Vicious Dishes

Beast of the East: History by the Numbers

Beast of the East: By the Numbers

To get ready for the 2012 Beast of the East, take a look back at the history of the tournament.

PARTICIPANT HISTORY (BOE 2012 participants first)

Team League BOE Record Notes
Les Duchesses RDQC  0-2 Second appearance.
Thames Fatales FCDG 4 – 7 Quarter final in 2010
Hamilton Harlots HCRG 7 – 4 Fourth Appearance (2008-2010). Missed 2011. Champs in 08.
Derby Debutantes GTAR 2 – 6 Fourth appearance.
La Racaille MTLRD 14 – 4 Runners-up in 08, 10. Champs in 2009.
Les Contrabanditas MTLRD 12 – 5 2nd place in 2009. 3rd in 2010.
Les Filles du Roi MTLRD 13 – 4 Semi-final losses in 08, 09. Champs in 2010
Slaughter Daughters RVRG 7 – 4 Fourth appearance. Champs in 2011
Chicks Ahoy! ToRD 6 – 7 Quarterfinals in 2008. 4th place in 2011.
Death Track Dolls ToRD 6 – 7 Quarterfinals in 2009. 3rd place in 2011
Smoke City Betties ToRD 3 – 7 Semi-final 2009.
Gore-Gore Rollergirls ToRD 10 – 4 Forfeit 2009 at 3-0. 4th 2010. Runners-up 2011
Vicious Dishes TCRG 5 – 6 Fourth appearance. Quarterfinals in 2010, 2011
Motor City Madames DRRD  - First appearance
Babes of Thunder TBRD  - First appearance
Reines of Terror MRR  - First appearance
NOT APPEARING in 2012
Death Row Dames HCRG 3 – 5 2008-2010. Quarterfinals in 2010.
Steel Town Tanks Girls HCRG 1 – 1 2008
Bay Street Bruisers ToRD 1 – 3 2008, 2009
D-VAS ToRD 0 – 1 2008
London Thrashers FCDG 0 – 1 2008
Bytown Blackhearts ORD 0 – 1 2008
Capital Carnage ORD 0 – 2 2009
Devil Dollies QCRG 1 – 1 1st US team (2008)
Derby Dames Grn Mtn 2 – 1 2nd US team. Quarterfinals in 2010
Chrome Mollys GTAR 0 – 2 2011
Riot Squad RVRG 1 – 4 2010, 2011
Total Knock-Outs TCRG 0 – 2 2011
Venus Fly Tramps TCRG 2 – 6 2009-2011

PAST CHAMPIONS

Hamilton Harlots won the first Beast of the East in 2008. (Photo by Derek Lang)

2008: Hamilton Harlots (HCRG)

2009: La Racaille (MTLRD)

2010: Les Filles du Roi (MTLRD)

2011: Slaughter Daughters (RVRG)

RECORDS

Wins: 14 (La Racaille [MTLRD] 2008-2011); Win%: 78% (La Racaille [MTLRD] 2008-2011)

Points Per Game (tournament): 80 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010) Points Against (tournament): 9 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010)

Most Points (Bout): 148 (Les Contrabanditas [MTLRD], 2011) Combined/Differential: 148 (Les Contrabanditas 148 vs. Chrome Mollys [GTAR] 0, 2011) [*The Gore-Gore Rollergirls [ToRD] were the first team to score 100 points in a bout–a 103-11 victory over Capital Carnage in 2009; Les Filles du Roi did it against the Vicious Dishes in 2010; four different teams accomplished it in 2011].

YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS

(Generally, all games 20 minutes until final, which is 30)

Beast of the East 1: 2008

First Round

POOL A

Steel Town Tank Girls 40 vs Smoke City Betties 18
La Racaille 65 vs The Bytown Blackhearts 29
Death Row Dames 17 vs Devil Dollies 54
D-VAS 27 vs Les Contrabanditas 50

POOL B

Gore Gore Rollergirls 13 vs Hamilton Harlots 52
Bay Street Brusies 45 vs Thames Fatales 38
London Thrashers 13 vs Chicks Ahoy 65
Death Track Dolls 23 vs Les Filles du Roi 37

Quarter Finals

Steel Town Tank Girls 30 vs La Racaille 32
Devil Dollies 16 vs. Les Contrabanditas 42
Chicks Ahoy 30 vs Les Filles du Roi 38
Hamilton Harlots 53 vs Bay Street Bruisers 15

Semi Finals

Hamilton Harlots 58 vs Les Filles du Roi 29
Les Contrabanditas 32 vs La Racaille 39

Final

Hamilton Harlots 55 vs. La Racaille 18

* Read the Derby Nerd’s reflections on a tournament he didn’t see.

Beast of the East 2: 2009

First Round (Double Elimination)

Capital Carnage 11 Gore-Gore Rollergirls 103
Death Row Dames 23 Thames Fatales 19
Les Contrabanditas 59 Venus Fly Tramps 26
Slaughter Daughters 24 Smoke City Betties 32
La Racaille 67 Bay Street Bruisers 10
Chicks Ahoy! 48 Vicious Dishes 32
Les Filles du Roi 77 Death Track Dolls 6
Derby Debutantes 6 Hamilton Harlots 69
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 32 Death Row Dames 5
Capital Carnage 20 (eliminated) Thames Fatales 67
Les Contrabanditas 34 Smoke City Betties 20
Venus Fly Tramps 14 (eliminated) Slaughter Daughters 48
La Racaille 36 Chicks Ahoy! 35
Bay Street Bruisers 16 (eliminated) Vicious Dishes 21
Les Filles du Roi 34 Hamilton Harlots 25
Death Track Dolls 61 Debutantes 20 (elimin.)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 35 Les Contrabanditas 26
Death Row Dames 15 (eliminated) Smoke City Betties 24
Thames Fatales 28 (eliminated) Slaughter Daughters 68
La Racaille 35 Les Filles du Roi 43
Chicks Ahoy! 21 (eliminated) Hamilton Harlots 38
Vicious Dishes 27 (eliminated) Death Track Dolls 32
 

Quarter Finals

Gores (forfeit) Smoke City Betties
Les Contrabanditas 28 Slaughter Daughters 25
Les Filles du Roi 24 Hamilton Harlots 11
La Racaille 77 Death Track Dolls 17
 

Semi Finals

Smoke City Betties 23

 

 

Les Contrabanditas 33

La Racaille 38 Les Filles du Roi 20
 

Third Place (Cancelled)

Smoke City Betties

 

 

Les Filles du Roi

 

Final

Les Contrabanditas 34

 

 

La Racaille 49

* Read the Derby Nerd’s commentary.

