Success: Every North American men’s roller derby fan gets ticket to Men’s World Cup

The organisers of the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup (MRDWC), to be held in Calgary this weekend, have reported a major success in their ticket sales.

MRDWC spokesperson Ultracrepidarian commented:
“We are happy to announce that every single North American men’s roller derby fan was able to get a ticket for this event. We really feel like we have been able to connect with the main fan base of men’s roller derby.”

Buyers of tickets were ecstatic at the prospect of seeing the men’s World Cup live. Thingama Bob, of the Lame County Rollers, commented:
“I bought a ticket, because I really wanted a nice quiet weekend and some solitude. I’m looking forward to it just being me, my poutine and an empty row of seats. It will be glorious.”

Ultracrepidarian elaborated on some of the opportunities offered to fans this weekend because of the sales record:
“We are going to do this new system where every audience member is personally paired up with a player to high-five during the victory round. We just need to sell a few more tickets so that no player is left out.”

The start of the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup has been smooth so far, though MRDWC organisers were somewhat baffled during team registration to find that there are more national teams in Europe and in South America than in North America.
“We were very surprised. We had no idea. We thought maybe the USA and Canada would get at least three national teams. But apparently that’s not how it works.”

Come to Calgary this weekend to see the best of men’s roller derby, or follow the action on the live stream!

New skate brand enters roller derby market: TNOB

After a recent split in the leadership of a well known skate company, a new roller derby skate brand has emerged: TNOB.

TNOB offers quad skates, boots, plates, wheels and anything you need for your roller derby set-up; and they promise brand new technology to make you the skater you want to be.

Avid V, head of TNOB, tells us more about what TNOB brings to the market: “We did intensive research of currently available skate technology. We found a core area for improvement that other brands have left largely unexplored.”

“On our boots, we have added brand new ShoeLace™ Technology to tighten the boot and hold your feet in place. These are a complete upgrade from ordinary laces, as they are are fully exchangeable and customisable, and we have different colours and elasticities.”

“To get the most out of the exciting new ShoeLace™ Technology, we recommend switching to a complete TNOB skate and padding set-up. Come to our booth at a derby event near you and we will fit you with all the TNOB equipment that we think you need.”

Myriad players have already switched to a TNOB set-up. And a number of high level players represent TNOB on the roller derby market as part of the sponsored ‘Team TNOB’.

Using #tnobulated as their hashtag, players like Team USA skater GMO FTW have been busily promoting TNOB on social media.

In a recent announcement, TNOB also opened up Team TNOB to new members:
“You too could be on Team TNOB! Submit a video of you acting like a TNOB for the chance to be on team TNOB at rollercon!”

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.

British leagues to pull out of WFTDA competitive season following Brexit

British roller derby leagues, including the London Rollergirls (LRG), Leeds Roller Dolls (LRD) and Rainy City Roller Derby (RCRD) have confirmed that they will be pulling out of the 2016 WFTDA competitive season due to the impact of the recent Brexit vote.

Standing in the rain outside the Thunderdome PeaWet, an RCRD spokesperson, commented:
“We’ve already lost a lot of EU funding over the last week. No funding, no venue; no venue, no training.”

La Grunge Point, of LRG, stated:
“It turns out that half of our members are European. Even some who we thought were Australian! They are preparing for deportation as we speak.”

Yakety Sax, of LRD, said:
“Leeds as a city was very divided on the referendum. And our membership has fallen out over the Leave vs Remain issue. Half our directors have now resigned and have left us in a complete mess.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Leagues were left with a more positive outlook, as Glasgow Roller Derby and Auld Reekie Rollergirls stated:
“We are looking at all the options and are hoping to have a membership vote on whether to remain part of this year’s WFTDA championship.”

WFTDA spokesperson Miniplenty expressed regret at these developments:
“We are very sad to see this happen. But we believe that the WFTDA Big 7 tournaments of 2016 will not be further affected by politics. However, we cannot currently make statements about next year’s season, as the US general elections are happening the week after WFTDA Champs.”

Woman does not get ticket for highly popular roller derby event – life ruined

This summer will see the highly awaited rematch of the Derpshire Rollergirls vs Metropolis Girls Roller Derby.

As expected for such a sought after event, tickets sold out within minutes of being released.

Hellphaba, of the Fartfordshire Rollers, was one of the unfortunate people who missed out on obtaining a ticket to the event and she has found her life falling apart because of it.

Hellphaba commented:
“I never even considered the possibility that I might not get a ticket to this very popular event. I mean, I really wanted one, so I basically deserve to have one, right?”

“I hit that refresh button on the ticket website for 20 minutes trying to get tickets for this roller derby event. And now that I haven’t got a ticket I just feel stupid and empty inside. Light will never be light again, it’s all darkness from here on out.”

“It was the worst 20 minutes of my life. I’m close to a breakdown.”

“I have a loving family and a good life, but that’s all ruined now. Thanks a lot, Derpshire!”

“Derpshire Rollergirls have made me realise that I can’t have everything in life and I hate them for it.
They have ruined roller derby for everyone.”

