9am) followed by Canada on Track 2 at 1pm.]

MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Team Canada

Posted: by camelondiaz
Tags:  articles international derby mrdwc2016 tournament

In Birmingham in 2014, Team Canada produced a strong performance, losing only once, to Team USA in the semi-final, to finish in third place.  On home soil in Calgary, placed in the Green group alongside Colombia, Spain, Germany and Wales, can they go one step better this time?

Captain Jeff Tichbourne shared his thoughts on Team Canada's preparation and aims for the tournament.

Canada logo

Team Canada will be fielding a strong team for the World Cup. How did you go about recruitment and selection this time?

Much like in 2014 we held open tryouts in the 3 areas with the largest concentration of players across Canada. Montreal, Red Deer and Vancouver were the 3 cities we held tryouts. Our Head Coach, Lime, was at all 3 tryouts so he got to have eyes on all the people trying out. Selection of our long list was done by the coaching staff and the short list was the same but with input from the players voted as captains by the team.

Last time, Team Canada played very strongly, recording some big wins and finishing in third place. Two years later, what are your aims for the tournament?

We want to be in the Gold Medal game.  We have many smaller goals but they all lead to that one bigger goal, and we've got our eye on the prize.

Your group features two returning teams (Wales and Germany) and two new to the tournament (Spain and Colombia). Which nations are you most looking forward to playing?  If you have time between games, who are you most looking forward to watching play?

We had a very physical game last World Cup versus Wales and we look forward to that again. The other 3 teams in our pool we haven't faced yet but we expect different styles from each of them so that's always exciting. If things work out the way we predict then the team we're most looking forward to playing is England. Between games expect to see us studying our next opponents.

Last time around, you made the trip to England to compete.  How does it feel to be the host nation this year?  How has this affected your preparations?

We're thrilled to host so many players, officials, volunteers and fans from around the world. We really want to show them why Canada is known for its hospitality. Our preparation has been more thorough this time around and everyone is working harder than ever. We've got our nation behind us and that driving force will be with us for the whole tournament.

*This year, MRDWC are promoting the lead up to the Cup with the "Road to Calgary" tag. In the spirit of this, what bouts and training have you been doing since the last selection?

Training sessions have been happening across Canada with many players racking up air miles between cities just for the chance to skate together for a few hours.  We've had numerous high level WFTDA teams play our squad in preparation for the World Cup.  Being such a large country and not having access to each other all the time, we've used a lot of video sharing with our coaches for feedback and tips.  Our team will arrive early in Calgary to get as much skate time in as possible before the big event.

  • Team Canada open the tournament by facing Germany at 9am - Calgary time - on Thursday on Track 1, followed by Colombia at 1pm on Track 2.  The official MRDWC schedule is located here.  More information on Team Canada can be found here.

Canada roster

MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Team USA

Posted: by camelondiaz
Tags:  articles international derby interviews mrdwc2016

Moving across the Atlantic as we continue our look at MRDWC contenders, next up is a team that needs no introduction: Team USA.  The defending champions from 2014's inaugural MRDWC, will we see a repeat of this feat in Calgary?  Team USA have been placed in the Red group, alongside Finland, Japan, Mexico, and of particular interest, Ireland and Scotland.

We spoke to Tony Muse, AKA Peter Pan, about the team's preparation and objectives for the tournament.


The Team USA selection is, as expected, very strong. How did you approach recruiting and selecting the team?

For the selection of Team USA, we wanted to give as many skaters the opportunity to try out and be noticed as we possibly could. We held two separate try outs, one in Des Moines Iowa, home of Your Mom Men's Derby and a second in Deland Florida, home of the Magic City Misfits. There was no recruiting as everyone was invited and given the opportunity to show their skills against other top level skaters. After multiple rounds of blind voting from coaches and managers, the final squad was selected.

As defending champions from the first MRDWC, what are your aims in performance this World Cup?

Coming in to the second World Cup and as defending champions, we know we will have a large target on our team. Some of the players on Team USA are returning and others will be playing for their country for the first time. We think the passion that some of the new players will bring mixed with some of the experience some of the veterans will bring will be the perfect blend to keep us in the right frame of mind. As elite players, we are all looking to play the "perfect" game so every time we gather to play with such high level teammates, we aim for perfection.

