Monday, March 21, 2011

Gem City vs. Killamazoo -- 2011 Home Opener

Last Saturday night I went to Dayton along with Penal Eyes and Stabby McNeedles for the Gem City Rollergirls’ 2011 home opener at the Orbit Fun Center in Huber Heights.  Gem City was hosting the Killamazoo Derby Darlins for the bout.  I took photos for Gem City and Penal Eyes and Stabby were helping with NSO duties.  The venue was packed – standing room only off of the floor.
Gem City vs. Killamazoo-70
A little photo diversion -- This was my first big photo event using radio flash triggers (Pocketwizards) to control off camera flashes.  The new Pocketwizards were very easy to use.  The only watchout I discovered is that flash batteries that would be sufficient for many photos using Nikon’s CLS or on camera were not sufficient for the Pocketwizard Flex to establish a connection with the flash.  Other than that, they were reliable anywhere in the rink and the control of the light groups was simple using the SU-800 on the Pocketwizard Mini on the camera.  Kudos to LPA Design for putting out a fine product!  It took a while to get the Nikon version out, but it was well worth the wait to get it right.

Gem City vs. Killamazoo-80The Killamazoo Derby Darlins were in control of the bout from the start.  Ladyhawk, one of the Darlins, was doing a tremendous job as a jammer.  It seemed she posted a good share of the points for the Darlins.  The photo above is Ladyhawk at full speed and looking to catch the pack.  Click on the photo to see a larger version.  At the half the score was Killamazoo 113 and Gem City 29.

Gem City used several jammers in their rotation.  Some of the skaters taking a turn with the jammer star were Racey Rocker, Rage-L and Supersonic.  The photo at right is of Racey Rocker during one of her jams.  She has been skating with Gem City for a while now and is a solid anchor for their group of jammers.  The photo below shows Supersonic during one of her jams.  Gem City picked up the pace a bit in the second half and Killamazoo started making regular trips to the box that slowed their scoring just a bit.  The final score was Killamazoo 198 and Gem City 71.  Although Gem City was behind from the start, they all stayed focused and gave it their all the whole bout.

Gem City vs. Killamazoo-14

The best blocking photo I took during the bout is this photo showing Dizzy Queen trying to slow down the opposing jammer.

Gem City vs. Killamazoo-36
Gem City’s next home bout is April 16th when the NEO Roller Derby team drives down from Akron.  Check out their website for more information about this and future bouts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Derby Hot Stove League

Although it has been quiet here for quite awhile, there has been a lot going on in the derby world.

We were fortunate to be able to attend the WFTDA nationals (yes, I’m still calling it nationals) last Fall in Chicago. The Windy City Rollers did a great job hosting the event at the UIC Pavilion. We got to see a lot of good derby during the event – with the highlight being the final bout where the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls beat the Oly Rollers by a single point to take the 2010 championship. Can’t ask for anything more exciting than that. It was a fun weekend and we got to connect with friends and make some new ones!

The last few months have been hot stove league derby time for us here in Cincinnati. Now with the increase in popularity of derby, you can find quite a bit of derby news and in depth derby discussions on the web. The Cincinnati Roller Derby Examiner has lots of derby news posts and skater interviews/profiles for Cincinnati local skaters. If you haven’t been there, check it out. A solid derby site that has come of age in the past several months is Roller Derby Inside Track. That site has lots of news, bout previews, and good discussion about the sport in general. For me the most interesting hot stove league post there was that written by Tank discussing minor penalties in derby. It is an interesting post that made a good case against minors and opened the door for some good commentary on whether minor penalties should be removed or not. If you haven’t read the post and the comments, check it out -- some good reading. I hope some leagues do start gathering data as Tank suggested and work toward simplifying the rules without sacrificing safety. Finally, the Roller Derby Diva blog written by Miss Print is always a good spot to check for local info, national news, and derby related tidbits.

While many teams have started their 2011 season, the closest women’s teams to me haven’t had bouts yet – but they will be starting their home seasons soon! (Thank goodness!!). Of course everyone is wondering what the rosters will be for the teams. Who retired? Who moved (the WFTDA version of being traded)? Who are the rookies? All these can have an influence on the teams.

First up are the Gem City Rollergirls that will have their first bout on March 19th against the Killamazoo Derby Darlins. That is followed by the Cincinnati Rollergirls home opener on March 26th when they take on Nashville. The CRG home bout schedule has some historically good teams (Nashville, Windy City, and Detroit) that promises to challenge them and bring some exciting derby action to the Cincinnati Gardens. Finally, the Black-n-Bluegrass Roller Girls have their home season opener on April 16th against Vette City at Midwest Hoops in Florence. Check each of their websites for their full schedules and ticket information.

It’s going to be an exciting Spring filled with roller derby action. Get out and catch some bouts!