DVAS

Cold Cuts and Charcuterie Reigns Supreme as Roller Derby Quebec Dominates Fresh ’15

It was an all-Quebec final at the Fresh and the Furious 2015 as Roller Derby Quebec squared off against Montreal Roller Derby (Photo by Jeff Davad courtesy of Jammer Line Magazine)

It was an all-Quebec final at the Fresh and the Furious 2015 as Roller Derby Quebec squared off against Montreal Roller Derby (Photo by Jeff Davad courtesy of Jammer Line Magazine)

So, Canada, in case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a new flat track roller derby power rising in the east, and it is looking more and more ready to ascend to the top.

On Saturday, Roller Derby Quebec’s Viande Froide et Charcuteries (take a moment to let that great name sink in!) won the Fresh and the Furious 2015 in absolutely dominant fashion, completing a summer season in which the league’s two house league teams finished 1-2 at the Beast of the East and the travel team, Les Duchesses, has been quietly training at a high level, including one unsanctioned game each against Montreal’s two travel teams.

Quebec's Divacop and Taminator wrap up a Queen's Court jammer in a first round matchup. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Quebec’s Divacop and Taminator wrap up a Queen’s Court jammer in a first round matchup. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Roller Derby Quebec was already on most people’s radars, especially after the Beast run, but after this weekend’s performance by the league’s freshest skaters, there should remain no doubt that this is the league to watch. It was as dominant a run as we’ve ever seen at the one day, sixteen-team event: Five straight wins with an average differential of 87 points; 584 total points scored (a record), with a per-game average of 117 points; and the second highest scoring single game in tournament history (155).

And did I mention that they managed to do all this with seven skaters?

Rogue D-VAS' jammer Noodle Kaboodle attempts to get past Thicket blocker Erin Blockabitch in a first round game. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Rogue D-VAS’ jammer Noodle Kaboodle attempts to get past Thicket blocker Erin Blockabitch in a first round game. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Amalgamated leagues and tiny benches were the story of the grueling fifteen-team, one-day tournament (played on one of the hottest days of the summer at that), with a majority of teams skating with mixed rosters (including perennial powers Toronto Roller Derby, whose D-VAS—mixed with Kingston skaters—finished out of the Top 3 for the first time ever), and while for the past two years the Quebec teams had optioned to skate as a unified provincial team, this year Montreal sent a fully loaded Smash Squad (eventually finishing second) while the debuting Roller Derby Sherbrooke bolstered its numbers with a few extra bodies from Trois-Rivieres. With many teams under the 14-skater norm, two teams, the Thicket from Forest City and Quebec, ended up with less than 10. Quebec actually started with 8 skaters, but one of the team’s top jammers, Chlomydia, was injured early in the first game. The Viande Froide handled the loss brilliantly, showing the perseverance and incredible endurance that has become the hallmark of this league.

Eventual third-place finishers Our Ladies of Pain opened the tournament with a win over the Renegade Derby Dames. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Eventual third-place finishers Our Ladies of Pain opened the tournament with a win over the Renegade Derby Dames. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Quebec’s growing provincial dominance was a big part of the Fresh story in 2015. Montreal’s Smash Squad returned as an independent team for the first time since winning it all in 2012 and played wonderfully, dominating usually strong entries from Toronto, Royal City (in the semifinal), and the defending champion Cannon Dolls (from Capital City) in the opening game of the tournament. Sherbrooke’s Les Rebelles also surprised, and did so in dramatic fashion. After dropping the opening game to the Hamutantes (a GTA/Hammer City mixed team that also performed exceptionally), Les Rebelles needed to win two in a row to advance; first, they eliminated Ottawa’s Cannon Dolls in a thrilling 94-92 game, before managing to score one point as time expired to cancel a final-jam 10-point comeback by the DRRD’y Farmers in an 81-80 win that sent them to the quarterfinal knock-out round.

Sherbrooke's impressive run to the quarterfinals included a thrilling, last second one-point victory over the DRRD'y Farmers in a must-win elimination game. (Photo by Jeff Davad courtesy of Jammer Line)

Sherbrooke’s impressive run to the quarterfinals included a thrilling, last second one-point victory over the DRRD’y Farmers in a must-win elimination game. (Photo by Jeff Davad courtesy of Jammer Line)

Sherbrooke’s run eventually ended at the hands of Royal City’s Our Ladies of Pain, who had a fantastic day (buoyed by the largest cheering section of the tournament). After a third place finish in 2011 and reaching the Fresh final in 2012 (as the Top Herloins), Royal City had not advanced beyond the quarters since, but did so this year, falling in the semifinals to the Smash Squad in a rematch of that 2012 final. Another league that quietly had a bounce back tournament was the lone US entrant, Queen City’s Queen’s Court. After a final four finish at the inaugural Fresh in 2011, the team had failed to advance beyond the first round since, but they narrowly knocked off Wellington’s surprising Bloody Marys to do so this year.

