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January Home Opener Recaps

The Atlanta Rollergirl 2016 season is officially underway and if you didn’t make it to our home team opener, you missed some of the fastest and most intense derby that Atlanta has seen in a while.  We welcomed fans with new bout layouts, the addition of food trucks, new transfers and fresh meat graduates and two fast paced, close matched games.  If this double header was any indication, 2016 will be the year of home team upsets.

ARG_JAN16_0278

To open the evening, the Denim Demons’ power pack Wild Cherri, Nattie Longlegs, Erykah Badoozie and Curbstompin’ Cupcake buckled down and provided the defense necessary for Chokecherry to strike first and gain lead.  The Sake Tuyas responded with their own power pack, lining up Alicia Brains, Maul E. Cule, Luxfurious, and Charlie Chaos for their own lead jammer call and to take the lead.  Despite continued solid walls and hard hits, along with a couple of perfectly executed cuts drawn by Koko, the Sakes were unable to hold onto their lead.  The first half ended with the Demons ahead, 98-61.  The Demons peppered the following 30 minutes with some last second big hits, but Sake jammers Hate Ashbury and Saikou were tenacious amidst the recycling.  The second half saw a hard reset for the ladies in gold and, with 21 minutes remaining in the half, they had closed the gap, trailing the Demons 92-100.  A poorly timed Sake track cut gave the Demons a chance to rebuild their lead and the Sakes found themselves unable to recover.  A Demon track cut in the last two minutes of the game gave them a short rally period, but the Sakes were only able to cut their deficit to 29.

Final
Denim Demons 175 – Sake Tuyas 146
MVPs
Sakes MVP Blocker Koko
Sakes MVP Jammer Merchant of Menace
Demons MVP Blocker Curbstompin’ Cupcake
Demons MVP Jammer Human Missile Crisis

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Game two was an edge-of-your-seat rematch, brought to life as Afro Dykee burst through the pack and brought the Toxic Shocks their first lead.  The Apocalypstix were close behind, though, taking their own lead the next jam.  With 23:00 minutes on the clock, the two teams were momentarily tied, and then continued to trade lead as their jammers traded seats in the box.  The second quarter saw the Shocks start to pull away with a lead and the half ended with them ahead, 108-77.  The Stix answered with the first points of the second half and solid jamming from both Slams Mckenzie and Trouble MakeHer kept the score differential low.  However, strong, slow walls with Eiffel Power and Baller Shot Caller allowed returning veteran Nora Gretz and new internal Shock transfer Remy Nah to keep a secure lead through the fourth quarter.  Back to back power jams for the Stix looked like they could bring it back within reach, but when the jammers traded places in the penalty box one last time, the Shocks solidified the win.

Final
Toxic Shocks 183 – Apocalypstix 150
MVPs
Shocks MVP Blocker Eiffel
Shocks MVP Jammer Nora Gretz
Stix MVP Blocker Madditude Adjustment
Stix MVP Jammer Trouble MakeHer

Posted in Blog, Bout Recap, Playing the Game | Leave a comment

Home Opener 2016

Welcome Atlanta Roller Derby fans to 2016.  We know you’ve been anticipating this first game of the season as much as we have, so we can’t wait to show you what’s been cooking over the off-season.  The year opens up with a hot rematch of the 2015 Playoff bouts, with the Denim Demons taking on the Sake Tuyas and the Toxic Shocks taking on the Apocoalypstix.

Photo by Tim Stoklas

Photo by Tim Stoklas

Starting off our 2016 season is a rematch that skaters and fans alike have been waiting for since last year.  Having lost their “undefeated” title by 40 points last July, the Sakes were not leaving without a win in August and are here to show that the second game win was no fluke.  Expect solid walls from returning all-star Agent Maulder and new Colorado transfer Koko, as well as double-trouble utility power from both returning veteran Merchant of Menace and Marietta transfer Charlie Chaos.  The Demons, however, tasted blood back in July and are hungry for the 2-1.  Fresh Meat graduate Move Bisch adds a 5th jammer seat in the rotation and Double-threat Curbstompin’ Cupcake, transferring in from Chattanooga, rounds out a deep utility bench to compliment the already strong all-star anchored defense.  Both teams want this win to set the tone for the season, so be ready for hard hits the entire hour.

