Success at DRG Open Day

Posted: by feemccartney
Tags:  drg dundee roller girls fundraising events in the news

On Saturday 19th November, Dundee Roller Girls opened their doors to the public to come along and learn about roller derby.

The league received a lot of interest at the recent Sports Union Fayre in Dundee University and at Dundee College. To keep enthusiasm up before their next Fresh Meat intake in February 2012, Cilla Block organised an Open Day at the DISC to let potential new skaters see a mixed scrimmage in action, ask the Silvery Tayzers their burning questions, and get a chance to try on a pair of skates and have a roll about the hall.

Dundee Roller Girls Open Day

Skaters from Dundee Roller Girls, Fair City Rollers, Glasgow Roller Girls, and Fierce Valley Roller Girls took part in 3 sets of 20 minute scrims from 1:30pm, with the event volunteers explaining the game play and tactics to the crowd. They certainly seemed to enjoy what they saw - there were around 30 names on the sign-up sheet for DRGs Fresh Meat Mailing List by the end of the day!

As well as getting the chance to meet skaters from some of the Scottish leagues, there was also lots of team merchandise for sale and the customary cupcake stall to buy tasty sweet treats.

To keep up to date with Dundee Roller Girls’ future events or to ask about their next Fresh Meat, contact them on their Facebook Page or via their website.

An Interview With Ella Bella Bang Bang

Posted: by scottishrollerderby
Tags:  an interview with... articles interviews roller derby world cup roller derby world cup 2011

Photo of Ella Bella Bang Bang by Zenspirations Photography

Ella Bella Bang Bang will be a familiar figure to many readers,Ella's legendary fairness,impartiality and knowledge of the sport make her a highly respected ref,Alongside fellow Arrg zebra, Cherry Fury ,Ella will be making the trip to Toronto to officiate at the World Cup.We managed to secure a little of her time for a chat...

What is your background in Derby?

I found roller derby by accident one day while looking at things on Myspace of all places! I stumbled across the Glasgow Roller Girls page and had a look at what roller derby was. I thought it looked like a lot of fun and instantly I wanted to be involved. I was unsure about joining GRG though as I didn't think I knew anyone and at the time I was pretty shy with new people. So I searched to see if there was an Edinburgh League. As luck would have it there was one just starting out and I got in touch and asked how I could be involved. As I knew I did not want to be a competitive skater due to having spinal surgery as a teenager. So I have been involved in ARRG since its very beginning.

Yours must be one of the best Derby names,how did that come about?

Thank-you. Again that was another happy accident. My friend at Art School wrote a comic about me called Princess Alison-Ella and I always really liked the Ella part of it, not so much the princess part ;). So I just tried to build a name around it and that is how Ella~Bella Bang~Bang was born.

Why did you become a ref and what do you love about it?

As I said earlier I knew I didn't want to be a competitive skater as I had spinal surgery as a teenager, so I can be a wee bit protective about my back and although as a referee I need to be able to fall and take hits and I do have massive wipe-outs during bouts (sometimes) I felt that this was the safest way for me to be involved in roller derby and get to skate too. I am glad I made this choice as I do totally love being a referee and I have met some wonderful people through this. I have also learned a lot about myself and I feel have become a more confident person as a result. I don't think I could pin point what I love most about being a referee. I just like being part of something as amazing as Roller Derby.

What makes a good referee?

I always think someone who is willing to learn and act on constructive criticism makes a good referee. In my eyes we need to constantly learn the rules and improve our skills. I never want to get to the stage where I think I have made it, or that I know it all. As for me if I ever got to that stage I would no longer able to develop as a referee and therefore I would not be getting any better. I was told when I started out as a referee that the better you get at refereeing the more of your mistakes you will spot. That has always stuck with me and its true! I remember my first public bout and thinking well that went okay. I have never thought that again! I am forever pointing out my mistakes to myself afterwards in the hope that I won't do them again.

Most skaters have skating heroes,do you have any skaters or refs you look up to?

I look up to and respect every referee I have ever worked with as each and every one of them has taught me something and helped me develop further as a referee. I have always respected the opinions of Brutally Frank and Three Majors. I admire Cherry Fury's determination to be the best she can. Ballistic Whistle helped me out a lot when I started and I think I would aspire to be as fair as Miss Trial.

