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Meet the newest members of the ARG family!

At Tuesday night’s Debutante Brawl, we welcomed the midseason transfers and rookies of the Atlanta Rollergirls, we announced the newest members of our most competitive travel teams, the Rumble B’s and the Dirty South Derby Girls, and then we danced and drank and had a blast. Even if you missed out on the fun, you can still welcome the newest additions to your favorite teams! Our suggestion is to read these names out loud in a booming voice and then start dancing in your chair for a DIY mini-Deb Brawl.

Apocalypstix

Bam Grier 54
Remy Nah 936
Snarls Darwin 66

Denim Demons

Hale Damage 46
Human Missile Crisis 1962

Toxic Shocks

Minnie VanDryver 74
ProtoKILL Droid 30

Sake Tuyas

Saikou 564

Rumble Bs

Evil Olive 808
Luxfurious 718
High Jinxxx 312

DSDG

Maul E. Cule 602

…and if you’re at work and you’re too shy to dance in your chair, just mentally superimpose you and your friends’ heads onto Bey and her backup dancers.

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“Everything came full circle” for one of our newest rollergirls

Did you know we just got a whole new crop of rollergirls? Earlier this month, brand-new rookie Minnie VanDryver skated in her very first bout. Here, she tells us about her journey from fan to skater. 

Four years ago, I was bored of doing the same old thing on the weekends. I googled “fun things to do in Atlanta” and Atlanta Rollergirls roller derby came up. I bought tickets for a group of friends and we had a blast. Then I decided to check it out again. Loved it even more! The next time I went to the website, I noticed information about the Recreational League. I was so excited that I could actually learn how to play! I joined for the next session and couldn’t wait to put on my skates.

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Her first bout as a fan…

I was star stuck when I found out the actual rollergirls were our coaches. All of the coaches were patient, informative and made sure they taught us how to be safe. I met a TON of awesome people in Rec League. I was excited to meet people from all walks of life. I was becoming more fit and less stressed out from everyday life. After about a year; I heard about fresh meat try-outs and knew I wanted to go for it. A group of us from Rec League tried out and made it in together.

Fresh meat was challenging, intense and AWESOME. Our fresh meat class bonded even more, pushing each other to do better. We worked hard to be able to get to the level where we could scrimmage with the teams. It was so exciting to get to play in a real life derby jam. Initially the rollergirls knew to take it a little easier with us. They gave us tips and advice on how improve our skills. I earned a few bruises but my adrenaline was pumping so hard I didn’t feel anything. Through a series of assessments (some I did not pass the first time), I became draft eligible, which was a huge goal of mine.

...and her first bout as a rollergirl! Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

…and her first bout as a rollergirl!
Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

Even though I didn’t have to wait long to hear I was drafted, the wait seemed to take forever… The day we found out what teams we were drafted to was amazing. I was drafted to the Toxic Shocks which was the very first team I ever saw play. Everything came full circle: from fan to rollergirl! I am so happy to be part of a wonderful organization full of truly talented people. I hope that anyone who has ever thought “I wish I could do that”, would! There are so many levels of training for whatever you are trying to get out of it. Some ladies show up not ever having put on skates and within no time they are blocking, stopping on a dime and getting healthier! The time to join is NOW!

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June Bout Recaps

Bout 1: Atlanta Jukes of Hazzard vs. Muscogee Roller Girls

This rematch on the Jukes of Hazzard’s home turf was everything Atlanta roller derby fans could have wished for – a competitive bout that ended in a solid victory for Atlanta. The Jukes jammers won nearly all the early lead calls, but solid Muscogee defense kept the scores per jam low and the bout remained extremely close for most of the first half. Ten jams into the game the score was just 16-12. Then a series of Atlanta jammer penalties about midway through the first half turned the tables in Muscogee’s favor. Fortunately for Atlanta fans, Jukes defense—marked by effective recycling and solid, slow walls—kept Muscogee from converting back-to-back power jams into big scores. Muscogee took the lead, but only by a slim margin. Then near the end of the half an Atlanta Rookie, Marzipain, scored a whopping 25 points in a single jam, giving the Jukes the first substantial lead of the game. By the end of the half, the Jukes led 93-55. The second half began much like the first, with Atlanta dominating the lead jam calls and both teams trading low-scoring jams. Although the back and forth made for an exciting game, it nevertheless allowed Atlanta to maintain a comfortable advantage. About 20 minutes into the second half, the Jukes put up a quick unanswered 30 points, cementing their victory.  The final score was Atlanta 195, Muscogee 128.

