Renny Rumble

Toronto Teams Go 6-0 at a Thrilling 2015 Quad City Chaos

Toronto proved to be ungracious hosts on the track, sweeping both the A and B-team portions of an extraordinarily exciting tournament.

The 2015 QCC featured incredibly close action, with an average differential of 36 points in the six D1 games.

The 2015 QCC featured incredibly close action, with an average differential of 36 points in the six D1 games. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Early on in Toronto Roller Derby’s 6th annual Quad City Chaos, the dominant narrative looked as if it would the upsets, but as they games progressed that story was tweaked and what emerged was a tournament dominated by parity, at least on the A-team level, with the average point-differential over the six-game round robin tournament being a measly 36 points, with most (if not all) of the games looking like they could have gone either way. The widest gap of the weekend was a 55-point Toronto win over Boston that was actually much closer than even the score would indicate, evidenced by the seven lead changes that occurred in the game (although they all did occur in the opening half). It was an extraordinary bit of scheduling for the organizers from Toronto Roller Derby, so much so that all of the teams can leave feeling pretty happy about their results.


An expected CN Power rebuild looks more like a rebirth after a 3-0 weekend. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

An expected CN Power rebuild looks more like a rebirth after a 3-0 weekend. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

One of the questions coming into the game was how a rebuilding Toronto roster would perform against three WFTDA D1 teams whose rosters remained relatively intact from the 2014 season; by the end of the weekend, it was clear that this CN Power team is going through a rebirth more than a rebuild: with a new jammer rotation and a completely new bench staff, Toronto actually looked reenergized and refocused after a somewhat bland 2014 season in which the team appeared to have plateaued. Bolstered by some experienced transfers and a core of internally developed skaters who represent the first wave of graduates of the B-team program, Toronto seems ready for a competitive push up the D1 rankings this season. It was the first time since 2012 (and only the second time ever) that 28th ranked Toronto has gone 3-0 at their own tournament, holding their rankings against the Rideau Valley Vixens (39th) and (29th) Steel City, while upsetting 25th ranked Boston.

Rideau Valley (1-2 on the weekend) also has to be incredibly happy with the results. With the same roster that brought them all the way to the WFTDA D2 championship last year, the Vixens continue to defy expectations and climb the ladder with a team whose core has been together for years now. The Ottawa-based team played above their rankings on the weekend, looking every-bit the equal to all of their opponents. Kicking off the tournament with a significant upset over Steel City, the Vixens gave Toronto all the hosts could handle on Saturday night in a game that featured an incredible eleven lead changes (including nine in the opening half), but as they did all weekend, Toronto seemed to get stronger deep into games and Rideau couldn’t replicate the upset they managed the last time the teams squared off at QCC 2013. The Vixens had a remarkably similar result against Boston, a game in which they could not maintain their intensity through to the end, but looked strong throughout.

Boston jammer Maya Mangleyou duels with Toronto's Renny Rumble while Lil Paine looks on. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Boston jammer Maya Mangleyou duels with Toronto’s Renny Rumble while Lil Paine looks on. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Boston (2-1) had an up and down weekend. Although they went nose-to-nose with Toronto for the first half of their Saturday showdown, the hosts pulled ahead early in the second, and Boston simply could not catch them. But the loss seemed to charge the team up, and after a shaky start against Steel City, managed to pull ahead of Pittsburgh at the midway point of the first half and held off their opponents through to the end; it was a similar performance against Rideau Valley on Sunday.

Steel City (0-3) went winless on the weekend, although they certainly didn’t seem like a team defeated and led for portions of all of their games; the difference early on in the 2015 season seemed to be consistency and focus for this Steel Hurtin’ team that had a hard time maintaining momentum. In particular, Pittsburgh led for much of the second half against Toronto, but could not put the team away, and CN Power patiently held on, eventually blowing by Steel Hurtin’ over a dominant final five minutes.

Despite the results, all four teams leave the 2015 Quad City Chaos having certainly improved their position in the WFTDA’s ranking system, showing that despite some criticism to the contrary, all things being equal, the ranking system rewards close, evenly matched games.


