Oly Rollers return to WFTDA play at The Big O 2014

Oly Rollers return to WFTDA play at The Big O 2014 Oly jammer Onda Sligh at Western Regionals in 2012. Photo: Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

The Big O invitational derby tournament is going to be bigger than ever in 2014, with skaters from all over the world attending the event that takes place in Eugene, OR, on May 2-4 2014. But the early buzz around the event surrounds the inclusion of a team absent from high level WFTDA play this year — the Oly Rollers.

WFTDA #7 Oly did not feature at this year’s WFTDA divisionals or championships despite their high ranking – the team was deemed ineligible for tournament play after not playing the required four sanctioned bouts (three against division 1 teams) after 2012 Championships and before July 1, 2013.

While we may see Oly return to sanctioned WFTDA play earlier than in May at The Big O, this is the first indication that the former WFTDA title-holders will be back in 2014.

Oly aren’t the only top team attending The Big O — WFTDA #3 Texas Rollergirls, #5 Rose City Rollers, #14 Philly Roller Girls and #16 Kansas City Roller Warriors will all be in attendance.

Emerald City is also seeking to extend its global reach by inviting Kokeshi Roller Dolls, from Okinawa, Japan. Kokeshi, which was recently accepted as full WFTDA members, will be traveling to the Pacific Northwest to play sanctioned bouts and qualify to be ranked for the first time. Additionally, Auld Reekie Roller Girls from Scotland will be making the trip out to take on teams from around the U.S. with hopes of climbing in the rankings and having a shot at qualifying for Division 2 Championships after a successful 2-0 run at ECDX last year.

In addition to these high-level D1 teams, this year organizers plan to provide tiered skill levels, ensuring competitive play all weekend. A tight grouping of teams that spans D1 and D2 includes Treasure Valley, Sac City, Silicon Valley, and Tucson. Finally, in the lower group, Emerald City’s very own all-star team will be joined by Humboldt, Arizona, Auld Reekie, Kokeshi, and Pikes Peak.

MRDA and Junior Action at The Big O

After the success of the men’s bracket at this year’s Big O, MRDA teams are returning to Eugene in force. Teams in attendance in 2014 will be: Puget Sound Outcasts, Portland’s Bridgetown Menace, Deep Valley Belligerents, Arizona Rattleskates, Boise’s Capital City Skull Crushers, Uinta Madness, and locals Lane County Concussion.

In the junior bracket, look out for the Portland Rosebuds, Humboldt’s Redwood Saplings, the Lava City Cinder Kittens from Bend, the GromShells from Santa Cruz, and the I-5 Rollergirls and Galaxy Girls, both of Seattle. Eugene’s own Emerald City Junior Gems will also be in attendance.

Tournament details

All of the bouts of the Big O will again take place at the Lane Events Center. As in 2013, the center will house three tracks in two large, connected venues during the weekend.

Tickets for the Big O are now available for $50 for the entire weekend, and daily tickets are available from $20-$30 through Brown Paper Tickets. From Black Friday (Nov 29th) through Cyber Monday (Dec 2nd), weekend passes will be marked down to just $35. Like The Big O’s Facebook page or stay tuned to the tournament website, to find out how to buy tickets and to keep abreast of new developments.