* Read a bout-by-bout recap by DNN’s Justice Feelgood Marshall .

Beast of the East 3: 2010

First Round (Double Elimination)
Thames Fatales 38 vs. Smoke City Betties 11
La Racaille 81 vs. Chicks Ahoy!12
Green Mountain Derby Dames 40
vs. Riot Squad 17
Death Row Dames 63 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 6
Les Contrabanditas 72 vs. Death Track Dolls 9
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 43 vs. GTA Derby Debutantes 20
Vicious Dishes 37 vs. Slaughter Daughters 20
Les Filles du Roi 92 vs. Harlots 6
La Racaille 91 vs. Thames Fatales 0
Chicks Ahoy! 89 vs. Betties 15 (eliminated)
Green Mountain Derby Dames 29 vs. Death Row Dames 15
Venus Fly Tramps 43 vs. Riot Squad 14 (eliminated)
Les Contrabanditas 63 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 17

Derby Debutantes 38 vs. Death Track Dolls 29 (eliminated)
Les Filles du Roi 115 vs. Vicious Dishes 7
Harlots 28 vs. Slaughter Daughters 24 (eliminated)
Thames Fatales 24 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 15 (eliminated)
Death Row Dames 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 34 (eliminated)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Harlots 20 (eliminated)
Vicious Dishes 52 vs. Derby Debutantes 24 (eliminated)

Quarter Finals
La Racaille 57 vs. Vicious Dishes 4
Les Contrabanditas 64 vs. Death Row Dames 11
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Green Mountain Derby Dames 22
Les Filles du Roi 91 vs. Thames Fatales 12

Semi Finals
La Racaille 69 vs. Les Contrabanditas 46
Les Filles du Roi 65 vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls 1

Third Place
Les Contrabanditas 91 vs. Gores 21

Final
Les Filles du Roi 36 vs. La Racaille 20

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

* Watch the archived bouts.

Beast of the East 4: 2011

First Round (Double Elimination)

Duchesses de Quebec 4 vs. Derby Debutantes 124
La Racaille 55 vs. Riot Squad 7
Chicks Ahoy! 63 vs. Total Knockouts (TKOs) 7
Filles du Roi vs. Death Track Dolls 47
Vicious Dishes 50 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 48
Contrabanditas 148 vs. Chrome Mollys 0
Slaughter Daughters 38 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 28
Thames Fatales 75 vs. Smoke City Betties 12
Derby Debutants 8 vs. La Racaille 100
Duchesses du Quebec 4 vs. Riot Squad 97 (Duchesses eliminated)
Chicks Ahoy! 40 vs. Death Track Dolls 21
TKOs 0 vs. Filles du Roi 81 (TKOs eliminated)
Vicious Dishes 21 vs. Contrabanditas 27
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 131 vs. Chrome Mollys 10 (Mollys eliminated)
Slaughter Daughters 62 vs. Thames Fatales 12
Venus Fly Tramps 66 vs. Smoke City Betties 14 (Betties eliminated)
Derby Debutants 29 vs. Filles du Roi 62 (Debutantes eliminated)
Death Track Dolls 84 vs. Riot Squad 8 (Riot Squad elimanted)
Vicious Dishes 49 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 3 (Tramps eliminated)
Thames Fatales 36 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 49 (Thames eliminated)

Quarter Finals
 La Racaille 11 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 88
Contrabanditas 49 vs. Death Track Dolls 58
Chicks Ahoy! 48 vs. Vicious Dishes 8
Slaughter Daughters 81 vs. Filles du Roi 3

Semi Finals
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 51 vs. Death Track Dolls 11
Chicks Ahoy! 19 vs. Slaughter Daughters 33

Third Place
Death Track Dolls 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 31

Final
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 85 vs. Slaughter Daughters 87
 

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

* Watch the archived bouts

* The thrilling final jam of the 2011 Beast of the East:

2012 Season Preview: Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Wins Losses +/- Notes
2011 Regular Season 3 0 +184 Won 10, 11 and 12th straight ToRD bouts.
2011 Playoffs 0 1 - 65 First loss since 2008 championship

2011

The Gore-Gore Rollergirls were the model franchise of ToRD’s first half decade.  In the first five seasons they appeared in every championship game and compiled an impressive 17-3 overall record (13-1 regular season, 4-2 playoffs) that included a 12 bout ToRD winning streak that stretched from 2009 to last season’s Battle for the Boot. As last season began, there was little indication that this would change. They stormed out of the gates in 2011 defeating the Death Track Dolls to kick off the season (the Dolls, by the way, are the only team to ever defeat the Gores in a regular season game). They would continue their winning streak, posting their third straight undefeated regular season, but they would also have success outside of ToRD as well.

The Gores have been the most succesful team in ToRD's early history. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Entering the Beast of the East as slight favourites, they lost in the early going in a final-jam nail-biter (to the Vicious Dishes), but persevered to book their ticket to the final where for the second time in the tournament they fell in dramatic fashion to some final-jam heroics (this time to RVRG‘s Slaughter Daughters). Nonetheless, it was their first appearance in the tournament final and topped a successful Beast for ToRD teams (who finished second, third and fourth).

