“A (bout) Rose by any other name”


It has been awhile since I have been able to write two posts in a row.

I have columns in “Blood and Thunder” magazine and “Leadjammer” magazine and both are out soon, and I do some writing for http://www.Brownpapertickets.com.

But I saw an item today that seems to be upsetting some people. In the new set of WFTDA rules apparently the word “bout” has been redlined, which doesn’t mean that you can’t call your games that, but maybe a sense of official approval has been removed.

One comment as a result of the examiner.com piece on this change was “why are they taking this WFTDA term away from us?”

OK, a couple of things….I have always avoided the term “bout” because it brings up the images of boxers or UFC or worse wrestling, and for a sport that is trying to differentiate itself from those kind of images, I don’t think that is good….and of course I have called them games all my life.

And exactly where did the term “bout” come from? When April Ritzenhaler and her cohorts were starting modern banked track skating in Austin in 2002 she had just come from boxing training and when someone asked what the events should be called, she suggested “bout”. And of course the Texas Rollergirls flat track split off from TXRD and WFTDA was created, so it really isn’t even a WFTDA term…..and even April calls them “games” now.

Call them what you want…..Please just make sure they are fast moving, hard playing and entertaining.

And by the way, if you want a brand new copy of “Roller Derby to Rollerjam”, the fun pictorial history of the game from 1935 to 2000, I have put the remaining out of print copies on http://www.amazon.com for $25 plus shipping. Other new copies on Amazon for this wonderful read range from $92 to $654.

And in this official lexicon of Roller Derby you will never find the word “bout”.

Rules? I don’t got to show you any stinking rules!


I don’t think anyone has criticized the rules of the game more than I have.

I would like to see them simplified so the game could overcome the officials. I hate powerjams.

Well, there was one significant rule change that came out of the new WFTDA rule book: penalties will be just 30 seconds which should help to limit them.

But I also saw something very significant in the B.A.D. Girls doubleheader Saturday night in Richmond (CA): if you have 4 teams of skilled players who are evenly matched, you can get some great games that keep a packed house (well over 2000) on their feet with fast jamming, often 1 and 1 jams, great pack action and really no slow downs.

And the players knew the rules and the officials let them play most of the time.

And the games were under the WFTDA ruleset.

OK, I told you what needs to be done….go do it.

So what do you do about the “it’s me or Derby ultimatum?”


I can’t take credit for the topic, but it certainly is necessary.

Derby is a hard enough enterprise to devote yourself to, but what about when your other just doesn’t support you.

It is often the case of the shoe on the other foot….Derby is primarily women, and it has been assumed for years that if the husband has an activity, of course he does it…..but now?

So on that wonderful site (Derby over 40: 3300 active skaters from everywhere still skating at over 40!) Brandy Bersi Fanning posted the question, and boy are the comments coming in…..Here are a few, I will not give the names:

“SOS has lost skaters because of it….it sucks, but it is about to happen again”

“Not yet, but it could happen….I live in fear….I try to keep things in balance but Derby has a way of taking over”

(paraphrase) “no ultimatum per se, but accused of spending too much time away from my family….I had to resign as president….and jealously of possibly having an affair with members of my gender….not used to female closeness and bonding”

“I get the ‘you like Derby more than me’. I show him how much I love him. I got this message this morning “I am the frame that gets to hold the Mona Lisa…you did great at Derby this weekend”

(paraphrase) “no flak, no jealousy….he drives me to training….he takes care of the child when I go to play or to boot camp for a weekend, I do the same for his activities”

The Commissioner: “Not quite but almost….and I was making my living from it at the time”

“I am married to a martyr who says ‘I will be fine; the kids and I are used to it…sigh’

“23 years of marriage….supporting him when he couldn’t work, 2 kids, he wouldn’t dare!”

“My significant other joined and he is now a ref….He explains that is the only way we can spend so much time together. I am lucky”

and the kicker from Tammie: “My husband loves that I am with a bunch of fine booties that wear fishnets and beat each other up”

And many other comments, many on both sides.

OK, this topic seems to affect almost all….what is your comment?

The Brown Paper Blog….please read and then let us help you.


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