During a weekly practice, team skaters roll around the inside of the track doing drills like whips, jams, blocks, and pivots as coaches and captains intently watch. With the newest team members circling the outside of the rink, it looks like a rolling riot, but beyond the seeming chaos there are strategic moves taking place. Shinliver has some advice for college students who may want to join. “Do it,” Shinliver said. “Just come out to a practice, see what we are about. Many people who join either haven’t been on skates in years or have never skated before. We are happy to teach anyone, from any skill level, how to be involved in roller derby: either on skates or off.”
During a practice at Skateland, Casey “Hippie-Shinkicker” Shinliver, Harper, blocks her teammate Becky King, Hutchison. Shinliver said she takes pride in the fact that she can fill any position, blocker, jammer, or pivot. Loribeth Reynolds
Zipping past the first block, Bonnie “Sweet Assasin” Neel Patrick, Wichita, scores a point for her team. During the bout, certain skaters wore helmet covers with a star on it to help identify who the jammer was. Loribeth Reynolds
Head coach, Matthew Winters, Hutchinson, explained that before he lets anyone compete in a bout, he wants to make sure they are safe. “First and foremost, we teach these guys how to fall correctly,” Kilt said. “There is a reason pads are required, so that someone can use them to fall if need be. This isn’t Sunday skating where if they fall, they fall backwards. We want them to use those pads.” If someone wants to join without any gear, the team has rallied and put together what coach calls a “stank box.” It includes outgrown or leftover pads and helmets for the new members to use until they can get a full set. Pads are not provided by the league however, CJ Youngblood, Hutchinson, said there are certain benefits to being a part of the skate world. “Since we are associated with a rink, we get discounts on a lot of our gear. We travel all over Kansas for bouts and we get to know a lot of people who own skate shops, and sometimes we can get good deals there so it’s not so overwhelming when you’re looking at the price of it,” Youngblood said.
Roller derby names are a unique and fun nicknames for players who are apart of a team or those officiating a game Team members are almost never called by their real names when they are on the rink, at practice, or in a bout. Choosing a Derby name takes a bit of soul searching. Burgess Martin explains how he came up with his name, “Sergeant Smash.” “My Derby name is in honor of our troops,” Martin said. “That’s why all my pads are camoflage. I once served, plus smash is a really good Derby name.” Casey Shinliver came up with her derby name based on her position and a play on her last name. “I’ve always thought that I should have grown up in the 60’s,” She said. “I would have been better suited as a “fl wer child.” So, when I discovered that roller derby blockers primarily used their shoulders & hips, which I have plenty of, I chose “Hipp-ee” I am both Hippy and a hippie Shinkiker.”
Bout In Wichita the Cotillion Ballroom was crowded Sept. 17, as CKRD took on the Wichita Havoc. Before the bout took place members of the team sat in their gear, and
DRAGON'S TALE • FALL 2016
10/27/2016 4:39:14 PM