... a bit Suffolk
|th 19 Dec|
Any East Anglian interested in roller derby would have been heartened by a massive turnout for coaching by Croydon's Rolling Thunder at Suffolk Roller Derby in Bury St Edmunds Monday night, maybe 50 skaters from five or six East Anglian leagues? We particularly liked the 'pursuit' drill with two massive bunches obliged to stay together unlike track cycling and the jumping was impressive; jumping the apex maybe hard but staying in bounds on the other side is even harder. Derby name of the evening the cerebral Blockums Razor.
|su 1 Dec|
At the start of Pivots of Penzance in High Wycombe last weekend the slippery Portsmouth Roller Wenches' jammers were sliding through the pack untouched and we feared a tedious whitewash and though by the half the Big Bucks High Rollers had started to function the Wenches still had a comfortable lead. Impressively only one official timeout in the half. Halfway through the second half Big Bucks took the lead and then power jams (in derby you do need to keep your jammer on the track) generated an entertaining 227-161 win for Bucks. Much commitment to the pirate theme and derby name of the day Halcyon Daze.
|fr 29 Nov|
Here's a candidate for awkward roller derby photo.
|mo 18 Nov|
We visited the Norwich Open Academy Thursday for the Norfolk Brawds' weekly training scrimmage. Interestingly after each jam the skaters paused to discuss what had happened just like they don't in football. We'd noted in the support bout at Jam Theft Auto earlier in the year that Political Vagenda ensured that anyone getting a big hit on her jammer didn't go unrewarded, she brought the same attitude to scrimmaging.
|fr 8 Nov|
|tu 22 Oct|
It's always nice when someone gets it.
|fr 1 nov|
We are continually impressed the effort people will make to roller derby. Last night for the Suffolk Roller Derby née Blue Thunder Rollers mixed scrimmage in Bury St Edmunds a Bourne Bombshell had travelled from the south coast, Ryan had cycled from Ipswich to geek the scoreboard and went to the pub afterwards, just about everyone had made an effort for Halloween except us and the refs though this was the solitary outside ref. An evenly matched bout (though in the end a 190-177 win for Black) with often just a single point in it despite White losing a seven majors skater in the first half, in fact early on the penalty box was pretty damn busy. Some presumably less experienced skaters did look a little ungainly but they got the job done and derby (and tortuous) name of the night Dicey Tequil'Her.
|th 12 Sep|
It's always nice when someone gets it.
|mo 19 Aug|
The Billies' mascot was undoubtedly the star of Heartland East round 5 in Norwich (Romsey Town Rollerbillies 243-127 Mean Valley Roller Derby) the weekend before last but what gave us a nice warm feeling was the Norfolk Brawds' confident (eventually) 166-122 win over Rebellion Roller Derby. A power jam from Yours Truly halfway through the second half put the Brawds in the lead for pretty much the first time and then the Brawds steadily built on their lead despite the as always impressive jammer skating from the Rebs.
Power jams can make such a significant difference to a result we do wonder if there should be some cap on them ... like in ice hockey where a power play ends early if there's a score ... maybe the other jammer gets released if 40 points are scored on the power jam? Or maybe not:)
|we 7 Aug|
Unlike last time we managed to turn up on the right day for Blue Thunder's weekly practice in Bury St Edmunds. There were a good handful of freshies both male and female looking already halfway there and impressively a first visit from Malicious Wishes of banked track league the Arizona Roller Dames. At the after pub visit we found ourselves sitting next to MW and learnt that Arizona started as flat track league to raise the money for the banked track, there would be fake fighting to entertain the crowd, the banked track cost $50,000 and takes three days to take down and put up again; and banked track derby skaters serve a penalty after the jam has ended, the lead jammer can lose their status if the other jammer passes them and passes are decide by both the jammer ref and the eye in the sky ... phew.
