Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Starting out in roller derby gives you the opportunity to experience all positions in order to find your place in 'the pack'. I wanted to take some time here to analyze the difference in positions from both a technical standpoint as well as a personality/characteristic point of view. For those of you unaware of the type of positions in derby, I will break it down for you a bit. A derby bout is broken up into two 30-minute periods. These periods consist of smaller segments, referred to as 'jams'. Each jam may last up to 2 minutes at a time. During a jam, each team will have up to four blockers and one jammer out at a time (mind you, less if there are any players in the penalty box). Each blocker is assigned to a position, whether it be pivot, inside, outside, or back. I will analyze these particular positions a bit more in depth later on.
First off, you may be asking yourself.. What does it mean to be a 'jammer'? And furthermore, what does it taketo be a 'jammer'? A jammer can be identified on the rink by her helmet 'panty'. A helmet 'panty' is a spandex cover placed over the player's helmet. The jammer will be wearing a star on each side of her head. So now that you know how to identify a jammer, I will discuss the attributes a jammer may have. From a technical standpoint, a jammer should be fast. The reason being is that a jammer is the only player during a jam that can score points. Points are accumulated when a jammer passes through the pack, however, no points are scored the first time through. Jamming requires speed, endurance, stealth, and the ability to think and react quickly and efficiently. As a jammer, you need to get from point A to point B in the quickest way imaginable. Having said that, you have the obstacle of moving your body through a pack of blockers. Blockers from the opposing team are trying their damnedest to prohibit you from attaining your goal and blockers from your own team are there to assist you. With that being said, I want to mention the personality traits that jammers tend to have. First and foremost, I feel it is necessary to be trustworthy. You are depending on your teammates to 'have your back'. They are there to clear a path for you, help you through, and knock over any bitch that gets in your way!! Jammers also tend to be adventurous, strong-willed, and passionate. I have played as a jammer a few times and I can't elaborate the rush of it all. When I have jammed, I felt like nothing else mattered. I had a goal in mind and every other thought in my head disappeared. I would love to be an all-star jammer, like C-Roll or Amaretto Sourpuss, for example. But I have a long way to go to build up my endurance and speed!!
So, as I said earlier.. when starting out in derby, it is normal to play and practice all positions in order to get a feel for the overall game. So, I have played as a jammer and a blocker as well; two very different types of positions. From a technical standpoint, blockers are normally strong players with good aim, balance, and the ability to multi-task. It is vital to be able to multi-task as a blocker because you are required to know where all players are at all times. You must be able to differentiate between whether to play offense or defense. If your jammer needs assistance traversing the pack, you are on offense. If your jammer is through and the other jammer is attempting to break through, it is a defensive game. It is also vital to communicate well with your teammates. I have found that as a blocker, eye contact and conversation can go a very, very long way as far as derby goes. At times you will need to devise strategic plans on the fly, be able to fill in when your friend gets knocked out (aka waterfall), and be overall 'badass'. I find that blockers are generally more aggressive players; tough, resilient, and strong.
Under the general umbrella of 'blocker' as a position.. I can break it down a bit further for you. As previously mentioned, there are up to four blockers out at a time. The first blocker on the line will most likely be the pivot. She will be distinguished by a designated helmet 'panty' with broad stripe going from the front to back of the helmet. The pivot is generally responsible for controlling the pack, or more specifically, the speed of the pack. The pivot should be in tune with all players as well as, and especially, with the captain or coach of their team. It is pertinent to keep your eyes open for directions from the bench... speed it up or slow it down is generally where it's at for the pivot! The inside blocker will most likely be working with the pivot and is responsible for holding the inside line. Many jammers look to take the inside line to get through the pack, as it is the shortest distance to their goal. A good inside blocker will prevent the opposing team's jammer from getting through. The remaining two positions are outside blocker and back blocker, which may work together. As an outside blocker, I feel you need to be a bit fast and a bit aggressive. Back blockers can either work with the outside blocker defensively or assist their own team's jammer offensively. Now, I have vaguely generalized each blocker position, however, specific responsibilities for each position will be dependent on strategic plays.
