Feature Preview: The Great Southern Slam

Everything’s bigger down under.

It was true in 2010, when The Great Southern Slam put fifteen teams on four full-sized tracks for the first roller derby tournament in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest derby event in the world. It’s even truer this weekend, as derby players from across the Asia-Pacific converge on Adelaide for The Great Southern Slam 2012: a three-day tournament and multi-bout event featuring 30 antipodean teams on five tracks – and that’s just the teams representing their leagues! 18 teams will compete in the event tournament and 12 more will play single matches, while skaters from other leagues have the opportunity to play in short themed challenge bouts.

Tiltvision

DNN presents full live coverage of The Great Southern Slam, with feature track broadcast production provided by Tiltvision.

Roller derby in the Asia-Pacific has come a long way since that first tournament. In the leadup to the first Great Southern Slam, there were around 30 leagues in Australia and New Zealand; now, there’s more like 90 – and the number seems to grow weekly. Multiple leagues now exist in most major cities in Australia and New Zealand, typically the result not of league splits, but of new leagues forming to accommodate skaters who can’t join the OG organisations, operating at full capacity.

As well, derby continues to spread to regional centres and the small towns that punctuate the landscape. Melbourne’s Victorian Roller Derby League has recently become a full WFTDA member and Auckland’s Pirate City Rollers is making its way through the apprenticeship program. And there continues to be a thriving trade in travelling coaches, with plenty of experienced skaters and whole teams making their way down under to challenge the locals and share their skills.

TGSS Tournament Structure

With no ongoing tournament structure or large-scale governing body, there is no seeding going into the TGSS Tournament. Instead, as in 2010, teams will compete in round-robin play at group level for the chance to progress to the elimination rounds.

The eighteen participating teams have been divided into six groups of three teams, each comprising one of the region’s most experienced teams, one mid-level team, and one relatively new team. Each group will play round robin, each team playing each other team in 40-minute mini-bouts to establish seeding for the elimination round.

The winning team from each group (based on win-loss record) progresses automatically to the next round. To fill out the bracket, the two teams with the highest point differential across all groups will also progress to the elimination rounds. The model from there is simple playoffs: these eight teams compete in quarter-final play and the four victors move on to the semi-finals to establish seeding for the Grand Final to determine the Great Southern Slam 2012 Champion. The four vanquished teams will compete for fifth through eighth places.

Downloadable tournament schedule and bracket (PDF)

Group A

Victorian Roller Derby League (Melbourne, Vic)

As the defending TGSS champions, one of the oldest leagues in Oz and the Southern Hemisphere’s only full WFTDA league, Victoria has a lot to prove in this year’s tournament – but a good foundation for doing so, going undefeated in local interleague play since Skate of Origin 2, in August 2009. In fact, host team Adelaide Roller Derby is the only Asia-Pacific team ever to defeat Victoria in that single game. VRDL has also been handed some valuable learning experiences in the form of full-length bouts at home in 2010 against Texas Rollergirls home team, the Hotrod Honeys, and the Rat City Rollers’ all-stars – not to mention their impressive showing at the recent Dust Devil.

VRDL will be taking on the relatively new Auckland Roller Derby League, who formed just 12 months ago – but their newness as a league may not reflect their game play on the day, with many viewing them as the tournament’s dark horse. They’ve dominated local competition since their inception, but they’ve yet to meet their cross-town rivals and the most established team in New Zealand, Pirate City Rollers.

VRDL_1.jpg

2 Smashin Pop // 3 Gilli Pepper // 4 Calamity Maim // 10 G-Banger // 12 Berzerker // 18 Miss Chivas // 24 Ruby Ribcrusher // 28 Night Mary // 45 Skate Bush // 52 Axis of Evon // 69 Hotrod Stacy // 72 The Flyin’ Nun Chucker // 77 Rocky // 85 Bianca Sciaretta // 138 Swish Cariboom // 505 Mad Mel Arena // 666 BB Bombshell // 8008 Splatterpuss // C4 Alex in Chains // X0X0 Kitty Decapitate

Auckland Roller Derby League (Auckland, NZ)

