Charm City Roller Girls truly love Baltimore. This city is more than just our namesake, it’s part of who we are! Hence, CCRG’s new hashtag, #bmorecharming. We asked members of our league family to share what #bmorecharming means to them, and we think you’ll find the responses both fun and inspiring … a lot like our dear city!
To me, #bmorecharming is my opportunity to represent one of the top roller derby teams in the world. I moved to Baltimore from Miami in June 2014, and have been working my tail off to improve upon my skills in order to even TRY and be as awesome as all these wonderful ladies that I have the opportunity to skate with. #Bmorecharming is about growth and moving forward in my derby career, with the help of some spectacular skaters.
-50 Shades of Pain, Mobtown Mods
#bmorecharming is about promoting the essence of the Charm City Roller Girls. We work hard, we play hard, and we build each other up. We are closely tied to the community and want what's best for the City of Baltimore. I chose Baltimore for a couple of reasons, and the Charm City Roller Girls are one of them. This is my family. Baltimore is my home. - I.M. Pain, Night Terrors
It's about keeping things safe and fair. It's about doing better every time you go out there. It's about teaching and helping skaters be their best. - Admiral Mayhem, Referee
Ever since the 1st little girl ran up to me after a bout complimenting me for being "so shiny," I have tried to #bmorecharming by painting my face in silver with cyborg rivets and usually skating in something shiny. To me, it has always been about inspiring and entertaining the kids. -Allie B. Back, Speed Regime
I.M. Pain giving a great example of positional blocking.
Photo by Down'n'Out Photography
“Whoa! That was awesome … what just happened?”
If you’ve said these words while watching a roller derby game, you are not alone! There’s a lot happening out there on the track, and it can be hard to keep up. Free Radical, a member of the Junkyard Dolls and the CCRG All Stars, offers up this list of moves to look for during your next bout! To get the best view, get trackside seats for our upcoming game so you never miss a jam!
by Free Radical
Derby isn't just about big hits anymore! Sometimes it's enough just to be in the right place at the right time. Positional blocking isn't about moving an opponent out of the way, but more about keeping them from doing what they want to do. Sometimes called "booty blocking," this move often involves one player keeping her opponent behind her booty, to keep her from moving wherever she wants to go.
Signals from bench staff
Skaters on the track may communicate with their bench coaches in the middle of a jam. Most often, you'll see this when a bench manager tells a jammer (the skater wearing a star on her helmet) to call the jam off at a certain moment. Look for the bench coach (standing by the team bench, not wearing skates) to make the signal for a jam call-off (tapping hands on hips), then the jammer calling it off.
A backwards bracer
Jammers use the strength of their legs to push a blocker forward (out of the pack where it's no longer legal to block) or to make space to get through. Watch for jammers to do this by standing up on their toe stops (rubber stoppers at the front of their skates) rather than on their wheels. When a jammer is pushing hard against a blocker, a second blocker may assist in stopping the jammer. She can do this by turning around to skate backwards and offering her hands or chest to her teammate, to get the stopping power of two skaters, not just one!
Rather than pushing straight forward, jammers may move laterally to shift the pack enough that they find or make a hole for themselves. They may also try to fool blockers into following them one direction, then shifting to another. For example, jammers may approach the pack toward the outside edge of the track, especially on turns. When opposing blockers follow a jammer there, they may leave the inside edge of the track open, and a jammer will make a quick direction change to cut in to the inside edge and scoot by. These jammers may be assisted by their own blockers performing "a clear."
One team's blocker can clear a lane for her jammer by moving one or more opposing blockers out of the way at just the right moment. Watch for a blocker to make a move, then her jammer to follow quickly behind. Bonus points if you can spot communication between that blocker and jammer - eye contact, a hand signal, or a few words.
A star pass
The jammer for one team takes the star helmet cover off and hands it to her team's pivot (the skater wearing a stripe on her helmet). The pivot then puts the star cover on her helmet, and becomes her team's jammer for that jam. This may be done to catch the opposing team off guard, to keep the jam going with a set of fresh legs, or to help release a jammer from the pack. Bonus points if you spot a star that is passed over the entire opposing pack!
Don't forget to bring a date -- take advantage of our sweetheart deals, and impress your crush with your knowledge of the game!
Photo by Craig Lammes
Since the Charm City Roller Girls formed in 2005, Lady Quebeaum (pronounced “Kaboom”) has been a driving force within the league. Her league mates mostly call her LQ, and many skaters look to her as the wise woman of CCRG. She’s known for being chatty on the track and off, giving great advice and perspective to newer skaters, and for never -- despite broken bones and broken hearts -- giving up. After 10 charming years, LQ looks back on the challenges of playing derby and the evolution of the sport. Bask in the derby wisdom, and remember to get your tickets to see LQ lead her team, the Mobtown Mods, as they take on the Junkyard Dolls on Saturday, Feb. 21.
When and where did you start playing derby?
I started here in Baltimore in 2005. A friend said, “Hey, we’re trying to start a roller derby league. Come on up.” So I did.
What are some of the significant changes you've seen in your time with CCRG?
You have to go back before there WAS a CCRG. We were a handful of people trying to get organized. Most of us had never even seen the game played before. We weren’t sure what roller derby was. Roller derby wasn’t sure what it was in 2005. We had folks show up in swell outfits but balk about actually doing any skating during practice time. Members had deep philosophical discussions about whether or not we were going to be a separatist community that disallowed men’s participation in any part of it. We practiced without helmets until someone got a concussion, and our practices included wresting on the whistle. We made EVERYTHING up as we went along, occasionally getting some help from nearby leagues (thank you, Philly Roller Derby) who had been around just a little longer than we had.
There is definitely less showmanship and more athleticism than there was at the beginning. People used to take smoke breaks during halftime, and I remember getting my toestop stuck in someone’s tutu once and having to call the jam from the floor. Now we’re all lifting and eating quinoa.
I’ve also witnessed the maturation of an organization over the years. I have to say, having stepped out of an administrative leadership roll a year or two ago, I’m confident in the folks at the helm at this point. Have you ever heard of Tuckman’s stages of group development? Forming, storming, norming, and performing? We’ve gone through that, in macro and micro versions at different times.
Photo by Tyler Shaw
How do you approach derby differently than you did at the beginning, or how is your approach different from that of newer skaters?
Every year I have played, this game has been different. So I recognize that and build on what I’ve learned in the previous incarnations of the game. One way that my approach now may be different from that of newer skaters is that I just do not stress. I used to want to throw up before every game. You couldn’t MAKE me nervous at this point. I’ve already fallen on my face wearing ill-fitting hotpants in front of thousands. I’ve already been booed. I’ve already been cheered. I’ve already been hauled away in an ambulance. I’ve already delighted and disappointed fans and teammates. I’ve already wowed and I’ve already been forgotten by hundreds of people. It’s one jam at a time to the best of my ability in that moment. That’s it. That’s all there is.
Everybody knows derby can be tough, to say the least. Lots of skaters quit after a few years. Why do you keep playing?
The short and easy answer is because I still enjoy it. The other answer is that I keep playing so that people like me will keep playing. There are going to be 20 year old life-long athletes who are drawn to this sport now that it is somewhat established (YOU’RE WELCOME). But there are also going to be people like me who are going to be drawn to it. I wasn’t raised to be an athlete. I started doing this when I was thirty. I was a zaftig single mom with a preschooler and a full-time day job who biked to work every day because she couldn’t afford the subway. This belongs to us, too.
One time in our first year, we did a promo piece with The Today Show, and stuck Natalie Morales on roller skates. I was one of our talking heads back then. The piece garnered a lot of positive attention both to the sport, which was very new at the time, and to our league. And we had a couple of interesting detractors, including a skater from another league who suggested we should instead “show off some of our fit girls.” She retired ages ago. I’m still here at 41. My resting pulse is 49 and I can bike a Century in my sleep. I win.
The spelling of my derby name is a result of a name challenge by a West Coast skater who had a similar name. At the time, if your name was too similar to another skater’s, they could ask you to change it. She was very gracious about it, but I was about to walk into divorce court when we finally talked, so I offered to change the spelling and be done with the issue. She retired about five years ago, too. I win again. Ray Lewis is younger than me, too. He also retired.
Photo by Adam (fordprefectajt)
I’ve broken bones for this sport. I have two plates and fourteen screws in my legs. I’ve spent hard earned money, and I’ve lost precious time with my family for this. There are going to be heartbreaking setbacks that make you question everything about your life choices. But heartbreaking setbacks are in every arena in life, not just derby. You can let them crush you, or you can find a way to deal.
This is the first year in quite a while where I haven’t been nursing a broken leg that I’m not rostered on the All-Star team, and that’s hard. But the truth is that I’ve only played three games since my surgery (for a broken leg) and the loss of my mom this past year, and I’m still getting my chops back. It’s hard work and it isn’t instant gratification. But nothing on this earth makes me work harder for a yes than getting a no.
One time a few months ago I was lamenting out loud over the kitchen sink how I was feeling out of shape, wearing an extra twenty grief and fracture pounds, feeling like a bunch of muscles were missing. I thought I was muttering to myself, but my son, now an adolescent, overheard me. He said, in his most disdainful adolescent “duh” tone that he could muster, off the cuff and without thinking, “Uh yeah. You’re giant and strong, Mom.” So we can all stop what we’re doing right now, because apparently we smashed the patriarchy and won.