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Tagher Lily sneaks by on the inside line. Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

MVP blockers were Emma Wantsome for the Jukes of Hazzard and Dodgeher for Muscogee; MVP jammers were Marzipain for the Jukes and Jett Fuel for Muscogee.


 

Bout 2: Apocalypstix vs. Toxic Shocks

In this much-anticipated first match up between the Toxic Shocks and the Apocalypstix, the Stix jumped into an early and decisive lead. Although the Shocks gained their share of lead jam calls with all-star jammer Afro Dykee, strong Stix defense, anchored by all-stars Queen Loseyateefa and Madditude Adjustment, held Shocks scoring to a minimum. The Stix outscored the Shocks nearly 3-1 in the first nine jams. A nine-point point jam by pinch-hitter Lez Dispenser introduced a brief rally by the Shocks, but then a series of Shocks jammer and blocker penalties soon passed the advantage decidedly back to the Stix. Capitalizing on a series of power jams, the Stix finished the half 125-57. The Shocks came back strong in the second period, with their all-stars Baller Shotcaller, Rebel Yellow and Ozzie Kamikaze putting up a powerful defense and holding the Stix back to mainly single-scoring passes, while Shocks jammers matched the Stix point-for-point. The Stix soon gave back their own share of consecutive power jams and blocker penalties, but the Shocks were unable to convert the opportunity into the big scoring runs they needed. Both teams scored exactly 81 points in the second half, but it was not enough to address the early advantage gained by the Stix. The final score was Stix 206, Shocks 138.

Face off! Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

Face off!
Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

MVP blockers were Protokill Droid for the Toxic Shocks and The Ruffian for the Apocalypstix; MVP jammers were Afro Dykee for the Shocks and Trouble MakeHer for the Stix.

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Don’t miss out on Saturday’s ferocious rematch and home team showdown!

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Bout 1: Atlanta Rollergirls Jukes of Hazzard vs. Muscogee Rollergirls @ 5pm

Atlanta fans, rev your engines, because the Jukes of Hazzard are here to bring the noise. On Saturday they are facing Muscogee County’s premier roller derby team, the Muscogee Rollergirls, from Columbus, GA.

Although this is the Jukes of Hazzard’s first home game this season, the Jukes have actually already seen the Muscogee Rollergirls this year in April when they travelled to Columbus to face MRG on their home track. The Jukes lost by a near six points, and have been training since. Needless to say, the loss did not dampen their spirits, but instead lit a fire, and now they are ready to take MRG on as an opponent on Atlanta’s home turf.

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Bout 2: Apocalypstix vs Toxic Shocks @ 7:30pm

What a match! The Apocalypstix and Toxic Shocks will be facing off for the first time this season with one win and one loss each under their belts. Neither wants to be defeated for a second time, and both will stop at nothing to achieve the win that will put them that much closer to the Atlanta Rollergirls‘ Championships.

Last season, we saw the Shocks go undefeated until an upsetting 20 point winning last jam by the Denim Demons in the ARG Champs, while the Stix lost all but a single game. Since the re-draft, it looks like these teams are on a more even playing field, and the Apocalypstix may even have advantage considering they have achieved a better point spread than the Shocks against both of the other Atlanta home teams this season. But, especially seeing as how both of these teams have seen roster loss due to player injury, today could be anyone’s game.

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Don’t have tickets? Don’t worry, you still have a chance to catch the action! Tickets are available online or in person at Powerhouse Skates. Family packs and VIP upgrades are available, too!