 

Photo by Clay Walker

Photo by Clay Walker

Our 7:30 game brings us the battle of the fan favorites.  The Stix Army was happy to see their ladies take home the golden skate last year with a string of decisive wins.  The Thunderdome has not been quiet during the off-season, however, adding Fresh Meat graduates Bea Right Back and Skank Williams to their arsenal, along with former Middle Georgia Derby Demon, Walt Hitman.  The Shocks are undoubtedly ready to give the ladies in pink their first tick in the loss column this year, though, with help from Tragic City transfers Eiffel Power and Git Off My Lawn and internal transfers Remy Nah and TagHer Lily.  Both of these teams carry big hitters and squirrely jammers, so we can guarantee you that this game will be worth staying up for.

If you haven’t already, make sure to get your double-header tickets at http://www.etix.com/ticket/k/9582879/atlanta-rollergirls-january-bout-package-atlanta-yaarab-shrine-center-atlanta-rollergirls?country=US&language=en, because the home opener is a frequently sold-old event.

Click to check out our Facebook event!

Click to check out our Facebook event!

Or, if you want to secure your Superfan VIP package, get yourself the upgrade you deserve and don’t miss out on a single minute of what’s undoubtedly the best year of roller derby Atlanta’s seen yet: http://www.etix.com/ticket/k/9764487/atlanta-rollergirls-full-season-vip-package-atlanta-yaarab-shrine-center-atlanta-rollergirls?country=US&language=en

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Join us for the 2016 Pre-Season Deb Brawl!

2016 DEBBRAWL FacebookAttention Skaters, Officials, Superfans, friends of ARG, and FUTURE FANS: It’s that time again! DEB BRAWL TIME!

When: Jan 21, 2016 – Doors at 7:00pm, Sashing of new rookies at 8:00pm
Where: The Basement – 1245 Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta

January 21st, we will publicly welcome our newest home team recruits, as well as celebrate the veteran skaters who have moved on up within the ARG travel team ranks! Come out and join us! We will be returning to The Basement for our pre-season dance party, powered by the tunes of our beloved DJ Mike Mercedes. Plus! We will once again be hosting an art silent auction, featuring contributions from amazing local artists!

The party will start at 7pm!

There will be a formal sashing of our new skaters starting at 8pm, followed by a derby wedding/renewal of vows ceremony, and then the rest of the night is ours for drinking and dancing!

Party goes all night—until close!

The Basement has a full bar, but limited waitstaff and food service. Consider grabbing dinner before the party upstairs at Graveyard Tavern.

Party is 21+

No cover! But we will be taking donations to the league and appreciate what you can give. Also, we’ll have tip jars for our DJs and bartenders, so please bring cash for tips!

Our Art Auction will feature works from a range of local Atlanta artists (some of them even skate!). Contributions include:

Catlanta

Elders Knives

Quality Hand Jobs

Skatepants’ original poster art for 2015 season

VileKyleATL

Margaret Mroczek

Rebel Yellow’s Party Animal Series

Crisis’ Handthrown ceramics

As well as-
Peter Ferrari
Linnea Frye
Mosh-ya Brady


There’s something for everyone, so grab a friend and come join us for the first party of the year!

Facebook Event!

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2016 Roller Derby Resolutions

2015 League Photo by league photographer O-Jen Ishii

2015 League Photo by league photographer O-Jen Ishii

2015 has been a pretty phenomenal season, and an even better year.  December is coming to a close and most of us are already hunkering down for a much needed bit of offseason and family time.  With that in mind, we’re using this as a perfect time to get a head start on thinking about the things we want for next year, both inside and outside of derby (but let’s be serious, mostly in!).  Not everyone believes in the idea of a New Years Resolution, but a lot of us use them as a jumping point and motivational springboard into the following season.  We asked some of ARG to let us know what they’d like to see for themselves 2016, and here’s what they had to say:

Baller Shot Caller- My new years resolution is to be more selfless in derby. I want to think about making the TEAM better, not just myself. I want to be there for others when they are mentally and physically exhausted, even just to say “we are in this together”. I want my teammates to feel like they can turn to me for questions and motivation.
Those are some of my goals for 2016.
Evil Olive- My resolutions are…(1) to build my jammer skills and be a Rumble Bs jammer, (2) To be more aggressive when jamming, (3) to take more photographs, (4) to make more effort to connect with dear friends who have retired from derby that I don’t see as much, (5) to keep my pads cleaner, (6) To be a better listener.
Surfer Rosa- My new year’s resolutions are to add some type of strength training to my workout routine and to get into park skating. Not only do I think it will be a ton of fun, but I hope to gain some agility and footwork from skating on non-level surfaces!
Rosie Derivator- Mine is to hate jamming less!  I believe that the saying “Think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” holds some truth in my fear of wearing the star and I want to be able to pivot/jam if my team needs me… and be more successful doing either!
Walt Hitman- I want to overcome bad habits: I skate too tall, and some of my footwork is lazy.  These bad habits are unacceptable, and I want to be contributing member of the team- not a weak link, so those bad habits have to go!
Lez Dispenser- Mine is to make my life more pinterest-worthy. (We’re hoping this means super awesome MVP awards coming from the Shocks!)
Eiffel Power- Add regular yoga to my work out routine and to become “good” at watching derby footage.
 
What are your resolutions or goals for 2016?  “Join a sport/find a hobbie that’s tough, intense, full of camaraderie and will be the best decision you’ve ever made,” you say?  Boy, do we have a recommendation for you!
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Red Carpet Riot- Our 2015 End of the Year Party

As we hope many of you are well aware, being a roller girl is both tough and time consuming.  We practice multiple days a week, many of us cross-train on top of that, and that’s all added to any number of school, full time jobs, kids, derby widows and hobbies.  We mean business, and that’s not even going into bout set up, fundraising, promotional events and recruiting!  We can be seriously busy people during the on-season, and only slightly less so during the off season!  That being said, there are so many MANY things about playing roller derby that make it all well worth that work, including (but definitely not limited to) our end of the year bash.

 

Awards BanquetWhat a wonderful season! We had our award’s banquet over the weekend! Thank you, everyone, for making 2015 so awesome! We can’t wait to show you what we have for the new year!#argintheatl #bringyourAgame #rollerderby #atlanta #wobble #atl

Posted by Atlanta Rollergirls on Monday, December 7, 2015

Thanks to some fantastic event coordinating, we have had some pretty smashing year-end parties.  Our very own (and quite talented) Evil Olive puts on a spectacular power point, highlighting some of the most amazing parts of each year.  From MVP for each travel and home team and one skater who we dub “Ms. Atlanta Rollergirls,” to our favorite officials and significant others, we get to reminisce on the fruits of all of our labor.  Add in a super swanky DJ and wonderful bar staff, and our “Red Carpet Riot” was a night for the books.  The outfits were unforgettable, the music was phenomenal and we spent the evening appreciating some of the most amazing friends and team mates, as well as all of the fantastic moments, that the year has given us.  If this party was any indication, 2016 is going to be an absolute riot.

Reach for the camera!

The 2015 Denim Demons give the camera some love! Special thanks to Tmox photo and our own Violent Beauregarde for the amazing photo booth!

Some of our 2015 awards:
Apocalypstix MVP: Trouble MakeHer
Denim Demons MVP: Nattie Longlegs
Sake Tuyas MVP: The Boss
Toxic Shocks MVP: Lez Dispenser
Jukes of Hazzard MVP: Lady Skatepants
Rumble Bs MVP: Brick
DSDG MVP: Baller Shot Caller

Ms. Atlanta Rollergirls: Hate Ashbury

Favorite Official: DJ Jazzy Ref
Favorite SO: Sassy Wiggles

 

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Derby 101: Ghost Points

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 how jammers can score maximum points with minimum effort.