Rideau Valley's Sirens and Toronto's Bay Street Bruisers faced off for the first time ever. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Rideau Valley’s Sirens and Toronto’s Bay Street Bruisers faced off for the first time ever. (Photo by Joe Mac)

We didn’t see quite the parity in the B-team portion of the tournament, as the Bay Street Bruisers continued a three-year unbeaten streak (7-0) at the event with an at times dominant run through the competition (including a 250-point rout of the Steel Beamers). However, the hosts were certainly challenged against the B-Party, with Boston leading for the vast majority of the game, and virtually the whole second half. But they could not put the hosts away, with the Bruisers managing to stay within 20 for most of the game. And then in the final moments, they surged past their Boston counterparts for the most thrilling, not to mention closest, result of the weekend: a 4-point win that highlighted the perseverance of Toronto’s B-team.


Steel City's Nick Rollfiliac (seen here staying a step ahead of Boston's Ginger Kid) was named blocker MVP. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Steel City’s Nick Rollfiliac (seen here staying a step ahead of Boston’s Ginger Kid) was named blocker MVP. (Photo by Joe Mac)

On a weekend where there was barely anything separating the competition on the track, choosing MVPs was a challenging feat that lead to some interesting (but certainly always deserving) choices. Both Toronto and Boston’s packs were dominant at times, and pulling one out of the cohesive units was impossible, so it was Steel City’s relentless Nick Rollfiliac who took the honours as A-team blocker MVP. Most of the jammers also had a hard time maintaining consistency over the course of the weekend, but in the end it was Soul Rekker’s tireless play over all three games that led to her selection of MVP. Boston B-Party blocker MC SlamHer took home MVP for the regulation portion along side Bruisers’ jammer Devochka who had three strong, clean and consistent games for the hosts.


Early on in the tournament, during the first B-team game, there were over 100 penalties called, filling the board and leading to large stretches of chaos on the track. It became, momentarily, a thrilling anomaly, with pictures of the white board snapped and buzz spreading from the venue and onto social media; but then, it quickly became clear that this was actually going to be close to a norm for the weekend, and the giddy buzz dissipated. Not only that, there were murmurs on social media indicating that early in 2015 this is a trend certainly not limited to the Quad City Chaos.

I write this not as a criticism of the officiating (the ref crew was staffed with some of the finest, highest certified refs in the region), but just to point out the apparent disconnect between the way the game is being officiated right now and the way it is being played on the track; it was, for some, as fascinating as it was frustrating, but it is clear that something’s got to give. It is reminiscent of the way things were leading up to the elimination of minors.

In sports, the roles of the officials are generally to ensure safety and fairness; in roller derby there is also a third, punitive arm to officiating; however, we’ve started to move away from this (with the slight relaxing of inadvertent cutting penalties, for example), but there still seems to be genuine confusion at times on behalf of the skaters on impact assessment but also on failure to return/reform penalties that were often called in rapid-fire succession against multiple players simultaneously, making it challenging (and confusing) for skaters to quickly and clearly reform (for example, there were twenty two out of play penalties called in the Toronto vs. Steel City game (and 116 penalties in total), leading to multiple instances of only four, three, or even just two blockers on the track). Historically, the WFTDA has shown the willingness and ability to cautiously evolve over time, and certainly these issues will be resolved. But in a time when the new norm seems to be 80, 90, and even 100 penalties in a game, there is a conversation that needs to happen, and it should be a constructive one, because I think everyone (officials and skaters alike) would agree that the current norm is not sustainable.

Nonetheless, the consistency with which calls were made across teams and games did mean that the parity between the clubs still won out in the end, providing the spectators with thrilling games and narrow results despite of the steady stream of skaters to the penalty box.

Quad City Chaos 2015 Banner


Steel City Roller Derby (Steel Hurtin’) (29th) 142 vs. Rideau Valley Roller Girls (Vixens) (39th) 165 (watch)

Boston Derby Dames (Boston Massacre) (25th) 174 vs. Toronto Roller Derby (CN Power) (28th) 229 (watch)

Boston 169 vs. Steel City 127 (watch)

Toronto 186 vs. Rideau Valley 154 (watch)

Boston 182 vs. Rideau Valley 159 (watch)

Toronto 235 vs. Steel City 191 (watch)


Bay Street Bruisers 253 vs. Rideau Valley Sirens 144 (watch)

Bay Street Bruisers 184 vs. Boston B-Party 180 (watch)

Bay Street Bruisers 319 vs. Steel Beamers 69 (watch)

Nerd Glasses


**The games were streamed live by, with Saturday night’s games and the final game on Sunday simulcast on WFTDA.TV. Watch the archives here.

