I skate for the Nashville Rollergirls, but all opinions are my own. Expect derby and lots of it. Possible musings as well. Donno.

 

This Is War

fivesecondskategear:

Bear with me. This is a blog about Derby.

I took six years of martial arts. Two different styles. I would go six days a week, two hours a night.

And I was amazing.

Even when I was 16, I was 5’10”, 165 pounds of muscle and fat. I wasn’t quick, but I was strong. I went face to face with…

Yep. As another ex-martial artist turned derby skater, it totally get it. I never had the anxiety that you mention, but I did have that feeling of loneliness and it only being you vs them. It is why I love pack work, that sense of working WITH people has never lost its novelty and joy

Each season the derby community learns something new in both pack play and jamming. It starts around playoffs and champs*, with the top 15 teams showing us what they have been working on, and the rest of derby picking it up to work on next season.
It is to early to say for sure, but to me this year has been the year of trying to figure out how not to just PUSH as jammers, and in the pack it has been the re-emergence of positional pickups, and a demonstration of effective set offensive plays against different formations.

So far. :D

*you could argue there is an ECDX wave as well.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that next year will be jammers using height changes for wall breaking. I would guess that blockers will be rediscovering their shoulders (for positional play) and a further focus on blocking formations that morph based on the current stage of contact with the other team.

(Just a guess, but I have been right before.)

And thus ends my third season. It started with watching from the sidelines as my team took on Ohio, and ended with my skating in the final jam of our season.

In between was a lot of good derby.

Here is to season 4

choochoobear:

Working on some character sketches for an ink wash.

I was like WAIT I KNOW THAT STYLE.  Oh hey it’s choochoobear on teh tumblars.

choochoobear:

Working on some character sketches for an ink wash.

I was like WAIT I KNOW THAT STYLE. Oh hey it’s choochoobear on teh tumblars.

I have a bruise the size of Kentucky on my ass from falling down the stairs.

babystepstoprogress:

I think I need to work on my coordination before I join the roller derby team.

You say this, but I broke my foot on my stairs well after making my league’s charter

;)

cobrakaiderbycoach:

A long time ago I asked the question “how do you pronounce WFTDA?”There were lots of different answers. The double you eff tee dee aye, woof ta dah (aka “the dog magician”), wif duh, wif tu duh, and half a dozen others. The point I was leading to is that derby is not monolithic. Leagues are individual cultures, even though most skaters think all other leagues are exactly the same as theirs because they’re all playing the same sport. This is something I try to remember when I post, not only to keep up my secret identity schtick, but also because it leads to all sorts of confusion when you use terms that are standard in your league but mean totally different things in others. Just a few weeks ago someone responded to a CKDC post using an abbreviation for the name of a non-standard NSO position that I’d never heard before. I had to look it up and make an educated guess as to what they were talking about. These individual culture issues apply to refs as much, if not more than skaters. So much ref training depends on word-of-mouth folklore about how to interpret and enforce unclear rules there ends up being a lot of difference from league to league and bout to bout in how things work. One thing I’ve seen is that many HRs have a pet penalty they focus on, while their knowledge of others areas could be quite weak. I’ve known veteran refs who can quote the entire penalty box section word for word but miss basic uniform violations. And vice versa. Players tend to be blind to this if they only know their own league. Then on bout day suddenly rules are being enforced in different ways than they’ve gotten used to. 20 ft of bridging is suddenly 3 feet more or less than they thought it was. 3 seconds of touching another player is now 2. Or 5. This is why it’s so important to play with as many other leagues as possible.

The same is true for scrimmaging. All too many new players get used to how to block or pass their teammates and are then lost on bout day. 

The differences in leagues show up not only in play and officiating but also in organization, finance, rules knowledge, training, strategy, treatment of NSOs, competitiveness vs social, relationships with refs, conflict resolution, etc. If you’ve only ever skated in one place, you have no idea how different the culture can be in a different league. Think about what flavour your league’s kool aid is and what it must taste like in other places.

I concur 100 percent.  From a skaters’ point of view, this has two very important implications.  I have had to learn them the hard way..1) remember that you can’t control team zebra any more than you can control the opposing team.  If a penalty is being enforced In a way that you are not used too, you HAVE to adjust.  Perhaps your coach/captains can get a small modification to it, but doing more than communicating your concern to the team leadership will detract from your play and hurt the emotional state of your team.  Figure out how to change your play in the same way you would adjust to a new floor or something odd from the opposing skaters.2) You should prepare for this kind of adjustment by practicing different things.  This doesn’t mean run practices with weird nonstandard rules, though I guess you could.  Mostly I mean visualize how to handle them.  Choose a penalty, figure out the weird ways it could be called, then visualize how to adjust to that.  Does it involve more communication?  Less touch with hands or arms? More?  Do you play it safe with distances and pack definition, or do you have to be aware that your jammer has to push further?Etc.

cobrakaiderbycoach:

A long time ago I asked the question “how do you pronounce WFTDA?”

