Get ready for a tournament that [sham]rocks!

March 17th, 2014 | 0 comments

Virginia is for Shovers What’s better than green beer, more exciting than a pot-o-gold, and more action-packed than a trip down the rainbow? Virginia is for Shovers, of course! Shovers is an all-day event featuring a tournament of full-length WFTDA-sanctioned bouts, as well as 30-minute challenge bouts, vendors, and other fun activities! There will be two action-packed derby tracks with plenty of excitement to take in! The luck of the Irish is with us today, as registration for this event is now open!

Individual skaters and officials can register here.

Teams can register here.Registration is open!

Spectators, keep an eye out for tickets to go on sale, and remember that season pass holders get in for a discounted rate!

For more information, please visit http://www.vaisforshovers.com/ or contact Slam Gamgee at vp@charlottesvillederbydames.com.

Overcoming a Fear of Wheels by Le Bruise

February 14th, 2014 | 2 comments

happybruise

Remember when you were a kid and a friend would send you a birthday party invitation to a local roller rink? Did you get excited? Because I didn’t. I’d look at my mother, pleading with her not to go, no matter how good the friend, because I was in fear. Fear of wheels. As a wheel-o-phobe, I delayed getting my driver’s license, never learned how to ride a bike, and banished the idea of roller skates to a hell of embarrassing childhood memories I never wanted to resurface. So, in the summer of 2011, my decision to join roller derby was, in fact, earth shattering (or, the more likely outcome, face shattering).

I had moved to Charlottesville that January, knowing vaguely of one person, Claire and Present Danger, then the chair of CDD’s Productions Committee in charge of putting on the bouts. Danger spoke so enthusiastically of the Derby Dames, I had to check them out. I was looking to get a taste of C’ville off-Grounds from my University work-life, and I was somewhat interested in getting in shape. After one bout during which I was drafted as a non-skating official (with no idea of the rules or what the heck was going on), I was intrigued. Danger turned three of us that summer into derby lovers, and it changed all of our lives forever.

So there I was, July 2011, sitting on a bench with these things called skates strapped on my feet. Danger was sitting on one side of me, B-One Bomber on the other. Other Fresh Meat were up and whipping around the track ready to learn basic skills of a full contact sport. I was just hoping to avoid my face’s full contact with the floor. I was petrified. The nightmares of skating rink parties came back, and the only physical shape I was in could be equated to a blobby amoeba.

“Well, drive your force straight down into the floor and stand up,” drilled Danger. I thought about this for a while, drawing force diagrams in my mind, and when I was satisfied that I could understand a world is which the forces would be balanced and I wouldn’t fall over, I stood up.

“OK, good. Now go forward.” Forward? That’s a good goal, but I couldn’t make sense of it. I looked back at them and asked, “How do you propel?” Half an hour later, I was ungracefully zombie shuffling my way forward. Danger screamed after me, “Bend your knees or I’ll bend them for you!” I always knew she had my back.

Looking back, I was also in fear of joining an athletic team. After some pretty terrible team social experiences in middle school and high school, I decided that with a full-figured, short shape, team sports were not for me. But at that first Fresh Meat practice, I changed my thoughts completely. The Derby Dames embrace everyone for who they are, no matter what shape, background, or beliefs they have. (And literally embrace, too. Every time I shuffled to and from the wall, Crashiopeia would give me a hug and tell me to do it again.) I have never seen a more supportive group of people, and because of the way they open their arms to all of us Freshies, I kept coming back for more.

I spent 18 months in Fresh Meat hoping to test to Level 1. Though I became “seasoned meat,” not once did anyone discourage me from continuing. Our Fresh Meat Butcher at the time, War N Peas, would make the main group do long exercises while coming over to give me tips to practice. My derby wife, the lovely Venom Assassin, pushed me to practice hard, even though she had what we call one of the “nine-month injuries” (pregnancy) during that time. In January of 2013, we both passed our Level 1 test. There were tears, and not of the kind after smashing your face into the floor. Thank goodness.

