A Few to Watch in 2011
In eastern Canada in 2010, no league turned more heads than Tri-City. Top hometeam the Vicious Dishes scored huge victories over ToRD runners-up the Chicks Ahoy! and both hometeams from Hammer City. This season, TCRG has added a third hometeam as well, the Total Knock-Outs, who look to help drive uip the competitive level during the home season. The Thunder clapped loudly this season as well, when the Tri-City travel team closed out the year with somewhat of an upset in a one-sided victory over ToRD’s CN Power. Having attained full WFTDA status (they’ll join Hammer City’s Eh! Team in WFTDA’s North Central Region), the Thunder will embark on an ambitious first season in the big leagues challenging a number of North Central foes including Chicago Outfit (in Chicago on May 14) and Killamazoo (at home in October); they’ll also play Montreal’s New Skids on the Block in a closed bout in March, which could be their toughest challenge of the year. With such a challenging and exciting schedule, the Thunder could be this year’s New Skids on the Block.
If the Thunder are this year’s Skids, than this year’s Thunder will be the Rideau Valley Vixens. Adding a second hometeam late in 2009 and then creating the Vixens early in 2010, last year the Ottawa league suffered some early growing pains. So-so performances at the Beast of the East were a far cry from the Slaughter Daughters’ run to ’09 quarterfinals, but it all proved to be for the best: Both the Daughters and the Riot Squad picked up some big late season victories. Taking the Montreal approach and jumping into competition head on, the travel team Vixens took their lumps early in 2010 with losses to tough teams in Toronto, Montreal and Pittsburgh, but they continued to reach wide and aim high for competition and spent the rest of the year turning the tides with a series of big victories south of the border over New Jersey (Jerzey Derby Brigade) and Utica. They begin 2011 as Canada’s latest WFTDA apprentice league.
The Expanding Eastern Canadian Scene
The Thames Fatales had another strong season in 2010. Starting with a solid showing at the Beast of the East, the Thames Fatales made forays south as well, scoring some big victories in the US, while making inroads in Canada too with some improved performances against Hammer City and two one-sided victories over GTAR’s Derby Debutantes. With a new Fresh Meat squad (The Luscious London Lunch Ladies), and a continued acceptance of all challenges, the skaters from Forest City could be the next break-out Canadian league. A potential WFTDA apprenticeship in the future?
GTAR was another league to make some big steps forward in 2010 with the Debutantes shocking the competition at the Beast of the East and putting in a hard-fought performance against Edmonton’s E-Ville. An addition of a second team, the Chrome Mollys, could help them narrow the gap between them and the other eastern Canadian leagues. Canada’s original WFTDA league, Hammer City, will also look to rebound after an up-and-down year. With the Eh! Team unable to work their way up the WFTDA rankings, suffering some big losses, including their first ever loss to ToRD’s CN Power. Hammer City hometeams also suffered setbacks to Tri-City and saw the gap narrowed between them and Forest City. But with the realigned hometeam rosters creating a competitive parity between the Death Row Dames and the Harlots that hasn’t been seen in years, Hammer City could get that competitive edge back in 2011.
New roller derby leagues continue to sprout at a surprising rate as well. In Ontario, leagues in Sudbury (Nickel City Roller Derby–who will be playing ToRD’s D-VAS in February), Guelph (Royal City Rollergirls), Oshawa (Durham Region Roller Derby), and Kingston (Kingston Derby Girls) are on the verge of bouting, and there are so many other leagues sprouting up that this is really just the tip of the iceberg of the sport in this province. But the sport is moving further east as well with leagues forming in Quebec City, Moncton (Muddy River Rollers), St. John (Fog City Rollers), Charlottetown (Red Rock ‘N Roller Derby) and St. John’s (709 Derby Girls). The Nerd has a personal interest in the development of a stable league in the city of his birth, Halifax, Nova Scotia. And is excited to say that after a few false starts in the city, the Halifax Roller Derby Association finally has solid leadership and is up and running and gaining a lot of momentum. With Muddy River set to host the region’s first major flat track roller derby training camp in July, 2011 will see a huge surge in the participation in and popularity of roller derby in eastern Canada. This bodes well for the future.
**The Derby Nerd will be business as usual in 2011 continuing here and also my work behind the mic for ToRD.TV. One change is that I will be writing about learning the sport from the inside as well, as I embark on ToRD’s latest Fresh Meat training session. You can follow my growing knowledge of the practical side of roller derby on the Nerd Meat: The Nerd Does Derby page (beginning Friday). Also, I’ve done a little reorganization of the site (to the stats and results pages) and you can now subscribe and share!
**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!