Page 1




Each issue is loaded with information to help leagues across the world

improve their game, build their business, and keep up to date with the latest in flat track roller derby! ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION $17.99 for WFTDA league members • $25.99 for non-WFTDA league members ORDER IN BULK FOR YOUR WHOLE LEAGUE!

subscriptions available at

fiveonfive contents 26-28

4-5 advice


ask dahmernatrix and she who cannot be named!

Inquiries on insurance? What the new WFTDA insurance plan means for you.

6-9 business

10-15 health and fitness


creating a grievance policy selling tickets online tracking your league finances

being an athlete: an overview concussion discussion feet don’t fail me now hydrate those skates

34-37 2008 Nationals Justice Feelgood Marshall gives the lowdown on the WFTDA 2008 National Championship tournament in Portland.

western and eastern regionals recap duke city derby: making it to nationals

22-25 gear


16-21 games and coaching


buying skates traveling light for derby

Roller Derby Announcing

30-31 JFTDA

What really goes on behind the mic? Jersey Shore’s Tricia La’Vicious has the play-by-play on announcing.

32-33 rookie holding tryouts new but not useless

40-41 have derby, will travel travel tips from hurt reynolds 42-48 art and media 49 classifieds 52 horoscopes


seattle derby brats

editor anne shank rocky mountain rollergirls art director assaultin’ pepa rocky mountain rollergirls contributing writers dahmernatrix duke city derby she who cannot be named rocky mountain rollergirls

from the editor Welcome to the second issue of fiveonfive magazine, the official magazine of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)!

lorna boom rat city rollergirls

As the 2008 season has closed, the new year brings a fresh look on how to make

ida slapter rat city rollergirls

2009 great for individual skaters and leagues as a whole. For those who were

big f’n ref steel city derby demons

lucky enough to play in or watch the Western and Eastern Regional Tournaments and Nationals, witnessing the best flat track roller derby in the United States

dr. j sioux falls roller dollz

always serves as an inspiration that pushes us all to take this sport to another

catholic cruel girl rocky mountain rollergirls

level as soon as we return to our home tracks.

foxy del fuego tampa bay derby darlins

Roller derby’s athleticism grows each year – new skaters bring their skills to

janesaw massacre ict roller girls

rosters, returning skaters continue to push themselves, the number of

justice feelgood marshall charm city roller girls

interleague games across the country and the world continues to increase,

coach pauly arizona roller derby

and boot camps and other training sessions increase in popularity – but it also

8-ball minnesota rollergirls ivanna s. pankin’ arizona roller derby miss jane redrum fort wayne derby girls betty ford galaxy jet city rollergirls

gains a larger presence amongst the general public. With opportunities such as a major motion picture and a video game about roller derby in the works, our already large scene as we know it is about to explode. Now is the time to encourage the development of our own players, community and resources and bring what we have individually to the sport as a whole. It’s

ruby trip’er mississippi rollergirls

hard to say what doors will open in 2009, but it’s a safe guess that we will be

tricia la’vicious jersey shore roller girls

welcoming a multitude of new skaters, fans, ideas and opportunities. We at

hurt reynolds derby news network

fiveonfive are committed to embracing roller derby’s DIY ethic and aiding in

papa razzi fabulous sin city rollergirls

the continuing growth of the sport as all of us involved in flat track derby constantly surprise one another with what we can accomplish.

luscious smacksome rocky mountain rollergirls cover photo phil peterson fiveonfive magazine

Your thoughts, questions, concerns, love letters, and hate mail are always welcome at Anne Shank #13 Rocky Mountain Rollergirls Denver, CO


Many thanks to our contributors who come from all over the roller derby community and share their knowledge based on their countless hours of dedication to this sport! Check out additional contributors at

Dr. J

Lorna Boom

Ida Slapter

Judith R. Peterson, MD is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She treats numerous athletes and is the team physician for the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz. She is experienced in the treatment of a wide variety of nerve and muscle pain syndromes and has lectured nationally and internationally on musculoskeletal topics and injury rehabilitation.

Lorna Boom joined the Rat City Rollergirls in June of 2004. After serving as a team captain (Derby Liberation Front) for two seasons, she took off her skates to have a baby and focus on family but still hasn’t been able to escape the derby-vortex. Lorna continues to be a Rat City Rollergirl Alumna and serves as the league’s Business Operations Manager. Additionally, Lorna is a WFTDA Human Resources Representative and the WFTDA Bylaws Committee Chair.

Ida Slapter started skating at the height of roller disco and her interest in DIY and the collective process started in the early 80s American hardcore scene. One of Derby Liberation Front’s original members, Ida retired from the Rat City Rollergirls in 2007 after competing for three seasons.

Justice Feelgood Marshall

Papa Razzi Ivanna S. Pankin’

Ryan Weber (AKA Papa Razzi) is the team photographer for Las Vegas’ Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls. In his professional life he photographs celebs, people, products, and architecture through his company Radiant Photography, Inc. He recently earned his Masters of Photographic Science degree and wrenches on his ‘68 Caddy DeVille in his spare time. He drinks just about anything in a shot glass.

Ivanna S. Pankin skates for San Diego Derby Dolls and Team Awesome USA, and also works at Sin City Skates. She gets credit and takes blame for tons of derby stuff, but her favorite of all of them is RollerCon, the yearly derby conference in Las Vegas.

Justice Feelgood Marshall began his derby career in the summer of 2005 with Baltimore’s Charm City Roller Girls as a referee, and since then has dedicated much of (some would say too much of) his life to following derby wherever it leads him. He’s participated as a referee in over 80 bouts around the nation, including all of the 2007 WFTDA tournaments; was head referee of RollerCon 2007; has helped train leagues from Edmonton, Canada to Lubbock, Texas; and founded one of the first male flat track derby teams, the Harm City Homicide in Baltimore. In addition to his many duties on the track, he is the managing editor of, a central point for derby recaps, scores and previews that he launched in September 2007.


She Who Cannot Be Named Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Denver, CO

Dahmernatrix Duke City Derby, Albuquerque, NM

DEAR BLOCKER AND JAMMER, “I really want to be a jammer AND a blocker, but I feel like I can’t train successfully for both positions. I’m torn, because I think I need to lose weight to be a better jammer, but I don’t want to be a "lightweight" blocker – I really want to hit HARD! Any advice on how to improve my speed and endurance without losing the ability to dish out skull-rattling hits?” -STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR STUCK, First off, don’t feel as if you need to lose weight to play better derby! Unless you’re experiencing health issues associated with excessive weight (i.e. high blood pressure, diabetic symptoms, or knee problems not due to a sudden injury), don’t focus so much on what the scale says. Jammers come in all shapes and sizes – smaller doesn’t necessarily equal faster and bigger doesn’t mean slower. Have you noticed the legs on girls that have speed skating experience? Their quadriceps are built! In addition, if you’re a larger girl, you’re harder to knock down (definitely a bonus for your team). As far as hitting harder, if you are on the small side, the trick is timing and placement. Think of it as training to hit smarter. Catching someone while they’re not looking is key, as well as what target zones you apply the hit to (the sternum is a better target than the shoulder, using your hips or butt to hit is a better weapon then the upper arm). Smaller girls also tend to have pointier shoulders and hip bones... use them to do some damage! That said, you’ll be a better asset to your team if you work on being both a good blocker and jammer, not just a rock star at one or the other.

DEAR STUCK, I’m going to admit that I personally have difficulty being a player in both positions at the same time – but not because of size or conditioning, more because of frame of mind and timing. I find that when I’m jamming a lot I tend to miss my hits as a blocker, and when I’m blocking a lot, even though the star is on my head I still think like a blocker – albeit one that is going uncharacteristically fast. I try to stay and fight instead of run run run out of that pack, which is not generally a strategy conducive to scoring points! Once you overcome the mental difficulties of switching positions, the physical challenges should be easy. As long as you’re physically conditioning yourself you should be able to master both positions. The key is working with your body and figuring out what works for you. Both strength and speed will help all positions, as will endurance. If you are bigger you may not be able to dart unnoticed through the same tiny holes spindly jammers do, but you can take riskier paths against blockers who know that you’re there, because you have confidence in your ability to stay solid and not get knocked over or out of bounds. I think if you take a close look at people who excel in their positions you’ll notice that, short or tall, skinny or fat, they are still in good cardiovascular or muscular condition, and they have good awareness of how their body moves and what they can do with it. I think if you assess your strengths, weaknesses, and improve on what you have rather than focusing on being someone else, you’ll be much more successful than playing like someone you’re not. 4 | Winter 2008 |

DEAR BLOCKER AND JAMMER, “How do you deal with the pressure of performing for Drew Geraets,

your team and fans?”

DEAR NERVOUS, It used to be that every game day I would think to myself that I hated roller derby and that it was a stupid waste of time for stupid people on stupid roller skates in stupid uniforms... It wasn’t until the end of my first season that I recognized that I only felt that way right before games, and trying to convince myself that I didn’t like it and shouldn’t do it was the way my nervousness manifested itself. To be perfectly honest I haven’t found a way to deal with the pressure, and I don’t want to. I still feel it and I feed off of it. I find that when I go into a game relaxed I perform poorly because I get too blasé and not nearly as aggressive as I need to be in order to get the job done. But when I get neurotic and think that I’m going to be terrible, that we’re going to be humiliated in front of everyone, and that I need to do all I can to stop that from happening, well that’s when I train the most, skate the fastest, and hit the hardest. So what I would suggest is that you confront the pressure that you feel and work with it. Know what kind of person you are and what motivates you best – maybe you need to do hitting drills with your teammates right before the game to remind yourself that you ARE good at this and you DO know what you’re doing. Maybe you need to let yourself feel just a little but uneasy, just as long as you can keep it under control and don’t go over the top. Personally, I eat peanut butter and honey bagels, listen to the Rocky soundtrack, and skate sideways as fast as I can. But, you know, everyone’s different... You’ll find your optimal comfort zone if you just listen to yourself and try things out.


DEAR NERVOUS, The one thing to keep in mind is that roller derby is supposed to be fun! That alone may ease some of the mental pressure that you’re putting on yourself. Remember, it’s a team sport, and no one person alone on your team will be responsible for your win or loss. Chances are your teammates are experiencing similar feelings, so it might help to have a group powwow and talk about it before a big game – that way you’ll be prepared before the first whistle. If your captain or coach gives you a hard time during the bout if you make a mistake, don’t get too hung up on it – that’s what they’re supposed to do. Just try to learn from your mistakes and move on. As far as the fans are concerned, try not to get distracted by their presence. After a while, you won’t be bothered by them if they jeer at you. However, no crowd can resist any sports figure that acknowledges the audience in a positive way (slapping hands, fist-pumping, etc.). So just get out there, play your best, and be a good derby ambassador. Before too long it will be second nature, guaranteed.

need advice? email | Winter 2008 | 5


creating a grievance policy L O R N A B O O M & I DA S L A P T E R , R AT C I T Y R O L L E R G I R L S

We have all heard (and said) phrases like “rollergirls don’t cry,” “shut up and skate” and “leave it on the track,” but conflict between skaters, officials and entire leagues is a fact of life. Women’s flat track derby leagues are comprised of passionate and committed athletes willing to break stereotypical gender expectations by bashing the hell out of one another. It seems inevitable that even as we strive for the collaborative “for the skater, by the skater” ideal, our Type A personalities are going to clash. A grievance policy defines your league as an organization committed to creating an accessible environment that respects and welcomes diversity, while allowing members to voice concerns without fear of retribution. The grievance procedure is often viewed as one of the most important innovations in industrial relations and is considered to be the heart of the collective process. CREATING A GRIEVANCE POLICY Creating a grievance policy needn’t be overly complicated. As with developing any policy, the first step is research. Conflict resolution is a multimillion-dollar industry; labor unions, colleges and private corporations frequently publish grievance and conflict resolution policies in their online employee handbooks. Additionally, established leagues may have already developed a policy that they are willing to share. At the very least, we are willing to bet your sister leagues can tell you what doesn’t work! As part of the collaborative process, the next step is to have an open dialogue with your league; find out what your members want from a grievance policy. 6 | Winter 2008 |

WHAT SHOULD OUR POLICY COVER? Identify the types of grievances you would like your policy to cover as well as the actual steps for receiving, investigating and resolving a grievance, including realistic time limits, documentation and guidelines. Find out if confidentiality is important to your league members. Are members open to internal or external mediation or arbitration? Additionally, identify members within your league or determine how to elect members to oversee the grievance process who are impartial and unbiased; and determine how and when captains, board members, coaches, and refs will be involved in settling grievances. Create a procedure that uses straightforward language that all members can easily understand. Make sure that everyone has access to the procedure and reevaluate it annually by getting feedback from members. Communicate the success or failure of the policy and make necessary changes. TYPES OF GRIEVANCES TO ADDRESS Internal grievances: The better prepared you are to address internal conflict quickly and fairly, the more you can minimize the impact the conflict will have on your league and its members. Not only can a formal grievance procedure reduce the frequency of drama, it can also help improve or maintain league morale. Common internal grievances include: • Personality conflict between

members with equal status (i.e. between two or more skaters) or with an individual sporting a perpetually bad attitude • “Official” conflict between a skater and a referee or coach or between a referee and a coach • Organizational conflict between members and elected or appointed leadership such as team captains, committee chairs or board members External grievances: Regardless of affiliation, leagues may have challenges with one another, especially if they have a close geographical relationship. Open communication is key to avoiding conflict and negotiating a solution when and if a problem arises. Common external grievances include: • Interleague competition including general douchebag behavior, perceived “poor” officiating or “running up the score” • Business competition for skaters, refs, fans, practice and/or event venues and sponsorship dollars • Philosophical differences between leagues that can occur on just about any topic from rules to structure and democracy LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO The majority of grievances can be easily resolved, but sometimes they get taken out on the track. Though we have adopted rules to minimize injury and penalize fouls, we all know that an unresolved conflict on the track can be dangerous for everyone.

