RollerCon 2011

This still will not be a long post, but it is something I want to write before the feeling drifts off.

Judi Flowers was at her first Rollercon.  And I know that it changed her life.  I did not know Judi when I was promoting the game, and she has kind of picked it up by osmosis.  And she has seen some of the games in this area.  But at Rollercon the aura just overwhelmed her as it does everyone who attends…..and now she is busy starting to design and participate in the culture.  On the drive home she told me that she is just trying to digest this “invasion of her senses.”

Ivanna and her crew have created what to me is something that grabs the whole essence of Roller Derby:  I don’t care  what league or ruling body you belong to, we are packing into a very few days something that will stay with you, whether you skate, referee, or participate in any way in the game we all love.  You will get instructions, guidance, seminars, and dance your ass off partying.

I feel a sense of redundancy when I say I love you all, I love what Roller Derby has become to you and what you have brought to it, and the way you honor me and my family.

What has truly bothered me is the different ruling bodies who have brought sense and order to the crazy way this has all evolved since 2002 have probably unwittingly created restrictions that keep you all from participating and competing with each other the way you do at Rollercon.

As Reagan said to Gorbachov, “tear down the wall”.  goddamnit, it is Roller Derby.  Leagues or teams of equal ability should play others of the same level without worrying about if it is sanctioned or not.  The more you play those closest to you geographically and skill level, the  more you will improve.  And  you might learn something about the others’ rules that you feel should be incorporated in your game.

California has more leagues than anyone.  There should be a California championship tourney, and the teams do not have to be of the present makeup, but maybe by county or city.  I know that this is a concept that Donna Hot Flash is working on, and it could certainly apply to other states and regions.

Why do you all get to skate with and against each other at Rollercon but not elsewhere.

If you really want to honor me, Loretta, Frankie, Ann, Joan,Judy Sowinsky, and all of the great skaters of the past, figure out a way to make this happen without damaging your present alliance.

Keep watching here for more of Rollercon from the Commissioner’s point of view.

And Ivanna and crew, you are amazing…..thanks to all the wonderful volunteers it went off without a hitch; it was the most complex, complete “convention” I have ever attended.  If you did not learn to skate better, ref better, learn at seminars, become a better announcer or any other category that is necessary for your league, it certainly wasn’t Rollercon’s fault…..the parties and functions were amazing.

If I can, I will be back next year.  And please post those photos.

5 comments on “Rollercon

  1. Jerry- just had to say RIP Judy Sowinski- actually was a bit more of a Roller Games fan than Derby, but enjoyed both very much- really appreciate your blogs!

  2. There’s an unofficial California championship, it’s called The Big One. San Diego Derby Dolls won the first one, last time BAD Girls took the title. State championships happen all over the country. A bit more often in the south. I’d estimate there’s around 25 or so of them.

    Where they tend to break down is that they are often de facto coronations. Sometimes the strongest league in a state brings its B team, and even then they’re often the default winner.

    Sometimes they have to bring their B team because bringing their travel team would discourage other teams from bothering to participate in the event. Either way, state tourneys are as often as not a collection of blowouts, due to the wide disparities in skill level, league orientation (rec vs “big time”), coaching, league size and talent pool.

    Once you “tear down the wall,” it would probably get worse. Though I can’t think of any state tourney that bars leagues by association or rule set. It’s more likely their choice not to participate. I could post some scores of cross-rule-set-games. They generally aren’t very pretty.

    Some organizers have already foregone state tourneys in favor of tournaments for a particular region where the teams are invited by way of their estimated ability.

    In Canada there’s a tendency to hold tournaments of league teams/home teams. I’m not terribly fond of the approach, but if it works for them…

    • Poobah, thanks for the comments. I was thinking more of a tournament that encompassed all teams in a city or county rather than existing teams in leagues…..for instance in the Bay Area players from SF, Sonoma, Peninsula etc on one team, getting away from WFTDA, OSDA, MADE, etc, similar to what Sac City does with their wonderful Red Red charity event. I really think the intermingling of all players will make for better Roller Derby long run….

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