keeping Kitt Track busy


Kitt Track sent me a message on facebook today.

Demand for his banked track is accelerating, and he is on his 13th and feels he will have 20 by the end of the year.  And they are all over, none from the major cities (outside of LA), but somehow the leagues are able to get the funds and get them done.  I know Everett, Washington, has one and they have had very successful attendance in the local arena in really a small market.

Photo by Afonso Lima from stock.xchng.com

Skating on a banked track requires much different technique than flat track, and my concern is that skaters are taught properly, as it is faster and requires more skill than other kinds of skating, but can be much easier on the legs and body parts.  Skaters from hundreds of miles away are flocking to Philadelphia to learn under the tutelage of Roller Derby great Judy Sowinsky and Skip Schoen, and one of the major flat track leagues is learning on the banked track and they know it will  help` immeasurably for flat track.

I would like to suggest to OSDAPRO and NRDA that they produce a 10 or 15 minute video (or even longer) and provide it at a reasonable cost to the new banked track leagues on the proper training techniques.   And believe me, they are very, very difficult but worthwhile.

I heard today from one of the members of a mens league, and I suggested that if he has the opportunity he learns to train on a banked track.  He said his league is standing by their sisters and won’t do it.

I am an advocate for all styles of Roller Derby.  Don’t be close minded.  Anything you can learn or do better is of benefit to your game.

The Commissioner

8 comments on “keeping Kitt Track busy

  1. It has been my observation that the “Kitty” track is designed for a particular style of game. In speaking with skaters in the past who are doing banked track in LA, they do not need to “take a rail” as OSDAPRO skaters train to do and they do not work the kick rail the same way. When I spoke to BK about the style of his tracks (prior to my purchasing a track), I inquired about the curvature of the uprights and was told the tracks were designed for safety. However, I believe that style of track would be dangerous in an OSDAPRO game. Simply a different style of game.

  2. I’d consider Phoenix a major city.

    Speaking of Phoenix, pretty much every banked track travel team that matters (or wants to) will be there June 10-12th for the fourth annual Battle on the Bank tournament.

    Starting to see hints that down the road interleague play won’t be limited to one or two weekends a year (BotB being one of them). The economic need and just plain habitual intraleague focus banked track leagues have tended to have seems to have limited the competitiveness a bit.

    San Diego Derby Dolls got where they are (consecutive BotB titles) by taking on everyone and everyone, regardless of surface. Interleague play is the best way to drive strategy and skill development. Playing the same three or four other teams in your own league that you know like the back of your hand just doesn’t seem to get you as far.

    There’s now a banked track ranking system (hosted by Derby Deeds podcast). That may serve to drive banked track leagues towards more interleague play just like WFTDA’s rankings do in their slice of flat track derby.

  3. Having skated on the banked track (quite a few years ago), I can tell you that a Kitty Track would not work for an old school style game – legit or set.

    In our style game, we skate all parts of the track, not the lower and middle parts. If a skater is hit and is going over the rail, they first kick the kick rail, and hook their arm under the rail. There is a definite art to “taking a rail” and it should be taught because you just never know when it might happen to you. Be prepared is a good motto.

    I’m not posting this to say any game is better than another. I prefer one over the other but that’s just MY preference.

    However, I wish Kitty Tracks all the best and all of the leagues who use one!

  4. When a skater is taught ‘ all of banked track skating’ , it really doesn’t matter about the inward or straight up alignment of the handrails. The kickrail really is of no functional use, in either type game. In actuality, the kickrail can be hazardous. Both type track designs can be used , for the appropiate type of skating that is being done. The major issue is…safety. Safety can be attained by ‘proper instruction and training ‘. I state ‘ proper’. May she Rest in Peace, Judy Sowinski. Judy learned many skating techniques properly and she was passing them along to those that trained under her. Skip Schoen assisted Judy and he is still there, helping by giving back, things that he learned about the banked track. More like Skip are needed. I extend best wishes to all banked track skating. I respect, admire and give so much thanks to everyone that skates ‘ flat floor’. Without the flat floor games, there could not be any abundance of skaters for any banked track games. Work together for a common cause that is liked by all…..SKATING. !…John Hall

    FYI…There are two experts in the field of Banked track skating…Buddy Atkinson Jr ( Florida ) and ME ! ( West Coast ). We are both availabe for helping ‘ All’.

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