Before I begin talking about rules this month, I’d like to take a moment to congratulate myself on winning the election for Mayor of the Internet. Way to go, me! I’m awesome, and I totally deserve this! I’m sure you all want to know the secret of how I won, and since I hold the position for life, there’s no harm in telling you. I held the elections last week, and didn’t tell anyone. I was the only one running and the only one who voted. Obviously, I voted for me, and so I won by a landslide. Those other (hypothetical) suckers didn’t stand a chance! And where did I get such an ingenious idea? Why, from the source of all of life’s great things: roller derby.

You see, a jammer’s life gets easier when her opponents aren’t around to stop her. There’s the obvious lack of them physically obstructing her, but there’s also NOTT points (not on the track), commonly called “ghost points”. When a jammer passes the first opposing blocker of each scoring pass, she not only gets a point for passing that blocker but an additional point for each opposing skater who is in, on her way to, or on her way back from the penalty box. In rare situations, a whole five points can be scored by passing a single blocker. That’s like if you gave me a dollar and then I took four more dollars out of your wallet without your consent! Speaking of. I’m creating a new internet tax. Email the contents of your wallet (and/or questions about the rules) to info@atlantarollergirls.com immediately.

How jammers feel when they get those sweet, sweet ghost points. Photo: O-Jen Ishii

How jammers feel when they get those sweet, sweet ghost points.
Photo: O-Jen Ishii

Is there some part of the rules you’ve always wondered about? Let us know, and Wayne will do his best to unravel the mysteries!

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Giving Thanks: Derby Girl Edition

As the holiday season comes around, we hope you’re surrounded by friends and family, good food and, if you haven’t been too naughty, hopefully a present* or two.  Being a derby skater gives us plenty in life to be thankful for, but it also makes us even more thankful for things we didn’t realize were quite so important to us before we started doing spectacular things on eight wheels.  Here’s our list of things that Atlanta Rollergirls are particularly thankful for these days:

 

  • Tampons– While many of us may be regularly thankful for their existence, they take on a new light of usefulness the first time you use one for a block-gone- wrong that ends in a bloody nose.

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  • Owning “too many” bandanas– If you’ve been skating for as many years as I have, there’s a period in your life when you needed one for every possible color/outfit you could wear to practice.  Now, owning that many is SUPER handy for when the practice space is so hot and sweaty that you need a fresh one after the first hour.
  • Honey, dates, electrolyte powder, blocks/gummies– After you’ve put everything you have on the track and you realize that there’s still 30 minutes to go, there’s nothing better than finding this in your bout kit for that second half pick me up.
  • Athletic pants that keep me from looking like I peed myself– Black, specifically.  Because as a skater, you will inevitably be hit so hard that you pee a little and you’re obviously not going to leave practice for that.  Besides, it took long enough to find the right middle ground of “not so thick that I’m sweating to death, but not so thin that everyone is aware that my underwear has spots,” so they’re going to be used to the length of their usefulness, dampness and all.
Our practice space doesn't have air conditioning!

Our practice space doesn’t have air conditioning!

 

  • Skinny jeans going out of style– This is happening, right? Please lord let this happen.  We’re mostly tired of leg prisons in general, but these are just torture.
  • Bananas and peanut butter– At this point, most of us live off electrolytes** and protein.  This is a staple in our pantries and carry-ons.

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  • The opportunity to wear myself out skating fast and hitting people when I’m stressed out or anxious–  Therapy** is expensive.  Endorphins and body checks* are not.  Take that, problems.
Sexy Slaydie taking out her feelings about being the only on-track Gotham blocker on the Bay Area jammer in the 2013 WFTDA Champs.

Sexy Slaydie taking out her feelings about being the only on-track Gotham blocker on the Bay Area jammer in the 2013 WFTDA Champs.

 

  • Epsom salt, arnica cream, advil– See post above about skating fast and hitting people, and this bullet writes itself.

  • The memory of the smell of my pads that makes me reconsider eating a whole thing of Cool Ranch Doritos–  Imagine that combination of hot practice space, endurance, heavy hitting, protein and Icy Hot.  Yeah, we’re super thankful that you wash your pads (or are well aware if you didn’t).
Waaaaay less appetizing if you know what a well-loved wristguard smells like.