There is a difference between strategic and intentional fouling. Strategic fouls happen in every sport and while considered by many to be unethical, a strategic foul is intended to gain a strategic advantage. An intentional foul is intended to hurt an opponent. If a skater injures another due to reckless play or as the result of an intentional foul, she can be held personally liable for medical and legal expenses as well as subject to criminal charges. A coach, captain or teammate who directs a skater to target another skater with the goal of injury can also be held personally liable. What does any of this have to do with a grievance policy? Quite a bit actually! If a skater is guilty of repeated intentional fouling and your league effectively condones the behavior by doing nothing to address the problem, the league is just as liable as the skater who injured someone. Developing a policy that clearly details the process used to address grievances and outlines possible outcomes and solutions helps to create a fair and transparent method of dealing with existing

conflict and prevents future issues or legal ramifications. All grievances need to be documented whether they are acted upon or not. If the grievance isn’t acted upon, the reasons for this need to be clearly stated in your documentation. WHY CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG? The majority of us are not trained in conflict resolution, but the best policy is to be clear and direct in your day-to-day derby communications. Even though we get lumped into the collective “tough girl” category, many of us try to avoid conflict with others by not addressing it. If we can learn to be more respectful of one another and address differences before they escalate, our grievance policies will collect dust in a binder at the bottom of our skate bags. In the meantime, when a conflict does arise, identify the problem, indicate the desired outcome and suggest a solution that shows your willingness to negotiate a resolution. If the direct approach fails, refer to your grievance policy and solicit assistance from a neutral party or group elected to assist in resolution of these matters.

tips for healthy communication Gossip can damage an entire league or your relationship with another league, regardless of who is at fault. Many times the obvious conflict isn’t the problem, but the manifestation of a deeper issue. Suppression of feelings will usually escalate out of control. People act badly when they are feeling threatened or mistreated. Remember that all complaints should be taken seriously, but hollow accusations should not. People will not admit mistakes when they feel attacked. Don’t play the blame game – try to find a solution instead of a winner and loser. Outside observers who are not members of your league are usually helpful in seeing past rumors and finger pointing. Do not take sides – you can be a supportive friend without drawing conclusions. When someone quits your league to avoid a painful situation, the policy has failed and you may need an unbiased outsider. Confidentiality is one of the critical factors of the process. Use good judgment about how and where information can be shared. Everyone in derby should make a commitment to prevent bullying and harassment within your league. A policy should have a statement that bullying, victimization and harassment are not allowed. | Winter 2008 | 7


selling tickets online Making your league’s bout or event tickets available online is one of the best ways to ensure ticket sales – customers have the convenience of purchasing tickets anytime and practically anywhere and you can post a link to buy tickets wherever you have an online presence in a snap. So, how do you get your tickets up there painlessly? Read on for pointers on upping the availability of your tickets. convenience is key While the biggest plus of having your tickets available online is the convenience it offers your fans, you also want to ensure that it isn’t a nightmare for your league to keep track of. Most online ticket retailers allow the seller the option of logging into an account through their website and checking the amount of tickets that have been sold up to that point, which gives a heads up as to what kind of participation you may have. Don’t stress if your sales aren’t that high – the majority of fans will probably still buy tickets at the door and those that do purchase online usually leave it until the last minute. If you are lucky enough to be in a venue where you frequently sell out, it is a good idea to really push online ticket sales to fans in order to reduce chaos come bout day. Every league faces different challenges and conveniences of their own regarding ticket sales at their venue or through any sort of walk-up sales (i.e. at a local shop or bar or even through your skaters), but uniformity in online selling is one of its many perks. There are a number of national companies that offer ticket-selling services, including a favorite of many rollergirls, Brown Paper Tickets. what to consider When initially picking an online ticketing company there is a lot to think about, including service fees charged to your fans, contracts you may have to sign with the company, printing costs, and the number of payment options available to buyers. Talk to your venue about ticketing options and whether or not they already supply online ticket sales for events.

8 | Winter 2008 |

One of the great things about Brown Paper Tickets is how simple it is for the user – just register, fill out the information for your event and sit back and wait for a check to come once sales are over. Brown Paper Tickets handles printing and shipping through the website, and you may offer fans the option of picking up tickets at will-call. The service fee for all events stays consistent – 99 cents plus 2.5 percent of the ticket cost – regardless of how the ticket is purchased, and there are no long-term contracts required on your end. Brown Paper Tickets’ approach works so well with roller derby thanks to the low costs, conveniences to both sellers and buyers, and the ease of working without a demanding contract. The point of making tickets available online is to eliminate hassle, so make sure the process remains easy and simple for all parties involved. Be cautious of any hidden fees or unnecessary steps when picking an online ticket outlet, and always keep the happiness of your fans and your own sanity in mind.

tracking your league finances With the 2009 season approaching, no time is better than now to start easily tracking your league’s finances. Keeping tabs on each committee’s expenses helps you figure out where all that money is going and also empowers skaters to see where their dues, fundraising efforts and hard work has paid off. Here are some basic tips on organization and making your leagues funds accessible: availability is important Every skater dedicates a significant amount of time and money to her league, and concrete knowledge of where her dues and other league expenses are going should always be available. It may seem like a hassle to constantly update data, but keeping a visible paper trail can save many headaches in the future. On one hand, if your league needs to cut costs at any point it will be easy to summarize what is currently being spent where, while any internal financial questions (“Why do I have to pay so much for dues?” “Why can’t my committee spend x amount of money?” “How much are we really putting into advertising?” “Can we afford this awesome new merch idea?” etc.) can be answered easily. tracking data So, how can you keep track of finances and make sure everyone can access it? find a system – Ideally you want an easy-to-follow and fool-proof place to store your data – a program like QuickBooks ( has online availability so more than one user can sign in and check finances or add data for a monthly fee. You may also keep an excel file in Google Docs ( that users can easily access and update from anywhere for free.

keep it visible – If not all users have Internet access or if one person is in charge of entering all of your data, be sure to print updated hard copies to bring to league meetings. If your league has an online Yahoo! Group or some kind of document storage space, you may also make updated copies available there rather than tracking data in a place where it can be easily manipulated by other users (such as in a Google Doc). delegate tasks – The most difficult part of keeping track of finances publicly is being diligent about updating them. It is ideal to either have one person act as a bookkeeper for your league, or have a minibookkeeper for each committee that helps maintain information. Keep in mind that the league member who tracks your finances probably doesn’t know off the top of her head that the crumpled up wad of cash you handed her after practice was for your monthly dues, new uniforms and travel expenses, so be sure to write out a breakdown rather than telling her quickly while heading out the door. If your league goes the Google Doc or multiple user route for updating finance data, be clear about who is in charge of inputting what. Delegate a representative from each committee to keep tabs on expenses and income, that way nothing will be entered twice or not entered at all. Most leagues lack a physical office or even a conventional business structure due to the equal representation of so many members, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t easily keep track of something like finances. With a little bit of organization and a lot of clear communication amongst skaters, you can be sure that everyone has a grip on the economic status of your league. | Winter 2008 | 9

health and fitness

being an athlete: an overview B I G F ’ N R E F, S T E E L C I T Y D E R B Y DA M E S

For all you sarcastic derby ladies out there the answer is not that they exercise... thanks anyhow. The first answer is discipline. Many people start to exercise, in any of its myriad forms, and quit very soon after. To be considered an exerciser and receive the health benefits, performance enhancements or the mitigating effects to injuries, you must be disciplined. You must train consistently. How often you need to train varies, but everything starts with the discipline to exercise. No train = no gain. So then, if you have two runners with discipline and they both run five days out of seven, run in the rain, snow and in every conceivable weather condition, run when on vacation and feel guilty

when forced to skip a planned day of running – what starts separating out the athletes from the fitness enthusiast? Goals. Goals are the next piece of the puzzle that stratifies athletes. How detailed those goals are or how often

10 | Winter 2008 |

they are considered isn’t as important, but striving to not get hurt during derby, to be .4 seconds faster in a five-lap time, to have better leg strength or endurance to force opposing blockers off the track late in the game, are all goals. Now, you have two skaters and they are both disciplined. They show up for all practices, train occasionally on their own and have goals. They want to be the best blocker or jammer on their team, in their league, or at nationals. So what are the next pieces of the athletic puzzle? Planning and training. What specifically is being done by the athletic player to correct weaknesses or become faster or stronger? “I have weaker legs than I would like. So I am going to do 3x3x12 barbell squats and 3x3x12 walking lunges two times per week for the next six weeks and then reevaluate where I am.” Planning and training are the specific steps athletes use to bring about their goals. The final pieces of the puzzle are records and testing. This can be as involved or as rudimentary as you’d like to make it, but it is hard to know what is working if you don’t know where you’ve started. Some managers or coaches keep records of how they trained their teams on what day or individual skaters’ times on tests, but it is really beneficial if you do this on your own. Each of these areas has many sub areas. Discipline when talking about athletic performance, for example, can

be broken down into sub areas such as food, rest, exercise and hydration. If you exercise every day religiously but stay out until 3 a.m. and get up for school or work at 6 a.m., your body will never get the maximal benefit from the exercise program you are doing. Little or no sleep equals poor results from training. Eating nothing for breakfast most days, having a package of cheese crackers and diet cola for lunch and two tacos at the bar after practice while drinking six Corona Lights is not being very disciplined in regards to food. It’s fun and everyone does things like that occasionally, but to make a habit of it reduces your athletic potential. Truthfully, if you play derby you are an athlete by anyone’s yardstick, and you don’t have to do anything in this life you don’t want to do. Derby is still growing, though, and no one knows where it will end up. If you are disciplined, set goals for yourself, plan and train, and occasionally test yourself to make sure the training is paying off, who knows what you can achieve.

Good luck in all your training endeavors.


What attributes separate an exerciser from a non-exerciser?


Let’s face it, in this fast-paced society we live in, taking care of ourselves often takes a back seat to the many responsibilities that we are constantly juggling. The key to success is to not make big, drastic changes or make too many changes at once. This will only make the process seem like a burden and you will be less likely to stay the course. Small, gradual changes ensure success. If you are new to nutrition and need a place to start or simply want to get back on track, here are five easy things you can do in order to make small, effective changes:

Take a multivitamin/ mineral every day. This is, by far, the easiest, most effective change you can make. While choosing which supplement to take can seem daunting, don’t let that deter you. Talk to the professionals at the health food store about your needs and they will point you in the right direction.

Eat breakfast. And no, coffee doesn’t count. Keep it simple if you do not have time in the morning. Grab a banana, a breakfast bar, or a smoothie. Not only will this small act get your brain going, it will save you from making poor food choices later in the day.

Eat before you are hungry.

Nix the soda addiction.


Sounds odd, right? What I mean by this is don’t wait until you are ravenous to put fuel in your tank. By having a mid-morning snack, lunch, or afternoon snack, not only will you be less likely to gorge yourself, you will also supply your body with a constant flow of energy that will eliminate blood sugar spikes.

Try to cut down on sugary soft drinks by choosing water or herbal tea instead. Not as appealing? Dress up your water with slices of melon, cucumber or citrus. Or try to Seltzer water to get your fizz fix. Beware of pre-packaged alternatives as they may contain as much sugar or high-fructose corn syrup as soda.

If you absolutely hate broccoli, don’t force yourself to choke it down. Instead, broaden your palate and try new things. Who knew kale could be so delicious? Eat what you like when it comes to fruits and veggies, but don’t be afraid to try new things. You could be missing out on something nutritious and delicious.

1 2 3 4 5 Each day is a new opportunity to take better care of ourselves – view it as a celebration of self, not as a chore. Small changes yield big rewards, and who doesn’t want that?

concussion discussion hard-hitting medical talk D R . J, S I O U X FA L L S R O L L E R D O L L Z

What is a concussion anyway? A concussion is a traumatic injury to your brain, and is common in derby. If after a hit you feel like your bell has been rung, you most likely have a concussion. Most people assume that if the hit skater has not blacked out or lost consciousness they are OK and can continue playing, but this is a terribly wrong and dangerous assumption! The majority of players who have suffered a concussion will not lose consciousness, and you do not need to kiss the concrete in order to sustain a head injury or a concussion. If the player gets any kind of hard hit that causes the head to forcefully slide in the helmet, she may suffer a concussive brain injury. The signs of a concussion can be very subtle an d easy to miss. If a player has a headache, cannot remember details of prior play, is off balance, appears confused, is nauseated, irritable or seems emotionally “off” – laughing uncontrollably or crying – she may have a concussion. Another sign of a concussion is a disoriented player who may skate off in the wrong direction. Skaters may brush off these symptoms, but they all show that she has suffered a brain injury. Any player who is experiencing these symptoms should not be allowed to return to play, period. A player who doesn’t feel right is more vulnerable to a second brain hit, which could cause permanent neurological problems or worse.

Most concussions are graded as mild, with memory loss after the hit of less than five minutes and symptoms such as a headache that persist for less than one day. However, even a mild concussion interrupts how the nerves in the brain talk to each other and make the athlete susceptible to severe brain swelling or injury with a second hit before the first concussion has completely healed. Most guidelines suggest that athletes should be symptom free for a week before returning to play – this means that the skater needs to feel great on and off skates for a week. Do not rush it! Players who have sustained more than one concussion typically need two weeks off of derby, and players who have had three concussions in a season have struck out of bouting for the remainder of that year. Any player who has suffered a concussion should be evaluated by a competent medical provider before returning to play. Protect your brain – you only get one! For more information, look over the National Athletic Trainers Association statement at NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: This article is intended as a reference only. The information is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical treatment. If you suspect that you have a medical problem or are experiencing any health issues, you are recommended to seek the advice of competent medical care and consult with your personal physician. | Winter 2008 | 11

health and fitness

feet don’t fail me now I DA S L A P T E R , R AT C I T Y R O L L E R G I R L S

After eight cortisone shots, three pairs of skates, numerous visits to the foot doctor, multiple trips to the acupuncturist, endless tubes of Arnica, Band-Aids, padding, insoles and socks, I’ve become something of an armchair podiatrist. Most beginning skaters have not trained their feet for six or more hours of skating a week. No wonder so many skaters have stressed out feet.

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen will help with pain. There are also tons of lubricants on the market to help with chaffing, such as Blister Shield, SportStick, Brave Soldier and many others. quick fixes First, loosen your trucks. Start by doing a half turn, and then skate a few laps to test them out. How tight or loose your trucks are is a personal preference. Next, pull out your insole. Feel around for anything sharp near the rivets that hold the plate and boot together. Make sure that nothing is raised in the boot. You can also change the tension in your laces. A common cause of pain is boots that are laced too tightly over the ball of the boot. Figure out where you have pressure and skip the lace holes nearest to the problem.

blisters and sore spots Breaking in new skates usually brings blisters. As your skin becomes damp, it softens, making blisters more likely. Buy socks that fit correctly – they shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Make sure the seam is straight and doesn’t have loose fabric. I like a sock that has heavy padding on the bottom, but is thin on top. Teko Socks or Smartwool (for hiking) are great if you have problems with bruising on your pusher foot. Make sure your socks are made of a moisturewicking material – one hundred percent cotton socks do not breathe. If your feet get sweaty, try Drymax socks. Other foot problems such as bunions, cysts, and calluses are caused by pressure on your tendons and nerves. If you have foot pain that doesn’t go away after a realistic skate break, try padding. Round cosmetic sponges, moleskin, Clear Clouds and Bunga Pads

boot blunders Having your boots fitted can be a big foot saver; a good cobbler or boot fitter will take the time to look at your skates and get a good fit. Skating in a boot that fits correctly is important. If your boot feels too tight at the ball of the foot even when the lacing is loosened after normal breakin time, your boots may be too small for you. If your boot is too big, you may have

can help. Keep pressure off of bumps and blisters. Remember, if you can take some time off from the rink, it will make the healing go much quicker.

a tendency to clench your toes while skating, causing your foot to cramp. EZeefit Booties are a great help for ankle bite. If you have swelling around the anklebones, try stretching out your

Fall 2008 12 | Winter 2008 | |

boots at the sides – heat from a hair dryer will help. You can also oil the leather and start working the area with a golf ball. There are a couple of companies that make female-specific insoles. Superfeet and Spenco both sell skating insoles for women. Remember to break in your insoles slowly, just like a new pair of shoes. other foot soothing tips Stretching the Achilles tendon and building up the muscles in your feet can help with many foot problems. Thera-band stability trainers work great, or use a yoga block that you can place one foot on to work on your balance. Improving your circulation by wiggling your toes and rotate your ankles to help keep blood flowing can get your feet into better condition. I know that derby allows for many ages, and most of us aren’t kids. As we age, the arch changes, we have less padding on the bottom of our feet and they can get longer and wider. Don’t be surprised about being a half or full size larger than expected when buying new skates – you should definitely get your feet sized every time before purchasing a pair.

