Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sump Pump Fundraiser Update

The Sump Pump fundraiser at the April 25 bout, including sales of T-shirts, donations, and a raffle, raised over $1500 for Sump's uncovered medical expenses and lost income. Meanwhile the Paypal donation campaign has raised over $650.

So the good news is that the $1000 deductible for Sump's surgery is covered, though we don't yet know from what else is not covered by insurance (special procedures, treatment exceeding the $25,000 cap). And with Sump needing at least four more weeks of rest and healing, her lost income is sure to leave some personal funding gaps.

So great work, everyone. The Rose City Rollers have a great community!

If you can give a little more now, please do! We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Someone slipped Elwood 4.0


Update (hat tip to JeLLyPiG): New WFTDA official rule set released.

'nother Update (hat tip to Val Capone in the "All Bout Derby" comments: DNN's WFTDA 4.0 for Dummies

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Heartless Heathers, Your Feedback

Apparently, in the wake of the Heathers' well-deserved victory over GnR on April 18, some feel that employing rule-based strategies in that game may have adversely affected the fan base and the game, and even the future of roller derby.

If you've got any feedback to give RCR about the Heathers, the game on April 18th, or bouts in general, please click the comment link*and express yourself.

Be respectful to all within RCR, if you would be so kind. Respectful people are generally more persuasive, and all deserve respect. But by all means, let RCR know of your regard for this Heartless Heathers team that we revere.

* From there, select "Comments" on the "To" drop down menu. If you're writing a novel, hit return twice in between paragraphs, otherwise it is hard to read.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sick Town Derby Dames Scrimmage this Weekend, Corvallis

You should probably go see this.

From STDD:

On May 2nd, the Sick Town Derby Dames are joining forces with the Sunset Bay Skate Club to put on a knock-your-socks-off 40-minute scrimmage! This is our first public skating event, and we want you to share the excitement with us! We have 500 seats to sell, first come first serve. The money we raise is going towards Sick Town�s very own sport court!

We hope you'll come help Sick Town spread the derby fever!

May 2nd at the McAlexander Fieldhouse: 15th St. btwn. Jefferson St. and Washington St. on the Oregon State University Campus. Doors Open at 4, Scrimmage is 5-6:30 pm

Slaybia and Brick Wallace (Ringer sib) will be bench-coaching the Princesses and Ringer will bench-coach The Mamas. Go along and have a good time!

Sick Town Derby Dames!

WFTDA Rankings: Rose City moves past Rat City: #4 in the West

New WFTDA Rankings. The top 10 in the Western Region:

1 Bay Area Derby Girls
2 Oly Rollers
3 Denver Roller Dolls
4 Rose City Rollers
5 Rat City Rollergirls
6 Duke City Derby
7 Pikes Peak Derby Dames
8 Rocky Mountain Rollergirls
9 Tucson Roller Derby
10 Angel City Derby Girls

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Breakneck Betties 184, High Rollers 104 post mortem open thread

Thanks George for the scores. Please discuss the bout, if you will, in the comments.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Sump Pump T-shirts available Saturday at HRMF/Betties

Brilliant design. $20/shirt. Limited run will go fast. More funds for Sump!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Bout Tix and FREE BEER!!!

It's Friday and that Rocketmean is up to her scavenger antics. At stake today is 2 free ViP tickets for Saturday's bout and...(wait for it)...FREE BEER!

First hint?

 Kim Stegeman RCR Hunt - our first home: a nasty basement at a bowling alley.2 of my business cards are on the bike rack outside-grab 1 and text me to win.

Of course with free beer on the line, one went very quickly! LOL! There is still one out there.

So, I am planning to take the money I would have spent on beer and donating it to the Sump Pump recovery fund, anyone want to match my donation??? The more I drink, the more I help!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ya Know The Rules: Contact Zones

Newcomers to the sport of derby are often confused and bewildered by the gameplay of a sport that many of us may not have grown up watching or playing. It's easy enough to tell these soon-to-be fans to watch the skaters with the stars on their helmets (jammers) try and pass their respective opponents, while the skaters without stars (blockers) try to hinder their opponents and help their teammates. The sport is fast-paced and action-packed enough for this simple pointer to be enough for many casual and first-time fans to enjoy the sport.

But what about the rest of us? The true fans, nerds, and geeks of the sport. Roller derby gameplay is as complicated and as subtly nuanced as the play of any sport, if not more so. Understanding the rules, and how they're interpreted and applied in different situations, can be challenging - all the more so due to the fact that this is a relatively young sport and the rules evolution is still in that quick and dirty phase where significant updates and changes seem to occur almost each season.

You needn't be a total geek about the minutae to enjoy the sport (God bless the fan who's happy to just watch athletic women skating and hitting each other), but odds are you'll occasionally find yourself confused by the refs' calls or the strategy employed by teams if you don't have a good working knowledge of the sport.

