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DSDG on the road: The Big O Tournament

This weekend, the Dirty South Derby Girls are on the road. They’re headed to the Big O Tournament in Eugene, Oregon, hosted by the Emerald City Roller Girls. It’s a three-day derby extravaganza, with teams from WFTDA, MRDA, and junior leagues flying in from around the country (and the world!) to duke it out. Read on to find out who Atlanta will be playing, how they’ve been preparing, and how you can keep up with the action from the comfort of your living room.

DSDG in action.  Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

DSDG in action.
Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

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Derby 101: Fouling Out

Are you new to derby or just looking to brush up on your rulebook skills? Wayne Mooney is your man! This week, he’ll explain what happens to rollergirls who commit too many penalties.

The best way to understand fouling out is to picture the rollergirl as a loose-cannon cop from an eighties action movie and the head referee as her blustering police chief. “Darn it, girl!” the head ref exclaims, forehead vein bulging. “You’ve been throwing elbows left and right! Do you have any idea how much it costs to buy enough stop watches to time all your penalties? You’ve got to play by the rules!” The rollergirl leans back in her chair and props her feet up on the ref’s desk. “I do what I have to do to get my team lead jammer, chief. Sometimes that means rules have to be broken.” The ref starts shouting, spittle flying from his mouth. “That’s it! You’ve got to learn that your actions have consequences! Turn in your helmet and your skates!”

Photography: Chris Albright

Refs (bulging forehead veins not pictured).
Photography: Chris Albright

But the rollergirl doesn’t literally take off her helmet or skates. Instead she goes to the locker room until the game ends, and she never gets to solve the big case or get a commendation from the mayor, but that’s the difference between real life and the movies, I guess. On the other hand, the rollergirl has the advantage of knowing exactly how many times she can get in trouble before the ref will flip his top: seven times. When a skater reaches seven trips to the box, she has fouled out and will be removed from the game. She doesn’t even get to stick around long enough to serve time in the box for her last penalty. Someone still has to serve that time, though, so when the jam ends her team send one of their own to the box to do so (which does not count toward that skater’s seven penalties), and as soon as the thirty seconds are up she’ll get on the track and avenge her fallen comrade.

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April 18, Bout 2

Though the Shocks came into this game short a couple of their strongest players, Captain Baller Shot Caller and jammer Nora Gretz, the first half proved that the Shocks were in it to win it. A highlight of the night was an opportunity to see the Shocks’ string of “guest star” jammers, including all-star blockers Ozzie Kamakazi, Lez Dispenser, and Rebel Yellow, and a guest ringer from the Stix, High Jinxx. The Sakes put up an early lead, but the scores per jam and the Sakes’ lead remained small, as each team exchanged a series of mostly low-scoring jams. Then late in the first half, Shocks blocker penalties introduced a break for the Sakes. Facing short packs of just 1 or 2 Shocks blockers, the Sakes jammers put up a quick 22 points to the Shocks’ 6, extending the Sakes lead to 88-60 at the half. In the second period, both teams struggled with penalties, including a failed apex jump by The Boss that led refs to pull her from the game. But the Sakes’ ability to shut down Shocks’ power jams and keep all-star jammer Afro Dykee in check allowed Sakes jammers to collect the points and gradually pull away. The final score was 219-157.

MVP blockers were Luxfurious for the Sake Tuyas and Ozzie Kamakazi for the Toxic Shocks; MVP Jammers were Hate Ashbury for Sake Tuyas and Lez Dispenser for the Toxic Shocks.

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April 18, Bout 1

With both teams missing key players, the outcome of this game was a tough one to predict and it started off very close. Though the Stix jammers got a higher proportion of lead jam calls, gaining lead in six of the first seven jams, strong blocking from the Demons prevented the Stix from turning their advantage into points. Through the first seven jams, the Demon defense held the Stix lead to just 12-6. Then Demons Jammer Jean Juke Picard put the Demons back in the lead with a 9-point jam. Soon after, however, Demons began rack up blocker and jammer penalties. Short packs and power jams gave the Stix an opportunity to jump out to 59-15 lead. Demons jammers Amsterdam and Choke Cherry turned a couple of Stix jammer penalties into a quick 29 points for the Demons, but the margin continued to slowly widen in favor of the Stix. At the half Stix led 102-54. In the second half, fierce blocking by Madditude Adjustment and Queen Loseyateefa coupled with Demons jammer penalties kept the Demons from making a comeback. The Stix outscored the Demons by more than 3 to 1 in the second half, ending the game at 230 – 85.