**Toronto Roller Derby skater Pr’Editor provided game-by-game recaps for Derby Central all weekend. You can read her work here.

Bruisers Sit Atop Throne as Eastern Champions

ToRD’s Bay Street Bruisers, 2012 RDAC Eastern Canadian Championship (Photo by Greg Russell)

You could look at the outcome of the Roller Derby Association of Canada’s 2012 Eastern Canadian Championship and see that the status-quo had been maintained: No one would have been surprised to see Toronto, Forest City and Royal City finish as the top three teams in the tournament. But if that is all that you took away from this weekend, you’d be missing almost the whole story. With four of the ten games being settled by 10 points or less and only two breaking the 100-point differential, the real story was in the parity. There was fantastic, exciting roller derby provided during nearly every game with the tournament’s only winless team, Capital City’s Dolly Rogers, providing some of the most exciting moments, losing by miniscule margins of 9, 6, and 5 points. The tournament’s lowest ranked team, Nickel City’s Sister Slag, grew almost exponentially. They started the tournament getting knocked around by the eventual champs in the opening game before pushing a vastly more experienced team to the limit in their second. Then in the second of back-to-back games, they upset their favoured opponents to claim 6th spot.

It was a tournament that delivered on both fronts: great derby, but a great learning experience for the teams as well.


Sister Slag was paying close attention during their opening round loss to the Bruisers. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The only significantly one-sided bouts occurred (unsurprisingly) in the opening round. Second seed Bay Street Bruisers (Toronto) took down seventh seed Nickel City’s Sister Slag (Sudbury) by 137 points, though the far less experienced team from Sudbury certainly had moments, and used a strong opening and then final ten minutes to keep the score down. In the only other lopsided score of the weekend, third seed Misfit Militia (from Aliston’s Renegade Derby Dames) tore up the track against the G-sTARs (GTAR), building on a 160-10 half-time lead and riding some stifling pack work to a 326-point victory. The win sent a clear message and set up a highly anticipated semifinal matchup up between the tournament’s second and third seeds.

The final first-round bout lived up to the billing as the closest seeds the Brute Leggers (fourth) and the Dolly Rogers (fifth) swapped leads throughout (Capital City was up at half) to kick off the tournament with a thoroughly entertaining game that would be indicative of much of the weekend’s matchups. The Royal City hosts were able to put together a customarily strong second half to pull ahead and hold on for the 142-131 victory and an opportunity to face off against the defending champions, Forest City, in the semfinal.

The G-sTARs defeated the Dolly Rogers on their way to a fifth place finish. (Photo by Neil Gunner)


The opening round divided the teams into the consolation bracket and the single-elimination medal round, with the three losing teams from the opening round playing a round robin to determine the bottom three spots in the tournament. This round began with a showdown between the fifth and sixth ranked teams in the tournament, and it too did not disappoint finishing with the G-sTARs clutching a 140-134 victory against the Capital City Derby Dolls. Growing through a tough rebuild, the GTA skaters looked like a far different team this time around, shaking off their opening–round loss to win both of its consolation games. Built around veterans like Newfie Bullet, Lee Way Wreck’em and Holly de Havilland, and featuring a promising skater in Paper Jam, they were able to close out their tournament with a 19-point win over Sister Slag to secure fifth spot.

The Dolly Rogers used this tournament to announce its presence. Led by strong pack work from the likes of Whips N. Chaynes and eventual team MVP Delicate Plow’her, some crafty jamming from Sneaky Dekey and consistency from Ha-Lou-Ween (not to mention double-threat performances from Violently Jill and Deanna Destroi), Capital City impressed with their ability and preparation, but showed that they still lack the all-important game experience that allowed them to close out wins.  They closed out their tournament the way they began it, with a thrilling back-and-forth game characterized by large swings in momentum, only this time it was with a surprisingly resilient Sister Slag. Led by Elle Hoar (whose role seemed to grow as the tournament went on), and paced offensively by Legzy Megzy and Red Hot and Anna Maul, the Nickel City skaters seemed to grow closer together during the tournament and finished as a much tighter and more polished team than they were when it began. They closed out the final consolation game with a natural grand slam to break a tie and secure sixth place with the 149-144 victory.


