How serious is Roller Derby?

is this really necessary?

is this really necessary?

Hey y’all it’s been a while since I’ve posted, been on a bit of a hiatus and sorta now back in the game. Here’s a link to an observation I made on a friend’s Facebook post.


Mind you I get that there is a need for some of the tutus and what not at home games so teams can make enough money to send travel team players across the state or even across the country. So I understand the catch-22 in THAT situation. My comments in the link are more towards the “leagues” that are more of the ‘just for funsies’  type derbyists.


Not Another RC post

As some of you are aware, I don’t have any posts about RC 13. RollerCon 2013 as it were for the new to derby. Not because I had an überawesome time and was too busy to post a single blurb. I just didn’t go.  What happened that I missed a week’s worth of the second most awesome thing to happen in the world every year?


(sorry RC playoffs and nationals err championship take the cake) Work. that’s what happened.
But like I mentioned this isn’t another RC post. This is about the debut bout of Yellow Rose Derby Girls, of Southwest Houston

and the wonderful hosts Spindeltop Rollergirls. Best of all I got to work again with Fairlane. He’s one of the  referees that I try to emulate.

Yellow Rose got to be the first team to play at Spindletop’s new venue, Beaumont Civic Center which I personally like better than Ford Arena for several reasons.  The biggest is that there is NOT a huge pillar in the center of the track blocking the view of fans and refs.  Something worth mentioning is that this was the fastest bout I have ever reffed. Only three official time outs, which were to correct a scoreboard malfunction. Not a single team timeout.  I think from first whistle to the time I was geared down post bout was and hour and forty minutes.

Although as a ref, what makes every bout a success is no injuries. Our primary role as a ref is to ensure the safety of the skaters and impartial enforcement of the rules.


I was glad to see my home team, Yellow Rose Derby Girls come together as a unit, find their groove and cohesiveness and almost triple their first half score. I was also quite happy to see the few old friends I still have left at Spindletop, too many new faces, but that’s happening in almost every league now. Plus I’ve been sort of out of the loop for about eight months.  it’s great to be able to feel right at home like I’d only been gone a week.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo

This is probably one of the most misunderstood lines in literature. Do you know what ‘wherefore’ means? Without looking it up? If you guessed ‘why’ pat yourself on the back, if you KNEW it means ‘why’ then you were either in drama or had looked it up before, right? If you didn’t know, don’t worry. I myself learned about it in drama class. The meaning behind the question, “Why are you Romeo [Montague]?” is the family feud between the Monatagues and Capulets (Juliet) if he had any other name they could be happy and not have to hide their love.
The end.
But it wasn’t the end, and it led to the whole “if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” bit. If a rose were called ‘blood stain’ it would still be as pretty and everything else we associate with a rose, but probably not the flowers of choice for Valentines Day.

Women's Flat Track Derby Association

Women’s Flat Track Derby Association

What does this have to do with derby? Well, what is in a name? First off most “leagues” are a nickname to what city (Big Easy, Alamo City), or what region of the country (Gold Coast, SoCal) they’re in. Other leagues are named after the city or state, (Houston, Arizona) or a play on the city name (Oly = Olympia, Naptown = Indianapolis). Then there are others whose names if I’m told how it relates to the city they’re from I still won’t get the word association or I might think it’s clever. But for the most part I’d have no clue where the league is from.
Frequently every league has in the second part of their name a variantion of: Rollergirl, roller girls, derby girls, rollers, vixens, dames, devils, roller derby, dolls, rebels, grrls, and so on. Few leagues make no mention of derby in their name such as, Mississippi Valley Mayhem, The Chicago Outfit. I’ve come across an article about making derby a legitimate major league sport, with a convincing argument for skaters to choose more family friendly derby name.
Now here’s my reason for this post. If most skaters, as in WFTDA and non WFTDA, don’t know most of the *league* names or locations. How then will ESPN present it?

Think of your favorite major league team. Whether it’s football, soccer, hockey, basketball or baseball. What’s the name of the *team*? What city are they in? finally what *league* do they fall under? MLB, NBA, NFL, MLS, NHL? This is my point, WFTDA is the governing body and league of roller derby. The member *leagues* should be called teams, which would go by a team name. Their city would be included with merch, during game announcements, commentator color to the point where the viewing fans will get it.
San Antonio Tejanas, Temple Sirens, New York City All Stars, Montreal New Skids on the Block, Baton Rouge Diables Rouges.  But what is in a name? I’m still going to officiate and announce where I’m needed, with various leagues in a 200 mile radius regardless of that they call themselves. Until the end of the bout, skaters are still just a color and number to me. This is just food for thought for anyone who might want to rethink how else to get ESPN to televise a sport worth international recognition as a major league sport.