Hello 2011 (Part 1): Toronto hosts the world; Montreal tries to take it over.

The Federation of International Roller Sports has officially recognized roller derby.

WORLD DOMINATION

2010 was a coming out party for roller derby. From the wildly successful 2010 WFTDA Championships to the first ever German Flat Track Roller Derby Championship, the sport has taken the world by storm. While already the fastest growing sport in North America, with 600 leagues operating in 20 countries it is quickly becoming the fastest growing sport on the planet. With such growth comes legitimacy, and for flat track roller derby that meant acceptance into the Federation of International Roller Sports (FIRS), which (more close to home) translated into acknowledgment by the Toronto Sports Council. This official recognition marks the first baby steps toward taking part in international sporting events such as the Pan-Am, Commonwealth, and Olympic games.

ToRD will host the inaugural world cup in December

ToRD HOSTS CANADA AND THE WORLD IN 2011

The Toronto Roller Derby League enters its fifth season in 2011 as a WFTDA apprentice league (one of three current Canadian apprentice leagues), and the league has altered its hometeam schedule to mirror those in the US. After a year in which ToRD set attendance records and that culminated in a sold-out championship bout broadcast by Rogers TV, expectations are high. Things kick off on February 5th with the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls taking on the up-and-coming Death Track Dolls in what should be an exciting bout. CN Power and the D-VAS will play a double header February 26th, while the revamped Chicks Ahoy! and the vastly improved Smoke City Betties open their seasons on March 12th  in what should be a very telling bout. The regular season continues until June, with the playoffs beginning on June 11th.

Blood & Thunder Magazine selected Toronto as the host of the first World Cup of roller derby.

ToRD will also be hosting the second annual Quad City Chaos on March 26th and 27th. This season’s QCC will have reverberations beyond the city as it features all WFTDA-affiliated teams. Defending champions Montreal and the host CN Power will be joined by new WFTDA members the Tri-City Thunder and the recently named WFTDA apprentices, Rideau Valley Vixens.  As it was last year, this tournament will represent the highest level of Canadian derby to be seen this year. This all will be a prelude to ToRD’s biggest venture to date: hosting the first ever World Cup of women’s flat track roller derby. There had been rumours and whispers about this event since organizers Blood & Thunder Magazine announced that they would be holding a training camp at The Hangar (which happened this past December), and it is now official. Details are still being worked out, and this will be a massive undertaking for everyone involved, but this–along with the FIRS announcement–could begin to change the nature of the sport. The World Cup will be held on December 1-4, 2011 and will feature at least eleven countries.

Toronto Junior Roller Derby is entering its second season of operation and continues to expand. With a range of young skaters from 9-18 years old, TJRD will soon be graduating skaters to the senior ranks, which will be another game-changer for the sport. Junior Leagues, which are popping up all over North America, represent yet another step in the evolution of flat track roller derby and speak to the strong future that the sport has.

Montreal looks to build off of an exceptional 2010

NEW HEIGHTS FOR THE SKIDS

After a simply extraordinary 2010 that saw them become the first non-US team to qualify for the WFTDA Regionals, Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are not slowing down in 2011 (not to say we won’t be seeing some slow derby from the pack masters from La Belle Province). Montreal took WFTDA by storm in 2010 due to their willingness to play any team at any time no matter the ranking or reputation (which resulted in a meteoric rise in ability) and that will hold true this season as well. The Skids kick off 2011 with a west coast road swing that will see them take on Western Region powerhouses including the mighty Oly Rollers (February 13), the team currently ranked second on the planet and one of the great teams in flat track roller derby’s early history. Despite the success of 2010, the Skids know that there is another level out there to attain and seem focused on attaining it.

Skids' skaters will focus solely on the travel team in 2011.