Once your feet start to have problems, problems in other areas are sure to follow. If you are trying to baby your foot pain, you may turn your leg or walk differently than you normally do. Since derby skaters have a greater susceptibility to knee injuries, you may be protecting your knee while walking by rolling your foot out. Many skaters have the biggest problem with their right foot, since derby skating involves crossing over and placing pressure on that area. The area under your big toe has two bones with a nerve between them. Putting pressure on the outer bone will usually create a callous. Some skaters put more pressure on the nerve, making a couple of hours of skating painful, and over time this can lead to nerve damage – this is a form of “dancers foot” called sesamoiditis. Sudden pain (usually due to impact or repeated pressure) can cause a sesamoiditis fracture. Another foot ailment frequent to derby is plantar fasciitis, a form of tendonitis. This is in the bottom of your foot where the heel bone connects to the toes. You might notice the pain in the first few seconds as you get out of bed. If any problem persists for weeks or gets worse, you should stop skating and consult a podiatrist – you can risk serious damage to your feet otherwise. I highly recommend seeing a sports podiatrist (bring your skates with you when you go) instead of a regular podiatrist. It’s important to see someone who understands sports science and will want to find a solution instead of telling you to stop doing derby. The best way to find a good podiatrist is by asking a local ballet school. They have the most notoriously messed up feet, so they will probably know the number one and number two best podiatrists in any town. They’re your feet and no one else knows how they feel, so start taking care of them now to prevent problems down the road. Blister Shield Brave Soldier Bunga Pads Drymax Sports Socks EZeefit Booties Smartwool Spenco Superfeet Teko Socks Thera-band

stretching 101 F O X Y D E L F U E G O , TA M PA BAY D E R B Y DA R L I N S

importance of stretching Stretching is an important component to add to any physical training regime. The act of stretching the muscles before asking them to power you through another practice or a major bout will insure that you have a longer, healthier derby career. Also, the wonderful skating muscles that you built up over time will begin to lose flexibility if not regularly stretched out. After a hard workout or game, stretching the muscles back out will increase blood flow for repair and assist removal of waste products that cause soreness. pre workout You should always be a bit warm prior to stretching. When the muscles are warm, they respond better, and will stretch longer than when cold. If you prefer to stretch prior to putting on your skates, just jog in place for a minute or two to get your blood flowing. With skates on, you can do several easy laps to get the same result. During your stretch, only push to the point of slight discomfort. You don’t want to do a stretch that causes pain EVER! Relax and hold for 15-30 seconds. No bouncing, just gentle pressure. post workout After practice or a workout, take time to cool down. Too many times I’ve been guilty of rushing out of practice, jumping in the car to get home, and feeling stiff when I get out of the car to go inside. Remember that at the end of the day, you are already preparing yourself for your next training exercise, whatever that may be. Take a few cool down laps; stretch your legs while you take off your skates and pads. If you stand around after practice to discuss committee business or the last after party, stretch your quads while you’re there. yoga I’ve been a fan of yoga for years. Not only does yoga have a calming effect, it can also increase in balance and core strength. The static stretches of hatha yoga require joints to selfstabilize, which makes them stronger. Any pose done on one foot is great for ankle strength and stability. Yoga can be a workout in itself, so if you choose a longer program, try to work it into your routine once or twice weekly. If you can only do 10 minutes a day, try to squeeze it in every other day or so. For good examples of stretches, check out | Winter 2008 | 13

health and fitness

hydrate those skates! J A N E S AW M A S S A C R E , I C T R O L L E R G I R L S

Water makes up 50 to 65 percent of the average adult’s body. It plays a crucial role in temperature regulation, waste removal, joint and organ cushioning, and it is a part of every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies. Without water, every function in the human body would cease to exist, which illustrates the significance of hydration. Hydration is an important aspect of all athletes’ regimens, and that includes rollergirls! It is essential to be properly hydrated before a bout or practice, to maintain hydration during strenuous activity, and to replenish stored fluid afterwards. There are a couple of easy tools that can help you stay hydrated: first off, a general rule of thumb is to drink an amount of water equal to half your body weight in ounces daily. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you need to consume around 70 ounces of fluid everyday. That fluid will ideally come from water but it can also be obtained from juice, tea, sports drinks and even some foods like fruits and vegetables. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but if you get in the habit it’s not too difficult. One other important fact to remember when it comes to hydration is that sports drinks are only necessary when practices or bouts exceed 90 minutes. Sports drinks have added carbohydrates, sodium and potassium. The

14 | Winter 2008 |

carbohydrates refuel your muscles, providing more energy for prolonged activity. The sodium and potassium are electrolytes that help maintain fluid balance in the body’s cells. Carbohydrates, sodium and potassium are all provided through a balanced diet, and therefore only need to be replenished when workouts are extensive. When preparing for a bout it is key to not only stay hydrated the day of, but also to consistently hydrate your body for optimal performance every day. I recommend drinking your daily required amount (half your weight in ounces) each day. On the day of a bout, drink at least half of that amount before skating. Then, during the bout, it is crucial to continue drinking in order to maintain hydration. If you prefer to drink sports drinks during practice or bouts, there is no harm in doing so, but I recommend purchasing a drink that contains no more than 14-15 grams of

carbohydrates, 110 milligrams of sodium and 35-50 milligrams of potassium in every eight ounces. This provides optimum absorption and quick delivery to your muscles for energy as well as prevents stomachaches. Hydration is a vital aspect of athleticism that all of us rollergirls have to consider. Remember to stay hydrated all the time, not just on bout days. If you ever feel dizzy, fatigued, sluggish, or have muscle cramps during practice or a bout, keep in mind that you may be dehydrated. Drink up ladies, skate hard, and I’ll see you on the track.

sweet potato chili Catholic Cruel Girl, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls

As winter approaches, comfort food reins Queen. This simple-to-make chili is both hearty and flavorful. It stands on its own as a meal with sliced fresh bread or can be enjoyed over rice or fried polenta triangles. Makes 2 quarts ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1-2 ancho or anaheim peppers, chopped 2 jalapenos, seeded (or for spicier version, add seeds), diced 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced 3 large cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 /2 teaspoon dried marjoram 2 bay leaves 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid, for added flavor) 28 ounces vegetable broth 2 15 ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained Juice of 1 lime 1

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan; add onion. Over medium heat cook onions, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. Add peppers, jalapenos and sweet potatoes; cook and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic. Add chili powder and next 7 ingredients. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir in beans and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and stir in lime juice. Wine Pairings A Spanish Monastrel will hold up to the fullness of this chili, but if you are wanting something a little different that will balance out the spice, a Soave is a fabulous choice; or try a Gavi. Prefer beer? A good stout or porter is the way to go.

carrot cake Catholic Cruel Girl, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls

cake: about 3/4 pound carrots 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 4 large eggs 1 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut 1 /2 cup chopped walnuts 2 /3 cup raisins (optional) frosting: 2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 9-by-2 inch round cake pans, knocking out excess flour. Shred enough carrots on smallest teardrop holes of a box grater or with fine shredding disk in food processor to measure 2 cups. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, oil, eggs, carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins (if using). Divide batter between cake pans and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool layers in pans on rack for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of each pan and invert layers onto rack to cool completely. To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add confectioners’ sugar, and beat until frosting is smooth. Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on a cake plate and spread with some frosting. Place remaining cake layer right side up on top and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. | Winter 2008 | 15

games and coaching


Three days, 12 teams and 20 bouts: WFTDA’s Western Regional Tournament, held in Houston from October 3rd-5th, featured more WFTDA bouts than had ever been crammed into a single location before along with a first-time multiple-consolation format. When the dust cleared, there were multiple classics played, a number of torches passed, emerging stars revealed, and a shocking upset that immediately dethroned the defending WFTDA champions on the first night of this regional tournament. opening rounds The opening bout of the tournament found #9 Duke City Derby going up against #8 Pikes Peak. After a tournament-record-setting 25-0 jam from captain Kamikaze Kim, Duke was up by an overwhelming 101-45 after the first half. While Psycho Babble and DeRanged led an incredible 54-13 run by PPDD jammers in period two, Duke City emerged victorious at 138-99. Tucson at #7 and #10 Dallas went point-for-point through the first 15 minutes of their game, with the score changing hands or becoming tied six times. With the score 14-13, though, Tucson star Sloppy Flo exceeded Tucson’s point total with a big 15-0 that put Dallas on their heels. Tucson was up 63-16 after 30 minutes, and while Dallas switched up their offense a bit in the second half, the deal was done and Tucson won 112-52. Bottom seed Denver had the toughest seeding draw of the opening round by

16 | Winter 2008 |

Jules Doyle

going up against #5 Rose City from Portland. Although Denver’s blocking was particularly impressive, especially in the form of excellent teamwork from Boo Boo Radley and Jersey Trouble, they couldn’t stick with the larger, stronger and faster Rose City crew. Blood Clottia and Goodie Two Skates jammed on the Rose City side while Cadillac and Firecrotch severely hampered Denver scoring attempts. Rose City was never in serious trouble in this one, winning 114-61. In a surprisingly close match, tournament hosts and #11 Houston kept their battle with #6 Rocky Mountain close until the end. With an offense led by a one-two-three punch of Savage Rose, Mistilla the Killa and Death By Chocolate, Houston held a small lead about halfway through the first at 35-30, but could not find a way to stop Rocky Mountain’s inexhaustible jammer Frida Beater. The closest Houston would be able to get in the second half was 111-97 with 12 minutes left, but Rocky overcame with a final score of 141-116.

quarterfinals Without a doubt, the biggest story of the weekend came when #9 Duke City, the only team to score a seeding upset in the first round, came up against the 2007 WFTDA champions, #1 Kansas City. With a start-to-finish spectacular performance by their primary jammers Muffin and Kamikaze Kim along with a smothering defensive pack keyed by Miss E. Vil, Dahmernatrix, Death Ro, Amanda Jamitnya and Killer Queen, Duke’s defense saved the game by killing jammer penalties in three consecutive jams during the final six minutes. Duke City managed to upend the favored KC girls by a final of 132-117 and become the only non-bye team from both Regional Tournaments to qualify for the Nationals.

Jules Doyle

There’d be no such luck for #7 Tucson, who stumbled out of the blocks against a well-rested and extremely speedy #2 Rat City. Rat City jumped out to a 40-1 lead after only 15 minutes and had broken into the triple digits by the half at 113-22. With the game outcome obvious, Rat took their foot off the gas a little bit, and while Tucson nominally

semifinals Duke City at #6 had a rough first half against #4 Bay Area in the final four –

won the second half 59-57, the massive first half still left the final score a blowout at 170-81 Rat City.

Jules Doyle

There was a pile of penalties Saturday morning when #5 Rose City took on #4 Bay Area. Many jams ended early when both jammers hit the box mid-jam, and five-on-five jams were particularly rare. Bay Area took an early 17-1 lead and would not ever fall behind, extending their lead as much as 79-37 three jams deep into the second half. The Portland girls made a game of it, though, getting as close as 90-83 with about 10 minutes to play – but a 26-0 run for Bay Area sealed the deal for BAD, who won 120-95 in the end. The founding mothers of flat track derby, #3 Texas, put a major hurt on #6 Rocky Mountain, with both defense and offense firing on all cylinders – Rocky could not get any traction against textbook replacement blocking that consistently denied their jammers exit from the pack. Texas held a 85-15 lead at halftime, and Rocky Mountain did not have a definitive jam win until the very end of the bout, where Frida Beater’s 15-0 represented more than half the points Rocky scored in the second. The biggest rout of the weekend went 173-50 for Texas.

after a 4-0 first jam they found themselves on the wrong side of a 40-0 run, unable to trap the BAD jammers inside their signature suffocating packs or catch up with BAD speedster jammers like Grr Lee Burly and Kitt Turbo. Duke also suffered greatly from jammer penalties in this bout, with their jammers repeatedly losing lead status upon getting hit with majors during their first scoring passes. While Duke was down 72-25 entering the second half, they managed to outscore BAD 48-45 on the final 30, but this was a definitive win for Bay Area – 117 to 73. Every time #2 Rat City and #3 Texas had met previously, the game went down in derby lore as a tooth-and-nail classic – and this one was no different. After the lead ping-ponged through the first 15 minutes of the bout, Rat City grabbed a big 15-0 jam for Blonde ‘n’ Bitchin over Rice Rocket that put them at 36-23. The girls from Seattle defended the lead expertly up through the first jam of the second half, when it reached 23 points at 70-47 for Rat City, but Texas closed to within 11 with about 20 minutes to play and finally caught Rat City with 8:30 on the clock when Texas’ Bloody Mary and Rat City’s

Miss Fortune both jammed against a two-two pack and Texas blocker Bullet Tooth Tracy denied Fortune the outside lane with a timely block that allowed Mary to tie the bout at 85 with a 4-0. Texas would take over the lead on the following jam, and though it was a nail biting 97-94 with 3:30 to play, Texas got the shutout jams they needed from Desi Cration and Rice Rocket to give Texas a 14 point lead at 108-94 with 58 seconds left on the clock. Rat City had one last chance when Texas’ jammer Desi Cration went to the penalty box in the final jam, but Rat City had two blockers in the box and jammer Carmen Getsome could not navigate the disadvantage, scoring only 3 points before going to the box herself, giving Texas the 108-97 victory. championship The title clash between #3 Texas and #4 Bay Area seemed like it would be a close one in its opening fourth, as Bay Jules Doyle Area opened up an early 27-12 lead as Brawllen Angel, Kitt Turbo and Grr Lee Burly all put up good jams for BAD – but after a big 14-0 for Lucille Brawl on a jammerless jam reset tied it at 27, the momentum was all Texas. Texas added 28 points to just 4 for Bay Area in the remainder of the half, and then took complete control in the final 30 minutes, outscoring the San Francisco crew by an overwhelming 80-18 to claim the Western Regional Championship by a final of 135-59.

