sports writing

Weekend Recap: Chicks Ahoy! cruise into playoffs

Rebel Rock-It was a force with the stripe (here forcing titmouse out of bounds)

Chicks Ahoy! 266 (2-1) vs. Smoke City Betties 42 (0-3)

The Chicks Ahoy! may be peaking at just the right time. Looking to secure the second spot in ToRD’s regular season standing, the Chicks skated into the Hanger for their bout against the Smoke City Betties on Saturday night looking relaxed and focused. Despite a re-jigged lineup and a few absent players (including Mach Wheels who is in the midst of an excellent season), the Chicks looked cohesive and supportive in the pack. Rallying around the returning veteran Tara Part, they never looked out of control in what would turn out to be their most dominant performance of the year and maybe in their team’s history.

The difference in experience between the two teams was evident from virtually the first whistle. Led by explosive jamming from Candy Crossbones (who finished with a plus/minus of +71) and Dyna Hurtcha, (who led all scorers with 80), the Chicks were up 44 points before the Betties seemed comfortable in the game. Not that they weren’t asserting their physical dominance early on either, as a thunderous jammer take out by Marmighty on Pretty Peeved set the tone. Despite missing a full season due to a devastating injury, Tara Part did not look out of place and was quickly sharing the early pivot load with Rebel Rock It. Rebel played a strong bout once again whether killing power jams from the back of the pack or putting up 23 points in a single jam as jammer (a feat she would better by 2 points in the second half).

Candy Crossbones had another strong performance jamming; Lady Scorcher stepped up at every position for the Betties.

But as has happened all year, the Smoke City Betties just wouldn’t concede defeat and kept fighting against the odds. Lady Scorcher put in a solid all-around effort—seeming to be making up for the absent Memphis Kitty—and put in what was one of a series of gutsy performances for the Betties, which ranged from veterans (Hot Roller and Pretty Peeved) to rookies (Tropic Thunder and Platinum Bomb). The fans in The Hangar certainly appreciated the Betties tenacity and were clearly behind them to pull off the upset. But they never could seem to rattle the Chicks in the first half. With six minutes remaining the Chicks pulled ahead by 100. By the end of the period, they’d increased their lead to 130-14.

Chicks Ahoy! continued to rotate the lineup liberally in the second half, spreading out the workload almost equally among the bench. As a result, any number of players was a viable candidate for triple threat: Robber Blind played a strong bout at all positions and Mega Bouche also was her usual self on the track: delivering big hits and pulling off physical jams. Even Nasher the Smasher took a few turns at the jam line. But for the most part, the Chicks’ traditional jammers lead the way. Candy Crossbones added her name to the record books with a 25 point jam (joining Rebel at the top of the heap), and Kari Mia Beere had a bounce-back performance, looking scrappy and focused on the track.

Betties and Chicks post bout.

It’s certainly not all bad news for the Betties. While last year’s success must seem like a distant memory, and the present might seem a little grim, the future is looking brighter all the time. The continued rise of a few key players bodes well for the days ahead. The steady emergence of Tropic Thunder as a dependable jammer continued in this bout, and both titmouse (as jammer) and Grim Avenger (as pivot) looked very comfortable on the track. Young captain Sail Her Poon took on a different role in this bout, bringing her steadying presence to the pack and looked solid against her much bigger foes. With Sin D Drop Her and P Doddy taking on a good positional roles, and Mouth of the South always looking to help her jammer, they round out a core of rookies that has all the potential to do some damage in 2011 and beyond.

Despite the uneven score line, the Betties actually played their strongest bout of the season: the Chicks Ahoy! were  just that good on this night. Despite still running into some penalty trouble (far too many power jams were given up, particularly in the first half), they defended them beautifully. With Rebel Rock-It controlling pace like a drill sergeant, the Chicks pack work has come a long way. In a season that got off to an uneven start, the experienced Chicks’ squad has rounded into a fine late-season form. Their dominant performance should be taken as a message: this team is ready for the playoffs.

All photos by David Artemiw. Visit http://www.david

* Watch layer9’s footage of the bout and player interviews at ToRD.TV.

* Keep up to date on standings and statistics here.

* The playoffs run through October with the defending champion and top ranked Gore-Gore Rollergirls taking on the fourth place Smoke City Betties (October 2) and the second place Chicks Ahoy! playing the third ranked Death Track Dolls (October 23). Tickets for the first bout are available now. Previews coming soon*

Weekend Preview: Chicks Ahoy! vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Chicks Ahoy! (1-0 +12) vs. The Gore-Gore Rollergirls (1-0 +190)

ToRD‘s two undefeated teams will meet this Saturday night in a battle that could decide who gets the all important top playoff ranking. The Chicks Ahoy! and the The Gore-Gore Rollergirls also represent the two most successful teams in ToRD’s early history with the Gores’ two championships in ’07 and ’09 flanking the Chicks’ victory in ’08. In Their only matchup in ’09, the Gores managed a 93-87 victory in the season opener, a narrow margin of victory that wouldn’t be a surprise to see this weekend. The core of these teams remains, and have been fairly consistent over the years; these two teams know each other as well as two teams can and have done battle in some of the most important bouts in ToRD’s history. Which, of course, all adds up to a bout that you won’t want to miss.


Chicks Ahoy!

1. Defense dominates: The Chicks have developed into the premier defensive power in ToRD. The only team to hold the Gores under a hundred points last season, the Chicks have played in more low scoring, super-close bouts than any other team in the league. If they can keep this bout low scoring against an offensive juggernaut like the Gores, they just could pull out a victory. The pivots will be key in this department and the Chicks are loaded with talent up front. Rebel Rock-It, Nasher the Smasher, and Hoff are just three of the players capable of donning the stripe.