Over the past few seasons, Montreal has taken the lead in Canadian roller derby and will continue this season as they have completed a precedent-setting league restructuring that will see the members of the Skids no longer playing on any of MTLRD’s hometeams. In what could be a model for leagues in the future, skaters will now have to work their way through the B-team Sexpos (which will remain a roster of hometeam skaters) to eventually earn a spot with the Skids. This also means that MTLRD has just had its largest intake of rookie skaters ever, changing the face of La Racaille, Les Contrabanditas and Les Filles du Rois. This has to have the rest of the top eastern Canadian hometeams salivating for the Beast of the East IV (April 29-May1), as the tournament is suddenly a wide open affair. With the makeup of the MTLRD teams virtually unknown at this point (outside of Montreal), new front runners have emerged to challenge the Montreal dominance, including ToRD’s Gore-Gore Roller Girls and Tri-City’s Vicious Dishes.

** Please feel free to use the comment section below to promote any important dates, tournaments, non-mentioned leagues, events, etc. To a successful and exciting 2011!

** Tomorrow: Part 2 will feature Tri-City, Rideau Valley, Forest City, Hammer City and more!

20 comments

  1. huge props to ToRD’s fearless leader, Junkie Jenny and all the other skaters, committee members, volunteers, et al who have contributed to an excellent year and to raising ToRD’s profile on the international derby stage.

    bigups ladies & gents,
    (that includes you, derby nerd).

  2. ” With such growth comes legitimacy, and for flat track roller derby that meant acceptance into the Federation of International Roller Sports (FIRS), which (more close to home) translated into acknowledgment by the Toronto Sports Council. This official recognition marks the first baby steps toward taking part in international sporting events such as the Pan-Am, Commonwealth, and Olympic games.”

    In order for this, Roller Derby needs to start cleaning up it’s act and start operating as a legitimate sport.

    1. Would you be able to elaborate?

      I was at the WFTDA Championships in November and everything about that tournament seemed “legitimate” to me…

      1. To start, the sexual innuendos in the names will need to go. A standard in officiating will need to be implemented. With proper training and not some hide and seek system levels.

        Most importantly the skaters will have to accept the role and begin behaving like athletes.

        Not sure the Roller Derby culture would be able to handle such shock to the system.

      2. Those are all good points, and I’m not sure where you’re from or watching your derby, but everything you’ve said that needs to happen, I’m seeing happening. I think the loose, hard living roller derby culture that typified the early days will always remain at some level (but I don’t think you’ll ever see any of those leagues qualify for any WFTDA tournaments either) and that’s fine. Take hockey, for instance: there are some terribly officiated beer leagues in every city in Canada. The lowest level of athleticism you could imagine, people who just want to blow off steam and have fun. But then there is also the NHL (and numerous levels in between).

        “Most importantly the skaters will have to accept the role and begin behaving like athletes.”

        I challenge you to walk onto the training space of the Oly Rollers (if you’re on the west coast) or the Gotham Girls (east coast)and tell them this. If you make it out alive, I’d love to hear what their response was.

  3. @The Official….

    Oh hail to you…the authority on knowing the difference between a real athlete and just someone who plays a game…

    I especially enjoy the criteria you use in making the determination of whether someone should qualify to be called an “athlete”. You quote, “To start, the sexual innuendos in the names will need to go!

    Hmmm…You got a point there…I think you need to also reach out to the NHL, NFL and all the other professional sporting organizations and tell them to get on it too…and why not call up the NBA and tell them to get with the effing program….they got a hell of a lot of name fixin to do!

    Can you believe the audacity of Charles Barkley…12 nicknames!….now that’s a sin!….Can someone please call him and tell him that Sports has officially voted him off the athletic island??

    Dare I mention “The Great One” or “Pinball”….or even how about a man who made an empire out of shoes! “Ummm Michael Jordan, you’re going to have to drop the term “air” from your name, as an athlete and a representative of professional sports, the term air is offensive and inappropriate and may lead people to doubt your abilities as a professional athlete!”…..SUUUUURRRREEEE…that makes a whole lotta sense there!

    here is a list of professional athletes that, “…will have to accept the role and begin behaving like athletes”.