Jules Doyle | Winter 2008 | 17

games and coaching


While the Eastern Regional Tournament in Madison, held one week after Houston’s Westerns, didn’t sport an upset quite as unexpected as Duke City’s overthrowing of Kansas City – all bye seeds advanced to Nationals here – there were still more than a few stories coming out of this one. Still, though, just as it had the previous year, the tournament belonged to the apparently unstoppable Gotham from New York. opening rounds Things got off on a good foot for tournament hosts and #8 Madison who handled #9 Minnesota. Minnesota jammers seemed particularly drawn to the penalty box as the bout opened, losing their jammer in the first three jams. Madison was more than happy to take advantage, claiming a 24-0 lead. Minnesota could not recover from that opening onslaught, falling behind by 71-29 at halftime on their way to a 143-67 loss. After a closely contested opening 20 minutes, #7 Boston put on a defensive clinic against #10 Grand Raggidy. The score was tied at 27-26 with about nine minutes to play in the half, but after a big 13-0 for Boston jammer Krushpuppy over Dot Matrix, Boston locked down hard. In the end, Boston had put the rest of the East on notice with a very impressive 131-30 victory. Bottom seed Providence was a late addition to the tournament, bringing a rookie-heavy lineup that couldn’t hang with a more experienced #5 Detroit.

18 | Winter 2008 |

Detroit jammers Racer McChaser, Killbox and Boo D. Livers were the primary scoring engines in a big first half that went 82-25 for Detroit. Providence took advantage of a lot of Detroit jammer penalties in the second and got some impressive hitting from emerging star Kid Ace that made the second half more competitive, but the damage had been done and Detroit advanced with a 124-70 win. Charm City at #6 ascertained that there would be no first-round upsets by handling #11 Cincinnati in the final opening round bout. The Baltimore girls took a 14-0 lead on the first jam and would never lose it, though not for lack of intense, physical play from Cincy. At halftime Cincinnati had kept the margin manageable at 72-52, but Charm opened it up early in the second, reaching 115-59 on a big 15-0 for Lady Quebeaum with about 18 minutes to play. Though Cincy continued to battle hard, Charm City took it, 158-83.

Jeff Sevier/Cincinnati Rollergirls

quarterfinals Home Madison managed to keep it close when they tangled with top seed Gotham for about the first 20 minutes – with 12:45 to go, the score was a low 26-20

in Gotham’s favor. Unfortunately for the Dairyland Dolls, though, Gotham buried Madison in an avalanche of points during a 54-9 run to close the period – and, on top of that, Madison’s star jammer Mouse would find herself expelled from the game after arguing

Jon Kontio

a controversial call. Facing an 80-29 halftime hole, Madison continued to scrap for points in the second, but Gotham’s primary jammer rotation of Suzy Hotrod, Bonnie Thunders and Cheap Skate were just too fast to allow Madison many jam wins. Final score here was 138-70 for Gotham. In Friday’s final bout, #7 Boston had a true classic when they went up against #3 Carolina in a match up that went down to the final seconds. Boston hung onto a narrow 36-30 lead at the first half, and got as far ahead as 60-44 with about 15 minutes to play, but the lead changed hands four times in the second half. The nail biting end put Boston at a 73-68 lead with three minutes and jammer Krushpuppy unopposed on the jam line – but Krush only scored 3 points before heading to the penalty box. Carolina closed within 2 points at 75-73 with only 56 seconds

on the clock, and Krushpuppy remained in the box while Carolina’s Roxy Rockett took the star. Roxy tore through the pack for 4 points and the lead but immediately called off the jam before all the time had drained off the clock, letting Boston call a timeout with just 4 seconds left to force another jam. It was just a momentary delay for Boston, however, as Carolina claimed lead

In the last Nationals-qualifier, Baltimore’s Charm City drew a tough assignment in going up against #3 Windy City out of Chicago. Charm City managed to hang for the opening 10 minutes, leaving the score deadlocked at 16, but Windy City’s speedy Varla Vendetta took advantage of a very light pack to drop a demoralizing 19-0 that made the score 35-16. Windy City would hold that lead for the rest of the bout and steadily increase it, making the score a nearly insurmountable 87-29 at halftime. The second half would see another huge jam for Windy City on a light pack as Shocka Conduit scrambled for a 24-0 that moved the score to 127-54 with under 10 minutes to play, and Windy City rolled to a 137-76 win.

jammer and called it off again, this time for good. Carolina eliminated Boston in a squeaker, 77-75. Saturday’s action kicked off with another close contest between #4 Philly and #5 Detroit. Detroit’s problems with jammer penalties would hamper them considerably all game long, with Killbox fouling out of the first half and Racer McChaseher fouling out in the second. The resultant multiple power jams for Philly got them up by an early 28-5 score and put the end of the first half at Philly 53, Detroit 22. Detroit made two big runs at Philly in the second, nearly catching them at 64-59 with about 20 minutes to play before again falling into a hole due to jammer penalties at 94-66. Detroit then rattled off 22 unanswered points over the next four jams to make it 94-88 with 2:50 to play, but Philly hung on for the last two jams, earning their trip to Nationals with a 102-92 win.

semifinals Philly very nearly shocked overwhelming favorite and top seed Gotham in the final four. Gotham took a 17-2 lead to start, but Philly didn’t buckle, scoring a remarkable 26 unanswered points to establish a 28-17 lead after 15 minutes, and they wouldn’t give it up till the last jam of the half, where Bonnie Thunders dropped a 10-0 jam to make it Gotham 46, Philly 44. Gotham would then hold a lead of about 10 to 20 points for the majority of the second half, and with Philly down by 17 with 4:30 to play at 89-72, it seemed they weren’t going to catch Gotham. But Philly got two huge jams – an 8-0 for Shenita Stretcher followed by an 11-0 for Teflon Donna – and took over the lead at 91-89 with 1:35 to play. Gotham’s Suzy Hotrod rescued her team in the end with a 6-0 win over Mo Pain that lifted Gotham to a last-jam 96-91 comeback win and a trip to the Sunday night championship bout.

© Darrell Budic aka Eddie Lizzard, referee, Mad Rollin’ Dolls

After the opening bouts for #2 Carolina and #3 Windy City, it appeared that the higher seed might not be the favorite – and Windy City showed that to be the case, once again taking control and establishing a 61-28 lead at the half. Windy controlled lead jammer status throughout the second half, keeping Carolina from putting together any serious runs or get any closer than 18 points early in the half before WCR took over for good, putting up a convincing 40 point victory at 106-66. championship For the second year in a row, Gotham put paid to Windy City’s championship hopes in the final game of Eastern Regionals. While Gotham claimed an early 14-1 lead after the first few jams, a 15-3 power jam for Windy City’s Eva Dead put Windy City right back in it, followed by a 4-0 for Shocka Conduit

Colin E. Johnson (

that put Windy in front at 21-17 about 10 minutes into the bout. It was the only time the Chicago girls would lead, though, as Gotham took it back on the next jam and held a 62-43 lead at the half. Gotham opened up their lead to 115-68 with just under 10 minutes to play, and though Windy City made a strong run at 119-92 with four minutes to play, Gotham arrested their scoring at that point to win the bout – and the tournament – with a final score of 133-92. | Winter 2008 | 19

games and coaching

duke city derby making it to nationals

The most unexpected team to compete in 2008’s WFTDA Championship, the Northwest Knockdown, was Albuquerque’s Muñecas Muertas. Coming into Western Regionals at #17, the DCD skaters ffaced a tough lineup, including the rapidly up-and-coming Pikes Peak Derby Dames on the morning of day one, and the 2007 national champions, the Kansas City Roller Warriors, later that night. After losing their venue, saying goodbye to some of their key players, and sharing a public basketball court as their practice space, it seemed as though the odds were stacked fiercely against the Muñecas. Duke City’s major upsets at Regionals and their ability to come out swinging, however, proved to the entire derby community that anything is possible.

Jules Doyle

rebuilding 2008 saw Duke City’s Muñecas Muertas with almost half of their roster comprised of new players. While the DCD skaters have never been able to host a WFTDA-sanctioned bout due to venue restrictions, the league faced an even bigger hurdle by losing their bouting location entirely. Without a home team season and no bouting opportunities for non-travel team skaters, many league members were lost. It was clear that this would be a year of reformation for the league – most of DCD’s skaters were used to working within their home teams rather than with their travel team and there were many walls to break down in order to gain a solid foundation of teamwork. “It was hard to work through at first

20 | Winter 2008 |

with so many conflicting personalities,” the Muñecas’ captain, Kamikaze Kim, recalls about turning individual skaters’ focus toward the travel team, “but I’ve come to respect many of those skaters more than ever.” Without a coach, DCD runs practice on their own, watching a lot of bout footage as well as learning drills and leading one another. “Sometimes it is slower this way but we do it together, and this is what works for us,” says Kim. As the Muñecas’ captain, she seeks input from all of the skaters and makes sure everyone has a say in their team. While Kim says that their skill level can always improve, it is their ability to work together so well that has undoubtedly gotten DCD where they are. Most of the Muñecas’ skaters had little-to-no roller skating experience coming into derby, but Kim stresses that it is the players that really want it and push themselves who have become indispensable on such a hardworking team. Much of the Muñecas’ season was strung together as they went – DCD grabbed victories over West Texas, Dallas and the Denver Roller Dolls as well at RollerCon against Salt City, but with so little bouting experience during 2008 it was unclear what Houston would hold for them. western regionals Duke City knew they had their work cut out for them at day one of Regionals, pitted against Colorado Springs’ Pikes Peak. Captain Kamikaze Kim and teammate Muffin made the trek to Colorado in order to watch their competition in action before the tournament. The Muñecas watched as much bout footage as they could get their hands on, both of other teams and of themselves, and focused on strategy and more advanced scenarios at team practices. Jules Doyle

coach’s corner by coach pauly

know your roll

part 2: the pivot

The pivot is the player that skates in front of the pack and sets its pace, identified by a helmet cover with a solid stripe on it. She is the quarterback of Jules Doyle

After a solid win over PPDD, which was a minor upset with Duke City seeded a spot below the Colorado Springs team, day two brought on an even more intimidating task – taking on the former national champions, Kansas City, for a spot at Nationals. “We had always wanted to play Kansas, and we knew they had recently lost to Windy City so they weren’t completely unstoppable,” says Kim. With her jamming skills alongside Muffin and the strong defense of Dahmernatrix, Death Ro and Miss E. Vil, DCD pulled the largest upset of both WFTDA Regional Tournaments and unexpectedly dethroned one of roller derby’s giants.

our sport, the Patton of every pack. In my view, this position means so much more. I have seen many different skaters play this position. A few of them stick out in my mind: Annie Maul, Sparkle Plenty and Trish the Dish all play this position with grace, vision and commanding communication. The pivot’s

coach pauly azrd phoenix, arizona

role can range from a solid line holder to a squirrely defensive wall breaker. The one thing that stays consistent is that the pivot must be in control of her pack at all times. She must communicate what she wants her blockers to do and when.

what’s in store for next season Duke City has secured a venue for 2009 and will not only bring their home teams back into action, but will be able to host WFTDA-sanctioned bouts for the first time in their league’s history.

From the moment the lineup is called out, the pivot takes control of her pack, assigning jobs and setting up strategy. When the pack whistle blows, all the blockers know what they are doing and why. The pivot has all of the pieces of the puzzle in place and the group is working as one collective mind with one goal and one focus. They adapt and change and adjust to anything the other team throws at them.

DRILL drill: three-team mayhem purpose: increase pack awareness

Divide into three teams (ideally with five people each, but can be more). All three teams skate around the track as one pack. Each team chooses a jammer who tries to make it through, lap the pack, and then make it through again. After making it through the pack a second time, the jammer passes the star to another team member who must also lap the pack twice. Each skater should be the jammer once. The teams try to prevent other jammers from getting through the pack while helping their own. The team who gets all their jammers through the pack twice first wins.

Pivots come in many different shapes, sizes and styles. Some are tall and speedy with great line control and wall building capabilities. Others are hitters with great vision to set up defenses that bring their opposition in for the big hits. Yet others have the ability to move wherever they want within the pack, filling holes and making hits offensively and defensively. Every skill set is needed at any given time. Each jam brings new challenges and new focus. If the pivots have control of the pack, the crowd or the refs will not have any effect. Pivots – control your roll and your girls will follow.

Till next time, see you on the track… If you have any questions, comments or feedback please email me at | Winter 2008 | 21


buying skates 8 - BA L L , M I N N E S OTA R O L L E R G I R L S

One of the most common questions second season skaters ask is, “my skates I bought last season are trashed, now what do I do?” It can be painful to realize that the $100 “complete” package bought as a rookie just no longer seems to be working. Equally as frustrating is the decision between staying the same course and buying another “disposable” skate package that may have to be replaced again next season, or taking the big plunge. The initial dip into the deep end of retail quad skate purchases seems overwhelming, nerve wracking and strenuous on the pocket book. To help ease you into this transition, here are some points to ponder and a few tips to get what you need vs. what others think you need.

response and a smooth and snappy transfer of energy. There are some setups that can offer both qualities, but at a price. used vs. new If you have ever owned a new car, remember the smell... the feel... the price tag. As with cars, new setups will always cost more than used setups, but offer the comfort and the piece of mind of a warranty. The aftermarket sales of quad skates are becoming very popular and gaining momentum each day, and with this renewed interest, the selection has increased dramatically in the last couple

of years. Though some may turn their nose up on the idea of buying a used boot, consider this – in the past year, I have picked up six pairs of boots that would develop a budget have retailed new at over $1700, Lauren Jolicoeur-Saxon, aka Smuckers, Higher end skate packages can but my total investment was less range from $300 to upwards of $1200. The most important then $500. Older or “vintage” boots also have two other very thing to remember is that derby is a full contact sport and your appealing qualities: the older leathers that were used by Riedell body deserves to be skating on the best setup that you can appear to have a better quality, shorter break in time and softer afford. Higher dollar setups usually perform better, are lighter feel, and used boots often are already broken in. Avoiding and, most importantly, last longer. blisters and hotspots are always a plus in my book. So, how do you develop a budget? Begin by thinking of know where to look for equipment a dollar amount that is your max, and then add $100 to it. Skaters need to be frugal with their funds – skate prices vary The first time you spend big dollars on a skate package can greatly with some retail stores and private parties. Know the be scary. Buyer’s remorse is common but is quickly overcome value of your purchase so you never overpay and always take when you start to feel the difference in your skating. Boots can time in looking. Impulse buys are never a good idea. range in costs from $150-400 with custom modifications even So, where do you find all of these items? higher. Plates can range from $180-1000. Wheels can range For used and sometimes new items: from $50-150. Bearings can range from $50-1000 (yes, there Ebay are $1000 bearing sets out there!). consider what type of skater you are You need to develop a skate setup that works for you, not against you. Are you a jammer that needs to fly through the pack? If so, you may want to consider a lightweight setup that will keep your legs fresh. Are you a blocker that requires fluid agility? Then you want to consider a setup that delivers quick

22 | Winter 2008 | For new items, there are several reputable online retail outlets: Back Street Inline Connie’s Place Low Price Skates RollerGirlSkates Sin City Skates


traveling light for derby I VA N N A S . PA N K I N ’ , S A N D I E G O D E R B Y D O L L S

does anyone go anywhere without their skates anymore? I won’t go anywhere without my skates again. You can bank on a chance to scrimmage if you come without your gear! Of course the reverse is also true; if you do bring your stuff, you run the risk of hauling heavy skates around and not getting to skate. So the trick is to come prepared, but make it as painless as possible to bring your stuff. After a couple hundred derby trips, I’ve managed to get a long weekend of derby down to one carry-on bag. No lie. Here’s how: street clothes: 1. Check the Internet to see what weather you can expect during your trip. I use; they have a couple dozen ways for you to look it up and it’s pretty dummy proof. Use this info to help you figure out your street clothes. If you’re going for a long weekend and you think it’s going to be chilly at night, you could need at least one pair of jeans. But you can get away with just that one – or maybe not bring pants at all if you pack a couple skirts and tights, which take up way less room. Skirts and tights are also great for warm-in-the-day, cool-at-night situations, of course. Bring a hoodie (or better yet, plan on wearing it). 2. Don’t be tempted to bring too many street-wear t-shirts! Wear your team / league shirts in the airport (represent!) and if you’re not seeing people the day you get in, you might want to bring one to wear the first time you do connect. But if you’re anything like most of us, you’re going to end up with a few new shirts on any derby trip; you’ll be buying one from the host l eague you’re visiting or picking up souvenirs at the event... or, hopefully, you’ll get lucky and trade shirts with a newfound BFF. I bring so few – usually three! Yet I almost always come home with clean shirts (coming home with clean clothes in my bag is my personal indication of failure).