Joining Fresh Meat is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s for anyone looking to get in shape, develop a new persona, see a different side of C’ville, or meet a new group of really good people. Derby has become something that defines the best of Charlottesville for me, and I can’t wait to meet all of you potential Freshies out there and help you learn to not smash your face into the floor.

Black and blues,
Love, Le Bruise

Le Bruise (center, bottom row) in Fresh Meat.

Support Local Roller Derby

January 30th, 2014 | 0 comments

 

Gadget and Bashin of the Belmont Bruisers high five fans after a bout

Gadget and Bashin of the Belmont Bruisers high five fans after a bout. | Photo courtesy of Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy

I’m going to be completely honest with you: my goal here is to persuade you to sponsor the Charlottesville Derby Dames. Roller derby is an empowering sport for women, which in itself is a great reason to support us.  However, you may not be aware of some hidden perks CDD provides to sponsors.

Perk #1: Community Involvement: Awesomeness by Association

For every home bout, the Derby Dames donate a percentage of event funds to a designated local charity.  Your business will not only support our team, but charities within the community as well.  Anyone glancing over the bout program will see your business listed in association with support of an organization in need.  To name just a few charities we have donated to in the past:

Perk #2: Business Boom

We love our sponsors, and we show it!  Supporting restaurants such as Blue Moon, Beer Run, Revolutionary Soup and The Whiskey Jar are top spots for team committee meetings and get togethers.  Ben Around Tattoo is the team’s top choice for ink (my very first tattoo done by Ben himself and I couldn’t be more pleased!).  Need a trim for your ‘do?  So many girls on our team visit Hazel Beauty Bar that I’m surprised they have time to take on more clients (they do, don’t worry).  We support our sponsors, and often bring friends as well.

Perk #3: Growing Advertisement Power, with Lower Cost

Roller Derby is experiencing a cultural resurgence, and new fans are emerging daily.  The Charlottesville Derby Dames reach hundreds of people with each bout program, and thousands with our facebook page.  As a sponsor, your business will be promoted as a CDD supporter on programs, through our facebook page, and listed on our website.  Bottom line: the number of potential customers within our fan base is growing.  When compared to the cost of advertising via tv/radio/newspapers, advertising with the Derby Dames is a fraction of the cost (and we’ll give you some free bout tickets to top it off).  A portion of the sponsorship is tax-deductible as well.

Perk #4: Flexibility

Is your budget $50, or $5,000?  Either way, we have something to offer.  If your advertising budget is non-existent, you can donate gift certificates or gift baskets that are raffled off at bouts.  The main idea here is that if you want to contribute, we would love to work with you!

Bout production costs, rent for practice space, away bout travel, and countless other expenses are necessary to keep everything rolling.  Setting the costs and needs of running a derby league aside, remember the perks to being a CDD supporter: boost your business, lower your advertising costs, and help contribute to the community.

Petit Zombie jams in an intraleague bout

Petit Zombie jams in an intraleague bout. | Photo courtesy of Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy

Interested in sponsoring or learning more?  E-mail community@charlottesvillederbydames.com

The Lessons that Derby Has Taught (or Reinforced for) Me

November 7th, 2013 | 0 comments
Honey Nut Fury-Os

Fury strikes a pose for her headshots.

I decided to come to Fresh Meat in May of 2013 and haven’t looked back since. In that short time, I’ve learned some valuable lessons.  What’s that, you say? You want to hear them? Well, okay then. Behold: the magic of derby and life, unlocked here for you and your reading pleasure!

1. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

This is true in any setting, but it has become especially evident for me as I look at life through the lens of derby.  Maybe I can’t turn to the inside all that well yet, but I am a pretty stable skater.  I can’t do backwards crossovers, but I have good track awareness.  Some people are amazing jammers.  Some people hit like a truck.  Some people are great Mama Hens, who can guide their teammates to the places they need to be. Together, we are all part of a team, and we all get better by watching the people around us.  The same goes for people behind the scenes, which brings me to…

2. Everyone’s experience–socially and athletically–is different.

We all have friends in and outside of derby.  Some people form instant friendships at derby and hang out in different settings all the time.  They might even have derby wives (derby wife=your best derby friend). Others go to practice and love to skate, but have other obligations elsewhere (jobs, children, families, etc).  You can drive as hard you can in practice, fall down and take hits, and feel exhausted (but also, remarkably stress free!) at the end of the night, or you can simply come and watch and learn (sometimes you have to ask first, but still–ask!).  No matter the amount of space in your life for something else, there is a place for you here.  What if you only have a few extra hours a month?  You can come to Fresh Meat or NSO at bouts or serve on a committee.  What if you are terrified of skates?  First, we can help with that, but second, guess what?  You can STILL be involved. We have team members who do not skate in bouts or practices. It is still a valuable and fascinating experience to be a part of the team. And the team takes lots of people to go around…

3. Running a team is hard work.

There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes.  As a Fresh Meat skater it is a challenge to see the whole picture all at once. So here I am

Honey Nut Fury-Os

Fury skates hard as jammer for the Downtown Maulers in this season’s IntraLeague bout | Photo courtesy of Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy

*click* taking one for you.  From finding sponsors to scheduling bouts, from working on finding that ever-elusive place to skate to building teams and training athletes, refs, and NSOs, there are some seriously hardworking people on this team (and all skater-owned derby teams) who put in hours to make the operation run seamlessly. We have management and committee heads and everyone pitches in. Once you join a committee, and then become a member and gain access to the forum, you will see (and read!) what I mean. At 8:00 AM, when I get the digest of posts from the forum, I get a little thrill of excitement as I see what kind of important stuff is going on and being shared in a true democratic spirit.  *Sigh* if only work went the same way…but actually…

4. Derby is real life, but it is also a microcosm of real life.

Just as in your life outside of derby, people play all different kinds of roles.  There are leaders, athletes, questioners, jokers, thinkers, problem solvers, funlovers, friends, mothers, sisters (even brothers and fathers–we have male refs!)–and, in many cases, many of these at once or in many different settings.  There are people you love, and people you might not get along with.  Sometimes, you feel a certain way about someone–maybe intimidated or indifferent–but over time and with more interactions, it changes to something more positive. This is life; it is beautiful and messy.  Embrace it: do derby.

Post by: Honey Nut Fury-Os

Damsels in Disguise

October 29th, 2013 | 1 comment

In the split seconds of deciding where to place your feet or to throw your hips, it could not be more crucial to recognize the body skating next to you, friend or foe. Blocking or assisting the wrong skater could mean a serious loss of position, or worse, a loss of points!

Whether you are a skater, ref, NSO, or spectator, your job in the bout depends on your ability to keep tabs on who-is-who, as they fly around (or out of) the track. You’ve probably come to rely on the color of a helmet, the pattern of knee sock, or a strategic smear of make up to quickly identify a player amid the commotion. But what happens without these trademarks on which we’ve come to rely? CHAOS!

It is a well known fact that a Dame without her boutfit can be hard or impossible to recognize. As fresh meat this past June, I’ll admit to the confusion of seeing a Dame without her helmet for the first time, hair down and brushed as opposed to the sweaty birds’ nest that only a helmet can create. The personas that we know and love are not just for fun, but are also way to stay connected and attuned to the game.

And so without further ado, we have for you readers, a trick and a treat! A guessing game in the spirit of Halloween, a challenge to surpass even the mystery of the de-geared Dame!

Test your perceptual skills and see if you can identify your favorite skaters, below! Don’t worry, we’ve provided an answer key at the bottom!

Who am I?

1

Who am I?

2

Who am I?

3

Who am I?

4

Who am I?

5

Who am I?

6

Who am I?

7

Who are we?

8

Who am I?

9

Who am I?

10

Who am I?

11

Who am I?

12

Who am I?

13

Who am I?

14

Who am I?

15

Who am I?

16

Who am I?

17

Who am I?

18

Who am I?

19

Who am I?

20

Who are we?

