Weekly Rollup and Open Thread, 7/08/2011

Have you dreamed of participating in a roller derby championship tournament? If you are a referee or non-skating official, you could get your chance in October.

South Central Teams Face Off In Six-Team Tournament

HUNTSVILLE, AL — Following in the footsteps of Pikes Peak’s Four Corner Feud mini-tournament in February, which brought together six WFTDA teams from the West Region to battle it out, comes this Saturday’s Rocket City Rumble in Huntsville, Alabama, hosted by the Dixie Derby Girls. This time, six WFTDA teams from the South Central get together for a one-day, five-bout tournament that will serve as a useful warm-up for the WFTDA South Central regional tournament, taking place in Atlanta from September 25th to 27th.

All bouts in the tournament are full-length and WFTDA sanctioned, although the results will not be considered for the upcoming WFTDA rankings that will determine the invitations and seedings for the South Central regional tournament — the rankings quarter ended on June 30.

Atlanta, officially ranked #5 in the region by WFTDA, and Nashville, ranked #7, will have first-round byes. The opening rounds feature Northwest Arkansas (#11 SC) vs Big Easy (#15 SC) and Tampa Bay (#8 SC) vs. Dixie (#16 SC). There will be no third-place consolation bout, but a 30 minute “Ref Jam” featuring both male and female tournament officials between the semifinals and championship bout will afford the finalists an opportunity to catch their breath before the marquee bout.

Noon: #11 SC Northwest Arkansas vs. #15 SC Big Easy

The Killbillies had a big 164-46 win on the young Oklahoma Victory Dolls in February of this year, but their adventures in recent months have ended up with the NWA girls on the wrong side of the outcomes. They’ve gone down big to Fort Wayne in May (119-66) and Kansas City in June (215-63), and also lost a closer bout to No Coast in June, 91-74. That leaves them with a 1-3 record on the year and just hovering on the outskirts of an invite to the South Central regionals, as only the top ten teams from the region will be invited.

Although the girls from New Orleans are one of the oldest teams in the WFTDA, Big Easy hasn’t had a good time of it either on the scoreboards — their last win was in April 2008 against Green Country. In the ensuing 15 months, they’ve lost 8 in a row, most recently a 119-61 loss to Memphis. Their all-time record in WFTDA-sanctioned bouts is a rough 1-10.

The two teams have faced off once before, with NWA coming out on top in a 116-82 meeting in April 2008. The winner here takes on Atlanta in the semifinal round.

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Apache Rose Peacock #8 // Blazen Glory #5 // Blackzilla #905 // Bloodweiser #40 // Cannonball Cate #C4 // Dimah Darling #1977 // Dilliverance #87 // JoAnn of Arc #407 // Mellow Yellow #4LUV // Sin #7 // The Professional #73 // Unskinny Wop #4 //Wagon Burner # 77 // Dis Missile #17 (alt) // Itty Bitty Bang #258 (alt) // Flyon Maiden #666 (alt)

1:30pm: #8 SC Tampa Bay vs. #16 SC Dixie

Tampa Bay has long ruled their state in a somewhat isolated Florida derby scene, laying claim to the unofficial title of Florida State champions with a win in February’s Sunshine Skate tournament. They haven’t had as much success when taking on out of state rivals, though. This year they’ve lost to Nashville in a high scoring 154-142 shootout and Dallas in a 165-82 blowout, but did acquit themselves decently in a 167-116 loss to top-25 Madison at last month’s ECE.

Hosting team Dixie, although one of the original 30 WFTDA leagues, has generally been unable to turn their long experience into wins. They’re still looking for their first win of 2009, sitting on an 0-6 record on the year after losing to Southern Indiana, Naptown, Mississippi, Green Country, Nashville and Hard Knox.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams, with the winner going up against Nashville in the semifinal.

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3pm: #5 SC Atlanta vs. #11 SC Northwest Arkansas or #15 SC Big Easy

Tournament favorites Atlanta have long been hovering just outside of the DNN top 25 Power Rankings, usually defeating unranked teams and acquitting themselves decently against the top 25. They’ve been busy in 2009, putting together a 4-6 record by beating Dominion, Montreal, Memphis and Assassination City while falling to Dallas, Charm City, Texas, Cincinnati, Steel City and Houston. They played two bouts at the recent East Coast Extravaganza in Philly, beating Montreal and losing to Cincinnati.

Led on the jam line by Demi Gore, Thunder Enlighten and Juju, Atlanta features a particularly pounding blocker in Queen Looseyateefa and has an ability to really put the hammer down when they have pack advantages — in their ECE bout against Montreal, they managed to turn a long series of penalty troubles on Montreal into a 58-0 run that put the game away.

Atlanta has never faced either of their potential semifinal opponents, NWA or Big Easy.