|tu 9 Jul|
Friday we went to Bury St Edmunds to snap a mixed league roller derby scrimmage hosted by Blue Thunder Rollers ... unfortunately we were confused about the meaning of the word 'tomorrow' and it had been the day before. Coming back through Stonham Aspal we noticed the Ten Bells was boarded up and at the far end of the village on a corner was a chip van. This chip van you climb into to order; sausage in batter, chips and some scraps £2.40, did the trick.
|mo 24 Jun|
|tu 18 Jun|
We've merged three of our Facebook albums to make Roller Derby 2009.
|sa 15 Jun|
An international always sounds a bit glamorous so we tried for a press pass to London (it's a large town near Chelmsford) Rockin' Rollers v Stockholm Allstars last Saturday ... the Rollers' Facebook page was encouraging ... then we realised it was in Sweden ... reasonably certain that next Saturday's Rockin' Rollers v Paris Rollergirls is in London ...
|th 13 Jun|
Roller derby in Swindon on Sunday has prompted some new leicas on our Facebook page ... which is nice.
|sa 1 Jun|
Wwe got an honourable mention last month ... which was nice.
|su 12 May|
The UEA sports hall in Norwich yesterday for Jam Theft Auto had the usual sports hall rubbish lighting but is BIG, has tiered seating and the daddy of the trio in front of us was saying I know absolutely nothing about it but I like ice hockey. It might have been the magic wimples but probably not that gave Slaughter House Sisters a comfortable win over Machete Mamas (a proper reporter would written the score down). What was impressive was with five debutantes from Blue Thunder, three from Rockin' Rollers and other open door firsties the bout went off at 100mph AND the mixed league teams were organised ... looks good for derby speaking of which Amy and Ryan say Ipswich should start training at the end of the month.
We really wanted the Norfolk Brawds to do well against the Vendetta Vixens after they were mugged and left for dead by the Billies last month but at the half the Vixens had a comfortable lead (should have written it down). Don't know how the Brawds came back but they did, nothing succeeds like perseverance (and power jams) with the game ending on a no score jam and us jumping up and down for a 164-153 Brawds win ... it could have easily gone the other way Vixens and Brawds, stay out of the box!
|su 28 Apr|
The Romsey Rollerbillies aren't big ladies but on average their skaters looked a little larger than the Norfolk Brawds' and when combined with consistently strong blocking maybe it contributed to a truly awesome 400-38 drubbing of a slightly short handed Brawds in Cambridge last weekend. Like rowing eights and rugby union packs perhaps weight is relevant? Maybe a team's average skater weight should be in the programme?
Rebellion Roller Derby who like the Brawds and Wilts favour the short handed approach had a comfortable 214-110 win over Hell's Belles and got away with a piece of derbyness so cheeky we only saw it in the edit afterwards. After party at the Tram Shed, derby name of the day Xavier Bacon (refs are people too); next month's Heartlands series at Milton Keynes and the Rebellion ... oh yeah!
|mo 25 Mar|
We've merged a handful of albums on our Facebook page to make London Roller Girls in 2010.
|th 21 Mar|
Saturday in Oxford we admired the Severn Torrent's uniforms and asked a jammer if the uniform had any padding No, it's all woman. Severn followed in the west country tradition set by Wilts and despite being a short handed 11 against 14 steadily moved away to a substantial 310-83 win over Wolves. (Liked the howling and Time Warp dancing Wolves ♫It's just a step to the left♫).
Czech-point Zuzi said Wilts did have a full fourteen but this included a goodly number of debutants and the core of the team was still quite small. Impressively Wilts made and kept a useful lead over hosts Oxford for most of the game until the last five minutes when Oxford started to come back ... perhaps Wilts were panicking. Early in the final jam the Wilts jammer got a slightly baffling track cut call and amidst threshold of pain spectatorial noise Dread Ditto made a six pass power jam for a 178-170 win. Gobsmacked would be the word to describe the Oxford bench. The Wilts jammer said I really could cry ... you win some you lose some but we share your tears Wiltshire jammer.
