Roller derby to be played in opposite direction in honour of Australian Hydra winner

This last weekend saw the Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) from Melbourne, Australia win the Hydra in the 2017 WFTDA championships.

The WFTDA have now announced that roller derby will be played in the opposite direction for one year until the next WFTDA Championships to honour the Australian Hydra winner.

WFTDA spokesperson, A Blessing and a Purse, commented:
“Since toilet water swirls the opposite way in Australia, this seemed like an appropriate way for the WFTDA to celebrate the international success of roller derby.”

“Here at WFTDA headquarters we had carefully planned out how we would celebrate in the case of a non-USA winner.”

“If a Canadian team had won, we would have changed the official language of the WFTDA rules to French. Also, instead of going to the penalty box after a penalty, skaters would have just had to apologise to the skater they fouled.”

“If a British team had won, we would have switched the track and the ref lanes around. And, in addition to the current time out regulations, teams would be allocated two tea time outs per game.”

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Sport Court wins Hydra at WFTDA Championships

The winner of this year’s WFTDA Championships is Sport Court!

Sport Court successfully won over all the derby teams it encountered, leaving devastated skaters in its wake.

Crispy Demons from VRDL commented:
“We are crushed, we really thought we’d win the Hydra this year.
We predicted that we would encounter Sport Court in the final, so we targeted our training accordingly. But it just wasn’t good enough.”

“The power of Sport Court is too strong. Even with all our preparation, we didn’t feel like we were really playing our game.
Our jammers fell and our blockers stumbled. Maybe next year!”

Sport Court even beat the referee crews, who experienced frequent falls and felt that their communication and judgement when making penalty calls was severely impaired.

Announcer is most important person at roller derby bout

Roller derby announcers are the most important people at roller derby games, say roller derby announcers.

Roller derby announcers commented:
“The announcer is the main person you need to make a roller derby bout function. People really only come to bouts because of the announcers. Nobody would come to roller derby events if we weren’t there.”

“We know the game better than everyone else, better than the players, the fans and the officials.
This is why you need us at bouts.
Without our engaging play-by-play commentary, roller derby is a pretty dull and incomprehensible sport.”

“We inform people of things they could not possibly know any other way, like which teams are playing, how many points were scored in that jam or who is on track right now.
Without us, the viewers would have no idea what is happening.”

Fake News, a member of the Association of Flat Track Derby Announcers (AFTDA), commented:
“People love listening to me and my opinions.
When there is a break in the action, for example during a time out, I like to tell people fun facts about myself, like that I’m hungry or how many hours I have already worked that day. People love to hear about that stuff. After all, they are pretty much there to hear me talk.”

Perfektenschlag, a frequent attendandee of roller derby bouts commented:
“The sound set up at roller derby bouts is always pretty bad. I can literally never hear what the announcers say. They are just talking into the void.”

Roller derby player is overly proud of uncontrolled hit

Low Polly, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, was seen being overly proud of a highly uncontrolled hit that she performed during a recent Derpshire Rollergirls vs Fartfordshire Rollers bout.

Low Polly comments:
“It was such a great hit. I completely took out the opposing jammer.
I mean sure, my hit took me entirely out of bounds, but I really floored that jammer and that’s what counts.”

“I may have been completely useless to my team for an extended period of time after my hit, but that’s not what matters.
I also took out two referees by accident, but that just makes me more awesome!”

“Controlled gameplay is really overrated.
In fresh meat they teach us about being controlled and falling ‘small’ and stuff. But all that is not so important in actual roller derby gameplay.”

“In fact, my reckless style of play gets me all the player awards.
You might say that my complete lack of regard for other people’s safety almost gives me an unfair advantage: I’m not held back by unnecessary safety-related caution.”

Dorothy Fail, captain of the Fartfordshire Rollers says:
“Yeah, she is known for being a danger. But our team still voted to give her the best blocker award.
When we discussed awards on our way to the hospital, she was the player that stood out the most.”

Low Polly commented further:
“My uncontrolled hits are not illegal!
There are no rules against this, so why should I play differently?”

“It doesn’t say anywhere in the WFTDA rules that you have to finish a hit inside the track, or upright or in any control whatsoever.
So this is clearly not something that is considered important in the game of roller derby.”

What if the star were a potato?

Passages from the 2017 WFTDA roller derby rules where the word ‘Star’ has been replaced by ‘Potato’:

Rule book:

The Jammer wears a helmet cover with a potato on it.

Skaters may not change positions during a Jam, except in the case of a Potato Pass.

The Jammer is denoted as the Skater in visible possession of the Jammer helmet cover (a.k.a. “The Potato”) at the beginning of the Jam.

If a Skater is serving a penalty as their team’s Jammer, no teammate may begin the Jam in possession of the Potato or behind the Jammer Line.

