Does it matter who wins?

Not to me, as long as Roller Derby wins.

Shortly I will be on my way to Fresno with my granddaughter Sydney……she has only seen one other Roller Derby game and that was the BAD girls at Craneway in Richmond.

And we will see a number this weekend.  The powerful Oly Rollers (I love watching Atomatrix skate!), my hometown Resurrection Roller Girls, the Stockton team, San Diego, Oklahoma and the teams from the South.

This will be the first USARS I will see, as will all who will watching on Derby News Network.

Am I abandoning WFTDA?  Absolutely not……the 50 or so games I have seen to date have all been WFTDA.  Windy City grabbed me first, then Bay Area; both Denver leagues have been so great to me; Sacramento Leagues are nearby, and on and on.   What bothers me is why the ruleset differences seem to separate Roller Derby people almost as much as race and ethnicity did our culture.

OK, so I complained about slow play and some other things, but I stopped….I realized that I was attacking what the players wanted to do and have every right.  WFTDA will continue to grow in popularity and it is not a monolith; it is made up of people, many of whom I know.  But some skaters want to skate banked track; some want to skate other rulesets and they are all out there.  Have you noticed, water tends to seek its own level.

I guess what I am getting at is that the sport, regardless of the 1400 leagues in the world,  is not at a point where it should try to blow itself up within.  I have said before and will say again, if there are no barriers or sanctions from one league playing another, regardless of ruleset, the mixture of both styles will help and the game can only grow.

I have to say I am honored on behalf of my family that I will be presenting the fabulous Seltzer Cup to the champion team on Sunday – my father would be so happy that his game is still around, bigger than ever.  I want Sydney to feel pride that her great-grandfather started the path rolling for this now worldwide game.

At the last two WFTDA tourneys I was at I met more friends than I ever knew I had……the heart warming story of the lady from Chattanooga who had won the Seltzer award (I didn’t even know about that!) from her league and we bumped into each other at an after party in Atlanta and were literally crying in each other’s arms.  And the Atlanta Roller Girls were such great hosts and went out of their way to greet me and see how I was doing the entire weekend.

I have to put this in the third person:  the Commissioner only cares about the good of the players, the game and the exciting future ahead. He is not the enemy.  I hope you realize he is bringing far more to the sport than he would ever take away from any of you.  And I am working for a company, Brown Paper Tickets, that has been the best support for Derby, and now you can take donations, work fund-raising and a lot more through them…..please check it all out with Bob Noxious, the company representative.

Leo would want you all to be with Brown Paper Tickets.   (OK, Jerry, that is just too damn much!)

Another Derby year gone?

Not quite, you have the USARS championship for the Seltzer Cup coming up December 14th and 15th (on DNN?) in Fresno…..hope if you are nearby you will come……makes no difference what game you play, it is Derby and deserves all of our support.  And Oly will be there in the field.

Image by pawel_231 from

Image by pawel_231 from

I will be watching DNN and during the month and see what is going on around the Bay Area.  And then we have 2013 and the whole process starts again.

Not that it is important, but as a promoter, I ask the following of all of you:

1.  Train as hard and as often as you can. I know the difficulty of just being able to skate with all that is going on in your life, but those who were able to see the Championships in person or on realize what a giant step it is to get to the top twenty, and that is what you should strive for even if it can’t happen.

2.  Make your league more skilled in the game itself.  So many times in games I have watched players seemingly out of position and not prepared to block to help or stop jammers, and when the jammers just fly by it certainly looks like a lack of skill…..hoped you watched the pack play of  the Gotham Girls in the finals.  If you can get the archive tape, do so.

Image by datarec from

Image by datarec from

3.  Avoid injuries at all costs.  Broken legs, huge bruises, damaged coccyx’s are not badges of honor.  Most are avoidable.  Should you wear tights, have a butt pad, whatever?  And the better your skill, the less likely you are to hurt someone else or yourself.  And don’t allow an underskilled player to participate in a game.

4.  Try and figure a way to get more games so that everyone in your league who pays and practices gets a chance to participate in real game action…..whether they are scrimmages, or private, or unsanctioned, everyone is in it to play Roller Derby!  Remember, they even do that in Little League.  It is more important to compete than to win!

Image by johnnyberg from

Image by johnnyberg from

5.  Make each game meaningful…..can you establish a local “conference” of at least six teams so that there is a reason for fans to come back or to get new fans.

There is a lot more, but stop with the preaching already.

Any of the many training camps that are offered will be great for you.  And for god’s skate, come to Rollercon.  There is so much for you besides just hugging the Commissioner.  Ask those who just attended the first one in Australia.

All of the above will help get the game worldwide up to a universal standard of excellence.  Then just watch what happens.

Now in 2013 I am entering a new decade for me that might be terrifying for most people, but I am so excited and you all are largely responsible.