Thankfully only one injury needing Pastor Painkillaz and time seemed to fix it. Derby name of the day Beatrix Got'Er.
|we 6 Mar|
♫Our first problem Saturday night was thinking the Ipswich Spread Eagle is the Falcon ... it hasn't been the Falcon for some time apparently. In the wilderness of an Ipswich Sunday night finding someone to solve our confusion we discovered the Giles family statue has moved to the other side of the road and the Cromwell Square car park has gained a statue of ... more on the Ipswich page
|we 13 Feb|
Saturday the first day of the Eastern division Heartland series was in the eight badminton court sized sports hall of the Catmose Centre in Oakham, it's actually a school apparently? Not only did we hear how cute the Norfolk Brawds looked in their uniforms but they had an almost full team too but then the Bedfordshire captain was stuck in Luton airport leaving them short too. Either way the Brawds had a good quality 143-120 win despite two virtually simultaneous majors (the only kind of penalty these days) towards the end of the final jam. Nice to see Beds occasionally choosing to line up on the dear old pivot line despite one whistle starts and lots of baby Brawds spectating suggesting the Brawds will soon put a full fourteen on the track.
You couldn't say the Rebellion looked cute but we like their new tops, the previous dark green and white piping jobbies looked very smart but also made them look a bit like a table tennis team. The Rebs followed in the Brawds tradition and put nine skaters on against fourteen giving them a steep hill to climb and eventually a 230-149 loss against an organised Mean Valley. Thankfully no very serious injuries but a worrying bang on the head for a Beds skater, excellent beer at the after party in the Grainstore Brewery ... well it would be wouldn't it.
|tu 5 Feb|
The first bout of the Heartland series Saturday started with a minutes !NOISE! in memory of Rebellion RD skater and director Karen Beulah Ballbreaker Parks.
Though the Vendetta Vixens 133-217 Oxford Roller Derby bout was very excellent it got rather washed away in our memory by what was to come. Thankfully no serious injuries in either bout but Vixens' Lucy Go-Lightly did take a promptly called high block to the face and though she skated on it was clearly painful.
In only their third or so public bout just eight Wiltshire RD skaters took on a full 14 Concrete Cows team and won! No, you couldn't make it up, power jams put Wilts ahead in the first half and we Brits do ♥ love an underdog, the non-Cows part of the crowd really got behind Wilts who held on to win 206-184 despite losing Mega Faye Tality towards the end for seven plain vanilla (the only kind now) penalties. Stunning!
Derby didn't look that different under the new no minors rule set though the one whistle start prompts jammer line starts. Time on the day limited the theatre of the skate outs, pity.
|th 24 Jan|
RaRa's is a new to us 50s themed ice cream parlour in Northgate Street Ipswich and they stayed open later last night for the first get together of the still provisionally named Ipswich Roller Derby. A little slow getting started because first spectacularly multiple sundaes had to be served but then the presentation was well thought out, bubbley and babberly. Next up a social, hopefully a visit to Rutland for Mean Valley v Norfolk Brawds and training starts March; with Amy and Ryan's obvious overflowing enthusiasm this has got to be a winner ... finally derby comes to East Suffolk!
|su 6 Jan|
Look what the Milton Keynes Concrete Cows sent us in the post and a badge too.
|fr 4 jan|
Last night at Curvemotion in Bury St Edmunds Blue Thunder hosted multi league training with more than a splattering of blokes and they weren't all off duty refs. Off skate fitness led by a member of the England roller hockey team (interestingly his skating style was different, closed up and low centre of gravity) started the session and as so often with these things showed big differences between skaters. A three blockers one jammer exercise eventually morphed into single jam scrimmages with a major earning ten press ups rather than a trip to the penalty box. A little guidance about the new rule set and then we went home tired but happy.