If there is neither a Skater serving a penalty as the Jammer nor a Skater with a visible Potato, then the team has failed to field a Jammer for the upcoming Jam and will be penalized accordingly.

The Potato may only be carried by the Jammer wearing it on their helmet, or by that team’s Jammer or Pivot holding it in their grasp.

Other Skaters may not control the Potato, and the Jammer and Pivot may not hide the Potato (examples include putting it in a pocket or hiding it in a uniform).

Only Skaters who begin the Jam as Jammers may become Lead (so a Pivot who receives the Potato cannot become Lead).

The Lead Jammer will lose their Lead Jammer status if they commit a penalty, intentionally remove the Potato (once it is on), or have the Potato intentionally removed from their head by a teammate.

The Pivot may control the Potato (pick it up, move it, etc.) even if they are not the Jammer; for example, to recover it and return it to the Jammer.

2.2.4. Passing the Potato
A team’s Jammer may transfer their position by handing the Potato to their team’s Pivot while both Skaters are upright, in bounds, and in play, and while neither the Jammer nor the Pivot is en route to, or in queue for, the Penalty Box.

Upon releasing the Potato into the Pivot’s grasp, the position of Jammer is passed.

If the Potato is passed illegally, the initial Jammer remains the Jammer and the initiator of the Pass should be penalized. This includes:

  • releasing the Potato into the grasp of a Skater other than their Pivot
  • releasing the Potato into the Pivot’s grasp while one of the two parties is down, out of bounds, out of play, or en route to the Penalty Box
  • releasing the Potato into the Pivot’s grasp while the Pivot is in queue for the Penalty Box (even if the Pivot is not yet en route)
  • releasing the Potato into the grasp of a Pivot who is not wearing the Stripe

If the Pivot comes into control of the Potato through any other means (for example, by picking up a fallen Potato), a Potato Pass has not taken place.
Accordingly, the Pivot does not attain the position of Jammer and thus may not put the Potato on their own helmet. They may hold the Potato in their hand, drop it, or return it to the Jammer.

Non-Pivot Blockers may not wear helmet covers or have any markings on their helmets that could be confused for the Stripe or the Potato.

Jammers only “earn” a pass if the pass occurs while the Jammer is wearing the Potato on their helmet with the potatoes showing.

Glossary:

The Potato:
The Jammer helmet cover, which has two potatoes on it, one on each side.

Passing the Potato – Potato Pass:
The act of transferring Jammer status, which is accomplished by the Jammer handing their helmet cover (the Potato) to the Pivot.

2017 Scenarios:

White Jammer removes their helmet cover and attempts to hand it to White Pivot. During this process, the Potato falls, touching out of bounds. White Jammer leaves the track to retrieve the helmet cover.

Outcome: No penalty.

Casebook:

Scenario C2.15
White Jammer removes their helmet cover and directly hands it to a White Non-Pivot Blocker. White Jammer releases the helmet cover.

Outcome: White Jammer should be penalized for initiating a Potato Pass to an illegal recipient.

Rationale: White Jammer may only pass the Potato to their Pivot. They may not pass the Potato to a Blocker, regardless of the reasons for which they pass it.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer had not let go of the Potato, or if White Blocker had refused to accept it (by letting it fall to the track rather than taking control of it), this would be an incomplete Potato Pass rather than an illegal one. Incomplete Potato Passes are not penalized.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer were holding the Potato and White Blocker wrested it from their grasp, it would have been White Blocker who initiated the illegal Potato Pass, and thus White Blocker would be penalized.

Scenario C2.16
White Jammer removes their helmet cover and hands it to White Pivot. Before White Jammer releases their grip on the Potato, White Pivot is knocked out of bounds. White Jammer then releases the Potato to the out of bounds Pivot.

Outcome: White Jammer receives a penalty for passing the Potato to an ineligible Pivot.

Rationale: Although White Jammer attempted to pass the Potato while White Pivot was eligible, a Potato Pass is a single point of exchange: the moment at which the Potato is released.

Scenario C2.18
Red 21 is the Jammer. They remove their helmet cover and throw it at Red 45, who is the Pivot. Red 45 (still the Pivot) catches the helmet cover and hands it back to Red 21 (still the Jammer). Both Skaters grip the Potato, then Red 21 releases it. Red 45 maintains control of the Potato and puts it on their helmet.

Outcome: Red 45 is now the Jammer.

Rationale: Throwing the Potato is an incomplete Potato Pass, not an illegal one. Catching the Potato (out of the air) is the same as retrieving it (from the floor), so the Pivot is not required to let the Potato fall to the track first. Once Red Jammer clutches the helmet cover, they reestablish their control of the Potato regardless of whether the Pivot lets go or not. They then complete the Potato Pass in a legal fashion.

