Monday, July 13, 2009

Coach Izabell Ringer leads those SickTown Derby Dames to victory...



The Centralia (aka Rainy City) Rollerdrome played host last Saturday to a double header featuring Rainy City and Treasure Valley battling it out with SickTown Derby Dame Vs Fort Lewis Bettie Brigade on the under card. The venue was a great small town rink that had some of my favourite roller derby accessories, a beer garden, indoor plumbing and air hockey.

Both SickTown Derby Dames and Ft. Lewis are relatively young leagues, in fact it was Ft Lewis' first bout but the action didn't lack from the experience. The bout was close through most of the first half. There were plenty of major hits and solid jamming skills displayed by both teams leading to a close halftime score of STDD 77 Ft Lewis 63. After the half, Sicktown built on the gap with some great jams from Rice Crackr, St Nick and Hot Boxxx. Though Ft. Lewis was not going quietly, even the monstrous Tamazon and Legs Le'nor could not keep the SickTown dames from the win. In the end STDD racked up 137 over 115 points for Ft Lewis.

As for the main event, it was a hard fought or more accurately a brutal bout that ended with some controversy.

The thumbnail view is: Rainy City, on the backs of some of the speediest little jammers around came out strong and fast. Treasure Valley battled the speed game with some tough defense and hard hits. The first half was chaotic in my opinion and would end with Treasure Valley down 47 to Rainy's 71. The second half picked up just where the first half left off in terms of aggressive play. With just under 20 mins left in the second half, Rainy City up 89 to 63, ANGxiety Rush of Treasure Valley took an elbow and was knocked unconscious. This stopped play and ultimately the bout.

The coach for Treasure Valley had had enough and forfeited the game.

The major problem (and huge distraction for me, hence the lack luster NON recap of the bout) was the lack of officiating. It was so bad that I don’t remember details of the speedy jamming styles of Holly Hobble or D.V.S. Dicer (A mini version of Blood Clottia) because I spent most of the time yelling, pointing and being disgusted by what I saw as Roller girls gone wild…and not in a good way!

Now as I crawl out on a limb here, there are three caveats to my comments.

#1) I am not a casual derby fan. I would stack my understanding of the WFTDA rules against 99% of the "Fans" at that bout. (Noz, Nepalm Beth and Mercyful Kate would have to be excluded. Kanna, George and my daughter Bailey would no doubt be my biggest competition) but I know what I saw.

ii) I realize I am holding Referees that are "Volunteers" responsible for their actions or lack there of. I am not bitching about the score board operator, the people running the door or the score whore here, these are the OFFICIALS of the bout which, pay or NOT, comes with responsibility. It also comes with the expectation that you need to not only KNOW the rules, but be willing to enforce those rules.

C) Most importantly, I am not dissing ANY LEAGUE, TEAM or PLAYER. I am not trying to discourage people from seeing bouts in Rainy City, in fact I would encourage everyone to go check out their bouts and venue...it's got a funky factor of 10 and they are good people that are working their asses off to make derby a vibrant part of their community.

All that bullsh!t said...

Early on, I thought the ref crew was just new and figuring out how to work together. I thought they would work through the bugs and that they would get it together. Then I thought they were trying to give some room to Sicktown/Ft. Lewis because they are relatively new teams. By the time Rainy City and Treasure Valley hit the track I was completely frustrated by what I saw as an absence of enforcement of the rules.

In as much as the poor ref'ing hurt any of the teams, it also helped. Of course the skaters figured out they could get away with stuff and so they did. That's not an insult, each team has to play the bout that is happening; taking every advantage they can...it's the nature of sports. Now with Sicktown and Ft Lewis, they are young developing teams, so they didn't have the skills yet to do the kind of damage Rainy City and Treasure Valley could, and did to each other.

At the half, I said that I thought the calls were lopsided but Bailey called “bullshit foul” on me, saying "Treasure Valley may be behind in points, but they are beating the crap out of Rainy and even IF, Treasure Valley has had more box time but there are still only being called for part of their shit." Later she would make the most damning statement which seems to boil the bout down to its essence, "How is this a WFTDA sanctioned bout? It looks more like Renegade Roller Derby."