Mach Wheels put up huge jammer numbers against the Dolls.

2. Bout gets physical: A key to the Chicks’ defense is their ability to physically dominate a bout. The ultimate hit-and-run juggernaut, the Chicks are a physical team that can throw other teams off their games with bone-crunching hits and menacing walls. With the absence of hard hitting Mega Bouche and Dyna Hurtcha, the Chicks are missing two of their most physical players, so look for Nasher and Dolly Destructo to step it up and lead the charge. Not that these skaters can’t block positionally either. Mach Wheels, to name just one, is a one-woman wall capable to sending opposing jammers into fits with her exceptional ability to slow down and even stop opponents in their tracks.

3. Penalty box stays empty: The one drawback to playing such a physical game is the potential for penalties, and the Chicks are more susceptible than most (it seems) at drawing the attention of the refs. While the Chicks seemed to have reeled it in during their last bout against the Death Track Dolls (actually, they were able to sit back and watch the Dolls struggle with detrimental penalty woes late in the bout), they will need to maintain that kind of discipline throughout. The Gores have the kind of veteran lineup that can do serious damage with pack advantages and power jams.

Gore-Gore Rollergirls

1. Control the pack: The Chicks play a fairly wide open style game, with quick and crafty jammers dancing through gaping holes in the pack cleared by their blockers. One of the keys for the Gores will be to make sure the pack stays steady and tight throughout. While Brim Stone remains one of the league’s top pivots, she has been taking on more of a jammer role as of late and more of the responsibility with the stripe has fallen to veteran Junkie Jenny and second-year blocker Molly Boom, both of whom were exceptional at the position in the season opener. Also, keep an eye on rookie Hurlin’ Wall, who dominated positionally against the Smoke City Betties. Not to say they can’t get physical when needs be (Cases in point: Lady Gagya’s shoulders and hips and the return of hard-hitting Foxy Sinatra), but holding positions and dictating pace will be key for the Gores.

Brim Stone has emerged as a triple threat in 2010

2. Dominate the jammer battle: The one clear advantage that the Gores have had over other teams is the strength and consistency of their jammers. Dust Bunny, Bambi and Lunchbox form an enviable threesome at the jam line and an inability to contain them could be detrimental. The consistency of their jammers is how the Gores have managed to run away with so many games in their recent history. In the ToRD season opener, the Gores showed that they are not only a three-jammer team by adding Brim Stone (successfully) to the fold. With Candy Crossbones returning and Mach Wheels looking in fine form early in the season, dominating could be easier said than done. Balanced, consistent jams from their jammers will be essential to wearing down the Chicks.

3. Contain Mach Wheels: While it’s hard to single out just one player on such a talented team, the performance that Mach Wheels put in against the Dolls last month makes it hard to ignore her. To put it simply, she was a monster. She put up huge numbers from the jam line including an amazing 79% lead percentage and a plus/minus of +47. While the return to form of Kari Mia-Beere and Candy Crossbones’ return to the lineup will take off some of the pressure on Mach Wheels, that just means the Gores will have to contend with her in the pack as well, where her abilities and stats are equally striking. After a so-so 2009 (relatively speaking!), the 2010 version of Mach Wheels has returned to her dominant form. She will need to be contained (or at least neutralized) for the Gores to assure a victory.

From the archives: Chicks Ahoy! vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls in 2009 (Gores 93 - Chicks 87)


Based on history and standings, this Saturday’s bout will feature the best that ToRD has to offer. The Chicks have a veteran lineup (Marmighty is their sole rookie) that has been playing together for a long time; this familiarity translates into a certain chemistry on the track that few teams can match and this could be to their advantage. While the Gores picked up more rookies in the off season, their championship core remains essentially intact. Even taking into account the rookies (look for Santa Muerte and Hurlin’ Wall to step it up on Saturday), this could actually be a more solid lineup than the one that won The Boot last season. With even more depth at jammer, a few returning vets, a strong sense of identity and a championship to defend, the 2010 Gores remain the team to beat.

For a pre-bout primer, you can watch last year’s bout at layer9.


The spread of roller derby doesn’t seem to be abating any time soon, and this weekend a couple of ambassador teams are heading up north to play a neutral-site bout hosted by one such league. Sudbury’s Nickel City Roller Derby league is just getting started, and they are hosting Forest City’s Thames Fatales and GTAR’s Derby Debutantes in an exhibition. The bout is meant to act as both a learning experience for NCRD and as a way of introducing the sport to a new audience.

South of the border, The Rideau Valley Vixens continue their summer of roller derby road trips  as they head to Massachusetts this weekend to take on Pioneer Valley‘s Western Mass Destruction . The Vixens are looking to build off of a big victory over Utica recently.

Weekend Preview: Pride + ToRD = Clam Slam!


Clam Slam II, a PrideToRD collaboration, takes place this Friday night at The Hangar and it once again features some of the finest skaters Toronto, Canada and even the United States has to offer. The Clam Slam will feature two teams of all stars: The Vagine Regime, managed by The Death Track Dolls‘  bench boss Big Chees, and The Clam Diggers who will be managed by Tri-City’s Boss Applesauce. It’s anyone’s guess as to the outcome of the bout will be, as both rosters are stacked with talent.