The Brute Leggers were taken out of their game by Forest City’s physicality. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Perhaps the greatest level of tension and excitement came in the semifinals where the top four seeds squared off. In the first semi-final, the Brute Leggers dominated Forest City early on. With an offence paced by Hot Cross Guns and Hellcat of Panar and a pack anchored by Kim Scarsmashian, Forest City—responding with a jammer crew of Andi Slamberg, Mighty Thor and Torque e Mada and a veteran pack now ubiquitous in eastern Canadian derby—was only able to score 7 points over the first twenty minutes of the half. But with London blocker Mirambo raising the intensity level, knocking Royal City off balance, the defending champs began to claw back and were down 60-38 at half. Never able to get their heads back into it and thrown off by Forest City’s intense physicality, the hosts managed only 26 second-half points to fall 145-86.

The Bay Street Bruisers needed a late comeback to get passed the Misfit Militia, in one of the most exciting games of the tournament. (Photo by Neil Gunner).

In the second semi-final, the Misfit Militia roared off of the jammer line and barely looked back, throwing everything they could at the Bay Street Bruisers who could never really get anything going in  the first half. Consistent jamming from Randy Roll-lin and Zombabe and dominant pack work from Renny Rumble had the Bruisers stumped throughout. The Militia had a 27-point half-time lead. The dominance continued in the second half, but the persistence of jammers Bala Reina and titmouse, and the on-track leadership of eventual team MVP Chronic had the Bruisers sticking around, never letting the lead grow past 50 points, and when the penalty calls started going their way, they were ready. A 29-point Bala Reina power jam (much of it orchestrated with the Bruisers having only two Blockers, Chronic and Miss Kitty La Peur, on the track) with only ten minutes remaining had Toronto within 12 points and holding all the momentum. They controlled things for the final ten minutes aas frustration mounted for the Renegade Derby Dames and were able to hold on to advance to the final.

The Brute Leggers pulled it together to defeat the Misfit Militia in the third place game. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Misfit Militia never seemed to recover from the defeat, while the Brute Leggers pulled it together after their emotional loss to come back to control the third place bout most of the way and skated to the 190-129 victory. The championship game provided an entertaining first half that saw the Bruisers storm out 42-9 lead at the halfway mark. Strong jamming from Bala Reina and Bellefast continued to pace the Bruisers who were able to impose their style of play on the game early, and never let Forest City get comofortable. Although penalty troubles allowed London to get back into it only a few minutes later (they even briefly took the lead at the 10-minute mark), the Bruisers regained control to lead 78-54 at the half. The second half was all Bruisers with the lead increasing steadily to 135-86 at the midway point, before they held on for the 163-88 victory and took home the 2012 RDAC Eastern Canadian Championship.

The Bay Street Bruisers and Forest City All Stars (Eastern Region) join the Terminal City All Stars and Kootenay Kannibelles (West), Saskatoon Roller Derby and Pile O’ Bones Derby Club (central) at the Canadian championship. The Atlantic representatives will be determined at a tournament in St. John’s in September.

Bruisers’ jammer (and one of the team MVPs) Bala Reina was dominant in the final. (Photo by Greg Russell)


First Round

Brute Leggers (Royal City Roller Girls) 142 vs. Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls) 131

Misfit Militia (Renegade Derby Dames) 354 vs. G-sTARs (GTA Rollergirls) 28

Bay Street Bruisers (Toronto Roller Derby) 253 vs. Sister Slag (Nichel City Roller Derby) 116

Consolation Pool

G-sTARs (1-0) 140 vs. Dolly Rogers (0-1) 134

G-sTARs (2-0) 194 vs. Sister Slag (0-1) 173

Sister Slag (1-1) 149 vs. Dolly Rogers (0-2) 144

Medal Round


Forest City All Stars 145 vs. Brute Leggers 86

Misfit Militia 130 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 140

Third Place

Brute Leggers 190 vs. Misfit Militia 129


Forest City 88 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 163

Weekend Preview: Chicks ‘n Betties, D-VAS ‘n Disloyalists

In 2009, the Betties and Chicks played in the lowest scoring regular season game in ToRD history (Betties won 68-61). (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

On July, 19th, 2009, the Smoke City Betties grinded out a 68-61 victory over the defending champion Chicks Ahoy! in one of the great defensive battles waged in ToRD’s history. At that time they were two teams heading in different directions: the Betties were on their way to their only appearance in the Battle for the Boot, while the Chicks, champs in 2008, were on their way to their worst showing in the three-year history of the league.