And indeed it did appear to be lawless.

During the second half, people around us figured out that we had some more understanding of game basics and starting asking both us questions about rules. It was ironic because I would say "You can't do" this or that and then they would point out that it was just done. I could see skaters looking at the ref's because they KNEW what they just did...and they were puzzled they weren't called for it. This of course was contrasted by calls that were made for no visible reason.

Eventually this all led to a skater down, which though I enjoy seeing a tough hard hitting bout, a skater on the floor is always scary. Treasure Valley's coach made a tough but wise and as I have said in other venues...a brave choice. The coach chose the best interest of the players over the game. I can only imagine how rough things would have gotten as they got to the usual passionately played ending of the bout.

And so begins the aftermath...

I sent a quick text to Elwood, he was up in Oly for the big Hot Rod Honeys bout. That got me a follow up message and eventually I sent him my assessment in an email.

The next day saw an inquiry from Miss Mel Mangles of Rainy City and this morning, the same thing from their coach Ryrod.

All of which, got the same story…

It is clear that the entire Rainy City organization recognizes there are some growing pains here, that there is a problem and they intend to fix it. Again, though they hosted the bout I don't really blame them for shit. I think it is reasonable to expect a level of professionalism from those that make the choice to wear the stripes.

Yes, I have had various issues with refs over the course of my Roller Derby Fandom, but I have always respected what they do. The result of this bout is a deeper appreciation for all the Refs in the Rose City and across the country that take the responsibility seriously. I hope that the Officiating crew assembled for this bout learns from the experience. I did. I learned just how valuable the rule set is...

17 comments:

JeLLyPiG said...

Here's an update from Elwood:

"The TVRG skater who went down was ANGxiety Rush. From what I heard, she wound up with 12 stitches and a concussion. "

Noz said...

Well, couple things since I know some background.

1 - Rain didn't ask for seasoned outside ref help. The sick town refs that attended weren't expecting to ref in key positions. The STDD jammer ref, it was the second time EVER he'd done that. Only other being at a practice a couple days before. The STDD jammer ref for the Rainy/Treasure bout, it was his first time EVER.

2 - The Rainy jammer ref, the one that couldn't figure out points and would go back to the score keeper and change points awarded three and four jams prior, gave points for multiple passes (jammer never left pack and he awarded her 8 points) and confused a 4-0 jam with a grand slam and gave it 5 points, WAS NOT NEW! He's been doing it for over a year.

3 -It was completely unsafe for the Rainy/Treasure bout, and I would call it Renegade without a script. The whole bout lacked the barest of cohesion for game safety. The stupid foam tripping barriers would get pushed out to the edge of the track, only to sit there jam after jam, until another skater tripped over it. Rainy coach was out of line, and in ANY real bout would have been ejected for behavior toward refs.

4 - STDD and FLBB, great bout. Even without the rules, their experience didn't let them get dangerous and they took it all with fun.

5 - A real EMT at a bout. There were several nasty injuries, and the help was quick, professional and with nothing but pure concern for the injured in mind.

6 - The nicest folks all around. And what a fabulous facility.

Noz...out

JeLLyPiG said...

Thanks Noz,

I didn't the back story and always appreciate the insight.

I also want to point out, I was not trying to imply StDD/FLBB played anything less than a good bout. My original point before I edited it away was, in my opinion they didn't hit as fiercely or fly into the pack with the same impact the as Rainy and TV. I also think StDD/FLBB were more disciplined, deliberate and focused in their play. That "could" be a result of coaching, LoL! But my post does read like their inexperience rendered them harmless. Not the my intent.

Noz said...

Your initial impression was right, IMHO, if STDD/FLBB had been seasoned teams it would have sucked as bad as the rainy bout. I didn't get the impression Rainy or Treasure was grossly out of line in their capitalizing of the ruless game, they both let it get the best of them. The contention that it was a late hit, is moot since the refs rarely blew four blasts to call a jam (spectators couldn't tell it was called, how could someone in the heat of the game?) But come on, it was FL's FIRST BOUT and STDD's first REAL bout. Awesome bout, but the lack of reffing made it more interesting and exciting than dangerous.