Jackie Daniels of the Windy City Roller Girls

In a lineup full of big hitters, ToRD’s Land Shark and Sail-Her Poon, along with Hammer City’s Lock N Roll, will be relied upon to carry a good part of the jam load for the Vagine Regime, but they could be gamely aided by Windy City‘s triple threat Jackie Daniels, a well known and respected skater who helped start the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls and now plays for the #1 ranked team in WFTDA‘s North Central Division (and also appeared in last fall’s Whip It). But given the celebratory nature of the event, expect to see some players more known for their blocking than jamming don the star, and there are definitely options. Aside from outstanding ToRD blockers like Mega Bouche, Nasher the Smasher, and Lucid Lou, and great pivots like Rebel Rock-It, Brim Stone and Bionichrome (AKA the Dolls’ Monichrome), the Vagine Regime also boasts big-hitting visitors Mirambo (Forest City Roller Girls), Grouchy LadyThug (Assault City Roller Derby), BruiseBerry Pie (GTA Rollergirls’ Derby Debutantes), Sofanda Beatin (Tri-City) and Nameless Whorror  (Montreal). Primarily a team of veterans, P Doddy joins her Betties teammate Poon as the only rookies on the lineup.

Mexican Jumping Mean from San Fransisco's Bay Area Derby Girls


Despite that intimidating roster, the Clam Diggers have nothing to fear.  While they might not boast as much of a powerful pack, the may be able to lay claim to more natural jammers. Familiar face Sista Fista (who played two season with ToRD’s Dolls before returning to Victoria’s Eves of Destruction) will lead Getcha Kicks (GTAR’s Derby Debutantes), Kari-Mia Beere (ToRD’s Chicks Ahoy!), and ToRD veteran Memphis Kitty (Smoke City Betties) at the jam line.  There’s also a good chance that Dyna Vagina (AKA the Chicks’ Dyna Hurtcha),  Firweed (Chicks) and Mexican Jumping Mean (From the Bay Area Derby Girls) will be thrown the star as well. What the Diggers’ pack lacks in pure power, it may make up positionally. The three Tri-City skaters on the roster (Anita Martini, sine-e-star and Bareleigh Legal) play together on both the Tri-City Thunder and the Vicious Dishes and are all key components of the recent successes of that league and its teams, and the great development of their pack control and pace strategies. Waxey McBush is a rookie with Montreal’s defending champion Les Filles Du Roi and has looked strong positionally early on in her first season. Two ToRD rookies will be joining her for their first Clam Slams as well (The Gores’ Shiver-Me-Timbers [AKA Aston Martini] and Hot Boxx [AKA Chronic]); a few veterans, Victoria’s Lady Cuntessa, Hammer City’s Perky Set and ToRD’s Hot Roller and Hoff will be relied up to hold things together in the pack.

However you look at it, both teams balance out in the end which is a bonus for fans. While you can expect all the big hits and strategic packs as you would in any roller derby bout, there will be a more playful element to the proceedings: If last year’s Clam Slam is any indication this will be an exciting celebration of roller derby and a can’t miss Pride event.

* I was recently interviewed by Bryan Mcwilliam from Gear Up for Sports. He has been doing a great job following ToRD this season introducing it to a new audience and giving roller derby the sports-page treatment that it deserves. The interview was part of his Clam Slam preview. You can read it here.


Clam Diggers

Anita Martini 9 (Tri City Roller Girls, Kitchener)
Bareleigh Legal 18 (TCRG, Kitchener)
Dyna Vagina 21 (ToRD)
Fireweed -40  (ToRD)
Getcha Kicks 76 (GTA Rollergirls, Toronto)
Hoff 65+ (ToRD)
Hot Boxx 60gritt (ToRD)
Hot Roller 48 (ToRD)
Kari Mia Beer 6 (ToRD)
Lady Cuntessa 702w (Eves of Distruction, Victoria)
Memphis Kitty 56 (ToRD)
Mexican Jumping Mean 7 (B.A.D Girls, San Francisco)
Perky Set 3 (HCRG, Hamilton)
Scissor-Me-Timbers 510 (ToRD)
sin-e-star 306 (TCRG, Kitchener)
Sista Fista 54u (Eves, Victoria)
Waxey McBush 200$/hr (MTLRD, Montreal)

Manager: Boss Applesauce (TCRG)

Vagine Regime

Bionichrome 35 (ToRD)
Brim Stone 2:18 (ToRD)
BruiseBerry Pie 31 (GTA Rollergirls, Toronto)
Fubar Bundy 765 (ToRD)
The Grouchy LadyThug 12:00 (Assault City Roller Derby, Syracruse NY)
Jackie Daniels No7 (Windy City Roller Girls, Chicago Ill)
Land Shark 33 (ToRD)
Lock N Roll 00 (HCRG, Hamilton)
Lucid Lou 12:34 (ToRD)
Mega Mouth 26 (ToRD)
Mirambo (Forest City Roller Girls, London)
Nameless Whorror 202  (MTLRD, Montreal)
Nasher the Smasher 2×4 (ToRD)
P Doddy 32 (ToRD)
Rebel Rock It  7 (ToRD)
Sail Her Poon 090w (ToRD)
Sofanda Beatin 420 (TCRG, Kitchener)

Manager: Big Chees (ToRD)

Weekend Recap: Chicks beat Dolls in another classic

The Death Track Dolls 109 vs. The Chicks Ahoy! 121

During the final few jams of ToRD’s second regular season bout on Saturday night, the skaters on The Death Track Dolls’ bench looked on in stunned disappointment. With a full penalty box, the Dolls could do little more than watch as The Chicks Ahoy! skated out the final few jams mistake free and took the 121- 109 victory; an anti-climactic ending to what had been another classic bout between these two evenly matched teams.