    Willie Mays, “The Say Hey Kid”
    Red Grange, “The Galloping Ghost”
    Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas
    Joe DiMaggio, “The Yankee Clipper”
    “Pistol” Pete Maravich
    Karl Malone, “The Mailman”
    Ted Williams, “The Splendid Splinter”
    “Broadway” Joe Namath
    Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion
    “Shoeless” Joe Jackson
    Reggie Jackson, “Mr. October”
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – “Cap”[1]
    Ray Allen – “Ray Ray”, “Jesus Shuttlesworth”
    Rafer Alston – “Skip To My Lou”
    Chris Andersen – “Birdman”
    Greg Anderson – “Cadillac”
    Carmelo Anthony – “Melo” , “The Madness”
    Nate Archibald – “Tiny”
    Gilbert Arenas – “”Agent Zero”, “Eastern Conference Assassin”
    Trevor Ariza – “Cobra”
    Paul Arizin – “Pitchin’ Paul”
    Ron Artest – “Ron Ron”
    Ömer Aşık – “Ömer Aşşkıck”
    Stacey Augmon – “Plastic Man”
    T House – “Tordores”[9]
    Ken Bannister – “The Animal
    Andrea Bargnani – “Il Mago(The Magician)”
    Charles Barkley – “Chuck”, “The Round Mound of Rebound”,”Sir Charles”, “Prince Charles”, “Leaning Tower of Pizza”, “Pillsbury Dough Boy”,”The Human Refrigerator”,”The Flying Coke Machine”,”The Crisco Kid”, “Boy Gorge” “ChuckWagon”
    Jim Barnes – “Bad News
    Marvin Barnes – “Bad News”
    Dick Barnett – “Fall Back Baby”
    Jerry Baskerville – “Hound”
    Alfred Beard – “Butch”
    Marco Belinelli – “Beli”
    Walt Bellamy – “Bells”
    Larry Bird – “The Hick from French Lick”, “Larry Legend”
    Daron Blaylock – “Mookie”
    Tyrone Bogues – “Muggsy”
    Chris Bosh – “CB4″, “The RuPaul of Big Men” “Chris Botch” “Bosh Spice”
    Bill Bradley – “Dollar Bill”, “The Secretary of State”, “Mr. President”
    Jim Breeden – “Brick”
    Fred Brown – “Downtown Freddie”
    Shannon Brown – “Uptown”, “UPS”, “ShanWOW”, “The Human Trampoline”
    Joe Bryant – “Jellybean”
    Kobe Bryant – “Black Mamba” “Lord of the Rings”, The closer TNT
    Joe Caldwell – “Pogo”, “Jumping Joe”
    Antoine Carr – “Big Dog”
    Vince Carter – “Air Canada”, “Vinsanity”, “Half Man Half Amazing”,
    Sam Cassell – “Sam I Am”
    Wilt Chamberlain – “Wilt the Stilt”, “The Big Dipper”
    Derrick Chievous – “Band-Aid”
    Craig Claxton – “Speedy”
    Ric Cobb – “The Elevator Man”
    Vernal Coles – “Bimbo”
    Bob Cousy – “The Houdini of the Hardwood”
    Forrest Cox – “Frosty”
    Billy Cunningham – “Kangaroo Kid”
    Bob Dandridge – “Bobby D”
    Mel Davis – “Killer”
    Glen Davis – “Big Baby”, “Uno-Uno” “Shrek”
    Ricky Davis – “Ricky Buckets”
    Darryl Dawkins – “Chocolate Thunder”
    Clyde Drexler – “Clyde the Glide”
    Tim Duncan – “The Big Fundamental””Slam Duncan”
    Kevin Durant – “Durantula”
    Theodore Edwards – “Blue”
    Pervis Ellison – “Never Nervous Pervis” aka “Out of Service Pervis.”
    Julius Erving – “Dr. J”
    Derek Fisher – “D-Fish”
    Eric Floyd – “Sleepy”
    Clarence Francis – “Bevo”
    Steve Francis – “Stevie Franchise”
    Walt Frazier – “Clyde”
    Lloyd Bernard Free – “World B. Free”,”The Prince of Midair”
    Harry Gallatin – “The Horse”
