Rocky Mountain Conquers Banked Track

The Rocky Mountain Roller Girls (#1 Power Ranked) swept through Southern California’s two Derby Dolls leagues with victories against both the L.A. Derby Dolls (#3 Banked Rank) and San Diego Derby Dolls (#1 Banked Rank), to become the first league to be at the top of both flat and banked track roller derby. Rocky Mountain is now the top league in roller derby. Period.

Playing against two sibling rival leagues with very different styles, Rocky took L.A. 93-88 on Friday, and San Diego 125-100 Saturday night.

RMRG’s closed game with LADD was their first stop in their SoCal swing, where the game officially termed a “scrimmage” was fully officiated. It was the third outing for the Ri-Ettes, having earlier lost to Team Legit 125-96 and won against Gotham 132-106. For their part, RMRG’s DeRanged and Psycho Babble were on their fourth banked track game of the year. It was also the third game the Ri-Ettes faced against a top level WFTDA league, the second of the year.

With four interleague banked track veterans, DeRanged and Psycho Babble having earned nearly legendary status on the bank in less than a year, Rocky was better prepared than the other two WFTDA challengers…the other two BT vets being Amanda Jamitinya and She Who Cannot Be Named. The 5280 Fight Club also brought with them a strategy that works both on banked and flat track: broad skill in defaulting to basics like staying together, recycling, and slipping through traps to unravel positional tactics.

Rocky Mountain vs L.A. Derby Dolls

LADD’s Ri-Ettes lost to Team Legit in January, 125-96, a mere two weeks after forming the lastest version of the team with a 50 percent turnover. They held their own through three quarters of the game before falling off from Team Legit. A month later, Gotham lost to the Ri-Ettes 132-106. Gotham brought a more positional game with them, one the Ri-Ettes were better acclimated to on the bank than Gotham. Gotham held their own for three fourths of the game, but not all jammers were able to fully realize their strengths on the bank, and fatigue appeared to doom them in the fourth quarter. In that game, Gotham set the tone of the game as more positional, a tactic LADD has developed as a league over the last two years thanks to SDDD’s entry into the Derby Dolls intra system.

The Gotham game helped the Ri-Ettes gel as a team, and it showed in this game.

From the first whistle Rocky displayed an uncanny competence on the bank that no flat track challenger had exhibited before. Sticking to fundamentals gave the 5280 FC fewer variables to adapt to a different track and game structure. Both teams took the more conservative approach of holding back the opposing jammer rather than making it a priority to spring their own. Five jams into the first quarter, the score was only 2-1 in LADD’s favor. There were four lead score reversals in the first quarter, which ended 19-14 Rocky Mountain.

What became immediately clear was that the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls came to skate fast. If the opposing jammer was out front, they were going to run the pack as fast as they could to wear out their opponents. It was an old and familiar tactic for LADD. Speed also has a consequent downside: it puts considerably more energy into c-cut style blocks whether it’s a hip or shoulder check, or sternum block.

One of the reasons the score was so low for both teams, was that the new LA jammers were often able to keep up with DeRanged, Psycho and Urrk’n Jerk’n, which led to early call offs.

In the 2nd Quarter, Rocky immediately pulled away to a 32-14 lead over L.A. But five jams later, the Ri-Ettes tied up the score, 36-36 with the game’s first two scoring pass double digit score from Raven Seaward, then 38-38, before Rocky edged forward to lead the board at the end of the half, 44-39.

Rocky picked up some traction in the 3rd quarter limiting L.A. to a mere 2 scoring jams out of 11 in the quarter, while Rocky picked up two double pass scores for a total of 17 points. The first a 10 pointer from Urrk’n Jerk’n, the second a 7-0 from DeRanged. Rocky extended their lead from 5 points in the previous two quarters, to 23 points at the end of the 3rd Quarter, 71-48.

RMRG had the momentum which L.A. would have to fight to overcome. But it came at a cost with Rocky racing the pack to shut the Ri-Ettes out so frequently.

