On Saturday, July 11, Southshire Roller Derby will be hosting a double header home opener at Riley Rink in Manchester. The family friendly event will feature two roller derby games as well as activities for the adults and kids alike.
Two regional Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) teams will face off at 5pm. The Capital District Trauma Authority (Albany, NY – Ranked 21 in MRDA) will host the Mean Mountain Boys (Burlington, VT – Unranked in MRDA). Vermont’s Mean Mountain Boys are 0-3 for the 2015 season having lost to the Jersey Boys (503-44), the Penn Jersey Hooligans (367-93) and the Quadfathers (344-50). Albany’s Trauma Authority is 3-1 this season with wins over Penn Jersey Hooligans (208-132), Cincinnati Battering Rams (221-147), and Cleveland’s Guardians (303-129) and a loss to the Quadfathers (140-119).
Flat Track Stats (roller derby’s unaffiliated ranking and game tracking site) expects a 6:1 win ratio for the Trauma Authority. While the game itself may favor the men from Albany, both teams will be looking to beat the expected point ratio more than win or lose in order to move up the rankings.
The headlining game at 7 p.m. features the host league’s travel team, Southshire Roller Derby’s Battle Cats (956th in USA) taking on Pair O’Dice City Rollers (839th in USA). The Battle Cats are 0-1 this season having lost their first game away at Hartford against the Beat City Bedrockers (244-118). The Rollers are 1-1 this season recently winning at home against the newly formed Cape Cod Salty Dolls (264-128) and losing away against Mass Attack’s Bloody Bordens (255-104).
Flat Track Stats has an expected win probability for Pair O’Dice of 75% with an expected score ratio of 4:3. In flat track roller derby, this is considered a close game and beyond the hits and strategy should provide a lot of edge-of-seat scoring and timing.
Southshire Roller Derby co-founders Amy Moore and Bear Goldberg are well known in the derby community and have more than 15 years of roller derby experience competing, coaching, and officiating. Moore is also an accomplished announcer, recently announcing at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza and the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Championships.
The Battle Cats have been training since early 2014. Team members first learn basic skating and safety skills and then move on to strategy and full contract training. “Strategy is, without a doubt, more of a challenge to learn than than the skating” says Battle Cats jammer Megan “Dazey Girl” Donckers.
Today’s roller derby is different than what many people remember from the seventies and eighties. Modern derby is a full-contact sport played on a flat track with quad roller skates. Skaters wear protective gear similar to that of skateboarding. The 60 minute game is divided into short competitions called jams.
Teams play five skaters from their roster of up to 14 in each jam; four of them are blockers and one is a jammer.
The jammers, who will have a stars on their helmets, score points by lapping the group of 8 blockers, picking up a point for each opponent they pass during the lap. Blockers work together to slow the progress of the opposing jammer via walls, pushes, and body checks (called blocks) while aiding their own jammer with whips and assists.
With both teams fielding a jammer, the simultaneous offense and defense makes for a highly strategic and competitive game.
While spectators can still enjoy plenty of big hits and crashes, things like elbowing your opponents, hits to the back or head, and fighting are against the rules.
The league has been working with the community for several months to plan their first home event. Many area businesses have generously sponsored the team, “we could not have dreamed of pulling off an event of the magnitude we are planning without such great local business owners to support us” says the league’s sponsorship coordinator Retha “Wanda Lust” Charette.
In addition to the two games, the event will feature kids activities, a photo booth, a beer garden for the grown ups, and good food for the whole family. “We are so excited to bring derby to Bennington County in such a big way,” says Moore. “The community support and the buzz we have going in the area are like nothing I’ve experienced.”
The doors to Riley Rink will open at 4:30. Bleacher seating is expected to fill up quickly. The league recommends bringing your own chair and sitting trackside for the best view. There will be a limited number of folding chairs available for a small fee.
Advanced tickets are available for $5 in Bennington at Loomis Auto, Raz-A-Tat Tattoo, and Fiddlehead at Four Corners and in Manchester at Inkspot Press, Zippy Chicks and the Manchester Visitor’s Center. Tickets and team merchandise are also available at SouthshireRollerDerby.com.
The league will have two more home events this season on Sept. 5 and Sept.26. – From the Bennington Banner July 1, 2015
Thanks to the Deerfield Valley News, Manchester Journal and Vermont News Guide for featuring us as well. The local support has been amazing!