A potpourri of items I think you will enjoy, featuring Roller Derby

The rise of roller derby: No longer WWE on wheels, the rapid growth of women’s flat track derby in Greensboro is a microcosm of the sport’s ascension into the mainstream – SBNation.com.

Click above…….I think this article about Greensboro Roller Derby is an absolute knockout; beautiful photos, well structured……a pr dream for Roller Derby and Greensboro

This great video by the London Rollergirls, promoting the upcoming Ft Wayne Regionals, based on the “Wayne’s World” movie.

http://vimeo.com/72420911    (Click on link)

And Ft Wayne responds to the London Roller Girls:  http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fvimeo.com%2F72568661&h=YAQG4kRzP

And we are very proud of Brown Paper Tickets, 5 Northern California Roller Derby leagues working with the Red Cross to get 150 units of blood donated this week….More to come.

Photo: Thanks for donating blood!Photo: Come bleed for RRG and get cool stuff!  The Red Cross will be there from 11 - 5pm today.  Bleed, baby, bleed!!Photo: Look how awesome our own Hope's Fury is - she's giving blood and saving lives! Do it today. Click here for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/571250959583156/Photo: The Secret Cervix usually makes other people bleed on the track, but today she donated her blood! </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated today. We had over 40 people sign-in today to donate and we even had to turn away people due to time and supply constraints. Thanks for such a great day!Photo: Don't forget to register for the blood drive on Friday! We need you! FREE Melo's Pizza! FREE t-shirts! The Undead Bettys Roller Derby team will be on hand for photos, sign your t-shirts, and just have fun! Jerry Seltzer, "The Commish" from Roller Derby will be there too! https://www.facebook.com/events/312570385546783/Photo: The Undead Bettys roller derby team (Antioch) came out to encourage blood donations... They rock!Not only did the Undead Bettys enjoy an exciting victory over the Oakland Outlaws, but non other than Mr. Roller Derby of the Bay Area himself, Jerry Seltzer, was in attendance to promote American Red Cross Blood Drive.Here's a better version (Photoshopped) of the photo from last night at the Undead Bettys bout in Antioch.


(2) Jerry Seltzer.  please click for full Red Cross Blood Drive information in Northern California……Please donate starting August 3rd.   contact http://www.redcrossblood.org,   DERBY to register!

Please make the Red Cross-Brown Paper Tickets -Roller Derby blood drive a huge success for your community…..click above.

After opening, please click on right side to see second page of press release.



There was a there in Fresno

The Convention Center did not have a lot of traffic around the area.  But there was a lot of excitement inside.

I think you all know that I love and support all Roller Derby.   There is much that I like and some that I don’t like, but that is only my personal preference.  When I think of the game of my day, I think of the players (men and women) flying around the track, trying to pass blockers within the 6o (!) second time limit, with usually a jammer from the other team close behind and if they could get 1 or 2 points before cutting it off, that was usual…..Our games were in the high 20’s or low 30s for score, and some  jams had no score at all.  There always had to be at least one jammer at the start of a jam for each team; the player was penalized, not the helmet.  A maximum of 2 players would be in the penalty box at any time; if there were more, they would go to the box as other players came out.

And the jammers started at the rear of the pack, the skating was continuous, there was usually time between the jams for the skaters to change helmets (maximum 8 skaters on a side), and the jam would start when the pivots, blockers, and jammers were all in position, the referee would signal the start…..going backwards and blocking moving backwards were not allowed, as was stopping; the referee would warn, and if not changed immediately, the penalty would be called.

The USARS rules are closer to the original game, although not completely; jams are still 2 minutes which seems ridiculous as jammers catch the pack in about 20 to 25 seconds which of course leads to power jams (I don’t like them, but they are part of a ruleset) where skaters just skate as they are passed lap after lap, to me throwing the game into a scoring imbalance.  but there other aspects that make this ruleset allow fast and furious action:  skating or blocking backwards is a penalty; and the pivot skater takes on a new meaning with the ability to go on a jam after the other teams jammer has left the pack, thus partially solving the no jammer situation.  There were no slowdowns except of the start of the jams from the starting line (yawn) with one whistle……and the interminable official timesout.

