After five years: derby player finally gets team mate’s derby name pun

After five years, a Roller derby player has finally understood the pun in her team mate’s roller derby name.

At last weekend’s bout, Skatelyn, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, was hit by a sudden realisation and finally understood the meaning behind her team mate’s roller derby name.

Skatelyn commented:
“I cannot believe I didn’t see it before! ”

“Her name is ‘Poocahontas’. You know – ‘poo’ like pooing and ‘Pocahontas’ like in Disney!”

Poocahontas commented:
“This is unbelievable. Skatelyn and I are derby wives and have been best friends every since we started playing. How can she not have gotten this until now?”

Skatelyn explained:
“I guess I thought it was just her real name or something.”

Inverse correlation between number of times you go to RollerCon and number of classes you attend

A recent study has shown that there is a direct inverse correlation between the number of times a roller derby skater has attended RollerCon and the number of classes they attend, as well as the amount of exercise they are likely to engage in, during the event.

RollerCon, an annual roller derby congress in Las Vegas, brings together skaters, coaches and vendors in a 5-day event filled with classes, seminars, scrimmages, bouts and parties.

The study showed that first time attendees are likely to engage in many more classes, and engage in many more hours of exercise per day, than repeat RollerCon attendees.

Hannah, first-time RollerCon visitor and member of the Derpshire Rollergirls’ fresh meat programme, commented: “I have everything planned out. I have studied the class timetable, and have colour-coded all the classes, seminars and Meet & Greet’s that I want to attend, so that I can go to the maximum possible number every day. The next day, I will get up early and do it all again. I’m so excited!”

“I’ve also signed up to play in 36 RollerCon challenge bouts!”

“I will eat my lunches during off-skates seminars, so that I don’t miss out on a single minute of learning. Initially, I was planning to eat during skating classes. But then I thought they might frown on it if I whip out a taco during Quadzilla’s jam skating class, and I want to make a good impression.”

The study showed further that the units of alcohol drunk per day increased with increasing years of Rollercon attendance.

Tessa Ract, member of the Derpshire All Stars team, RollerCon veteran and coach of several classes at this year’s Rollercon, commented: “For me, Rollercon is really more about about dating than skating.”

“Skating-wise, all I have to do during these five days at RollerCon is to coach two classes, and play a challenge bout with Team TNOB. The rest of the time I will sit by the pool and party. One of my team mate didn’t even bring her skates.”

The study results bring truth to the old RollerCon saying: “There was skating. There was drinking. Not at the same time.”

WFTDA rules update will see second period played in clockwise direction

In a recent rules update published by the WFTDA, it has been confirmed that future roller derby games will see the second period played in clockwise direction. The first period will continue to be played in the usual counter-clockwise direction.

Omegara, a WFTDA spokesperson, explained:
“We decided on this step to make our sport safer and less injury-prone.
Many studies have shown that unidirectional roller derby can lead to muscle imbalance, which in turn can cause long term health issues and injury.”

“We also wanted to increase the general level of athleticism in roller derby. We believe that roller derby skaters should be equally good at skating in different directions around the track.
This will help us to be taken more seriously as athletes by other roller sports organisations and sports bodies in general.”

“Of course, in the second period of every bout you would now potentially be subject to direction of gameplay penalties for counter-clockwise blocking.
Regarding necessary rule changes, we have created an updated version of the rule book which contains a new section for the second period.
This section is just the whole rule book again, but every instance of ‘counter-clockwise’ has been replaced with ‘clockwise’ and vice versa. In one swift move we have thus doubled the WFTDA rule book in length.

“In general though, we do not anticipate a lot of organisational changes for games and game play. Line-up and score trackers may need to change position at half time and we will need a second set of jammer and pivot lines and a penalty box ‘line of no return’ on the other side of the box.”

Isle of View, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, commented:
“This is a whole new challenge for our training. We basically feel like rookie skaters when going clockwise around the track. We all have a good side for stops and turns and none of us can really cross-over all that well in clockwise direction.

“I normally like to position myself on the outside line in our walls. Now I’m confused. Will I want to be on the inside on the second half?”

DuroTart, another Derpshire skater, commented:
“I like this change. Why do so many sports go counter-clockwise anyway?”

Meanwhile, owners of derby businesses and enterprises with names based on the unidirectionality of roller derby were left unimpressed.

WFTDA to add emotional intelligence and common sense to minimum skills

The WFTDA have announced this week that the next update of the WFTDA Minimum Skills Requirements will include skills of emotional intelligence and common sense in addition to the currently listed skating and contact skills.

WFTDA spokesperson Wheatley commented:
“We need to keep the required skill set relevant to evolving game play.”

The last update to the Minimum Skills Requirements saw the addition of further backwards skating skills and removal of outdated practices such as baseball slides.

Wheatley commented:
“The upcoming version of the Minimum Skills Requirements will see similar changes. We did our research and found that emotional intelligence and common sense are some of the technical skills that currently present the greatest hurdle for skaters. A lack of these skills holds skaters back from progressing and it presents a safety issue.”

The Minimum Skills Requirements present an important rite of passage for roller derby players. WFTDA member leagues are required to assess all charter team skaters, who must pass both this set of skills as well as the WFTDA Skater Rules Test in order to compete in WFTDA-sanctioned games. These tests are taken very seriously by leagues around the world. Team captains have to certify that all testing is complete when submitting WFTDA team charters and game sanctioning applications.

Wheatley explained further:
“Ultimately, these updates are for the safety of the skaters and those around them. We believe that skaters cannot safely partake in contact game play and scrimmage without having demonstrated skills such as speed control and not expecting constant validation and congratulation.”

“We feel confident that this is what our members want. The WFTDA Training Committee has developed this new set of the Minimum Skills Requirements in tandem with WFTDA member leagues and WFTDA Risk Management. Just as with past versions, this new set of standards was beta tested and voted in by WFTDA membership.”

Act Your Rage is a player and coach with the Derpshire Rollergirls, one of the leagues involved in the beta testing of the new Minimum Skills Requirements. She felt positively about the changes: “We very much welcome this move. We definitely think that skills of emotional intelligence and common sense are needed to play modern roller derby. In each season we, as a league, have had to add both physical and mental skills to our tool box. You cannot execute a Rose City wall without good backwards skating and you cannot be on a travel team without a minimal level of emotional resilience and an ability to handle the ups and downs of a competitive sport.”

“This is an important part of making derby a more serious sport. We just cannot have players who are unable to make it through a practice session without crying because they are not famous yet, if we want to be taken seriously in our athleticism.”

“We run a fresh meat programme for six months where we teach these skills to beginners. Just like we have seen with the physical techniques, some people struggle with emotional intelligence and common sense. We find that those who have a background in practicing these skills tend to do better initially.”

“Overall, we very much think that this is a move in the right direction. But we are also still facing some challenges in coaching these skills. For example, we are always looking for new and better ways to teach T-stops and not making it all about yourself.”

Mary, a skater participating in the current Derpshire Fresh Meat programme, commented:
“It’s so hard. I’ve had to redo the course several times. I’ve passed the 27 in 5 endurance test, but to pass my min skills I still need to learn how not to blame others for my lack of progress.”

Act Your Rage shared some of the tips she gives to skaters:
“Just as with skating techniques, you will need to practice these things over and over until you nail them.”

“You can practice them at home while you watch TV or brush your teeth. Stand on one leg or in derby stance and visualise not shouting at players and referees when you are sent to the penalty box.”

“Don’t be discouraged if you can’t do it first time, just keep working at it.”

“Also, importantly, don’t be a dick.”