21

Post by: BadSquish

Answer key: (1) Tammy MaeHem  (2) Pepe le PewPewPew  (3) Revenga D’Nerd  (4) Mia Machete  (5) Leeloo Dallas MultiSMASH  (6) Draconian Angel  (7) Crashiopeia  (8) Maid Carrion and Jugglenaut  (9) Boom ShakeTheRoom  (10) B-One Bomber  (11) Tippi Headlock  (12) Miami Beatbox  (13) The Big Bangarang  (14) Slam Gamgee  (15) Bio TearHer  (16) PetiteZombie  (17) O Yoshi Dint  (18) Brighter Riot  (19) Spank Puncherella and family  (20) River Styx Pheonix  (21) BadSquish and RaeElise the Kracken

Mind Games

September 17th, 2013 | 0 comments
Belmont Bruisers

Mental toughness is key to performing well in a bout | Photo courtesy of Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy

Roller Derby is a sport that requires focus, adrenaline, and a keen eye. To step onto the track with all three of these, players often need to take the proper steps. It’s easier when we’re at home on our own turf. With our fans cheering in the background, we automatically hone in on the proper skills. When we’re going to an away bout, however, it can be trickier. Every player needs to focus differently.

Personally, I prepare for a bout by taking the day to prepare myself. After I wake up, I drink my coffee in front of the mirror, armed with bright eyeshadow and lipstick, hand gripping my glitter eyeliner. I read a quote once that called eyeliner the “warpaint of roller derby.” I loved it, and it comes to mind every time I put on my bout-day face.

Before I get in the car for the journey, I watch a the “Under Armour Women: I Will” commercial on YouTube. Something about it just gets my blood pumping. I’ve often found myself looking at my jammer and thinking “I will protect this house.”

Running high school Cross Country and Track races trained me that game day meant a peanut butter and jelly for lunch. When I’m heading to an away bout, I pack my sandwich in a lunchbox and eat it on the way. I spend the next hours with my team, laughing off my nerves and discussing strategy. By the time I line up for my first jam, my nerves are gone, my heart is pumping, and I am ready. If I am chosen as jammer, our bench manager, Maid Carrion, knows what to do. She looks me in the eye and says, “Though you be but little…” and I shout back, “I AM FIERCE!” Shakespeare would be proud.

Others take a less nerdy approach. River Styx Phoenix also has a full-day routine. She says:

“I wake up. I have my coffee – no cream, no sugar; just black, please.

I meditate on what’s to come. I predict my potential challenges, while also keeping in mind that there are so many more things that I cannot anticipate.

Unicorn Roar

The “Unicorns” challenge bout team gets pumped by doing a “Unicorn Roar” cheer at Virginia is for Shovers 2013 | Photo courtesy of Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy

I focus on a few things that I want to do during the bout:

First and foremost, I want to have fun with my team. Secondly, I want to do my best, and push myself harder. I want to test the limits. ‘What are my weaknesses, and how can I fix them?’ This question frequently runs through my mind; however, I’m not scared to ask myself this question, because it lets me ruminate on things that I need to work on, and I become excited by the challenge.

The song, ‘300 Violin Orchestra,’ by Jorge Quintero, runs through my mind. It’s actually quite dramatic, but it boosts my motivation. Similar to Slam’s methods, I practice fierce faces in my mirror, and imagine how terrifying I could possibly look to the other team’s players. I hope they are at least mildly intimidated.

I put on my lucky underwear, and the rest of my attire. And let my mind go blank until an hour before the bout. I repeat my meditation, and remind myself of my personal goals.”

For Nacho Baby, preparation involves one simple thing: staying calm. “I basically focus more on quelling anxiety and calming down as opposed to trying to get amped up. I meditate, and visualize being an agile, solid blocker.”

Crashiopeia uses a similar positive visualization method. She say that she watches videos of the other team online, and then visualizes herself knocking them down on bout day. She adds that checking in with her teammates helps to get her amped up to play.

Five40 vs BB

Come out and support the Belmont Bruisers as they take on the Five40 Roller Girls this Saturday!