If you were in there skating, you skated.  There were basically four levels of ability among the 8 teams.  at more of a starting level:  Birmingham, Deep South, and Underground; intermediate, Tulsa;  at a proficient level, San Diego, Resurrection, Port City; and at world class level, Oly Rollers.  Oly rolled through the preliminary rounds, and you can’t say it was a close game against San Diego in the championship, but there were constant action and great effort with Oly winning 181 to 35.  Many of the jams had skaters from each team out and it made the game exciting.  One thing I saw that I hadn’t seen a lot of, was good sportsmanship in the scoring.  Oly knew they had it won going in to the last two jams, but the player who could have gone on a 30 or 40 point power jam against the tired San Diego team got her grand slam and a few more points and called it off. (my goodness, no piling on!)

This is a game I prefer just based upon the speed and the action.  If all teams could skate like the final four in the WFTDA Championships, then there is no need for the slow down game which is so common now.  Again, I urge you to look at those final games at WFTDA; but very few teams have that kind of skill, and to me, that is sad that the fans don’t get to see what Roller Derby is in my mind.

Champion Oly Rollers with the Seltzer Cup. Photo by D. E. SIGN

Champion Oly Rollers with the Seltzer Cup. Photo by D. E. SIGN

I was honored to have given out the Seltzer Cup to Oly, and the medals to them, San Diego, and my own home team, the Resurrection Roller Girls of Sonoma.  The whole tourney was just a joy and fun to be at.

I can hear the criticisms coming, but remember, I am not part of USARS, WFTDA, MRDA, MADE.  I am a fan of the game that I like to see, which has often been skated at the BAD girls games that I attend.

Enjoy the game you skate; and those of you who over defend or condemn others for changing the “original rules” better stop and think before you say that to me.

I will continue to see and love all Derby that I can…..personally I and most fans want to see an action game which has strategy, but does not just stop in front of us.  I have a feeling more leagues will be learning to skate more rulesets……hey, it is supposed to be a game and fun to skate!

And USARS gave me an official jacket AND an extra ticket for my granddaughter Sydney (Leo’s great-grandaughter) to attend. Yes, the games are archived at DNN.  And Danielle Fairbanks and Fernando and all the volunteers are to be commended for a very professional and friendly event.  And Notown were great hosts!   Can’t wait until next year.

Whither thou goest? fork in the road for Derby

An old joke:  if you see a fork in the road, take it.

I said I would stop criticizing the styles of skating and I will abide by that.  It got my credentials cancelled at a couple of tourneys, but I can live with it.

But so many others have taken up the cause that many interesting things are happening.  And the teams and players are starting to choose the style of skating that they want.

If you have time please ready the latest windyman blog:  www.windymanrd.wordpress.com.  He writes about a well-known skater who just couldn’t deal with the current style of WFTDA game…..hopefully the latest rule change will alleviate some of that.  What’s ironic here, is that Windy man, a great guy, was standing next to me at the WFTDA western regionals when I was asked to leave…..maybe he will join my posse.  I guess now that I am writing columns in Blood and Thunder for January, as well as for Lead Jammer Magazine in the UK, that I could be credentialed, but why?

Photo by phre3a from stock.xchng.com.

The funny thing is my favorite teams are WFTDA:  Silicon Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Resurrection Roller girls – my hometown squad, Sac Rollers and Sacred City.   So I guess it is about the old message, don’t shoot the messenger.  Unfortunately, I am no longer sure about the Bay Area Derby girls after my experiences at the Western Regional.

So what does this all mean?  Your skating life is not that long…..you can stay affiliated with Roller Derby, but you should skate the way you want.  And many are now looking seriously at USARS.  Yes, there are still some points in the rules that need tweaking, but as more and more of you skate it, skaters, coaches and officials will hone it.  And MADE with Coed rules and Renegades with what rules, and USARS Banked track and men’s leagues give a lot of options.  And wait for Donna “the hotflash” Kay, the great innovator to come forth with her Oneworld cooperative.

I know many of you out there are justifiably proud of what has come about in the last 10 years……over 1375 leagues in 41 countries and the dominant (but not the only) ruleset is WFTDA.  If it is what you want and love to skate, stay with it and help it progress.

The awesome trophy!

I find it interesting that the #2 team in the world, the Oly Rollers (and my Resurrection Roller Girls) will be competing in the USARS nationals in Fresno December 14th to 16th, and more players will be watching the tournament (I hope on DNN) and deciding for themselves.

The only downer is that they are not using Brown Paper Tickets because it is a Ticketmaster building, and because of the high service fees they charge, USARS is handling the ticket sales themselves.   Check it out at USARS.com.

However, the championship trophy is the Seltzer Cup, named after the founder of this wonderful sport.  Who says I can’t get no respect?