    Kevin Garnett – “Go-Go Gadget Arms”, “Big Ticket”,”KG”,”The Kid”
    Pau Gasol – “Big Bird”
    George Gervin – “Iceberg Slim”, “The Iceman”,just “Ice”
    Daniel Gibson – “Boobie”
    Artis Gilmore – “A Train”
    George Glamack – “The Blind Bomber”
    Ben Gordon – “Madison Square Gordon”
    Boyd Grant – “Tiny”
    Travis Grant – “Machine Gun”
    Darrell Griffith – “Dr. Dunkenstein”
    Robert Gruenig – “Ace”
    Tom Gugliotta – “Googs”
    Harold Hairston – “Happy”
    Richard Hamilton – “Rip”
    Tom Hammonds – “The Terminator”
    Anfernee Hardaway – “Penny”
    Tim Hardaway – “Tim Bug”
    John Havlicek – “Hondo”
    Elvin Hayes – “The Big E”, “E”
    Tommy Heinsohn – “Ack Ack” “Tommy Gun”
    Grant Hill – “G “G-money”
    Darnell Hillman – “Dr. Dunk”
    Fred Hoiberg – “The Mayor”;
    Lionel Hollins – “(The) L-Train
    William Holzman – “Red”
    Robert Horry – “Big Shot Rob”or “Big Shot Bob”,”Cheap Shot Bob
    Dwight Howard – “Superman” “Foul on You”,”D12″,”Dwight The Tower Howard”, “Steel Man” “D Howard”
    Rodney Hundley – “Hot Rod”
    Andre Iguodala – A.I. 2 Iggy
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas – “Z”
    Dan Issel – “The Horse”
    Allen Iverson – “The Answer”,
    LeBron James – “(The) L-Train”,”King James”,”The Akron Hammer” “LBJ” “The Chosen One” “Bron Bron” “LB”
    Earvin Johnson – “Magic”, “Buck”, “E.J.”
    Gus Johnson – “Honeycomb”
    Larry Johnson – “Grandmama”
    Vinnie Johnson – “The Microwave”
    Damon Jones – “The World’s Greatest Shooter”
    Ronald Jones – “Popeye”
    Sam Jones – “The Shooter”
    Michael Jordan – “Air Jordan”, “His Airness”, “Cavaliers Murderer” “MJ”
    Antoine Joubert – “The Judge”
    Greg Kelser – “Special K”
    Shawn Kemp – “The Reignman”
    Jason Kidd – “Triple Double Machine”
    Andrei Kirilenko – AK47″
    Toni Kukoc – “The Pink Panther”,
    Trajan Langdon – “Alaskan Assassin”
    Lafayette Lever – “Fat”
    Nancy Lieberman – “Lady Magic”
    Jim Loscutoff – “Jungle Jim”
    Bob Love – “Butterbean”
    Ed Macauley – “Easy”
    Dan Majerle – “Thunder Dan”
    Karl Malone – “The Mailman”
    Earl Manigault – “The Goat”
    Pete Maravich – “Pistol Pete”
    Stephon Marbury – “Starbury”
    Shawn Marion – “The Matrix”
    Jamal Mashburn – “Monster Mash”
    Cedric Maxwell – “Cornbread”
    Xavier McDaniel – “The X-Man”
    Tracy McGrady – “T-Mac”, “The Big Sleeper”
    Dick McGuire – “Tricky Dick”
    Kevin McHale – “Herman Munster”, “The Black Hole”
    Dean Meminger – “The Dream”
    Mike Merchant- How’d He Do That
    Darko Milicic – “The Human Victory Cigar”
    Reggie Miller – “Skeletor”
    Yao Ming – “Chairman Yao”,”Shaquie Chan”,”The Great Wall of Yao”
    Harold Miner – “Baby Jordan”
    Bill Mlkvy – “The Owl without a Vowel”
    Earl Monroe – “Black Magic”,”Earl the Pearl”, “Black Jesus”
    Alonzo Mourning – “Zo”
    Charles Murphy – “Stretch”
    Harry Narcisian – “The Horse
    Steve Nash – “Canadian Wonder” , “Hair Canada” , “Capitan Canada”
    Fred Neal – “Curly”
    Jameer Nelson – “Mighty Mouse”,”Crib Midget”
    Dirk Nowitzki – “The German Sensation” – “WonderDirk”