Waaaaay less appetizing if you know what a well-loved wristguard smells like.

  • Socks– There’s nothing worse than going straight to practice after work and forgetting socks.  You start to get surprisingly less creeped out when wearing someone else’s dirty socks after the first few times.  I guess that’s something to be thankful for?
  • Immune system– Sharing water bottles, dropping mouthguards on the floor (and immediately putting them back in your mouth), spending too much time in cars and airports, and Con Crud.  Thinking about it, it feels like we should probably have died of germy-itis a long time ago, so thanks immune system for keeping us rolling!

*Good gear can be pretty expensive, now that I think about it.  Maybe ask for it as a present?
**I am not a doctor or a dietician, nor should I be (obviously), so I hope these are taken with the jest intended.

Please eat good food, wear all of your protective gear and take good care of yourself, guys.  We’re thankful you’re alive and well and look forward to seeing you again next season.  Happy Holidays!

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Starting her “A Game”: From Rec League to Fresh Meat

In February 2014, I attended my first Roller Derby Bout.  I knew right away that I had to play!  One of the Roller Girls was walking around with a sign that said, “Questions, ask me!”  That’s how I was introduced to the ARG Rec League.

Brandy with Rec League, enjoying a Jukes victory!

By March, I was enrolled and had all my equipment.  I started in the ARG Rec League “G” class where I learned the basic skills and fell right into the group with ease.  They were the group of friends that I never knew I needed.  Both my children were in high school, and I needed something to fill the void of simply being the “mom-taxi” for them. Rec League became the silver lining of my week.  

Watching the Roller Girls execute a move in a bout on Saturday and then having the ARG trainers break it down for me in Rec League on Sunday was so invigorating.  As my skills developed, I really wanted to scrimmage and maybe – just maybe – play on an ARG home team.  I worked my way through the Rec League skills assessment and was able to attend my first scrimmage in July 2015.  It was scary and amazing all at the same time.

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Fresh Meat!

I watched my Rec League teammates’ skills progress along with mine.  We all had a sense of pride when someone would execute a perfectly placed hit and knock us down.  It sounds odd, but our sweat, laughter and training bonded us like sisters. Several of the Rec League players went thru the 2015 mid-season Fresh Meat process and were drafted onto teams.  That was like watching my sibling go in the 1st round of the NFL draft.  Even though I missed practicing with them in Rec, I was so happy for them.  Eventually, I got the bug and wanted to join them.

With the support of the trainers and all my Rec League teammates, I am now in the current Fresh Meat group working with the Atlanta Roller Girls.  I am taking the skills that I learned in Rec League and stretching them to the next level.  Being able to apply a skill that was learned in a controlled practice into a scrimmage scenario is a challenge.  It’s taking time and effort, but is rewarding in a way that is very hard to explain.

As my derby journey progresses, I have learned a couple of big lessons:

  • Consistent effort over time = success
  • Friendships forged thru a sweaty training and smelly pads are the strongest
  • Encouragement comes in many forms – even a simple smile from the player who scored big or had an amazing apex jump in the last bout

My goal and biggest wish is to be on a home team playing for ARG.  I want to be the Roller Girl handing out Rec League flyers to everyone I see. Derby is the most fun and challenging thing I have ever done (other than raising children – HA!).

Voted #1 Rec league 4 years in a row!

 Sign up for our next Rec League G class, starting Jan 3, 2016, HERE!

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We may have gotten beat, but we are not defeated: WFTDA D1 Playoffs through rookie lenses

Slams McKenzie just completed her first season as a DSDG skater. Here, she tells us what it was like to skate in her first ever WFTDA Division 1 playoff tournament. You can read more of her writing on derbydetails.com.

