The Terminal City Rollergirls are about to make BC roller derby history once again! This time, it’s with their 1st Annual Summer Slam tournament on August 24 & 25. This year’s theme will be The Lord of the Rinks, and teams from the mountains of Mordor to the realms of Rivendell will battle it out on the flat track at Minoru Arena in Richmond, BC in one action-packed weekend of derby awesomeness.
Why is this tournament different from other roller derby tournaments? Well, because it’s a house team tournament! Along with all-star travel teams, most city roller derby leagues have house teams who all play each other for the local league championship every year. For instance, the Terminal City Rollergirls house teams are The Bad Reputations, the Faster Pussycats, Public Frenemy and the Riot Girls.
Tournament Director and house team player Pam “Tiki Timebomb” Berg says this event will be ground-breaking for amateur BC roller derby: “House team skaters typically only play at our home venues, but we like travel just as much as everyone else! We all benefit from playing outside our own leagues, because we'll be pushed and challenged in different ways than we're used to.”
Fourteen house teams from the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Kelowna, Penticton, Bellingham, Wenatchee (WA), Portland, the Yukon and, of course, the four TCRG house teams will be competing on two tracks at Minoru Arena. Along with the scheduled bouts, there is a Vancouver Junior Roller Derby demo bout, a skating skills competition and a drop-in scrimmage for any experienced player who wants to join. “Fans can look forward to more roller derby in one place than the Lower Mainland - or British Columbia for that matter - has ever seen,” says Berg. “It's the ideal event for both the casual derby fan, who wants to pay a standard admission and catch a couple of games at a time that works with their schedule, or for the derby nerd who wants to watch as much derby as humanly possible over the entire weekend.”
Doors open at 9am at Minoru Arena in Richmond on Saturday and Sunday, and the arena is just a block from Brighouse SkyTrain Station on the Canada Line. Spectator tickets are available online or at the doors: Single-day passes for Saturday or Sunday are $15 and full weekend passes are $25. Tickets are online at terminalcitytickets.com, and the full tournament schedule is at terminalcityrollergirls.com/SS_Schedule.
If that wasn’t enough roller derby for Vancouver fans, the TCRG house teams will be competing only two weeks later at their League Championships on Saturday, September 7. The Faster Pussycats and Public Frenemy will battle for 3rd place, and The Bad Reputations and the Riot Girls will go head to head for the Mercury Shield in this classic TCRG match-up. Info and tickets for that event can be found at terminalcitytickets.com.
Terminal City Rollergirls’ seventh season - the most exciting in the league’s history - is building to an epic finish, starting with a scorcher of a semi-final double-header on August 10 at Minoru Arena in Richmond.
The first bout of the night is bound to be the most talked about game of the season. Public Frenemy and The Bad Reputations go head-to-head in a match that will decide who goes to the championship game in September, and who has to settle for the third place playoff. Frenemy’s strategic teamwork helped them take the win when these two teams last met, but the Bad Reps’ physicality and speedy jammers gave them a run for their money, so it’s anyone’s guess who will leave the rink victorious.
The second game of the night sees the two-time league champion Faster Pussycats take on the grit and determination of the Riot Girls. The Riot Girls worked hard and pulled off an unexpected win at their last clash with the Pussycats, so the ‘Cats have a score to settle and a trophy to defend when they face these old foes on the track. Will the Riot Girls be strong enough to take out the Pussycats once again? Or will the reigning champs return with a vengeance?
With all four teams accumulating wins and losses over the season, this year’s semi-finals are sure to keep fans on the edges of their seats. It’s a die-hard roller derby fan’s dream – even match-ups across the board. If fans are looking refreshment during the bouts, they can relax with a cold one in the 19+ beer garden, or satisfy their hunger with a famous Dougie Dog. Enthusiastic competitors will be required for a fan tricycle race at halftime, where some sweet TCRG prizes will be won.
Doors open at 5pm at Minoru Arena in Richmond (just a block from Brighouse SkyTrain Station on the Canada Line) and the action starts at 6pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door for adults, kids 6-12 yrs are $10, and kids 5 and under free! Advance tickets are online at terminalcitytickets.com.
By Tiki TimeBomb
Jammer Luludemon speeds out of the pack. photo by Bob Ayers
Minoru Arena was packed like never before on June 1, with excited fans eager to watch Western Canada’s first ever inter-continental roller derby bout. The London Rollergirls’ London Brawling crossed the pond to take on the Terminal City All-Stars in the first bout of their North American Tour, and there was barely standing room in the building. The 43rd-ranked All-Stars were fresh off two solid wins and a pair of close losses at The Big O tournament in Eugene, OR, and in top fighting form. London is currently ranked 23rd in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), and most of the 2011 Team England World Cup roster hailed from that team.
London raised the bar right from the first whistle, drawing two consecutive penalties on the red jammers and racking up 40 power jam points by vice-captain Kamikaze Kitten and the seemingly unstoppable Rogue Runner. Despite the quick-footed agility of jammers Evada Peron and Bobbi Barbarich, London shut the All-Stars out until the 9th jam, when ironically it was Englander expat Luludemon who put the first home points on the board, 4 to London’s 69. The All-Stars’ combined strategies of active offense and quick star passes couldn’t quite break down the intense recycling walls of London blockers like Shaolynn Scarlett and Raw Heidi. The visitors’ sharply executed bridging repeatedly forced the Vancouver jammers too far behind the pack to receive offensive help. All-Star Scarlett Bloodbath gave some great assists that led to another handful of points, but the spread continued to grow. The first period ended on a positive note for home fans when All-Star Evada grabbed a quick 4 points, leaving the score at an incredible 133-13 for London.
Solid wall of TCRG All-Stars guard the inside line from London Jammer. photo by Bob Ayers
The All-Stars came back with significantly tighter defense, and London barely squeezed points out of the first jams of the second period. Blockers Kim Mackenzie, Lisa Suggit and Buffy Sainte Fury stuck to the visiting jammers like glue. In an explosion of energy felt through the entire building, Barbarich packed on an impressive 9 points while her pack held the London jammer back. Luludemon built on the momentum with another 10 points and some exceptional pack work by Jaime Edgar and Jocelyn Ingram, bringing the score up to 148-32. But the All-Stars ran into more penalty trouble, and the London jammers were able to make quick work of the few red blockers on the track. Another power jam by Kamikaze added 23 points for London, and it felt like London was gaining steam until All-Star Kim Janna capitalized on a rare London jammer penalty. The All-Stars’ jammers took the lead the next three jams in a row, and London started suffering blocker penalties. The final five minutes of the game saw some of the All-Stars best ever team work on home turf, with tight plays that allowed them to pack on a few last points with another three lead jams in a row. To the viewers’ delight, the final jam saw reputable jamming powerhouses Kim Janna and Kamikaze Kitten square off.
London Brawling walked away with the win at 202-69, but the All-Stars definitely showed their tenacious versatility in the face of some incredibly talented opponents. London plays a tight, clean game, and have already gone on to further wow the derby world with a 270-75 win over the 30th-ranked Jet City Bombers (Everett, WA) on Monday June 3, and a shockingly close 198-150 loss against the 12th-ranked Rose City Rollers’ (Portland, OR) Wheels of Justice on Wednesday June 5.