I'm no ref, nor any type of "derby expert" and I don't claim any special knowledge or insight - aside from the fact that I've read each iteration of the Official WFTDA Rules (currently on edition 3.1) that's been accepted and I've been watching the sport since about 2005 - but I'd like to start a semi-regular segment here on the Coroner's Inquest that takes a little closer look as some of the more interesting, important, controversial, or misunderstood rules that govern the sport we love.

Hopefully y'all (a) will find this interesting and informative and (b) will participate with discussion in the comments. So, without any further ado (and with apologies to the mighty KRS-ONE), let me pose the question: ya know the rules?

What are "Contact Zones"?

Rule 5.2 defines them as the legal and illegal "blocking zones" (parts of the body used by skaters initiating hits) and "target zones" (parts of the body in which a skater receives a hit). Rule 5.2.1 defines the "legal target zones", 5.2.2 the "illegal target zones", 5.2.3 the "legal blocking zones", and 5.2.4 the "illegal blocking zones".

WFTDA provides helpful diagrams of the Contact Zones here:
Target Zones
Blocking Zones

It's important to note (and readily apparent when you look at the diagrams) that the legal target zones and blocking zones are not the same!

For instance, under it is legal to initiate a block with any part of a skater's torso - including her back. However, under it is illegal to deliver a hit to the back of a skater's torso, booty (yes, they use the word "booty" in the official rules), or thigh.

OK, think you got that? Let's throw in another wrinkle: Rule 5.1.2 states that "[t]he skater who makes contact with a target zone of an opponent is considered the initiator of the block. The initiator of the block is always responsible for the legality of the contact."

Combine these sets of rules and now you have the the key principle of my favorite type of defensive play: positional blocking. A smart and agile defensive skater can place herself directly in front of an opposing jammer, and not just prevent her from passing, but can actually use her back to physically make contact with the jammer and block her. And if by chance that jammer gets frustrated, or is unable to control her momentum, and she initiates contact with the blocker's back - THWEET - the refs are gonna call that as a minor or major penalty on the jammer (depending on the impact of the illegal hit).

The blockers (and sometimes jammers when they skate defensively) most skilled at positional blocking are agile enough to juke right or left as the opposing jammer attempts get around her, each time presenting their backs as a tempting (but illegal) target for the jammer to hit, while at the same time physically slowing her down while they legally hit the jammer using their backs. And the most beautiful part about positional blocking: the jammer basically can't (legally) hit back!

Another effect of Rule 5.1.2 (placing the responsibility for the legality of the hit on the one initiates it) is that a clever skater can use the momentum of an opponent who's about to hit them to turn what may have started out as a legal hit, into an illegal one by turning and presenting her back as the target for the hit. It's certainly not always easy to do, and requires good balance, but if "skater A" (about to be hit) turns so that "skater B" (the one initiating the hit) makes contact with her back, "skater B" picks up the penalty. And if the ref believes that "skater A" was in fact the one who initiated the contact, she still picks up no penalty because, as we know from the above discussion, it's legal for her to block with her back.

Thus concludes this little primer on "Contact Zones". If any of this was new to you, hopefully it will help you understand the importance those blockers out there who lap after lap can singlehandedly hold back opposing skaters, without ever sacrificing their position in the pack by attempting to land a "big hit". It also shows how risky it is for those "power hitters" out there to wind-up and telegraph that big hit; a slight shift of the torso by their "victim" and that text-book body check suddenly becomes a trip to the penalty box!

If this seemed basic, have no fear because in future "Ya Know The Rules" posts I'll be exploring some of the juicier and more controversial topics. Stay tuned!

High Rollers v. Break Neck Betties Open Thread

photo by Steve Price

Another tough bout. Mr. Broken Record here, but the skill level has delightfully rocketed up and evened out among the teams in RCR this year.

Word from scrimmage-land is that the High Rollers are extremely strong, but everybody knows the Break Neck Betties, and knows that this bout could go either way. Anybody have any predictions?

On a sentimental note, all hail Dee Cap-A-Skater. I will really miss seeing her drag that severed head around on the introductory roll. Great career, Dee.

I'll be on a plane when this bout happens, so feel free to text or email me scores and hit highlights.

See you in the comments and, oh, ladies and gentlemen, let's give it up for Sump Pump.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apoc not on tonight at the Mission after all (re: post below)

She'll be on in June though, according to the Ministry of Information.

Every Apoc Tells a Story

Tonight at 7:30, Apocalipstick will grab the microphone at Mission Theater to tell a story about roller derby. Come on down to the Mission to hear her tell a tale of patented Heathers hijinks during their road trip to Canada in July, 2007.

It's part of Back Fence PDX's happening.

Doors open at 6 for dinner and drinks, show starts at 7:30. They're giving away stuff, too.

Tickets available at the link above.

Go have a pint, and give Apoc (and the other worthies) a good listen.