Auckland’s roster boasts some of the most experienced derby skaters in the Southern Hemisphere, including Elicia ‘Lucy in Disguise’ Nisbet-Smith and Hannah ‘Scheisse Minelli’ Jennings, who appeared for cross-town rivals Pirate City Rollers in the 2010 Great Southern Slam. They’ve also added Anna ‘Wonton Destruction’ Wong, one of the earliest members of Pirate City Rollers who went on to found the UK’s Bristol Roller Derby before returning to New Zealand.

auckland_0.jpg

8 Anna Wong // 10 Rainbow Crash // 28 Elicia Nisbet-Smith // 38 Evil K.neevil // 4Q2 Peku Lemu // 73 Natasha La Trobe // 78 Skanda Lass // 86 Ellen Mackenzie // 101 Tuff Bikkies // 331 Georgia Lee // 415 Hannah Jennings // 1337 Limey J. Snee // 2202 Michelle Rutherford // 4711 Meat Train // P1X Leisa (Pixie) Lumby

Newcastle Roller Derby League (Newcastle, NSW)

The third team in this group is New South Wales’ Newcastle Roller Derby. They were among the second wave of Australian derby leagues and benefited from frequent interleague play with the many other leagues within a couple of hours’ drive of NSW capital Sydney. They’re currently ranked third in the informal ‘Eastern Region’ after a series of bouts in 2011 between leagues in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

In their most recent interleague action, Newcastle went down to a Sun State home team 120-58 and also fell to Pirate City’s B-team, 122-91 in November 2011. At their best, though, the Dockyard Dames can take on some of the toughest competition in the country: they defeated Northern Brisbane Rollers’ Brawl Stars 131-91 in April 2011 and took Adelaide Roller Derby’s Adeladies down to the wire in a 122-121 loss in September 2011.

NRDL_0.jpg

7 Hippy Hardarse // 11 Dangerass // 31 Reggie Ramjet // 37 Dino la Rouge // 42 Belt’er Goodrem // 79 Lady Quirkinator // 86 Babycakes // 92 GodJilla Sold Separately // 96 Beaver Destruction // 212 Brigand Strong // 360 Defcon Dani // 690 Fannie Tastic // 737 De-Bri // 8669 Baroness Von Brutal // 4×4 Booga // 8ball Jacknife // TOP5 Susy Pow

Group B

Sun State Roller Girls (Brisbane, Qld)

Sun State’s rivalry with Victoria is as old as the leagues themselves, dating back to the earliest days of Australian roller derby when the two leagues formed just a few weeks apart, albeit with 1800km between them. They’ve never managed to edge out a victory over Victoria, but have taken them down to the wire, holding them to a two-point margin in the nail-biting final of the 2010 Great Southern Slam.

More recently, Victoria picked up a more resounding win over Sun State, taking a 124-93 victory on SSRG’s home turf at the end of April, 2011. Sun State has also benefitted from international competition – Rat City’s Australian tour ended in Brisbane, where they delivered a 232-56 learning experience in November.

SSRG_0.jpg

5 Sweet Enemy // 8 Polly Crackers // 9 Lizery // 11 Ladykiller // 12 Rose Ruin // 18 Stepford Knife // 20 Macca Spine Smasher // 28 Muzzarati // 31 La Mort Rouge // 44 Slawta Dawta // 45 Cookie Cutter // 54 Masochist Mel // 101 T-Wizz // 117 Chop Chop // 133 Tizzy Fit // 182 Stixx n Bones // 314 Smackarena // 330 Rola Cherry Cola // 411 Blockodile Dundee // 911 Sculley

Geelong Roller Derby League (Geelong, Vic)

Geelong engage in frequent interleague play with nearby VRDL, regularly taking on Victoria’s home teams and their B-team, the Queen Bees. On a trip to the nation’s capital last November, they fell to Canberra’s Vice City Rollers 152-54. Their only win of 2011 was over their group-round opponents, South Sea Roller Derby’s all-star Sirens: they left with a 129-80 victory. In the 2010 Great Southern Slam, Geelong formed a combined team with state rivals Ballarat – this year, both teams are fielding independents sides.