Demolition Dawn continued her progress as a jammer for the Dolls.

Despite missing top jammer Candy Crossbones, the Chicks! were able to put together the kind of sustained offensive attack that eluded them at times last year. Mach Wheels led the way, taking the first jam and not giving up many lead positions after that. Off-season acquisition Crimson Shivers made her ToRD jamming debut in the bout joining Kari-Mia Beere, Fireweed, Dolly Destructo and rookie Marmighty in a multi-faceted Chicks’ offense. The Chicks! were able to jump out to a quick lead early, but the first half was like a tug of war with each team fighting for every single inch of track space. The lead changed many times, but no team was able to run away with it. Land Shark, Demolition Dawn, Betty Bomber and rookie SlamWow responded at the jam line for the Dolls, though it would be blocker Audrey Hellborn who would pull off the most stunning jam in the first half. With Nasher the Smasher expelled for the period (after five trips to the box), and the Chicks running into penalty trouble, the Dolls pulled off a perfectly executed power jam; Hellborn used a controlled and slow-moving pack to her advantage, showing endurance and fight in a 24 point burst that allowed the Dolls to pull ahead 76-58 at the half.

Nasher the Smasher was a physical menace all night (especially for the Dolls' jammers)

The blockers took over in the second half, a much scrappier, harder fought period that saw the Dolls’ scoring slow down considerably (from 76 to only 33 points). Big defense from Mega Bouche, Hoff and Nasher the Smasher (who seemed to be either wreaking havoc on the track or sitting in the box all night) paced the pack for the Chicks while Bomber, Jubilee and Panty Hoser led the push back. In a night of big hits and thrilling jammer take outs, Betty Bomber’s thundering, second-half blow to Kari-Mia Beere may have been the shot of the night. But in the end, the Dolls (trying to push forward with banged up jammers Demolition Dawn and Land Shark) could not sustain the offensive attack that had been so effective in the first half.

Mach Wheels was dangerous whenever she was on the track.

It was the most consistent and well played bout of 2010 for the Chicks who managed to remain more disciplined in key moments and delivered a balanced attack in both halves. The Dolls continue their steady development and put together an even more well-rounded and consistent effort than they did in their two-point loss last year. Mach Wheels was sensational for the Chicks, while for the Dolls both Audrey Hellborn and Betty Bomber showed that they are triple threats who should be watched closely as 2010 progresses. It was another extraordinary bout from these two squads: Both teams left it all on the track, and the crowd in The Hanger was appreciative. One can only hope that they meet again further down the road toward the 2010 championship. Watch highlights, interviews and layer9’s boutcast at ToRD.TV.

A Busy Weekend Ahead

It’s a busy Saturday night coming up in Easter Canadian roller derby with bouts in Kitchener, Hamilton,the GTA and Montreal! Fresh from a strong offensive performance against MTLRD’s Contrabanditas, Tri-City Thunder are playing their first home bout of the season this Saturday against Roc City’s Roc Stars (Rochester, NY). In Montreal those same Ditas will be in tough against defending champs Les Filles du Roi. In Hamilton, the much improved Death Row Dames host Thames Fatales in what could be an excellent bout. And finally, in the GTA, The Rollergettes take on GTAR’s Chrome Mollys (coming off of handily winning their debut bout 190-49 last weekend against Ottawa’s Bytown Blackhearts).

Demolition Dawn continues to progress as a jammer for the Dolls.

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)


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).


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.


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.


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


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).

2010 Season Preview: The Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 2010


RECORD Points For (Per Game) Points Against

(Per Game)

Plus/Minus Margin of Victory Margin of Loss


347 (115.67)

233 (77.67)


48 (3)

– (0)

* Lifetime: 9-1 regular season; 3-1 playoffs (champions in ’07, ’09; finalists in ’08)

* Vs. Betties (’09): 2-0 (including championship) / Lifetime: 4-0 (including ’08 semi-finals, ’09 finals)

2009 was a banner year for the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, who went undefeated for the season (including pre-season) and capped it off with their second ToRD Championship (in their third consecutive trip to the final). They also dominated in every single statistical category, registering a plus/minus that was an astonishing 105 points higher than the second place score. The team’s average margin of victory was also an amazing 48 (well ahead of the Betties’ 18.5).

Foxy Sinatra returns in 2010


Fortunately for fans of the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, the core of last year’s championship team has returned to defend The Boot, and they will once again be led by bench manager His Unholiness, The Reverend Ramirez. Along with the veteran leadership provided by the likes of Brim Stone, Junkie Jenny and Dust Bunny, two legends of the past, Kandy Barr and the big-hitting Foxy Sinatra (check out her monster blocker stats from 2008), return in 2009 after taking hiatuses. Molly Bloom, Lady Gagya, Bambi and Lunchbox all put in strong performances at this year’s Beast of the East and look like they haven’t lost a step heading into the regular season.

Santa Muerte made the Nerd's shortlist for breakout player at BOE '10


Despite the number of returning players, the Gores will be incorporating a number of rookies into the lineup this season as well. Santa Muerte, Aston Martini, Gamma Rei, Miss Kitty La Peur, and Hurlin Wall all gained valuable experience at this years’ BOE. In particular, Hurlin Wall and Santa Muerte stood out with their composure and comfort in the pack and could receive a lot of track time during this title defense.