Whatever our methods, we all agree that nothing gets the blood pumping like some live roller derby action! If you want to help us get pumped up to play, or if you’re just looking to get your own pulse up, you can come out and watch the Belmont Bruisers play the Five40 roller girls this weekend! The bout is only an hour away, and we’d love to see some friendly faces in the crowd.

 

Post by Slam Gamgee

Advice for Fresh Meat

August 21st, 2013 | 0 comments
Nacho Baby

Nacho Baby takes the track by storm in a challenge bout at this year’s Virginia is for Shovers tournament

Throughout life, one consistently faces decisions.  These decisions range from not-so-important (tea, or coffee?), to momentous (a career change, moving to a new city, getting married, etc.).  A momentous decision made in my  life is the palm-sweating, heart-thumping moment in mid-2010  when I decided to try out for roller derby.  A nervous, tingle of anticipation coursed through me for a torturous 6 weeks (during which I mostly spent brainstorming derby names), until open enrollment for the Charlottesville Derby Dames arrived .  Since joining in 2010, I have become a Level 2 skater, competed in numerous bouts, been a Committee Chair (Community Relations), and a Fresh Meat trainer.  From my personal experiences, I have composed the following advice for anyone facing the decision to try out for roller derby:

  • Pay attention to the trainers regarding proper form.  Maybe you skated a lot when you were a kid, and feel as confident as seasoned circus bear riding a bicycle.  That’s awesome!  Just remember that you don’t have to impress anyone by going “all out” the first time.  Personal lesson learned: the human body is not invincible, and laws of physics do, indeed, apply.

  • Skates and protective gear are provided, but know this: there’s a 99.99% chance that the borrowed skates are working against you, not with you.  In short, don’t take it personally if you’re struggling.  If you decide to stick with it and buy your own gear, you’ll most likely notice an improvement right away.

  • Wear sneakers.  Practice starts with an off-skates warm-up, typically consisting of jumping jacks, lunges, etc.

  • Wear leggings or tights under those short-shorts.  Skin against hardwood floor hurts!

  • Bring water!! You will sweat, and you will be thirsty.

  • Be in the moment.  Roller derby is one of the most zen-like activities (almost akin to meditation) that I have experienced.  The moment you are not in the moment, it’s likely you’ll be reminded you are wearing skates when you fall flat on your booty.

  • Don’t pick a derby name right away.  I changed my mind 3 times until one day it came out of thin air.  Wait for the “lightbulb moment.”  You’ll know when it’s right.

Belmont Bruisers

Nacho Baby (bottom row, second from the left) takes a moment to pose with the Belmont Bruisers at this season’s first game, an away bout vs. Southern Delaware (Photo credit: Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy)

Joining a roller derby team is an investment of time, money, and body.  It’s a decision not to be made lightly, but should choose to join, you will gain a derby family and have experiences that will enrich your life in ways that you cannot imagine.

 

Post by: Nacho Baby

Derby Strong

July 5th, 2013 | 0 comments
Draconian Angel's promotion

Pepe le Pew Pew Pew, Venom Assassin, Crashiopeia, and Ella Whirled support Draconian Angel at her recent Navy promotion

  In derby, we play hard, we hit hard, and we work hard. It makes sense that this intensity would bring a crop of strong women. Some of the women on the team are more than just derby strong; they’re army strong, too! The derby team plays host to women who have varying degrees of involvement with our armed services.

Draconian Angel says that she is proud of both her Derby and Navy uniforms. She is currently active, working at the National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency. She has been active for six years, and has been deployed three times. She says that she is proud of her service because, “I am the first female in my family ever to serve. I have a father who is previous Navy and a brother who is a prior Marine. I am proud to be in the one percent of the population who continuously makes sacrifices so others don’t have to. The military is asked to spend months away from the people they love and we often miss birthdays, holidays, births, and deaths of loved ones and we do it without blinking. Being a part of the military means being a part of something greater than you, it’s a family that stretches across oceans and builds lifetime relationships built on pride of service, pride of country, and pride of self.”