Fast forward a few years, and there are certainly some similarities: the Chicks are defending champions once again and the Betties, as they were in 2009, are a team on the rise. Over the past two years this team has come a long way. In 2010 they lost to the Death Track Dolls 213-53, last year they inched closer, losing only 115-62, and finally, in this year’s season opener the Dolls actually had to come back from a half-time deficit to win 115-100, add to that the Betties return to the Beast of the East quarterfinals, and it’s already been a successful year for the team.  However, unlike the Chicks of ’09 who were declining, this green machine looks poised and focused on defending its championship as seen by their impressive season opening victory against the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, and their third place finish at the Beast of the East.


Chicks’ Jammer Rotation: It’s that time in the season when the bumps and bruises of months of practices and games are beginning to take their toll. It’s a certainty that Dyna Hurtcha will be out of the game, and with another veteran (and one of the league’s top jammers) Candy Crossbones potentially sidelined as well, this game could be a test of the team’s depth. Undoubtedly last year’s rookie of the year Kookie Doe and one of this year’s breakout players Bala Reina will lead the charge,  but it remains to be seen who will fill out the roles if needed. One possibility could be rookie Roadside BombShel, who had a strong opening game in the pack, but spent a lot of time with the star during her year with the D-VAS. Rebel Rock-It has also been jamming with CN Power, but is such a key pivot for the Chicks that they may be wary of taking her out of the pack.

Betties’ Jammer Rotation: Does it have the depth to compete? Titmouse had a monster opening game against the Dolls posting a 58% lead percentage and scoring 47 points. She will need to replicate that effort here. Rug Burn burned lots of track time as well, while triple-threat BruiseBerry Pie and the quickly improving Platinum Bomb filled out the rotation. That foursome is a solid mix of experienced skaters (and we haven’t even seen vet Memphis Kitty yet this season) and if they can have a strong game and take advantage of this rare short-handed Chicks’ rotation, there could be some surprises.

The Betties’ Renny Rumble is an early contender for rookie of the year (seen here holding back another fantastic rookie, Bellefast). (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Chicks’ Pack: The Chicks have extraordinary pack players led by two of ToRD’s top blockers in Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher. But with the likes of Rebel Rock-It, Mega Bouche, Marmighty and Robber Blind as first-level support, there is a ton of depth in the pack. With a potentially shortened jammer rotation, it will be key for the Chicks’ packs to dictate the conditions of the game. Something that they are more than capable of doing.

Betties’ Rookies: It has taken a while for this roster to settle, but since it has, players like Mia Culprit, Lady Scorhcer, and BruiseBerry Pie have emerged as on-track leaders. But with a few years of futility meaning a plethora of high draft picks, since 2010, this has always been a team that has showcased its newest skaters; this season has been no different. Renny Rumble has burst out of the gates in her rookie year and actually had the third most track-time on the team in the last game, providing remarkably consistent blocking and will be a factor in this one. A newer revelation is Slaptrick Swayze who, due to a shorthanded bench, was forced into taking on a big workload at the recent Beast of the East. She jammed without fear and with a lot of success and was a huge contributing factor to the Betties’ success in Montreal.

The Smoke City Betties and the Chicks Ahoy! will square off in the second game of a doubleheader (game time approximately 8:00 PM).

The D-VAS have only faced themselves so far in 2012. (Photo by Joe Mac)

D-VAS  vs. Disloyalists

The double header will kick off with a showdown featuring ToRD’s farm team, the D-VAS, taking on the rising Disloyalists from Kingston. So far in 2012, the D-VAS only action was a split-squad showdown at the season opener. A thrilling, tight matchup, the game showcased a depth of talent in almost all positions. With a jammer rotation potentially built around Lexi Con, Babushkill Mean Streak, Viktory Lapp and Wackedher (which provides a ton of options), the key in this one could be in the pack. Armageddon Rose had an excellent first game for the D-VAS, and Joss Wheelin, LowBlowPalooza, and Mazel Tough are just a few of the skaters who could make a difference in the pack (they will need solid pack leadership as well in the absence of captains Purple Pain and Margaret Smackwood). Windy City transfer Tomy Knockers will be making her D-VAS debut on Saturday.