How does it feel to be reffing at the world cup?

A whole massive mix of emotions. I am nervous and excited and terrified and thrilled all a the same time. I feel that this is a great thing for the progression and development of Roller Derby in general. But on a personal note I feel that this is a great opportunity for me to develop further as a referee. I think I, along with will all the referees involved, will learn a lot about officiating. I hope this will boost my own level officiating and that it will help me feedback into ARRG and help to boost our level of officiating. I am really please and thankful to have been given this opportunity.

What do you think the World Cup will do for Derby in Scotland?

As I have said I think the World Cup will help the progression of Roller Derby as a sport. I think it will do a lot to promote the sport and will help generate more interest in our sport. I think having 2 Scottish referee's going and 7 in total from Europe will also have a positive impact on the general standard of officiating as we will all be able to feedback to our own leagues and will also in turn be able to impart the knowledge gained to all other referees we work with in the future.

Any advice for anyone who is interested in becoming a referee?

Read the rules, a lot. Watch Roller Derby, a lot. And talk to referee's. We in ARRG have quite a few newer referee's who have been developing their own skills and knowledge through fulfilling Non Skating Official roles and all have had positive things to say about their own experiences. Although this is not how I started out, I would highly recommend it for anyone considering being a Referee.

Many thanks to Ella Bella Bang Bang for taking the time to do this interview and to Zenspirations Photography for permission to use the photograph

Team Germany - Roller Derby World Cup 2011

Team Germany (or "Roller Derby Germany" as their logo and website has it) are potentially the most dangerous team in the World Cup, other than the USA and the host nation. They are the only seeded team from Europe, and Germany is one of the longest standing centres of Roller Derby outside of North America.
Team Roster
BamBule #66 BCRD Berlin Call of Booty #3 RPRG Essen
Chibi Abuser #00 SVRG Stuttgart
Ellie Minate #8 SVRG Stuttgart Heavy Miss Gale #0 Harbor Girls Hamburg
Heavy Rotation #505 (Co-captain) BCRD Berlin
Kiddo #10 BCRD Berlin
Kitty Carrera #4 SVRG Stuttgart
Mercedes #0049 Philly Roller Girls USA
Noxious Angel #17 (Assistant Co-captain) SVRG Stuttgart
Polly Purgatory #13 SVRG Stuttgart
Psycho Annie #67 RPRG Essen
Public Enemy #1 SVRG Stuttgart
Resident Shevil #28 BCRD Berlin
Silicon Sally #85D SVRG Stuttgart
Snowblood #101 SVRG Stuttgart
Spacy Tracy #35 BCRD Ludwigsburg
Sweet Gwenrolline #9 RPRG Essen
Titty-Twista #81 (Captain, Head Coach)  SVRG Stuttgart
Vegas #80 SVRG Stuttgart


ChefXecutioner RPRG Essen Rockdog BCRD Ludwigsburg

The only possible weakness that the German team has is their lack of ability to train as a complete team. Mercedes, being based in Philadelphia, will only be training with the others when they arrive in Toronto. Of course, the rest of the team has practiced together, but not bouted publicly, since the selection; with the majority of the skaters from Stuttgart Valley Roller Girls, however, we can assume that they will work together even more coherently than this suggests.
They are keen to show that European Derby is a force to be reckoned with, and will not be pulling any punches, in the preliminary pool (where they are drawn against Australia, one of the unknowns, and Finland, who they should probably beat) nor in the elimination tournament itself.

World Cup Interviews: Team Sweden coach Swede Hurt.

Every nation has a few famous skaters, who have brought a large influence on the development of roller derby. For Sweden, arguably one of the most well known is Swede Hurt, who has a strong involvement in both of Sweden's leagues in Stockholm and Crime City, and is coaching Team Sweden to boot.

We caught up with her to get her opinions on the state of modern roller derby, with a slightly European perspective.

Swede Hurt by... Swede Hurt (or Mad Maloony, possibly)
You got into Roller Derby mainly in the 'States, how does the experience of playing for the big US teams compare with European Derby?

