On Sunday April 10th, the Stepford Sabotage hosted the DC All Stars in a WFTDA Approved bout, closed to the public. It turns out that publicly closed bouts like these result in a very raw, pure form of Derby. While the flash and fanfare of the music, announcers, screaming crowds, and halftime show is missed, it’s exciting when the only sounds coming from the track are the harsh scuff of roller skates on the track and the urgent calls and commands shouted between the players and from the coaching staff.
This bout was a nail biter. The first half had both teams playing with professional timing. When the packs were full, the teams had excellent pack awareness. In these situations the defense excelled – points were kept tight and the action was hard to beat. The trouble for both teams occurred as players started being sent to the penalty box. The awkwardly slow skating of an offensively biased power jam resulted in a surge of additional penalties… like some sort of roller derby penalty melt-down. With fewer players on both teams, pack awareness faltered and points flowed forth like beer from a can of PBR.
Such was the case in the early moments of the Stepford Sabotage’s bout against the DC All Stars. For the first jam, Black Cherry took the line against Sookie Slaughterhouse. Sookie was called out on a penalty and the Sabotage took advantage. Black Cherry tallied an impressive 19 points for her team in this first jam. Rinko Starr and C. Mya Rage held the advantage for the Sab in the following two jams, taking lead jammer status and executing perfectly timed jam ends.
But this would be no easy ride for the hometown heroines.
Their first three lead jammer status achievements for the Sabotage were countered by five consecutive leads for DC. Still, Stepford’s defense kept the DC points down until deep in the first half when the burden of penalties once again reared its ugly head. Moments before the tide started to turn, Rinko scored 13 points in a powerjam opposite Marion Barrycuda. Suddenly, another powerjam occured… actually, two. Rage took to the jam line against Yankee Scandal. Both jammers ended up being sent to the box. Scandal took advantage of the chaos, pulling in 12 points. The Connecticut pack was slow to respond after Rage’s return to play, and the team was unable to counter with points of their own. Not two jams later as jammer Murphy’s Outlaw found her way to the penalty box more points poured in for DC, this time via the fast skating of DC Jammer Free Radical.
At the half-way point in the bout, DC had come back and led the game by two points 56 to 54.
The second half was not as tightly exciting as the first. While the teams seemed to be skating with equivalent individual capability, DC was better at capitalizing on opportunities as a team. At times, the Connecticut pack seemed disorganized. Still there were moments of synchronous perfection, as was the case in the third jam of the second half when Doomcake, Bonnie Voyage, Revengela, and Fawkes hit DC jammer Yankee Scandal in rapid succession both giving Scandal a beating and giving C. Mya Rage an opening for 6 points. These 6 points, alongside 10 pulled in by Black Cherry, and 9 by Murphy’s outlaw were the only points scored by Stepford in the second half.
Meanwhile, DC dominated. When they started getting points, the team kept getting points. Six of DC’s nine point earning jams of the second half earned the team 9 or more points, meaning they lapped the pack twice. DC’s momentum carried them through to the end of the game.
Final score? DC All Stars win 132 to 79.
Let’s do Statistics!
DC All Stars:
Free Radical: 48 points (7 leads/10 jams)
Yankee Scandal: 43 points (6 leads/9 jams)
Marion Barrycuda: 16 points (5 leads/10 jams)
Black Cherry: 37 points (6 leads/9 jams)
Rinko: 13 points (2 leads/4 jams)
Bonnie and Rage: 10 points [1 leads/1 jam (perfect record!) and 3 leads/9 jams respectively]
DC All Star Soledad and Sookie Slaughterhouse: 5 trips to the penalty box
DC All Star dr. SKabs: 4 trips to the penalty box
Stepford’s Black Cherry: 4 trips to the penalty box
Stepford’s Bonnie and Revengela: 3 trips to the penalty box
Special thanks to the Roller Girls for giving me the opportunity to recap their closed bout. If you’re interested in checking out a roller derby bout, there’s one coming up this Saturday, April 16th at the Connecticut Sports Center in Woodbridge. For more information, head over to the CT Roller Girl Website located here.