“I simply deserve a ticket to this event. I think it’s my right to see this event live. After all, I invested a whole twenty minutes on that ticket website.”

“It’s just not fair that the number of tickets is limited.
I’ve never had a problem getting a ticket for any of Fartfordshire’s bouts or any of the British champs bouts; even on the door. I don’t see why this bout should be any different! I want a ticket, dammit!”

“They say there were lots of tickets, but maybe they are lying. If there were so many tickets, how could they ever sell out? This all seems very shifty to me.”

“I bet they do this on purpose. They put on this whole event because They really wanted me to be sad.”

Shortly after the tickets sold out, Hellphaba voiced her anger on social media:
“Sold out!!! WTF I’ve been refreshing like mad #worst20minutesOfMyLive.”

“Being annoyed on social media has definitely made things better for me.”

“I see that lots of other loud and angry people on Facebook who missed out because it was sold out so quickly. I don’t understand? Clearly nobody got tickets!”

“They just don’t understand how much this game means to me. It’s a once in a lifetime! I have wanted to see it ever since my friend linked me to the Facebook announcement a few days ago.”

“This other woman from my league managed to get a ticket. Why does she get to go and I don’t? I hate everything now.”

“I have never organised an event like that, but I am sure if I did, I would have done it better.
We never have any complaints when we organise bouts in our league. Last time, all 30 people who came loved it. If Derpshire are so good, they should be able to sort out an event with over a thousand people no problem.
If they are so good, then why have they made me feel this way?”

“I would say I am gutted, but that isn’t the word.
I am crushed beyond imagination.
I am heartbroken.
I am just an empty shell of a woman now.
Nothing this bad has ever happened to me and nothing worse ever will.
I just cannot cope anymore.”

“They really need to do something to make up for the pain they have caused me.
I am so stressed out about this that I will probably have to take time off work. And I think Derpshire should compensate me for that.
Their mistakes have literally ruined my life.
I made so many sacrifices to be able to sit at a computer at the time the tickets went up. My life will never be the same.”

“I used to think the glass was half full, but Derpshire have taken the glass from me and smashed it on the floor. That’s how terrible they are.”

“I might just quit roller derby all together over this. There is just no joy in it anymore. All because of Derpshire.”

When we asked the Derpshire Rollergirls for a statement, a spokesperson commented:
“I can confirm that we literally put on this event to ruin your life.
I would love to continue chatting, but I have training later and a full-time job also this giant international event to organise.”

Looking to the future, Hellphaba commented:
“Maybe I’ll just apply to officiate or announce at this event. They owe me that.”

“Anyway, I have to go now because I am sure there are other things waiting to be complained about.”

Get certified for creative roller derby refereeing

This coming weekend, the Derpshire Rollergirls are putting on a WFTDA-sanctioned referee clinic with a special emphasis on creative refereeing.

The class aims to help roller derby officials put the maximum amount of creativity into their roller derby refereeing.

The advertisement for the class states:

We will teach you about creativity, innovation and change.
We want to stimulate your creativity and help you take your creative refereeing to the next level.

Be a more innovative referee; jumpstart your creativity, and don’t just go by the rules.

Learn about what is inhibiting you from calling roller derby penalties the way you want.

Think outside the box, break the shackles, push the boundaries and challenge the status quo.
The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity in roller derby refereeing.

Discover and develop your own ideas for how roller derby penalties should be called.

By the end of this course, you will be great at discovering your own ideas about roller derby rules and delivering them confidently.

This course is highly experimental and teaches you to be experimental, too, in your roller derby officiating.

You will learn to creatively work as an individual ref and you will also learn creative refereeing in a team of officials.

We will prepare you for all the situations you may encounter as a roller derby referee: gameplay, captains’ meetings, official reviews – bring your creativity to all of these.

You will be able to use these creative skills everywhere in your function as a roller derby referee, whether you are making calls, selecting crews or evaluating other referees.

There are no skills requirements for this course.
There are no grades or tests. You decide how good you are, because the only person judging your refereeing should be you.

This course also leads directly to certification, i.e you will be a Certified Creative Referee.

Here are some of the creativity- increasing concepts you will learn on this course:

Approach roller derby penalty calls in new innovative ways.
Push your limits – make calls in ways never seen before.

Have you gotten into a rut? Try calling things differently to how you would normally call them.
You may feel foolish at first, but getting comfortable with feeling foolish is just another way to think outside the box.

Shift your thinking away from your brain’s logic centers and into a more creative part of the brain, where it can be mulled over in a non-rational way.

Work backwards: start with the call you want to make and work backwards to creatively come up with a justification.
Try to challenge your brain’s normal concept of causality.

Draw on other creative sources: players, coaches and the audience may give you new ideas about how to make calls.

Invite randomness into your work. Embrace mistakes and incorporate them into your style.

Always think: what’s the worst that could happen?

Eliminate negativity. Do not limit your ideas. No idea is too ‘out there’.
If other people tell you your ideas are outside of normal, don’t listen to them.
Instead, surround yourself with likeminded people.