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4:30pm: Nashville vs. Tampa Bay or Dixie

Nashville has had a pretty good time of it in 2009 — they hold a 3-2 record on the year, with one of those losses to a very experienced and talented team in Texas home crew Hotrod Honeys, and the other one a narrow 64-59 loss to Fort Wayne. They’ve already taken out three of the six teams in this tournament — Big Easy 211-34, Tampa 154-142, and Dixie 164-64 — so they’ve got to be considered favorites to advance to the championship bout here, though history shows that Tampa Bay could give them some trouble.

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Front page photo: Joe Rollerfan

Nashville Buries Big Easy, 211-34

NASHVILLE, TN — What a difference three months makes. On Saturday, April 11, the Nashville Rollergirls took the track against Big Easy Rollergirls from New Orleans, a team that was ranked two ahead of them in the South Central division in the official Women’s Flat Track Derby Association rankings, published in January. The rankings were clearly out of date, as NRG put on a proverbial clinic in front of a sellout crowd at Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena, dominating the ladies from Louisiana to the tune of 211-34.

Nashville’s jammers took lead position over and over again, while their Big Easy counterparts were kept hung up in the pack and out of scoring position. The blowout victory marked NRG’s first time skating past the 200-point mark. “It feels really awesome,” said Chick Liddell, a newcomer to the All Stars team. “We had a really good win, I think we played really hard, and we showed New Orleans we aren’t messing around.”

Trips to the penalty box cost Nashville its last match, a road game in late March against Ft. Wayne Derby Girls of Indiana, who are currently ranked 35th by Flat Track Stats. In the bout against Big Easy, NRG skated clean, opening up ample room to score. Go-to jammer Slammylou Harris set the pace on the first play, picking up a quick four points of her game-high 65. In all, Nashville jammers led 27 jams compared to Big Easy’s three.

The win bumped Nashville up five spots in the unofficial Flat Track Stats (FTS) rankings, from 41st to 36th nationally, with Big Easy falling four places to 55th. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association publishes its official rankings quarterly. The updated rankings are due out in late April.

“We’ve come pretty far,” said lead defensive player Smith N. Wesson, who coordinates NRG’s pack of blockers from the pivot position. “Our problem is that we beat ourselves more than anything else and [in this game] we managed our penalties better, we managed our bench better and we did a better job of taking control and keeping control. When you execute all those things – as the other team, there’s nothing you can do.”

Nashville was looking to sharpen its team play going into the match. “We worked on walling up, trying to stall block,” said Liddell, referring to blockers clustering together to keep the other team’s jammer from breaking free of the pack and scoring points. “That was our main objective, we were trying to have a low scoring game,” she said.

Wesson said NRG will focus on endurance and playing clean for its next bout, a home game on May 16 against The Dixie Derby Girls of Huntsville, Alabama, who rank 56th in the FTS standings. In their last matchup, NRG lost on the final play when the helmet cover fell off the jammer. “If the helmet cover had stayed on we would have won, so that hurts,” Wesson said. “We’re really looking to even the score.” she said.

But there’s more than pride on the line now. “They’re ranked below us,” Wesson said, “so we really need to win that game to keep our standing high.”

Photos: Brian Murphree

Big Easy Storyvillains Overcome Tragic City, 153-125

NEW ORLEANS, LA — In a doubleheader featuring local teams from Big Easy and visiting all-stars from Birmingham’s Tragic City Rollers, the local BERG squads Crescent Wenches and Confederacy of Punches went at it while the Storyvillains overcame Tragic City.

The first bout saw the Wenches defeat the Punches 107 – 60. Both teams were smiling at then end and promptly changed into green shirts to show their support for the StoryVillains as they prepared to take on TCR in purple.

Tragic City kept the point spread narrow during the first half of the game, but the Villains’ superior knowledge of WFTDA rules set 3.1 ultimately helped them prevail, topping Tragic City at 153 – 125. TCR’s jammers were extremely quick off of the jammer line, but a lot of them were sent to the penalty box for cutting the track.

Most notable for TCR was Scnott Nose Kid whose jamming style reflected a Trixie la Femme/Squirtalicious fusion. Blockers Punkin Disorderly, Suge Fight and Psycho B were excellent at working together, but often made some detrimental pack-splitting decisions.

The StoryVillains fought hard to earn their win, forcing track cuts on opposing jammers and making holes in the pack for their own. Captains LaBelle Rebelle and AnnihilAsian kept cool under the pressure to win, providing awesome support for their team.

Ibeatya Amber and Ivy Rased’ya were on particularly good blocking form, keeping the TCR pack distracted while jammer Trixie la Femme earned point after point. The team also worked well with their substitute players – Wit Vicious, lacy underalls, Beatrix sKiddo and Deuce McMaliceHer.

Tragic City is next in action on March 7th against all-new Burn City out of Auburn, Alabama. Big Easy’s all-stars travel 90 minutes north to Baton Rouge to take on Red Stick Roller Derby on February 28.

Reposted with permission from Flat Track Fever.
Photos: SmasHer