Your group features several European teams, plus one of the last World Cup’s fan favourites Japan and debutants Mexico - what teams are you most looking forward to playing? If you have time between games, who are you most looking forward to watching play?

We get excited about playing teams from all over the world because the teams tend to all skate a bit different and somewhat take on their own unique temperament. At the last World Cup, some of the fans were as excited to be at the event as the players so it added even an additional level of energy to the game with particular teams. We think the teams from Japan and Argentina will continue to be fan favorites but I imagine we may have new teams like the Italian or Mexican  squads stealing hearts this time around. The home team from Canada should be strong and well supported and of course England as the previous World Cup runner's up will be a solid squad to play against. We really look forward to the entire event both playing and watching as the World Cup can't be compared or matched to any other tournament in the sport.

The tournament is a lot closer for you this time around; how have you been fundraising and preparing for the trip?

Because the World Cup is so much closer this year, I think many members of the USA team will be bringing over more family, friends and support. Although Canada is right above us, many of the team members have not had the opportunity to travel much in Canada so the event is a great reason to do so. The team has been working with sponsors to help with some expenses but many of the fund raising ventures for Team USA have not started as we still have one big team camp before the event.

*This year, MRDWC are promoting the lead up to the Cup with the "Road to Calgary" tag. In the spirit of this, what bouts and training have you been doing since the last selection?

For our "Road to Calgary", Team USA has yet to compete against any other squad. That will all change soon as in mid May Team USA will be playing an exhibition bout against the reigning MRDA champions the St Louis Gatekeepers. This event will be accompanied by a training camp for the team.

  • Team USA's first game is against Scotland - at 11am Calgary time - on Thursday on Track 1, followed by Japan at 3pm on Track 2. The official MRDWC schedule is located here.  More information on Team USA can be found here.

MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Power of Scotland

Posted: by caleykapowski
Tags:  interviews men's roller derby world cup mrdwc2016 power of scotland team scotland

And now to Team Scotland, who made us cry with national pride in 2014...was it just me? In the 2014 Men's Roller Derby World Cup Scotland were in Group Orange with Belgium, Canada and Japan. They were knocked out by our friends in Wales and shared 7th place with Argentina.


Power of Scotland logo 2016

I spoke with Optimus Grime about Team Scotland in the run up to the 2016 Men's Roller Derby World Cup.

How are preparations going for the world cup?      

They are going very well. We have had a list of targets to reach, both on and off the track and are on  course to achieve them all. There have been a few bumps here and there, but they have just been flawless adjusted and things have seemlessly carried on. We are very pleased thus far.

How often do you train?

Since day 1 we have known our training schedule which has been great for attendance. Huge credit to our training and management for sorting that out so early. We are training every 2nd sunday in Grangemouth. Turnouts are great, especially since 1/3 of the team live in areas of England. Each session has been really tough, but we are growing all the time and it gets better each time.

Off skates training varies. There are no set team off skates training due to everyone living so far apart, but all skaters are pushing themselves more and more on and off the track. I know everyone is taking this very seriously and doing everything they can to be in the best condition they can be.

From which leagues have your players been selected?

There is a very big geographical distance in the roster. The entire list includes;

Granite City Brawlers - Aberdeen Bairn City Rollers - Falkirk Mean City Roller Derby - Glasgow Capital City Roller Derby - Edinburgh New Wheeled Order - Manchester Inhuman League - Sheffield Super Smash Brollers - Nottingham Southern Discomfort - London Wirrel Pack Animals - Liverpool Kings of Block & Roll - Exeter

Management & Coaches: Dundee Roller Girls Auld Reekie Roller Girls Granite City Brawlers

What are your team goals for the World Cup?

Quite simply but realistically.....make it out of the group stages. Anything after that is a bonus. We are both fortunate and unfortunate to have a 6 team group. Fortunate for the chance to play so many teams from all over the world, but with that comes a higher chance of fatigue. We are very excited though.