GRDL_0.jpg

6 Ricochet Ramona // 7 Vyvian Oblivion // 8 Rai Scar // 25 Mish B Haven // 44 Rhythm & Bruise // 58 Stack Kat // 75 Genie Smakers // 82 Ace of Hearts // 83 Nitro Nutter // 89 Jas Flash Pants // 93 Ellen B Rage // 101 Ruby E Raze // 202 Estee Slaughter // 377 Penny Le Pain // 920 Gnarwer Bonez // 1919 Death Roll Doll // 8763 Rotten Revenge

South Sea Roller Derby (Melbourne, Vic)

South Sea Roller Derby hail from Melbourne’s south-east suburbs and have had a string of regional match-ups in the hotbed of derby talent in and around the city, taking on Ballarat, Victoria’s B-team and Geelong. They’ve been defeated in all their 2011 games within Victoria, but travelled across the country to take on Western Australia’s WARDs of the Skate in July; they picked up a 127-80 win over the Perth team.

SouthSea_0.jpg

2 Harmin’ Miranda // 4 Ale Mary // 5 Assault ‘n’ Pepper // 15 Maiden Japan // 16 Inkabelle // 21 Dodge Viper // 23 Jack of Hurts // 24 Lola Skater // 27 Terror to Pieces // 33 TiTasaurus // 40 Blitzkreig Deluxe // 47 Mouldylocks // 85 Mel Adjusted // 87 Cyndi Lawbreaker // 303 Mollycious Intent // 469 Oriental Xpress // 512 Slamdora // 601 Misty Meaner // 2806 Dani Darko // K1W1 Right Up Ya Ali

Group C

Adelaide Roller Derby (Adelaide, SA)

Tournament hosts Adelaide Roller Derby are the only league in the Southern Hemisphere ever to defeat Victoria – but that was back in August 2009 at Skate of Origin 2 and they’ve yet to repeat the feat. The Adeladies are undefeated since the last Great Southern Slam and their most recent action was a trans-Tasman jaunt to reprise the TGSS 2010 third-place matchup; they defeated the Pirate City Rollers 185-126 in Auckland last October. The roster has had huge shake-ups since then, with eleven new skaters making their interleague debut at this tournament.

ADRD_0.jpg

2 Sneaker Streaker // 9 Kit Cat Krunch // 10 Barrelhouse Bessy // 11 KillaKaze // 18 Jetfire // 21 The Little Murdermaid // 24 Fury of Fenrir // 29 Bam Bam Belial // 33 Moe Skeeto // 37 Gateway Girl // 38 Bone Shaker // 44 Lashez // 46 Elle Catraz // 75 Rattleskate // 88 The Philistine // 91 Ankle Grinder // 106 Tricksey Belt’em // 454 Gogo Fiasco // 2010 Miss Whirl // 2880 Blue Wrenegade

Brisbane City Rollers (Brisbane, Qld)

Brisbane City Rollers are the oldest co-ed league in Australia, holding their first bout in late 2009. Their recent interleague play has been largely limited to Queensland, taking third place in the Tropicarnage Cup – a 14-bout tournament featuring teams from Queensland and northern New South Wales – in November 2011 and challenging a variety of other Brisbane leagues.

BCR_0.jpg

5 Mace // 7 Carly Lucas // 10 Sera Gardiner // 11 Fang Fiend // 13 Wonder Witch // 18 Horror Lulu // 27 Lil’ Decoy // 40 Unforgiving Bunny // 54 Penergy // 72 ViXXXen // 88 Speed Angel // 89 Miss Strykher // 131 Smasha Fierce // 162 Florence Fightingale // 244 Iron Thighs // 852 Chaser on the Rocks // 888 N-Sane BeeArch // 999 Narsty

Western Australia Roller Derby (Perth, WA)

Western Australia has repeatedly faced their cross-town rivals, Perth Roller Derby, with two major matches in 2011. In October, the all-star WARDs of the Skate took down Perth’s B-team, the Rumble Bees, 143-90; five months earlier, Perth’s all-star team defeated WA 188-76. Western Australia’s only other interleague game last year saw them lose to South Sea in July.