    Lamar Odom – “The Candy Man””Lamarvellous”
    Shaquille O’Neal – “Shaq”,”Shaq Daddy”,”Shaq Fu”, “Diesel”, “The Big Aristotle”, “MDE” (Most Dominant Ever), “The Big Maravich”, “The Big Felon”, “The Big Cactus”,”The Big Cordially”,”Shaqtus”, “Shaqovich”, “Shaqachusetts” “Big Shamrock”, “Loveshaq”
    Hakeem Olajuwon – “The Dream”
    Michael Olowokandi – “Kandi Man”
    William Parker – “Smush”
    Robert Parish – “The Chief”
    Ruben Patterson – “The Kobe Stopper”
    Scottie Pippen – “The Second Violin”
    Chris Paul – “CP3″
    Billy Paultz – “The Whopper”
    Gary Payton – “The Glove”
    Sam Perkins – “Big Smooth”
    Elliot Perry – “Socks”
    Chuck Person – “The Rifleman”
    Paul Pierce – “The Truth”,
    Ricky Pierce – “Big Paper Daddy”
    Mickaël Piétrus – “Air France”
    Jim Pollard – “Kangaroo Kid”
    Kevin Porter – “Little Drummer Boy
    Vitaly Potapenko – “Ukraine Train”
    Anthony Randolph – “Slim”
    Bryant Reeves – “Big Country
    Jerome Richardson – “Pooh
    Mike Riordan – “Rags”
    Glenn Rivers – “Doc”
    David Robinson – “The Admiral”
    Glenn Robinson – “Big Dog”
    Len Robinson – “Truck”
    Nate Robinson – “KyptoNate” “Nate the Great” “Donkey”(
    Oscar Robertson – “The Big O”(coming from the James Thurber story, “The Disappearing O”)Mr Triple Double
    Dennis Rodman – “The Worm”
    Wayne Rollins – “Tree”
    Derrick Rose – “D-Rose” , “Poohdini” , “Buquet of Buckets”
    Arvydas Sabonis – “Sabas”
    John Salley – “Spider”
    Tom Sanders – “Satch” or “Satch Sanders”
    Jon Scheyer – “The Jewish Jordan”
    Ralph Siewert – “Sky” and later “Timber”
    James Silas – “Captain Late”
    Bobby Smith – “Bingo”
    Craig Smith – “Rhino”
    Josh Smith – “J-Smoove”
    Larry Smith – “Mr. Mean”
    Latrell Sprewell – “Spree”
    Jerry Stackhouse – “Dr. Jerry & Mr. House”
    Dave Stallworth – “The Rave”
    Amar’e Stoudemire – “STAT
    Damon Stoudamire – “Mighty Mouse””
    Isiah Thomas – “Zeke””Cuts” “The Baby-Faced Assassin”
    David Thompson – “The Skywalker”
    Sedale Threatt – “The Thief”
    Andrew Toney – “The Boston Strangler”
    Robert Traylor – “Tractor Traylor”
    Melvin Turpin – “Golden Arches”
    Nick Van Exel – “Nasty Nick”,”Nick Van Excellent”, “Nick the Quick”
    Anderson Varejao – “Wild Thing”
    Sasha Vujacic – “The Machine”
    Dwyane Wade – “Flash”,”D-Wade”
    Chet Walker – “The Jet”
    Clarence Walker – “Foots”
    Ben Wallace – “Big Ben”
    Rasheed Wallace – Sheed
    Donald Watts – “Slick”
    Anthony Webb – “Spud”
    Chris Webber – “C-Webb”
    Marvin Webster – “Human Eraser”
    Delonte West – “The Uncle”
    Jerry West – “Mr. Clutch”,”The Logo”, “Zeke from Cabin Creek” “Mr. Logo”
    James Williams – “Fly”
    Jason Williams – “White Chocolate”
    Jerome Williams – “The Junkyard Dog”
    John Williams – “Hot Rod”
    Jamaal Wilkes – “Silk”
    Dominique Wilkins – “The Human Highlight Reel”,”Nique”
    Corliss Williamson – “Big Nasty”
    Bill Willoughby – “Poodles”
    Nick Witherspoon – “Spoon”
    John Wooden – “The India Rubber Man” James Worthy – “Big Game James”
    Max Zaslofsky – “Slats”