Looking at the group there is really only 1 slot available as USA will no doubt advance from the groups. With 5 teams battling for that space this will be extremely competitive, but we have the talent and desire to be that team that gets to the quarter finals.

Tell me about your fundraising and sponsorship

We have recieved some great sponsorship for the run up to the World Cup. Mostly with our uniforms, merch and safety gear.

Our sponsors are;

Datum360 MP Locums S1 Helmets Witness the Fitness

We would also like to offer a huge thank you to;

Interplanetary Print Syndicate Roller Derby City Power of Greyskull EDF Energy The Whisky Wolf

Our fundraising has been a variety of coaching and event organisation. We have had a sponsored; Beard shaves, Pub quizzes and Bungee jumps.

The biggest source of fundraising have been bootcamps and guest coach sessions which have been as wide spread as our roster and even abroad. Such as Belfast, Malaga and France. The biggest of which was our Big Bootcamp in Dundee.

What can we expect to see from team Scotland at the World Cup?

Basically a huge improvement from our last world cup involvement. Not any less passionate, but far more strategic, skilled and patient, from both a jammer and blocker point of view.

Also alot of new faces, but plenty of previous ones too. Our roster is far more extensive than the last World Cup, just from the leagues people have come from. This has brought a big variety of skills to Power of Scotland this time around and has made for a very balanced team. Finally, we hope to display a better performance & therefore ranking this time around. Moreover, show the world that we can still give the big boys a hard time on the track and be considered one of the better teams in the world.

Team Scotland are indeed in a six team group for the 2016 Men's Roller Derby World Cup. They are in Team Red with Finland, Ireland, Japan, Mexico and the USA. Their first game will be on Track 1 against Team USA at 11am Calgary time, 4am UK time...make some coffee although I'm sure the excitement will wake you up.


Preparing for Team Scotland Tryouts?

Posted: by oneknownashaze

With the first Tryout for the Scottish (Women's) National Team this weekend (2nd July 2016 at the DISC, Dundee, starting 1pm), and the second not far behind (9th July 2016 at the ARC, Glasgow, starting at 1pm), there's a lot of things that applicants might be worrying about.

This unofficial guide will try to give some answers, based on UKRDA's policies, and the positions in the Team Scotland applications documents (still open until midnight on the 30th.):

  1. What are the Tryouts for?
The Tryouts are for selection into the Team Scotland Training Squad. This team will later be further selected into the final competition roster for the World Cup and other competitions, on the basis of performance during training.

2. Will skaters joining Team Scotland be playing in the next World Cup (and where and when will that be)?

The intent of Team Scotland is definitely to provide a team to play in the next World Cup (and presumably other international bouts). However, no-one has any knowledge of when or where the next World Cup will be - Blood & Thunder have not, at the time of writing, made a final decision on a host country or city.

We do have one piece of information: sources have implied that the World Cup will not be hosted in North America. Given the geographical distribution of teams, it seems this makes it most likely to be somewhere in Europe...

3. How long will Team Scotland be selected for?

UKRDA requires that teams are selected for 2 years, after the point that the selection is announced. So, 2 years from when you find out that you're in.

4. I can't make either Tryout - can I try out by Video?

Yes. The Team Scotland requirements for video tryout submissions are that you submit enough footage to demonstrate all of the aspects that will be tested and also that you include enough bout footage to show your actual performance in game.

The application lists the areas that will be evaluated as: "Attitude and Coachability", "Athleticism", "Individual skating skill and ability", "Jammer awareness", "Blocking skills and pack work" and "Strategy and rules/game knowledge". We believe that these will be evaluated at an international level, so pick footage appropriately.

5. Will the actual Tryout sessions themselves be videoed?

Yes. Both Tryouts will be videoed, but footage will only be used for the purposes of selection. Video material will be made available to the Team Scotland Coaching and Management team, to the Selectors outwith that team, and to UKRDA National Squads Observers.

6. I can make both Tryouts, how will my performance be evaluated if I go to both?

The Selectors intend to evaluate skaters on the average performance over all Tryouts they attend. So, your performance in both Tryouts will count equally.

7. What should I bring to Tryouts?

Black and white scrimmage tops. (UKRDA recommends that, in the interests of avoiding bias, skaters try to avoid tops which emphasise their team membership).