24 | Winter 2008 |

skating clothes: 1. If you’re going for a game, you obviously need to pack your uniform first, including your luc ky whatevers and all that. Tip to toe, everything you need for the game. But for the rest of the time, or for non-game trips: can you use any of those skirts from #1 above to scrimmage? Good girl! Don’t forget the bootie shorts and you’re ready with scrimmage bottoms. I bring a pair of tights and a set of scrim bottoms for each day. I always bring one pair of b-ball shorts (call me crazy but I like a fall back on those days when I don’t want to stand out because of my snappy outfit, for whatever reason). 2. Now multiply the number of days you’re going to be gone times two. That’s how many pairs of panties AND skating socks you’ll need if you’re lucky enough to scrimmage every day. Panties don’t take up much room, so you can afford to have a few extras on hand. 3. Don’t forget black and white shirts with your name on them. Good grief, people! There is just no excuse to not carry b&ws in your skate bag at all times. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, if you can’t tell. But seriously, you want to be the one that shows up at a scrim with just your black shirt, no name on it? You can pin your name on, I suppose, but you’ve still cut your chances to decide who you want to skate with and against IN HALF. Think that one through! You could miss out on a chance to floor your hero! Or whip your secret derby crush. So, for a trip, you want at least one black and one white for each day you think you could get to scrim. I have piles of tanks (instead of tees) with my name already on them just for this purpose. I actually prefer to scrim in a tee, but beaters take up less room in my bag. Be ready to part with some of them (see Street Clothes #2)!

other crap to bring: I could write a whole article about what wheels you need, but generally speaking, I think most travel situations are covered by hybrid indoor/outdoor wheels, or, if you know you’re going to scrim and don’t want to be slowed down, a decent set of grippy wheels. I like the hybrids the best because you can skate outside in them, and they still perform well (if a little slow) on any track. If you can only bring one set and you really can’t figure out in advance what the floors you could be on are like, you could fall back on 62mm outdoor wheels. I personally don’t recommend bringing taller outdoor wheels for scrimmaging, because those are rad for street skating, but in my opinion, not so rad on the track. In a game situation or any other trip, your best bet is always to ask the people you’re visiting (or for big events, you could ask the hoi polloi online at any number of gigundous derby message boards) what wheels they recommend for that SPECIFIC floor. Wheels are heavy and take up a lot of space, so if you can avoid bringing more than the ones on your skates, you’ll be glad. If you must bring more than one set of wheels, make sure you have bearings in the spares so you can change them out fast! Of course you’re gonna need your pads and helmet. Please wash them before you pack. You will thank me for that one, I promise. Soak your mouthguard in a Tupperware dish of mouthwash before you go, then give it a quick scrub with a toothbrush, rinse, then pack. Mmm, minty goodness! I have blogged on the joy of arm socks many times, so I’ll spare you. But suffice it to say that if you choose not to marinate in your own bacteria every time you skate, you’re going to need a set of arm socks for each night you might scrimmage. I bring two each day for long all-day training sessions so I can put fresh ones on after lunch. If you don’t know what I mean by arm socks, google “Tank Girl.” If you are going somewhere hot, men’s t-shirt sleeves make great unders for knee pads, as well. To tool or not to too l? I have seen lots of discussions on whether to bring tools in your carry-on. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. So far, I’ve never had one confiscated.

But then again, when I do bring one, it’s usually my tiniest little Otto wrench, which is under four inches long. But I hardly ever bring one, because you can ALWAYS borrow a tool when you need one in our crowd. Finally, toiletries. Only you know what you can live without. On behalf of the rest of us, please do bring your toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. I actually keep a roll-on deodorant in my bag at all times (the compressed goo type of deodorant will for sure melt or find some other way to end up all over your bag and stuff – but that could just be that I have lived in the desert too long). I always have a tampon (just in case! When I don’t need it, someone else does). I bring one loud color of lipstick, one eyeliner, etc, just in case I feel a burning need to dress up. But I’m not so much of a makeup girl, I admit. Pack a book of matches for shared bathroom situations. I also keep travel size shampoo, conditioner and soap in my bag as well, but you can always get that stuff at a local drugstore or grocery, so I don’t sweat it. PACKING If you choose wisely and are conservative about what you need once you get there, then you have a small pile of shiz gathered up, ready for your skate bag. At this point, I usually weed out a few more t-shirts. For this to be useful info, hopefully you have a skate bag that fits in carry-on in the first place. So, get it ready by taking all the disgusting crap that you’ve been lugging around out of it. Throw all that stinky stuff in the laundry, and air out your bag. Does everyone play skate bag tetris or is it just me? Pack just your absolutely mandatory gear back in carefully like puzzle pieces so you have a space for your clothes. Even though my skate bag doesn’t smell too bad, I still put my scrim clothes in a plastic shopping bag and my street clothes in another, and then when my bag is expanded, I can fit it all on top of my gear with a pair of flip flops... and I’m done! If I’m only going for a long weekend, I don’t bring extra shoes... so I guess this whole article ultimately hinges on the premise that you can survive with just a pair of shoes (the ones you wear in the airport) and your skates. Why not? Shoes are for walkers! You’re a skater! Till next time, I remain Ivanna S. Pankin, #22. | Winter 2008 | 25


Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) insurance what’s the deal? M I S S J A N E R E D R U M , F O RT WAY N E D E R B Y G I R L S

Whether you are from a WFTDA or a non-WFTDA league, you probably heard about WFTDA’s new insurance plan and may be wondering what this means for you. Below is an explanation of the new group insurance general liability plan that WFTDA has purchased for its members and how it affects both WFTDA and non-WFTDA flat track roller derby leagues. explanation of the policy WFTDA has purchased a group insurance general liability and excess medical plan for its member leagues. This policy will cover its member leagues at any official league event, provided that member leagues (1) have at least one person with a minimum of Red Cross or American Heart Association certification of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid present at any skating activity, and (2) follow the WFTDA safety protocol. The WFTDA is not requiring its member leagues to use this insurance policy. Member leagues may continue to use USARS, or they may carry an alternate policy with a minimum of $1 million in general liability and an excess accident policy that is rated A+ by AM Best. At this time, WFTDA is unable to offer the policy to leagues outside of its membership primarily because

26 | Winter 2008 |

it is currently operating with volunteer workers and therefore does not have the womanpower to administer the policy to that many leagues. This policy has solved some of the WFTDA’s ongoing issues for sanctioning through USARS. Many of our member leagues were unable to use the USARS general liability policy because they needed higher limits or encountered contracting problems related to the USARS required paragraph. USARS compatibility The WFTDA is currently working with USARS and is hoping that USARS will make its insurance policies reciprocal. USARS has an agreement with other affiliated organizations for reciprocity in insurance requirements and has advised WFTDA that they will discuss reciprocity soon. However, until USARS makes a decision about reciprocity, this is how bout coverage will work:

10 Commandments of Roller Derby Safety 1. Check your equipment before skating. Make sure wheels, trucks and toe stops are functioning correctly. 2. Stretch prior to and following any skating activity. 3. Always wear full safety gear at practice: wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, a helmet and a mouth guard during contact and bouting drills. 4. Invest in good quality knee pads. Money spent on protective gear is much cheaper than physical therapy or surgery. 5. Correctly wear safety gear: helmet should be tightly strapped and protect the front and back of the head, and all pads should fit properly (no slipping) and be strapped on securely. 6. Falling drills MUST be mastered before skating in bouting drills. 7. Fall small! Keep your hands and arms tucked into your body when falling to avoid injuring yourself and other skaters. 8. Skate clockwise at every practice. Over time, skating only in one (counter clockwise) direction will lead to joint and back problems and an unbalanced physique. 9. Have first aid equipment on hand at all practices as well as contact information for local medical services. 10. Never skate under the influence of alcohol or drugs. EVER.

• Because USARS only provides insurance to its members at a USARS chartered facility or sanctioned event, all games for the public must be sanctioned. In order for the sanction to be valid, all players must be members of USARS or hold a single event card. • USARS members will not be covered by USARS when playing a game hosted by a WFTDA insurance league. Instead, leagues will need to purchase WFTDA single event coverage at $18 per member (this is actual cost). This will provide accident coverage during the event for each participant at $25,000 max with a $1,000 deductible. • The WFTDA insurance will cover its members at games hosted by non-WFTDA insured leagues, so long as the first aid and safety protocol requirements are met. However, because USARS requires that everyone is a USARS member

for anyone’s coverage to be valid, WFTDA insurance carriers will have to purchase USARS single event passes at $15 per member to play in a game hosted by a USARS member league. The WFTDA hopes that USARS will allow its member leagues to simply sanction a bout hosted by a WFTDA league and will allow WFTDA leagues to play in a USARS sanctioned bout without purchasing single event cards. Questions related to WFTDA insurance can be directed to Crash Baby, head of insurance for the WFTDA, at | Winter 2008 | 27


2009 wftda regions

new regions for 2009 Due to the ever-growing numbers of member leagues within the WFTDA, new regions have been established for the 2009 season. The four new regions – North Central, South Central, East and West – will hold individual regional tournaments amongst member leagues in the fall, with the top three teams from each tournament advancing to nationals. Member leagues will also vote on rankings within their region each quarter rather than on a national level. individual league requirements The top 12 leagues from each region will receive an invite to their local regional tournament – in order to compete, however, each league must play two sanctioned games within their

28 | Winter 2008 |

region between the 2008 national tournament date and the paperwork deadline for second quarter rankings. This means that each team has roughly the first half of 2009 to play two WFTDA sanctioned bouts against any teams of their choosing within their region’s boundaries. fitting in future members There are currently 13 to 18 leagues in each region, and to properly accommodate all future WFTDA members, regional boundaries will be revisited each year. When a new league is accepted into the WFTDA, the Membership and Games Committees will work to place the league in the best region for them at that time.


seattle derby brats B E T T Y F O R D G A L A X Y, J E T C I T Y R O L L E R G I R L S

Roller Derby is not just for adults anymore. A whole new breed of rollergirl is popping up across the nation: the Junior Rollergirl. She is every bit as rough and tumble as the adult version, just a wee bit smaller. Junior roller derby leagues are starting all across the U.S. from Hoosiers Nest Derby Brats in Indiana to the Portland Rose Buds of Oregon. There are an estimated 15 currently active junior roller derby leagues and more in the planning stages. The Northwest is blessed to have many junior leagues within driving distance, including the Seattle Derby Brats, the Kitsap Derby Brats from Port Orchard, Wash., the A-Town Derby Dollz from Auburn, Wash., the Portland Rosebuds from Portland, Ore., and the Emerald City Junior Gems from Eugene, Ore. Each group has an age range somewhere between 10-18. Seattle also has a peewee division of girls called the Tootsy Rollers who are 6-10 years old and play flag roller derby. It has the same basic rules as regular roller derby, minus all the hitting. The jammer wears a belt with four flags on it, and she passes through the pack trying to avoid the blockers attempting to grab them. The blockers can only grab one flag at a time, Steven L. Price (Skippy Steve)

30 | Winter 2008 |

and they get one point for each flag they grab. The jammer also gets one point for each time she laps the pack. This scoring system works really well for the little ones because all the girls have an opportunity to score points and keeps them more engaged in play. The Tootsy Rollers have two teams: the Turquoise Terrors and the Orange Crush. Each Tootsy Roller is actually on both teams since it can be hard to determine who will show up or want to play, so they bring both shirts and are divided up at the game. This really shows true derby spirit – these girls play for the love of the sport and really give their all no matter what team they are on. The Seattle Derby Brats, their older counterpart, really focuses on empowering all the girls to grow into fine young ladies. We promote team work, a strong work ethic and the discipline it takes to take on duties such as coming to practice, running the merchandise booths and helping run the bouts. We do not let our girls swear at games or practice, and if they do, they have to do 10 pushups – the same goes if they are caught skating around without all their gear on. We speak to the girls

about being polite and good sports. They are expected to respect and listen to all the adults in the group. We are a team – just as the players are on a team, so are the coaches, refs, and parents, and we all work together to make the junior league function. We have parents who work as the treasurer, merchandise wrangler, event planner, etc. – just like with an adult league, everyone has to do their part for the organization to run smoothly. Not all junior leagues are as strict as Seattle, but it is really working well for us. We know the sport is fun and has its edgy side, and our girls are all allowed to wear whatever they want with the exception of hot pants and fishnets without solid colored tights underneath. We ask that they are respectful to themselves since you can’t always choose your audience in derby and we feel it’s important that they don’t come off looking older than they are. At the end of each practice or bout we circle up and each girl says something that she is proud of that she, a teammate or the other team did. She can also point out what was fun or something she learned that day. We encourage good sportsmanship and when we bout other leagues we invite them to be a part of our circle as well, which is a nice way to leave all the girls from both teams with a feeling of good sportsmanship at the end of the night. Win or lose, they all play hard and have fun and deserve recognition for a job well done. The junior skaters are really amazing. They are brave and strong. Not a lot of adult woman have the strength to join derby and the numbers right now seem even smaller for junior girls. I am sure that eventually, however, junior derby will grow until every rink has its own junior league. The way these girls have progressed is amazing – we look at them as the future of roller derby. Watch out for these girls. They are going to bring a whole new level to roller derby in the future – imagine the skaters of tomorrow joining your league with two or more years of derby experience. I believe the junior derby skaters of today are the future Olympic Roller Derby skaters of tomorrow.