Whether blocking or jamming, if you are playing roller derby... you are pretty stellar. If you are an observer of the sport, I hope this blog post has served you well and given you a bit of insight on what it means to be a roller girl or guy. There is an unimaginable amount of skill and compassion comprising every single position on that rink at a time, during each and every jam and during every single bout! Learn it, love it, and get your ass on a pair of skates!!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Well, somebody special *wink, wink*, listens to me and knows me oh so well, because this Christmas I finally got them! A brand spankin new pair of Riedells that has yet to come out to the retail world (my other half has some great skate connections) complete with new wheels and bearings!
Get anything derby related that you would like to share? Send me an email with some pics and I'll post em' up here for all to see! Last year I received a great entry from Doc Block and I'd happily post some more!
Hope you all had a great holiday.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The food was great and the drinks cold. After some music, we had our annual awards ceremony. Captain Morgan and Butterscotch Cripple took over the mic and delivered speeches, both funny and touching, as they awarded the winning players with custom made necklaces, courtesy of Heidi Hoe Bag. As per usual, she created unique awards. This year the lucky winners recieved a bearing necklace, painted pink with the league name on it. The bearing was put in a cute little box labeled for the award. Thankfully, we can always count on Heidi to come up with something creative.
MVP ~ Amaretto Sourpuss
Best Jammer ~ Amaretto Sourpuss
Best Pivot ~ MadDonna
Best Blocker ~ MadDonna & Ninja Starr
Most Improved Player ~ Hard Cory
MVP ~ C-Roll
Best Jammer ~ C-Roll
Best Pivot ~ Cyanide Kisses
Best Blocker ~ Chest Blockwell
Most Improved Player ~ Mean Frostine
Ladies of Laceration
MVP ~ Violet Knockout
Best Jammer ~ Etta Jams
Best Pivot ~ Eve L. Taco
Best Blocker ~ Violet Knockout
Most Improved Player ~ Tripsy Rose Lee
Unsung Hero ~ Eve L. Taco
Best Booty Shorts ~ Violet Knockout
Hottest MILF ~ Cyanide Kisses
Smelliest Pads ~ Chest Blockwell
Most Valuable Support Staff ~ Captain Morgan, Heidi Hoe-Bag & Number 2
Most Reliable Ref ~ Psycho Billy
Though the night (for me) was short, it was a good time and a perfect end to a successful year for our league. Here are some pictures.....
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that you have some fun plans for the upcoming holidays. I took a bit of vacation time and enjoyed some Caribbean sun..........
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I'm going to start off with some adorable items from from Sourpuss Clothing, sponsor of The Long Island Roller Rebels. At $25, this shirt is a retro way to say Merry Christmas baby.
What roller derby outfit is complete without a pair of stripped socks?
Keep the sweat off your head with this Lucky 13 bandanna
Chelsea from Roller Girl, submitted some really unique gift ideas. The first, String Blade Good Luck Charm, is a small but tough little jammer charm, complete with star helmet cover, knee pads and mini-skirt. Choose from blonde, brunette or redhead!
Check out Roller Girl to not only shop, but to also join forums, read reviews about the best skate parks in Vancouver, British Columbia and the Canada area and also be sure to visit the vault, to check out some famous roller skate images from years past.
And now, some gifts from one of my favorite websites, Etsy.
For those of you who are able to splurge a little bit, don't pass up this rock-n-rock ring from Glam Rock Emporium. The ring is part of a collection made in honor of the designer Safari Lee's roller skating injury.
Roller moms, don't forget about your little ones! One of my favorite finds, this Dining Out Travel Bib, created by O Danny's Girl, is not only adorable, but also multi-functional.What better to do on a cold night when you're not playing derby? Get your knitting needles and yarn ready to create some Knockdown Knits This book will give you easy to follow instructions on how to create the perfect injury comfort item.
One of my favorite submissions is from blog reader and crafty girl, Leann of Fool Moon Designs. Check out this derby girl mobile from Salty and Sweet. They offer bulk rates and team logo customizing! Also submitted by Leann, are Jammer an Pivot necklaces from FistiCuffs (Skate Fast Die Young)
Looking for something truly unique that you can't find anywhere? Visit Enchanted Whimsies and contact JoAnna for a one of a kind roller derby fairy!And of course, a derby girl always loves new skates and gear. Check out skater owned and operated shops Sin City Skates and Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop for the best quality skates, pads and so much more!