Anything you would take to a 3 hour long practice session - there will be both skills demonstration and scrimmage, so: food & water, medicines.

You will also need (copies of) documents necessary to prove your eligibility to represent Scotland, under UKRDA advisory guidelines. Depending on how you are eligible, these will be some of:

  • UK Passport (or other proof of British Citizenship)
  • Leave to Remain / Residence document (if not using passport)
  • If not born in Scotland as evidenced by Passport or otherwise:
    • Birth certificate [parent or grandparent's, or spouse/civil partners', depending] showing birth in Scotland
      • and Marriage/Civil Partnership certificate (if partners' birth certificate)
      • and Birth certificates to show descent from person (if parent/grandparent's birth certificate)
    • or Proof of residence in Scotland for at least 3 years (utility bills, for example) [if not eligible via birth certificates]
    • or letter from home league stating that you've been with them for 3+ years
You will also need to bring £10 cash to pay for your application (if you're trying out both dates, you only need to pay once).

8. Who are the Selectors?

To our knowledge, the Selectors are: Team Scotland Assistant Coach 5-Star Sylk, Team Scotland Line-Up Rufi-Ohh, Team Scotland Manager Hazzard, Bairn City Rollers' and Power of Scotland's rEd Baron, and The Inhuman League / Power of Scotland's Nuke.

Team Scotland Head Coach, Rosie Peacock, is not a Selector, as she is also trying out for selection to the team as a skater.

9. Who else will be present?

As well as the Selectors, there will also be several Observers from UKRDA. They are present to ensure that Tryouts are conducted in a fair and unbiased manner.

There will also be a videographer and photographer, and sufficient NSO and referees to run the scrimmage part of the evaluation.

10.  What are the plans and policies for skaters who make the Team Scotland training squad?

At this point, the detailed policies and plans for Team Scotland's Training Squad are not public (although we are advised that they are well developed). Team Manager Hazzard told us, however, that the team have "exciting opportunities lined up already for those who make the training squad".

MRDWC 2016 Team Review: All-Ireland Men's Roller Derby

In 2014, All-Ireland Men's Roller Derby were in Group Blue along with Australia, France and Germany. In their final game they played against Finland who took the bowl. Ireland ended the inaugural Men's Roller Derby at number 10.


Team Ireland's logo 2016

The very lovely Eoin Flynn was kind enough to answer some questions about how the team have been getting ready for the world cup.

How are preparations going for the World Cup?

With only weeks to before Calgary, we're fired up and as prepared as we ever could be. The work for MRDWC 2016 began almost immediately after the last World Cup so we've had plenty of time to build on what we learned there, as a nation very new to men's roller derby, and we'll be very different from what you saw in Birmingham. That team was expanded into a training squad from which the final roster was picked so everyone's now been training and playing together for over a year, everybody knows their job and that they can rely on the others to do their's too. We're ready.

How often do you train?

With players located anywhere from LA to Limerick, it's quite a job to get everyone together at the same time. But we've all put in the effort to train regularly, and collected the air miles along the way! Since January 2014 we've had full squad training at least every two months for an entire weekend. There have been several home and away games in between too. Of course we'd all do this all day every day if we could!

Do you have any off-skates training?

Our coach - Jessica Rammit - wouldn't have it any other way! Everyone does their own gym work, of course, but we're lucky to have a derby-specific off-skates stuff to work on courtesy of her. None of us will forget bleep-test day! And our off-skates warm-ups are part of our team bonding now.

From which leagues have your players been selected?

From Ireland: Men Behaving Derby (All-Irl), Pig Town Boys (Limerick), Cork City Firebirds, and Harland Wolves (Belfast)

From UK: New Wheeled Order, Southern Discomfort, Crash Test Brummies, Kings of Block N' Roll, Borderland Brawlers, Quads of War, and Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder.

And from USA: Los Angeles' Drive-By City Rollers.

What are your team goals for the World Cup?

As a team, we want to play as we know we can; calmly and together. The worst thing would be to come away knowing we could have done better, we're determined to give it all on track, right from the first whistle.