Steven L. Price (Skippy Steve)

Richard Williams

Richard Williams

For more information on the Seattle Derby Brats please check out our website at Also check out the Junior Flat Track Association at | Winter 2008 | 31


Dana John Hill

holding tryouts Recruiting skaters can be a great hurdle for both new and established leagues. From the startup league perspective, it can be hard to wrangle a lot of ladies for a big commitment to something they likely have never seen or heard of before. Experienced leagues may also face a number of challenges, from trying to create a decent talent pool in a small city to competing with other local sports teams, popular diversions or even another league in close proximity. Here are some suggestions for running your tryouts successfully and convincing all potential newbies that the track is the place to be: paint the town red Ideally, new skaters will have some kind of skating or athletic experience, so the best places to start your search for new recruits is at skating rinks, gyms, etc. It is a good idea to hang posters or put up handbills at your local college campus or anywhere you can locate female club sports – are their soccer practices at that park by your house? How about pickup scrimmages at the hockey rink? Try to swing by right before or after they meet, introduce yourself and gage interest in players, or at least place some information by the bathrooms or drinking fountains. While zeroing in on potential recruits who already workout or play another sport seems like a no-brainer, you should also try hanging posters at bars, restaurants and shops, or passing out handbills at local events. Think of everywhere you promote for a bout – now go promote your tryouts in those same spots to let all your dedicated fans know that you are looking for more members of your female skate crew! encourage pre-tryout involvement Think about when you tried out for your league – chances are you were excited to play but knew next to no one and were

32 | Winter 2008 |

über-intimidated. Let your ladies trying out know that there is nothing to be afraid of – keep them up-to-date on any league events you may be holding so they can come introduce themselves to skaters and other fresh meat. A great way to get all the newbies familiar with one another and a bit at ease is to create a fresh meat Yahoo! Group or an online forum where they can talk to each other and you can post any helpful information. Allow anyone with an interest in trying out to sign up and encourage pre-tryout skate nights, social get-togethers or just the chance to introduce themselves online in order to feel more connected to the league and their fellow new recruits before their big day. make it a night to remember Make sure your tryouts are well-organized and well-staffed – while these girls are eager to join your league, you still have to sell your league as something they want to participate in. We all know that roller derby is a huge commitment – who would dedicate numerous nights a week and countless hours to something they weren’t passionate about? It’s important to play up the positives of your league and get as many of your skaters there as possible, if only to be a smiling and encouraging face for newbies to interact with. It’s just as imperative to have a concrete schedule and mapped out plans for the night – you can’t just wing it! Did you tell new recruits there would be extra gear? If so, make sure you have a surplus of loaner pads, rental skates and helmets. Do you know exactly what drills and techniques you are going to test the newbies on? Do you plan on speaking with them individually or in smaller groups to get a feel for their personalities and how they may fit into the league? Communicate all of this with any skaters or staff you may

have helping you evaluate the newbies, and make sure you are all on the same page concerning what you are looking for in potential league members. Smaller or startup leagues may accept any skater that walks through the door, but if you only plan on offering a certain number of slots to newbies, let your evaluators know what you have in mind. Lastly, communicate well with your new recruits. The most important bit of information they want to know is whether or not they made the team, so be clear about when and how you will contact them to let them know if they have been accepted. Encourage other options to those that don’t make the cut this time around – let them know the value of volunteers and refs, and welcome them back to try out next time. where to go from here You got a ton of girls to show up to tryouts and you picked the best and the brightest to begin their journey to becoming a fullfledged rollergirl, but it doesn’t stop there! Most skaters don’t realize what they are getting into until they have actually come to a few practices and gotten a feel for derby and the league, and it’s important to continue welcoming them with open arms. Set up newbie practices once a week or a fresh meat boot camp in the beginning to get them up to speed with their skills and the commitment they are about to make. Also, encourage senior skaters to take newbies under their wings – a mentor program where each fresh meat is paired up with a beef jerky skater insures that the new girl always has someone to turn to for oneon-one attention and personal questions. A league is only as successful as its skaters, and it is important to foster teamwork, league pride and involvement from the beginning to insure success for new skaters and strengthen the league as a whole.


Looks like you finally worked up the cojones to join your local rollergirls! Good job! Problem is, it’s halfway through the season, and you need a lot of work before you can get out on that track with your derby sisters. So what are you going to do now?! You’ve got to do something to help out! Well let me fill you in on a little secret. Being new, nerve wracking as it may be, does not make you useless! There are lots of things you can do to help out during bout season that don’t require knocking some chick’s skates off! advertisement Without advertisement, nobody is going to show up to a bout. You’ve got to let the fans, especially those that don’t even know they’re fans yet, know that something is going on. This is a perfect job for a new girl to do. While some of the more established girls are working out the more intricate details of bout coordination, new girls can get out on the town and hand out fliers, get on the radio and find a way to get in the public eye. Let people know about bouts and events any way you know how. When it’s coming up on event time, you should always have fliers with you and be ready to accost people and tell them to come watch the hottest female sport on eight wheels! fundraising You don’t have to have mad blocking or jamming skills to join in on the fun

of a fundraiser. Next time your derby sisters plan a doggie wash or full contact musical chairs, be there! The more derby girls that show up to events like these, the more money your team can make, and derby girls are always looking for new fundraising ideas to replace some of the old tired ones we sometimes resort to! If you think you have a good idea for a fundraising event, throw it out there – it may end up being the next big thing! bout night Here’s where you can really come in handy. Bout night can be really hectic! Derby teams need all the help they can get to make events like this go off smoothly. Aside from setting up before the bout and tearing down afterward, there are tons of things you can do on bout night to help out, ranging from center track stuff like penalty tracking and penalty timers, to off track support like selling merchandise and raffle tickets. Check out the bout checklist from issue 1 and you’ll find a really great guide to the things you can do to help out with a bout. So when you aren’t on the track practicing to be the best skater you can be, kick off those skates and find some other way you can help out your team. There’s no reason that being new should hold you back from kicking ass and taking names for your team! | Winter 2008 | 33


2008 nationals

easy by rolling over their opponents by 157 points, 137 points and 68 points in a dominating march to the 2008 WFTDA title. opening round There would be no surprises on the Friday night opener, though the low seed from the East, Carolina, momentarily looked as if they might have an upset of West top seed Texas in them. Texas exploded at the beginning of the bout with 36 unanswered points, but Carolina managed to regain their footing by taking advantage of Texas penalties as the first half came to an end. Though facing a 48-13 deficit with 7:20 left in the half, Carolina got a critical 10-0 from jammer Betty Rumble and eventually closed the gap to 52-36 at the intermission. Carolina very nearly took the lead on the first jam of the second half, as Texas jammer Rice Kerry Rocket took a box trip and Carolina’s Zella Lugosi delivered a crowd-pleasing 15-0 with the help of blocker Roxy Rockett. The score was 52-49 for Texas, but Rice Rocket erased the memory of Zella’s feat with a 17-0 that put Texas solidly back in the lead. In the end, Texas doubled up Carolina with a 125-61 victory.

Fall 2008 34 | Winter 2008 | |

Cinderella story and low seed from the West Duke City found their wheels turning into pumpkins when they went up against Gotham. As was the case in all of their bouts this weekend, Gotham dropped enormous demoralizing jams early in the first half that made comebacks improbable. Though the score was a reasonably close 10-1 after four jams, Gotham landed back-to-back roundhouses with a Suzy Hotrod 13-0 followed by a Bonnie Thunders 15-0, and with the score 38-1, Gotham was off to the races after about 10 minutes of play. By halftime, Gotham had constructed a 98-8 lead, and would hit triple digits before Duke got out of the singles on their way to the second-biggest rout in WFTDA tourney history, 182-25. Saturday’s opening bout between #2 from the East Windy City and #3 from the West Rat City was an eye-opener all around, as Windy dealt Rat what was by far the most convincing interleague loss they’d ever suffered. Previously, their regulation game losses had been by 2, 4 and 11 points – Windy nearly put 100 points between them in this one. After a 12-4 opener for Rat City’s Femme Fatale over Kola Loka, Windy City rattled off 33 unanswered points, and jam wins for Rat City were few and far between for the remainder of the bout. Rat City was bedeviled by penalty problems from the opening whistle to the last, constantly working from a numbers disadvantage and sometimes having only one player out on the track at a time due to penalty-box backups. They also lost two of their most critical players about halfway through the first, with D-Bomb going down hard after a helmet-to-helmet collision and sister Femme Fatale getting expelled from the bout for repeated low blocking. Kerry

While many expected Texas and Gotham to advance to the finals at the WFTDA National Championship in Portland this year, it was not to be, as Windy City made good on the promise of a spectacular 2008 by knocking off founding mothers Texas in a thrilling overtime semifinal match. But Gotham was even more unstoppable than a month ago, making it look deceivingly



Windy City had been knocking on the door for some time and finally got in as Malice With Chains, jamming for Windy, scored a 5-3 to tie the bout at 91. With only 30 seconds left on the period clock, it seemed as if Texas had handed Windy City the victory as jammer Rice Rocket went to the penalty box while battling Kola Loka through

Windy had a 70-34 lead at halftime, and Kola joined Duke City’s Kamikaze Kim and Kansas City’s Snot Rocket as the only jammers to put a 25-0 in tournament play. Final score here was a very impressive 157-63 victory for the Chicago girls. The final opening round bout between #3 from the East Philly and #2 from the West Bay Area contained one of the most exciting moments of the whole tournament cycle, as Bay Area very nearly erased a 19 point deficit on the final jam. The San Francisco crew was in serious danger of being blown out of the game early when they fell behind by a 46 point margin at 64-18 with 10:41 left in the first half. Though they slowly crawled back, making it 71-44 at halftime and keeping the deficit around 25 points for the majority of the second half, it did not appear that BAD was going to catch Philly. But on the final jam of the bout, Bay Area almost got a miracle. The score was 103-84 for Philly, and Kitt Turbo lined up to jam for BAD against Philly’s Mo Pain. In a chaotic two minutes that saw the penalty boxes slowly fill up until there were just two blockers per team and Turbo on the track, Turbo somehow managed to find the endurance for a riveting full-length, game-ending sprint that gave her 19 points and apparently tied the game at 103. But Mo Pain had collected 4 points of her own, and those 4 would be just enough for Philly to hang on by their fingernails to emerge victorious, 107-103.

their opening pass. Kola only needed to get lead and one point to secure the win – but in an extraordinarily poorly timed awareness blunder, Kola called the jam at 0-0 the instant she was declared lead, snatching overtime from the jaws of victory. Kola assured she would sleep well, though, tearing through the pack for 10 points in the overtime jam before Rice Rocket was freed from the box. Needing to make up two laps on Kola just to tie, Rice came through too aggressively and found herself heading back to the box after one scoring pass, salting away the win for Windy City. The other semifinal between Gotham and Philly would not have the drama of their 96-91 meeting at October’s Eastern Regionals as Gotham once again dismantled the opposition. As their fifth regulation meeting, these two teams have played each other more than any other WFTDA organizations – but it appeared that Gotham had learned more from their last meeting than Philly. Though Gotham jumped out to a 27-5 lead to start, Philly managed to take advantage of power-jam situations to stick around in the game until late in the first half. With 7:50 to go in the first and the score 40-19, Philly was still in the bout – but Gotham blew them out of it from that point forward, going on a 43-0 run to close the half and not allowing another point until there were 12 minutes left. Like Duke City before them, Philly went down in a major rout, 189-52.

semifinals In a bout certain to take a place among the all-time tournament classics, Windy City and Texas went back and forth for a full 60 minutes before finding themselves going into overtime to decide who would head to the championship bout. Texas took a lead on the first half’s sixth jam with the help of a big 14-0 from Lucille Brawl that made the score 27-13, and though they hung on to the advantage for nearly the rest of the half, Kola Loka picked up a 9-0 on the half’s last jam that put Windy ahead at 49-45. Windy’s lead would last only about the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Texas couldn’t open up any breathing room. With 2:27 left to play and the score 88-86,


Kerry | Fall 2008 | 35 | Winter

third place bout After their rough handling at the hands of Gotham, Philly managed to bounce right back to end their tournament on an up note by defeating Texas in a third place bout that, much like Saturday’s Windy City/Texas semifinal, would be decided in the last two jams by penalty trouble for Texas jammers. Texas took the lead on the first half’s seventh jam at 31-24, and momentarily looked ready to take control as the score reached Texas 49, Philly 26 with about 10 minutes left in the half. But Philly captain Teflon Donna stepped up big with the jammer star for a 20-0 that almost erased the Texas lead in one shot, putting Philly in the lead at 68-50 at the break. Philly was up by as much as 91-60 in the second half, but their offense stalled for over 10 minutes, allowing Texas to put together a 27-0 run and catch up at 95-95 with barely two minutes to play. But Mo Pain, jamming for Philly, scored a 14-0 over the boxed Texas jammer Morphine, and Lucille Brawl also hit the penalty box in the bout’s final jam, leaving Texas with no way to close the gap. Philly took third place in the nation with a 114-95 upset win.

championship bout For the second time in as many months, Windy City and Gotham faced each other in a tournament final. While the final score of the final clash between Windy City and Gotham was closer than Gotham’s first two matches, and while Windy City remained in the game at halftime, the final result was more of the same: rock-solid play from Gotham punctuated by tremendous point explosions that either killed what little momentum their opponents might be building or buried them further in the hole they were already trapped in. Windy City stopped Gotham on their first two attempts to pull away – Gotham took a 22-8 lead after 10 minutes but the Chicago girls pulled to within 10 points and killed the full minute of a Gotham power jam with Bonnie Thunders at 0-0 – no small feat. But Gotham’s Cheap Skate was on for a 13-0 while Windy City fought tooth and nail to remain in the game, getting five lead jams in a row for 11 points to reach a close 38-26... but Gotham answered in predictable fashion with a 19-0 for Cheap Skate that erased the entire comeback. The half ended with Windy City trailing 63-29, and Gotham opened the second half with a 22-0 run that all but ensured final victory. Gotham was ahead by as much as 105-36, and Windy City became Gotham’s final victim of a tremendously impressive undefeated 2008, 134-66. Gotham’s Bonnie Thunders was named the tournament’s MVP.