It may seem that derby and the Navy have very little to do with one another. Draconian Angel says that while the two aren’t closely linked, derby is a great way of maintaining Navy physical fitness standards. “What better way to stay a lean, mean, fighting machine than by throwing down on the track?”

Boots and Skates

Crashiopeia and her husband pose for a photo shortly after his return from his deployment. Photo courtesy of Dan “Jugglenaut” Purdy

Crashiopeia’s husband is a member of the Army Reserves. During 2012, he was deployed to Afghanistan. She says that Derby served as a precious support system for her during that time. “Being part of the Army Reserve, when units are deployed, families at home form a Family Readiness Group (FRG), which is basically part phone tree, part social group.  Since my husband and I were so far from his unit’s home base (Nashville, TN), I was unable to participate in many of the social parts of the FRG.  I decided that the Dames were going to be my local FRG and I tried to make it clear to everyone that I was going to need help (something that is hard for me to ask for) and support through a very difficult year.”

Through the support of her team and by staying busy as Productions Chair on management, she was able to make it through the year. “My team helped me more than I could ever have imagined. I had teammates checking on me everyday, making sure I was alright, having lunch, coffee, work breaks with me, encouraging me to come to practice, even when I just wanted to curl up in bed, pushing me to be a better skater and helping me put together care packages for my husband. When I had meltdowns, there were a few, my teammates listened, supported, and sometimes just got me a margarita. I had a teammate that had also been through a deployment and her support and understanding was invaluable; just having someone close that had also been through this ordeal made it a little easier.”

Koala Claws' father

Koala Claws’ father was a member of the Navy during World War II

Others were more distant from the service of their loved ones, but are still proud of the role that their relations served. Koala Claws, a fresh meat skater, told me a little bit about her father’s service. “My dad was in the Navy during World War II.  At that point, he felt like it was his patriotic duty to serve the United States.  He loved the water and the Navy seemed like a natural choice for him.  While I was growing up, my dad did not discuss his service much, although as an adult I found out more.  He served on the Kephart DE, mostly in the Pacific.  He was a Gunner’s Mate II and he ‘adopted’ a dog while on the ship.  The dog was [named] Hashmark and became a part of the crew and then went home with my dad when he was discharged.”

 
Whether their involvement is direct or distant, the Charlottesville Derby Dames are proud of our military affiliates. Many thanks to our troops at home and overseas!

Post by Slam Gamgee

Roller Derby A-B-Cs

June 12th, 2013 | 0 comments

This month, we thought it might be fun to come up with a glossary of derby terms that our friends and fans might be wondering about. These include both “official” words and phrases as well as some examples of derby slang (of which there is much!). This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it might just help you decode the strange words coming out of the mouth of the derby girl or guy in your life!

Bout: (n) A derby match played between two teams. Bouts consist of 2 30-minute periods. Each period consists of up-to-2 minute jams with a 30 second break between each. Jams may be ended early at the discretion of the lead Jammer. Each team has 3 1-minute time-outs per bout and officials may call as many official time-outs as necessary.

CDD and Rocktown lined up and ready to start the next Jam. Photo by Dan Purdy.

CDD and Rocktown lined up and ready to start the next Jam. Photo by Dan Purdy.

Jam: (n) Jam is the term used for the activity during a bout. Each team sends out 4 Blockers and a Jammer for each bout. The teams play until the Lead Jammer calls the jam off by tapping her hips with both hands or the jam ends after 2 minutes.

Jammer: (n) The designated point-scoring player. Each team fields one Jammer and four Blockers per jam. Jammers are distinguished from the other players by a panty worn on the helmet with a star on either side. Jammers must begin the jam behind the Jammer line. Once the whistle blows and they are released, Jammers make their way through the pack of blockers and complete laps around the track. After making an initial pass through the pack, Jammers will score for each opposing Blocker passed on subsequent laps.

Blocker: (n) All players who are not Jammer. Blockers must stay within the engagement zone to be able to engage with other players. Blockers usually work together to create both defensive strategies, such as holding back or knocking down an opposing Jammer, or offensive strategies, such as clearing opposing Blockers out of the way for their friendly Jammer.