More specific goals include putting some decent points up against Team USA, but hey, doesn't everyone wanna do that? We also want to keep a grip on the top-ten slot that we earned in 2014, with so many more nations competing this time around, the rankings places are going to be hard fought.

Tell me about your fundraising and sponsorship.

Paying for this crazy sport of ours has been a lot harder this time around, getting everyone to Canada is not going to be cheap. So we've been very lucky to have great support from companies like S1 and Non-Universal Nuts. We've also just done a great deal with who are printing, selling, and shipping all of our online merchandise - and all the profits go to our travel fund.

We've also got a gofundme page: , where people have been very generous in supporting us, every little bit helps immensely so we're very thankful. Local leagues have been helping out too, The Cork City Firebirds we very kind to raise funds for us at their 'Love Roller Derby' event recently.

What can we expect to see from Team Ireland at the World Cup?

You'll understand if we don't share any tactics here! Expect to see a well-drilled team far different from the 2014 one, back then there was essentially NO men's derby on the island of Ireland, we've come a long way. Expect dogged determination and playing to the final whistle. You might also expect some strong representation at the after-party! But most of all expect us to be one unit, The team motto is 'Ní neart go cur le chéile.' which means 'There is no strength without unity', we will be strong and we will be united.

This time around, Ireland are in Group Red with Finland, Japan, Mexico, Scotland and the USA. They will play their first game of the 2016 Men's Roller Derby World Cup against Finland (on track 1) at 1pm Calgary time, 6am in the UK and Ireland.


MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Wales Men's National Roller Derby Squad

In 2014, Wales were in Group Red with Finland and USA. Their final game was against Australia with the winner taking the shiny plate. Australia took that win and Team Wales took 6th place.


Team Wales' logo, retained from the 2014 MRDWC

I spoke to team Wales skater Ben Phillips who was lovely enough to answer some questions for me.


How are preparations going for the world cup?

Prep is going well, we've been training quite regularly since the start of this squad's tenure. Coming from the previous squad, which was consisted more of a ragtag group of skaters, into a more structured system with a HR and a proper Head Coach in Oceanne Esparcieux, the benefits have been felt greatly. A large number of the previous squad tried out again and made it so it feels similar to the old squad but with a much needed injection of new blood in the shape of the coaching and new players.

How often do you train?

Twice a week with South Wales Silures and twice a week with Cardiff Bay Crossbones (Roller Hockey team), Refereeing local women's teams when I feel the itch for skating.

International duties are once a month training then games on top of that. We had a pretty good showing in 4 Nations and a friendly against Ireland so we feel like we should be firing on all cylinders come July.

Do you have any off skates training?

I try to cycle to work as much as I can (17miles each way) as a form of cardio and try to get the gym when I have time in the week.

From which leagues have your players been selected?

Mostly South Wales Silures but not as much as the 2014 squad, returning from the previous squad is the Underrated and outstanding Berserker from Southern Discomfort and Swifty from Milton Keynes. We've had some great new blood in the form of U-go Boss from NWO, J-Wrecks from Sons of Icarus, Tom Thump from Wirral Pack Animals, to name a few. We have a resident canadian in the form of Hung Solo who is with River City Riot in Calgary so hopefully he can give us the skinny with the Canadians when we meet them in our group match.

What are your team goals for the World Cup?

To rise in the world rankings, 6th last time round so anything above that would be a success. We're pretty confident we can qualify through our group with our biggest game is against the hosts Canada. Having played them in MRDWC14 I cant wait to meet them on track again, great bunch of guys with some fancy footwork to boot! My personal goal is to have Tim Horton's (Timmy H) for breakfast the entire time in Canada... Dem DoubleDoubles...

I personally believe, depending on how we do in the group stages, we can reach the semis but it'll all depend how we react to the transatlantic flight and Calgary altitude.

Tell me about your fundraising and sponsorship.

So our facebook page, has been running a gofundme at as well as a helmet competition with Swift Customs

In the hopes of raising donations we have pitted each player against another in a series of 'hilarious' challenges ranging from funny to just a bit weird, the internet seems to like stuff like that.

What can we expect to see from team Wales at the World Cup?