The 4th quarter started out slow with 0-0, 2-2 and 0-0, but the momentum shifted a little in L.A.’s direction with a 9-0 jam from Raven Seaward. The Ri-Ettes held the 5280 Fight Club to 73 points for 5 straight jams, closing the gap to a 5 point spread again, 73-67. But an 8 point jam from Urrk’n Jerk’n extended their lead to a more comfortable 14 points. With three jams left in the game, it looked like L.A. couldn’t possibly close the gap from 85-69 Rocky. But ejections for box accumulation took DeRanged, Psycho Babble and Frida Beater out of the game and were taking their toll on an already worn Rocky.

The Ri-Ettes Tough Soles scored 15-0 in a Power Jam in a 3-3 pack, the highest single jam score in the game. This put LADD up to 85-84 Rocky. With two jams left a win against Rocky was a possibility, but the Fight Club pulled off a 4-0 second to last jam. The Ri-Ettes needed a 6-0 to win, but in a chaos filled final jam, RegulateHer and Urrk’n Jerk’n both went for the score, 4-4, and the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls defeated the L.A. Derby Dolls in their first banked track game, 93-88…the same 5 point spread they had for the first two quarters.

LA Derby Dolls Ri-Ettes: Ø Haught Wheels // 5 Braodzilla // 6 Chargin’ Tina // 13 Tough Soles // 40 Iron Maiven // 53 Raven Seaward // 75 Regulateher // 516 Long Island Lolita // 981 V Lee // 1337 Mickispeedia // 1963 Skatum O’Neal // 90210 Gori Spelling // NC-17 Cherrylicious // OC Laguna Beyatch

Rocky Mountain Roller Girls 5280 Fight Club: 00 Urrk’n Jerk’n as Booty Blockya // 3 Catholic Cruel Girl // 8 Winona Fighter // 9 Amanda Jamitinya // 21 Psycho Babble // 27 DeRanged // 31 Fiona Grapple // 37 Bob Loblaw // 52 Whipity Pow // 86 Assaultin’ Pepa // 88 She Who Cannot Be Named // 202 Frida Beater // 1972 Ecko // 7423 Triple Shot Misto

Rocky Mountain vs. San Diego Derby Dolls

The LADD Ri-Ettes game was the warm up act for the big show: #1 in banked track, San Diego Derby Dolls Wildfires, vs #1 in flat track, Rocky Mountain Roller Girls 5280 Fight Club. Besides being at the top in banked track, SDDD earned a name for themselves in flat track, getting up to #14 on the DNN Power Rank, the only non-WFTDA team to do so.

Rocky had already proven to be formidable on the bank from the start, and they are at the top of the flat track ranks. On the bank, they already developed their own banked track style, which was their flat track style but more of it. Faster speed, tight ranks, and the kind of sudden destructive hits you get from speed. SDDD faced a Rocky with more experience out of the gate, but RMRG had also played an extremely physical game the night before which tested their endurance on the less familiar track structure.

SDDD also plays an extremely physical game, but their style tends toward the positional, defeating LADD and Team Legit multiple times with consistently well executed trapping, after bringing that tactic on to the bank in 2009. They also tend to be more aggressive in allocating blocking resources to get their jammers out of the pack, rather than focusing their efforts on stopping the opposing jammer. But they’re flexible with savvy strategists on the team, and they were aware of how Rocky skated on the bank the previous night in Los Angeles.

This game was the first time SDDD had played a full WFTDA team on the bank. L.A. skated against Windy City and Gotham before Rocky, but the Wildfires were starting at the very top. This was also the first game of the year for the Wildfires, but their roster was mostly unchanged from 2010, with the notable additions of Punk ‘n da Trunk from ACDG and Ryder Hard from LADD.