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It takes a derby league: derby and pregnancy

My journey in roller derby is similar to many others. Through the seven years that I played, I challenged myself in ways that I never would have imagined. Physically, I pushed myself through grueling practices, back-to-back games, and recovery from major injuries. Emotionally, I grew tremendously; I learned how to take success and defeat gracefully. Professionally, I began to understand how to be a leader of fierce, independent women. Roller derby changed my life. It gave me the confidence to know that I could achieve anything I wanted.

I took this confidence into the next stage of my life: motherhood. In the fall and winter of 2013, I embarked on the adventure of becoming a mother. The majority of 2014 I spent pregnant; coaching and NSO’ing, not having any idea what I had gotten myself into.

Eight months in! Photo: Shannihilator

Eight months in!
Photo: Shannihilator

Although I was confident in my ability to succeed l on my own, it became readily apparent to the mothers in the league that I needed help when I posted my minimalist baby shower registry: a car seat, a pack-n-play and some diapers. After all, I could just get what I needed once the baby arrived, right? A Boppy Pillow? Sounds frivolous; I don’t need one. The self-proclaimed “ARG Mom Army” stepped in to advise. They set me straight: You need a Boppy Pillow. Really.

Baby shower onesies. Derby girls are great with puns! Photo: Shannihilator

Baby shower onesies. Derby girls are great with puns!
Photo: Shannihilator

The support wasn’t limited to other mothers; there are plenty of others who offered their advice, their time, and their professions. (Did you know that ARG has a therapist, a nurse, and a lactation consultant?) I remember sitting at my kitchen table after the last guest left from the baby shower. I was overwhelmed with love. All these people had come together to celebrate me and the life I was bring into this world. Everything was going to be ok.

For someone as headstrong as myself, it was both humbling and a relief to have people around to back me up. My league-mates knew me well enough to know that I wouldn’t ask for help, and I wouldn’t want help, but I would gratefully accept it. Plus, just try keeping a cute baby away from Queen Loseyateefa!

Queen, Fro, and Oliver. Photo: Violent Beauregarde

Fro, baby Oliver, and Queen.
Photo: Violent Beauregarde

I’m forever thankful that my journey in roller derby is supplementing my journey into motherhood. It takes a village. Or a derby league.

The ladies can't resist this cutie. That's why everyone calls him Oliver Clothesoff. Photo: Shannihilator

The ladies can’t resist this cutie. That’s why his derby name is Oliver Clothesoff.
Photo: Shannihilator

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The season (so far) in pictures

It’s already May! That means our season is halfway over. If you didn’t get a chance to make it to all of our home bouts, you missed out on lots of good stuff. Here are some of our favorite pictures (and one infamous video) from the first half of our season.

Wild Cherri's amazing apex jump, from the Shocks vs. Demons season opener. Photo: O-Jen Ishii

Wild Cherri’s amazing apex jump, from February’s Shocks vs. Demons season opener.
Photo: O-Jen Ishii

Coach Rollermonkey's killer outfit at the Sakes vs. Stix season opener. Photo: O-Jen Ishii

Don’t like Coach Rollermonkey’s shiny, shiny outfit? You’re outta here!
Photo: O-Jen Ishii

DSDG rolling out from their bout against Jacksonville in April. Photo: O-Jen Ishii

DSDG rolling out from their bout against Jacksonville in March.
Photo: O-Jen Ishii

The world-famous Souljourner Roll (AKA the Rolljourner) from April's Sakes vs. Shocks bout.
Video: Kevin Borke

High Jinxxx takes a jersey whip in April's Demons vs Stix bout. Photo: O-Jen Ishii

High Jinxxx takes a jersey whip in April’s Demons vs. Stix bout.
Photo: O-Jen Ishii

Fun times at the Inman Park Parade. Photo: Kevin Borke

Fun times at the Inman Park Parade.
Photo: Kevin Borke

In May, we hosted our very first tournament, Tiny Tourney. Here's a jammer is running for her life in the Tampa vs. Angel City bout. Photo: Tim Stoklas

