It may be the off-season, but the Terminal City Rollergirls aren’t sitting around playing with our Christmas presents; we’ve been training hard for some excellent pre-season action. Two of our house teams will head south to take on Rat City Rollergirls’ house teams at Seattle’s impressive Key Arena, and our All-Stars have a February bout at home against Everett, WA’s Jet City Bombers. In the middle of all this excitement is the annual Fresh Meat draft, when the four house teams top up their rosters with new blood. Are you ready for Season 7? We are.
On January 19, the Faster Pussycats face off against Derby Liberation Front. Since their inception, Rat City has been one of the top leagues in the world, and once upon a time (in 2006), brand-new, wobbly TCRG skaters appeared as their half time entertainment. Now the Pussycats are going head-to-head with them at their season opener. “The Pussycats have been scrimmaging, running, burpee-ing, and planking our way through the winter months,” says FPC Assistant Captain Andi Struction. “We’re so excited to be playing this fierce team, in front of thousands of rabid derby fans!” The FPC scrimmaged with DLF en route to Alaska last winter, but this will be their first time at a headliner bout.
Faster Pussycats on the bench. Photo by Bob Ayers
A few weeks later, the Bad Reputations will make the trek to face the Sockit Wenches at Rat City’s Season 9 Bout 2 on February 9. If you want to be one of the 5000 fans at these exhilarating bouts, buy tickets now because Rat City events always sell out.
The first date on the All-Stars’ 2013 schedule is February 9, when they will show hometown fans at Surrey’s Central City Arena why they made the greatest rankings jump in Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s history last season (#23 to #12 in the West Region). This is the All-Stars’ first sanctioned bout of the year, which means it counts toward their divisional ranking, and it’s the first step in their journey toward this year’s playoffs. Jet City, known for their solid players and physical game, finished last season ranked #10 in the West, making this a guaranteed nail-biter. “We lost to them at the Wild West Showdown last year, and are looking forward to another opportunity to play them,” says All-Stars coach Mack the Mouth.
“We’ve set some very ambitious goals for 2013 around the theme ‘Strive for 25’,” says new All-Stars Captain Germaine Koh, formerly known as PLAYER 1. “Shoot for the WFTDA top 25, raise $25,000 to allow us to travel for sanctioned games and divisional playoffs, and improve key fitness markers by 25%.”
Then the All-Stars travel to Wild West Showdown 2013 in Bremerton, WA, March 1-3. There they’ll face Santa Cruz (with whom they are 1-1), Sacramento’s Sac City, and Boise, ID’s Treasure Valley. Tickets for the entire weekend are just $35, and fans can watch heaps of fantastic Northwest derby while supporting the All-Stars. After that, it’s the Big-O tournament in Eugene, OR, May 17-19. And in June, the All-Stars are extremely excited to be hosting the London Rollergirls. This British team shocked the derby world at their Eastern Region playoff debut last year when they upset top Canadian league Montreal Roller Derby, and went on to claim the #4 position. They’re a “strategically smart team,” according to Koh, and a great challenge for the like-minded All-Stars.
All-Stars vs. Vancouver Murder. Photo by Nicolas Charest for Rollergirl.ca
The pre-season games over the next month will be our league’s first bouts under the new WFTDA rules. No more minor penalties? Yes, please! Fans can expect less of the confusing jam-start strategies, such as four blockers taking a knee, and stricter calls on certain penalties such as cutting the track or destroying the pack. Whether you want to master the changes or are new to the game, roller derby rules can be confusing. TCRG All-Star Germaine Koh designed an Intro To Flat-track Roller Derby app, available for free from iTunes. It includes everything from ref signals to rules explanations, and makes a great trackside companion for both skaters and fans.
As always, TCRG’s house team season starts in April. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or sign up for our monthly newsletter (sign up at the top right of this page) to make sure you don’t miss a single moment.
Bout Coordinator Twisty Hurtzmore summed up the August 11th double-header at Minoru Arena perfectly: “You paid for a whole seat, but only used the edge!”
There was a lot on the line in the first bout. With a big enough win, Public Frenemy could topple the undefeated Bad Reputations’ standing, and the lineup for the August 25th Semi-Finals. Both teams brought out the big guns from the get-go: formidable jammers Rumble Stiltskin and Specialist Cally. The Frenemy frontline swallowed lead jammer Stilts back into the pack, and the first of what would be many 0-0 jams was called off quickly. Flamin’ Jane put the first points on the board in the second jam, and Frenemy maintained the lead the entire period. Both rosters featured a return from injury – Bad Reps rookie Skull Kraken, making a strong debut jamming in her first official bout, and Frenemy’s Collide-o-Scope Kid, back to cutting through the pack like a laser. Frenemy looked like the impenetrable Green Machine of last season, with Violent Femme, Alkazar, and Drop Dead Red working defense like a fortress on wheels. The Bad Reps were no slouches, either. Jammer Real Canadian Bacon dazzled the crowd with more than one huge points-grabbing leap, while rookie and newly minted All-Star Eve Hallows proved indispensible in all positions. The solid pack of teal-clad veterans did their best to disrupt the opposition, but the half-time score was 78-42 for Frenemy.