Care to make any predictions about the next 10 years of the sport?
I haven’t the foggiest notion, but I hope it’s still fun for people to play.
By Slampagne Super Nova
The other night at practice I was having a particularly rough go of it. I just couldn’t seem to get through the pack and if I did I almost immediately landed in the penalty box. I found myself feeling a bit hopeless, but I kept reminding myself- “it’s only the first year.” I was then reminded of another first year.
My husband and I married young. We were in our early twenties and had been living together for about two years. We’d been told that the first year of marriage was “hard.” No details about what made it hard- just “hard.”
“How hard could it be?” we thought.
We were in love and had already been together for years. Surely, it would be a romantic breeze. It would be passionate and exhilarating and sexy. It was.
And it was hard.
Looking back now I still can’t really articulate why it was hard or what, if anything, was wrong. There were moments when we probably wondered if we’d gotten ourselves into something that we weren’t ready for. There were moments when we didn’t know if we could make it. Truth be told, I’m sure, we both, in our deepest, darkest moments wondered if we’d made a mistake. Did our hearts lead the rest of our bodies into something absolutely crazy?
There were mistakes to be made. There was trust to be earned and given. We eventually stumbled around in our new own roles and slowly started to work together as a unit.
Here are my top 10 ways that the first year of derby is much like the first year of marriage:
- Your family suddenly grows. By a lot. You are greeted by smiling faces all welcoming you into the fold. Just like with the new in-laws, you will be anxious to impress your derby family and show them that you really do belong. You won’t remember all of their names, and they may not remember yours, but they are family nonetheless.
- You get a shiny new name. You’ll be excited to try it out, yet you may not recognize it when you hear it and will probably forget to respond to it.
- You will wonder whether you belong, if you’re doing it right, if you should just quit, but…
- …you will be madly in love, almost to a point of obsession.
- Your “civilian” friends might get tired of you talking about the new love of your life.
- There are new rules, new roles, and new responsibilities. These are frustrating, but you’ve made a commitment, so you stick with it. Your heart makes you.
- There are other people relying on you, which is scary for someone who has no clue what’s going on. The good news is that you’re not alone in this world. Other people are looking out for you.
- It will get real. And there will be tears.
- It’s passionate, sexy and exhilarating.
- It’s hard. It just is. But it’s love, so it’s worth fighting for.
I love my marriage and after 12 years of being married, I’m madly in love with my husband and I’m proud of where we’ve been and the challenges that we’ve overcome- either through sheer love and devotion or just plain stubborn determination and a come-hell-or-high-water refusal to throw in the towel.
I’m six months into my first year of derby. I’m in love with it even though I spend most of my time wondering what the hell I’ve gotten myself into, wondering if I’ll ever get it right, wondering if it’s just not meant to be. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Or lack of love.
As the home team season begins, fans will see some new faces on the track, including athletic trainer River Strong. River skates with the Trouble Makers and is one of the newest recruits to Speed Regime. The Regime will face off against the Mobtown Mods this Saturday in Charm’s home season opener. (tickets here!) Get to know more about this Charmer and come see her play this weekend!
1. What's your job title? I am a Certified Athletic Trainer, licensed through the state of Maryland. I currently work as the Assistant Athletic Trainer at a private girls school in Baltimore where I work with their middle school and high school athletes.
2. What are your job duties? My responsibilities include first response and emergency care, as well as the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions of my student athletes.
3. Why did you decide to pursue this job? What/Who inspired you? I first became interested in athletic training after I spent my senior season of high school softball in our school's athletic training room thanks to a stress fracture in my leg and a broken bone in my hand two weeks after returning from the stress fracture. When I went to college, I took a few prerequisite courses in first aid, athletic injury care, and anatomy and physiology which only secured my interest in the field. There was an intense clinical component outside of classes where we were working with professional athletic trainers in area secondary schools and colleges. I was inspired by being able to observe those athletic trainers that I worked with and by seeing the impact they made on their student-athletes. I also found the subject matter fascinating and loved being able to apply something we were learning about in class to see real world application and results.
4. What (if any) challenges do you deal with? How do you deal with them? This is a fast-paced, unpredictable, continually-changing job. Athletic trainers are expected to maintain all aspects of the safety of our athletes and as such are concerned with everything from the environment and weather conditions at practice to emotional and mental wellness and the physical health of the athletes we care for. Every day I must be prepared for the (hoped against) risk of a catastrophic injury, the daily grind of taping ankles and padding blisters, and everything in between. Preparation is key. Ideally, a lot of my job would simply be standing on the sideline, watching a sports team play but you always need to be ready if there is an injury. There's a lot of training, certifications, and education that we must keep up to date with, in the hope of being as prepared as possible.
5. Why did you decide to start playing derby? I decided to start playing derby after I had been volunteering for two years. I originally got involved with derby because my girlfriend was a skater (-turned-official). I'd always played sports and derby looked like it was loads of fun (spoiler: it is). I started helping her at bouts and watching a lot of derby but we were still students at the time and I saw how difficult it was to manage school and derby. I knew that with my studies, I would need to wait until after I graduated to start skating. CCRG began its boot camp and fresh meat try out during my last semester of school so I had to wait until the next spring before I tried out and joined the league.
6. What's your derby history? I started skating with the C travel team, the Trouble Makers, this past summer and was just drafted on to the Speed Regime for home team season! I mainly play blocker, though I'm working to improve my jamming skills. My derby name is River Strong, in reference to the Doctor Who character River Song, because she is a bad-ass and we both have crazy hair. There's also a subtle reminder to myself that perseverance is key and I am stronger than I am inclined to think sometimes. My number is 11, which actually came before the name simply because I have always worn that number and I already had shirts with it on the back. Plus it works with the Whovian reference :)
7. What words of encouragement would you impart upon a female considering your career? Never stop learning. If you aren't a fan, this is not the job for you. You will be challenged and pushed at times, but it will be worth it to see the effect you have on your student-athletes. Always strive to maintain a good work-life balance.
8. Anything else you want to share? I'm hoping to head to graduate school for my master's in athletic administration next fall. I hope to attain a graduate assistant athletic trainer position in the athletic training room of my school while I'm studying.
River and her team will be in action on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 in our home team season opener at Du Burns Arena. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the first game starts at 6:30. All ages are welcome!
by: Miss Dirt
We all know the Charm City Roller Girls roller derby league is made up of dedicated athletes, but what you don’t see on the track is how intelligent, talented and accomplished our skaters are outside their favorite sport. Get to know this league and you’ll quickly see there’s no such thing as a “typical derby girl.” For example, Allie B. Back, co-captain of Speed Regime, is a leader not only on the track but also in medical research. Here, Allie tells us all about her love of science, her career in research, and how she found her way to roller derby.
What’s your job title?
Research Program Manager at Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of Infection Control
Tell us about what you do.
I setup and manage multiple research studies for our group, including a multi-center study on influenza with sites across the US, a Phase III investigational drug clinical trial, a multi-center chart review study on c. difficile, etc. I am responsible for submitting relevant grant applications, Institutional Review Board applications and renewals, and budgeting for both the research studies and my Principal Investigator's accounts. I train and directly supervise three full-time Research Assistants and at least two part-time student Research Assistants.
Why did you decide to pursue this job? Who or what inspired you?
I have always loved science and did my undergraduate studies in Theoretical Physics. Unfortunately, when I graduated there were no open positions for a lab tech in Physics (it appears to be a tough field to get into right out of college) so I began applying for anything science-related that was relatively close to me. I was living in Delaware and working in PA at the time. I lucked into a position at Hopkins fairly quickly and, in the process, discovered that I had a knack and interest in not just performing lab duties but actually managing grant applications, journal articles, and the research activities. I moved around to different departments, realizing that research management is always the same even if the research subject changes. This is great because I can stay at Hopkins and never get bored! I have worked in otolaryngology, neurology, OB/GYN, and now in infection control. My favorites have probably been neurology and my current position because I can see how universally important and immediately relevant the research is in these two fields in particular.
What challenges do you face in your work life, and how do you deal with them?
One of the biggest challenges in research, especially research that spans multiple sites/locations is communication. You need to communicate early, often, and repeatedly for things to get done. It can be frustrating to coordinate everyone's schedules for a call, but the payoff is great when you can make decisions in that 1 hour on the phone with the whole team that could take months of back-and-forth via email otherwise. side from that, research always faces challenges in recruitment of participants and maintaining funding. Hopkins (as I imagine most university research institutions) offer a number of courses to help train you in various ways to overcome these challenges and I highly recommend taking them whenever you have the opportunity.
Why did you decide to start playing roller derby?
I found out about roller derby through a friend that had watched a Gotham (NYC) bout and thought I would be interested. At the time, I was recovering from a difficult breakup and didn't know anyone in Baltimore, so I was definitely looking for an outlet and way to make new friends. As I watched my 1st CCRG bout, I found myself twitching in my seat, wanting to be out there on the track with those girls. I immediately signed up for the Skater Tot group (women interested in trying out). However, I am very shy and I sat for 20 minutes in my car during the 1st "meet up" of Tots at a local Skateland; I couldn't believe I was scared to walk into a roller rink! I am so extremely glad that I forced myself to do it though because I could never have imagined how great an impact this journey would have on my life. These skaters are my family and have helped me through both tough and amazingly great times. Plus this whole roller derby thing is freaking awesome fun!