Despite the variety of fine performances, the narrative of this tournament ran directly through the winning team. A five-skater pack (featuring blockers Divacop, Dildodo Bombass, Ninge Turtle, Cunts’n’Roses, and pivot KillEasy) and a two-jammer rotation (Taminator and Izzy Gonzales, who seemed light years ahead of the competition) ran roughshod over the competition, dominating from start to finish and showing that even if Roller Derby Quebec has not ascended to the top of the pyramid of competitive Canadian derby just yet, the strength of its base (seemingly so far ahead of everyone else’s), means that it’s just a matter of time.

THE RESULTS

Double Elimination: ArenaNEO Fights 75 vs. South Simcoe Rebel Rollers 73Roller Derby Quebec 124 vs. Queen’s Court 10

Rogue D-VAS 47 vs. Thicket 67

Renegade Derby Dames 59 vs. Our Ladies of Pain 76

NEO Fights 14 vs. Quebec 155

South Simcoe (elim.) 69 vs. Queen’s Court 107

Thicket 58 vs. Our Ladies of Pain 114

Rogue D-VAS 102 vs. Renegade Derby Dames (elim.) 59

NEO Fights (elim.) 56 vs. D-VAS 70

Thicket (elim.) 91 vs. Queen’s Court 111

Double Elimination: Bubble 705 Bombshells 42 vs. DRRD’y Farmers 53Smash Squad 121 vs. Cannon Dolls 50

Les Rebelles 43 vs. Derby Hamutantes 136

DRRD’y Farmers 56 vs. Bloody Marys 96

Smash Squad 76 vs. Hamutantes 57

Cannon Dolls (elim.) vs. Les Rebelles 94

DRRD’y Farmers (elim.) 80 vs. Les Rebelles 81

Hamutantes 107 vs. 705 Bombshells (elim.) 37

Quarterfinals

 Our Ladies of Pain 102 vs. Les Rebelles 54

Roller Derby Quebec 102 vs. Hamutantes 45

Smash Squad 97 vs. Rogue D-VAS 37

Bloody Marys 59 vs. Queen’s Court 62

Semifinals

Roller Derby Quebec 103 vs. Queen’s Court 16

Our Ladies of Pain 76 vs. Smash Squad 153

Third Place

Our Ladies of Pain 119 vs. Queen’s Court 101

Championship

Roller Derby Quebec 100 vs. Smash Squad 46

**This year’s Louisa Kalimeris Heart Award went to Les Rebelle’s Malicious, who always seemed to jam with a smile.

**Once again, Layer9.ca was there to provide a live feed of all the action on both tracks. The archives are already up, so be sure to check them out. As an added bonus, most of the games featuring teams from Quebec include bilingual commentary.

Advertisements

The Fresh and the Furious Returns to Give Glimpse of the Future of Flat Track

Fresh 15 PosterIf you want to know what the future of eastern Canadian roller derby looks like, head on down to Ted Reeve Arena this weekend for the 2015 Fresh and the Furious tournament. This is the fifth year this GTA Rollergirls-hosted fresh-meat tournament will be held under this moniker, but it has its roots as far back as 2008 when it was called the Virgin Suicides Brawl, and has proven an incredibly important launching point for not only individual skaters in Ontario and Quebec, but for whole leagues as well. Actually, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that a majority of the current generation of skaters in Ontario and Quebec made their debuts at this very event, and the WFTDA teams in the two provinces are full of past participants.

A Beast of the East style, 16-team double-elimination tournament (held over one day on two tracks, mind you), this year’s bracket has a slight hitch as only 15 teams will be competing (Kingston and ToRD have merged their fresh meat teams for the event, neither having enough skaters who qualified under the “fresh” rules); however, this year’s tournament excitingly welcomes some new leagues as well.

Once again, layer9.ca will be there to live stream the complete event, with single cameras on each track until the later knock out rounds when a full boutcast will bring you the medal-round action.

For a link to the bracket, click here. And here’s a breakdown of where you can find each team. Beginning at 7:00 PM (seminfinals), the tournament shifts to one track.

THE BUBBLE

An amalgamation of the freshest skaters from six Northern Ontario leagues, The NEO Fights return to Fresh after an interesting 2014 tournament saw them become the highest scoring team to be eliminated in two games (they scored 219 points in their two losses and despite the early elimination, were the second highest scoring team in the first round); they kick things off against long-time participants South Simcoe at 11:00 AM, in the opening game of the tournament.

The Bubble track actually features a who’s who of Fresh history. Roller Derby Quebec (who formerly participated as part of a Quebec provincial fresh meat team) will debut against Buffalo’s Queen’s Court (Queen City remains the lone US team in the tournament—they’ve been a part of it since the start). The Kingston/Toronto mixed team, the Rogue DVAS, will take on Forest City’s Thickets (quarterfinalists last year). Wrapping up the opening round games in the Bubble are two perennial Fresh participants, the Renegade Derby Dames and Royal City’s Our Ladies of Pain.