    1. That is an impressive list. However you missed the point. They don’t print those nick names on there gameday uniform.

      Most of the names comment on their style of play or atleast are a play on their names.
      Of that list what name would you deem inappropriate?

      Yes in beer leagues there are alot of bad officiating. However, these beer league players are not claiming to be head to the World Championships of Beer Hockey.

      1. Terribly busy legitimizing my sport at the moment, but I really must interject.

        I wonder if we’re actually talking about anything more than sexual BIAS rather than innuendo. Skimming the short list of nicknames R’effin has supplied, “Hot Rod” “Wild Thing” and “Big Nasty” do more than imply sex, yet derby players are blamed for choosing their own moniker before some sportswriter or fan does it for them?

        Truth be told, many skaters choose a pseudonym *because* bias already exists. We are mothers, daughters, school teachers, politicians, police officers, lawyers, and professional women who are sometimes required to distinguish these roles from one another. Choosing a derby name is one way to do that. Until we can make our living playing this sport, and forsake those careers that punish us for doing what we wish after working hours, it’s a necessary evil.

        What worries me is that you seem focused on the back of our shirts rather than the sport we’re working double shifts to develop. I wonder who’s failing that is – ours or yours?

  4. While I don’t want to stoke the fire anymore–I truly hope that you can find a roller derby league that fits your taste–I couldn’t help but point this out:
    “…these beer league players are not claiming to be head[ed] to the World Championships of Beer Hockey”
    I beg to differ:

    http://www.worldpondhockey.com/

    Also, my point was that there will eventually be a rainbow of commitment levels, talent levels etc.Show me any sport that was fully defined and realized after only 8 years of existence. It took hockey about 80 years or so (depending on when you spot creation) to allow players to pass the puck forward. I think flat track roller derby is moving incredibly fast. In 2006 there were about 30 leagues playing the sport (and really only 20 at a remotely competitive level). Only 5 years later there are over 400 with at least 100 at a competitive level.

    Things are happening fast in this sport.

    And, in fairness–and in your defense–, I should point out that when Sports Illustrated covered the 2010 WFTDA championship, they used the players’ real names and not their derby names…

  5. @The Obvious….I didn’t miss the point. You did. Nick name or not….offensive or not…does not define the skill or abilities of an athlete. The name on a jersey has nothing to do with the way in which the sport is played!

    I saw a batter spit in the bull pen AND then again in the batter box….*gags*….now that’s effing offensive. Still…respectable athlete…wouldn’t advocate to say he needed to start “behaving like an athlete”….what IS “behaving like an athlete” anyway???.