Tell us about your derby career so far.
I joined CCRG in 2008 and got seriously injured (requiring surgery) in my first scrimmage in 2009. But I came back with a vengeance and even made it on the All-Stars my first tryout. I have played off-and-on (due to additional injuries) since then. I was drafted by Speed Regime who had given me a place while recouping from my first injury (by helping bench manage) and will always have a stronghold on my heart. TerrorIzHer and I have been the Captains of Regime since 2010. This year, I decided to step down from the All-Stars to focus on my education (finished an MLA), career, and home-life (bought a house). I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with CCRG's B-team, Female Trouble, this year.
What words of encouragement would you give to a female considering your career?
There is a trade-off in university-associated medical research, which tends to be salary. You will never make a ton of money at this unless you go into private for-profit sectors of research (think pharmaceutical companies). That said, you will be on the cutting edge of research that makes a difference in people's lives and that can be more rewarding than any paycheck (as long as you make enough to pay the bills, which I do). Management skills of all types are critical: time management, project management, people management. You can do a crash course in any topic to learn enough of the science to do your job, but you have to have that innate knack for organization to do well. As a woman in the medical field, I do occasionally experience a bias towards males but I have been lucky to be mentored by some strong female bosses. Find a female mentor as soon as possible to help you navigate and teach you the ropes, and you'll get far.
by: Smearin' Off Ice
We recently had our end of season banquet and these are the league members that took home the awards.
* Best Jammer: Nuckin' Futz
* Best Blocker: Punchwrap Supreme
* Most Improved: Tearin Tina
* Most Underrated: Free Radical / GG Hardy / Loretta Scars / Hittsburgh
* Penalty Box Princess: Holly Go Hardly
* Workhorse Award: Federal Kill
* Walter White Award (Most Feared): Holly Go Hardly
* Hardest Hitter: Holly Go Hardly
* Most Knowledgeable: Admiral Mayhem
* Team Spirit: Sarabyte
* League MVP: I.M. Pain / Federal Kill / Free Radical
* Slums McKenzie (Life of the After Party): Smearin’ Off Ice
* League Sweetheart: Sarabyte
* Rookie of the Year: Jennanigans
* Tattle Tale (Skating Official): Admiral Mayhem
* Sneaker Award (NSO): N8
* Fan Favorite: Susy Pow
Derby girls don't do "typical." Members of the Charm City Roller Girls come from every walk of life, work in all types of professions, and take on all kinds of challenges. Our skaters are trail blazers, and over the coming months our blog will feature our skaters that work in positions in science, math, engineering, technology, finance, construction, medicine and other fields that are traditionally male-dominated.
First up, Jackye Peretz, a postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She’s #289 Punchwrap Supreme, blocker for the Charm City Roller Girls All-Stars and hometown champions the Mobtown Mods.
Wanting to be part of the solution to worldwide public health emergencies depicted in movies like Outbreak and books like The Hot Zone was what pushed her into science initially. In her current position, she’s researching how exposure to chemicals or compounds can alter hormones in the human body. These are important for maintaining overall health and are even more important when fighting off diseases such an influenza, which affects the global population every year. Further, men and women can have different responses to influenza, which may be mediated, at least in part, by hormones. We know that these endocrine disrupting chemicals can alter hormone levels in men and women but little to no research has investigated how these endocrine disrupting chemicals can affect our immune response to influenza. Punchy's graduate work was in reproductive toxicology so learning immunology on the fly has been a challenge.
"I deal with the challenges by playing roller derby and getting my frustrations out in a physical way so I can clear my head," she says. "Derby also constantly forces a person to interact with many different personalities so that has helped with my interpersonal skills at work."
"I love a good contact sport," Punchy says. She started playing roller derby in 2010 because she was bored. She played rugby in college and there wasn't a women's team back home in Champaign, IL, so she tried derby. Her first league was the Twin City Derby Girls . She transferred to the Charm City Roller Girls in January 2014. Her name and number are an homage to the Crunchwrap Supreme which sells for $2.89 in her hometown.
Punchy offers this advice to young women pursuing a career in science and public health:
“Have confidence in yourself and never let someone undermine your self-esteem or intellect. Science can be a difficult field for women depending on the field of study, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot. You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.’”
Punchy is a great example of what the Charm City Roller Girls and WFTDA are all about: Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary. To see more of these strong women playing hard and meet the skaters, join us this Saturday, Oct. 18, at Du Burns arena in Canton.
To learn more about Charm City skaters and other women doing amazing things, like us on Facebook!.
by: Miss Dirt
Photo by Down ‘n’Out Photography
The Night Terrors truly are terrifying, especially considering their reputation for speed and finesse. “The Terrors have great speed and agility,” says skater Kamikaze Cash. “We recognize where we need to be and get there quick!”
Cash may be biased, but she says her team is just plain cool. “In my opinion after joining the Terrors, I think we are a group of really coooool girls. Not particularly cool-headed but like some cooool people. The coolest.” Why’s that? Because they are “super chill, but focused and driven.” In other words, the only drama you can expect from these ladies will be on the derby track.
Cash says she appreciates the chance to learn from her teammates and coaches. “I get to skate with a lot of experienced skaters and coaches who are patient with each other. They also give great advice and ways to improve as a skater!”
“One thing I will remember forever that I had never thought of before was advice from Nuckin' Futz: Only skate as fast as you can stop. Definitely helped gauge how fast I should be skating as a jammer coming up to a pack.”
While this team may be known for their smooth skills and unnervingly cool attitude, just under the surface is a lot of hard work. “I truly appreciate the dedication and support my teammates provide one another,” Cash says. “We also wouldn't be as awesome without Mr. Pistol and Truth Hurtz running the bench and keeping us all together!”
Come see the Night Terrors and Junkyard Dolls in action on Oct. 18th. Both Baltimore teams will play against teams from the DC Roller Girls. Join us at Du Burns arena in Canton to be part of the action, and stop by the after party to meet your favorite skaters!
Photo by Down'n'Out Photography
The Junkyard Dolls may be CCRG’s most recognizable team with their pink and grey uniforms and rockstar roster, but this team’s wins don’t come from resting on their reputation. As we gear up for the new home season, Dolls co-captain Federal Kill shares what makes her team great.
“The Dolls excel at strategy and being workhorses,” says Fed. “We are fortunate to have numerous coaches and analytical players who can discuss and digest gameplay with ease. Additionally, many of our team members are highly driven and cross train outside of derby. Their work ethic shines both on and off the track, and motivates their teammates.”
Once known as the “rowdy wild cards of the league,” the Dolls have transformed themselves over the years. “You could find these ladies drinking margaritas before their bouts and smoking cigarettes at halftime. They hit hard and drank even harder,” says Fed. “Today’s Dolls are lean, mean, hell raising machines, but with a tad more discipline to boot.”
With their improved focus and discipline, this team’s passion for the game shines through more than ever. “It is undeniable this team has more heart than any other on the league. This heart manifests itself in our efforts on the track and respect for one another off of it. It’s why I love being a Doll.”
Last season provided plenty challenges including injuries to multiple skaters. “We were constantly having to supplement our roster or play short since we were so down in numbers,” says Fed. “It was tough, but again, the team kept rolling and put their collective hearts out there.”
After fighting through those challenges, the Dolls are looking for some big payoffs this season. “Always remember to ‘Think Pink!’ Expect to see big things from the Dolls in 2015. We’re striving for a healthy roster, and have our sights set on the Donoghy Cup.”
The Dolls certainly are not lacking in experience and dedication, but they also have the wisdom never to ignore an opponent. Fed says she’s keeping an eye on Speed Regime. “I think the Speed Regime is an underestimated team, having kept the same core of skaters for multiple years. I’m excited to see what they do this season.”
Photo by Tyler Shaw
In May 2014, The Mobtown Mods took home the Donaghy Cup as the top home team of Charm City Roller Girls. As the champs prepare to face a new home season, McJagged gives us some insight into what makes this team tick.
“Alright I admit it-- I do enjoy skating in a red dress,” she says, but that’s not all she loves about her team. “I admire each of the other red ladies. I can't believe I get to skate with them sometimes.”
2014 was Jagged’s first season as a teamed skater, so she’s had some great opportunities to learn from her teammates. “LQ is a font of wisdom, derby anecdotes, and general hilarity,” she says of teammate and veteran skater Lady Quebeaum. “During my first ever bout at Du Burns, guest skating with the Mods as a newly-minted green star, I was freaking out a moderate amount before the game. Just nerves and worries. She came up to me and said, Jagged, what happens if we lose? Nothing. What happens if we win? Nothing. Are you having a blast? There ya go. You wouldn't be here if no one believed in you. Now let's go and play some damn derby. (Something like that) and I felt fine!”
Jagged says the strength of her team’s blockers is one of their winning traits. “I think we have incredible blocks -- both holding blocks in walls and devastating hitting blocks. Try to get past Punchy or Colleen, probably not gonna happen. Plus our two coaches, Banshee and Rosie the Rioter, have so many years of experience and knowledge to give us after each jam.”
But maybe those red mini dresses have something to do with the team’s winning streak, considering their mantra: Keep it sexy. Jagged explains: “‘Keep it sexy’ is something like staying together, communicating well, moving and working as one, while keeping our cool. It's also when you pull some great moves with your teammate like hitting a jammer out hard or while jamming, slicing through like buttah.”
by: Miss Dirt
Travel season is drawing to a close and the Charm City Roller Girls are once again revving up for home season. To help you prepare, we’re interviewing players from all seven (yes, seven!) of our teams, including the four home teams and three travel teams. To get us started, Speed Regime co-captain Allie B. Back tells us about what makes her team stand out.