WARD_0.jpg

0 Hot Wheels // 4 Uzi // 15 I SCREAM // 27 Dotty Deranged // 41 Karmen Adairya // 44 Whisky Sour // 53 Taye Q. Down // 72 Xanadon’t // 78 Face N. Vada // 88 Steely Niel // 147 Cassowary // 333 Juicy M. Suffer // 675 DAMANDA // 1236 Madamage // 1408 Ophelia Terror // H4RD Bruiser von Basher // M4 Modern Warfare // V8 Darth Vida

Group D

Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, NZ)

Pirate City are the most venerable league in the competition, forming in 2006 as the first roller derby league outside North America. For their first few years, though, interleague experience was non-existent; the first interleague bout in New Zealand took place in November 2009, between Pirate City and Wellington’s Richter City Roller Derby. PCR is one of just two Kiwi leagues fielding a team in this year’s tournament and took fourth place at the 2010 Great Southern Slam.

This is their first trip back across the Tasman since that tournament, but not their most recent taste of trans-Tasman play: Adelaide sent their all-stars to Auckland in October and brought them back with a 185-126 win. Since Pirate City’s last appearance in Australia, they’ve had some roster turnover, losing key players to the newer Auckland Roller Derby League, but they retain many of the most experienced derby skaters in the Southern Hemisphere on their 2012 team.

PCR_0.jpg

0.38 Pieces of Hate // 3.141 Calamity Jayne // 30 Napoleon Vaginamite // 54 Lady Trample // 64 Skate the Muss // 71 Big Mack // 73 Coup de Talia // 74 Past-Her Belz // 195 Stabby Nixx // 333 Khloe Karbash-Ya-In // 555 Bad Jelly the Bitch // 666 Terror Santana // 828 Fia Fasi Oe? // 852 Myrtle Kombat // ’57 Chevy Impaler // 4BB Minnie Mayhem // C4 Ruby Red Knuckles // i4i Pentakill

Northern Brisbane Rollers (Brisbane, Qld)

Northern Brisbane Rollers date back to 2008 and have a fierce rivalry with Sun State Roller Girls – the two teams are part of the most dynamic local derby scene in Oz and there’s a constant flow of talent between the various leagues in Brisbane. That said, the fluidity doesn’t extend to the relative ranking of Sun State and Northern Brisbane: NBR is consistently snapping at the heels of the older league.

Most recently, the cross-town rivals met in the final game of the Tropicarnage Cup and NBR lost 253-44. Northern Brisbane has maintained one of the busiest interleague schedules in the country, taking on Canberra (176-75 loss), Sydney (148-38 loss) and Perth (201-139 win) in 2011. They also received the Rat City educational experience in November, getting cleaned up 336-71 to the Rat City team that had just dispatched Sun State.

northbris_0.jpg

3 Fe Fe Ferocious // 5 Oh Hell No! // 8 Anabelle Lecter // 14 Christy Demons // 20 Beth Adder // 39 Eva Brawl // 41 Lil Gee Unit // 42 Trauma Junkie // 47 Thumpelina // 49 Sissy Smackdown // 65 Janosaurus Wrecks // 76 Brutal Deluxe // 84 PollyWanna Smasha // 86 Poppy La Pain // 268 Crush n Kik // 357 Long Lash Massacre // 505 Brandee Snapz // 711 Slaggedy Anne // 782 Tiger Tantrum // 9mm Raspberry Bullet

Wollongong-Illawarra Roller Derby (Wollongong, NSW)

Wollongong-Illawarra (Wollongong is the city, Illawarra the region) Roller Derby is just a couple of hours south of Sydney, and like Newcastle, have benefitted from the increasingly competitive leagues in driving distance. In 2011, they took part in the Eastern Region Championships, ultimately placing 4th after losing to Newcastle 117-86.

WIRD_0.jpg

0 AVO // 4 Kitty Killher // 7 iKandy // 20 Underbelly Morelli // 114 Courtney Lovebite // 116 Tantrum // 187 Penny Narsty // 247 Demander // 288 Chakram // 333 Manic Bullet // 505 DropBear // 696 White Hawk // 824 Vishious Ness // 2412 Downundathunda // 8008 Janis Job’em

Group E

Canberra Roller Derby League (Canberra, ACT)

Hailing from the Australian capital city, Canberra Roller Derby made their interleague debut at the first Great Southern Slam, but failed to make it past the group rounds after a win over Van Diemen Rollers and a loss to Adelaide. Since then, they’ve grown into a highly competitive team and are the reigning Eastern Region champions after defeating Sydney 124-83 in October 2011.