Pivots: Brim Stone and Junkie Jenny are going to be relied upon heavily this season to carry the load at the front of the pack, but their experience and knowledge of the game will help a young pack develop quickly. Lady Gagya has looked strong since opening the 2010 preseason with CN Power against The Rideau Valley Vixens, and her stabilizing presence and ability to clear big holes could see her sharing the pivot responsibility this season.

Blockers: Kandy Barr and Foxy Sinatra will undoubtedly need some time to return to their form of two season ago,

Lunchbox had a breakout season in 2009

but could become key players in the pack as the season progresses. Lady Gagya and Molly Boom both made huge leaps in development during the preseason, and along with returning skaters Monie Darko, Motley Cru-ela, and Bella Clava, will be expected to lead the way for the Gores. Santa Muerte looked absolutely fearless at the BOE, and as her timing on the track improves, could be a true menace in the pack.

Jammers: No fan of Toronto Roller Derby will be surprised by the Gores’ jammer lineup for 2010. And really, if it isn’t broken…The 1-2-3 combination of Dust Bunny (2009 ToRD Award winner for best jammer), Bambi (2008 and 2009 JQ leader), and Lunchbox (who had a breakthrough season) dominated in 2009 and will once again be relied upon to lead the offensive charge. While it’s true that no other team can boast a jammer lineup as intimidating as this one, this strength is also its weakness. The Gores don’t have any jammers beyond their big three. Brim Stone has proven more than capable, but her ability as pivot cannot be replaced, and of the rookies, only Santa Muerte took a turn with the star at BOE. So an injury to one of these three could be potentially devastating for the Gores.

Gores receive The Boot at the end of the 2009 championship


The Gores open the season with a rematch of the 2009 championship, but it is a far different Smoke City Betties lineup than the one that played for The Boot last November, and considering the history between these two teams (the Betties have never beaten the Gores), they shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to the Gores’ early season aspirations. Things might get interesting with a vastly more experienced Chicks Ahoy! (the Gores’ foes in the ’07 and ’08 finals), and a quickly improving Death Track Dolls later in the season. The key to a successful title defense will rely on the jammers staying healthy, and the young pack coming together as a unified front. Despite the challenges and difficulties of defending a league championship, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls look like they have the tools and the determination to do so.

See the full roster here.

For a visual preview, watch layer 9’s coverage of ToRD’s 2009 championship game.

Beast of the East 2009: Recap

Beast of the East 2009 (Poster)

The early days of flat track roller derby in Canada were dominated largely by the Hammer City Roller Girls and especially by the Hamilton Harlots. Late in the summer of 2006 the Harlots won the Betties D-Day, the first inter-city flat track derby tournament in Canada, with victories over Montreal and ToRD‘s Smoke City Betties. They would continue to lead the pace in Canadian derby by scoring a lopsided victory over MTLRD‘s La Racaille in the 2008 Beast of the East final. (Derby Luv has archived all of the results from 2008) But there was a definite shift in power during the 2008 season and although the Harlots, based on their previous record, would enter the tournament as favourites, no one was counting out any of the teams from Montreal or Toronto. One thing was certain, BOE 2009 would usher in a new era of competitive roller derby in Canada.


Aside from an only slightly surprising Death Row Dames victory over Thames Fatales (23-19), the early rounds went mostly as expected. Massive victories by ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls (103-11 over Capital Carnage), Hammer City’s Harlots (69-6 against the GTAR’s Derby Debutantes), and MTLRD’s Les Filles du Roi (77-6 vs. The Death Track Dolls) and La Racaille (67-10 over the Bay Street Bruisers, in their last appearance as a team) established the early front runners.

ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls and Ottawa’s Capital Carnage ready to kick off BOE ’09

Despite opening losses, the Death Track Dolls and Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters would battle their way through to the quarter finals with back-to-back must-win victories. One shocker could be the elimination of defending ToRD champs The Chicks Ahoy!, but they faced a tough draw, losing tight bouts to MTLRD champs La Racaille and Hammer City champs, the Harlots.


One of the most anticipated quarter-final match ups never actually happened. The improved and determined Smoke City Betties were looking to have a big year in ToRD and were fired up for a quarter-final test against the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Unfortunately, shaken up by the devastating injury to one of their star players, Desmond Deck-Her (check out her 2007 and 2008 jammer stats), the Gores pulled out of the tournament, giving the Betties a clear path to the semis. MTLRD’s Contrabanditas advanced with a hard-fought victory over the surprising Slaughter Daughters while the other bracket would see La Racaille trounce the Dolls and Les Filles Du Roi handle the Harlots in a classic, low scoring bout. The Harlots’ loss ending their bid for consecutive BOE titles.


In only a minor surprise, three of the four semi-finalists were from MTLRD, with ToRD’s Betties being the only exception. They’d put up a great fight against the Ditas, but for the second time during the weekend, the Montreal skaters in black overcame the scrappy Betties squad 33-23. In the other semi, the two finalists from MTLRD’s previous season met for the second time in the tournament. The first round meeting had been an instant classic, a back and forth battle that saw Les Filles pull it out in the end. It would be a different story in the semis as La Racaille pulled ahead early and could not be caught, holding on for a 38-20 victory and setting up an all Montreal final.


Led by the likes of Trash N Smash, Ewan Wotarmy, and Georgia W. Tush, the Contrabanditas would throw everything they had at their league rivals. La Racaille would answer back with memorable jams from Izzy Skellington, Lyn-dah Kicks and, of course, the Iron Wench, while Wrath Poutine, Bone Machine, and  No Holds Bard held the pack. In the end, La Racaille just had too much fire power and won their first BOE championship 49-34.