True to their name, Speed Regime focuses on using speed control to win games.”Given our name, we try to excel at speed control. We've done best when we had skaters that fully committed to coming to scrimmages and practices to learn more. It made us more adaptable in the moment. Now that we have some long-term vets on the squad, we're trying to use that knowledge to foster our newbies.”
This means Regime skaters need the ability to go fast when needed and stop on a dime. Strong blockers are able to slow down quickly to stop a jammer from passing and to maintain their position when being pushed by opposing players.
While there’s an honored tradition of partying in the derby world, Regime players tend to be more laid back. “We don't party hard and rarely ‘win the afterparty,’ but we support each other and have a great time playing this sport we all love,” Allie says.
Many skaters develop strong bonds with their teams. Here’s how Allie describes her connection with Speed Regime:
“Regime gave me a home when I needed it most. I was injured as a fresh meat skater before I was drafted (during my 1st scrimmage ever actually) and I was out with a major shoulder injury for about 6 months (including surgery). I was almost ready to quit because I was frustrated at being unable to join in with my fellow freshies as they moved up the ranks and onto teams. Regime asked me to help them out on the bench, giving me a role and reason to keep coming to practice. They encouraged me through my physical therapy and fought for me when I was finally draft-able. No other team could have quite the same place in my heart as Regime; they truly are my family.”
Regime players enjoy competing with the Night Terrors, another team often noted for their speediness thanks to a roster full of great jammers. Allie says she enjoys when they get to play against other leagues. “I think we have the most fun/toughest games when we get to skate against other leagues. We get to really let loose and put some aggression out there when we're not up against the same gals we skate with week after week.”
Speed Regime will bout against the Black Rose Rollers from Hanover, PA in a preseason game on Saturday, Sept. 13. Black Rose is looking to build on a 6-game winning streak while Regime aims to ramp up to the home season with a pre-season win. Get tickets and read more here.
by: Miss Dirt
The Charm City Roller Girls are proud to welcome our newest skaters who tried out in July as well as the transfer skaters who’ve joined in the past few months. Many newbies learn to play roller derby from scratch when they join their first league, and the learning curve is steep! Transfers, on the other hand, often come to Charm because they’ve excelled in their previous leagues and wanted a new challenge. For all derby players, the desire to grow as an athlete and help make the league better is a driving force. So, to welcome our new league members, several veterans offer their advice:
From Beau Tangled: Ask All the Questions
Our white star liason Beau Tangled is also a member of the training staff and specializes in coaching the newest members of CCRG. Here’s what she has to say about learning a new sport:
Derby is a sport that has not come naturally to me so I've reached out for tips from the veteran skaters more times than I can count. Also, I ask the same questions over and over and to different people as well. I also try to change the WAY I ask the question. When I was trying to learn the plow stop, I'd ask "What do you do?" "What does it feel like?" "Where are you contracting to push down into the floor?" I figure that at some point someone will phrase the solution in a way that resonates with me.
From Guantanamurda: Being the New Kid
Guantanamurda is the captain of Female Trouble and co-captain of her home team, the Night Terrors. She remembers the challenges of finding her way in the league when she joined in 2012:
I feel like most new skaters have the most trouble with a few things as they come into our league: navigating the system, believing they are actually a part of it, and understanding how much work goes into it in terms of personal development and league responsibilities.
I would compare becoming a new league member to being the new kid in school. At first, you don't know where the cafeteria is or who to sit with. To some, this alone is enough to scare them away in the first few weeks. I am sad for these people, because it is really up to you to do something about being lost. Nobody else will do it for you.
If you're feeling lost, or like you're on the periphery of this sizeable group of people, know that you, yourself will have the biggest impact in terms of changing that. You can't wait for it to happen, you have to make it happen for yourself. Other skaters will always be willing to help point you in the right direction, and offer tips/advice/a shoulder to cry on. But ultimately, the extent to which you are able to navigate and feel ownership of our organization is on you.
From 50 Shades of Pain: Learn from Your Team
50 Shades of Pain is a recent transfer who started playing derby during grad school in Miami and has come back to Baltimore to play for her home team. She sees significant differences between her previous league and Charm:
“The team is bigger and way more competitive. Miami was not a WFTDA team, whereas Charm is not only WFTDA, but a ranked WFTDA team. I feel like everyone I skate with is very talented, which is awesome. You learn a lot from people on higher levels and it allows you to grow and develop more as a player. I also used to skate outside on polished concrete, whereas with charm we skate inside on a wood floor. The different surface forces you to adapt your playing style slightly.”
As for getting to know people after transferring, Shades says, “Put yourself out there. Be outgoing and involve yourself in things. One difficult thing about being a transfer is that the skaters already have bonds and friendships with each other. It can seem daunting trying to integrate yourself into a new team, but you have to. There are so many awesome people on this team, and it would be a shame to miss out on some awesome friendships because you are shy.”
From Roxy Wrecks: Conquer One Demon at a Time
Roxy Wrecks skates with the Mobtown Mods and previously skated for two other leagues. Roxy knows that both new and experience skaters face one challenge after another, and that’s a good thing!
“I remember it taking quite a while for me to not feel like Bambi on ice. I hadn't been on skates since I was twelve or so, and this was not "open skate"! Our Mantra (my derby wife's and mine) was "just don't $!@% up!" And we checked and challenged each other constantly. When a skill was hard to master, we practiced together during our free warm up time. When we were tired, we pushed each other because we both had the same competitive drive. And when things were frustrating (on or off the track) we encouraged each other to not give up or in. I thinking finding friendships in derby was key to making the lows tolerable and the highs spectacular.”
“New skaters struggle with every aspect of derby. I don't mean to say that every aspect of derby is hard for every skater, but it's likely each person will find their own "demon" to conquer. And then there will probably be another one after that. For me, right this minute, it's narrow plow stops. Before that it was high-speed hockey stops. Before that, it was defining my role as a member of two different teams. No matter what your particular struggle, I find two things help me get over the hump: First, find someone who does that skill well, and ask them to demonstrate, explain or provide pointers. If you're lucky, they'll keep an eye on you and give you feedback as you progress. Second, practice that thing often. If your want to get better at backwards skating, do it every time you go for water, on the way to sign in, and between drills. Get on the track early and take a few laps before practice begins or consider finding an open skate session. Make an effort to conquer it, not avoid it.”
From Hittsburgh: Find the Positive
Just as it’s hard for new skaters to learn from scratch, experienced skaters often struggle when they decide to step up their game. Hittsburgh knows all about that.
“A former coach of mine warned me that it could be difficult moving to a bigger league when you are used to being a "big fish in a small pond". I took a lot of time to mentally prepare myself prior to transferring to CCRG. I decided that my goal was to learn and see how far I could go. I entered with the mentality that I would stay quiet, learn the ropes, and take it all in. I wanted to pick up as much information as I could from anyone willing to help and work hard to put the new skills into practice.”
“With that said, it was HARD. Some days I questioned if I belonged or if I should have stayed in a small league. Other skaters had a hard time getting a read on me because I was so quiet and tried not to show to much emotion or reaction (although I am pretty quiet anyway). I felt like everything I thought I knew about Derby was years behind and my skill was nowhere close to what I thought I had. I am naturally very hard on myself, and feeling lost on the track after skating for three years was hard for me to handle. It was like starting all over again. It was a good thing I had my drive home to process, because after trying to maintain at practice there were many times I broke down the minute I hit 95. But, I knew if this was what I really wanted, I had to find a reason for myself to stay. I made a point of always finding at least one positive thing about every practice even if it was a single effective move in the course of a three hour practice, that gave me. something to hold on to and build on.”
Think you might be cut out for derby? Come to our next bout to learn more, and then give it a try at Charm School! Next bout: Aug. 9, 6:30 p.m. @ The Gardens Ice House in Laurel
Charm School: Aug. 16, 10 a.m. @ Skateland on North Point Rd. in Dundalk
Photos by Down'n'Out Photography
What do you call roller derby without referees? We don’t know, but we’re pretty sure it wouldn’t work. Roller derby depends on volunteer officials (some off skates and some on) to enforce the rules, track penalties, keep score, run the penalty box, set up the track, and help keep everyone safe. Basically, without them, there’s no game.
To help you become an educated fan of our favorite sport, CCRG ref Admiral Mayhem answers our questions about what derby officials do! Read this educational Q&A, then show off your derby savvy at our next bout: July 12 at The Garden’s Ice House.
Admiral Mayhem: First, let me just say that all views and opinions are my own and in no way should they reflect upon the WFTDA, Officials, Charm City Roller Girls affiliated Officials or Charm City Roller girls. They are solely my personal views and opinions and should be taken only as such with no consequence to anyone else.
Miss Dirt: How would you describe the experience of being a derby ref?