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Long Island Roller Rebels season has officially come to a close, ending with a fantastic win at our final home bout against the Molly Rogers Roller Girls on Nov. 14th.
I want to take a minute and reflect at the past season. I’ve been in derby now for exactly one year, growing with many girls on and off the track and along with our wonderful NSO’s, Support Staff and of course our Referees.
It was at the last bout on Nov. 14th that I conceived the topic of today’s column: Referees. I unfortunately was on the sideline with an injury, along with Cyanide Kisses, Rev. Eve L. Taco and Captain Morgan, opposed to playing, but had this wonderful opportunity to observe and learn. Side note: Check out our injured players Facebook page—“The Cyanide Kisses/Eve L. Taco Broke Ass Roller Girl Foundation” (http://tinyurl.com/yffsbx6)
Though our girls played their hearts out as always, I did notice that our refs sure do take a lot of verbal abuse from both teams. This happens in every league definitely, but I am not sure anyone has ever stopped and really appreciated their ref team.
With that being said, I took a few minutes to interview Psycho Billy, Long Island Roller Rebels, longtime referee, whom has recently, along with our other refs, taken a mouthful of verbal diarrhea from girls in many leagues. What inspired you to become a referee and how long have you been involved?
I had some friends who were involved with the Rockabetty Bruisers (Pre-LIRR), They told me I should come by and try out for an announcer spot, but the first night I went, I met Thor and Goose. They were the Refs, I decided against announcing and went right to being a Ref...I like to skate!
As a referee, you pretty much hold the game in your hands as you are responsible for making calls that could either help or hurt each team. What exactly are you responsible for?
As a Ref I am not responsible for the outcome of the game, although skaters like to think so lol, I am mainly responsible for keeping the game safe, competitive and fun. I am also responsible for knowing the rules inside and out and knowing how to interpret them correctly on and off the track.
When on the track, both derby teams experience a lot of emotion, some positive, some negative. Refs tend to be victims of verbal abuse from these fierce ladies. How does that make you feel and how do you handle those types of situations?
It's really hard out there when you make an unpopular call. I've had skaters yell at me on the track many times, some had merit as I made a mistake and some were completely absurd. I think the trick is to always try to keep a level head and don't let them get you mad. Skaters piss and moan a lot (I should know I'm one of them lol), its part of the game, hell it's part of sports in general. I just don't let it get to me on the track.
At times, there might be some instances that you make a wrong call and realize it. What happens then?
Me make a wrong call? Never happens. lol! I'm actually really hard on myself when I know I screwed up, I feel like I let down my whole Ref crew and the skaters. The only things I can do are learn from my mistakes and try to improve so the next time I won't screw up as much.
What does it take to be a ref? What kind of traits, skills and characteristics does a ref need to have?
A Ref needs to have a tough skin, humble personality and a fierce passion for the game itself. You can't Ref a game you don't Love!Other than making calls and conducting your officiating duties at bouts, how else do you contribute to the league? To your fellow skaters too?
Off the track I am one of the Leagues WFTDA Ref representatives. I discuss rules with other national refs, vote on rules clarifications and Ref best practices. I also represent this league when I Ref for other leagues around the region and country. I am also on the committee for Referee education with the WFTDA.
It might be difficult for players in the heat of the moment to appreciate what you do. If you had the chance to tell them an important message, what would it be?
Don't forget to have fun and believe in yourself! Also please stop cutting the track! Oh and there is no friggin gnome on my jersey!!
What does it mean to you to be a ref?
Being a Roller Derby Ref for me is a real honor and a pleasure! Ever since my first bout, the people I have met and made friends with, the places I have been and the things I have done, there's really nothing like this sport in the world. If it wasn't for me being a Ref, I would not have met my wonderful wife Astra Zombie! I am truly lucky to be involved in this sport!
How have you learned and developed over the years as a ref? What do you owe that to?
Over the years my skating skills have grown by leaps and bounds! When I was a kid I was a horrible skater lol. I have worked very hard to become a proficient skater. I owe this to several things, first I have a real passion for skating. I always look forward to lacing up my skates and hitting the track, Second, skating with the greatest group of women in the WFTDA, the Roller Rebels, is something that makes really happy. Third, skating with the New York Shock Exchange, my brothers on Skates! Lastly, Watching and learning from Refs who are better skaters and better Refs drives me to work harder to be the very best I can be.
