Man has strong opinions on roller derby

A man recently attended his first roller derby bout. He quickly developed strong opinions on the sport that he felt he needed to make known.

The man explained to those around him that – clearly – the smaller, faster skaters should be jammers, while “the big girls” should be blockers.

Later in the first half he commented: “I don’t understand why they don’t wear inline skates. They be much faster this way and clearly speed is the most important factor in this game.”

When one of the teams pulled ahead, the man helpfully put his newly acquired expertise to good use by advising that the losing team should “stop that other jammer”.

Wanting to learn more, the man asked: “So, are there men’s teams? Presumably the men would be much better at this sport. And it’s a bit too violent for women anyway. It looks like you can easily get injured in this sport. Haven’t they thought about that?”

Being keen to help the sport develop, the man advised: “If those girls want this sport to ever be shown on TV then they really need to show a bit more skin. Nobody wants to just see women doing sports.”

The man also suggested improvements as to how the event could be run: “They should do much more advertising for these events. And everything could look a bit more professional. They should really do a better job. Presumably they all get paid for this?”

After the game, the man commented: “I’ve known roller derby for a good few hours now. So, I really think that I know exactly what this sport needs. I’m sure these girls have just been waiting for someone like me.”

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Roller derby game scores are completely unrelated to number of points actually scored by teams

A recent study has shown that recorded game scores of roller derby games show no correlation with the number of points that teams actually scored.

There are times when Roller derby players, bench staff and audience members seem to disagree with referee decisions during games.

A study was carried to out to analyse this problem. A panel of highly experienced officials watched live games and were provided with detailed video footage for post game dissection. The officials on the panel were asked to use the information to determine the final score of the bout.

The study showed that the points that went up on the score board during a game were completely unrelated to the number of points that jammers actually legally scored by lapping the pack and passing the hips of opposing players.

There are a number of factors that complicate the roller derby scoring process. A jammer ref has to visually assess whether a jammer has successfully scored a point by legally passing the hips of an opponent. The ref has to consider jammer lap points and NOTT points. Star passes, penalties, recycling, and occasional ref incompetence can all confound the situation further. The ref then signals the points to an NSO on the sideline. The NSO has to do mathematics as high level as addition on the go, and also communicate the score to the score board operators.

Overall, the large number of steps between (A) a jammer scoring a point and (B) that point going up on the score board means that (A) and (B) really show no correlation whatsoever.

Observations showed that referees cannot get it right, but other present parties may be just as wrong. At times, players, bench coaches or members of the audience demanded up to seven additional points for their team in a single pass or claimed an additional five scoring passes in a jam (judging by the number of angry fingers in the air).

The authors of the study hasten to emphasise certain factors that complicated the study. “It almost no cases did the research panel themselves agree on the number of points scored in a given jam, even given detailed video analysis from multiple angles.”

The report finishes with: “Ultimately, we do not really know how points are scored in roller derby. It appears that it may happen through magic after all.”

Men’s European Cup winner to be decided by giant dick wagging contest

The organisers of the Men’s European Cup (MEC) have announced that the true winner of the tournament will be decided by a dick wagging contest immediately following the final game.

The games of the tournament will go ahead as scheduled and the team that win the final game will be awarded the cup. But the true winner of this Men’s Derby tournament will be decided through a dick wagging contest at the end of the tournament.

An MEC participant commented: “We’ve all been training very hard for this tournament. Extra scrimmage sessions, weightlifting and endurance have been added to the weekly training schedule.”

“This weekend will be great! The athleticism, apex jumps and team work, the speed and the big hits. But that is not what Men’s Roller Derby is really about.”

“Roller derby might be all about challenging yourself, athleticism, empowerment, hard work and dedication. But in Men’s Roller Derby we ultimately just want to find out who has the biggest dick.”

“We believe that this step will further the development of Men’s Roller Derby and offer a truly male perspective in this female-dominated sport.”

A French player commented that he would come prepared and clad in his finest little red towel.

Up and coming players from a number of Northern teams were hopeful about their chances. But a middle aged player from a Southern team commented: “I’ll show these young whippersnappers what’s what!”

Blood and Thunder to come up with even weirder made up rules for the next world cup

Blood and Thunder, the organisers of the Roller Derby World Cup, have announced that they plan to come up with another set of ridiculous rule changes for the 2017 World Cup.

In the run up to the 2014 Roller Derby World Cup Blood and Thunder had published plans for rule changes to prevent blow outs that left everyone feeling just slightly patronised.

The so-called ‘mercy rule’ stated that “if a team is leading by 100 points with 20 minutes remaining, the leading team will be awarded a ‘technical knock-out’.”

But the mercy rule was scrapped following Facebook-based outcries and much head-shaking from the roller derby community.