Admiral: Being a ref for roller derby is such a unique experience in this sport. I feel like I am in the calm of the storm. Especially when I am working the inside of the track with derby girls racing around each other. The mindset of being a ref is this stressful calm as well. Keeping your mind clear to think of all the rules, enforcing safety, watching for penalties, keep the game fair and fun can be immensely stressful. Some people joke that I have one of the best spots in the house to watch the game, but the fact is that I don’t see the score or pay attention to who is winning and losing. I am doing so many other things that those fall to the side. I do watch derby from time to time and take breaks to watch, but I’m usually off duty and not reffing in order to do so. I personally love officiating. I find great enjoyment in it and love the sport and am very happy to be involved.
Photos by Down'n'Out Photography
MD: How did you decide to become a ref, and how long have you been involved in the league?
Admiral: I’ve been involved with Charm since about 2011. I started as a skater. As I became more proficient at skating and derby, I was able to go to scrimmage practice and start blocking. I quickly realized that getting hit and hitting others was not for me. During that time I was helping out as a Non Skating Official, learning the rules and helping anywhere I could. I became a ref because I still love skating and wanted to be involved. Not only do I officiate on skates, I am also able to officiate off skates. NSOing is wonderful to do if you are starting out or dislike skating. NSOing is also incredibly important in order to keep track over everything that is going on.
MD: What's one rule you really wish everyone understood?
Admiral: There are so many! Right now it is star pass procedures because the new rule set has made them more complicated and easier to achieve at the same time.
MD: So, could you tell me in your words how a star pass works? I was sitting with some new derby fans during the last bout, and they were pretty confused by that, and I could barely explain it to them.
Admiral: Let’s pretend that you are the jammer for my team and that I’m the pivot (the skater with the stripe on their head). A star pass occurs when the jammer hands their pivot the jammer’s helmet cover (the cover with the star on it.)This hand off has to be hand-to-hand. As the jammer, you can’t throw it to me or pass it to someone else to give to me. Also, the pass has to happen while we are both upright, inside the track boundaries, and not penalized. You can’t transfer the rights as jammer and all the powers thereof to a person that has to go sit a penalty for 30 seconds. So, having done all these things correctly, the jammer is able to give their pivot their position and powers. This transfer happens at the handoff. When you take the star off your helmet, you become an inactive jammer. When you hand it to me legally and LET GO, I become the inactive jammer and you become a blocker. When I finally put the cover on my head, I’m a real jammer! This last point of wearing the cover is very important, because you can’t score points if you aren’t wearing the helmet cover.
Photos by Down'n'Out Photography
MD: I hear one of the best parts of being a ref or NSO is that you're needed practically everywhere and get to visit a lot of different places/leagues. Have you gotten to do much travel as an official? What's that been like?
Admiral: Very true. This is really my first year focusing on traveling to other leagues and participating away from home. It’s been an invaluable experience learning from other officials and also experiencing the style of gameplay of other leagues. I personally think the best part of officiating is pointing and yelling at people ;)
MD: I know officials aren't supposed to get hit, but that does seem to happen sometimes. How risky is your job?
Admiral: I’m not going to say that being an official is not risky, both for skating officials (SO) and non-skating officials (NSOs). We are all involved in a contact sport with people hitting each other on 8 wheels. Things can get dangerous. But as an official, the risk of injury is much lower as an SO and even lower as an NSO. But things happen. As an NSO that is working the penalty box, if the penalized skater coming in is going too fast when they sit in the chair, and they can go flying back and hit you (this can get a penalty by the way, and if it is bad enough it is an ejection.) The risk of getting injured or hit as an NSO is very, very small, but always a possibility. As a skating official, the risk is higher. We are on skates and in the thick of it with skaters. Technically, SOs are not supposed to get hit and there are penalties to enforce that, but things happen. I tend to jump over a lot of skaters who miss a hit and fall to the inside of the track. I’ve been hit a few times, and once where I got the wind knocked out of me. I know of other SOs who have been seriously injured. The number of injuries we acquire as officials is small in comparison to the multiple broken ankles, cheekbones, and fingers that I have seen skaters rack up. So being an official is not risk free, but it is less risky than being a skater.
MD: Since refs don't have to be at every skating practice, it seems like the time commitment might be easier, but you still have meetings and other responsibilities. How much of your week is typically spent on derby stuff?
Admiral: Personally, almost my entire week is spent doing derby stuff. I would say 6 out of 7 days on a light week. The biggest misconception I hear is that people think that if you can’t skate, go officiate. If you don’t want to skate or are working up to skating, being an NSO may be right for you. If you want to be a skating official, there is a lot of time that goes into becoming a better skater. We have to be faster than the fastest jammer, skate laps around the outside of the track, and be able to haul butt backwards when everyone changes directions. This is essential because if you aren’t in the right place to see a penalty, you can’t call it. We also spend a lot of time reviewing, discussing, and teaching the rules to ourselves and the skaters. There are 74 pages of the current rule set with several additional pieces of paperwork for officials. Did you know that each penalty has a special verbal cue by which to call it by? This time commitment is a bit more flexible though. I chose to do that many days a week, while others do not. And that’s all good, because everyone has different goals and prior commitments, and we have a bit more leniency worked into our structure.
MD: Wow, we don’t often think about how much skating skill is required for refs. That's pretty intense. Do you guys do skating practices, or do you have to do that on your own?
Admiral: A bit of both. On Monday when we have practice, we try to use the rink with you all, but there is only so much we are able to do in that shared space. Wednesday scrimmage is both skating and practicing all that we do. Some days we will meet up and skate around the lakes in Baltimore to practice endurance. We try to fit it in there :)
MD: And finally, for folks who are interested in becoming officials, where do they start?
Admiral: Anyone interested in officiating in any capacity, both on and off skates, can contact us at referees@charmcityrollergirls. Go to the contact us part of the charmcityrollergirls.com website and you can find the link. Also, if you attend a game, feel free to come up to me and ask any questions in between games or at the end. I have my name stamped across my back and wear a funny hat when I’m out of stripes. Go team Zebras and Flamingos!
With your newfound knowledge of who makes derby amazing, come out to see the refs and skaters in action! Our next bout is on July 12 at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel. Doors open at 5:30 and the first whistle is at 6:30. Bonus: You can help make derby great by getting involved! We are always looking for officials, especially NSOs. Email email@example.com to learn more.
Like most athletes, the Charm City Rollergirls couldn’t do what we do best without the support of our loved ones. For many of us, our biggest fans and truest supporters are the dads of Charm City. Whether they’re our own dads who coached us a kids and cheer us on as adults or our partners who happily take over the childcare duties on bout day, we’re grateful for the men who make our lives just a little more charming. We’ll be celebrating these dads at our June 14th bout in Laurel at the Gardens Ice House, and we hope you’ll bring your dad to join in the celebration.
Hittsuburgh and Sin Diesel are a full-on derby family, each supporting the other through practices, bouts, and league duties. Hitts credits her partner Sin with making it possible for her to play with the Charm City All-Stars in addition to her spot on the Night Terrors. “He has been a coach, a skater, and a devoted derby widow and has not only his own kids, but has gone above and beyond to help me with mine since I moved to CCRG.”
Sin even goes solo on parenting duties when Hitts travels for bouts. “I am thankful every time I step on the track ... that I have someone that is so in love with my son and so willing to help me reach my goals. He has taught me that it is okay for mother's to make time for themselves, and he allows me to do that on a regular basis.”
Sin’s derby history includes a role in founding the Men’s Derby Coalition (which later became the MRDA) and the Key City Roller Derby, plus coaching for multiple teams in the region. He currently skates for Harm City Havoc, where Hitts is his coach. It helps that both members of this team are derby players. They deal with life strategically, helping each other cope with challenges and distractions so they can both do their best on and off the track.
Papa Kill, proud dad of the Junkyard Dolls co-captain Federal Kill, is a familiar face at Charm bouts. “If you are ever looking for my dad in the stands, he will be the one who looks like Sam Elliot wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt,” Fed says. It may have taken him a while to understand her attraction to derby, but Papa Kill has always supported his daughter’s love of sports including t-ball, softball, soccer, basketball, field hockey, dance and cheerleading. He loves to see her play, and he knows she’s an inspiration to her teammates. “After being cut from the high school soccer team during her first year she was determined to participate and tried out for the field hockey team. She excelled to a very admirable status throughout high school and lead her team to the playoffs I believe 3 out of 4 years.”
Fed says her dad worked hard to support the family when she was a little girl, which meant she didn’t always get to spend a lot of time with him, so they’ve always made the most of their time together. When she was younger, they went fishing together often, but now their favorite father-daughter activity is watching the Baltimore Ravens play. “We drink, we eat, and we shout expletives at the players. It's very good father-daughter bonding,” Fed says.
Roger Huntington, father to Charm’s I.M. Pain, took her skating so much as a kid that she can hardly remember a time when she couldn’t skate. By age 6, Pain was signed up for her local speed skating team, and quickly fell in love with the sport.
Skating and competing were a big part of Pain’s life with her brother and their single father. It was a way they bonded as a family and shared life lessons. “Once I started to get older and more competitive, we started traveling all across the country. At some point, both my brother and my dad started competing too. My dad and I started cross training together on bikes, riding around our particularly hilly neighborhood. He always pushed me to work hard, train hard, and to never settle for second best. I carry that through into derby and everything, really. Never give up on what you really want, he instilled that in me.”
Mr. Huntington, nick named Rodger Dodger by Pain’s speed team, passed away due to liver cancer in May, and the entire Charm family grieves with one of our most beloved skaters. “Watching him fight this horrible disease has been absolutely heartbreaking. But I know he has been fighting, never giving up, and I strive to live like that every day.”