But in the Battle for the Boot they were brushed aside by a Chicks Ahoy! team that had been on the rise all year, and exposed some possible depth issues with the Gores. Never able to fully replace Lunchbox, the Gores relied too much on a two-jammer rotation, and their once dominant pack did not have the bench depth to compete against the Chicks. The margin of defeat, 111-46, was the greatest the team had ever suffered in ToRD play.

hellbat showed no fear of jamming in her time with the D-VAS. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

LOSSES AND GAINS

There isn’t much change to the Gores’ roster in 2012. Motley Cruella and Lulu Cthulu (a promising rookie in 2011) are gone from the lineup, but to this day, it is obvious that the Gores are still feeling the 2010 retirement of jamming great, Lunchbox. Despite attempts last year to incorporate Brim Stone into the jammer rotation, her value in the pack was simply too great to give her a regular spot. But the answer may have finally come in the Gores’ sole draft pick this year, hellbat. A two-season D-VAS veteran, hellbat seems custom made for the Gores. A confident swagger, a fearless attitude, and perhaps more importantly, a hunger for the star make her the ideal Gores draft choice.

But with very little change in the roster, it will be of vital importance to develop from within, and some second and third year skaters will have to be called upon to step up their games if the Gores hope to compete for the Boot once again this season.

The Gores generally rely on veterans like Molly Boom to pivot. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

BY POSITION

His Unholiness the Reverend Ramirez returns for an unprecedented sixth season behind the Gores bench and his calculating calmness has become an essential element of the Gores bench. With so little change in the lineup he’s got a veteran crew to work with.

Pivot:  Last year Molly Boom was the dominant pivot for the Gores, with veterans Brim Stone, Lady Gagya, Kandy Barr and Foxy Sinatra rounding out an experienced core. Another long-time Gore Junkie Jenny has also been known to don the stripe, and don’t be surprised to see some second and third year skaters (like Chronic, for example) get some opportunities to lead the pack.

Blocker: Over the past two seasons the pack has revolved around a core group of Hurlin’ Wall, Aston Martini, Santa Muerta, Chronic and Gamma Rei. With no new additions to the pack, there will be a great opportunity for third year skater Miss Kitty La Peur (who spent most of last year on injury reserve) and second year skaters Emma Dilemma, Mace O’Kissed, Wheely Nasty and Draculaura (formerly known as Pinky Violence) to step into more crucial roles in the pack.

Bambi has recorded the highest JQ rating in 4 of ToRD's first 5 seasons. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Jammer: In Bambi and Dust Bunny, the Gores have two of the most dominant jammers in ToRD’s early history (Bambi has recorded the highest JQ rating in four of the league’s five seasons, with Dust Bunny in 2007 the only skater to ever rate higher). But after that, it trails off. 2011 Triple Threat Brim Stone is more than capable, but will undoubtedly be needed in the pack; Santa Muerte could be called upon to take up some of the slack while rookie hellbat evolves into a regular role on the rotation as the season progresses.

EXPECTATIONS

Dust Bunny and Gamma Rei after a 2011 regular season win over the Chicks Ahoy! (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The Gores will need to develop from within to compete with the Chicks’ this season. Arguably, they have an advantage in that they retained most of their roster from last season, but as it stands, still look incapable of competing with the Chicks over the long term. While they will be pushed by the Death Track Dolls (and maybe even the Smoke City Betties, who surprised them them in last year’s season finale), they have the offensive depth (fantastic jammer-blocker communication and comfort) to be competitive. Look for the Gores to start slow and build as the season wears on and some gaps are slowly filled by developing skaters. When the playoffs roll around, don’t be surprised to see the Gores in their sixth straight Battle for the Boot.

2011 STATS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Scoring was down 136 points over previous season.
  • 2010 rookie of the year Hurlin’ Wall led the team in +/- with a +115. Dust Bunny’s +108 was tops among jammers in the entire league.
  • Santa Muerta led the team in blocks (41) and tied Hurlin’ Wall in knockdowns (5). Hurlin registered 39 blocks herself. Molly Boom, Brim Stone, Lady Gag-ya and Aston Martini all registered over 20 blocks.
  • Bambi was the highest rated jammer in the league for the 4th season in a row with a 41 JQ rating; she led the league in scoring (147 points) and points per jam (3.5). Dust Bunny led the team with a 72% lead percentage and scored 128 points.
  • The Gores were built around a core of blockers led by Molly Boom who skated 55% of her team’s jams. Hurlin Wall (46%), Brim Stone and Lady Gag-ya (45% each), and Aston Martini (44%) were close behind. Molly Boom found herself in the penalty box more than any other as well, registering 5 minutes in penalties. Bambi and Santa Muerte sat for 4 minutes each.

***The Chicks and Gores meet in the 2012 season opener at The Bunker in Downsview Park. Tickets are on sale now! The Bout will also feature a showdown between this year’s D-VAS in a D-VAS Black vs. D-Vas Red bout. Doors for this double header open at 5:00 PM.

Tri-City closes out home season with double-header dominance.

The Tri-City Roller Girls hosted teams from Montreal and Toronto on Saturday night in the finale of their hometeam season. It’s been a fantastic season for the skaters from Tri-City, with the Venus Fly Tramps rounding into a deep and well-rounded team, the TKOs emerging from fresh meat status to become a full-fledged competitive team and the Vicious Dishes proving that they belong near the top in the discussion of top Canadian hometeams. Of course, all of this has filtered down from the success of the Thunder, TCRG’s WFTDA travel team (who will continue their season with a bout against Killamazoo on October 15th). And in the most fitting of conclusions, both Tri-City teams were victorious in their bouts.

Game 1: D-VAS (ToRD) 41 vs. TKOs 140

Tiny Dancer (TKOs) was the dominant jammer on the night, while triple threat Renny Rumble has proven to be the most game ready of the D-VAS.