    We could drum up aspects of every sport that are offensive to someone. But why not look at the bigger picture of how a new amazing sport has broken ground…just like all other sports once did. Celebrate the achievements and give respect to the people that have worked so hard to make this sport happen and recognize that it was done for the most part by the players, for the players. As hockey and Soccer and Football and Basketball, once had home sewn jersey’s…they grew too…and if we stay excited about it and support it’s growth for what it is, one day Roller Derby will have it’s sponsors and arenas and names in lights!

    As for nick names vs. real names on the jersey….I hope no matter what the print says…they’ll always call me R’effin!

    1. I don’t know when their next intake is. I do know that they just had their annual draft, so they may not have one for a while…

      Can any Montrealers out there help out with info?

  6. I am really interested in the topic of the outfits and names in the roller derby culture, and have given it much pondering! I’d like to take the opportunity to share my perspective as a skater who wears a leopard print bathing suit as my uniform.

    I really feel that the base issue here is that humans have a tendancy to create correlations where they don’t really exist. Or, correlation without causation. Perhaps this is left-overs of some survival tactic; perhaps there are already studies out there on the topic (there are some great ones about pigeons and gambling!).

    For example – for many years, women wore dresses. Dresses came to define “women”. Why? Who knows?! Then, women wore… PANTS!!! Shocker. But really, neither pants or dress make you or don’t make you a woman. (Yet we still insist on giving it a special name when men wear dresses, for some reason.)

    Obama is black AND a president. Does this matter? Only as far as our society creates a false connection about skin colour and presidency. Really, the two are not related at all.

    Now move to athletes. What defines an athlete? Not their uniform or their nicknames, as was mentioned in previous posts. It has a lot more to do with sweating and eating healthy, to simplify what it takes to be an athlete. Keeping in mind, I don’t think being an athlete necessarily means you’ve won gold on an olympic podium – you can be training and sweating at different levels of competition. My home team, the Gore-Gore rollergirls, may not be in the Olympics, or even competing at WFTDA level, but we still hire a nutritionist, have an off-skates fitness trainer, and get really sweaty at every practice! We consider ourselves athletes in training.

    I see three very important reasons for roller derby athletes to continue to wear whatever they want, and use whatever kinky names they come up with.

    First, I see it as an opportunity to challenge this whole idea of creating correlations where they don’t exist (stereotyping). The Nerd mentioned Oly earlier. While they are obviously fantastic athletes and derby players, they aren’t my favourite team – personal preference – because I feel like they have passed up an amazing opportunity to challenge the stereotype of what makes a sport or an athlete. That said, it’s a personal preference, and I don’t personally know them, so maybe I am maybe not seeing something that is really there. Anyway, I’m sure there is room in derby for all sorts of representations of the sport. And even Oly keeps the derby names! Clitty Clitty Bang Bang – how great is that!!!!

    Second, I see the derby ‘uniforms’ and names as a tribute to derby’s history. I think it’s very important in life to acknowledge your roots. Maybe you don’t think that when you’re 15 and rebelling against all things parental, but I like to think derby is more mature than that. Yep, the outfits and nick names are a sign of maturity! It’s a reminder of where it started, and of how far the sport has progressed since it’s early years, without losing sight of the beginning.

    Lastly, the campiness of derby makes the sport accessible to more than just sports fans. We can have fans who read the stats and are into the sport of derby AND we can have fans who come to see some leopard print bathing suits. It doesn’t have to be either/or. Since derby leagues are skater owned and operated, roller derby skaters know business, and know the importance of the spectators. What’s wrong with being an athlete AND wanting to look sexy??

    Hopefully I’ve made a good argument for keeping the kinky/campy names and outfits. I don’t mean to offend or heat things up any more, just trying to encourage thinking outside the box. Derby for everyone!

    Eternally defending my leopard print bathing suit & fishnets,

    Brim Stone, #21:8
    Toronto Roller Derby League
    Co-Captain of the Gore-Gore Rollergirls & CN Power

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