Scenario C2.19
While moving through the Pack, the Potato comes off Red Jammer’s helmet and sticks to White Blocker’s wrist guard. White Blocker pulls the helmet cover free and drops it outside the track boundary.

Outcome: White Blocker is not issued a penalty.

Rationale: White Blocker gained temporary possession of the helmet cover and dropped it out of play. Because White Blocker did not intentionally attempt to remove the Potato from Red Jammer’s helmet, they should not be issued a penalty for accidentally coming into control of the Potato as long as they immediately relinquish control of the Potato. The Potato may get moved as part of normal gameplay, but may not be controlled by anyone other than the Jammer or Pivot.

Keep in Mind: If White Blocker had not touched the Potato, which was stuck to their wrist guard and allowed Red Jammer or Pivot to recover it once they are aware of it, no penalty would have occurred either.

Keep in Mind: If White Blocker had pulled the Potato off their Velcro, but not immediately relinquished control of the Potato once they removed it from their wrist guard, a penalty would have been issued.

Scenario C3.18
Red Jammer completes their first trip through the Pack and has passed one opposing Blocker when they remove the Potato. While the Potato is off, the three other opposing Blockers commit penalties and are sent to the Penalty Box. The Jam ends while Red Jammer’s Potato is still in their hand.

Outcome: One point.

Rationale: Red Jammer was not able to earn points while the Potato was off, but they still receive the point earned while the Potato was on.

Keep in Mind: If Red Jammer had put the Potato back on before the end of the Jam, they would have earned points for the other opposing Blockers as soon as the Potato was back on their helmet.

Scenario C4.60
The Jam starts and White Jammer quickly earns Lead. Red Jammer immediately pulls off their Potato and tries to pass it over their opponents’ heads to Red Pivot, but is unable to do so. Red Jammer stuffs the Potato into their jersey so they don’t have to hold it as they work their way through the Pack.

Outcome: Red Jammer has hidden the Potato from their opponents, also hiding the fact that they are their team’s Jammer. Red Jammer is penalized.

Rationale: It is unsporting to attempt to hide your role in the Jam.

Keep in Mind: If Red Jammer had held onto the Potato instead of hiding it in their jersey, no penalty would be issued because they would still be visibly in control of the Potato.

Gotham players to be more villainous than ever at this year’s WFTDA championships

With the 2017 WFTDA championships approaching, the players of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars team have vowed to be their most evil selves yet.

Gotham have long been known for their villainous style of playing roller derby, which involves never smiling and wearing the derby equivalent of a black turtle neck as their uniform (made by the most evilest of sponsors!).

But this year Gotham have vowed to take villainous roller derby to a whole new level.

An anonymous player from Gotham commented:
“We have been working very hard on this. We want to win and we want to do it in the most evillish of ways.
We have not won the Hydra in the last two years, because we had turned soft. But this year we are back!”

“We will smile less than ever. We don’t care how good you are, Gotham does not smile!
We always want to look like we are having a bad time. We are here to win, not to enjoy roller derby.
We will not allow any cracks in our armour of evil. One time Bonnie Thunders was seen smiling, so we shipped her off to Smiley-Muesli Land.”

“To be the most evil team, we will applaud whenever an opposing player gets a penalty, we will signal to the referees for extra penalties any way we can and, meanwhile, we will act shocked when we get called on penalties. And we are all getting our teeth sharpened tomorrow!”

“Nobody cheers for us, but we will cheer for ourselves after every jam.
*Villainous and joyless laugh.*”

“And finally we are also changing our hashtag from #HiveMind to #HornetsNest.”

Watch the action on November 3-5 live in Philadelphia or on WFTDA.tv and ESPN2.

Breaking news: MRDA champs update

American visitors tricked into thinking that Wales is worth visiting.
Welsh people: “It’s lush!”

MRDA players wondering if forming walls may be a useful roller derby strategy.
Rumours say this might help to stop the opposing jammer.

Accessory of the year: slightly too long beard.
MRDA player comments: “Hi, my name is Alan Turning, I play for a southern English men’s roller derby team, and a slightly too long beard is part of my uniform.”

MRDA team actually think that their playing style is slow and controlled.
Team captain comments: “Our team’s style is to play very slow and controlled and the 93 penalties we received in the last game are all part of that style.”

Captain of GateKeepers makes prediction on championship game:
“I’d say our chances of winning and subsequently breaking an NSO’s leg today are pretty good.”

MRDA players are shopping for teams to transfer to next season.
Anonymous player from a West Coast team comments:
“You have to keep these things in mind. For all I know, my team may have disbanded by next month.”