The Disloyalists after their season opening victory vs. The Durham Derby Devils. (Photo by Joe Mac)

The D-VAS will need that depth as well as they will face off against a team that has been growing in leaps and bounds. Kingston Derby Girls’ A-team, the Disloyalists, has been dominant so far in 2012, distancing itself from a lot of the other newer leagues in Ontario very quickly. Led by the smart and talented Little Orphan-Maker Annie and Manic Breeze in the pack (Breeze is also a formidable jammer), the team hammered Durham Derby Devils in Durham  193-86  to kick off the season and followed that up last weekend with another dominant victory at home, this time a stunning 203-40 victory over the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers. This Kingston team has a lot of depth in the pack (Yo! Shanity Slam, Mr. Kristi) and at jammer (LaVallee of the Dolls, Luci Fleur), and will be a huge challenge for the less experienced D-VAS.

***Doors at the Bunker open at 5:00 PM with the first game getting under way at 6:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at a number of vendors in Toronto.

Dolls win and Betties impress in their season openers

Smoke City Betties and Death Track Dolls kicked off their 2012 seasons on Saturday. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Smoke City Betties 100 vs. Death Track Dolls 115

The Betties are back.

After two years of rebuilding led to a string of punishing defeats at the hands of their ToRD leaguemates, the Smoke City Betties have returned to competitive form narrowing the gap between themselves and, at the very least, the third place Death Track Dolls. And while the Dolls were the team that took the brunt of the first wave of this new-look Betties club, they were not at all interested in lying down and allowing the skaters in blue to trod all over them; the Dolls showed their own improved level of determination as they overcame a half-time deficit to come back and snatch away the 15-point victory.

The biggest issue with the Dolls in 2011 was an unbalanced and inconsistent offense, and although they do have what looks like a future jamming star in rookie Bellefast, it seems that for the Dolls to find success in 2012, they will need to provide offense by committee and they used a deep rotation of six jammers in their season opening win, rotating primary veteran blockers like Jubilee and Panty Hoser from the pack onto the jammer line. The Betties, on the other hand, seem to have a fairly set rotation of jammers that they rolled out to much success on Saturday. Second-year skater Rug Burn took on the star for the first jam of the season and lined up against an imposing triple threat in Betty Bomber, and was joined by BruiseBerry Pie and titmouse as the primary jammers. It was a back and forth battle in the early going with neither team able to shake the other, and after 5 minutes, neither had taken control , with the Dolls holding a precarious 10-9 edge.

Scarcasm (providing a bridge for the Dolls' front wall) was one of many impressive rookies in the game. (Photo by Greg Russell)

In a game that was all about renewal and the future, it was the rookies who stood out in this one. The Dolls played three of their impressive draftees and from Bellefast’s fearless jamming to Ames to Kill’s poise in the pack to Scarcasm’s impressive track awareness (providing some nice bridging early in the half), this rookie class is living up to the hype that preceded the season. The Betties also tracked impressive rookies Renny Rumble, Laya Beaton and Slaptrick Swayze (along with sort-of-rookie Wolverina).  But in another return of sorts, injury-plagued skater titmouse, looked in mid-season form (despite being off skates for the last few months), and was a big part of the Betties early success, as they held a 20-19 lead eight jams into the first half. At this point, the Dolls began to inch ahead, riding a wave of slightly undisciplined play from the Betties and using a power jam to snatch the biggest lead of the half, 44-20. But the Betties would not yield, and once again it was titmouse who stepped up late in the half, and on a jam in which the Betties were able to recycle Demolition Dawn continuously, she picked up a string of natural grand slams that saw the Betties retake the lead, 47-44. A series of back-and-forth jams kept things close, with the Betties holding a six-point edge at the break, 58-52.