There were lots of different answers. The double you eff tee dee aye, woof ta dah (aka “the dog magician”), wif duh, wif tu duh, and half a dozen others. The point I was leading to is that derby is not monolithic. Leagues are individual cultures, even though most skaters think all other leagues are exactly the same as theirs because they’re all playing the same sport.

This is something I try to remember when I post, not only to keep up my secret identity schtick, but also because it leads to all sorts of confusion when you use terms that are standard in your league but mean totally different things in others.

Just a few weeks ago someone responded to a CKDC post using an abbreviation for the name of a non-standard NSO position that I’d never heard before. I had to look it up and make an educated guess as to what they were talking about.

These individual culture issues apply to refs as much, if not more than skaters. So much ref training depends on word-of-mouth folklore about how to interpret and enforce unclear rules there ends up being a lot of difference from league to league and bout to bout in how things work. One thing I’ve seen is that many HRs have a pet penalty they focus on, while their knowledge of others areas could be quite weak.

I’ve known veteran refs who can quote the entire penalty box section word for word but miss basic uniform violations. And vice versa.

Players tend to be blind to this if they only know their own league. Then on bout day suddenly rules are being enforced in different ways than they’ve gotten used to. 20 ft of bridging is suddenly 3 feet more or less than they thought it was. 3 seconds of touching another player is now 2. Or 5. This is why it’s so important to play with as many other leagues as possible.

The same is true for scrimmaging. All too many new players get used to how to block or pass their teammates and are then lost on bout day.

The differences in leagues show up not only in play and officiating but also in organization, finance, rules knowledge, training, strategy, treatment of NSOs, competitiveness vs social, relationships with refs, conflict resolution, etc.

If you’ve only ever skated in one place, you have no idea how different the culture can be in a different league.

Think about what flavour your league’s kool aid is and what it must taste like in other places.

I concur 100 percent.
From a skaters’ point of view, this has two very important implications. I have had to learn them the hard way..

1) remember that you can’t control team zebra any more than you can control the opposing team. If a penalty is being enforced In a way that you are not used too, you HAVE to adjust. Perhaps your coach/captains can get a small modification to it, but doing more than communicating your concern to the team leadership will detract from your play and hurt the emotional state of your team. Figure out how to change your play in the same way you would adjust to a new floor or something odd from the opposing skaters.
2) You should prepare for this kind of adjustment by practicing different things. This doesn’t mean run practices with weird nonstandard rules, though I guess you could. Mostly I mean visualize how to handle them. Choose a penalty, figure out the weird ways it could be called, then visualize how to adjust to that. Does it involve more communication? Less touch with hands or arms? More? Do you play it safe with distances and pack definition, or do you have to be aware that your jammer has to push further?

Etc.

Posted this on FB, but I feel it needs to be said here

I donno how much I can say in public, but I somehow found myself in fairly regular contact with people on both sides of this, and I was shocked yesterday. There are just… Ugh.
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and I can’t believe how people are jumping down the WFTDA’s throat about the decision of a third party.

Running a website is hard. Covering sports is hard. Running a volunteer website with no funds, covering an amateur sport that is spread out over the world, interacting with a well meaning but new governing body…..?

That sounds heartbreaking and horrifyingly difficult.

Are there things the WFTDA might have done better? Possibly.. But for fucks sake people, it is a heavily volunteer organization who’s primary responsibility is the governance of the sport.

Are there things that DNN could have done better? Possibly, but for fucks sake people, it is a volunteer organization run by people who, by their own description, are burnt out and exhausted.

Let’s get our shit together, stop turning on ourselves, and pack the fuck up. Support DNN and the people who ran it for so many years and gave us so many good things. Support the WFTDA and all the hard work that the people involved in making sure we can play.

This shit is hard. We all know how hard running a league is. I am in constant awe of all the people at the local levels who dedicate large sections of their lives to making this wonderful thing happen. When I started doing more for the WFTDA, I became even more in awe of the scope and difficulty of the work that is completed.

I can only imagine that the same is true of DNN. That is certainly what their statement implies.

We all know growth is painful. It comes with its fair share of setbacks and things that could have been done better. It also is a process.

ETA:
It has been pointed out that parts of this post create a false equivalency between the WFTDA and DNN in terms of staffing. This wasn’t my intent, and I respect the FUCK out what the much smaller DNN team accomplished.

AND SO BEGINS THE DEATH OF FUN….R.I.P. DNN

fuckyeahjenocidal:

TEAM NO FUN ISN’T SUPPOSED TO FUCKING WIN :(

Thanks guys! It was awesome while it lasted!

I donno how I feel about Framing DNN closing down as “Team no-fun winning”.  Running a site is hard… running one that tries to cover an international sport with no travel budget, no real development expenses, and no $$ to pay writers sounds…  Heart breaking.

zuriya:

this isn’t shade to anyone, but yall need to stop acting surprised when your fave celebs fuck up. they’re part of a ruling class who are thoroughly isolated from concrete global issues and catastrophes and actually rely on the disenfranchisement of others to sustain their status. their entire persona is inherently problematic as ultimate beneficiaries of capitalism. what ethics do you expect, idgi