Some heavy hitting as is standard in our derby heritage but with much more control and swish than people may expect. We've got what it takes to be part of the big dogs in this World Cup and hopefully we can prove it. Thanks for listening/reading to my rambling answers and hope you enjoy Wales' games at MRDWC16!

In the 2016 Men's Roller Derby World Cup Wales are in Group Green with Canada, Colombia,  Spain and Germany.  Their first game will be on track 1 against Colombia at 10am Calgary time...which is like 5pm UK time, from the looks of both of these teams, it's definitely going to be a fantastic game to watch! [Due to Colombia dropping out of the Cup, Mexico replaces them - so Wales' first game is at the same time, but against Mexico...]


MRDWC 2016 Team Review: England Men's Roller Derby

Our coverage of the Men's Roller Derby World Cup has returned slightly closer to home, as the time has come to speak to the UK and Ireland. First up is the English National Team - England Men's Roller Derby.

In 2014, England were in Group Green with Argentina, the Netherlands and Sweden. They made it to the final game to play against Team USA for the shiny, shiny cup and whilst Team USA took the win, England took the silver medal finishing second. I, for one am rather excited to see these chaps play in July!


Team England logo 2016

Team Manager Niks Kent was kind enough to answer some questions about how the team have been getting ready for the world cup.Please note that I spoke to Niks before England held their sevens tournament, did you see it? It was most excellent!

How are preparations going for the world cup?

Really well! We're in the refining stage. We have a couple of warm up games, and a highly competitive red v white game as part of our upcoming sevens tournament before we leave for Calgary though, so still plenty to do!

How often do you train?

We've been training once a month since July, plus a few training games. We're delighted to have been supported at all our training by world cup level officials, so there's been no getting away with any sneaky forearms or cut tracks!

Do you have any off skates training?

Each skater has their own individual fitness regime, depending on their personal goals. We have also been working on our mental game, and the lovely Katie from The Treasure Hunt Company took us out for a rather competitive treasure hunt round Nottingham as a team building adventure - not even the monsoons could stop us!

From which leagues have your players been selected?

Our squad consists of players from across England Wales. We have representatives from Southern Discomfort, South Wales Silures, Crash Test Brummies, Lincolnshire rolling thunder, Manchester Roller Derby, Barrow Infernos and Tyne and Fear.

What are your team goals for the World Cup?

We want to play really good roller derby. REALLY GOOD.

Tell me about your fundraising and sponsorship.

Fundraising and sponsorship in roller derby is really difficult. Over the past two to three years, the market has been flooded with teams competing for fans funds, which are finite, so everyone has had to become more creative. We've hosted tournaments, crowd funders and sold merch, but we won't make anywhere near our costs. We don't qualify for any funding from national bodies or charities either, so it's been hard. We have however been supported by our fantastic sponsors, in no particular order: Double Threat Skates - keeping our hardware working Roller derby City - our official kit and merch supplier Hoodlum Fang - creator of helmet covers and flags Bont- making our feet and compression clad legs do their thing

What can we expect to see from team England at the World Cup?

An innovative and creative display of roller derby, by a skilled team of gentleman skaters. And bowler hats. Lots of bowler hats.

This time around, England are in Group Orange with old pals Sweden and Argentina as well as Chile and Italy.

Their first game of the 2016 Men's Roller Derby World Cup will be against Sweden (tune to track 2 for this one) at 12pm which is 5am UK time. Make a nice cup of tea to wake you up for this one. In a nice cup with a saucer because it's the World Cup, you can be fancy!


MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Team Belgium

Posted: by oneknownashaze
Tags:  interviews mrdwc2016

Today we take a look at another of the Northern European teams in the form of Team Belgium. We talk to their head coach about how they have been preparing for this year's MRDWC.

team bel

How did your selection process for this year's World Cup differ from the 2014 selection? Did you find there were different factors you were looking for in skaters?

In 2014 Men's Roller Derby was still in an experimental phase. Most of our skaters were referees already familiar with the game. Men's teams in Belgium were rare. This made the selection process pretty simple: everyone who could and wanted to skate, was welcome to join our journey to Birmingham. Even though we were very competitive already, in Birmingham we wanted to put Belgium men's derby on the map. We wanted to inspire more men to take the step to join in so our national team would grow even better and more competitive.