*Catch the Bubble live stream here.

THE ARENA

Wellington Roller Derby’s Bloody Marys will get a bye past their opening match, but will face the winners of the Arena’s opening game, featuring Durhams DRRD’y Farmers and the 705 Bombshells (another amalgam team featuring leagues in and around the 705 area code). 2012 champs Montreal’s Smash Squad returns to the tournament (after being part of the Quebec provincial team in the last two tournaments) and will square off against the team that won it all last year, Capital City’s Cannon Dolls. Finally, the host Derby Debutantes will close out the opening round games with a showdown against Les Rebelles, who represent the debuting Roller Derby Sherbrooke.

*Catch the Arena live stream here.

 

PAST WINNERS OF THE “SLOPPY CUP”

Sloppy Cup

 

YEAR WINNER RUNNER-UP THIRD PLACE
2008 Death Row Dames (HCRG) Venus Fly Tramps (TCRD) Slaughter Daughters(RVRG—then ORD)
2011 Gold Miner’s Daughters (GCRG) D-VAS (ToRD) Queens of Pain (RCRG)
2012 Smash Squad (MTLRD) Top Herloins (RCRG) D-VAS (ToRD)
2013 Les Bûches (Quebec) D-VAS (ToRD) Hammer City/Pulp Affliction (ORG)
2014 Cannon Dolls (CCDD) Les Bûches (Quebec) D-VAS (ToRD)

 

**Remember to tune in to layer9.ca starting at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning to catch all of the fresh and furious action. As an added bonus, games featuring teams from Quebec will have a bilingual live stream.

Future Stars Set to Face Off at Fresh and Furious Once Again

The third Fresh and Furious tournament (GTA Drift), hosted by GTA Rollergirls, will take place on July 14 at Ted Reeve Arena.

At last year’s 2Fresh 2Furious, eight separate leagues were represented in the quarterfinals with the upstart Gold Miner’s Daughters just rounding into form as they knocked off  Durham Region, Royal City and then ToRD’s D-VAS in succession in the elimination round to upset the field and win the tournament. It was a shocking victory for everyone in attendance, as the team from Timmins came from out of nowhere. It was shocking enough that even Nick L Bagg, the Daughters’ coach, would refer to it as “incredible.”

But that’s exactly the kind of tournament that the Fresh and Furious showdown is: a place for new skaters, new teams, and even new leagues to test themselves—often for the first time—against outside competition; it’s a chance for fresh-faced teams to see how far they’ve come, or how far they still have to go.

One of the founders of the tournament, Splat Benetar, points out that a “freshie” tournament like this is more important now than ever, “Derby has become such a strategic, fast skating, fast thinking and hard hitting game, that having a freshie environment gives these skaters a chance to play teams that have equal experience as themselves.”

Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift is the third year that they tournament has run, providing the up-and-coming stars of eastern Canadian roller derby an opportunity to get some important tournament experience, but also just that all-valuable track time. Splat points out that despite the “fresh” nature of the skaters, the competitive level of the event has increased every year: “Many newer skaters are developing their skills and learning strategies faster each year…I think it does stem from the veteran League (members) teaching their Fresh skaters all these skills and strategies.”

The one-day double-elimination style tournament will feature fourteen teams dueling over two tracks, and while all fourteen teams will at least get two games, the top two teams will get a bye directly to the quarterfinals. There are returning leagues, but certainly some new and exciting ones as well.

TRACK ONE: TED REEVE ARENA

Border City (in blue) and South Simcoe (squaring off last year) will both be sending teams again. (Photo by Joe Mac)

ToRD’s D-VAS, South Simcoe’s Rebel Rollers, Windsor’s Border City Brawlers, and the Royal City Roller Girls are all returning from last year’s tournament with a fresh batch of skaters to introduce to the community. Joining these teams will be three leagues making their Fresh and Furious debut: the Renegade Derby Dames, London’s Violet Femmes (a  LOCO derby league), Woodstock Roller Derby’s Woodstock Warriors, and Montreal’s Smash Squad.

While it’s almost impossible to predict how these young and inexperienced teams will respond to the tournament setting, the inclusion of Montreal in this pool automatically makes things intriguing. “Montreal has amazing top-level skaters teaching their fresh skaters,” Splat points out, “so they will be hard to beat.” The freshest of skaters from Canada’s most successful league will certainly become automatic front runners and will open the tournament against Woodstock Roller Derby, not only a fresh team, but a very fresh league.  The Border City Brawlers and D-VAS matchup is intriguing as well, as Border City made an impressive league debut at last year’s tournament, and it will be interesting to see how the second wave of Windsor skaters competes. Royal City, another league that did well last year and that has been surging since, will also undoubtedly introduce an impressive new group. While the nature of this tournament means that everything is essentially up in the air, look for Montreal, D-VAS, Royal City and Renegade Derby Dames to come through this bracket.