MVP blockers were Queen Loseyateefa for the Apocalypstix and Nattie Long Legs for the Demons; MVP jammers were High Jinxx for the Apocalypstix and Nutella Ferraro for the Demim Demons.

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All bets are off for Saturday’s home team doubleheader!

Bout 1: Apocalypstix vs Denim Demons

The winter ice has melted, and home team action is heating up! The Apocalypstix and Denim Demons face off in a battle for redemption. Both of these teams lost their previous games and will stop at nothing to take this game back to headquarters as the first win of the season.

Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

Now that Atlanta’s home teams have been re-drafted, all bets are off — this is the first time these new teams have played each other, and one can only guess the outcome based on individual player strengths… for now. Apocalypstix jammer, Trouble MakeHer, will be up to her old tricks – sneaking around outside edges and powering through Demon walls. Though, Demons blocker, Helga G. Pa-SMACK-i may have something to say about that – she sticks to jammers better than the velcro holding up their elbow pads. Which team will you root for — Do you stand with those stylishly vicious ladies ushering in the apocalypse? Or would you rather see the apocalypse be overran by denim wearing demons? Choose wisely.

Bout 2: Sake Tuyas vs Toxic Shocks

This game could mean the beginning of an undefeated season for one of these teams. Who will come out on top? The Sake Tuyas have formidable blockers like Desi Scarnaz and Rudy Huxtabrawl, but the Toxic Shocks feature speed demon jammers like Nora Gretz and Afro Dykee. Something has got to give, and these skaters are about the lay it all out on the track in a battle to the finish.

Photo: O-Jen Ishii Photography

Again, since Atlanta’s home teams have been re-drafted, this game will be the first time these new teams will play each other — prior match ups from previous seasons will hold no stock in this battle for control of the Atlanta home team territory. Will the Sakes ninja their way to the top? Or will the Shocks drop the bomb on the competition? If you’re joining us late, welcome to the Atlanta Rollergirls 2015 season: New Teams. New Rivalries. New Champions.

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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“Looking like a fool”: Our Embarrassing Derby Stories

Every rollergirl has stories about moments of personal strength, determination, and triumph… And then there are stories about looking dumb as hell. In honor of last week’s April Fool’s Day, we humbly present the following embarrassing stories.

Rebel Yellow:

I was just a rookie when I transferred to ARG from Charm City in Baltimore. I was a little shaky because I’d taken a month off to move – but I was determined to make a good impression. I was super stoked when I made a jammer takeout in my first scrimmage, until I heard everyone go OOOOOH. I looked down, and realized I’d just put my own jammer on the floor. Luckily, Bat is very forgiving!

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Atlanta Men’s Roller Derby: First Practice Nerves

New things are always intimidating, but new things on wheels are even scarier! The Gooch, a skater for Atlanta Men’s Roller Derby, talks about summoning the courage to attend his very first practice.

gents

There was a lump in my stomach and I felt like it was the first day of school. I was not really sure what I was walking into. Over the years I have seen a bit of roller derby. I used to watch it on tv as a kid growing up in D.C. back when the T-Birds and the New York Bombers were circling the bank track. Now the game has moved on to the flat track and I was pushing 40. It was my girlfriend, a skater for the Atlanta Rollergirls, that rekindled my interest in derby but only as a spectator. Now here I was, getting ready to walk into my first Atlanta Men’s Roller Derby practice. (more…)

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Cheap Skate: Jumbo Shrimp’s Derby Crafts

Some things just go together: peanut butter and jelly, hot days and cold beers, jammers and apex jumps… For Jumbo Shrimp, derby and crafting are such a pair. We asked her a few questions about her practical pastime (and, of course, we got her to show off some of her favorite creations).

Q: How’d you get started crafting? How’d you get started with derby crafts in particular?

I learned to sew in middle school with help from my creative mom. I had pretty weird fashion sense (think Kate Pierson of The B-52’s) in high school, so I made clothes or refashioned many of my questionable thrift store finds. One of my favorites was a skirt I completely covered in multicolored silk flowers. From there I’ve learned to make random things not only as a creative outlet, but also because I hate paying for anything I can make myself. When I started skating, I found a whole new source of inspiration! Especially when it came to making things to teach my toddler daughter about derby.