MRDA announce that this will be the last year for MRDA champs in its current form.
MRDA spokesperson comments:
“To celebrate our inclusive policies, we will no longer be the MRDA (Men’s Roller Derby Association), but the MANFIPAPWUIAFBWDNFPFTLWLARDA (Men’s and non-female identifying person’s and person who usually identify as female, but who do not fancy playing for their local WFTDA league anymore’s roller derby association).”

Some other things that are part of people’s roller derby uniforms

Soon to be featured in a roller derby ad near you.

“Hi, my name is Tris Everdeen, I skate for the Derpshire Rollergirls, and a somewhat used sports bra is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Whirlygig, I skate for the Fartfordshire Rollers, and scratchy velcro is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Space Cowboy, I skate for the Lame County Rollers, and compression leggings that I never take off are part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Jiffy, I’m unaffiliated, and compression sleeves for my unbearable shin splints are part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Prima Vera, I skate for the Hot Monkey RollerDollz, and tape to hold all my gear together is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is GLaDOS, I skate for the Gilead Roller Maidens, and my mouth guard that I’ve currently stored somewhere in my pants is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Wingardium Furiosa, I skate for the Bolvangar Rollers, and fingernails that are way too long for a contact sport are part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Covfefe, I skate for Azeroth Roller Derby, and a brace for my severely injured knee is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Hannah, I skate for the Uncanny Valley Rollerboys, and a wedgie is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Mike Sandwich, I skate for Dongcaster Roller Derby, and make-up that smears all over other people’s uniforms is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Lack Toast and Tolerant, I mostly skate for challenge teams, and a top that I take off at any opportunity is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Tally McTallface, I skate for Los Santos Roller Derby, and an unnecessary helmet visor that only serves to hit other players in the face is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Gummivore, I skate for Detroit Roller Derby, and a belt is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Flibbertigibbet, I skate for V.F.D. Roller Derby, and TNOB’s ShoeLace™ Technology is part of my uniform.”

“Hi, my name is Scauld Evil, I skate for Gotham, and the blood of our enemies is part of my uniform.”

Ten roller derby apps that we wish existed

Ten roller derby apps that we really wish existed in real life:

An app for translating terminology between teams.
What is a “monkey” wall?? Oh, we call that the “teacups”.

An app to alert you when your kit needs washing.
No more stinky embarrassment at training!

An app that encourages you to go to practice when you are just not feeling it.
Because if you can drag yourself out of bed and get there, it will be worth it!

An app to automatically converts overseas derby bout schedules to your time zone.
Including a function to plan your naps during less interesting games.

An app to tell you which wheels to use for which floor.
Enter your available wheel selection, the venue, your position and slide preferences. Share your wheel choices and see what other skaters used!

An app that tells you the location of a league based on the name, abbreviation or logo.
Just point your camera at the logo and you are good to go!

An app to calculate ideal group sizes for a drill based on the number of people present at training.
Including a function to put all the annoying players in the same group.

An app to tell you what bootcamp level is right for you.
No more guessing at what “A team level” really means.

An app for updating bout day schedules in the face of inevitable delays.
Adjust the settings to decide which parts of the event can be cut short, like half times or lower level bouts.

An app to tell you whether two derby players with same surname are married or sisters.
Because we are too embarrassed to ask.

WFTDA Officials Certification System to be replaced with Magic 8-Ball

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) have announced the long-awaited end to the restructure of their Officials Certification System: the certification panels are to be replaced by a Magic 8-Ball.

In the past, certification panels served to assess officials’ rules and officiating knowledge and skill in order to provide certification of officials.
Certification, in turn, signifies an official’s excellence and qualification to officiate sanctioned and regulation roller derby gameplay.
The assessment of which officials are deserving of certification and have the skill to officiate WFTDA and MRDA tournaments will now be carried out by a Magic 8-Ball.

Heffalump, a WFTDA spokesperson, commented:
“We are happy to present a unified certification system that will better meet the needs both the WFTDA and the MRDA membership than the previous certification program.
We think this new Magic 8-Ball-based system will be better at identifying skill in roller derby officiating than the old panel-based system.”

“We have listened to the derby community and believe that this will be a much better, more reliable and less biased way to find the best referees and NSOs for staffing our tournaments.”

“We would like to apologise for the delay in re-opening the certification program, but we believe the wait and hard work will pay off for the future of roller derby officiating.
After the long break during the re-structure in which no certifications were processed, we are now happy to announce that we are accepting applications for officials’ certification once again.”

In answer to whether there would be any changes to the application process for officials seeking certification, Heffalump explained:
“As before, you will need to submit game evaluations and certification test results, which will be carefully considered by the Magic 8-Ball.
And, just as in the past, certification will continue to be an entry requirement for officiating the WFTDA, and now MRDA tournaments, to ensure a high level of officiating at these events.”