In May, we hosted our very first tournament, Tiny Tourney. Here’s a jammer is running for her life in the Tampa vs. Angel City bout.
Photo: Tim Stoklas

Whoa... Photo: TIm Stoklas

Whoa…
Photo: TIm Stoklas

...whoa!!! Photo: Tim Stoklas

…whoa!!!
Photo: Tim Stoklas

WHOA!!! Photos: TIm Stoklas

WHOA!!!
Photos: TIm Stoklas

Happy DSDG pack at May's Atlanta vs. Angel City bout. Photo: Tim Stoklas

Happy DSDG pack at May’s Atlanta vs. Angel City bout.
Photo: Tim Stoklas

We hope you’ll come watch us finish our season strong!

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May 9, Bout 2

This much anticipated game between Atlanta’s all-star Dirty South Derby Girls and the AngelCity Hollywood Scarlets, both highly ranked teams known for slow, strong
defensive walls, lived up to expectations. In a close first half, it was a battle of defenses to see who could shut down the opposing team’s jammer the longest, with many of the points scored in power jams. Atlanta’s jammers struggled from the start to break through walls anchored by Angel City’s Soledad and Laci Knight, which led to two early star passes and a 36-7 lead for the Scarlets. A power jam for Trouble MakeHer put DSDG back within reach of the lead at 36-22and the score remained close for much of the first half, ending with Angel City72-Atlanta 51. In the second half DSDG had their work cut out for them holding back Angel City jammers who proved to have an uncanny ability to sneak through on the inside line. In spite of some extraordinary defensive plays by Queen Loseyateefa, Switchblade Siouxsie, Baller Shot Caller and Wild Cherri—including a takeout hit by Wild Cherri that sent the jammer helmet cover flying off Darby Dagger’s head—and some great pinch-hit jamming by Slams McKenzie and BallerShot Caller, Angel City gradually extended their lead. Atlanta kept up the fight, with Choke Cherry putting up a big 10-point jam about 20 minutes into the half and DSDG blockers slowing the Angel City scoring to a trickle for a series of jams. But Angel soon pulled out to an insurmountable hundred-pointlead, 176-76. Proving that it’s not over until the final whistle, the final jam– which featured Atlanta’sBaller winning lead jammer, a failed star pass byAngel City, and jammer penalties on both teams, had all the fans on their feet. The final score was 179-96.

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May 9, Bout 1

The bout started out close, as the Atlanta Rumble Bs, favored for the win, inched out into a small, early lead. While Atlanta jammers dominated the first four jams, Second Wind’s jammers repeatedly escaped Bs defenses just in time to force early call offs and kept the score low. An early Atlanta jammer penalty put Second Wind in the lead for a brief moment a few minutes into the game, but then a couple of back-to-back penalties by Second Wind’s jammer gave the Bs an opening. With handy offense by Bs blockers, Atlanta’s jammers collected an easy 20+ points and put the Bs in a 52-10 lead.
While the Bs also had their fair share of jammer and blocker penalties in the first half, the Atlanta defense prevented Second Wind from turning advantage into points. In the second quarter of the game,Second Wind jammers were visibly tired and the Bs began outscoring them by more than 2 to 1, ending the half at 118-39. Second Wind came out stronger after halftime and looked likethey might stop Atlanta from running away with the game. Windy’s strongest blockers put up a formidable defense, working Bs jammers to the line and refusing to be pushed out of play, but in most jams Atlanta’s defense proved just that much stronger, allowing Atlanta jammers to escape and gain lead time after time. A series of Atlanta jammer and blocker penalties might have allowed Second Wind an opportunity to close the scoring gap, but Bs defenses shut down their power jams, as the last line of Bs defense repeatedly pulled Windy’s jammers back into the pack. The final score was 276-113.

MVP blockers were Beshemoth for Second Wind and Desi Scarnaz for the Rumble Bs; MVP jammers were Yom Kapow for Second Wind and Souljourner for the Rumble Bs.

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Introducing fantasy derby: play along from the stands!