Coming off of a big loss two weeks ago to Guelph’s All Stars, the D-VAS continued their all-important fall season. With ToRD’s hometeam entry draft only weeks away, this would be the last chance for these skaters to make a big impression. There were variations to the lineup for the D-VAS as Scarcasm and Babushkill made their on-track debuts. The TKOs were concluding a season of learning and development where they stood up to stiff competition at their first Beast of the East, scored a big victory over a Royal City team and played in a fantastically competitive bout against the Luscious Lunch Ladies, their fresh-team counterparts from Forest City. They were determined to come out hard in the final bout of the season and did so in front of a loud, supportive audience.

In the face of excellent TKO pack work, D-VAS Roadside Bombshell ran into some early penalty trouble.

As it did in their last bout against Royal City, penalties proved debilitating for the D-VAS in the early going. Early jammer penalties to Roadside Bombshell and Laya Beaton allowed the TKOs to take advantage of power jams to pull ahead 25-5 only 7 minutes into the game. Booty Two Shoes, Ruby Shrew (who was also excellent in the pack) and Tiny Dancers paced the offense for the home team in the early going and took advantage of loose Toronto packs as well. With the score 38-5 nearing the halfway point of the opening frame, Ames to Kill (in her first action with the star) and Roadside Bombshell finally pulled off two lead jams in a row to begin a little bit of a push back for the Toronto team. Renny Rumble continued her excellent play leading up to the draft (adding jammer to her already impressive resume) and was the most effective D-VAS one-on-one. But physical play from TKOs’ Annaslaysia Killsemov  and Scorcheon kept things in check, allowing them to go into the half with a 68-26 lead.

TKO pivot Fox Smoulder continued her excellent pack work.

Nonetheless, with Chicks Ahoy! bench manager Flyin’ Bryan Killman and Raunchy Hextall running the bench, it was a much more focused D-VAS team that took to the track on this night, with clearer strategies and much tighter pack work in play. But the difference in experience was evident in the later stages of the bout. Very quietly, Fox Smoulder continues to develop into a serious pack presence in Tri-City and it was only in the later stages of the game when things got looser and packs were stretched that her excellent pack work became more obvious, directing formations and frustrating D-VAS one-on-one. With penalties adding up  Laya Beaton took off the star and headed into the pack where she did some of her best work of the night, setting the tone early in the half with a sold jammer take out on Booty Two Shoes (though Laya would end up ejected late in the game). But Tiny Dancer, especially, led the jammer dominance for the TKOs on this night, often forcing calls when she didn’t get lead, and using a well-played power jam with ten minutes left in the bout to rack up 20 points and put the game away. The D-VAS stayed with it to the end and crossed the 40 point threshold on the final jam of the night when solid blocking from Mean Streak allowed Bombshell through the pack to put up the final points of the game and guaranteed that this would not be a triple-digit loss.

Game 2: Les Contrabanditas (MTLRD) 80 vs. Vicious Dishes 113

Montreal champs, Les Contrabinditas sent a roster that included replacement skaters from La Racaille and Hammer City.

The lineup of Les Contrabanditas was barely recognizable from the one that won its first Montreal championship this past season, but with borrowed skaters from leaguemates La Racaille and a few last-minute imports from Hammer City, they were able to track a competitive roster that gave the talented Vicious Dishes a solid, competitive bout to end an impressive season that saw them play top eastern hometeams (their only full-bout loss came to Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters), and have an impressive run at the Beast of the East. This victory actually gave them some measure of revenge over their Montreal opponents, who’d scored a victory over them at the aforementioned annual tournament.

Dishes jammer Motorhead Molly breaks through a Ditas wall.

It took a while for the slap-dash Ditas to get things going and the Dishes certainly took advantage of their early organization problems. With Sexpos/La Racaille jammer Greta Bobo in the box, Team Canada’s Motorhead Molly tore up the track on the power jam to help the Dishes roar out of the gates, up 28-0 very quickly. With usual pivot Jill Standing off skates, solid blocker Stacie Jones took up extra shifts with the stripe and helped orchestrate the patented pack work of the Dishes. Actually, solid pack work from both sides was the story in the early going, as halfway through the opening period the score was a defensively sound 36-3. sin-e-star was a force once again dominating in the pack whether positionally or physically, while pivot/blocker Bareleigh Legal keeps making a case for herself as one of eastern Canada’s top one-on-one blockers. But it was a well-paced and consistent offense led by Motorhead Molly, Skate Pastor and Lippy Wrongstockings that was able to counteract a Ditas offense led by outstanding first-year skater Greta Bobo and Ti-Loup (fresh from an impressive performance for the New Skids on the Block at WFTDA’s Eastern Regional Championships last weekend). But with Hustle Rose, Mange-Moi El Cul and Beats Per Minute not dressed, the Montreal champs did not have the depth to compete offensively and found themselves staring up at an 85-14 disadvantage at the half.

Led by jammer Ti-Loup, the Ditas started to push back in the second half.

But Montreal skaters and teams are known for their resiliency and ability to bounce back , so it was never worth counting them out. There was a noticeable difference when all-Ditas lineups were out, and late in the bout the Dame of Doom – Bikini Skills – Ninja Simone trio proved up to any challenge that the Dishes threw their way. And when the Ditas started to come together late, they began to push back in a big way. Sofanda Beatin and Meg N’ Plead also donned the stripe to lead the packs for the Dishes who had to weather a storm that brewed slowly. With the score 91-41, two Dishes’ blockers in the box and the Ditas pressing, captain sin-e-star jammed in a pivotal defensive, time-wasting jam that sprung the penalized skaters and kept the Ditas at bay at an important moment in the bout. Suzy Slam had a smart game too, and the subtle forward-hip strikes from Anita Martini kept frustrating the Ditas blockers. The visitors from Montreal did end hard though, and narrowed the score considerably in the last five minutes, but when Ti-Loup lined up against Dishes’ popular blocker Stacie Jones (giving the assistant captain the opportunity to close out the game for her team), the outcome was sealed, and while the Montreal team made a big pick up to close out the game (and win the second half 66-33), it was another impressive home track victory for the Vicious Dishes to close out another impressive season.