Blood and Thunder have now announced that they plan to come up with even more baffling rule changes for the Roller Derby World Cup in 2017.

Blood and Thunder spokeswoman DrAcula commented: “We are looking at a few small changes to improve competitive game play. For instance, if a team is lagging by a hundred points then each of their subsequent passes could count for two points.”

Another proposed rule change for 2014 had stated that a penalised jammer would only sit in the penalty box for one of the opposing jammer’s scoring passes.

For the next World Cup it is proposed that a team that is more than fifty points ahead will only be allowed to field three blockers per jam to give the other team a chance. This will be known as the ‘Sorry-you-are-too-good-rule’.

It is proposed that if a team is leading by ten points for a given jam, the leading jammer will be given penalty laps around the outside of the track until the lagging team has had a chance to catch up and bring the jam score difference to under ten points. This will be known as the ‘Please-go-easy-on-us-we-are-definitely-not-here-to-play-competitive-roller-derby-rule’.

Bouts of Team USA vs anyone else will be kept to two five-minute halves. This, according to Blood and Thunder, will allow teams to preserve their energy for games where they actually have any chance whatsoever.

DrAcula explained that these changes will lead to more exciting gameplay: “Scores will be closer and you will mostly see full strength teams on track. Though for Team USA we think that full strength starts with about two blockers. So we need to take that into account.”

“We believe that the best way to find out who is the best in this game is to change the rules and make it a different game. It sort of levels the playing field a bit if we play by a new set of rules that nobody has ever practiced.”

“We don’t think that teams can improve by playing under the current rule set. Just look at the scores of the previous World Cup finals. In 2011 we had USA-Canada with 336 to 33 and in 2014 it was USA-England with 219 to 105; both massive blowouts!”

“Most importantly, we want the games to be interesting for the thousands of first-time derby watchers who will purchase our $45 viewing package to see these games.”

Representatives from all participating nations commented: “We want to play under the WFTDA rule set. Or, as we like to call it, the ‘Sorry, not sorry rules’.”

Rose City to hold fifteen separate bootcamps in Europe to keep everyone happy

The Rose City Rollers Wheels of Justice have announced that they will hold a series of fifteen identical two-day bootcamps over the course of two weeks so that every last member of the European roller derby community gets a chance to attend.

Past events involving American teams in Europe were often limited in terms of time and capacity, leading to outcries from the derby community as to why we can’t have it all.

But the Rose City Rollers have vowed to do better. They will be holding fifteen separate two-day bootcamps over two weeks and across different locations in Europe.

Bootcamp dates will include both weekends and weekdays. A Rose City player explained: “Week days don’t work for some people. But we also wanted to make sure that we could offer some dates that wouldn’t clash with everyone’s busy British Champs or wedding weekend schedule.”

Each of the fifteen individual bootcamps will be followed by a public bout of Rose City vs London Brawling.

The announcement by the Wheels of Justice was met with positive reactions from the European derby community.

Bargebishop, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, commented: “I couldn’t get a ticket when Gotham came over last year. So it’s only fair that this year they should try a bit harder to keep me happy.”

“It’s almost annoying that they’ve put so much thought into it. If I have nothing to complain about, how will I make this all about me?”

Roller derby skater fouls out in first jam

The bout of Derpshire Rollergirls vs the Lame County Rollers this past weekend marked the first time that a skater fouled out during the first jam of a game.

Westspinster, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, accumulated seven penalties during the first jam and had to sit out the rest of the game, leaving her team one player short.

Westspinster was fielded by her team as a blocker in the first jam of the game. By the end of the jam the game was over for her.

The bout’s head referee explained how the one-jam foul out came to be:

“The skater committed a False Start by touching the jammer line and was issued a False Start warning. But she carried on skating forwards, causing the referee to issue a Failure to Yield penalty.”

“During this time, the skater also committed a Cut Track on the inside line, cutting two of her team mates. She didn’t react to this penalty either, and was issued an Insubordination penalty before finally leaving the track to head towards the penalty box.

“When she entered the penalty box area, she lost control and hit the penalty box chairs in such a way that the penalty box NSOs had to move out of the way to avoid being hit. She was issued a Misconduct penalty for this.”

“During the communication of this penalty by an outside pack ref, the skater must have misunderstood and thought that she could leave the penalty box. She left the box before finishing her penalty time, which constituted an Illegal Procedure penalty, and reentered the track in front of two other blockers from her own team who formed part of the pack. For this she was issued an Illegal Reentry penalty.”

“At this point the skater seemed exasperated and made a rude gesture whilst on her way to the box, thus earning a final Misconduct penalty.”

After her foul out a skater from her team had to sit in the penalty box to serve the remainder of Westspinster’s penalty time, which was a total of three minutes and twenty-eight seconds.

During the entire jam, Westspinster never once made contact with another skater nor did she gain relative position on a single opponent.