Keep your creativity sharp. Like any skill, creativity needs to be exercised to keep it going.
Keep thinking of new situations to apply your creativity to. Any bout is an opportunity for this.

This course will cover all of the WFTDA rule book, though special emphasis will be put on creatively calling forearms, multiplayer block, and cut track penalties.

We have many graduates who have gone on to referee at the big 7 WFTDA tournaments and other high profile roller derby events.

Interested?

Contact the Derpshire Rollergirls to book your place on the creative refereeing course and bring your officiating creativity to a bout near you.

Derby player moves league for the fifth time to get away from drama

This past week saw roller derby player Poison Distribution transfer to a new roller derby league for the fifth time in three years to – in her words – “get away from all the drama”.

Poison Distribution, who is a self-proclaimed high-level player, started her roller derby career three years ago with the Fartfordshire Rollers, but transferred to Forkshire Roller Derby halfway through her fresh meat course.

“They weren’t serious enough and were holding me back”.

After reaching the end of the fresh meat programme, she transferred again, when she didn’t make the travel team.

“They didn’t see how good I was. I needed to go somewhere where I would be appreciated.”

Transferring two more times because of internal conflicts eventually brought her to the Derpshire Rollergirls.

Regarding her decision to transfer again, Poison Distribution commented: “There is just so much drama in that league, I had to get away from it all.”

“Basically, I just say it how it is and some people can’t take that.”

Commenting on her large number of league moves Poison Distribution said: “I don’t know why this keeps happening to me! It’s so sad how much drama there is in derby these days.”

Poison Distribution’s closing words to her old league could be seen on her Twitter feed: “Laterz bitchez! Let’s see how well you’ll do without me! #justsayin #hatersgonnahate #hardtruths #whyallthedrama #movingon #whatevs.”

Talking about the future, Poison Distribution stated: “If this league turns out to be as bad as the others, maybe I’ll just become an unaffiliated player and play in challenge bouts. These days that’s the best way of getting better at this team sport anyway.”

Duckspeak, a spokesperson of the Derpshire Rollergirls commented: “We hope she finds what she’s looking for in her next league. Meanwhile, we’re gonna get back to training and making sure this league runs smoothly.”

Exclusive: How this roller derby league recruits high level transfers

Take an exclusive look at an advert that is usually only distributed to the most elite of roller derby players.

Read on to see how this roller derby league recruits high level transfers.

 

Are you an elite roller derby player?
Do you play to win?
Do you want to be part of a team who aim to be the best in the world?

Then come and join Derpshire Roller Derby!

We guarantee: A spot on our All Star roster!

We will provide you with everything you need to make your transition as smooth as possible:
Do you need a job, a flat, partner(s), food and money to ease your transition?
We have you covered!
Derpshire is an expensive city, but do not worry!
We will provide you with a flat in central Derpshire with easy access to our venues, including a team gym with state of the art equipment and a luxury spa. You will also be provided with a personal masseuse, physio and nutritionist.

Interested in joining us?

Just talk to one of our recruiters at a derby even near you and discuss your needs.

Worried about time and commitments?
There is no need to worry; our All Stars team operate a zero attendance policy.
Can’t or won’t make practice? Just turn up for the bouts!

Also, no league committee work required!
(We have B-team players to do that for you.)

 

It remains to be seen how this approach will affect Derpshire Roller Derby’s progression through this year’s competitive season.

Woman enthusiastically agrees to spend weekend in sports hall

This last week saw Mary Smith, from Derpshire, enthusiastically agree to spend her entire weekend in a sports hall to watch people skate in circles and skate into each other.

She happily suffered through lack of food choices, sat in stale air, bad lighting and uncomfortable chairs, next to annoying people.

When asked about her life choices, Mary commented: “I’m so excited to be here, I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for ages.”

“We mostly just sit here and watch those people over there skate in circles. Sometimes we will stand up and queue for the bathroom for fifteen minutes.”

“We also go and peruse the stalls where they sell stuff to help you skate in circles. Or you can buy yet another t-shirt to add to your collection of t-shirts you bought at similar events in the past.”

“I’m watching one of my friends. She is really good at skating in circles. I have watched her skate in circles before, but today she is skating in circles with different people.”

“I haven’t been skating in circles for very long, so I need to practice more to get better at skating in circles, before people will come and watch me.”

“Then there are people who write down how often you have skated in a circle or tell you if you have skated in a circle wrong.”

“That one over there has a certificate in telling people when they have skated in a circle all wrong, so he is really good at it.”

We caught up with Mary again after the event: “At the end of the weekend, we celebrated the fact that we skated in circles and that some people were better at it than others.”

“It was the best weekend ever! I can’t wait to do this again and watch some other people skate in circles.”

“Though, it might have to wait a little while, because you have to pay a lot of money to watch people skate in circles.”

“My non-skating-in-circles-friends don’t understand why I would choose to do this all the time. But they don’t get it. It’s the best!”

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.”