Guelph’s Royal City will be sending a team again, as will Gold City, the unified Timmins league. (Photo by Joe Mac)

TRACK TWO: THE BUBBLE

Aside from the freshly formed Lindsay Roller Derby, the Bubblle will feature leagues with at least one year’s experience now under their belts. Durham Region had a strong showing last year, defeating the eventual champion Gold Miner’s Daughters in the first round before exiting in the quarter finals. The Gold Miner’s new league, Gold City, will also be represented in this bracket, undoubtedly hoping for the same exciting results as last year, while Capital City (Ottawa), Queen City (Buffalo), and the host GTA (sending the Derby Debutantes) round out the slightly more experienced bracket in the Bubble. While once again a tough bracket to predict, look for the always well trained Queen City team to excel. Splat also  points out that the home team Debutantes are a team to watch: “Their understanding of derby strategy and great sense of team work makes them a contender.” Of course,  Timmins (who will be merging with fresh skaters from Soonami as well) will want to show that last year’s stunning performance wasn’t just a one off, but a sign of successful things to come.

Toronto’s D-VAS and Timmins’ Gold Miner’s Daughters met in last year’s final (the Daughters won 67-24). (Photo by Joe Mac)

Beyond the obvious importance of having a showcase for the next generation of up-and-coming skating talent, this tournament is exciting in its unpredictability. With fresh faces at various levels of skating ability and experience, as with last year, there are a few factors that will determine the winner. The team that not only has the endurance to last the day, but that is able to come together and improve as the day goes on will be the team that has the most success.

But the tournament is about much more than winning. As Splat Benetar points out, it’s as much about gaining that all important derby attitude: “Let’s face it, just a few months ago (many of these skaters) were wobbling and falling, trying to learn to skate and now they are out there kicking butt.  I would say that these so called ‘Freshies’ are so impressive and with their positive attitude, they will grow our sport.”

***Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift takes place on July 14 at Ted Reeve Arena. First whistle is at 11:00 AM. Tickets are available at select retail locations and online.

Nerd Meat Part 5: Opening the Doors

Nerd Meat: The Nerd Does Derby

Part 5: Opening the Doors

During our second day of scrimmaging, the two guys involved in ref training were pulled to act as on-skates officials. When I wasn’t pulled with them, the remaining skaters I haven’t yet met were really starting to wonder what I was doing there. So while once again fielding questions about my purpose at fresh meat, I had a moment of slight confusion myself: what was my role within this group of women? I knew, literally, why I was there (to get a better understanding of the sport), but I finally realized that a lot of the women weren’t sure how to interact with me, and I, them.

ToRD hosted the second annual Quad City Chaos on March 26 and 27 at the Hangar. (photography by Derek Lang)

I have really enjoyed the loco scrimmaging we’ve been doing, settling into a pivot role on the track in most cases, but that doesn’t really explain anything about my role in the group. I’ve had the time to think about this a lot more lately because we had a week off from training due to the Quad City Chaos tournament. For the second year in a row les grand étoiles from Montreal swept in and delivered their own unique lesson in how to play flat track roller derby. It was an extraordinary display of the game, proof that—at its best—the sport has reached that important point in its competitive evolution where the top teams in the game playing at their absolute best are capable of attaining a certain level of competitive beauty—there is a flow and continuity to the play that is mesmerizing to watch because of how effortless it appears, and how that level of flawlessness highlights both the nuances of the natural flow of the game and the contrived sophistication of the strategies that have evolved.

It was the kind of display of athleticism and preparedness that leads people to call even a fairly primitive sport like soccer, “The Beautiful Game.”

A lot of Canadian flat track "firsts" go through Hammer City, including the first WFTDA travel team, the Eh! Team.

Another reason that it was so amazing to watch Montreal perform the way they did at the QCC, was because it has only been four years since every team in Canada was more or less on equal footing, with Hammer City always a few steps ahead. They were trailblazers for the sport in this country, particularly here in the east. Although teams in other cities were skating and even scrimmaging, it was those Hammer City rollergirls who helped lead the growth of the sport in this country. If 2006 was the year everyone learned the sport from the skating on up to league organization, 2007 was the year the doors of flat track roller derby opened for the Canadian public.

The Betties D-Day had a profound effect on roller derby in Toronto, inspiring a roller derby merger in the city: the four teams that had formed out of the Toronto Terrors (Chicks Ahoy!, Death Track Dolls, D-VAS and Bay Street Bruisers) joined the Smoke City Betties and their new off-shoot team the Gore-Gore Rollergirls to form ToRD, the Toronto Roller Derby League. At the same time, in Quebec, the Montreal skaters had headed home from the tourney to form Montreal’s first team, Les Contrabanditas. In February, 2007, Les Contrabanditas hosted ToRD’s newly formed Gore-Gore Rollergirls in a closed bout (a nail biter that would be won by the Montreal team on the last jam), to begin an amazing year of roller derby in Canada.