In their most recent interleague action, they handed Geelong’s Bloody Marys a 152-54 loss; they’ve also beaten Northern Brisbane, Wollongong-Illawarra, Newcastle and Western Sydney in the last 12 months. Canberra has consistently fallen short of hanging with the toughest competition in the country: they’ve had big losses at the hands of both Sun State (181-48, 6/8/11) and Victoria (166-67, 19/3/11). Their roster boasts Team Australia’s MVP from the Derby World Cup, the tiny and indefatigable Shortstop.

CRDL_0.jpg

6 Short Stop // 10 Rainbow Spite // 12 Fauna Cat // 16 Roulette Rouge // 22 Pink Mist // 24 Ginger Nutcase // 66 ValHannah // 72 Matha Faquar // 77 Shaggle Frock // 89 AnneThrax // 109 Bullseye Bettie // 277 Dalai Slam’er // 308 Amykazeee // 327 Ova Bearing // 411 Bambi von Smash’er // 1080 Aunty Aggro // 1337 Freudian Slit // 1973 Dirty Torque // 1975 Bohemoth Rhapsody // 0+ Prairie Scorn

Perth Roller Derby (Perth, WA)

Perth also appeared at the 2010 Great Southern Slam, making it through to the first round of elimination games but falling to the Pirate City Rollers. They’re the most established league in Western Australia and play in the most isolated city on earth. They haven’t let their location get in the way of competition, though: they regularly take on teams from the other Perth-based league, Western Australia Roller Derby, as well as teams from more remote WA leagues and interstate visitors. Most recently, they hosted Northern Brisbane Rollers and lost 201-139; they also took on Adelaide’s Adeladies in August 2011.

PRD_0.jpg

11 Wheels McCoy // 13 Mary Fagdalene // 17 Lucky Striker // 25 Polly Cystic // 55 Cherry Flips // 88 Minnie Screwdriver // 99 MaCy Hammer // 209 Maximum Cazualty // 247 Annie Thingoes // 321 Morgan Wildchild // 611 Freyda Nuffin // 747 Salma Crushdie // 1111 Cirque Du Slay-Her // 1348 Babeonic Plague // 1979 Maggie Snatcher // 1990 Edward Slaughterhands // 8008 Tora Hymenov // B00M Megaton Son // S0S FeMaelstrom // TS7 PJ Carvey

Gold Coast Roller Derby (Gold Coast, Qld)

Gold Coast hail from the Australian tourist mecca of the same name, an hour south of Brisbane. They’ve benefitted from the stiff and frequent competition on offer nearby, but have so far only participated in regional interleague play. They made a showing at the Tropicarnage Cup and have taken on teams from Northern Brisbane, Brisbane City and the Sunshine Coast’s Coastal Assassins in one-off games.

goldcoast_0.jpg

$2.50 Sushi Slammer // 4 Cruel-Ella T’Kill // 5 Hook’her // 7 Nikki Nitro // 11 Guns N Rosie // 22 Kat Da Brat // 23 Ram Jam // 24 TMNT Shell Raiser // 28 Goldie Scorn // 32 Bad Vegan // 72 Muff Vader // 75 Molly Malicious // 77 TeeBag // 89 Alice Affliction // 96 Ziggy Gnarly // 101 Titty GryffinWhore // 113 Death Angel // 182 Naipalm

Group F

Sydney Roller Derby League (Sydney, NSW)

Sydney was among the first wave of Australian leagues, starting in mid-2007, and call Australia’s most populous city home. As such, they have a huge base of talent to draw on and, as an established league, have become something of a mecca for experienced skaters from smaller nearby leagues. They’re currently ranked second in the informal Eastern Region, having lost to Canberra in the championship bout; it was their second defeat by the Vice City Rollers in 2011.

Sydney’s most recent interleague game was against Richter City Roller Derby in Wellington, NZ; Sydney’s Assassins rolled away with the win, 161-115. A month earlier, they’d been defeated by Sun State’s all-stars, 257-61, and in September, the Assassins picked up a win over Northern Brisbane, 148-38.