Bad Rep Severin Strychnine lays one on Public Frenemy jammer Flamin' Jane. Photo by Nicolas Charest for Rollergirl.ca.
The Bad Reps took a breather to “re-focus on playing our game and pull together as a team,” said captain Diva la Revolution, and it worked. A trio of strong jams from Diva, Stilts, and Eve closed the gap. The final minutes of the period saw three lead changes, but the Bad Reps packed on the points and came out victorious, with a final score of 135-116.
The headliner bout pitted the Terminal City All-Stars against the Texas Rollergirls’ Hustlers. The TXRG were ranked #3 in all of North America last year, and are credited with starting modern roller derby. With the the All-Stars currently sitting at #12 in the WFTDA's Western Region, it seemed the packed audience was in for a treat.
The game started with a series of tight 0-0 jams, both teams favouring scrum starts and the jammers facing unbreakable four-woman walls of blockers. The Hustlers’ Sadie Mae Care nabbed 5 points in the fourth jam, calling it off after a precision takedown by Sundown. The All-Stars hit their stride, tightening their teamwork to help powerhouse Kim Janna score 20 points. They followed it with another 25 by Evada Perón, with some outstanding defense by Rollergirl. The Hustlers had some incredibly strong skating by Molotov M. Pale, Babe Ruthless, and captain Acute Angel – all of whom are also skaters for TXRG’s WFTDA all-star team, the Texecutioners – but struggled to score against the All-Stars’ powerful defense. In one epic power jam, Janna collected an astounding 35 points with the help of just two blockers, 8Mean Wheeler and PLAYER 1, shattering the previous record (34) held by Sissy Straight-edge. Did P1 swap Janna’s jammer star for a Super Mario invincibility star? Anything seemed possible, the way the All-Stars played this year, and the period ended at 145-16 in their favour.
Miss E. Masculator, Rollergirl and Sundown (L-R in red) wall up to stop the Hustlers' jammer. Photo by Bob Ayers.
But everyone knows not to mess with Texas, and they came back with their long horns lowered. Curvette, who doubles as captain of the Texecutioners, seemed unstoppable in the second half, gaining lead jammer status nearly every time she was on the track. Belle Starr stuck to the home team jammers like glue. Despite some penalty trouble, the All-Stars maintained their tight strategies, and finished strong with a 235-85 win in their last home game of the season.
“I feel very strongly that it wasn’t me who set the record, but rather us as a collective,” Janna later said. “I want the blockers to feel my love.” We’re sure they do.
The next event for TCRG is a big one - League Semi-Finals! Public Frenemy vs. Faster Pussycats and Bad Reps vs. Riot Girls, Saturday Aug. 25, 5pm at Minoru Arena in Richmond. Winners of both games move on to League Championshops on Sept. 8. Tickets are on sale at terminalcitytickets.com or at the door.
Derby, Baby! Special one-time-only screening in Vancouver!
Tuesday, August 21, 7pm
Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway @ Commercial, steps away from the Broadway Skytrain station. www.riotheatre.ca
Tickets | only $10 at the door.
Everyone's been talking about this film - so here's your chance to finally see it. If you've attended a women's roller derby bout in the sport’s post-modern incarnation, you've seen it, maybe even smelled it: the love, the pure addiction that drives tens of thousands of women around the globe to don fishnets and pseudonyms for the privilege of kicking each others' butts. For the first time ever, the story of women’s roller derby is covered from both a national and international perspective, as Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Robin Bond and Dave Wruck take you with them on their international quest to learn why women's flat track roller derby is the fastest growing sport in the world.
Lucky you, Vancouver. You’re smack-dab in the middle of roller derby season, and Minoru Arena is going to be pulsing with excitement at the Terminal City Rollergirls‘ double header on Saturday, August 11th. House team bragging rights and cross-border pride are both on the line, so this event is going to be a must-see for the 2012 season.
In the first game of the night, the Bad Reputations will battle Public Frenemy in the race to league playoffs, and the Terminal City All-Stars welcome modern roller derby foremothers, the Hustlers from Austin's Texas Rollergirls.
Doors will open at 5pm at Minoru Arena in Richmond, BC, and things kick off at 5:45pm. Minoru Arena is conveniently located one block away from Brighouse Skytrain Station on the Canada Line. Tickets for adults are $15 in advance/ $20 at the door, and kids’ tickets are $10. Advance tickets are available online at terminalcitytickets.com or at the Sin Bin Sports Grill (295 W. 2nd Ave in Vancouver).
Want the inside scoop? Check out the bout preview on Vancouver Is Awesome!
Photo by Bob Ayers