Beast of the East 2011: Daughters Go Undefeated to Tame the Beast

The top three teams at the 2011 Beast of the East (Slaughter Daughters, Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the Death Track Dolls). (Photography by Derek Lang)

Last year, at the 2010 Beast of the East, amidst all of that Montreal dominance, there were some major surprises. The Toronto Roller Derby League had a terrible tournament by their own standards, with the Smoke City Betties, Death Track Dolls (both 0-2), and Chicks Ahoy! (1-2) all eliminated unceremoniously in the first round. Similarly, Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters—who had an amazing 2009 and came into the tournament with high hopes—were two and done on Saturday. At the 2011 Beast of the East it was a different story, as the Ontario teams were the talk of the tournament and the Slaughter Daughters would be the only squad to go through both days undefeated to deservedly hoist the award, that to trophy-designer Tommy Toxic’s credit, was the by far the most beastly yet created.

La Racaille (MTLRD) and The Derby Debutantes (GTAR) face off in the double elimination round.

DOUBLE ELIMINATION ROUND

The cliché is that records are made to be broken, and although coming into the tournament there was a lot of talk about parity among the top teams, records were set and then broken continuously on day one. It began right with the opening game of the tournament when the GTAR’s Derby Debutantes became the third team to lay down 100 points in a BOE bout with a 124-4 victory against BOE newcomers Les Duchesses de Quebec (who were playing their first-ever bout). It was just the beginning of record setting scores as four teams would be capable of putting down 100 points (the Debutantes would become the first team to have 100 points scored for and against in the same tournament). When all was said and done, it was Montreal’s new-look Contrabanditas setting all of the records in a 148-0 shutout against the GTAR’s Chrome Mollys (who were the second of three teams playing in their first BOE).

For the most part, the opening bouts of the double elimination round went as expected; if there was an upset, it would be the Death Track Dolls victory over the defending champion Filles du Roi (who were tracking an almost unrecognizably young lineup after MTLRD’s off season shake-up)—a bit of foreshadowing of the Dolls-as-Montreal-killers on the weekend. The top game of the opening round easily went to the much anticipated matchup between the Vicious Dishes and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Two of the pre-tournament favourites—the top teams from Tri-City and ToRD—did not disappoint. Although the two teams had never played before, there was considerable history built up in recent, tense bouts between the all star teams of the two leagues. This one came down to the final jam, with the Dishes pulling out a thrilling two-point victory.

The Dishes would also be involved in another close first round bout, on the losing end this time to the Ditas (27-21) although both teams would make it through to the round of eight. Joining them in the quarterfinals were the Ditas’ MTLRD league mates La Racaille (who went 2-0), and defending champs FDR who had to win a qualification showdown against the Derby Debutantes. The quarters were rounded out by the Slaughter Daughters and three Toronto teams, the perennial powerhouses Gore-Gore Rollergirls along with Chicks Ahoy! (first quarterfinal experience since 2008), and the Death Track Dolls who returned to the second round for the first time since 2009.

ToRD's Gore-Gore Rollergirls saved their best for day two, scoring one-sided victories in both the quarter and semifinals.

PLAYOFFS

Quarterfinals

From the opening bout of the quarterfinals, it was clear that the top teams were able to step it up to another level when it mattered most. MTLRD’s La Racaille, who had a solid opening day, were dominated by the considerably more experienced Gores, 88-11, marking the first time that La Racaille, the most successful team in the tournament’s early history, would not qualify for the final. Two of the other bouts were somewhat one-sided as well, with the Slaughter Daughters throwing down their “A” game in a 71-3 victory, knocking out the defending champion Filles du Roi; similarly, pre-tournament favourites the Vicious Dishes just couldn’t ever wrestle momentum away from a very physical, very tight Chicks Ahoy! team, going down 48-8, in what was an extremely close bout until the Chicks were able to pull away on the strength of a well-executed power jam with Dyna Hurtcha sporting the star.

ToRD's Death Track Dolls recorded the biggest upset of the tournament in their quarterfinal win over MTLRD's Les Contrabanditas.

But it was the Death Track Dolls and Les Contrabanditas who would provide the greatest excitement in the second round. Montreal’s hopes were clearly on the backs of the experienced Ditas, who looked to be the strongest, most consistent team in day one of the tournament. The Dolls, on the other hand, were already pleased with a return to the second round of competition, which, regardless of what happened, qualified as a success. Not surprisingly, the experienced team from Toronto came into the bout loose and relaxed; taking advantage of early penalty troubles from the Ditas, the Death Track Dolls rode some consistent pack work and fine jamming from Land Shark and breakout player Santilly In Yo Face to an early lead that they would hold onto in the face of a considerable push back at the end of the bout, holding on for the 58-49 upset to push three of the four Toronto teams into the semifinals.

The Slaughter Daughters' bench watches the scoreboard during the final jam of the 2011 Beast of the East.

Semifinals

In the first all-ToRD semifinal, the Death Track Dolls just couldn’t summon the kind of performance that had led them to their win over the Ditas, what may have been the biggest victory in the team’s history. After a so-so Saturday that saw them hold on for a victory over Thames Fatales in a qualifying bout, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls continued to step it up on Sunday. They’d had some slow starts in the first round and certainly remedied that, pulling away from the Dolls early to qualify for their first ever BOE final. It was vindication of sorts for the team that has been the tops outside of Montreal for the past two years.