What has been your most memorable moment while being part of a roller derby league?
Meeting my future Wife! Meeting all the awesome people in Roller Derby, Reffing on Freemont Street in Vegas...oh Geez there are so many memorable moments. Every moment in Derby is a good moment to me. As they say "A bad day in derby is better than a good day at work!"
Astra Zombie and Psycho Billy at their first wedding celebration in Florida. The second ceremony took place last weekend in New Jersey. Congratulations to you both!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Since the article I found is from the UK – some of the wording is odd – but the points he makes are good. The suggested tips are not specifically about derby – but can be applied to any sport. When we come back full force in January - you don’t want your bodies going into shock…so look this over and try to implement the suggestions into your own life and workouts. There were too many good tips for me to attempt to summarize this article hence the reason for cutting and pasting it in its entirety:
“Sports Injury Avoidance: Like most athletes, you undoubtedly want to lower your chances of incurring an injury while participating in your favorite sport. Injuries decrease the amount of time you can spend in leisure activities, lower your fitness, downgrade competitive performances, and can lead to long-term health problems such as arthritis and/or joint stiffness.
But are there general rules for injury avoidance which apply to all sports? Fortunately, yes: scientific investigations concerning the causes of injuries have yielded a number of important points about who gets injured -and why.
Most of the studies have focused on running, even though running is NOT the most injury-producing sport. In terms of the total number of injuries produced per year, soccer is actually number one with volleyball close behind and running in third place. Sports scientists suggest that injury rates could be cut by up to 25 per cent if athletes took the proper preventative steps. Common misconceptions
However, sports participants are confused about what to do about injury prevention, and in fact there are many misconceptions about injuries. For example, coaches and athletes often believe that males have higher injury rates than females, but male and female athletes actually have about the same injury rate per hour of training. Among runners, it's popular to believe that training speed is a critical cause of injuries ('Speed kills,' according to one popular adage), but research actually indicates that there’s no link between training velocity and injury risk.
Another common belief is that stretching before workouts helps to reduce one's chances of injury, but research again says no. In a very recent study, 159 Dutch athletes were taught how to stretch effectively before training sessions, while a second group of 167 similar athletes received no stretching instruction at all. Although the stretching did a good job of loosening up the athletes' calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles, actual injury rates were identical in the two groups, averaging about one injury per 200 hours of training. The stretching had no protective effect at all! Don't overdo it
On the other hand; the AMOUNT of training you actually carry out plays a key role in determining your real injury risk. Studies have shown, for example, that your best direct injury predictor may be the amount of training you completed last month. If May is a heavy training period, for example, watch out in June! This relationship may seem strange at first, but it simply reflects the fact that vigorous training produces tired muscles which may not be able to stand up to further training stresses. Fatigued muscles also do a poor job of protecting their associated connective tissues, increasing the risk of damage to bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
If you're a runner, the link between training quantity and injury means that total training mileage is an excellent indicator of your injury risk. The more miles you accrue per week, the higher your chances of damage. One recent investigation found a marked upswing in injury risk above about 40 miles of running per week.
The two best predictors of injury
However, it's important to bear in mind that many injuries are actually NOT new trouble areas; they are recurrences of previous problems. That brings to mind an important point: the absolute-best predictor of injury is a prior history of injury. In other words, if you've been injured before, you're much more likely to get hurt than an athlete who's been trouble-free. Again, this is logical: regular exercise has a way of uncovering the weak areas of your body. If you have slipshod hip muscles, for example, or knees that are put under heavy stress because of your unique biomechanics during exercise ('poor form'), your hips or knees are likely to be hurt when you engage in your sport for prolonged periods of time. After recovery, if you reestablish your desired training load without changing your biomechanics or strengthening your hip muscles, those areas are very likely to be injured again.
