Full Metal Bracket


I know, I know. It has been quite a long time since I have posted anything new.

March of this year I retired from being a referee, there were a lot of reasons, ultimately I just enjoyed announcing bouts more than calling penalties.

I have not been proactive in seeking bouts to call. As word was getting out that I was no longer a ref, people assumed that I had quit derby altogether. When skaters asked why I quit derby I would have to correct them that I am now an announcer which led to being invited to call a bout. Also Piggy Phatness wrangled me into a Hurricane Alley bout and helped spread the word of my availability.

A while back I heard a rumbling about a possible B-Team tournament that might be hosted by Texas Rollergirls. I threw my name in the hat to try and get in on the action though I thought I had the slimmest chance to get on the Mic. I fully expected most of the teams to bring their own announcer along with their contingent of officials. Lucky for me, that was not the case, only two announcers came along, local announcers were busy, and Chip Queso was taking a step back to allow TXRGs new announcers to have a shot having some time on the mic.

I managed to call 8 out of 17 bouts this weekend. A great learning experience and an opportunity to work with Bikini Skills of Montreal, Bobby Narco of Gotham, Harlot and Bullet Sucker of TXRG.

What I learned this weekend, peppering in a foreign language can making calling a bout fun (thanks Bikini Skills), Sponsors don’t have to be read off the copy, they can be worked into conversation (Bobby Narco), Getting into character or a persona is totally fine (Harlot), calling derby doesn’t have to sound like derby, I can use other sports terms to paint the picture of what going on the track (Bullet Sucker).

All in all I had a great time these past three days and thank everyone who made the Full Metal Bracket Possible, and for all the factors that led to me being able to be on the mic so often this weekend.

Oh and some team from Texas won’t the tournament in case anyone was wondering.

TXRG Firing Squad first champ pic

UN-Retired

Texas Rollergirls

TXRG

Back Again

This month I have an interview with Devlyn Angel formerly of Texas Rollergirls and now skating with Rockin City Rollergirls. Interestingly I just might have to specify when I say RCRG either Rockin or Rocket.

Devlyn first  “heard about it from a girl I met at a party. I wanted to do it because it looked like a mosh-pit on wheels. (I’m a Slayer girl)” retiring after the 2011 season with Texas Rollergirls. She was going through some hard times in her personal life, and derby had become more of a source of stress than a stress reliever. Total retirement. Put the skates away, walked away cold turkey. Devlyn  played on the Hell Marys for 2 seasons

Since she  didn’t maintain her retired skater status with TXRG,  she would have had to go through the entire tryout process again. Devlyn heard about Rockin City on FB,  got very excited at the prospect of skating again, and realized “I was not, in fact, over derby at all.  It becomes a part of you, and you can try to walk away, but I think you are just fooling yourself if you think you can do it without some sort of closure. It is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, and it leaves a void when it’s gone.”

“I enjoy training girls that are new to derby, and some to skating … [as well as] working with the experienced girls.”

What’s Missing?

RCRG

RCRG

Devlyn misses skating in front of a big crowd.  A smaller league is fun in different ways than skating with a league as large as TXRG.  When asked what she misses about TXRG Devlyn says  she “would love to have more skaters. TXRG has plenty, while we struggle to have enough. I took that sort of thing for granted. Rockin’ City’s learning curve is pretty good, our training committee is made of up experienced girls, another from TXRG, most of the rest from TXRG’s rec league. We need more seasoning, but that just takes time.”

When it comes to small leagues Devlyn Angel says she likes “the feel of the smaller league, [that it is] like a team and family, [and not] just the team you are on. It is nice … [that]  the derby community is amazing!! I missed a lot of people during the year I stayed away.”

Aside, personally as an official I understand – even though I’m just a ref, when my vehicle was stolen I missed out on five months of derby. You can’t beat the sense of community. I get it. HRD teammates (of the few that I know personally, specifically pre 2010 season Sirens and Bosses) will cut and bleed for each other. For another league skater, not so much.

Devlyn Devlyn Bo-Bevlyn…

I asked Devlyn how she feels about skater names. Is it time to go to real names?