Breakout Team: Slaughter Daughters of the Rideau Valley Roller Girls

Despite entering the tournament as relative unknowns, The Daughters would announce their presence in their very first bout pushing the highly favoured  Smoke City Betties to the limit before falling 32-24. They would go on to take their next two bouts with impressive victories over Tri-City’s Venus Fly Tramps (48-14) and Forest City’s Thames Fatales (68-28). Their tournament would end in the quarter finals, but not before Semi Precious, Dee Dee Tee, Sister Disaster, the awesome Soul Rekker, and their teammates made quite an impression.

The Dolls’ Land Shark calls the jam against The Vicious Dishes

Breakout Player: Land Shark (ToRD’s Death Track Dolls)

After a solid rookie campaign in 2008, there were high hopes pinned on Land Shark as she entered ToRD’s 2009 season.  She didn’t disappoint at BOE 2009 and was phenomenal in the Doll’s run to the quarter finals. Particularly, it was her 15 point jam at a critical point in the a tight, must-win bout against the Vicious Dishes that put the game out of reach and sent the Dolls into the next round. Her break-out performance at the BOE would be a springboard for a breakout season in ToRD that would see her nominated for 2009 jammer of the year.

Best Bout: Contrabanditas (28) vs. Slaughter Daughters (25)–quarter-finals.

This was a very tough call. The other nominees were both first rounders: La Racaille and The Chicks Ahoy! battled through the closest bout of the tournament (36-35, La Racaille), while La Racaille and Les Filles had the most skill-filled and exciting bout (43-35, Les Filles). The fact that these were both first-round bouts would be the difference in the end; I picked the Daughters-Ditas bout because no one expected it to be so close (or so exciting), and it took place in the sudden death, quarter-final round. Despite being over-matched, the Daughters refused to bend under the Ditas’ attack, and in the end came within three points of what would have been a monumental upset.

* Full BOE 2009 results are available here. Preview continues on Thursday.

* All photos were taken by Derek Lang; visit bagelhot for more information.

The Jammer Quotient: A Look Back at 2007 (1)

Chicks Ahoy! vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls (2007)

In the lead up to ToRD’s 2010 regular season, I decided to take a look back at the jammer quotients from the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons. The jammer quotient is a statistical comparison of jammers based on a jammer’s rating in five categories. As expected, over a full season, the JQs were quite close, and the rating rewarded the most consistent jammer. The one limitation that I had is that the data for one of the five JQ categories (plus/minus) is not available for ToRD’s first two seasons; thus the highest JQ a player could possibly achieve in either 2007 or 2008 was 40 (though I’ve added adjusted scores in parentheses based on percentage). Those first two seasons are also interesting in that ToRD was then a six-team league consisting of the 2007 champion Gore-Gore Roller Girls (GGR), 2008 champion Chicks Ahoy! (CA!), the Smoke City Betties (SCB), the Death Track Dolls (DTD), and the two defunct teams: the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DVAS) and the Bay Street Bruisers (BSB).    



Jammer Total Points Points Per Jam Plus/ Minus Jam % Lead % JQ
Dust Bunny (GGR) 10 7 N/A 4 9 30 (38)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 7 10 N/A 0 8 25 (32)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 4 4 N/A 6 10 24 (30)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 8 8 N/A 0 6 22 (28)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 9 6 N/A 5 0 20 (25)
G-Force! (CA!) 6 1 N/A 7 5 19
Jubilee (DTD) 5 3 N/A 8 0 16
Ce Four (BSB) 0 0 N/A 9 5 14
Ice Pick (DVAS) 1 9 N/A 1 2 13
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 3 0 N/A 10 0 13


The 2007 champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls produced two of the top five rated jammers, a tradition of depth at the position that has continued to this day. Dust Bunny didn’t exactly run away with the JQ, but the largest gap between positions was the 5 point gap between her first place JQ and Candy Crossbones’ second place one. A 3 point gap between sixth place G-Force! And seventh place Jubilee was the second largest gap. Over the course of the season, it was consistency that paid off with Dust Bunny being one of only three jammers to gain points in all four categories. (The others were G-Force! and Ice Pick.) No Jammer led in more than one category but Dust Bunny came first in total points and second in lead %. While Demolition Dawn (SCB) was statistically the biggest triple threat (with an average of at least three jams per bout as pivot, blocker, and jammer), Dolly Destructo spent the most time in the pack of the JQ rated skaters, and recorded a very high number of hits (38) and a knockdown percentage of 58%.

Below is the breakdown by category for rankings of each of the four stats used to determine the 2007 JQ.


Jammer Total Points
Dust Bunny (GGR) 173 (10)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 167 (9)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 152 (8)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 143(7)
G-Force! (CA!) 142 (6)
Jubilee (DTD) 134 (5)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 128 (4)
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 119(3)
Alicia Arsenic (GGR) 113 (2)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 112(1)

The Gore-Gore Roller girls and Chicks Ahoy! were the dominant teams in 2007 and it showed in the total points category as members of each team held down the top five positions.


Jammer Points Per Jam
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 5.5 (10)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 5.33 (9)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 5.24 (8)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 4.55 (7)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 4.51 (6)
Japanna (DVAS) 4.32 (5)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 3.88 (4)
Jubilee (DTD) 3.83 (3)
Kandy Barr (GGR) 3.67 (2)
G-Force! (CA!) 3.55 (1)

Despite not even finishing in the top ten in jam %, Candy Crossbones finished fourth in points scored, and made the most of her limited opportunities by scoring an amazing 5.5 points per jam over the course of the season.