Own your first impressions! Nut up Pigg!

Noz...out

ps. I was blackmailed into writing a recap on their bout, will post a link to it later here

Mrs. Cher said...

I think that it would be nice to eventually see refs paid a stipend for their work; even my ten year old has paid refs at her soccer games.

I know that volunteerism is great and believe me I do a lot of it never expecting anything in return, but a paid gig is something else and the expectations are different.

Just an idea for down the road maybe.

JeLLyPiG said...

It would be easier to "Nut uP" if you weren't standing on them Noz...
And that is PiG with one G, muthaf#@K'r!

Actually my amended comment was attempt to make it clear that they didn't play a Less Than bout. Which after a few drinks and reread...I thought that is how it read.

The sarcasm of the coaching comment maybe didn't shine through for you.

Both of those team were THINKING about what they were doing. The game has not yet become so second nature that they instinctively KNOW what they are doing...

I look forward to your recap and the opportunity for some more, friendly ball busting...

X's and O's,
PiG

George said...

I rarely miss a Rainy City bout. As a matter of fact, the only time I don’t make the journey to Rainy City is when RCR is playing somewhere else on the same night. One thing that I consistently notice about the Centralia bouts is that they last a l-o-n-g time. This one was no different. It seems that there is always an inordinate number of official timeouts. I have noticed this to be the case even when there are many other refs from other leagues officiating there. Why is that? What is it about Centralia that causes there to be an unusually high number of official timeouts?

Noz said...

Meth.

Noz...out

ps. When we pulled onto Chahalis, instead of a "neighborhood crime watch" sign, there was (NS) a huge color sign that read "now entering METH WATCH!" can't belive I didn't photo it...

J Bombzilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ThurstonGore said...

Wow...I guess I didn't realize how much I did miss while announcing on the officiating side. Thanks for the blog! It's always great to see how other people are seeing things! Just a couple little things I'd say...did anyone actually see an elbow get thrown? We were thinking after seeing the tapes it may have been an inadvertent helmet-to-helmet hit...video is certainly inconclusive though. Not to start anything; more just curious as to what was seen. I talked to at least 30 people at the bout and no one knew what had happened, myself included. i know she wasn't unconscious though because I walked over to were she was lying on the ground by the benches (I was one of the announcers) several times and she was responding to the EMTs each time I went over. Definitely concussed though. She got her bell rung pretty good and the stitches, dang. I knew she was bleeding good but 12 is more than I thought! Get better ANGxiety Rush!!! Would love to hear more about that if you did see it.
The officiating was certainly more lackluster than a normal Rainy City bout, and I think since I was announcing I simply didn't catch as much of the missed stuff as I thought I did. I know I've seen some very poorly called bouts previously and this didn't strike me at the time as being worse than some of those, but again, I think it was more I didn't realize how much I missed since I was announcing and not just being a fan.
In any event, thanks again for throwing another perspective on the bout!
In addition to Angxiety Rush, I'd also like to send another get well to Saint Nick! Injuries suck and I wish both you those skaters the best and a speedy recovery to boot!
Jellypig, feel free to post some of these sentiments under my blog as well, as I think it would definitely help expand the dialouge and maybe get some others to see things from a little different angle too. But no worries either way.

Noz said...

Thurston, great announcing throughout the bout.

On the injury, the refs were so quiet or late with the whistles, a skater couldn't tell it was called. No way I'd lay blame on a skater making a late hit, all refs failure to signal.

Nick, last I've heard PCL tear. Don't know how bad it is yet.

Great EMTs up there, send our thanks.

Noz...out

the_mad_nader said...

As I've been taking the RCR off-season pretty seriously I attended a concert rather than this bout - but I really appreciate your recap JeLLyPiG, as well as all the comments from Noz, George, etc.

As I read the post, and the disclaimers about not wanting to trash on the refs, I can't help but feel like you may have had a previous post of mine running around your head as you typed it ;)

The reality is that the reffing crew has a single, over-riding responsibility - that is safety. From all accounts these refs failed in that regard, and that is absolutely a valid topic for complaint or criticism.