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The whistle blows and every molecule of strength and energy I have is hurled forward into the middle of London’s defensive formation. I inch my hip around the inside blocker and the front-point is on my chest. The outside blocker rolls around to the front as the blocker on my chest turns her shoulder into my sternum before sliding herself into a deep forward facing plow-stop. I release and attempt to use my own blockers, who are busy holding London’s jammer to a slow crawl, as a shield to speed around London’s defense. Enemy blockers catch me off the line and I exert everything I have forward against their defensive hits. I hear the other jammer whistled off the track for a penalty after a minute. My legs are completely numb. My team tries to play offense for me, but I can’t get my legs to move fast enough to inch through the offensive holes before a London blocker is on me again. I hear my blockers talking to me, giving me direction, cheering me on, but I have nothing left. Eventually my offense, my only hope of getting out of this push-forward-attempt-to-juke-and-fail hell, has to set up to play defense because I’ve been in the pack so friggin’ long the other jammer is finished with her penalty. “What a penalty kill!!” I can hear the announcer shout.

(more…)

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State Wars 2015: The Scores (Re)Awaken

Having skated for 7 full seasons now, I’ve seen it repetitive times.  You get the list of questions for your skater bio and they’re mostly the same: “Derby name and number.  When and why you started skating.  What your best or most embarrassing moments in derby are.”

For the longest time, my answer to my Greatest Derby Moment was “making the New Jax City all-stars my first tryout.”  After a few years, it changed to “Coming into the 2013 playoffs as the 8th seed and leaving 6th,” also with New Jax City.  Last year, that all changed.

Team Georgia logo, 2014

2014 held the first ever State Wars tournament, held in Daytona Beach, Florida and put on by iDerby LLC (owned by Jeremy “Streak” Strecker). 20+ states came in from all over the US, putting together the best rosters that they could manage, to play for state superiority bragging rights.  Some states’ rosters were full of well known, top-tier levels skaters, while others were a hodge podge of available all-stars, game hungry B-teamers and hopeful newbies.  Everyone wanted a chance at State Wars glory and for this one unique tournament, we all had that chance.

Last year, I made Team GA, along with a good number of my other Rumble Bs, a couple of Dirty South Derby Girls, and a handful of talent spread across the rest of the state.  We practiced as often as we could around so many teams’ other schedules and space availability and scrimmaged with the Atlanta Rollergirls and the Atlanta Men’s Roller Derby team as much as possible.  We had some pretty fantastic things to show for it.  When we got to Daytona, we were excited and ready to show the rest of the country what Georgia had in store for them.

Rosie jamming during the 2014 State Wars tournament Copyright Bold City Photography 2014

It was a challenging weekend.  We played three games our first day, losing our first game in a close match against Team Massachusetts, 152-131.  We followed up with our first victory, taking Team Maine 251-129 and finished the day with a tough loss to Team New York, 257-80.  I remember that Team New York game very vividly, because I ended up jamming (which I don’t typically do) until I thought I would vomit and blocked almost as much.  Specifically, though, I remember a good steady few seconds where I had my butt against (and was successfully blocking!) Miss Tea Maven, the Gotham all-star.  Despite what felt like a devastating loss, I wear those few moments of glory like a badge of pride and, riding the high of that memory, I cannot wait to see who Team GA gets paired up against this year.

For 2015, we have some AMAZING talent on Team GA, ranging from a hefty number of Dirty South Derby Girl all-stars to some surprising up-and-coming small town talent.  I’m excited beyond words to take the track with these ladies and see what this team can do.  After such an amazing tournament last year, my current “highlights of my derby career” now include not only the 8th-to-6th seed jump in the Richmond playoffs with Jacksonville, but also those fleeting seconds of sitting on one of the best jammers in the world.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to add “scored points against my old New Jax City team mates” to my list of favorite moments in my derby life.  “Named must your fear be, before banish it you can,” right?

A sneak peek at the 2015 State Wars team, fresh off a scrimmage win against Team SC.

“State Wars Roller Derby is focused to provide a competitive, geographically structured, national roller derby tournament. It is our mission to give selected participants the pride and honor of representing their current state [. . .]  

We are looking for the best team your state can offer, State Wars wants the best charter your state can build to come and compete versus the other states in the nation.

We hope you will join us and help to make this tournament great.”

State Wars will be held Friday, December 11th, 2015 through Sunday December 13th, 2015.

The Ocean Center

Address: 101 N Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118

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