Right around Birmingham, Men's Roller Derby got more popular. Therefor the amount of skaters who wanted to work hard to earn that spot on the roster for the World Cup grew. Back then (in Birmingham) it was more about having enough players to have a full roster to go to the UK, now it is more about having enough skills, being a bigger athlete and derby player. Our team had to work hard to be part of this adventure. For me this is the big difference comparing Birmingham 2014 to Calgary 2016. Even though I must admit we were already pretty awesome in 2014.

How did we handle skaters selections? We started out with 35 players out of the very small country of Belgium. After about 8 trainings and scrimmages, we made a selection. We didn't only focus on skating and derby skills, but also on team spirit: Team Belgium is famous for being a fun team, we have no spots open for big ego's.

One thing that does stand out in comparison with Birmingham 2014 is back then the team was mostly composed of skaters from the Flemish part of Belgium and now... I, Humpme, the bench coach, am the only flemish person in the entire team. This is rather strange because the Flemish part of Belgium has more citizens than the French-speaking part. But, I'll stand my ground ;-)

In the 2014 MRDWC you came 13th just a head of Team Sweden. Is there anything that you have learned from your performance last time that you are taking forward for the 2016 world cup?

Training is necessary to become ONE team. We have to know each other’s strengths to play out the right ones in the right situation, we train to get to know each other’s gameplay, who is sensitive for certain penalties, how to handle frustrations from yourself or other skaters on the team. Basically... Who needs what and when and be the best teammates for one another.

But the most important thing we learned: Belgium always wins the afterparty!

This year you have a bigger distance to travel to compete in the MRDWC. How have you been fundraising to get the team over to Calgary?

If you look at what other teams do, we more or less do the same: we sell t-shirts, we organize games, bootcamps and even a very awesome Sur5all! I'm very proud of our handsome team and the muscles we have built during practice, that's why I'm still waiting on their nude calendar ;-)

Compared to the last world cup how do you think your training schedule has evolved? Is there any new training techniques you hope will give you the edge in the competition?

In the preparation of Birmingham 2014 there wasn't too much training involved. It was rather non-committal. For the road to Calgary 2016 this is completely different: we train two times a month. Belgium, with its 30 500km², is very small, which makes it very easy for us to come together and practice.

Also, not only the quantity of practices and skaters is different in 2016, but quality comes first. Men are powerful, our men have always been powerful, but with power itself you can't make it... other teams will be powerful and full of testosterone as well. We want to play smart and make the difference by doing this. For me, as a coach, it is important for my team they know MY strengths as well. In the 5 years of playing derby, I managed to collect a lot of strategical insight. This is something where players had still room to learn, seems only fair for the amount (or lack) of experience they had one year ago.

Therefore, next to the typical skating skills, endurance drills, … it is very imortant to talk a lot about strategies and create your own: which position do you usually skate within your home league? What works for women and why wouldn't this work for men? What are the strenghts of our team? …

You are up against quite a mixed group this year with the number 4 and 5 seeds being in your group as well as a few newcomers to the MRDWC. Who are you really looking forward to playing this year?

Being in the group with Australia and France is definitely NOT a blessing. We are really curious about Puerto Rico in our group, we don't know them at all so it should be a really interesting game. It looks like we might meet Finland or Scotland IF we end third of the group which would be definitely a hard battle. And that’s what we’re doing it for!

Do you have any specific aims for Calgary that you are willing to share with us? (We're okay if there is any closely guarded secrets you don't want to give up yet!)

Our most important goal is to have a perfect balance between competition and having fun. We are a team that plays very clean and who are not going for sneaky things that the refs don’t see.

If a team wins by suicide hits, grabbing, tackling, high blocking,… resulting in penalties, we prefer loosing with proud. But again: the after party is ours!

Humpme Head coach Team Belgium

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Belgium's first fixture will be against Team Australia  at 09:00 local time. For the full schedule please visit .

