Following their recent loss against Montreal at the 2016 WFTDA Playoffs, skaters from Bay Area Derby (BAD) have been spotted secretly attending beginner’s bootcamps on backwards skating.
BAD, an otherwise high-level team, have become known for their continued use of flat, forward-facing four-blocker defensive walls, while the rest of the derby world moved on to dynamic walls, often featuring blockers facing backwards and physically bracing the walls.
This year’s WFTDA D1 playoff in Montreal saw BAD being defeated by the hosts themselves in the game for third place and hence being barred from attending the 2016 WFTDA championships. This is the first time since 2012 that BAD have not made it to the championships, even coming in third place overall in 2014.
It has been suggested that BAD’s result in this year’s competitive season may be linked to their strategic choices.
A BAD skater, who wishes to remain anonymous, commented: “I had heard of backward skating and of ‘braced walls’, but I had never seen those things in person. Then I saw other teams do them at playoffs and I thought to myself: ‘Why aren’t we doing that?'”
BAD skaters have since been spotted up and down the country at numerous roller derby beginner bootcamps with an emphasis on backward skating and dynamic walls.
Another anonymous BAD skater commented: “I’m like a complete beginner at these backward skating bootcamps, skating alongside fresh meat skaters from other leagues.”
“I have to keep my attendance at such bootcamps secret though. I always wear a neutral top and no golden helmet. And a fake mustache, just to be sure.”