SRDL_1_0.jpg

0 Great Bolz o’Fire // 4 Speedin’ Seagal // 5 Bacardi Bruiser // 13 Ltl Whipit // 20 Bomb Jones // 24 Tomahawk Geronimo // 25 Winnie Bruise // 68 Speed Demon // 84 Violet Van Slam // 89 Betty B Prayin’ // 389 Jet Lethal // 801 Haterade // 808 Sideshow Ho // 913 Dread Pirate Roberts // 916 Captain Ratz // 1512 Apollonia Thunderpussy // 1957 Peggy Spew // 100days Torture // 1UP Max Manic // 50X Freyda Cox

Ballarat Roller Derby League (Ballarat, Vic)

Ballarat is a regional town about 90 minutes west of Melbourne and have engaged in a lot of local play; the Great Southern Slam is likely to provide them with the stiffest competition in their history. It’s not their first tournament outing, though – they fielded a combined team with neighbours Geelong in 2010, so it will be interesting to see how the two leagues fare independently this time around. In their most recent game, last December, Ballarat’s Rat Pack won over South Sea’s all-stars; they’ve also had repeated wins over Bendigo’s Dragon City and losses to Geelong and Victoria’s B-team.

ballarat_0.jpg

032 Little Piece // 3 VandaHurt // 4B Sal Monella // 5 Scarlett Savage // 8 Vanilla Slicer // 13 BezZombi // 14 Jillbee Stingz // 16 D’Bruisa // 39 Warwick SnapHer // 42 Apocalypse Nerd (A. Nerd) // 77 Vindask8ter // 99 Rumblin’ Rogue // 123 Crash Kill More // 666 Miss Hellfire // 888 D Von Kruel // 1929 Mabel Stark // 1967 Spanish Tapass

Convict City Rollers (Hobart, Tas)

Convict City Rollers, from Hobart, are making their first appearance at the Great Southern Slam in 2012, but it’s not their first taste of tournament play. They’re the reigning Tasmanian champions following a one-point victory over Launceston’s Van Diemen Roller in October; they’ve also picked up wins over Adelaide’s Murder City and Hobart’s South Island Sirens.

CCR_0.jpg

7 Dot Dash // 8 Ella Squeeze // 19 Frostbite // 21 Vanessa Shredgrave // 2nd Mary Queen of Knox // 42 R3d Hax0r // 44 Blitz’n Bill // 50 Nanageddon // 72 Peppa Shake Her // 77 Sooshie Train // 88 Bella Ballistic // 121 Blue Spark // 247 Foxy Moron // 333 Sa-Tani // 371 Holli Hipkiss // 808 Buster Briggs // 1800 Kat A Box // 3000 Theophilis Thistler // K0 Kawaii Knockout

One-off Bouts

In addition to the tournament, the Great Southern Slam will also feature a dozen one-off bouts between newer leagues, each team making their debut at the event, although some have participated in regional interleague play. These teams hail from all over Australia, including the most isolated league in the world, Malice Springs.

New South Wales: Southwest Sydney Rockets (Sydney)
Northern Territory: Malice Springs Roller Derby (Alice Springs) and Darwin Derby Girls (Darwin), as a combined team, ‘The Terrortorians’
Queensland: Toowoomba City Rollers (Toowoomba)
South Australia: Murder City Roller Girls (Adelaide)
Tasmania: Devil State Derby League (Launceston), South Island Sirens (Hobart), Van Diemen Rollers (Launceston)
Victoria: Dragon City Derby Dolls (Bendigo), East Vic Roller Derby (Dandenong), Northside Rollers (Melbourne)
Western Australia: Gold City Rollers (Kalgoorlie)

Match-ups

Van Diemen vs Terrortorians
South Island vs Gold City
Toowoomba vs Devil State
Northside vs Murder City
SW Sydney vs East Vic
Dragon City vs Light City Rollers
SW Sydney vs Gold City
South Island vs Toowoomba
Devil State vs East Vic
Van Diemen vs Murder City
Light City Rollers vs Northside
Terrortorians vs Dragon City