It has been about finding a different place for me, I am extremely competitive, and I miss playing in US, but it has also been an experience to move back home to Europe and helping derby here. I have been able to coach all-over Europe, and it has also taught me about myself and derby. European Derby is for sure on the right track, and I love to see how there are new teams popping up every month, I love that so many girls realize that it is not about the fishnets but about being an athlete. I always try to tell girls that you cannot skip your basic skating and derby skills, and you cannot forget the off-skate parts either. Both is really important in the process of building a team, that and being a good listener and resolve conflicts before they become gigantic. I had to take a decision when I moved back to Sweden; if I was gonna sit around and be upset that people weren't playing derby on the level I was used to OR if I was gonna start coaching people and bring them up to the level I wanted to play on. And since I don't really like just sitting around being unhappy - I started to coach and push people upwards.
As someone who's played in the highest levels of American roller derby (with Gotham), how has this influenced your coaching of Team Sweden?
Keep it clean, know the rules, be confident and have fun and keep fit. I loved being a part of Gotham, and  I admire many of the Gotham skaters for their dedication and hard work. Becoming a great derby player is about hard work, dedication to your team and lots and lots of fun. I expect lots from my skaters, but they also know that I listen to them, and that I only push them because I belive in them.
Is it a problem that most of the national teams seem to have tried to get a "US skater" to make themselves seem competitive?
I think it is a problem if you get a coach just for the name, but if the coach is there to work with them, I do not see a problem. Mad Maloony (my assistant coach) and Titty Twista (head coach Team Germany) are two good examples of girls that are coaching national teams and they never skated for a US team - but they are both very competent coaches that do good work with their teams.
You're also part-owner of the SwedeVix store for roller derby supplies. How has your experience of skating and coaching informed the company's policies?
Well, of course we always listen to skaters about how they like equipment, and if something isn't working out for our customers, we will not sell it anymore. I try to ask around how different skaters like different plates, wheels, etc. etc. Of course I could try it all myself (and I do try lots of our products) but something I like might not work for a shorter and lighter girl. I don't sell things just to sell, I sell things because I want girls to get great derby gear, that will make them perfom better.
Is it a foregone conclusion that Team USA and Team Canada will take the two top spots in the World Cup? Which teams are you most worried about competing against?
I think that England is underestimated, I for sure think they can give Canada a run for their money. I am quite confident in saying that Team US will take the number one spot.  I have no clue where Australia are at, and same goes for New Zealand. I think that every team is a challenge, in different ways, I never write a team off until the last whistle.  I think it be fun to play any team, and we will get on the track and do our best no matter what team we are playing - with a smile on our lips.
Post-World Cup, would you like to see Team Sweden continue in other bouts? You've already played Team Finland - does a European cup sound out of the question?
I think that a European Cup would be fun, I am always up for playing/coaching more derby. And I think Team Sweden has been a great place for Swedish derby to grow, and I hope that we can continue to play, maybe a re-match with Finland next year, maybe play Germany.
 I would love to stay as a head coach for Team Sweden and keep playing, but I would not be able to help organizing such a fun thing. I am going to concentrate on Stockholm Roller Derby's WFTDA status, it be great if we could get through the Apprentice Program during 2012. And me and Vix are also arranging Battle of Nordic Light again in Malmö.
Generally, when do you think European Derby will be seriously competitive with US derby, in both actual skill and perception?
Once again, I am impressed by lots of the Euopean teams, LRG are really great, and I was very impressed by their performance during Eastern Regionals. There is a thirst for knowledge all over Europe, and a drive that is amazing. Derby girls are getting fitter, studying strategies and playing smart. I think with implementing minimum skills and leagues getting more structure, and also introducing off-skate sessions, we will not be very far behind, there is so much talent all over Europe - just coaching CCR has been so rewarding.  Now with so many teams joining into the WFTDA Apprentice Program I'm hoping for a European Regional Tournament in 2013 - that really would be amazing.
Swede Hurt blogs at Swede Hurt Rambles.