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March 21, Bout 2

The headline bout between the closely-ranked Atlanta and Jacksonville all-stars lived up to everyone’s high expectations, delivering a real nail-biter, with multiple lead changes and the win up for grabs until the final whistle of the very last jam. As expected, the game turned into a battle pitting DSDG’s legendary defensive blocking against Jacksonville’s deep pool of jammer talent and smart offensive play. Atlanta’s defense delivered, anchored by great teamwork, and fortified by stand-out performances by Switchblade Siouxsie and Madditude Adjustment and a strong showing by rookie Axtual Malice. While New Jax speed-skater/jammer Erin Jackson lived up to her reputation, slipping through walls and covering half the track with three or four impossibly strong strides, Atlanta’s all-stars held her relatively in check and score remained low on both sides. Twenty minutes into the second half, the score was just 43-56 with Jacksonville holding on to a narrow lead. Stand-out jamming by Atlanta rookie Afro Dykee, who alternately juked and powered through Jacksonville defense, supported by the aggressive, blocker-style jamming of Wild Cherri, kept DSDG in the game. A power jam and a series of scoreless jams for Jacksonville allowed Atlanta to whittle away at the New Jax lead, ending the half trailing by just 3 points at 83-80.

Atlanta quickly turned the tables in the second half, putting up a quick 15 points in the first two jams to take a lead of 95-83. Atlanta held onto the lead for much of the second half, but momentum shifted about 10 minutes later with a power jam in New Jax’s favor. Jacksonville then held Atlanta scoreless for a series of jams, taking the lead and extending it to 144-126. Penalties piled up for both teams and there were multiple jams with both teams fielding light packs. For the remainder the half Jacksonville and Atlanta traded points and the lead. DSDG defense continued to deliver, forcing a number of jammer star passes, and New Jax’s stand-out blocker Meow Mix fouled out as the period clock wound down. With 9 seconds left on the game clock, it was a 3-point game. In the final jam, Jacksonville was called for a delay of game after failing to field any blockers, yet despite the short pack from the ensuing penalty Jacksonville’s jammer Krispy Kreme Her got lead and ran out the clock. Jacksonville took the win, 173-170.

MVP blockers were Baller Shot Caller for Atlanta and Atomic Mel-Down for Jacksonville. MVP jammers were Afro Dykee for Atlanta and Erin Jackson for Jacksonville.

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March 21, Bout 1

In their first game of the 2105 season, the Atlanta Rumble Bs put up a decisive win over Jacksonville’s River City Rat Pack in a fast-paced, frenetic bout. Fortified by some outstanding transfers and rookies this season, the Bs came out strong on the first whistle, taking an early lead. Bs blockers and jammers delivered a one-two punch to Jacksonville, with the Bs’ new, highly mobile defensive formation shutting down the Rat Pack jammers on the starts, giving the strong Atlanta jammers the opportunity to gain lead time after time. With the exception of a few power jams, Atlanta scores per jam remained fairly moderate, as Rat Pack jammers would finally escape Atlanta blockers after the Bs jammers had a chance to make one or two passes. But the Bs’ high percentage of winning lead and their defense on power jams took a steady toll, and the half ended with the Bs in leading,123-35.

The Rat Pack came back from halftime with some fire, tightening their defensive walls and pouring on the offense. A series of lead jammer calls went Jacksonville’s way, and they began to chip away at the Atlanta lead. But in spite of the heavy offensive fire, Bs defense remained strong. Even as Rat Pack blockers disrupted Atlanta’s defense, the one-on-one blocking skills of individual Bs skaters and the team’s relentless defensive recycling to the front of the pack allowed Atlanta to hold on to the lead and wear down the Jacksonville jammers. By the middle of the second half, Rat Pack jammers were visibly tired, and opportunities to convert their few power jams to big scores were squashed by the Bs. Scoring differentials per jam began to widen in the Bs’ favor, allowing the Rumble Bs to run away with the game. At the final whistle, the Bs had outscored Jacksonville’s Rat Pack 3-1. The final score was 297-97.

MVP blockers were Souljourner for the Rumble Bs and Tera Bites for the Rat Pack. MVP jammers were The Boss for the Rumble Bs and Naughty Nesha for the Rat Pack.

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