Pivot: (n) A Blocker who is designated by wearing a helmet panty with a stripe of contrasting color down the center. The Pivot primarily plays according to the same rules as the other Blockers, but may assume the role of Jammer if the Jammer Panty is handed to her by the Jammer. When this occurs, there will be no Pivot and the Jammer will become a Blocker. The Pivot sometimes takes the role of captain or leader for the group of blockers in the jam, but does not necessarily have to.

Pack: (n) The pack is defined by the largest group of players within 10 feet of each other from both teams. The Jammer is not included in the pack definition. The definition of the pack is crucial to game play. Players may engage with each other within the pack and the surrounding engagement zone. A Jammer is declared Lead Jammer if she clears all opposing Blockers in the pack legally before the other Jammer does. A player who breaks up a pack by moving out of it, whether intentionally or not, has committed a Destruction-of-Pack penalty. When the pack is split, broken, or otherwise does not exist, no one on the track may block or hit another player.

Engagement zone: (n) The area 20 feet in front of or behind the pack. Players in this zone do not contribute to the definition of the pack, but may engage with other players within this area. If there is no pack there can be no engagement zone.

Where would we be without the zebras and NSOs? Photo by Dan Purdy.

Where would we be without the zebras and NSOs? Photo by Dan Purdy.

Bench coach: (n) A team coach during a bout. The Bench Coach helps the team devise strategy and gives feedback. Works with Bench Manager to determine who will play. The Bench Coach may be a player in the league, but may not play in the bout. The Bench Coach may also be a Captain or Alternate/Co-Captain.

Bench Manager: (n) The person who makes line-ups for each jam and determines who should be on the track at any given time. The Bench Manager and the Bench Coach work together to manage the team during the bout.

Fresh Meat: (n) Players new to derby are called “Fresh Meat” until they pass an initial skating skills test. Fresh Meat attend special Fresh Meat practices where basic skating techniques and an overview of game play is taught.

Zebra: (n) An official, so-called because of the typical black and white striped shirts.

NSO: (n) Non-Skating Official. NSOs are part of the officiating team. They keep track of penalties, the score, and the official clocks. Without NSOs keeping track of these details the game simply could not happen.

Boom shakes the room in the Jammer Panty. Photo by Dan Purdy.

Boom shakes the room in the Jammer Panty. Photo by Dan Purdy.

Panty: (n) A helmet cover used to differentiate the Jammer and the Pivot from the other players on the track. Panties are usually made of a stretchy material so that it may be easily secured to the helmet. A Pivot panty has a stripe of contrasting color down the center. A Jammer panty has a star of contrasting color on either side. Panties for each team must be easily distinguishable from each other.

WFTDA: (n) The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The Dames are proud to be a member of the WFTDA, which includes more than 1,000 leagues. The WFTDA produces official rules for play, certifies officials, sanctions bouts, ranks teams, and runs tournaments.

Flat track: (n) An oval track laid out on a flat surface for roller derby. The most typical type of track on which modern roller derby is played.

Banked track: (n) An oval track built up as a banked surface, where the outermost edge is higher than the innermost edge, typical of the classic derby era of the 30s through the 70s.

Truck and Trailer: (n) A block undertaken by two players together. One takes a position to the front and is the “truck.” The player behind grabs onto her hips and pivots out from side to side behind her as the “trailer.” This allows the trailer more power and stability in hitting. The truck and trailer may also cover more lateral space on the track this way, increasing their combined blocking ability.

AlMighty crISIS and Spank Puncherella use the Truck and Trailer to hold back DC's Jammer. Photo by Dan Purdy.

AlMighty crISIS and Spank Puncherella use the Truck and Trailer to hold back DC’s Jammer. Photo by Dan Purdy.

Goat: (n) A term used by blockers to point out a skater from the opposing team who may be easy to hold back either because of their relative position on the track or skating ability. By holding back this player, or “goating” them, the blockers may be able to define the pack where they want it to be, therefore freeing up their Jammer by forcing the other opposing blockers into an out-of-play position.