In the second semifinal, the Chicks Ahoy! continued their strong play on Sunday, creeping out to a slim 8-4 lead in what was another scrappy and defensive performance from the ToRD team. But the Slaughter Daughters showed the same kind of focus and determination that they had all tournament and stayed close, taking their first lead, 11-9, at the midway point of the bout. It would remain close through to the very end, with both teams displaying fantastic pace control defensively to keep things tight and low scoring. It was 19-19 with just under two minutes left when Soul Rekker took a lead on a hard-fought, slow moving jam that allowed her to pick up a double grand slam to break the stalemate and give the Daughters a 10-point lead that they defended, riding a 33-19 victory to advance to the finals.

RVRG's Slaughter Daughters: 2011 Beast of the East champions

Finals

The Death Track Dolls capped off a hugely successful tournament with a historic 42-31 victory over their ToRD rivals, Chicks Ahoy!, in the third place bout. The Chicks didn’t have much left in the tank, their previous two bouts being defensive grinders against very physical opponents. For the Dolls, it represented their first victory over the Chicks after some very close bouts over the past two seasons, and their best showing in this tournament.

When all was said and done, and 14 teams fell away, it was clear that the two best teams of the tournament remained. Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters and ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls were set to make history as the combatants in the first ever all-Ontario final. The final lived up to and eventually surpassed all possible expectations, coming down to a remarkable final jam. Five-on-five these two teams were well matched, keeping the crowd guessing through numerous lead changes (including three on a Ripper A. Part vs. Bambi jam that had no lead called). What it came down to was special teams and who could take advantage on power jams. Despite leading by 16 at the start of the final jam, the Gore’s jammer Bambi took her fourth minor on her initial scoring pass to send the inexhaustible Soul Rekker on a power jam. Semi Precious and Assassinista led an indestructible trap that kept the pack crawling, and with only 9 seconds left, Soul Rekker was finally able to complete the comeback and take the 20110 Beast of the east 87-85. (*There seemed to be some confusion about scoring at the end, although it looked like Rekker made four, five-point scoring passes).

The Daughters were more than worthy champs, facing any style of play they encountered with confidence and adaptability. They had extraordinary depth at jammer (easily the top 1-2-3 jammer rotation in the tourney), and played special teams simply, but masterfully, owning pace lines and setting hard traps.

The Nerd's 2011 MVP: Semi Precious of the Slaughter Daughters

THE NERD’S PICKS

MVP: Semi Precious (Slaughter Daughters)

After last year’s pack-play-evolution, it was obvious that the team with the top pack would do very well this weekend: that was certainly the case with the champion Slaughter Daughters who could dole out timely punishing hits, positionally block one-on-one with the best of them, and set devastating traps. At the centre of it all was Semi Precious. Big-time recognition has been a long-time coming for this extraordinary blocker.

Breakout Player: Assassinista (Slaughter Daughters)

There were at least a few players in the running for this one, but once again, the packs were the difference all weekend and Assassinista was undeniably a force in the Daughters’ championship pack. This is almost a cumulative recognition for Assassinista whose play for both her hometeam and the travel team Vixens has been turning a lot of heads for some time. This weekend, she proved that she deserves recognition among the elite.

The Nerd's 2011 Breakout Team: The Death Track Dolls (ToRD)

Breakout Team: The Death Track Dolls (ToRD)

In 2009, Dolls’ star jammer Land Shark took home this recognition as a player; two years later, and she’s leading her team to the award. The Dolls recorded an early minor upset over a young FDR squad, and then looked lacklustre in a loss against leaguemates, the Chicks Ahoy!, but things got rolling in a must-win, 84-8 surprisingly dominant victory against the Riot Squad. A major upset over Les Contrabanditas in the quarterfinals, and a third place rematch win over the Chicks cemented this teams’ status as breakout team of the tourney.

* The Beast of the East in its entirety was boutcast live by Canuck Derby TV and has been archived for your viewing pleasure.  Keep an eye out for layer9’s trackside archive as well.

***A special thanks to Montreal Roller Derby who hosted another amazing tournament and Canuck Derby TV for making sure that everyone could see it.

2011 Beast of the East: Preview

This is the fourth edition of the important tournament.

Although the role of the Beast of the East tournament has shifted over the years, its value, and its importance in the development of a stable, sustainable Canadian roller derby community is undeniable. More and more the shift in focus in roller derby in general is toward the travel teams: the teams striving to compete at WFTDA’s highest level. All over North America the growing trend is for more travel-team based tournaments as a way in which to get a handful of sanctioned bouts done in a short period of time (necessitated by the realities of travel expenses, scheduling and the other trivialities that get in the way of a rollergirl’s derby life). So to have a tournament devoted solely to hometeams is becoming an increasing rarity; it also casts an aura of levity around the event: it becomes as much about a celebration of the sport than anything else. But that’s not to imply that teams don’t want to win (they do), and certainly there is a particular expectation in the air this year, as the recalibration of the Montreal Roller Derby League means that its new-look hometeams will not be as formidable a juggernaut as they have been in the history of this tournament, and certainly were last year.

In the beginning the Beast was an opportunity to learn the sport, both on and off the track. On the Friday before the inaugural 2008 tournament, the participants gathered for a viewing of Hell on Wheels, the documentary that tracks roller derby’s revival at the turn of the millennium, and inadvertently the birth of the flat track version of the sport. By 2010, when all three of Montreal’s hometeams completely dominated the tournament, the Beast had become an opportunity for Montreal to introduce the ever-evolving strategies of the sport that they’d learned toiling at the front lines of roller derby’s highest competitive levels. There was a distinct culture shift last year: it became evident that to remain competitive at flat track roller derby, it was necessary to reach for a higher level of physical training and strategic consideration.

One year later, it will be fascinating to see how the teams have adapted; which teams accepted the formidable challenge and have stepped up their games.