125 Texas Rollergirls 97 Texas Rollergirls 61 Carolina Rollergirls

57 Rat City Rollergirls


66 Windy City Rollers 110 Windy City Rollers

163 Windy City Rollers

25 Duke City Derby

Gotham Girls Roller Derby 189 Gotham Girls Roller Derby

182 Gotham Girls Roller Derby 134 Gotham Girls Roller Derby

107 Philly Rollergirls 36 | Winter 2008 |

52 Philly Rollergirls Kerry

103 B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls | Winter 2008 | 37


roller derby announcing: how hard can that be? T R I C I A L A’ V I C I O U S , J E R S E Y S H O R E R O L L E R G I R L S

I am the staff announcer for the Jersey Shore Roller Girls in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I’m also a skater with the Sisters of Mayhem in Northwest New Jersey. Being a derby hybrid, both skater and announcer, I bring that perspective and can address both sides. My professional background includes 18 years as a broadcast journalist, live Mistress of Ceremonies, and commercial voice over actress. I have spent the past two seasons working with other leagues throughout the region as they continue their searches for a permanent derby announcer. I’ve also been asked to coach brand new league announcers to help bring them up to a more professional standard. When I first began my journey as an announcer for women’s flat track roller derby, I sought the advice, input and feedback of those who came before me. Among my mentors/teachers are Tank of the Ohio Roller Girls, Rockerboy from Carolina Roller Girls, Bob Noxious and Baam Baam of the Mad Rollin Dolls, Corndog from Gotham, Eddie Spaghetti and Hymen of Philly, Val Capone from Windy City, and Dumptruck of the Denver Roller Dolls. There are so many more announcers that I love and admire, but too many to list here! This year I hope to expand my teacher resources to the West Coast! I encourage every new and developing announcer to not operate in a vacuum. Step out of the taco that is your league and pay attention to how others do it. Listen and learn. Remain a student and never stop perfecting your shtick. There is always room for improvement.

38 | Winter 2008 |

the la’vicious position and perspective on announcing As a representative and announcer of this sport, it is my job to do everything I can to foster its growth and advancement. This is the role and responsibility of every roller derby announcer as I see it. Some agree, some don’t, some don’t care. The same goes with many leagues. Many leagues consider the announcer as an after thought. I have run into a reoccurring theme from both sides: “Just show up and wing it – how difficult can it be?” The sport deserves better. The skaters deserve better. We all work too hard and have invested too much of our blood, sweat, heart and souls to be so complacent when it comes to how we present women’s flat track roller derby to an ever increasing audience still unsure what this revival is all about. I encourage every league to consider the role of your announcer as the primary spokesperson for the league and for the sport during every bout. If you as a skater/league truly want to see this sport advance, you deserve to have an announcer who takes the sport seriously, beyond comedy and over-the-top flash. That announcer (a non-skater, that is) is the kind who shows up to at least one scrimmage practice per week in effort to learn the sport and practice calling the action as it goes down. Test your announcer(s) on the rules. If they’re worth their salt (or Bacon Salt, as Gotham would prefer!) then they’ve studied and stayed current on all updates and will pass the pop rules quiz with flying colors. They also have gone above


and beyond and are on top of the latest trends, developments and advancements in the sport worldwide! Your announcer can also be held to the same code of conduct you’ve established for the league and should be. Don’t accept drunkenness during bouts, disrespect or complacency for your league. Make sure your announcer is there for your league, not exploiting your league to simply advance or promote her/himself. You deserve an announcer who is clear that the skaters are the stars of the show. That announcer will present each of the skaters as the rock stars they are. That announcer will do the homework required to know the persona of each skater and work to incorporate that into the entertainment bits while calling the play-by-play. That announcer shows the utmost respect for the skaters and the sport as well as for the audience while also being humorous and entertaining. It’s not always possible to find one person who can pull all of this off. If you have a one trick pony who’s all color announcing and entertaining the audience, then find a play-by-play announcer who will educate the audience and help them understand the action. It’s the play-by-play that lends credibility to this sport. It’s not uncommon to have two or three announcers. Almost every announcer starts as color by default, because we all have to learn the game! But hopefully we don’t stay stuck there. When I first met and heard Chip Queso he was all color and crowd wrangler. Now a year later I hear him calling at ECDX in Philly and he is a bad ass play-by-play dude! Amazing! Announcers can do well to earn the respect of the leagues in other ways too, by simply investing time outside of game day. Announcers, be helpful to your leagues: pitch in with bout production or marketing, or volunteer on one of the committees if the league will let you. it works both ways Every announcer who is busting butt truly appreciates a league that recognizes and respects the skills, talent and hard work that goes into doing the job we do. Leagues, take care of your

announcers. Treat them nice. If they’re really good and you love them, take them with you when you travel to away games. Some leagues actually have this in the bout contract. While protocol varies from league to league, we announcers have established our own protocol. It’s not uncommon in interleague bouts for the hosting league announcer, as a courtesy, to reach out to the visiting team announcer and extend an invitation to call the bout with them. The home league/announcers then welcome the visiting announcer by being gracious hosts, providing the visitor with everything they need to do their job well – starting with having enough mics! Just as leagues take care of visiting skaters, please don’t disregard or forget your announcers. If your league currently does not have a staff announcer, but you know the league in the next town over has one with some chops and experience, ask to borrow them (putting politics aside whenever possible). If there is a skilled, knowledgeable and entertaining announcer willing to travel and you trust he or she will represent your league and this sport in the highest standard, then use ‘em! Why throw someone behind the mic with little to no experience as a voice to amuse fans and mention sponsors simply because you’re concerned about exclusivity? There is a huge network of announcers working together nationally to perfect the craft and skill of roller derby announcing. Utilize it. We’re all here to help each other and grow the sport together. I invite all new and developing announcers to join the Roller Derby Announcers Yahoo! Group by emailing There are great discussions there on how to handle specific situations that every announcer has to address. If there is ever anything I can do to help your league’s announcing staff, please contact me. If you need someone else, I can definitely coordinate the hook up. If you’d like me to be a guest announcer for your league, just get me there and provide a pillow. I’ve got the microphone! For the Love of Derby! | Winter 2008 | 39

have derby, will travel

travel tips H U RT R E Y N O L D S , D E R B Y N E W S N E T WO R K . C O M

As 2008 draws to a close, it’s time to start planning your derby travel for 2009 – and wow, are there a lot of options out there. In this guide, I’ll help you pick which events to go to and give some general tips for making the most of your derby travel.

Consult the following list of scheduled and tentative events while making your choices: February 21-22 Four Corners Feud, Colorado Springs CO Six WFTDA leagues from Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico March 12-15 Blood and Thunder Boot Camp, San Diego CA June 20-21* Battle on the Bank II, Austin TX TXRD, LA Derby Dolls, San Diego Derby Dolls, and Team Awesome June 27-28 East Coast Derby Extravaganza, Philadelphia PA 20 sanctioned WFTDA bouts in two days!

July 18 UK/Europe Tournament, London UK first ever modern derby tournament outside the USA July 29-August 2 RollerCon, Las Vegas NV All-purpose training, networking, and social event September 11-13 WFTDA East Regional Tournament, Raleigh NC September 18-20 WFTDA North Central Regional Tournament, St. Paul MN

September 25-27 WFTDA South Central Regional Tournament, Atlanta GA October 2-4 WFTDA West Regional Tournament, Denver CO October 25-26* Battle for the Coast, Ventura CA Single elimination tournament for up-and-coming California teams November 6-8 WFTDA National Championship Tournament, Philadelphia PA

In addition to these already-scheduled events, keep an eye out for probable 2009 reprises of these 2008 events: The Big One: California, May? – Single elimination tournament for California’s top teams Roll For a Cure: OC RollerGirls, June? – Multiple WFTDA sanctioned bouts Fall Brawl: Fort Wayne Derby Girls, October? – Single elimination tournaments (last year featured one WFTDA track and one non-WFTDA track) Governor’s Cup: Texas, October? – Single elimination tournament for WFTDA travel teams in Texas *tentative dates

choosing your events Which events you’ll choose to attend depends largely on what your goals are. Are you a rookie or intermediate skater looking to improve your skating skills? Be sure to include RollerCon and the Blood and Thunder Boot Camp in your plans. Skater or fan hoping to see derby played at the highest level? Don’t even think of missing Nationals, but you’ll also be well served by the East Coast Derby Extravaganza or any of the WFTDA Regionals. Want to develop your league’s production, statskeeping, and other support capabilities? It has to be RollerCon, which is also your best choice for networking with derby people from far and wide – and certainly your best chance for alcohol poisoning. Be safe! Of course, if your team is participating in one or more of the tournaments, some of your decisions are already made.

40 | Winter 2008 |

planning It boggles my mind that we were ever capable of intercity travel before the advent of the Internet. For every single element of your derby travel planning, Google Maps is your best friend. Before you make your travel and lodging plans, spend a little quality time at to find the key locations. The event or host league’s website will give you the location of the event venue, and probably the after parties as well, so map those first. With a free Google account, you can save the key locations to a new map in My Maps and refer to it throughout your planning. Have “derby housing” arranged? Add that to the map while you’re there. If you need to book a place to stay, type “hotel” into the search field and Google Maps will show you the nearest

hotels to the event location. The event may have arranged a discount somewhere, so check the host’s website for that. If you’re on a budget, though, you’ll probably get a better deal by shopping around if you’re willing to deal with fewer creature comforts. For bigger savings and a bigger adventure, look for a hostel, or try your luck at and make new random friends. Or, check out and share a house with your whole league! If you’re driving to the event, let Google Maps plot your route. If you’re flying, travel sites like and are your best resources to conduct flexible searches for good fares. Keep in mind that shifting your arrival or departure by a day one direction or another sometimes makes a huge difference in the fare you pay. You can forget some of the old airfare guidelines about a Saturday stay, or 30-day advance rates, or not flying on weekends... the market is much more fluid now. Look for packages, too – I’ve seen airfare + rental car rates on Travelocity sometimes turn out to be even cheaper than the flight alone! Speaking of rental cars, when you’re considering in-town travel, give them a serious look. You can sometimes get a rental car for the weekend for less than the cost of cab fare to and from the airport. Be sure to check with your auto insurance carrier, credit card provider, and travel club to see if you have existing coverage that’ll save you from exorbitant rental car insurance rates. (You are a member of AAA, right? It’ll pay for itself in one dead battery, one lockout, or any number of mishaps that’ll hit you when you can least afford it). If a rental car isn’t in the cards, it’s back to Google Maps for local transit planning.

The day before you depart, check to see what highs, lows, and precipitation you’re likely to encounter during your stay. This will help shape your clothing selection. If you’re flying, most airlines let you check in online up to 24 hours before your departure and print your boarding passes from home. If you’re not checking baggage, this will save you a chunk of

surviving First things first: Internet on the road. Most hotels now have free wifi. Most event venues, with the notable exception of the Sportsplex in Philadelphia, have no publicly available Internet. Like it or not, Starbucks is your most reliable source of nearly-free internet, just make a purchase and you’re in. Get some fruit juice while you’re there, you need it anyway. If you

time; if you’re checking one or more bags, pay your checked-bag fee online to get a discounted rate from some airlines. If your seats suck, go ahead and complete the check-in later – sometimes better seats open up and you can grab ‘em.

have the right smartphone, like an iPhone or an android-powered Google Phone, you can get along pretty well without a laptop. For the Internet addict, aircard plans through your cellular carrier are getting more reasonable, too – but don’t count on getting a good signal inside some venues. No matter where you go, no matter what the circumstances, I cannot repeat this enough: when you travel, drink water. Lots of water. Keep drinking water. Climate changes, greater than usual exertions, skating hard, after partying hard – any one of these is a recipe for dehydration. No single thing you do will help insure you feel good and have fun on your derby adventure more than keeping after the water. Don’t forget the electrolytes! Once you’ve sweated out the salts, your body can’t actually do anything with the water you ingest, so work in a Gatorade from time to time to ‘lyte up. No, Red Bull is not an electrolyte – remember that energy drinks will dehydrate you too! Most importantly, don’t forget to eat. No amount of caffeine and taurine will keep you running through a three day derby weekend if your body doesn’t have fuel to burn. Once again, Google Maps will help you find actual nutrition if the venue’s concessions options aren’t up to the task. Don’t forget that grocery stores exist at your destination, too!

packing Please see Ivanna S. Pankin’s excellent article on packing light for derby on page 24. In addition to her tips, add the following to your packing list: • Is the climate you’re traveling to drier or more humid that you’re used to? Pack extra clothes for humid locales like Atlanta (you’re gonna sweat), nose and eye drops for dry climates like Las Vegas. • Planning to cheer a whole lot? Bring lozenges, you’ll need ‘em. • Ibuprofen, it’s like derby vitamins. Good for headaches from too much yelling, good for achy feet from standing on concrete for hours, good for aches from skating, good for hangovers. My doctor says up to 800 milligrams up to four times a day as long as your stomach cooperates, but of course I myself am not a doctor so don’t take it from me. • League schwag! The best way to make friends at a derby event is by showering those around you with stickers, buttons, and whatever other fun stuff you’ve got . • Flying? 3-1-1 for liquids in your carry on. Google it.

May your derby travels in 2009 be exciting (but only in the right ways), and I’ll see you on the road! | Winter 2008 | 41

Papa Razzi

art and media

(L-R) Under-exposure, proper exposure, over-exposure. Under-exposure results in muddy colors and no shadow detail. Over-exposure blows out highlights, mutes vibrant colors, and washes out dark areas. Aim for proper exposure to get accurate skin tones, vibrant colors, and proper highlight and shadow details.

derby photography 101 PA PA R A Z Z I , FA B U L O U S S I N C I T Y R O L L E R G I R L S

Maybe you’re the only one in your league who has a decent camera. Maybe you’re the photographer-husband who volunteers to document your wife’s derby sisters kick the crap out of each other. Maybe you’re a seasoned pro photographer and are already bored with this article. Whatever the reason, you’ve either volunteered or been elected to be your league’s photographer. Congrats, a whole gang of rowdy gals expects you to make them look their sweaty best. No pressure... Derby photography can be a cakewalk or quite a challenge depending on the available lighting, your equipment, how well your league works with you, and your knowledge of how to shoot action photography. I’m here to help out with the latter. BASIC CAMERA SETTINGS Every camera has its own bells and whistles, so I can’t begin to tell you everything your camera is capable of doing. Instead I’ll focus on some basic functions of the camera and how they work together in action photography. shutter speed – These are the numbers on your camera that are usually expressed in a fraction of a second, like 1/60 or

42 | Winter 2008 |

1/400. This is how fast your camera is taking a photo and the lower the fraction amount, the faster the shutter speed (1/1000 of a second is a faster shutter speed than 1/60). To stop action, you want as fast of a shutter speed as you can get. The slower the shutter speed, the steadier your hand must be to avoid shake blur, especially with long telephoto lenses. A general rule for long lenses when shooting hand-held (no tripod), is to use a shutter speed equivalent to the focal length of the lens. For example, if you’re using a 100mm lens, you should shoot 1/100 of a second or faster to freeze the action without any blur caused by your hands or breathing. The shutter speed is one of two methods used to control how much light is allowed to strike the film/sensor when making an exposure. f-stop – These are the non-fraction and sometimes decimal numbers, like 5.6, 11, and 16. Without getting into the history of how a lens aperture works (not all digital cameras have them now anyway), let’s opt for an over-simplified explanation. The f-stop is the other method used to control how much light is

Papa Razzi

allowed to strike the film/sensor when making an exposure. The lower the number, like 2.8, 4, 5.6, the more light is being let into the lens. The higher the number, like 11, 16, 22, the less light is being let in. The f-stop setting works in a reciprocal, or inverse, relationship with the shutter speed to control how much light hits the film/sensor, so you don’t get under or overexposed images. You need the right setting on each to make a properly exposed picture. If you adjust your shutter speed to be faster (for example, from 1/60 to 1/250), you’ll have to go down the f-stop scale to allow more light in to compensate for the shutter speed letting in less light (from 8 to 4, respectively). You can find an exposure calculator at your local camera store or find a picture of one online to print out, which will help you learn the relationship between shutter speeds and f-stops. In the meantime, you can count how many clicks or button presses you do in one direction for your shutter speed and do an equal amount in the opposite direction for your f-stop. You can also forfeit some control over your pictures and use the auto mode, but I would suggest starting to shoot on manual mode now and experiment with achieving proper exposure. film speed (ISO) – Your ISO number is an indication of what film speed (or digital sensor sensitivity) you’re using. The higher the number, the higher the sensitivity and the better for action photography, especially in low light conditions (ISO 1600 will allow higher shutter speed in dim venues, capturing sharper shots than ISO 100). If you’re shooting at night or in a dim venue, you’ve got your f-stop as low as you can go (2.8), and you’re still getting slow shutter speeds (1/40), it’s time to use a higher ISO film/setting. The benefits are an ability to use a faster shutter speed and get sharper shots, but the downside is that most cameras’ high ISO settings cause digital noise (or grain in film) in the shadows, making the picture look kind of crummy. When shooting without flash, I advise using a high ISO, fast shutter speed and worrying about the digital noise later in post-processing. There are numerous filters available that can lessen or remove it, leaving a great looking picture, but there are no filters that keep you from getting your ass kicked by your league when all your pics come out blurry. Catch the action, worry about the details later. Also, a general rule when shooting outdoors in full overhead sunlight is to use a shutter speed equivalent to your film speed at f/16. With sunny skies, a setting of 1/100 at f/16 on ISO 100 will get you damn close to proper exposure. Same with 1/200 at f/16 on ISO 200, and so on.