Strangely enough, the second-best predictor of injury, after total training time, is probably the number of consecutive days of training you carry out each week. Consecutive days are counted as follows: if you train on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, you are training on three consecutive days each week (Friday doesn't count because it has a rest day before and after it). Scientific studies strongly suggest that reducing the number of consecutive days of training can lower the risk of injury. For example, instead of working out for one hour from Monday through Friday (five consecutive days), you could probably reduce your risk of injury by completing 75-minute workouts, four days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, for example). Your total training time would be the same in each case, but the second strategy would reduce your consecutive days from five to two, giving you much more average recovery time between sessions and lowering your risk of injury. Recovery time reduces injury rates by giving muscles and connective tissues an opportunity to restore and repair themselves between workouts.
Type A's should take care
Psychological factors seem to play a role in producing injuries, too. Some studies have shown that athletes who are aggressive, tense, and compulsive have a higher risk of injury than their relaxed peers. Such worried, 'Type-A' individuals also have more multiple injuries and lose twice as much training time when an injury actually occurs. So, relax! Tension may make muscles and tendons tauter, increasing the risk that they will be harmed during workouts.
Almost finally, remember that many injuries are caused by weak muscles which simply aren't ready to handle the specific demands of your sport. This is why people who are starting a running programme for the first time often do fairly well for a few weeks but then - as they add on additional mileage -suddenly develop foot or ankle problems, hamstring soreness, or perhaps low-back pain. Their bodies simply aren't strong enough to cope with the demands of the increased training load. For that reason, it's always wise to couple progressive resistance (weight) training with your regular training. Resistance exercises can fortify muscles and make them less susceptible to damage, especially if the strength- building exercises involve movements that are similar to those associated with the preferred sport. For example, runners who want to improve leg-muscle strength are probably better off performing 'closed-chain' (weight- bearing) exercises such as lunges and squats, instead of carrying out non-weight-bearing routines on weight machines while in a seated position. The latter activities are as unlike running as exercises can possibly be!
Make it specific
Strength training should also be specific to your sport. If you play tennis or squash, for example, or participate in a sport which involves throwing an object, you should devote lots of time to developing the muscles in front of the shoulder (anterior deltoids, pectorals major, pectorals minor, etc.) which increase the force with which you can strike or throw the ball, but you should also work systematically on the muscles in the back of the shoulder, including the trapezes and 'rotator cuff' muscles which control and stabilize the shoulder joint during ball-striking actions (and provide most of the force for 'backhand' strikes).
Finally, remember that the absolute-best predictor of future injury is a past history of injury, so if you were hurt sometime during 1994, be careful! Your chance of an injury in 1995 is about 25-50 per cent greater, compared to the lucky athlete who managed to stay injury-free this past year.
Injury prevention tips
(l) Avoid training when you are tired. Tired muscles provide inadequate support for tendons, ligaments, and bones, increasing the risk of strains, sprains, and stress fractures.
(2) Make sure that you increase your consumption of carbohydrate during periods of heavy training. Muscles which are low on carbohydrate are tired muscles, leading to the problem mentioned in recommendation No. 1. If you're an endurance athlete, you need about 200-225 calories of carbohydrate per stone of body weight during strenuous training.
(3) Continuing to build on the 'fatigue produces injury' theme, you should bear in mind that increases in training necessitate increases in resting, too. Anytime your training volume increases by more than 2-3 per cent, you need to make sure that you're getting more sleep and taking more time to rest during the day. Otherwise, you're not really training; you're trying to tear yourself down.
(4) Remember a key principle of training: total training time doesn't automatically build upon itself. If you've been training for three hours per week, for example, that does NOT mean that you're ready to step up to three and one-half hours per week. Any increase in training should be preceded by an increase in strengthening so that your body is really ready to take on the new load. Runners, for example, should go through a strengthening period emphasizing drills to boost leg-muscle power before they attempt a significant upswing in mileage. Tennis or squash players should work on their shoulders and legs before they upgrade their playing time.
(S) Be especially careful if you're a relative newcomer to your sport. If you've only been participating in it for a few months, you're much more likely to be injured, compared to someone who's been active for several years, simply because the latter individual has had more time to strengthen the appropriate muscles and connective tissues.
(6) Treat even seemingly minor injuries very carefully to prevent them from blowing up into big problems. Remember the time-honored acronym RICE--rest, ice, compression, and elevation--when a small injury strikes. Rest gives the afflicted area time to heal, ice reduces inflammation and swelling, and compression and elevation lessen swelling, promoting healing.