Les Contrabanditas team photo that accompanied an article in Montreal's Mirror, discussing the first bout between Montreal and Toronto teams (February 24, 2007).

But if there is one month in Canada’s flat track history that will go down as being a turning point, it will be May, 2007. On May 5th, at the Royal City Curling Club in Vancouver, the Terminal City Rollergirls would host a Red vs. Black scrimmage, beginning what would quickly become one of the most successful leagues in Canadian roller derby. Exactly one week later, on May 12th, Hammer City would kick off its first full season, and a few weeks later at the George Bell Arena in Toronto, ToRD would host a day of scrimmages open only to friends and family that acted as a dry run for their first season opener on June 2nd (which would see the Gore-Gore Rollergirls defeat the Death Track Dolls 117-78).  Add to that the formation of the three-team Montreal Roller Derby League, and organized scrimmaging in Forest City (London), and the public birth of roller derby in this country can be easily dated.

While in 2007 MTLRD and ToRD focused on increasingly popular house leagues, Hammer City continued to travel and host intra-city bouts. In June the Harlots and the Tank Girls would host and defeat Montreal’s Les Filles du Roi and Les Contrabanditas; the following month they’d prove equally inhospitable hosts of The Forest City Derby Girls. Later in that summer, Hammer City would blaze yet another path when the Steel Town Tank Girls hosted the Buffalo’s Queen City All Stars in the  second ever cross-border bout in flat track history (Edmonton’s Oil City had hosted the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls only months earlier). That fall they would visit the Penn Jersey She Devils and form what would become Canada’s first WFTDA travel team (fittingly called the Eh! Team) to head to Fort Wayne to take part in the inaugural Fall Brawl.

the Hammer City Eh! Team was the first Canadian team to head south to take on US competition.

An argument can easily be made that Toronto and Montreal’s early focus on their hometeams was what held them back from catching the continent-trotting Hammer City Roller Girls. But at the same time, it could also be argued that it was Montreal’s careful nurturing of a comparatively small and competitive home league (ToRD, with six teams, was the largest flat track league in the world at the time) that would lead to their fast-tracked evolution at the end of the decade.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Even though Les Filles du Roi proved tops in Montreal and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls would win their first (of three and counting) ToRD championships (89-53 over the Chicks Ahoy!), at the end of 2007 there was no question that the Hamilton Harlots were the best flat track roller derby team in Canada. They’d ride that momentum right into 2008.

Early Canadian roller derby legends: Tank Girls' Cheese Grater (now of the Skids) holds back Harlots' jammer Bitchslap Barbie and blocker Carla Coma at HCRG's 2007 season opener.

The more I think about it, the more my role in this fresh meat intake seems obvious.  The women who were on my line on our Sunday scrimmage a few weeks ago had a mixed range of derby knowledge, and when I tried to set them up to perform a fairly complex strategy on our first jam, it was predictably disastrous. I realized that once again, my brain was well ahead of the abilities of me and my line mates. But then, as we waited for our next jam, one of the girls looked at me and said something along the lines of, “so on that power jam we were trying to trap that blocker so the pack would slow down and the jammer could get to the pack quicker, right? to score points?” She nodded her head almost imperceptibly, coming to a key realization, showing that quickly growing knowledge of the sport that is common among this group.

The next time we had a power jam our line quickly fell to the back of the pack, isolated an opposing blocker and ground the pack to a near halt. After the jam I was exhilarated. This group of fresh meat, some of whom had seen as little as one bout, were already beginning to pull off complex isolation strategies, and they had no idea how amazing that was, how amazing they were, and how far ahead of the curve this batch of new skaters was compared to those of the past. All they needed was someone to tell them what to do. That could be my role.

It’s really exciting to be able to see a sport develop at this early stage, and simple pleasures like witnessing a well-executed power jam by a lineup of fresh meat remind me how profoundly lucky we all are–me especially–to be a part of it.

***Get to know the Hammer City Roller Girls in this 2010 feature produced by CBC.

**Read previous posts here.

2010 Season Preview: The Death Track Dolls

Death Track Dolls 2010

RECORD Points For (Per Game) Points Against(Per Game) Plus/Minus Margin of Victory Margin of Loss
2009: 0-3 248 (82.67) 360 (120) -112 54 (3)

*Lifetime: 2-7 regular season; 0-1 in playoffs (semi-finalists in ’08)

*Vs. Chicks (’09): 0-1 / Lifetime: 0-4 (including ’08 semi-finals)

THE DOLLS’ 2009

Essentially, the Death Track Dolls had a cut-and-paste lineup in 2009, consisting of members of three teams (the ’08 Dolls and members of the contracted DVAS and Bay Street Bruisers) with a healthy dose of rookies thrown into the mix. Despite an inspired quarterfinals appearance at The Beast of the East, the Dolls had a rough start to ToRD’s home season with one-sided losses to the Betties and the Gores. But something started to happen to this team by the end of 2009, a core leadership group had emerged and the players rallied around them, culminating in a strong finish to the

Co-captain Betty Bomber is a potential triple threat in 2010

season (coming up just short against the Chicks Ahoy! for third place).