For now, study the relationship that f-stops and shutter speeds have, and how to make a proper exposure. Also experiment with raising your ISO settings during nighttime shooting or in dark venues. Once you start shooting consistently sharp shots, try lowering your shutter speed, raising your f-stop, and panning the camera with the skater to create a blurred background. Most importantly, experiment and learn how to shoot manually so you don’t let the camera make all the decisions for you. Web search terms for further research: Reciprocity (Reciprocal) F-stop Shutter speed Exposure calculator | Winter 2008 | 43

art and media









7 8



4 12





1 Scarlet Bloodletter, Hudson Valley Horrors Roller Derby 2 Roxy Ruthless, Arch Rival Roller Girls 3 Leia Flat, Tampa Bay Derby Darlins 4 Holly Would, Arizona Roller Derby 5 Black-N-Blue, Hard Knox Rollergirls 6 My Sharona, Central Coast Roller Derby 7 XX Factor, Carolina Rollergirls 44 | Winter 2008 |


8 Quad Ophelia, Romsey Town Rollerbillies 9 Miss Moxxxie, B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls 10 Bunny McBones, Dutchland Rollers 11 Celia Graves, Derby City Rollergirls 12 BigRed, Route 66 Roller Derby 13 Chokehold Chanel N°5, Jenny Bonebreak,



14 Brat O’Tat, Red Stick Roller Derby 15 Hell Kat, Mad Rollin’ Dolls 16 OctoPushy, Mad Rollin’ Dolls 17 Trudy Struction, Carolina Rollergirls 18 Tinker Belt-Ya, Fox City Foxz 19 Bits and Pieces, Dallas Derby Devils Killer Tomato & Dali Madison, Arch Rival Roller Girls 20 Suzi 9mm, Jet City Rollergirls


35 31



34 36 37

32 25





21 Dee Cap-a-Skate, Rose City Rollers 22 Rubella Plague, Fox City Foxz 23 Thrashinista, E-ville Roller Derby 24 Roller Rage Rosie, Slaughter County Roller Vixens 25 Glam Slam, Minnesota RollerGirls 26 Mia Mauler, Queen City Roller Girls 27 Ciditious, Arch Rival Roller Girls


28 Roller Kate, Fox City Foxz 29 Bee A Frayed, Angel City Derby Girls 30 Loudi McRowdy, Mo-Kan Roller Girlz 31 Wring Leader, Fox City Foxz 32 Roxxy Rage, Fox City Foxz 33 Secretary of Skate, Fox City Foxz 34 SueShe, Arch Rival Rollergirls


38 39

35 The Flying Taco, Greater Jacksonville Roller Derby 36 Bashley Juggs, Rainy City Roller Dolls 37 April Fools, Central Coast Roller Derby 38 Sin D. Lap-her, Broward County Derby Grrls 39 Bloody Elle, Memphis Roller Derby | Winter 2008 | 45

art and media

hell on wheels dvd review H U RT R E Y N O L D S , D E R B Y N E W S N E T WO R K . C O M For a modern roller derby league, going through a league split has become almost a rite of passage. For better or for worse, any self-organized group of volunteers will probably contain people with different reasons for participating, different goals, and different ideas for how to achieve them. Often these differences result in significant structural trauma for a young roller derby league; sometimes this trauma brings with it healthy reform, but in other cases the differences are irreconcilable. Such was the case for Bad Girl, Good Woman Productions, the Austin league that launched the modern roller derby revolution, and from which the Texas Rollergirls parted ways. Directed by Bob Ray and produced by Werner Campbell, Hell on Wheels provides a unique view into modern roller derby’s origins, including remarkable perspectives from all sides of the heart-wrenching split of the league that launched the modern derby revolution. Documenting both the tragedy of the split and the triumphs surrounding it, Hell on Wheels is a must-see for anyone involved with the organization of a roller derby league, with valuable insights for any other upstart DIY organizations as well. same as it ever was I spent much of 2007 on the road surveying the modern derby landscape. Frequently I ran into a phenomenon that I like to call “different city, same conversation.” Variations on the theme included “there are 40 girls on our league so how come, like, five of us do all the work,” and “I’m paying dues money to skate but I don’t have any idea where it’s all going,” and “Why am I paying dues but the captains/managers/owners are not,” and “I put a lot of work into this, too, so why doesn’t my voice seem to carry any weight?” While it was clear to me at the time that some of these themes were widespread, I didn’t then appreciate just how universal they are. In between the excitement of seeing the very beginning of modern roller derby, and the uplifting end sequence, the main story arc of this film documents in agonizing detail the gradual descent of the league into conflict between the captains/managers/owners and the rank-and-file skaters. For skaters who’ve been through similar experiences in their own leagues, some of these stages will be painfully familiar – as a viewer, at times I found myself wanting to just pause the film, step into the screen, and explain “here’s where the disconnect is.” But it was the first time, and nobody could be there to say “I’ve seen this before, here’s the problem” because nobody had seen this before. As the organization starts to come unraveled, the viewer feels both sympathy for the individuals involved, and frustration that the eventual breakdown seems inevitable. A shared tragedy midway through the film brings the fracturing parties together for a brief moment of solidarity, but as students of recent derby history know, reconciliation was not to be. As the filmmakers note in the director’s commentary, “It’s like watching your parents go through a divorce.” making a documentary As with so many aspects of modern roller derby, the filmmakers themselves benefited from some timely coincidences. Bob and Werner were well on their way to shooting a documentary on Hasil Adkins, who they describe as “kind of the godfather of the crazy one-man hillbilly band,” when it turned out that Adkins is, in fact, batshit crazy, in ways that made getting his signature upon certain necessary releases highly unlikely. Drowning their sorrows in an

46 | Winter 2008 |

Austin bar, they met with members of the upstart roller derby league, and realized that perhaps a suitable documentary subject had just been delivered to them. Watching Hell on Wheels, I was struck by the incredible access granted to the filmmakers by the skaters. When I first saw the trailer for the film about two years ago, my jaw dropped at the snippet from the split-confrontation scene – my reaction was, my god, they were in the room when that all went down? They were, and because of it, we get to be, too. In their commentary, Bob and Werner talk about some of the steps they took to establish this trust level with their subjects, most notably including their strong commitment not to stoke drama by using one person’s interview comments to generate leading questions for another interview subject. They also note that the only way to be sure they’d capture the important moments was to be present pretty much all the time. This ever-presence contributed to their subjects' comfort with them, in turn contributing to the success of the film in ways any aspiring documentarian should well note. a sport evolves by accident Hell on Wheels reveals that many elements of modern derby that we now take for granted were discovered almost accidentally by these pioneers. Today, it’s taken almost as gospel that the modern sport thoroughly rejects the fake-fighting, pro-wrestling style choreographed conflict that characterized the latter years of classic derby, but as the film unfolds, we realize that, in fact, the whole initial concept included practiced, choreographed hits and falls. Only after many practice sessions did the skaters start to discover that the best way to make a hit look real is to make a real hit. production notes This IndiePix DVD release includes some great extra features. In addition to the director’s commentary, two other commentary tracks feature input from key members of BGGW and Texas Rollergirls, respectively. Recorded in 2008, five years on from the events in the film, the skater commentaries provide an interesting touchstone into how the girls involved in the league split have moved past the conflict... and in what ways they have not. Also on the disc you’ll find a substantial assemblage of deleted scenes – with 550 hours of footage, Bob and Ray clearly had to leave a lot of good stuff out of the film, and they provide a generous sampling here. the bottom line Heart wrenching at times, Hell on Wheels ultimately tells a touching and very human story about a group of people who started something from nothing and endured great challenges and conflicts, but who eventually overcame those struggles to spur what’s now a growing movement bringing meaning, learning, and joy to tens of thousands of participants worldwide. The film wraps with a moving end sequence showing the global spread of modern roller derby, featuring a montage of media coverage and a collage of league logos that can’t help but move you. (out of five). A must-see for anyone involved in roller derby league organization, interested in the roots of the sport’s modern incarnation, or hoping to learn techniques for documenting a DIY organization. Available now on DVD from,, and other online retailers.

Check out Whiskey7’s featured derby art – hand picked from across the derby community!

October 2008 The River City Roller Girls artist: Will Jones

July 2008 Sac City Rollers vs. Smog City Roller Grrls artist: Seth Q. Forester

2007 sugar & spice, derby girls aren’t nice 52”x16”(4 panels) print and acrylic on canvas artist: Cory Oberndorfer

classifieds Want to get rid of that old gear? Need to get the word out about something to the derby community? Searching high and low for something you just can’t find? Submit your classified text (up to 50 words) to to include in our next issue!

WANTED Help us help you find what you need!

FOR SALE Submit details to get those gently used but no longer being abused skates out of your hair!

Only worn once! Women’s size 8.5 Riedell 265 Wicked package, includes 265 boot, PowerDyne Aluminum lightweight plates, Super Grip Tuner wheels, KWIK abec 9 Precision speed bearings. Original price: $314. Asking $150 plus shipping OBO. Contact Miss Jane RedRum, FWDG at or 260-312-7343.

PLACES TO CRASH If you’ve got the hookup in your home town for visiting derby girls, send us your contact info and details!

CHECK THIS OUT! If you play derby and want to get the word out about something awesome, send your text our way!

Derby Nation is a community for roller derby created by roller derby players! Leagues: use Derby Nation as a tool to promote your events and network with other roller derby leagues. Join the Derby Nation TODAY!

All Female Roller Derby Band! *Derby Misfits* CD Release in January!

Lust & Gore Hardwear Customized cowboy hats, military caps, and original jewelry designs made from industrial grade hardware. Love to skate? (I know we do.) Check out our skate bearing jewelry! Heavy metal meets totally hot.

Looking for help with drills, strategy, or other skating advice? Coach Pauly has over four years of derby coaching and referee experience that includes working with 20+ league across the U.S. and Canada, including the #3 ranked 2006 AZRD. You supply a flight and room and board and Pauly will come to you!

YOUR AD HERE! fiveonfive magazine’s classified ads are cheap and even cheaper for derby-owned businesses! for more information, email | Winter 2008 | 49

horoscopes P R OV I D E D B Y Y O U R D E R B Y P S Y C H I C , L U S C I O U S S M A C K S O M E



November 23-December 21

May 21-June 20

If you allow your feelings to cloud your judgment, established goals could remain unfulfilled. Only consistent practice can accomplish your aims.

It might be one of those days where it seems as if everyone on your team is jumping to negative conclusions without letting others clarify their positions. Don’t get caught up in the drama.

CAPRICORN December 22-January 19


Having a willful mind is fruitful when trying to resolve issues on the track, but dirty play will get you shunned. Keep it clean!

June 21-July 22


If you find yourself in the company of a teammate who thrives on repeating gossip, select a topic of conversation with extreme care so she can’t misquote you.

January 20-February 19

Be careful about recommending skate products to your teammates this month – if they don’t prove to be exactly what they were looking for, you will be blamed for their poor performance.


LEO July 23-August 22

Be more careful than usual, because there is a chance you could feel a little accident-prone and could end up with an injury. Remember, conditioning reduces your chance of injury.

February 20-March 20

Usually you are good about selecting who to go after on the track, but you may get some conflicting advice from teammates. Heed their word, as teamwork is very important!


VIRGO August 23-September 22

The best way to arouse resentment from teammates is to insist that everything be done your way. Remember to work as a team, because you can’t do it alone.

March 21-April 19

You know better than to try to force the issue when a disagreement arises on the track, so the moment you notice that’s what you are doing, start reasoning things out logically and make up for lost time.

LIBRA September 23-October 23

Your athleticism is likely to be greatly heightened – take advantage of this and bring your game to another level. Now is your chance to shine!

TA U R U S April 20-May 20


Be exceptionally cautious about getting involved in any type of arrangement that requires you to keep a secret from your teammates. This will only hurt you in the end.

October 24-November 22

52 | Winter 2008 |

Teammates who know you don’t mind occasionally picking up the slack may try to maneuver you into doing so. Don’t be afraid to let them know when you physically just can’t make that possible.

Competition. Honor. Talent. Sisterhood... provided by WFTDA through tournament play. Membership has its privileges. “Competing against other WFTDA leagues at tournaments is our greatest honor and our biggest challenge. The raw talent, strategy, and excellence WFTDA teams bring to tournaments drive us to a higher level of competition.” - Bloody Mary, Texas Rollergirls “This year’s Eastern tournament was full of healthy competition and formidable opponents. The competition was fierce yet friendly. In the end there was a great feeling of accomplishment and support among the teams.” - Donna Matrix, Gotham Girls Roller Derby “We are all really excited to play at the National tournament. Getting to Nationals has been a dream of mine for the past year. Although we have been around for three years, we still feel like the new kids on the block. We’ve looked up to many of the teams participating in Nationals. They’ve been like heroes to us so it’s definitely an honor to be in their company.” - Kamikaze Kim, Duke City Derby

WFTDA Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary. Photos courtesy of Kerry McClain, Jules Doyle and Jon Kontio

Profile for fiveonfivemedia

fiveonfive | issue 2 | Winter 2008  

fiveonfive | issue 2 | Winter 2008