MRDWC 2016 Team Review: Swedish Men's Roller Derby

Posted: by oneknownashaze
Tags:  international derby interviews mrdwc2016

Today brings another addition to our Men's Roller Derby World Cup series, in the form of Swedish Men's Roller Derby! We talk to Krutsson #61 about how they've grown since the last MRDWC and how they are preparing for Calgary.


In the 2014 Men's Roller Derby World Cup, Sweden had a fairly difficult group, placed with England, Netherlands and Argentina. While they won convincingly against Argentina, England defeated them as easily as they defeated almost everyone else in the tournament, and a hard-fought game against the Dutch ended in defeat. In the lower bracket of the tournament, the Swedes couldn't stand against the Finns, or the Belgians, ending up in 14th position on the table.

This time around, Team Sweden resides in Group Orange, where they'll be facing England and Argentina again, along with new faces Chile and Italy. While England is a strong bet for the first of the two top spots in the group, it's hard to predict who could take the second - Sweden are certainly in with a good chance!

We talked to Krutsson (#61) about how they've grown since the last MRDWC and how they are preparing for Calgary.

How has your selection process this year differed from the selection of your last MRDWC team? Did you find that there were many factors that changed from the last selection after your experience in 2014? At the last MRDWC you came 14th out of 15th. With even more teams competing this year how do you think the experience of the 2014 World cup will shape how you play this year?

In 2014, we didn't really have to select skaters. We were just happy to be there. It was just a question about getting enough skaters, that met the requirements, on the roster. We were allowed to put skaters on the roster that hadn't passed the minimum skills test, with the condition that they passed them before the tournament. We managed to roster 14 skaters for Birmingham. This time we had a few skaters on an early stage that decided not to apply, due to various reasons, but who probably would have made the roster. We ended up selecting 17 skaters for Calgary, and we think they can perform at a pretty high level.

Compared to the last World Cup, how do you think your training schedule has evolved? Is there any new factors that you have in place that you hope will give you the edge in the competition?

In 2014, it was more about learning the basics. This time we have leagues that play roller derby games and scrimmages at a regular basis. We've got more experience and skills within the leagues and a stronger foundation to build on. The schedule is about the same but the focus is more on tactics, than actually learning the core basics of the game. The problem in Sweden is that we are pretty spread out and there is a lot of travelling involved to get the team together. We are still very few male skaters in Sweden compared to the number of female skaters. The teams competing under WFTDA in Sweden have taken a huge leap the last few years. Two teams qualified to WFTDA division 1 playoffs last year and the new national Swedish division play has helped spreading knowledge about the sport, and has really given the Swedish roller derby community a push forward. I think we have a strong roller derby community in Sweden with knowledge about high level roller derby and this time we have a team with skills enough to benefit from that. Now it's just about getting everyone's skills together for the men's national team. We have a good and experienced coach team to lead us too.

The last MRDWC was pretty close by compared to this year with a trip to Canada to prepare for! How have you been fundraising to get the team to Calgary? 

We were a bit late in the start-up so most European teams had already made their game schedules, so we have had difficulties in finding opponents for games. So the fundraising will be mostly from selling merchandise having sponsors. The skaters will still have to pay a part themselves.

This year, your group is pretty mixed with quite a few new teams in the mix as well as the number 2 seed from 2014. Is there anyone in your group you're really excited to play?

We had both England and Argentina in our group in Birmingham in 2014. I think we are looking forward to those two games the most. England will be very difficult to beat. When we met them in Birmingham it was a complete blowout. They didn't even let us score a single point. Our performance against them will be better this time. I can promise you that much. Argentina played really well in Birmingham and we expect them to have improved. Our team captain played a in mixed team with some of them, against Team Italy, so we know a little about how they play. When it comes to Chile, we don't know much, but after the experience with Argentina last time we won't underestimate any South American team even if they show up with only 8 skaters.


Have you got any specific aims for Calgary that you would be willing to share? (Don't worry we understand if you have any secret plays you don't want to share just yet!)

We're aiming to end as high up in our group as possible. The key will be the game against Argentina. In Birmingham they beat us, but this time we come better prepared and we think we can give them a real challenge.

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Sweden's first fixture will be against Team England at 12:00 local time. For the full schedule please visit .