Veteran Bettie Sin D Drop-Her working with rookie Renny Rumble in the pack. (Photo by Joe Mac)

While rookies stepped up in this bout, veterans certainly left their mark on the game as well. Dolls co-captain Panty Hoser put in early notification of her interest in the triple-threat award as she looked very comfortable jamming (despite the fact that she’d never jammed in a game before). Her captain-counterpart Sinead O’Clobber also continues to emerge as an on-track leader , leading smart packs and helping to orchestrate the second half push back, aided by steady play from pack-vets Monichrome, Downright Dirty Dawson, Lucid Lou, and Slam Wow. Within four minutes of the restart the Dolls had retaken the lead, 65-61. Mia Culprit, Lady Scorcher and Sin D Drop-Her anchored the Betties defense and helped orchestrate the mid-half comeback. With 17 minutes remaining, Hoser got sent to the box, springing a Rug Burn power jam, and a solid offensive block from Scorcher helped the Betties regain the lead.

The lead changes continued through the middle of the half, with the Dolls holding a slight edge, 89-88 with ten minutes remaining. The Betties looked to mix things up by putting Wolverina on the line, but the Dolls locked in the defense at this point and held on to the momentum. With seven minutes remaining, it was a Rug Burn major cut (and subsequent power jam skated by Hoser) that finally may have turned the tides in the Dolls’ favour: solid isolation and trapping by Bomber and Jubilee assured a big pick up, and they took the biggest lead of the half, 108-92. Despite the best efforts of BruiseBerry Pie and titmouse on the line, the Betties were unable to mount a comeback, and some clutch late-game jamming from Bellefast (who may not have gotten lead in her final few jams, but always passed cleanly and forced calls) allowed the Dolls to ride out the wave at the end and hold on for the 115-100 victory.

titmouse made an impressive return from injury to anchor the Betties' offense. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Along with all of the debut skaters, Mr. Wencer on the Dolls’ bench and Raunchy Hextall on the Betties’, also made their bench managing debuts, and the benches ran smoothly all night. While both teams have to be pleased with the way things went, the league itself was victorious as well. This bout, along with a thrilling season opener between the Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the Chicks Ahoy!, means that after a few years of blowouts and wide gaps in talent, ToRD is nearing a level of competitive parity that has not been seen in years. With this year’s rookie class looking to be the most successful and deepest yet, and all four teams anchored by solid veteran cores, 2012 looks to be a very exciting year for roller derby fans in Toronto.

***Next up for ToRD is the third annual Quad City Chaos on the weekend of March 31st and April 1st. Stay tuned to the ToRD website for ticket availability.

2012 Team Preview: Smoke City Betties

2012 Smoke City Betties

  Wins Losses +/- Notes
2011 Regular Season 0 3 – 170 Fourth Place for second straight year.
2011 Playoffs Did not qualify for playoffs.


When a team goes 0-3 on the season (throw in a two-and-done at the Beast of the East on top of that) and doesn’t manage to score more than 63 points in a bout, it’s hard to say that team had a successful year. Yet that is exactly what could be said about the Smoke City Betties.

The Betties ended 2011 on a high note with an exhibition win over the Hamilton Harlots. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

It’s been a tumultuous few season for the Betties since an appearance in Battle for the Boot 3 in 2009. After that great early ToRD team burst apart, twelve rookies stepped onto the track for the team in 2010. The results were what one would expect. That year the Betties had an average margin of loss of a staggering 191 points. Within one season (only two more rookies were added for 2011) the team managed to orchestrate a nearly complete turnaround, more than halving that average to 77 points. On top of that, they found success outside of ToRD, pulling off a nail biter in Ottawa over the Riot Squad and closing out 2012 with a confidence-boosting win over the Hamilton Harlots 164-75 in October. Despite the last place finish for the second consecutive season, these Betties have a lot to look forward to.

Five-year skater Pretty Peeved called it a career in 2011. (Photo by Joe Mac)


The Betties are truly nearing the end of the team’s rebuild with Memphis Kitty and Hot Roller the only remaining skaters on the roster from that great 2009 team, and this off season saw the retirement of two more vets along with the stepping aside of two sophomore skaters. Five-year vet Pretty Peeved, who began her career as a Bruiser, emerged as a post-2009 leader on the track and was a key pivot for the Betties during the last two seasons. The Betties also lost Lacy Brawler from the pack; the skater who was one of the leaders of the team in track time in 2010 saw that number dip in 2011. P. Doddy and Diva Zapata, two of the twelve 2010 rookies also hung up their skates in the off season, leaving four spaces open on the roster.