Lothian Derby Dolls-Open Skate Session

Posted: by scottishrollerderby
Tags:  fresh meat ldd

The avid Facebook users among you may already have noticed a new arrival recently. Lothian Derby Dolls are Scotland's newest Roller Derby league and will be operating in the Edinburgh/Lothian area.They have just secured a regular place to practise and are holding an open to all skate session on Friday the 25th of November. Contact them at their Facebook page,or by email for more details.Or just wander over and say hi. They are also on the lookout for new members,so if you are female,18 and over and think you want to give Derby a go,why not drop them a line.

Image courtesy of Lothian Derby Dolls

An Interview With Knuckles

Posted: by scottishrollerderby
Tags:  an interview with... interviews roller derby world cup roller derby world cup 2011

Photo of Knuckles by Dave McAleavy

With the first ever Roller Derby World Cup just weeks away,we caught up with Knuckles, Team Scotland's Bench Manager, for a chat

What is your background in Derby?

I started with Glasgow Roller Girls just over 4 years ago before they had their first bout. Starting out as an NSO and then starting to Ref.

I became the Head Ref for Glasgow and was a Referee in over 30 bouts

How did you get involved in bench managing?

I decided that I had had enough of being a referee and was thinking of leaving, but prior to leaving wanted to try bench managing. This was last year and I got the chance to bench the one of Glasgow's home teams the Bad Omens. I really enjoyed it and from their got the opportunity to bench for Glasgow's travel Team ,The Irn Bruisers. Since I started benching I have been lucky enough to bench for two different home teams in different seasons , GRGs travel team and a couple of games for the Maiden Girders. Obviously I have done the two Scotland games as well.

Towards the end of my Ref days, I was starting to become disillusioned by the game but have started to really enjoy it again as a bench manager. It is totally different and you feel a bigger part of the team.

What makes a good Bench Manager?

I don't know what makes a good bench manager, but I can tell you what I do and what works for me. Their are a few different ways that bench managers operate but in my opinion the captains decide on the strategy and I help them implement it. I tend to work with the jammers try to assist on when to call etc and advise pivots and captains of what strategies the opposing team are using.

Trust is a big part of it and you have to gain the Skaters trust, that your instructions are the correct ones for the team. It takes a few games before the Team really trust your decisions but I have been welcomed into the role by everyone and we seem to be working well. Obviously the transition was slightly easier for me due to my rules knowledge as a Ref.

You have to keep an eye on points and ensure that the correct number gets attributed to your team, you also have to keep an eye on penalties, to inform the line up manager so they can do their job. I am a big believer that we are all one team and we have to ensure communication is excellent on the bench.

I also like to give the Skaters encouragement if they have done something well and suggest some things if it's not going so well. If you have been to any bouts you will know how vocal I am with the team.

Three Majors gave me some tips he had seen the Montreal Bench use in terms of hand signals and this has been of great assistance. I also got to meet Sonic Boom from Toronto and picked up some stuff from him as well. You can always improve and I try and take in as many pointers as possible and see what works for me

How does it feel to be involved in Team Scotland and going to the World Cup?

I am a fan of Derby as well as being involved and getting the opportunity to work with skaters outside my own league is amazing. To get to work with Crazy, Alma,Fight Cub etc. and to watch them skate with the best from the other leagues is magic. Crazy and Whisky as your back two, what team wouldn't want them in their line ups?

To get to go to the World Cup and represent Scotland is the stuff of dreams I am about to burst out singing to BA Robertson, 'We Have a Dream'. It's hard to put into words how much this means to me but it really is a privilege to work with this team and I hope we do well in Toronto.

This is going to be something that I will look back on in years to come and think those were the days

How are you preparing for the World Cup?

Watching a lot of Derby and listening to Viper (my wife) working out strategies. I don't think a day goes by that we aren't talking about some aspect of the game.

Usually Viper is watching some tactic on DVD and playing it over and over whilst she breaks down the play.

Canada and the USA aside,which teams do you think will be good competition for Team Scotland?

I really want to play Brazil or Argentina, I just think that would be fantastic

But the game for me would be Scotland v Germany.