Are you a fan?  A casual fan?  A die-hard fan?  Were you at our bouts this past weekend?  Did you get a chance to play fantasy derby?

Wait… what?  Fantasy derby?  Like fantasy football?

As part of the never-ending challenge to please our audience, from first-timers to life-timers, plus the family and friends that always show up to cheer on their loved ones, we added a fantasy derby game to the bout.  It’s a very simple concept – draft two blockers and a jammer from either of the teams that are playing.  You get points based on jammer points and lose points for blocker penalty trips.  The hope is that this helps our fans learn the game a little better and learn a little more about their favorite players.  It’s supposed to be very informal: just play with your group of friends or the people sitting around you.  It’s up to your group to determine draft order and any wagers you’d like to make.

5 points! Photo: Tim Stoklas

5 points!
Photo: Tim Stoklas

We’re going to do another trial run in June, with some good suggestions for improvements.  Most definitely we’ll be adding points for knock-down hits: 5 points for each soul crushing hit by Queen that leaves the opposing jammer wishing she had taken up knitting instead.  Or, more simply, 5 points when an opposing player gets knocked down.  There will also be the ability to trade players out in case you realize you could have made a better choice.

But what else would you, the fan, like to see?  What would be included in your ideal fantasy derby game? Let us know in the comments!

UPDATE 6/1/2015:
The rules for June are ready!

How to Play:

  • Draft 1 jammer and 2 blockers – mix and match from either team
  • Choose an Event
    • Successful apex jump
    • Ref takeout
    • Official timeout
    • Lead change
    • Four or more players in the penalty box
  • OPTIONAL: At halftime, you can trade in one player for someone who’s not yet drafted. You keep the points from the first half for the original player; your new player earns you points in the second half.

How to Score:

Jammers

  • Each point your jammer earns, you earn a point.
  • You lose 5 points for each trip to the penalty box.

Blockers

  • You get 5 points each time your blocker knocks an opposing player down.
  • You lose 5 points for each trip to the penalty box.
  • You get 10 points if your blocker takes a star pass, plus any points she earns as a jammer.

Events

  • 5 points each time your ‘event’ occurs
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This Saturday: Atlanta Rollergirls vs. the World!

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Bout 1: Rumble Bs vs Windy City Rollers’ Second Wind

The undefeated Rumble Bs are back to face a new challenger. In their last game, the Rumble Bs overpowered Jacksonville’s River City Rat Pack by 200 points. Today, the Rumble Bs will defend their undefeated title against Windy City Rollers’ Second Wind from Chicago.

The Rumble Bs have introduced some new strategies this season. We’ve seen more mobile defensive walls that take advantage of individual blocking skills and a quick swarm of offense that gives Bs jammers a few extra seconds to whip out of the pack. These new strategies have worked well in combination with the strong and steady wall work they’ve had in past seasons and have resulted in the Rumble Bs becoming even more of a dominating force to be reckoned with.

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Photography: Clay Walker

Bout 2: DSDG vs Angel City Derby Girls’ Hollywood Scarlets

Atlanta’s all-star Dirty South Derby Girls, ranked 13th in the world, are back on their home turf to face off against the 9th ranked team in the world, Angel City Derby Girls’ Hollywood Scarlets from Los Angeles, CA. DSDG has played one game at home so far this season, and it was a close loss by just 3 points to Jacksonville, FL’s New Jax City Rollers. The rest of the season DSDG has been on the road, competing against some of the top teams in the world.

On their quest to qualify to compete in WFTDA’s International Championships, DSDG has introduced a new offensive element to their strategy this season that we haven’t seen in past years. This more aggressive strategy has complimented their slow, powerful defensive walls and may be just what DSDG needs to make it to champs. Stand up and cheer, Atlanta fans, you’re about to see some of the best rollergirls in the world compete.

Photography: Clay Walker

Photography: Clay Walker

Don’t have tickets? Don’t worry, you still have a chance to catch the action! Tickets are available online or in person at Powerhouse Skates. Be sure to get them before they sell out!

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