“I am all for whatever each skater feels like doing. I know I love my derby name, and most people claim it is much more fitting than my real name. In fact there are not many people in the world that call me anything but Devlyn. During my retirement, I changed my FB name to my real name, and actually got messages ordering me to change it back, that it wasn’t right. So, I lean towards derby names, because I think it sort of helps find the true you…the one you always were, but just hadn’t found yet…until you found derby.”

Personally I favor real names and changing “league names” altogether. What do you think it would take for you to truly retire, aside from injury or getting “too old”

“[getting an] injury or getting too old. I would have to not feel about derby how I feel about it. I learned from retiring before that life stress is made worse without derby. So, that will never be the reason again.”

3rd Annual ACRG Mashup

so I carpool with Rose the Ribhitter to this mashup and catch up on how we’ve been these past few weeks we haven’t hung out. So I tell her about how at RollerCon I got yelled at by a skater, FifiNailya. Because “you’re friend Rosie the Ribhitter took my name” um yeah, like 6 years ago. Shes from Sweetwater TX and skates for Abilene. Her name is from the WASP mascot named fifinella. Which coincidentally WASP, Women’s Air Service Pilots, were based outta sweetwater Texas. Their mascot was fifinella, a gremlin that was Disney character.
So we finish our meal at La Gloria, get to the Rollercade and join in on the open skate session to get used to the skate floor once more. Skaters from across Texas trickle in and gear up. Skaters From Houston, Austin, Dallas and of Course San Antone
The refs kind of debated as to how to call out penalties. Ya see the bout was Rainbows v Goths, goths of course were in all black, however rainbow skaters wore red or blue or yellow shirts. So should we call, COLOR 22 penalty, RAINBOW 22 penalty or (color of shirt) 22 penalty? Ultimately we agreed on actual color of shirt. The first game was the B teams which was penalty heavy and funny to ref or watch (if you know the rules). Skaters would hear their # & a penalty and skate off track. Not realizing that it was a minor penalty. Pur job as a ref isnt to coach but to ensure the safety of skaters and enforcement of the rules. So when a skater heard their number they’d just go off track to go to the penalty box. Even though we didn’t blow the whistle or call out MAJOR!
Overall it was a fun double header to ref, great refs & NSOs to work with & skaters

Star of Texas Bowl

O
M
G

So if you weren’t aware Texas Rollergirls, TXRG, hosted a tournament this past weekend in Austin. Gotham (NYC), Windy (Chicago-duh) and B.A.D. (San Francisco) played, as well as a scrimmage between TXRG’s B-Team and Centex (Killeen, TX) All Stars. I had submitted my name to ref assuming that not all leagues could bring their refs AND a lot of leagues within 5 hrs drive of Austin would be having a bout on one of the days the tournament was being held. I never considered the fact that tourneys that draw big leagues in also draw top certified refs outta the woodwork. Luckily I was still allowed to NSO, yes I said “allowed” I’m a Derby official, not just a ref. I learned a lot just from observing Sugar Daddy, Professor Murder, Curtis E. Lay, Judge Knot, and a host of other officials. Some of whom did duty as NSO as well.

I’m still blown away at the level of officials I rubbed elbows with and they aren’t as intimidating as I imagined they would, and not at all stuck up. As a matter of fact they were quite encouraging and mentory… That’s not a word but I can’t think of what I’m looking for. If I made a mistake they were quick to offer, “next time do this…” and those lessons will stick with me longer than “why the HELL did you …”

I was scheduled to ref the Centex vs TXRG Firing Squad and I got pulled into reffing the Sunday morning scrimmage I was originally set to NSO. Centex fought hard and took a few lead changes from TXRG, but in the end Firing Squad shot off some winning jams toward the end.
The Sunday scrimmage was simply an endurance skate. Every jam 10 skaters rotated in from a line about 50 deep on each side of the black n white teams, with a few skaters switching shirts sometime into the scrimmage. All for an hour and a half with 3 or 4 official time outs for jammer refs to switch bandanas, OPR to switch with IPR, a score check, and penalty board check.

One final note, I had the sexiest unofficial officials shirt that made Suzy HotRod snicker when she took a pic with me. Now back to RollerCon 2012