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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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