Give Sump Pump an Assist

Beloved Heartless Heathers/Rose City Rollers veteran Sump Pump's jaw was fractured in two places on April 18, 2009 during a bout between the Heartless Heathers and the Guns and Rollers. After surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University, she faces some uncovered medical expenses. The Heartless Heathers have set up a donation mechanism via PayPal for those who wish to assist Sump Pump (it requires you to establish a PayPal account if you don't already have one).

Click the button below (or the "Donate" button in the upper right-hand corner of this page) to help:

Check back for news of other fund-raising initiatives to assist Sump Pump.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

HH v. Guns Open Post Mortem

This Pic from George:

A few initial obs from last night:

- Very saddened by Sump Pump's injuries. Cadavers will help her in every known way.

- Surreal night from the first jam. An evening of confusion. Is this how the game is evolving? Packs driving backwards? Refs losing control? All praise to our excellent refs, but last night was beyond nuts. What de faw?

- G'n'R: a formidable team, with stunning players like November Pain, Blood Clottia, Viva Vendetta, name your favorite. They were soundly beaten.

- Heathers outsmarted and outlasted their opponents, flying elbows notwithstanding. Izabell Ringer had a 32-point jam.

Izabell Ringer had a 32-point jam.

George snapped this photo at the outset of that roll:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Heartless Heathers 175, Guns 'n' Rollers 147

Cadavers celebrate victory


Heathers 175, GnR 147

Now corrected (thanks, Noz)

Ringer 32 pt jam

Hard to argue with.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Dancing Scott!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Pump It Up

Monday, April 13, 2009

Heartless Heathers v. Guns 'n' Rollers open thread

From days of yore, obv.

Once again, as with prior bouts this year, I think the Heartless Heathers' hangar battle this Saturday, April 18, will be very hard-fought: a victory for the Heathers is by no means assured. I type these words not a a disloyal fan, but as a realist, and as a Wittgensteinian believer in nothing as much as uncertainty.

The strength of G'n'R is undeniable, given their great cast of national caliber veterans, their experiential depth, and their recent upset of the High Rollers.

I suspect the Heathers will prevail, as they will again in this year's RCR semi-finals and finals, not so much because they as a team are also jam-packed with national-level talent, and not so much because they have worked to claim the deepest bench in their league (as well as one of the deepest benches in the Pacific Northwest), but because they are undeniably the smartest team in the Rose City Rollers. And smart may come up short in some instances, but mostly smart learns, smart adapts, and smart prevails.

See you in the comments, see you at Oaks, and Heathers Por Vida!

Friday, April 10, 2009

There will be prizes

From the Ministry of Information:

Something new and exciting: RCR will be doing a scavenger hunt of sorts. Basically what I'm doing is I will weekly post on my Twitter (@rocketmean) and Facebook (Kim Stegeman) a tidbit about RCR history and have people go to locations around town - and there will be a prize.

I will randomly tweet things like: "RCR started as a drinking team with a skating habit and the bar where we first started meeting was Club 21 on Sandy in July 2004. The first person to go in, order a Pabst and say "Rocket Mean sent me" will find an amazing prize waiting for them."

SOOOOOO....... tell your friends about the promo, but don't worry RCRer's will refrain from participating so people outside our organization can scoop up fabulous prizes. OH Yeah - the game starts today - in a couple hours.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

WOJ Roller Disco Party tonight at Oaks

With good ol' King Lumpy and Sir Round. Help the Rose City All Stars scuffle up a few bucks. Tell Dancing Scott I said hi.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Heathers Googling

The Flip videographer Intendeduse has struck again on youtube, this time with some AOA v. Rain of Terror clips, the one below featuring jams by Heathers Ringer, Ruby Bruiseday, and Mick U Cry, not to mention an abortive sideways jam by G'n'R's Smackya Sideways -

From the rollicking release bash for "True Tales of Roller Derby: Doppelganger at the Hangar" (which is a glorious read, by the way) at Cosmic Monkey Comics, some of my stank-ass cell phone photos of just a few of the beautiful people in attendance:


Sol Train



Sol Brother & Goodie

By the way, I just purchased five extra tickets for the Heathers' April 18 bout against the Gunts (h/t Vominatrix for that fine nickname), so if you have some to purchase, you might want to get on the stick right here, though there may still be a cheap ticket night.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

For those of you scoring at home...

It appears our beloved Rose City All Stars/WoJ has moved up one notch, in the Power Rankings published by DNN today. Though I certainly have issues with some of DNN's reporting habits, they are currently the best source for Derby news around the country. (or the country east of the Rocky Mountains)

Those dirty Oly girls entered the charts at the 10 spot based soley on their win over WoJ. And those poor Ratz dropped 6 slots from the lose to Rose ranked below Woj on the DNN big board. Check out that debate here.

Oh I know these are not offical WFTDA rankings and not "perfect" but at least DNN is trying to show team movement through out the season and even the "ineligable" can get a ranked. It does give us "Derby Degenerates" something to talk about and DNN is like reading a passionless version of Elwood's blog, LOL!