THE COMPETITION

Hammer City's absence will be felt (The Death Row Dames were quarterfinalists in 2010). (Photo by Derek Lang)

The noticeable absence this year is Hammer City. Three HCRG teams have played in the Beast of the East, with the Harlots winning the first BOE in 2008, and even last year they were a serious presence as the Death Row Dames went on a spirited run to the quarterfinals. The league has refocused, and reshaped with a clearer focus on travel teams (word on the track is that the historic Harlots will be retained as a B-Team). Nevertheless, 13 teams will be returning from last year including six of the eight teams from the quarterfinals (Vermont’s Green Mountain Derby Dames are the other absent quarterfinalists). Three new teams will be debuting including fresh league additions in GTA (The Chrome Mollys) and Tri-City (The Total Knock Outs), while the newly formed Les Duchesses de Quebec will be making their bouting debut.

ToRD's Gore-Gore Rollergirls have been the top non-Montreal team for the last two years; this could be their opportunity. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The biggest change in competition comes through Montreal’s realignment. All three of Montreal’s teams have qualified for the semifinals in every tournament (a run that has included all-Montreal finals in the last two tournaments, won by La Racaille and Les Filles du Roi respectively), but this year with the top fourteen players being lifted from their hometeams to play exclusively with the New Skids in the Block, there will obviously be some growing pains for the Montreal teams (only one team, La Racaille, has played with its new roster, scoring a 60 point victory over the GTA’s Derby Debutantes). This opens the window for a handful of teams who have the experience and depth to do very well in 2011 including ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls, Tri-City’s Vicious Dishes, and Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters. While the Montreal teams remain largely mysterious, they have all retained an important core and shouldn’t be counted out; on paper anyway, Les Contrabanditas look to be most dangerous as they retain seven skaters from last season’s impressive team and picked up two more vets in the off season (Beats Per Minute from Les Filles du Roi, and Low Dive Jenny from La Racaille).

Death Track Dolls and Les Filles du Roi will meet in the opening round; they last met in the opening round of the 2009 BOE. (photo by Derek Lang)

EXPECTATIONS

The timing and nature of this tournament make predicting what will happen tricky. A team could potentially play up to six bouts over the course of the weekend which means that energy conservation and roster juggling become important aspects of the game. Also, the 20 minute mini-bouts mean that often anything can happen: a good power-jam could be the difference, and teams that take longer to warm up could be at an obvious disadvantage. On top of this, there are also differences in the amount of track time these teams have had as well, with the ToRD teams potentially already rounding into mid-season form.

Only the opening match ups in the double elimination round are set, with paths getting complicated after that. While it doesn’t appear that there will be any major upsets, there are a few intriguing pairings. At the top of the list is the Gore-Gore Rollergirls vs. Vicious Dishes bout. Either of these teams are capable of winning this tournament, and if all goes as predicted may even cross paths again in the semi-finals (regardless of who wins this one). The Smoke City Betties and Thames Fatales game could also be an entertaining one, with both teams already having some bouts under their belts this year (and the Betties improving quickly). Finally the Death Track Dolls vs. Les Filles du Roi bout could be surprising. Les Filles (the defending champs) lost a lot of skaters to the Skids realignment and look like they will be tracking a very inexperienced team: because of that, there could be an upset up the Dolls’ sleeve. The harsh reality is, is that one win is not enough and half of the teams will be done by Saturday night.

This could finally be the year Les Contrabanditas rise to the top in MTLRD.

While Montreal may not have the dominant squads they once did, I still think all three teams will make it through to the quarterfinals, joined by three ToRD teams (The Gores, Chicks Ahoy! and Death Track Dolls), the Vicious Dishes and the Slaughter Daughters. Unfortunately for the hosts, I think the round of 8 will mark the end of the road for two-time finalists and ’09 champs La Racaille and the defending champion Les Filles du Roi, with the final four being the Dishes, Gores, Ditas and Daughters. I honestly think anything could happen between these four teams, but it would be nice to see the Gores (or Dishes) and Daughters meet in the final to truly bring an end to Montreal’s dominance. In both 2009 and 2010, the Gores were clearly the top team outside of MTLRD, and this could finally be the opportunity they need. The Ditas, though, who always seemed a step behind one of their Montreal counterparts will be extremely motivated to finally break through and win this.

Whoever manages to prevail, to be capable of pulling it off nothing less than a monumental effort will be required.

***The Beast of the East 2011 gets under way at 8:00 am on Saturday, April 30 at Arena St. Louis. If you’re not going to be in Montreal on the weekend, no need to worry! For the second-year in a row, all of the action will be boutcast live on Canuck Derby TV beginning at 8:00 AM (eastern) and running straight through until a champion is crowned on Sunday.

Quad City Chaos Preview (Part 2)

Tri-City defeated CN Power 122-50 in the team's final bout of 2010. (photo by Joe Mac)

THE UPSTARTS

In 2010, the focus of Canadian roller derby was clearly on Montreal’s New Skids on the Block, which allowed for another amazing roller derby story to go unnoticed by many outside of the Ontario derby community: the rise of Tri-City. Playing in the shadows of Hammer City, ToRD and even Forest City for years, the skaters of the Tri-City triangle have slowly been creating a juggernaut, and 2010 was a coming out party of sorts. In terms of hometeams, the Venus Fly Tramps continued to grow more competitive, and the league added a third team, the Total Knock-Outs to the mix. The league’s top team, the Vicious Dishes, was emerging as one of the top hometeams, not only in Ontario, but in the country. Vctories over ToRD’s Chicks Ahoy! and both Hammer City hometeams exposed the Dishes as a team to watch.

These solid foundations led to the dramatic rise of the Thunder. With their only losses coming against the top tier of Canadian competition (Montreal hometeam Les Contrabanditas and B-Team Sexpos), their strong victories over a string of American travel teams (Roc City, The Lake Effect Furies, Assault City, and Detroit’s Motor City Disassembly Line) turned some heads. But it wasn’t until their final bout of the season that they truly showed how far they’d come: a 122-50 victory over CN Power gave the team a solid 5-2 record on the season and managed to shake up the power politics of Canadian derby. It was arguably a crowning achievement on a fantastic year that saw them graduate into full WFTDA status.