Both Glasgow and ARRG have played Stuttgart recently and I think that Scotland v Germany would be explosive Germany are really coming up in the rankings with both Berlin and Stuttgart playing great games. For me this would be the challenge it would be a hard hard bout but I believe our Scottish girls could win it.

What do you think the World Cup will do for Roller Derby in Scotland?

It s great for all Derby players in Scotland and I think that by the time it comes around again the try outs will be even bigger. The Skaters that do go will also pick up plenty of skills and contacts to take back to their parent leagues.

Also if you watch the improvement in Skaters that have been involved in the Scotland trainings you can see its a good thing. For example Psychomilly from Dundee Roller Girls has been outstanding and seems to have improved in such a short space of time. She obviously has benefited from training with the Scotland team and will be one to watch in the future.

I hope that it unites the country and everyone watches online and sends in their support.

This sport will be here long after we are finished in it and as far as I am concerned this Scotland team should be in the Derby hall of fame. They are the first Scotland National Derby team and in years to come new skaters will look up to them as the forbears of this sport.

In fact they are officially Derby Royalty :) after this.

Many thanks to Knuckles for taking the time to do this interview and to Dave McAleavy for providing the image

Team Sweden-Roller Derby World Cup 2011

Team Sweden might be relatively new on the scene, but their constituent teams have both been performing well in bouts across Europe. They could be a surprise for the more established teams out there.

Team Roster Swede Hurt - Head Coach + skater (ex of Gotham Girls Roller Derby and Rat City, now Stockholm Roller Derby, after coaching Crime City Rollers) Mad Maloony - Assistant Coach + skater (ex of Copenhagen, now Stockholm Roller Derby, after coaching Crime City Rollers) Sloppy Boggins - Assistant Coach (GTAR (Toronto), exStockholm) Alotta Riot - Crime City Rollers Ankefar - Crime City Rollers Barbara Barfight - Crime City Rollers Becky Lawless - Stockholm Roller Derby Bess I’rv Cold - Stockholm Roller Derby Fenix Fortsomfan - Crime City Rollers Firebird Steele - Crime City Rollers Fisty - Crime City Rollers HussInsane - Stockholm Roller Derby HyperNova - Stockholm Roller Derby Jazz Ass - Stockholm Roller Derby Jo Evil Eye - Crime City Rollers Kit Kat Power  - London Rockin' Rollers Kix deVille - Stockholm Roller Derby Knickerblocker Glory - London Rollergirls Ninja - Crime City Rollers Twist’d T - Stockholm Roller Derby Vix Viking - Crime City Rollers (ex of London Rollergirls)

As is plain from the roster, Team Sweden draws almost entirely from the two Swedish leagues, Stockholm and Crime City (Malmö). As with many of the national teams, however, they have a smattering of impressively sourced coaches and head skaters, of which Swede Hurt, who has previously played for East Region champions Gotham Girls Roller Derby and for Rat City (including a trip to West Regionals), and will presumably be bringing her intimidating experience to her Head Coach role.

Team Sweden have played one public bout, against Team Finland, which they won handily. Since then, they have been engaging in regular practices to build team cohesion.

Team Sweden is sponsored by the SwedeVix skate store, which just happens to have been founded by two of their players, Swede Hurt and Vix Viking.

We'll be getting more information about Team Sweden in a later article, as I interview Swede Hurt on various topics.

EROC 2012: Last chance to register for European Derby in Berlin!

Posted: by aoanla
Tags:  eroc euroderby roller derby bootcamps

European Roller Derby is a rising force, and it's as important to be a part of it as it is to get membership of WFTDA, in my opinion. The big European Derby meetup is the yearly European Rollerderby Organlsational Conference, which is hosted by Bear City Roller Derby in Berlin this year. The schedule will be split over the 27-29th Janurary, 2012.

There are separate registration for skaters and referees, and there will be masterclasses and other events for both officials and players.

This is an ideal chance for Scottish leagues to keep up with the European Derby scene, and it is perhaps especially useful for new leagues.

Plus, you get to see Berlin!

Registration closes on the 20th of November, so get in quick while you still can!