Raven Darkhold has played derby since 2006, but her dad hasn’t had a chance to see her play, yet. When she started playing, she was nervous about telling her dad, but to her happy surprise, he was very supportive. Now that he’s retired, Raven says she’s preparing DVDs of her bout footage to help inspire her dad and sister Melody to come up and watch her live. Raven is pictured above with her father Willie and sister Melody at Melody's graduation.
Like many Charm skaters, Raven gives credit to her dad when it comes to her athletic ability because he taught her to skate at a young age. “I learned on the plastic Fisher Price skates and eventually moved onto real skates as I became more comfortable skating outside. When I got older, we went to the local skating rink virtually every Saturday. I remember my dad being out there skating with me with long strides. I eventually was able to skate faster than my dad. I remember being able to plow stop, which I learned on my own, and jumping over the smaller children who fell in front of me with no fear. That may explain why I love jumping so much now.”
Junkyard Dolls are thinking pink with Scarriett Tubman and Raven Darkhold.
The Night Terrors welcome Kamikazee Cash to the Thunderdome.
The Speed Regime coronate Poison Princess.
The Mobtown Mods prepare to throwdown Merry Khoas, Cherrylicious, Chris Crafty, Punchwrap Supreme, and Kimbuktu!
Be sure to come see the ladies skate with their new teams on March 22nd
The first bout of 2014 in the newly remodeled Du Burns Arena gave us some very exciting games offered to a sell-out crowd!
First, Speed Regime set their sights on the Mobtown Mods. Ela Trick started off the home team season as lead jammer earning Speed Regime 14 points. Talk about starting with a BANG!
The Mobtown Mods were missing a few key players, but never stopped working to close the large gap earned by Speed Regime in the first half in a scrappy, hard-fought game. While Poison Princess earned the Mods 50 points during the game, Allie B. Back was on target, racking up triple digits for 102 of 162 of Speed Regime’s points. Yet, the Mods never gave up and rallied some teamwork in the second half, and overcame a large point deficit to finish only 36 points behind the Regime. Expect more from the Mods this season as they seek to gain a few new players in time for February while Roxy Balboa and Lady Quebeaum are on the mend.
Grrrcia, Roxy Wrecks and E.D. Sledgewick had their first bouts as official members of the Mobtown Mods. Mods welcomed a few guest skaters for this bout; Kamikaze Cash who earned her first penalty with us in the 1st half of the bout, way to go! Merry Khaos, Poison Princess, Scarriett Tubman, and Raven Darkhold also donned the red dresses as guests. O’Chit swapped out last year’s Mod’s uniform and now with the Speed Regime, joined by Sadie Stingray, who had her first official bout with the girls in green. Grrrcia of the Mods and Terror IzHer of the Speed Regime were named MVPs.
REGIME OVER MODS
The second matchup of the night, reigning 2014 Donaghy Cup champs, the Junkyard Dolls, donned some new gray uniforms to take on the Night Terrors, back for revenge after a tough 2013 season. Cool blue and calculating, the Terrors racked up a significant lead in the first half, which was eroded by an impressive series of jams by Free Radical late in the half, bringing the score to 105 Dolls, 107 Terrors at halftime.
The Junkyard Dolls continued to dominate early in the second half, but the Terrors came roaring back to secure a massive lead, taking control during a handful of jammer penalties earned by Dolls’ jammers. Using quick feet and evasive maneuvers, Nuckin’ Futz of the Terrors earned an impressive 143 of the Terror’s 276 points, while Free Radical earned 90. In the end, the Dolls could not overcome the late game points loss and graciously lost their first game at DuBurns since 2012. Hittsburgh, in her official Night Terror debut, was rewarded with MVP for her solid blocking game and dominating presence on the track, Free Radical took home the MVP award for the Dolls after being responsible for major momentum changes on the track.
On the Night Terrors, members Scarring Nightly and Guantanamurda had their first bout in blue, with She Guevara moving to the Terrors after years with the Mods. In grey, Killy from Philly, GG Hardy, Susy Pow and Throttle-her played their hearts out in their first games as Junkyard Dolls. Returning to the Junkyard Dolls after years playing for the L.A. Derby Dolls, Cherrylicious was right at home as a guest skater.
TERRORS OVER DOLLS
All of us here at Charm are saying a tearful farewell to our officials Serial Killer and Mercy Buckets, as this January bout was their last one with us. Thank you for all of the tough love you gave to our league! On a lighter note, officials would like to congratulate Jazzie Jukebox on her first officiated game on skates, as well as welcome retired skater Quickshot Kitty and returning official Zebra Caiques.
Join us Saturday, February 22, again at Du Burns Arena for even more roller derby action as your favorite Baltimore girls look to break some hearts on the way to earning the Donaghy Cup! Tickets are available at www.missiontix.com!
by: Smearin' Off Ice
After passing Open Tryouts, we are pleased to welcome our Fall 2013 Class of New CCRG league members; Allyson Wonderland, Irene Supreme, Kelly S., Merry Khaos, Oh Gee, Sara B., Monica "Mo" P., Jelly Go Nuts.
|Uvetta Work joined the Charm City Roller Girls on March 22, 2011, and is nearing the end of her second season of playing roller derby. Her introduction to roller derby was actually the film “Whip It,” which led her to look for an opportunity to join a close-knit community and try a new sport. Prior to trying out for the league, she utilized Charm City’s “Charm School” skating clinics to learn some basic skating skills so she would be prepared for what was to come although she had spent at least 20 years away from roller skates. Uvetta adds, “I too wanted to evolve into a more powerful, well-rounded person and build a family outside of my home. So, I grabbed a pair of skates and started the journey.”|
Ms. Work has a long athletic history, after spending high school years as a sprinter on the track team, and was the captain of the cheerleading squad her senior year. Uvetta says, “And yes, since I was always the one holding up the pyramids, cheerleading counts as a sport.” In college, Uvetta ran track briefly but made a switch to contact sports - and focused on becoming the defensive line of her college’s rugby team. Her prior experience in athletics helped her rise to the top of Charm City’s ranks quickly - she played her first bout with the Mobtown Mods on January 28, 2012, and joined the Charm City All-Stars not long after. Despite her history in athletics, Uvetta found the process of becoming a Charm City Roller Girl a humbling, challenging, but rewarding experience, so she tends to “hang back a bit and listen before I leap.” So it came as a surprise when league leaders recognized her quiet strength for a special opportunity.
Uvetta Work was recently featured on a billboard the league won as part of MGH’s “Make it Big” contest, which was located on Rt. 95 on the east side of the city headed towards the Ft. McHenry tunnel. She was happy to be the “face” of Charm City and represent our giant family full of leaders and great skaters. She put her best face forward and worked with MGH’s photographers which led to great results. “So, it was a shock and an absolute pleasure that, despite it all, the leaders in our organization saw a strength in me that they thought represented the league in a positive light. I’m honored.” says Uvetta about the opportunity. “I especially enjoyed having Leah Bassett, a professional makeup artist for Under Armour, gussy up my face and hair. I’m one of those derby gals who live in wet hair and sweats, so it was nice to be fancy for a day.”
Learn more about Uvetta Work - and come see her skate this Saturday, August 17 at Duburns Arena in Canton. Buy tickets at missiontix.com!
What is the story behind your derby name?
My derby name was actually produced under pressure. Our coach was ordering jerseys for everyone, and if we wanted our names on the jerseys, we had until the end of practice to tell the organizer. I was still working my way through assessments at the time, so all I had was a list of names that I hadn’t settled upon. However, I knew I wanted a name that would make a great crowd cheer, cause people to laugh, taunt the competition without being too foul-mouthed, and be a fun phrase for the announcers. A couple minutes before the jersey deadline, a friend suggested I ditch the list and look at drag names on RuPaul’s twitter feed because those monikers fit all of my requirements. We didn’t even get the app open before the two of us were screaming “YOOOOOU BETTER WEEERQ” at each other. And that was how Uvetta was born.
Tell me about a moment you are most proud of. Was it an intense moment? Was it a moment where everything came together?
You know, I actually had a defining moment quite recently. It was in a game where we were losing terribly against one of our toughest opponents to date. Our coaches kept saying to take the “need to win” off of our minds and instead “concentrate on working together more effectively.” Although the game circumstances were unfortunate, it was the first time I was able to relax and go beyond my comfort zone by being a leader on the track. I was calling shots and making decisions that I would normally be too self-conscious to make. Our team learned a lot that day about how to work through adversity because, for once, we had nothing to lose.
What kinds of activities do you do off skates to make yourself a better derby player?
Since I don’t live close to our skating facility, I rely heavily on cross training to bridge the gaps that develop when I am not able to make four or five practices a week like some of our league’s veteran All Stars. So lately, I have been pushing myself off skates with high intensity interval training for cardiovascular fitness, weighted plyometric work for leg power, and agility ladder combos for bursts of speed and footwork. Yoga is also one of my favorite pastimes. And if I am too busy for a big workout, I’ll opt for 55 to 90 minutes of ashtanga yoga and a dozen slow backstroke laps in the pool instead of savasana. I like to spend a lot of time poolside.
So, what keeps you motivated to keep up all that cross-training?
Our league is very fortunate to have a great reputation in the derby community as a consistently strong team, having made it to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s Championship Tournament for the past three years. And I feel it is my duty to do whatever it takes to continue the top tier work of those ladies who came before me.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned thanks to playing roller derby?