VETERANS/RETURNING PLAYERS

Led by captains Betty Bomber and Dolly Parts’em, a strong core of returning veterans anchors the 2010 Dolls. Original Doll Bonky Kong is back for a fourth season in the skull and bow, while track menace Audrey Hellborn has looked her usual destructive self in pre-season play. Seka Destroy and Land Shark (both got lots of preseason experience with CN Power), long serving Lucid Lou and Sue Saint Marie round out the veteran core of the team. Last year’s rookie standout Panty Hoster leads a solid sophomore contingent of Downright Dirty Dawson and Lucky Slamrock back to the track. While two players (Jubilee, another original Doll, and Monichrome) are returning after long absences (including a devastating injury for Chrome). Demolition Dawn represents the only off season acquisition, but it has proven to be a popular one for the Dolls and completes the much needed depth at leadership.

ROOKIES

With top choice in the 2010 draft, the Dolls look to bring another solid class of rookies to the track. Potential triple threat NutMeg, the quick and tough SlamWow, and positional players Speedin Hawking and Sinead O’Clobber round out the rookie class for 2010. With a much more stable core in place, this year’s baby Dolls will be able to develop at a more pronounced pace providing a much more solid base for the future.

BY POSITION

Second-year player Panty Hoser is emerging as a strong pivot.

Pivots: After a rookie year in which she was thrown into every position in every situation, Panty Hoser has emerged as a strong pack leader; with solid positional play and excellent track vision, Hoser could be the pivot of the future (and the present) for the Dolls. Potential triple threat Betty Bomber can also be relied upon at the front of the pack, while her co-captain, the steady Dolly Parts’Em, will undoubtedly take her turns with the stripe. In her return from injury, Monichrome could also be relied upon up front, and while it’s only early in the season yet, rookie NutMeg may have the presence to take on this important role.

Blockers: The 2010 Dolls have their share of big hitters. When she’s at her best, Audrey Hellborn may have the most devastating hip in ToRD, while Betty Bomber and Seka Destroy can throw their shoulders around when necessary. The return of another original Doll, Jubilee, provides the Dolls with even more toughness in the pack. Positionally, Downright Dirty Dawson was solid on the line during the 2010 preseaon, and rookie Speedin Hawking looked good in a bout in Kitchener recently. Again the veteran core (Bonky, Lucky, Lou, Sue) will be relied upon to keep things tight and together in the pack.

Jammers: Land Shark had a breakout season in 2009, providing a reliable presence with the star and putting up huge numbers in the process (especially impressive when you consider that the Dolls were a last place team). Being the only remaining core jammer of the three who started 2009, it looked as though Sharky would be leading a rookie group this season, but Demolition Dawn has made a return to the jam line with great success thus far in 2010. Rookie SlamWow rounds out the jammer crew and with such an experienced twosome ahead of her, will be able to develop at a

reasonable pace this season. Betty Bomber and Audrey Hellborn can provide backup when necessary.

Demolition Dawn and the Dolls leave their mark at the Beast of the East

SEASON OUTLOOK

Veteran bench boss Big Chees will get help trackside this season from Sonic Doom, another track rat who is making the transition to behind the bench in 2010, and they will lead the Dolls into the season of the great unknown. The Dolls could easily finish anywhere from second to last this season, but regardless, could provide a serious threat come the playoffs. The key against the Chicks Ahoy! in the season opener is pack control. The Chicks have a strong, aggressive pack and rely heavily on the “hit and run” offence; if the Dolls can remain disciplined and wrestle away control of the pack, they certainly have the fire power to keep up.

See the full roster here. For a more in depth look at the roster, visit the Dolls’ website.

For a visual preview, watch layer 9’s coverage of last year’s epic clash between the Chicks and Dolls (October 17th, 2009: Chicks 92 vs. Dolls 90).

The Jammer Quotient: A Look Back at 2009

Championship Poster 2009

The 2009 season was one of change and growth in ToRD: a new home at the fan-friendly Hangar in Downsview Park; a new generation of skaters; a realigned, four-team league; a renewed focus on CN Power; and finally, a team ready to challenge the two-year dominance of The Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the 2008 champion Chicks Ahoy!. The Smoke City Betties rode the confidence of a 3rd place finish at the Beast of the East ’09 to a 2-1 regular season. Most importantly, the Betties’ second victory (a chippy, defensive 68-61 victory over the Chicks) qualified them for a shot at the boot against the 3-0 Gore-Gore Rollergirls. The Death Track Dolls’ rebuilding process began to show some progress at the end of the 2009 when they lost the most hotly contested bout of the season 92-90 to the Chick’s Ahoy!, whose 1-2 record wouldn’t allow them to defend their championship. The Gore-Gore Rollergirls would complete an unbeaten 2009 with a definitive 129-88 victory over the Betties in the final. (*The rating in parentheses is adjusted to reflect the score out of 50)