San Diego took an early 9-3 lead in the first three jams. But by the sixth jam, Rocky Mountain grabbed the lead 16-13. The Wildfires tied it up and grabbed the lead back in subsequent jams, and Rocky did the same. But an 8-0 jam from Urrk’n Jerk’n gave the 5280 Fight Club the most substantial lead in the game so far, the first quarter ending 27-19 Rocky.

DeRanged opened up RMRG’s spread over SDDD in the second jam of the second quarter with a 10-0 Power Jam, but by the seventh jam, they’d only gained another 5 points as the Wildfire defense held them at bay. But San Diego’s gains were also modest, only putting six points on the board in that time for a score of 42-25, Rocky. It wasn’t until Steely Jan’s 9-0 jam against Triple Shot Misto that SDDD felt some traction against Rocky, 47-39, RMRG. But with DeRanged’s 10-0 jam against Steely Jan at the close of the half put Rocky more comfortably in the lead 62-44.

SDDD came on strong in the third quarter with a 14-0 Power Jam from Kiki Diazz putting the Wildfires only four points behind the 5280 Fight Club, 62-58. But San Diego languished with the 58 points for the next four jams will Rocky Mountain edged forward again to 73-58. Steely Jan once again put 9-0 on the board to bring SDDD closer to RMRG’s score than they had been since they were both tied at 19 points in the first quarter, 73-71. But 5-0, 8-1, and 3-0 scores put Rocky 20 points in the black, 92-72, and a last jam 5-0 from OB Noxious only mitigated the lead to end the third quarter 92-77 in RMRG’s favor.

Opening the fourth quarter with a 9-2 jam between DeRanged and Kiki Diazz, the 5280’s widened their lead again, passing the triple digit mark to 101-79. But there, the Rocky momentum stopped as SDDD held them to that 101 points for the next six jams. San Diego almost closed the gap entirely with a 10-0 jam between Ivanna S. Pankin and Whippity Pow, Ivanna following that with a 5-0 against Urrk’n Jerk’n, where she fouled out of the game…Rocky Mountain’s first casualty in the game. Diazz put 4-0 on the scoreboard in the final leg of SDDD’s run, putting the Wildfires in triple digits and a single point down from Rocky, 101-100.

RMRG came back with a vengeance, Psycho Babble putting up two 10-0 jams, one against Ivanna and one a Power Jam, followed by a 4-0 from DeRanged. Giving Rocky Mountain a comfortable 125-100 lead with a little over two minutes left in the game, while losing one more player to penalty accumulation: Amanda Jamitinya.

Rocky chose a time-kill strategy, with DeRanged and Psycho exchanging jammer and pack duties, choosing to just run behind the pack without scoring to eat up clock time, holding the SD jammers behind them when they got out of the pack at all. The final jam started with the game clock tapped out, and all Psycho Babble needed was to get lead and call the jam. The Rocky Mountain Roller Girl’s 5280 Fight Club became the first team in history to become the #1 team in both banked and flat track.

San Diego Derby Dolls Wildfires: 4 Blur D’Lee // 7 Slamurai // 9 Some Brero // 11 Anna Nuthathang // 19 Steely Jan // 22 Ivanna S. Pankin // 24 Heidi Evidence // 68 Redrum // 72 ryder Hard // 88 Kiki Diazz // 99 Trish the Dish // 360 Isabelle Ringer // 619 Bo Toxic // 703 OB Noxious // 1221 Punk N. Da’Trunk // <3 Summer Crush // 7&7 Kung Pow Tina // x2 Jean Slay // 80.00% Lemon Drop Rocky Mountain Roller Girls 5280 Fight Club: 00 Urrk’n Jerk’n as Booty Blockya // 3 Catholic Cruel Girl // 8 Winona Fighter // 9 Amanda Jamitinya // 21 Psycho Babble // 27 DeRanged // 31 Fiona Grapple // 37 Bob Loblaw // 52 Whipity Pow // 86 Assaultin’ Pepa // 88 She Who Cannot Be Named // 202 Frida Beater // 1972 Ecko // 7423 Triple Shot Misto