(7) Working with your doctor, take anti-inflammatory medications to control pain and reduce inflammation and swelling which occur as a result of your sports activity.
(8) If you experience pain during a workout, stop your training session immediately. A temporary loss in training time and fitness is far better than long-term damage to your body. Many athletes produce chronic deterioration of a knee joint or another anatomical region by insisting on training through pain. Remember that you're in sport for the long run; a lost month of training to rehabilitate a damaged knee is much better than having to quit your sport completely sometime in the future because of joint degeneration.
(9) If you want to toughen your training without raising your risk of injury too much, another good strategy is to slightly raise your average training intensity (speed), instead of tacking on lots of additional volume (miles) of running, cycling, swimming, or walking.
Author: Owen Anderson
Unfortunately, Owen didn’t mention something else that is quite important when talking about working out…WATER! When I was researching how much of our bodies are made up of water – I found that the numbers are between 65%-75%. Here is an email that has been circulating with some hydration facts – and this is important to keep in mind when coming to practice or playing in a bout:
#1) 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population.)
#2) In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
#3) Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.
#4) Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
#5) Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
#6) A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. (or allow you to think nothing but derby and strategy during a jam)
Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?
I hope this was a helpful blog – sorry it wasn’t related to history. I wouldn’t want you history buffs to be completely disappointed so here is a fact for you:
“Of the 35-40 million annual injury-related emergency room visits, approximately 10% are sports-induced — an estimate confirmed in a pilot study of the present research which also indicated that less serious sports injuries (e.g. those not requiring ER treatment) — were perhaps five times as numerous.”
--American Sports Data
So that’s all for now derby lovers! Stay healthy and get ready for an awesome 2010 season for the Long Island Roller Rebels!
--Muscles Marinara #1313
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Girls on both teams aggressively hit and leaned, from the very first jam and continued to do so for every jam thereafter. The score was extremely close, up until the end of the last period, when Amaretto Sourpuss and C-Roll racked in the rest of the points, putting The Long Island Roller Rebels in the lead and taking them to victory with a final score of 148-126.
The jamming performed by Sourpuss and C-Roll was beyond top notch. At one point C-Roll jumped over two fallen roller girls, made her way around the track and proceeded to jump over yet another fallen girl, each time landing on her wheels. I guess all of the mountain boarding has paid off! The two passed the packs so many times, I lost count! Though victorious, they were put up against the challenge. The Molly Roger Roller Girls did not back down at any point. They were aggressive and solid. One jammer, Bash and Cari, played what seemed to be every other jam and at some points, back to back jams. She was a speeding bullet and at most times untouchable. She made it through the packs past some strong blockers, all the while keeping one of the lowest stances I've seen. What an incredible player!
The bout was a success bringing in hundreds of screaming, cheering fans who kept the girls going when they were feeling fatigued. I'm not sure if I've ever heard our fans cheer so loud!
This being our annual charity bout and last home bout of the season, made it all the more special. We had several charities who came to set up tables and though I didn't have a chance to check in with them, I'm sure by the number of people in our audience, they were able to get a good amount of donations. To learn more about the charities for which this bout was held, click on their names below to visit their websites.
Habitat for Humanity
North Fork Breast Health Coalition (NFBHC)
Suffolk County United Veterans Project
Thanks to everyone who came out to support us last night! We can't wait to see you all again next season!
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Sisterhood of The Traveling Skates
I know it might sound completely backwards to compare my roller derby team with my sorority, but I can't help see the similarities arise constantly between these two organizations. First of all, my roller derby team has been more of a 'sisterhood' than I could have ever imagined. For starters, more recently, we have had 3 major injuries this past month and I have witnessed my team come together for these girls in ways I can't have ever imaged. Three major injuries consisting of 2 tibia/fibula breaks requiring surgeries and one tibia break, also requiring a number of weeks incapacitated. We have a website, similar to facebook, but solely for our team... and almost every single girl on the team has posted messages reaching out with every ounce of their heart to offer help, whether it be to cook, clean, or send flowers to our 'downed soldiers'. I have really seen our community pull together to offer assistance to our injured players. These charity efforts have really shown how much heart our girls put into this sport and the girls they call 'sisters'.... In college, I was a member of a sorority that had developed a philanthropy specifically devoted to helping sisters from all walks of life, all ages and all situations, to press through difficult times in their lives. Because of these recent events, my derby team now also has a foundation specifically devoted to helping teammates that are injured and can't function normally in society, whether financially or otherwise.