ToRD’s 2009 JAMMER QUOTIENT

Jammer Total Points Points Per Jam Plus/ Minus Jam % Lead % JQ
Bambi (GGR) 10 6 N/A 8 8 32 (40)
Lunchbox (GGR) 9 9 N/A 6 6 30 (38)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 8 3 N/A 9 7 27 (34)
Land Shark (DTD) 7 2 N/A 10 3 22 (28)
Mach Wheels (CA!) 3 5 N/A 2 10 20 (25)
Memphis Kitty (SCB) 6 7 N/A 5 2 20 (25)
G-Force! (CA!) 4 10 N/A 0 5 19
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 1 8 N/A 0 9 18
Sista Fista (DTD) 5 0 N/A 7 1 13
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 3 0 N/A 3 4 10

 

One of the keys to the Gore’s dominance in 2009 was their advantage at jammer. With only three jammers playing almost 100% of their jams, the three pronged attack of Bambi, Dust Bunny and Lunchbox gained a lot of experience and became more comfortable than any with the star on their helmets. Bambi built on her record setting 2008 season with another impressive JQ of 32. Dust Bunny (who’d finished first in 2007 and second in 2008) slipped to third in 2009, nudged down a spot by her Gore teammate, Lunchbox, who broke out in a big way in this, her second season. Another second-season jammer, the Death Track Dolls’ Land Shark, also turned a lot of heads, leading the way for the quickly improving Dolls. The rest of the top ten was rounded out by seasoned veterans like Mach Wheels, Memphis Kitty and G-Force. Dust Bunny, Jewel Kicker and Candy Crossbones remain the only jammers to be ranked in the top 10 in each of ToRD’s first three seasons.

Below is the category by category breakdown of each of the four stats used to determine the 2009 JQ.

TOTAL POINTS

Bambi put up 11 more points than the 2nd place jammer.

 

Jammer Total Points
Bambi (GGR) 123 (10)
Lunchbox (GGR) 112 (9)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 110 (8)
Land Shark (DTD) 97 (7)
Memphis Kitty (SCB) 91 (6)
Sista Fista (DTD) 77 (5)
G-Force! (CA!) 58 (4)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 56 (3)
Mach Wheels (CA!) 56 (3)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 53 (1)

The top four here mirrors the top four overall JQs. Bambi leads in this category for the second year in a row, and the high scoring Gore-Gore Rollergirls’ jamming trio takes the top three spots; they were the only jammers to record over 100 points. Veteran skater Memphis Kitty had an impressive season in 2009 and was a key part of her team’s run to the final.

POINTS PER JAM

G-Force! is the only player in 2009 to average more than 3 points per jam.

 

Jammer Points Per Jam
G-Force (CA!) 3.05 (10)
Lunchbox (GGR) 2.67 (9)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 2.65 (8)
Memphis Kitty (SCB) 2.53 (7)
Bambi (GGR) 2.51 (6)
Mach Wheels (CA!) 2.43 (5)
Marvel S. Maven (SCB) 2.4 (4)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 2.2 (3)
Land Shark (DTD) 1.98 (2)
Slaughter Lauder (SCB) 1.9 (1)

G-Force had a rebound year jamming with the Chicks!, and was a dependable jammer throughout the season, as was evident in her leading the league in points per jam. Overall, the numbers in this category took quite a drop when compared with 2008. In the ’08 season, two jammers averaged over 2 points per jam, while 7 averaged at least 3. In 2009 two of the top ten didn’t even averaged over 2, showing a trend in lower scoring bouts.

JAM %

Land Shark jammed more than any other jammer in '09.

 

Jammer Jam %
Land Shark (DTD) 36 (10)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 34.4 (9)
Bambi (GGR) 33.78 (8)
Sista Fista (DTD) 30 (7)
Lunchbox (GGR) 29 (6)
Memphis Kitty (SCB) 26 (5)
Dolly Destructo (DTD) 25 (4)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 22 (3)
Mach Wheels (CA!) 17 (2)
Kari Mia Beere (CA!) 15.44 (1)

Land Shark took over from another former Doll in this category (Sista Fista, who finished fourth this year) to combat what would have been even more Gore dominance. Land Shark came over from DVAS in the off season, and built on an impressive Beast of the East to complete what may have been the breakout season of the ToRD in 2009.

LEAD %

Nasher the Smasher helps Mach Wheels gain a step on Bambi and take the lead.

 

Jammer Lead %
Mach Wheels (CA!) 78 (10)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 70 (9)
Bambi (GGR) 63 (8)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 60 (7)
Lunchbox (GGR) 59.52 (6)
G-Force! (CA!) 58 (5)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 47 (4)
Land Shark (DTD) 45 (3)
Memphis Kitty (SCB) 44 (2)
Sista Fista (DTD) 41 (1)

Mach Wheels set what appears to be an unbeatable standard in this category. Anything over 60 is something to strive for (Mach lead this stat in 2008 with a 61%), but a 78% is a truly remarkable accomplishment, and a percentage that I don’t think will challenged for a ling time to come. Mach Wheels’ control and patience on the track is second to none, and her ability to lead the way 78% will probably not be topped in 2010.