There’s always room for improvement.
Does anything you learn in derby help in your personal life?
Roller derby is a lot like chess in that you have to anticipate your opponent’s next three moves. And for that reason, I have become a lot more observant, strategic, disciplined, and organized in my day-to-day activities.
What makes roller derby special here in Baltimore?
The fact that our city supports us 110% makes Baltimore roller derby far more special than any other. Back in 2010, Mayor Sheila Dixon declared January 30th, Charm City Roller Girls Day. Then in 2011, when our MD flag helmets became national news, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake staunchly supported us in the media and publicly acknowledged us as a legitimate sport that should be put in the spotlight alongside Baltimore’s Ravens and Orioles. She even went so far as to sound the first whistle for our Season 8 Home Team Championship Doubleheader. As result, news outlets like WBAL TV, The Baltimore Sun Times, 98 Rock, and even talk shows like The Today Show have been generous with their coverage of our league. With all of the support we get from this town, fans may be excited to know it is not uncommon to see a mayor, a filmmaker, a comedian, or a professional athlete or two in the crowd at our home bouts (in addition to your favorite roller girl). We work really hard to put on a family-friendly event that appeals to everyone since Baltimoreans are insatiable sports connoisseurs.
Who or what are you thankful for?
Honestly, I am simply grateful just to be an active member of one the top 20 roller derby league’s in the world. CCRG is an empowering organization bringing confidence and strength to hundreds of women and thousands of fans each year. I have made numerous lifelong friends and traveled the globe because of Charm’s mission and this ever-changing fast-paced sport. Believe me when I say, it is an absolute pleasure to represent Maryland and to perpetuate Baltimore’s love of all things athletic.
The Charm City Rollergirls are busy preparing for their 2011 home season starting January 29th and that means the most exciting time of year- home team drafts! The Junkyard Dolls, Mobtown Mods, Night Terrors and 2010 Champs Speed Regime had a tough time choosing from an extremely talented pool of skaters. Each home team said goodbye to some of their most veteran players who will be greatly missed.
The Junkyard Dolls welcome Adrenaline Junkie, Trixy Le Doom, Slo Commotion and Smearin' Off Ice to a hard hitting roster that includes captains Aidee Dee and Quickshot Kitty, blockers Xena Paradox, Doris Day of Reckoning, Mistress May Eye, Whipstick and Pimparella and jammers Holden Grudges, Kelly O'ShankU and Killer Kitten. The Dolls said goodbye to Flo Shizzle, Federal Kill and Paige Fault.
The Mobtown Mods selected Roxy Balboa, Indie Skies, Neurotic Tendency and Dutchland transfer Booty Garland, formerly known as O'Chit. These ladies join a stellar line up that includes captains Mya Bloody Valentine and Zamboni Toni and the double threat jamming/blocking line ups of Lady Quebeaum, Dosa Badazz, Essie Ecks, Grose Misconduct, Ginja Ninja, PENALTYna, Thoroughbled and Gloria Stunem. The Mobtown Mods bid adieu to Joy Collision (skating with All Stars only), Judy Boom, She Guevara, MIA POW and Ethyl Hurtz.
The Night Terrors enter 2011 with new faces Tamurai Sword, I.M. Pain, Fistfull of Dollhairs, Miss'ippi Queen, and Crowella De Vil. Captains Blind Banshee and Grand Theft Autumn lead a roster that includes multi-talented skaters Radar Love, Nuckin' Futz, Fatal Attraction, Slap Tackle Pop and L.A. Riot. The Night Terrors will miss Just Carol (skating with All Stars), Rosie the Rioter (skating with All Stars), Beth Steel, Jilli Idol, Frenzy Lohan, Mibbs Breakin' Ribs, Minnie Piledriver and Nurse Wretched, who will be sporting another uniform soon.
Speed Regime welcomes Scarin' Blockovich and Ferris Bruiser to their 2010 championship roster lead by captains Terror IzHer and Allie B. Back. Their teammates include the speedy and tough Deathany, Gidget Guttersnip, Flux Incapacitator, Tyrannosaurus Lex, Jam Reaper, Bambi's Revenge, Loretta Scars, Ali Kaida and Twibite currently awaiting the birth of her second child. The Regime said farewell to Holly Go Hardly (Skating with All Stars), Layne I. Hilator, Oh Scheydt and Cindy Lop-her.
Did you know that the Charm City Roller Girls have a lower age requirement than many leagues? We only require our skaters to be 18 years of age, rather than the 21 and up requirements of many leagues around the country. But what about those young ladies who can't vote yet? How do THEY get their derby fix?
A wave of Junior Roller Derby leagues are starting up across the country. The Junior Roller Derby Association has formed, and provides information about member leagues, modified rules, and assistance in starting a junior roller derby league. Recently a junior derby girl, Fallon Angel of the Seattle Derby Brats, was featured in the WFTDA members magazine fiveonfive. She's 16 years old, and she is ready to take the derby world by storm in a few years!
The Charm City Roller Girls want to support young women in the pursuit of their derby dream, and since Whip It was released, more girls than ever before want to know when they can skate with their derby heroes. We love meeting our fans at our monthly bouts and other events, but we have the most fun on wheels!
Girl Scout Troops 1205 and 4165 of Baltimore had the opportunity to watch an Charm City All Stars practice and attended an open skate at North Point Skateland with some of their favorite roller girls. Paige Fault (Junkyard Dolls) and Neurotic Tendency (Fresh Meat) talked to the girls about the rules (and the outfits!) as we watched All Stars like Allie B. Back, Holly GoHardly, and Duchess of Torque at practice.
Rules were explained, skates were tied, and autographs aplenty were signed.
Roller derby is one of few contact sports available to women, and the derby culture embraces women of all ages, making it one of few sports that can be played for a lifetime! We're also proud to play a sport that welcomes all shapes and sizes, and as a new sport we're open to lifelong athletes and former couch potatoes. We're happy to be showing these girls what women can do with determination and enthusiasm, and we hope to keep inspiring new generations of skaters.
These are your future Roller Girls, Charm City! Look out for them in our 10th season in 2015!!
For more information on Junior Roller Derby, check out:
Junior Roller Derby Association
Junior Derby Bout at WFTDA Nationals
Seattle Derby Brats
by: Holly GoHardly
Bout Preview: Charm City Roller Girls Season 5 Championships
By Holly GoHardly and Flux Incapacitator
Consolation Bout (3rd/4th Place): Night Terrors (1-3) vs. Junkyard Dolls (0-4)
At their last meeting during the season opener, the Night Terrors pulled out a 14 point victory over the Junkyard Dolls, in a game that saw several lead changes. Both teams have a lot of talent and tricks up their sleeves coming into this game. The Night Terrors closed a pretty steep point differential in the second half of their playoff game against the Mobtown Mods last month, while the Junkyard Dolls held the Speed Regime to the closest point differential of any other team this season. Look for the Dolls to rely heavily on the speedy jammer rotation of Flo Shizzle, Holden Grudges and Killer Kitten with support in the pack from tenacious blockers Xena Paradox, Quickshot Kitty, and team captain Mistress May Eye. From the Terrors, look for solid pack control from all-star Mibbs Breakin’ Ribs and tough positional blocking from Frenzy Lohan. Expect to see Just Carol, Minnie Piledriver, Radar Love and standout rookie Nuckin Futz take the star for the ladies in blue.
Jilli Idol 275 (captain) // Blind Banshee (captain) 4 // Nuckin Futz 187 // Fatal Attraction 24 // Mibbs Breakin’ Ribs 1010 // Just Carol 26 // Grand Theft Autumn 948 // Frenzy Lohan 119 // Radar Love 1 // Minnie Piledriver 125 // Rosie the Rioter 100 //Nurse Wretched 05 // Slap Tackle Pop 3E // Beth Steel 5446//
Aidee Dee 22 (captain) // Mistress May-Eye 10 (captain) // Kelly O’Shanku 9 // Holden Grudges 63 // Pimparella L0L // Doris Day of Reckoning C6 // Whipstick 241 // Xena Paradox H4LFway // Quickshot Kitty 45 // Paige Fault 404 // Killer Kitten 909 // Flo Shizzle 247
Championship Bout (1st/2nd Place): Speed Regime (4-0) vs. Mobtown Mods (3-1)
This will be a rematch of both last year’s consolation 3rd/4th place bout that saw the Regime win by 54 points and of this season’s opener in which the Regime handed the Mods their only defeat this season. Speed Regime comes into this bout undefeated for the first time since the inaugural season in 2006, when their streak was broken in the Championship game by the Night Terrors. The Mods will look to heavy hitters Thoroughbled, Judy Boom, PENALTYna and all-around threat Joy Collision to put the brakes on the Regime’s jammer rotation of team captain Allie B. Back, Bambi’s Revenge, Tyrannosaurus Lex and dynamite rookie TwiBite. Meanwhile Mods jammers Dosa Badazz, fleet-footed newcomer Zamboni Toni and team captain Mya Bloody Valentine will have to contend with tight Regime defense from team captain Terror Izher, Deathany and Holly Gohardly.