Rookie Renny Rumble (#1205) has the potential to contribute right away. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

2012’s draft was easily the deepest yet, and the Betties filled out their roster nicely. Two of the more experienced draftees, Laya Beaton and Renny Rumble, seem to be the most track-ready perhaps of the whole draft. Renny was a dominant skater for the D-VAS in 2011, proving to be a triple threat, excelling at all positions. Laya Beaton was a force on the track who had exhibited some penalty problems early in the year but seemed to clean up as the season went on. Slaptrick Swayze and General Patten are less experienced, but also show a ton of potential. Swayze is a calm, collected presence and positionally focused, key on the track for a team still finding itself, while Patten is a life-long skater who is certainly someone to watch for as her track-sense and knowledge of the game increases.

Both BruiseBerry Pie (left) and Tropic Thunder will be key multi-position players this season. (Photo by Neil Gunner)


The Betties also picked up a new bench manager this season, plucking former D-VAS Raunchy Hextall (whose injury problems led to her retirement from competition) to run the bench, hopefully filling a hole that has been a constant gap for the team. Misery Mae and titmouse are co-captains for the 2012 Smoke City Betties, and will bring a fresh perspective to the team leadership role.

Pivot:  Pretty Peeved led the way with the stripe in 2011, sharing duties especially with Hot Roller and BruiseBerry Pie. Lady Scorcher and Mia Culprit also pivoted in 2011 and with their experience will undoubtedly be called upon to make up the gap this season. Misery Mae, who had a standout rookie year in 2011 has also shown a confidence to lead the packs and could be a key component of the team in 2012 and moving forward.

Second-year skater Rug Burn will be a key part of a deep jammer rotation. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Blocker: The Betties have slowly developed a very balanced pack. Led by the versatile Mia Culprit, the Betties can hit hard with the likes of Sin D Drop-Her and Laya Beaton, but also have positionally sound blockers in Tropic Thunder and Mouth of the South. Grim Avenger, who slipped into a bit of sophomore slump last season, seems on the cusp of becoming a core component of the pack, while for Geniune Risk, another third-year skater, this third year could be the year she steps up as well. But with a year of D-VAS experience under their belts, don’t count out Swazye and Renny Rumble as key contributors this season as well.

Jammer: With primary pack skaters like BruiseBerry Pie and Tropic Thunder able to jam when needed, the Betties have slowly developed a deep rotation of jammers. Led by Memphis Kitty and titmouse, who were the busiest jammers in 2011, rookie Rug Burn was a standout first-year skater last year and Platinum Bomb is growing into the role, while Sail Her Poon (who is a potential triple threat) and Wolverina (who is making her much anticipated return to the track in 2012) fill out the growing stable of jammers. On top of that, rookie General Patten looks like a key candidate to join this deepening rotation.

Along with the Dolls vs. Betties showdown, CN Power will also be hosting Roc City in a WFTDA bout.


Expectations for the Betties grow each year and in 2012 they have reached a new height. In many ways, on the track this team resembles the Smoke City Betties of 2008: a team loaded with talent that seems on the verge of bringing it all together but may not quite be there yet. That 2008 team would lose in the semi-finals to the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, but would appear in the championship game just one-year later. While it may be a bit much to think this team capable of challenging for the Boot this year, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if this year’s team competes with the Death Track Dolls for that final playoff spot, a battle that will begin at the season opener for the two teams.


  • BruiseBerry Pie was a triple threat in 2011, appearing in 60% of her team’s jams spread out over the three positions. At 49% and 48% respectively, Lady Scorcher and Pretty Peeved  were also hovering around that 50% mark. Memphis Kitty was the busiest jammer (33% with the star) with titmouse right behind her (28%).
  • BruiseBerry Pie led most blocking categories for the team including blocks (with Mia Culprit and Pretty Peeved just behind her), knockdowns (Mia again in second) and assists.
  • Memphis Kitty led the team in scoring with 68 points (1.66 points per jam).
  • BruiseBerry Pie also racked up the most penalty minutes (but with 8 for 75 jams, it was not as bad a percentage as it seems). Lady Scorcher had a remarkably clean year, sitting only one minute in the box despite being on the track for 61 jams over three games.

**The Betties kick off 2012 with a showdown against the Dolls at the Bunker in Downsview Park. CN Power will be hosting Roc City (Rochester, NY) in a WFTDA sanctioned bout to kick off the double header. Doors open a 5:00PM. Tickets available online and at select locations.

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.