Jammer Jam %
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 35.24 (10)
Ce Four (BSB) 33.65 (9)
Jubilee (DTD) 33.33 (8)
G-Force! (CA!) 33.06 (7)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 32.35 (6)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 30.58 (5)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 29.01(4)
Alicia Arsenic (GGR) 26.12 (3)
JJ Bladez (DVAS) 25.00 (2)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 22.43 (1)

Miss Tress Nightmare was ToRD’s workhorse of 2007, wearing the star for an amazing 35% of the 0-3 Death Track Doll’s jams. All in all seven skaters jammed for about 1/3 of their teams jams.


Jammer Lead %
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 61 (10)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 58 (9)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 54 (8)
Alicia Arsenic (GGR) 49 (7)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 48 (6)
Ce Four (BSB) 43 (5)
G-Force! (CA!) 43 (5)
Japanna (DVAS) 42 (3)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 38 (2)
Kandy Barr (GGR) 37 (1)

Given the sheer number of jams each of them took part in over the course of the seasons, Jewel Kicker and Dust Bunny put up absolutely amazing percentages in this category. It will be interesting to see if the comparative parity amongst the ToRD teams in 2010 will allow for such high averages from any player.

2008 and 2009 JQs are coming soon.

Word on the track

Ewan Wotarmy lines up Lady Gagya; Rebel Rock-It attempts to cut through the pack (New Skids on the Block vs. CN Power 03/27/10)


In a Quad City Chaos preview I’d speculated that Montreal’s New Skids on the Block may have been the hottest WFTDA team in 2010. I was basing my statement on the fact that after opening 2010 with 2 tough losses to highly ranked WFTDA teams, the Skids have won their final five bouts by huge margins (not to mention a couple of one-sided victories against non-WFTDA teams). So, with all that in mind, are the Skids really the hottest WFTDA skaters in 2010?

According to the numbers on (WFTDA points and 0verall rankings), there are four teams in the running, but I’m not going to count the Oly Rollers because their biggest leap in points actually occurred at the 2009 WFTDA Nationals (even if only reflected in the opening standings of 2010). So that leaves Montreal against the Bellingham Roller Betties and the Slaughter County Roller Vixens. In terms of point differential (flattrack stats uses a very precise, complicated and fascinating algorithm to determine its points; you can read all about it here), Slaughter County has made the greatest leap in 2010 (75.55 points). This is only slightly higher than Bellingham’s 65.89 point leap and Montreal’s 62.88 point leap. What is important to note though, is how each team’s ranking has changed. Bellingham has only moved 3 spots from 72nd to 69th overall (and upon further inspection, did so based not on their own victories, but on the losses of others). Similarly, while Slaughter County had the biggest points increase, they only  jumped 13 spots (70th -57th), and they too relied upon the losses of others (and their own losses to highly ranked teams), and one big victory over Central Coast. In terms of rankings, Montreal is the clear winner in this category, jumping a remarkable 24 spots so for in 2010 (from 58th to 34th, and 13th to 8th in the Eastern Region). More importantly, they did so based not on the misfortunes of other teams, but on the strength of their own victories. So what had begun as simple hyperbole, has turned out to be true: Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are indeed the hottest team in WFTDA.

(Check here for a recap of the Skids’ recent 3 game, east coast road trip).


Speaking of hot teams! With their 170-119 victory over 11th ranked Madison, the top ranked defending WFTDA champion Oly Rollers took one more step toward a big record with their 14th consecutive WFTDA sanctioned victory. They are now only 4 wins away from Gotham‘s record of 18 strait victories; a two-year streak that ended last year. (The DNN roundup of Oly’s victory also includes a very good recap of the Hammer City-hosted WFTDA sanctioned bout between the Eh! Team and the New Skids on the Block prior to The Quad City Chaos.)


Although men’s bouts have been happening since the start of derby’s modern revival, and random teams having been popping up all over the place (including Western Canada), for the first time an organized league has been formed. The Men’s Derby Coalition (MDC) (featuring teams in Baltimore, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts) kicked off play on March 27th, 2010. (The Derby News Network provides a great season preview.)


While most eastern Canadian leagues kick off their home leagues in May, the Tri-City Roller Girls are starting their season pre Beast of the East this year, on April 10th, with a bout between defending champs The Vicious Dishes and their Tri-City rivals The Venus Fly Tramps. Both teams will be looking to get some important game-practice in leading up to BOE 2010.


Look for a look back at Beast of the East ’09, a preview of BOE ’10, and team previews for the upcoming ToRD season.

Quad City Chaos: Recap

Defecaitlin fights through Terminal City's pack.


No surprises at this weekend’s Quad City Chaos, unless Montreal’s New Skids being even better than advertised could be considered a surprise. Montreal easily won the first annual Quad City Chaos invitational, posting lop-sided victories over all involved, including topping 200 points in two of their three bouts. CN Power (2-1) finished a strong second in the tournament, with Hammer City’s Eh! Team third after edging a game Terminal City squad in an exciting and closely contested conclusion to the tournament.