Motorhead Molly leads a breakout jammer contingent for the Thunder. (photo by Joe Mac)

Tri-City’s strength is in its pack. Led by the pivot Jill Standing and the untiring blocking trio of Anita Martini, Bareleigh Legal and sin-e-star, Thunder is capable of playing a stifling pack defense that led them to victories over Roc City Roc Stars and Lake Effect Furies early in the season. While defense is a traditional Tri-City strength, the biggest development over 2010 was the improvement of their offense: Skate Pastor, Motorhead Molly and Lippy Wrongstockings proved to be a more than capable trio for the Thunder in 2010, playing smart, strategic derby even in low scoring, grinders. But they also helped show that Thunder is capable of switching gears and winning a shoot out, as they did in a 134-126 victory over Detroit’s Disassembly Line. The depth of the roster has only increased as all the Tri-City teams become more competitive. Greta Garbage and Gunmoll Mindy provide a lot of depth in the pack, with Garbage capable of laying down some hits or joining front walls, Mindy holding that inside line, and Lilith No Fair joining the pivot corps. Kitty Krasher, Cell Block Bettie and Freudian Whip are all capable of donning the star to jam as well, which provides this team with fantastic depth at offense.

The Thunder should have a slight depth advantage over Rideau Valley, and in terms of pack control and defense, may be the best match-up for Montreal, but I think it’s safe to say that all eyes are on Thunder’s rematch with CN Power to close out the tournament on Sunday (at 4:20 p.m.). Thunder could go a long way in solidifying their position as the team to watch in 2011 with a second consecutive victory over ToRD’s all stars.

The Vixens played their first ever bout at the Hangar, falling to CN Power 199-49. (photo by Derek Lang)

THE DARKHORSE

In 2009, Rideau Valley Roller Girls added a second team, the Riot Squad, to help develop the league and build on the success of the Slaughter Daughters. By 2010, they’d expanded yet again, this time adding the Vixens, a travel team. Due to the quick expansion, there were some growing pains in the early going, with some big losses to tough competition in Toronto (CN Power),  Steel City (B-Unit) and Montreal (Sexpos). But the growth in those months from the one-sided defeat in Toronto to the solid showing in Montreal was undeniable. It only took about six months for the Vixens to gel. By the end of the next six months, they’d evened up their 2010 record with three-straight victories beginning with a confidence boosting blow out (210-54) over the Jerzey Derby Brigade’s Corporal Punishers. They followed that up with two more explosive, one-sided wins against Utica, and Maine’s Calamity Janes.

Soul Rekker (jamming here against CN Power's Land Shark) is the Vixens' biggest offensive threat. (photo by Derek Lang)

Nonetheless, with their last three bouts coming south of the border against unknown competition (in that they don’t have any cross-over opponents with any of the other teams at the QCC), this considerably more experienced Vixens squad is somewhat of an unknown, which is why they are a darkhorse in this tournament. The only clue we have as to how good this team could be is in the performances of their hometeams, and the Slaughter Daughters are quietly becoming one of the top hometeams in eastern Canada, while their other team, the Riot Squad is certainly up and coming, recently taking ToRD’s Smoke City Betties to the limit in a bout. Even when they were losing early in 2010, the talent on the team was obvious. The two captains are the undeniable leaders on the track: Semi-Precious dominates at both leading her pack and delivering devastating take outs; Soul Rekker is an explosive jammer, and will lead the Vixens’ offense, proving equal to the top jammers in the tournament. And while this team is comparatively inexperienced in travel-team play, there is a surprising depth to the lineup, especially in the pack.

The Vixens' pack is led by Semi Precious and a core of Slaughter Daughters. (photo by Derek Lang)

Dee Dee Tee, Sister Disaster and Ripper A. Part round out a veteran jammer lineup, while the pack is loaded full of solid positional and striking blockers. ASSASSINista, Big Block, Blackout Susan, Drunky Brewster, and Surgical Strike form the core of the Slaughter Daughters roster, and that familiarity has bled over to the Vixens. Riot Squad’s Slavic Slayer, Margaret Chock, and N. Toxicate round out a sold pack that could pose problems for the other teams.

Rideau Valley will be aiming to knock off either CN Power or Thunder (and ideally both), and either is conceivable. They’ve been playing a similar amount of games as both teams and are undoubtedly a far different team than the one that last visited the Hangar. The fact that as the Vixens, they are relatively unknown to either team also makes them dangerous. CN Power and Tri-City can make necessary adjustments to face each other based on familiarity; the Vixens will, at the very least, have them guessing, and if they can catch either team off guard, they’ve proven capable of putting up big numbers.

THE RAMIFICATIONS

With all four teams competing at some level within WFTDA, this tournament is important to establish where, exactly, the teams stand in relation to one another. Montreal is currently creeping up to the top 4 in the Eastern Region and playing them will give the Vixens an idea of how competitive the top level of their Region really is. ToRD’s CN Power and the Tri-City Thunder will be chasing each other (and Hammer City) up the rankings in the North Central, making this just the second of what will certainly be many meetings between these teams.

For the New Skids on the Block, they’ll get a chance to pad their stats in the Canadian Roller Derby Rankings and have a competitive warm up for a potentially season-changing Eastern Region tournament in England against London, Steel City (Pittsburgh), and the 3rd ranked Charm City (Baltimore).

On a larger scale, the Quad City Chaos offers a glimpse of the potential beginnings of WFTDA’s Canadian Region.

**Tickets are available online or at various ticket outlets in Toronto. Doors on Saturday open at 1:00pm. For a full schedule, check here.

**Read Part One (focusing on CN Power and The New Skids on the Block) .

Watch ToRD.TV’s video preview of QCC, featuring interviews with CN Power co-captain Lady Scorcher and bench manager Sonic Doom:

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!