WFTDA rule book to be used as clinical anaesthetic

The WFTDA rules manual as been found to be as powerful an anaesthetic as leading brands currently used in clinical settings.

In recent clinical trials, patients were given a copy of the 2015 WFTDA Rules Manual and asked to start reading from page 1. Scientists recorded how far patients were able to read before being fully unconcious.

9 out of 10 people were found to be out by the time they got to rule 1.2.7: “The track and the boundary marker line are considered in bounds.”

Half of this group were already falling asleep by the time they got to rule 1.1.1: “At most, 14 skaters may be on the roster for a specific game.”

One out of ten people proved to be more resistant to the anaesthetic effects, in some rare cases making it all the way to rule 1.4.3.1: “If an Official Timeout is taken with 30 seconds or fewer remaining on the Official Period Clock, it will begin running once again, when the designated Official indicates that the Official Timeout is complete.”

The authors of the study suggested that patients who were in the resistant category could be offered fast track routes to level three WFTDA referee certification.

The authors of the study also warned to not underestimate the potential of the rule book. Information should be broken down into more manageable portions or rephrased to not unleash the full effects on players in an uncontrolled setting. Phrases such as “Just re-enter at the back of the pack.” or “Stay close to the other blockers.” were shown to only have mildly sedative effects.

Forward skating banned at Men’s European Cup

The organisers of the Men’s European Cup (MEC) have announced a tournament-specific addition to the rules stating that it will be illegal for blockers to skate forwards during gameplay.

Blockers who are seen skating forward whilst executing a block will immediately be issued a “Forward skating” penalty by the officials. Skating forward temporarily without attempting to make contact with another skater will be classed under “no impact/no penalty”.

MEC organisers commented: “This simply reflects what our participants want and the way they are already playing. We feel that we have to be flexible about adapting the rules as game dynamics change over time.”

“Backward skating has become so predominant in European Men’s derby that players have become much more proficient at playing this way. Forward skating is at this point a nearly extinct practice that makes for boring gameplay.”

“Forward skating simply presents a safety issue for a lot of our participating skaters. Many of them practice so little forward skating that they are not able to safely execute a block whilst skating forward. That is why we have decided to ban this outdated practice altogether from the tournament.”

“Forward skating is like the baseball slide. It’s just no longer relevant to modern Men’s roller derby and presents nothing but flashy, hazardous gameplay.”

When asked if they expect many Forward skating penalties to be issued during the MEC tournament, the organisers answered: “We think it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see many skaters doing this.”

It remains to be seen whether these rule changes will be extended to jammers in upcoming years.

Study shows that roller derby freshies have no clue what is happening on track

A recent study has shown that beginner roller derby skaters have literally got no clue about what is happening during gameplay.

Results showed that skaters thought there were on average between one and three jammers in a given jam.

Skaters found it confusing that “lots of stuff happens” and that “it all happens really fast”.

When asked how points are scored in roller derby, the majority of skaters indicated that they thought it involved magic.

Skaters were also found to be mystified by floor markings of any kind. One skater knew that blockers had line up “in front of that one line”. But was completely shaken in her beliefs when another skater suggested lining up “just behind that other line” at the jam start.

Penalties and interactions with referees were found to be significant sources of confusion.

Hannah, who has recently passed her minimum skills with the Derpshire Rollergirls commented:

“I asked the ref if I could call the jam. But he just gave me a blank stare and pointed at me.

“Then I was blocked off the track and tried to get back on as quickly as possible. But then the ref said I had to go off again and go to the penalty box. It’s soooo confusing!”

“Also, there are so many whistles! What do they all mean???”

Team England roller derby selections to exclude London leagues, “because they are too good”

The organisers of Team England and Men’s Team England have jointly announced that players of London-based leagues will be excluded from future national team selections.

This move follows outcries from the UK derby community at previous team selections. London-based skaters have been highly successful at securing spots on national team rosters in the past compared to skaters from other leagues.

National team leadership commented that team selection simply could not be conducted in a manner that would keep everyone happy if the London leagues were eligible, because they are too good.

Players from around the UK welcomed the move. “It just wasn’t fair”, commented Darwheeling of the Derpshire Rollergirls. “Just because those players are better and train harder than most doesn’t mean that they should be favoured in national team selections.”

“I am all for being a proper sport and athleticism, but selecting purely based on skill is going too far for me.”

“There is this awesome skater in my league who didn’t make the team. Sure, she doesn’t have any experience of playing at the high international level. But she is pretty good in our home scrimmages, so why shouldn’t she be on the team?”

“Also, I always suspected that those leagues use some sort of magic fairy dust in their training.”

“I think the process would be fairest if each league in the county provided one skater for the national squad.”

“Or maybe we could base it on how loudly people voice their feelings of discontent.”