New Kids on the Block (MTLRD)





CN Power (ToRD)





Eh! Team (Hammer City)





Terminal City All Stars (TCRG)






The bouts involving CN Power, The Eh! Team, and the Terminal City All Stars were all close, hard fought battles, with the teams often changing leads. The differences between these three teams were negligible at best, and you got the feeling that on any given night any one of these teams could prevail. That parity made for an exciting weekend and bodes well for the future of roller derby in Canada.

After a disorganized, and potentially jet-lagged opening half against the CN Power, Terminal City noticeably improved with each bout, often quickly adapting to the nuances of the eastern game and the strategies of the opposing teams.

Brim Stone and Perky Set at the top of the pack.

Skater for skater the girls from Vancouver matched up well. Despite the 0-3 record, The All Stars showed moments of brilliance over the weekend; at times this team was like a shape shifter, adapting to and countering strategies of other teams. They were capable of keeping Montreal under 200 points (160) almost solely due to their defense on power jams. Not wanting to get into a slow, strategic positional-blocking battle with the Skids, they instead elected to race ahead of the Montreal blockers and stretch the pack to encourage one on one battles. This also forced the jammer to work twice as hard, resulting in extremely fast-paced, low scoring jams.

The Eh! Team looked a little unpracticed at times this weekend, with loose formations and no answers to the pack strategies being employed by the Skids. But they had some great jamming and also improved with each bout and will undoubtedly use this weekend as a starting point for what should be a challenging but exciting WFTDA season.

Even missing a few star players, The New Skids on the Block look poised to make a breakthrough in WFTDA’s Eastern division. Almost militant in their preparation and surgical in the execution of strategy, Montreal constantly frustrated the other teams with a few different blocker traps (at the back and on the line), some well-timed and well-placed hits, and an almost unhitable arsenal of jammers. This is a team to watch in 2010, and, as long as the players stay healthy, should make its well-deserved debut in the WFTDA Regionals.

Collide-O-Skope Kid and Iron Wench at the line.


Such a long tournament and there were so many amazing performances that it is hard to narrow down key players on each side. Terminal City’s Lambe Baste Her, Luludemon, and Roller Girl provided strong jamming all weekend, while Barra Couga was a tenacious thorn in more than a few sides. LA Gunns did not look like someone returning from a major injury and delivered some serious hits in the pack, and 8-Mean Wheeleer provided solid leadership.

For the Eh! Team, Carla Coma and Vicadoom continued to carry the jam load, but big hitter Bitchslap Barbie stepped in against TCRG and put up a lot of points in the victory. Perky Set battaled hard all weekend, and Lock N Roll made her return to The Hangar wearing a visitor’s jersey for the first time, and looked up to the tastk, even taking her turn with the star against her former CN Power teammates.

The New Skids on the Block simply had no weaknesses in its lineup. The Iron Wench continued to show that she is a world class jammar, with strong suport from Lyn-dah Kicks and Georgie W. Tush.  Jess Bandit proved that she can lead a pack with the best of them, and Ewan Wotarmy and Smack Daddy did double duty, providing solid pack blocking with some energetic jams.


Mach Wheels holds Avi Hater outside while Lunchbox takes the inside.

Any way you look at it, this was an extraordinarily successful weekend for the members of CN Power. They had an opportunity to test themselves against the best that the country had to offer and managed to grind out two impressive victories; perhaps more importantly, they faced intelligent, tough opponents with different strengths and weaknesses, which will undoubtedly teach them a lot going forward. While the two victories were important, the way they happened was potentially more so.

Feeling confident and urged on by the home crowd, CN Power came out flying in its opening game against Terminal City. Employing a strategy of slow packs and aggressive jamming (reminiscent of their victory over The Rideau Valley Vixens), the trio of Lunch Box, Land Shark, and Defecailtlin lead the team to a huge lead early against a bewildered, and unfocused Vancouver squad, taking a 40 point lead into halftime. But the second half was another story and the All Stars were like a different team–relentless defense, aggressive hitting, and defensive jamming all contributed to a much more competitive second half, and although CN Power held on for a 97-79 victory, they  paid a physical price for it in the end.

The effects of playing back-to-back bouts were obvious as the hometeam fell behind early against their provincial rivals from Hamilton (55-49 at the half). But CN Power, still stinging after a two year losing streak to the Eh! Team, sent a clear message in the second half: the team has come to play in 2010. With Defecaitlin seeing limited action due to injury, Bambi stepped up and provided key jams in the second half, and in a spirited effort, CN Power took the lead and held on for an amazing 89-87 victory.

It was a different story against the Skids. After an emotionally exhausting Saturday, CN Power was never really able to get anything going against the powerhouses on Sunday. Constantly frustrated,  CN Power did show signs of the potential for a stronger performance late: even in the face of such opposition, Lunchbox was her usual calm self and provided some much needed consistency at the jam line, and Land Shark displayed a new level of toughness mixing it up with (and even getting the better of ) Montreal’s super pivot Jess Bandit on a few occasions. CN Power also showed some ingenuity in the second half  including giving Montreal a taste of its own medicine with a well executed trap. But in the end the inability to defend against the power jam allowed the Skids to run up the score.

Brim Stone and Rebel Rock-It provided solid leadership up front all weekend and Nasher the Smasher, making her 2010 debut, also looked comfortable in the stripe. Mach Wheels continues to impress with her unbelievable control and poise and made more than her fair share of hilight-worthy assists on the weekend (including an impressive ‘waitress’ against the Skids).


This weekend also saw the launch of ToRD.TV, a site dedicated to hilighting ToRD and its skaters. Keep an eye out for upcoming specials (interviews, bout hilights, etc…) from this weekend’s Quad City Chaos.