Terror Izher 3636 (captain) //Allie B. Back T2 (captain) //Deathany 666 // Layne I. Hilator IL8 // Oh Scheydt P00P // Gidget Guttersnipe 2onU // TwiBite 222 // Holly Gohardly 415 // Flux Incapacitator 88 mph // Ali Kaida 175 // Tyrannosaurus Lex R44Wr // Bambi’s Revenge 42 // Loretta Scars 91
MIA POW F4 (captain) // Mya Bloody Valentine 190 (captain) // PENALTYna 7 // Thoroughbled 12 // Gloria Stunem 1971 // Dosa Badazz 01 // Zamboni Toni // Judy Boom 82 // Joy Collision 747 // Essie Ecks 1on1 // Shé Guevara 267 // Ethyl Hurtz 84 // Ginja Ninja 410 // Lady Quebeaum 34 // Grose Misconduct 33
For the first time the Charm City Roller Girls sold out Du Burns Arena for the second bout of the 2010 home season. Over 1800 people crowded in to watch our home teams battle it out, and we're thrilled to see these record breaking crowds!
These sellout crowds mean longer lines for tickets at the door, and we want to remind our fans that we have plenty of pre-sale outlets around Baltimore! In coming weeks we'll spotlight some of these sponsors and ticket locations, so you can get your tickets early and catch all of the derby action.
She Guevara of the Mobtown Mods and Paige Fault of the Junkyard Dolls helped a longtime ticket outlet Collectors Corner open their new location in Parkville, MD. The new location has an enormous selection of comics, manga, DVDs, role-playing books, and other collectibles.
We took a minute with the owner of Collectors Corner, Randy, to find out why Charm City Roller Girls fans should check out his new location!
So, I know you're excited about the new space, what's your favorite improvement or new product?
Huge new space, Art Gallery, more games, vintage back issues, bargain comics, and dvd and graphic novel RENTALS!
You're one of our best ticket vendors, how many tickets do you usually sell for each bout? How did you become a ticket vendor?
We sold out once for an All Star Bout, but normally anywhere from 15 - 35 tickets per bout.
We asked to become one since we had so many customers that were going to the bouts, it makes sense. There is a lot of cross-over business between roller derby and comics.
Do you have a favorite roller girl? A favorite team?
I would say our store contact, Emily (She Guevara) and her team, the Mobtown Mods.
Is there a book you'd recommend to derby girls? How about our fans?
There are a ton of great comic books out right now, a couple of favorites like Chew about a cop that get a psychic imprint from anything he tastes, The Boys - Hardcore superhero satire, character study and darkly humorous riff on comic book lore. Turf, Walking Dead, Irredeemable, and plenty more. As far as collected editions there are classics like Sandman, Preacher, Watchmen, Fables, Love and Rockets, Batman, and many more.
What else should our fans know about you and Collectors Corner?
That Collectors Corner is the comic shop other stores wish they could be, we have the coolest customers, and the most fun! We don't promote an inclusive vibe here, the store is inviting to everyone. We stock more comics, games, graphic novels and collectibles than anyone in Baltimore, and know more about our products than anyone around.
If you're a new or casual reader or gamer or hardcore fanboy or fangirl we treat everyone equally and try to show everyone that walks in just how awesome comic books and games can be as entertainment! We have many items other stores don't and also have events every week, like FREE Movie Nights, Board Game Night, Accoustic Open Mic Night, and Comic Book Club meetings and sales at least once per month. Come on out and check out The Coolest store in Baltimore! Ask for your FREE membership card.
We had a great time meeting our fans - old and new! - and hope to see some of our new friends at the Championship Bout, May 22nd!
If you're looking for something to do this weekend, be sure to check out Free Comic Book Day at Collectors Corner!
May 1st 2010, FREE PIZZA, FREE COMICS, 20+ ARTISTS including JO CHEN - Cover Artist for Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Dark Horse Comics and many local professionals!
Bout Preview: Charm City Home Team Playoffs 4/24/10
By Holly GoHardly and Flux Incapacitator
The Charm City Roller Girls are poised to enter the Season 5 playoffs on Saturday, April 24. The matchups will be familiar to fans who attended the bout on March 27. The playoffs will pit the #1 Speed Regime against the #4 Junkyard Dolls. Speed Regime, fresh off a 111 point win over the Night Terrors, are 3-0 for the season; they will enter the playoffs as the 1st place seed. The Regime has harnessed a versatile roster of skaters who can serve on the blocking line or jam at a moment’s notice. In the pack, the Regime is led by team captain Terror Izher, and All-Stars Deathany and Holly Gohardly. Expect to see most skaters take the star at some point during the game in addition to the core jammer rotation of co-captain Allie B. Back, Tyrannosaurus Lex, TwiBite and Bambi’s Revenge.
The Junkyard Dolls, last season’s champions, have struggled to maintain a cohesive roster for the last few seasons. They recently saw the retirement of original Doll and 4-time winner of the CCRG Most Intimidating Skater Award Coach Ballbricker, and lost new recruit Pinky Tuscadare-ya to a shoulder separation. Leading the blocking for the Dolls will be formidable Boston transfer Xena Paradox, team captain Mistress May-Eye and newcomer Quickshot Kitty. While the Dolls struggle with their strength in the pack, they are a fierce force to be reckoned with on the jam line with the staple jamming of crowd favorite Flo Shizzle, the low and speedy Killer Kitten, Mistress May-Eye and fiery Harrisburg transfer Holden Grudges. The Dolls are 0-3 for the season, having suffered their largest loss, by 52 points, to Speed Regime at the March 27 bout. The pressure is on for the Regime to defend their #1 spot against the defending league champions going into the championship bout. The winner of this game will earn a spot in the championship game on May 22, while the loser will play for 3rd or 4th place for the season.
Terror Izher 3636 (captain) //Allie B. Back T2 (captain) //Deathany 666 // Layne I. Hilator IL8 // Oh Scheydt P00P // Gidget Guttersnipe 2onU // TwiBite 222 // Holly Gohardly 415 // Flux Incapacitator 88 // Ali Kaida 175 // Tyrannosaurus Lex R44W // Bambi’s Revenge 42 // Loretta Scars 91
Aidee Dee 22 (captain) // Mistress May-Eye 10 (captain) // Kelly O’Shanku 9 // Holden Grudges 63 // Pimparella L0L // Doris Day of Reckoning C6 // Whipstick 241 // Xena Paradox HL4Fway // Quickshot Kitty 45 // Paige Fault 404 // Killer Kitten 909 // Flo Shizzle 247
The bout between the #2 and #3 teams will see the Mobtown Mods face off against the Night Terrors. The Mobtown Mods have won 2 out of 3 games this season, losing only to the dominant Speed Regime on February 20 by 90 points. The 2-1 record will position the Mods as the # 2 seed going into the playoffs. They will be missing rookie Grose Misconduct due to an injury that occurred at the March 27 bout. The strength of the Mods is their reliance on the individual skills of their players. Heavy hitting pack members include Judy Boom, Penaltyna, Thoroughbled and All-Star captain Joy Collision. On the jammer line, you are likely to see the star passed throughout the lineup but expect to see Lady Quebeaum, Dosa Badazz, Shé Guevara and newcomer Zamboni Toni step up to the line on multiple occasions.
The Night Terrors will be looking for revenge against the #2 ranked Mods, to whom they lost to by a relatively slim margin of 28 points. The Terrors have gone 1-2 this season, winning only against the Junkyard Dolls during a narrow, nail biting, back-and-forth lead exchange at the February 20 bout. The Night Terrors will find their strength in their strategic play on the track led by Rosie the Rioter, team captain Blind Banshee, Beth Steel and Frenzy Lohan. Expect to see the lanky jamming legs of Just Carol, Minnie Piledriver, and Fatal Attraction and the powerful speed and agility of Radar Love on the track with the star. LA Riot will remain out of the lineup recovering from a knee injury. The winner of the matchup between the Mods and Terrors will claim a coveted spot in this season’s championship bout. Neither are strangers to championship play: the Terrors were season champions in the first and second seasons, and the Mods carried home the Donaghy Cup in Season 3.
MIA POW F4 (captain) // Mya Bloody Valentine 190 (captain) // Penaltyna 7 // Thoroughbled 12 // Gloria Stunum 1971 // Dosa Badazz 01 // Zamboni Toni // Judy Boom 82 // Joy Collision 747 // Essie Ecks 1on1 // Shé Guevara 267 // Ethyl Hurtz 84 // Ginja Ninja 410 // Lady Quebeaum 34
Jilli Idol 275 (captain) // Blind Banshee (captain) 4 // Nuckin Futz 187 // Fatal Attraction 24 // Mibbs Breakin’ Ribs 1010 // Just Carol 26 // Grand Theft Autumn 948 // Frenzy Lohan 119 // Radar Love 1 // Minnie Piledriver 125 // Beth Steel 5446 // Slap Tackle Pop 3E // Rosie the Rioter 100 // Nurse Wretched 05
By Holly Gohardly and Flux Incapacitator
The members of the Charm City Roller Girls are talented on and off the track and one of our very own, Junkyard Dolls rookie Whipstick (aka Monica Gallagher) shares her experiences as a derby girl in her webcomic Bonnie N. Collide.
Gutter Magazine recently reviewed Bonnie N. Collide and picked a few of their favorite strips. The CCRG blog will be featuring Bonnie N. Collide each week. Check out Whipstick's other work at her site, Eat Your Lipstick, and see her and the rest of CCRG hit the track this Saturday at DuBurns Arena!
Tags: CCRG AllStars , FreshMeat , Blogs , Posters