* All stats are official ToRD stats and were confirmed and completed (where necessary) by video analysis from the footage taken by the always dependable layer 9.

* Complete blocker stats are unavailable for 2009.

* Next Week, in anticipation of the 2010 season opener, keep an eye out for preseason previews of the Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the Smoke City Betties.

Blocker Stats: A Look Back at 2008 (2)

ToRD's 2008 Championship Poster

While ToRD’s second season saw the Gore-Gore Rollergirls and Chicks Ahoy! put up impressive regular seasons and return to the championship bout once again, they by no means ran roughshod over the competition. Members of the Bay Street Bruisers, Death Track Dolls, and the Smoke City Betties all figured prominently in the 2008 blocker stats. While some of the DVAS had great seasons (including Mia Culprit, Seka Destroy and Betty Bomber, whose triple-threat potential became apparent in 2008), the responsibility was passed around much more; the numbers more evenly distributed. After dominating 2007, Lock N Roll  (now with the Dolls) followed up with another strong campaign, but it was her former Gores teammate Foxy Sinatra who put up the most consistent numbers,  leading the league in hits and knockdowns, while finishing tied for first in assists and fourth in knockdown %. The Chicks’ Dolly Destructo appears in all categories as well, while also picking up 8 JQ points as well. But after scoring a very high JQ in 2007, In 2008 Dolly Destructo would move clearly into the role of fearsome pack terrorizer that she maintains today.

ASSISTS

Blocker/Pivot Assists
Monichrome (BSB) 24
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 24
Lock N Roll (DTD) 18
Nasher the Smasher (CA!) 16
Spee Dee Ramone (DTD) 15
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 14
Kandy Barr (GGR) 13
Trashzilla (GGR) 13
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 12
BullNuts (GGR) 11

While the Gores and Chicks would rank seven skaters in the top ten in assists (which undoubtedly had a lot to do with the impressive jammer numbers by their teammates), it was the Bruisers’ Monichrome (now of the Dolls) who would lead in this category, putting up big totals pushing and giving arm whips. Candy Crossbones finishes sixth in this category while also putting up consistent jammer numbers for the second straight season.

HITS

Blocker/Pivot Hits
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 94
Dyna Hurtcha (SCB) 83
Lock N Roll (DTD) 75
Audrey Hellborn (DTD) 72
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 64
Mega Bouche (CA!) 62
BullNuts (GGR) 59
Miss Behaviour (SCB) 59
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 58
Golide Lock N Load (SCB) 57

Foxy Sinatra dominated this category, but the top skaters in this category tell a tale that is still being told today. In 2008 Dyna Hurtcha took the first steps toward becoming the force who would eventually help lead the Betties to a berth in  the finals in 2009; Audrey Hellborn emerged as one of the most feared hitters in the game; and the versatile Jewel Kicker showed that she was much more than just a (fantastic) jammer.

KNOCKDOWNS

Blocker/Pivot KD
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 38
Lock N Roll (DTD) 23
Audrey Hellborn (DTD) 21
Rebel Rock-It (BSB) 20
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 18
Dyna Hurtcha (SCB) 18
Coupe de Kill (GGR) 16
Monichrome (BSB) 16
Pretty Peeved (BSB) 16
Nasher the Smasher (CA!) 14

Foxy Sinatra ran away with this one too, registering a remarkable 15 more knockdowns than second place Lock N Roll. Lock and Audrey Hellborn proved to be a frightening duo for the Dolls in 2008, while the star pivot Rebel Rock-It, who now wears the stripe for the Chicks, led three of her Bruisers into the top ten.

KNOCKDOWN % (minimum 60 jams)

DVAS vs. Bruisers (August 9, 2008)

Blocker/Pivot KD %
Kandy Barr (GGR) 72
Pretty Peeved (BSB) 50
Sue Deuce (SCB) 48
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 40
Rebel Rock-It (BSB) 37
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 31.03
Monichrome (BSB) 30.77
Lock N Roll (DTD) 30.67
Wyld Wench (BSB) 30.56
Audrey Hellborn (DTD) 29

Kandy Barr may not have thrown as many hits as some of her counterparts in 2008, but when she did, her opponents certainly felt it being knocked down a remarkable 72% of the times that she hit them. But this is not to diminish the impressive numbers of Sue Deuce and especially of Pretty Peeved (now of the Betties) who finished with an impressive 50% despite throwing almost twice as many hits as Kandy Barr. Members of five of the six ToRD teams were ranked in the top ten in this category, rounding out a well balanced season in terms of hitting and blocking.

We’re only one week away from The Beast of the East! A full preview of the tournament will begin on Tuesday.