Out of Play: (n) Being outside of the engagement zone. Hitting when out of play is a penalty.

Track Cut: (v) When players leave the track for any reason (hit out of bounds, fall out of bounds, etc.), they must return to the track behind any players who were parallel or ahead of them. If a player returns to the track ahead of a player who was ahead of or parallel to her when she went out, she has committed a Track Cut penalty.

Booty Block: (v) To block a player by getting in front of them and impeding their forward or lateral movement. So-named because the rear-end of the player is often crucial in executing this maneuver.

Stonewallup for the Booty Block! Photo by Dan Purdy

Stonewallup for the Booty Block! Photo by Dan Purdy

J-Block: (v) To block a player by getting slightly ahead of them in a crouch and then popping up into their chest with the shoulder.

Hammer and Nail: (n) A block executed by two players, wherein one player gets ahead of the opponent and either  traps them or booty blocks them along a line, while a teammate hits the player out of bounds.

Passive defense: (n) Any defensive strategy that does not include actively blocking or hitting. A typical example is when blockers from one team linger at the back of a pack and allow the opposing blockers to move ahead and break the pack, thereby allowing their own Jammer to pass through unimpeded.

Juking: (v) Any quick movement to dodge or fake out an opposing player. Juking usually involves jumping, running, moving side-to-side or other quick movements, often on the toe stops.

Derby wife: (n) A term adopted by many in the derby community to designate their best derby-friend. See our earlier blog post about Derby Wives!

Derby Name: (n) A name a player adopts within the derby community. The practice of taking on derby names began with the derby revival in Austin Texas in 2001. These names, and in fact entire theatrical personas, were taken on the players to heighten the entertainment value. The tradition has continued to today for most teams. Players usually choose their own derby names, which often include puns, to represent an interest, a character trait, or to be intimidating.

9 month injury: (n) Derby slang for a pregnancy, indicating that just like any other injury, the player will be back after 9 months…right?

Post by Grëtel vön Metäl

The Power of Fresh Meat

May 16th, 2013 | 0 comments
Fresh Meat, Holiday Season 2012

Skaters at Fresh Meat take a break to pose with some festive decorations at the Key Center, December 2012

As I glance around at the faces of the women sitting in the circle on the wood floor, I notice that expressions range from confident to apprehensive, but there is no doubt that everyone is excited.  Today is the first day of Fresh Meat open recruitment.

As a fresh meat trainer, I am excited every time we have a new open recruitment.  I get to meet new people (freshies) and teach them the basics of skating and roller derby.  I get to work with women with a wide range of skill levels, from those who don’t know how to skate to some who were previous figure skaters.  Fresh Meat recruitment is open for a month at a time so there are at least 4 Sundays of potential new faces.  After the first month, we have a pretty solid group of freshies who will continue on through the 8 week minimum fresh meat practices to solidify their skills for Level 1 testing.  Trainers work with small groups and individuals to help each and every new person develop the skills they need to succeed in skating and roller derby.  Over the next several weeks, freshies will improve dramatically in their skating skills.  Each practice is filled with high levels of energy and excitement as everyone learns and succeeds at something new.  Although each individual progresses at their own pace, by the end of the 8 weeks everyone will have learned the basics for Level 1 testing and also some roller derby basics.  Some will have started pack work and other fun and challenging skills.  Its always so exciting to see freshies pass their Level 1 test, I am just as excited as they are. Although I will also miss seeing them in fresh meat practice, I know that they are moving on to bigger adventures.  To me, the best part of being a fresh meat trainer is seeing the women that I have trained in fresh meat go on to be bouting skaters.  It is such a rewarding feeling to watch their progression and see the benefits of their hard work and determination pay off.

Fresh Meat gather at Guad after practice

A large group of friends gathers at Guadelajara for post-practice dinner, February 2013

So as I continue glancing around at the faces of the women sitting in the circle on the wood floor, I smile.  I smile because I know how happy they will be as they learn and improve.  I smile because I know some of them will move on to become amazing bouters.  I smile because I have so many new people to add to my group of friends.

Post by Evaden Exploit