You screw a team out of a few points...that sucks, it really does, but things like that happen.

You allow dangerous, reckless, or uncontrolled violence to take place and you should NOT be allowed to ref until you have proven you have the ability to control the game and keep things safe.

I wasn't there, so can't comment on the reffing myself, but I think JeLLyPiG's analysis speaks for itself.

J Bombzilla said...

thanks again for the writeup, jellypig.

does anyone have an alternate suggestion for barriers? i believe those are the same bumpers that the oly rollers (olympia), dockyard (tacoma) and slaughter county (bremerton) all use.

really appreciate this discussion but i don't want to overstep my commenting, as i am just a lowly stats nerd and not a skater, coach or referee.

Ryan said...

Thanks for your recap JeLLyPiG...

Just a couple things...I'm on the Bout Coordination committee for Rainy City, and as I had told JeLLyPiG before, I do take some responsability for our breakdown in bout production. This was the first time we let our head ref schedule refs, and he said it was under control, but I think he was more looking at the number, and not the quality. We had one experienced ref cancel the night before the bout, which looking back on the night, he would have definitely stepped in to correct some of our issues.

Noz, I was out of line? I felt I was actually rather calm...I know for fact I've been much worse. I thought I called timeouts to argue all my calls, and my yelling wasn't towards the refs. Between jams I did say good job and give thumbs up to the jam refs, and said maybe just watch the back blocks a little better, but it was jokingly and they laughed. It's all good though, I will try to behave in the future. :-)

As far as the hit that caused the injury, and ultimately ended the bout...we did watch the video. Our camera in turn 4 catches Slaughter Kinney going in for a hit just as they skate off camera and the jam is called. We reviewed the security cameras on the night, and the hit was rather light, but there may have been head to head contact. She is seen coasting around the corner and puts her hand up to her head as she rolls off camera. I think it is possible her helmet was loost and maybe the plastic edge from Slaughters helmet caught her, but from what I know of where the cut was, there should have been helmet present. (Again our ref's fault for not properly checking gear.)

Anyway, I don't want to make it sound like I am defending my position or my league here. We acknowledge a breakdown in our production and are already working on a corrective course of action, and planning for our bout with the Trampires in late August.

Oh, one other thing...we are not WFTDA, so this wasn't actually a WFTDA sanctioned bout...

I take all your criticism constructivley, and appreciate ALL your comments.

Coach Ryrod
RCRD

Noz said...

Ryrod, great to hear your comments, and they sound spot on.

My comment to your conduct, yelling at refs and skaing on or on the safety area durring play. Typically, one trip on track will get a warning, second out. Verbal talk to refs depends on what you said. Four letter, you're out, angry comment, warning. Some will allow two warnings before the boot.

Knowing the refs is always different, I'll yell at someone I know way more frierce than a stranger. But bad refs or not, high ground always.

Not referencing pervious posts Nads, both 3.0 and 4.0 clearly state refs #1 job is safety. Sure folks bitch when you don't blow the whistle loud enough, but failure is not only infuriating, it can be dangerous.

Noz...out
ps. Rainy, as Ringer said when she walked in, "this place is DOPE!!!" Fantastic, and we'll be back.

Noz said...

And remember Ryrod, this is from a coach who got ejected at Rust Riot for calmly pointing out to the retarded monkey masturbating "number one" jammer ref that he forgot to count the penalty box.

I'm one up on ya.

Noz...out

Ryan said...

Noz...sounds much more clear, about my conduct...yes the boundary issue is something I am looking at so we can try to make a change. With them so close, it's easy to drift onto the line. I get, I guess you can say, "animated" at bouts. When we originally laid the track out, we didn't have the skater benches on the wall, we had them in the center, like at Rust Riot. We quickly changes it as skaters, refs, and stats people all hated it. But until we pull the tape...nothing we can do, other than slide them to the corners, or farther out anyway.

And yes, I think I remember your ejection...and yes, you are one up on me. I've come close, but never been ejected. ;-)

Again, thanks all for your constructive criticize. It helps a lot, rather than just talking trash.