Clearly, our team consists of girls that give their heart unconditionally to the sport they love. A sport, that until now has only been heard about in 1970's Sports Illustrated Magazines. Roller derby is a current sport... A sport with a large following, which has approximately 200 teams nationwide. A sport that is 100% real... with real rules, real players, and real heart. Each and every team has contributed to the revival of this sport with everything they have.
The Long Island Roller Rebels consists of approximately 40 girls, plus another 15 or so comprising of the support staff... including referees, NSO's aka Non-Skating Officials, supporters, and fans in uncountable digits. In addition, the league has promoted the sport in many media outlets, including newspapers, such as Newsday as well as local papers, radio, and even MTV. Public Relations is just one of the many 'committees' that the league is divided into. We also have girls responsible for photography, graphic design, recruitment, bout production, sponsorship, coaching, and merchandise.
Now, this is mainly where I gather my comparison between sports team and sorority. When I was a sorority girl I was responsible for becoming a part of a 'committee'. Whether it be 'recruitment', 'philanthropy', or similar, I was responsible for contributing my efforts in building the sisterhood and providing our neighbors with a positive reputation of our efforts. Now regardless of whichever committee I participated in... I was also responsible for charitable work. I spent days in nursing homes or nights packaging gifts with the marines for 'Toys for Tots' for example. The Long Island Roller Rebels take part in many charitable events. For example, this year alone we have taken part in a BBQ for the veterans on Memorial Day with the Long Island Roadrunners M.C., donated blood at a blood drive, walked for ovarian cancer, and walked for a suicide prevention cause. Our next bout, on November 14th versus the Molly Roger Roller Girls, is a charity bout where we will be collecting men's clothing and shoes for the Good Souls Project, Toys for Tots, and donations for Habitat for Humanity as well as Breast Cancer Awareness.
As a 27 year old female, you might find yourself asking.... why roller derby?? My answer is 100% honest and heartfelt when I tell you that the most rewarding and satisfying thing about joining the Long Island Roller Rebels is the camaraderie...more specifically, 'the sisterhood'. I love being a part of something with so much heart. I love being able to put my heart, soul, and energy, not only into a sport that I love, but also to a community that I love.
So after comparing the sisterhood of my sorority with my roller derby team, I can find the only difference in our clothing. I wore trendy jeans and top shop blouses for my sorority... fishnets and hotpants for derby. The letters I wear here are not a part of the Greek alphabet. The letters I wear now proudly are LIRR - Long Island Roller Rebels!!
There is a song by Uncle Leon called 'Roller Derby Saved My Soul' and after playing with the Long Island Roller Rebels for 6 months.. I can honestly attest to these lyrics with a big fat smile and a much more toned rear-end! :P
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Last night, I got together with the rest of the Coaching Committee and the Recruitment Committee to have a "meeting" about the league's upcoming tryouts. Our lovely hosts, The Skater Formally Known As Raven Madd and Mr. Madd, invited us to gather at their house where they served up some delicious home cooked food, which included special vegetarian dishes. One, a hot pasta/bean combination so good, carnivores would consider crossing over. We sat in a circle like a class of kindergarten kids, as we discussed the plans and organized the details for November 17th. Each of our separate minds melted together to formulate which ideas would work out best. We got the job done.
In the midst of our congregation, we laughed. We laughed a lot. Just like kindergarten kids do. The kind of big belly laughs that make milk come out of their noses. I looked around the room at our group, our family, and thought to myself, I like meetings.
Roller derby or at least The Long Island Roller Rebels as I know them, allowed me last night and so many other nights, to change my negative feelings about something, into positives. Just one more reason for you to come to tryouts! Maybe some of your negatives will be turned around too.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Look forward to hearing from you!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Although this is an all female derby league, men are always welcome and encouraged to join our already amazing staff of referees and volunteers. So guys, please do come and find out more about us.
Good luck everyone!