Monthly Diary of a League: Fierce Valley Roller Girls in November: Max Attaxx

Posted: by aoanla
Tags:  articles fvrg interviews monthly diary

It's not just the Nasty Nessies that the Scottish Roller Derby Blog is following on a monthly basis. The Forth Valley's finest roller derby league, Fierce Valley Roller Girls, is also providing us with a regular update on their progress. Forgoing the privilege of going first, Grizabelta has selected Max Attaxx (501) as the first interviewee, so, it's over to her:

What first attracted you to Roller Derby?

It was a sport played on roller skates, in which you get to hit other people and have a crazy name – how more awesome can it get?!

What was your biggest initial difficulty?

This would definitely be that I had never skated before in my life! (Apart from one go at ice skating which did not end well at all!) Thankfully that didn't put me off strapping those skates to my feet and going for it!

Lots of roller girls find it hard not to spread the word about their new sport. How have you been spreading the word?

By talking about in incessantly to anyone who will listen – and a few people who didn't want to listen! :)

What's the most important thing you've learnt/done this month?

I participated in my first bout this month (well 30th October) and I've learnt so much from it I'd find it hard to pick out just one thing! It was a great experience to skate in front of a crowd (albeit a small crowd!) and to skate against an experienced team! Great fun and a steep learning curve!

What were the most difficult and best things you've done?

The most difficult I would say was trying to catch up with the other skaters in my team! I started later than some so that combined with the fact I'd never skated meant I needed to really push myself every practice to do better! There's still so many things to learn though and get better at!

The best is now a joint win between two things – getting my 25 in 5 (Woop!) and my first bout! Both of which made me all the more convinced there's no sport better than Derby!

What's new in FVRG?
Apart from our very exciting first bout, which was the official 'launch' of FVRG's first bouting team the Parma Violents, we have also arranged a Cabaret night on the 11th of November! With Cheerleaders, poetry, magic, music and comedy, its shaping up to be an awesome evenings entertainment with the added bonus of seeing and chatting to your fierce neighbourhood roller girls! ;)
Come back next month to see who's next for Fierce Valley, and if you can make it, do try to turn up to the their Cabaret event, as it's sure to be a blast!

Team Finland-Roller Derby World Cup 2011

Posted: by scottishrollerderby
Tags:  roller derby world cup roller derby world cup 2011

Team Finland logo designed by Pekka Räty,used with permission.

Roller Derby is a new sport for much of Finland,most of the dozen or so leagues in the country have been formed in the last year.Helsinki Roller Derby is their oldest league,dating back to 2009 and they were accepted in the WFTDA Apprentice Program in July 2011.The bulk of the Finnish team all and all the coaching staff come from HRD and have quite a bit of experience playing some big name teams,taking part in the recent Battle Of Nordic Light competition and a very narrow defeat to Stuttgart Valley Roller Girlz

Team Roster- Doris,Lizz Troublegum,Kati Kyyrö,Kata Strofi,KC Knucklebone,Trixie GrandBang,Liisa Saari,Suvi Hokkari and Page Disaster of Helsinki Roller Derby the Blizzard from Bristol Roller Derby Misty Muffdiviah from Crime City Rollers Pink Spanker,Udre and Only of Kallio Rolling Rainbow Bloody-HO-Mary from Tampere Rollin' Ho's Juicy Butther from Dirty River Roller Girls

Coaching staff-All from Helsinki Roller Derby Head coach: Estrogeena Davis Assistant coach: Tigre Force Manager: Claire Leah Threat

Team Finland have only been able to practise together a handful of times,so much of the training has been down to individual skaters and leagues.Although the assistant coach,Tigre Force,has been travelling around Finland,coaching the leagues involved and providing feedback to the coaching staff and other skaters. A fundraising warm up bout against Team Sweden in early October ended in defeat for Finland,the final score being 135-71.As far as i am aware this is the only instance of two national squads bouting before playing in Toronto.Although doubtless the bout would have served to gel the team together and provide an insight into the workings of Team Sweden,which may prove useful should the two teams meet again during the World Cup. Like several other teams in the competition,Finland are something of a dark horse,with their mix of experienced and newer skaters they could well prove a threat to many other teams, depending on their training and preparation.Only time will tell how much of their hard work will pay off in Canada.