On Saturday June 21, Flood Water Roller Derby of Roseville, CA, made a three hour trip north to battle the Red Bluff Derby Girls on their home track at the Tehama Fairgrounds. The bout was held on a dark concrete floor slippery like glass. The addition of a little rosin powder made the surface manageable. There was a modest but enthusiastic crowd cheering for the carnage as the temperature rose in the building.
The first jam
Flood Water jammer Sunshine Nightmare (in blue) was the first to don the panty and take the jammer line against Red Bluff’s Zombie Sue Aside (in red). Nightmare was out first but both the blue and red pack were so fierce that neither jammer had advantage, ending in a 0-0 jam. The bout would be pretty equally matched for the first quarter.
With about 14:58 left in the first half, Bad Astral for Flood Water took the jammer line against Goody Two Screws of Red Bluff. Goody was out first for lead jammer but was immediately sent to the penalty box for a back block. Astral proceeded to go on a scoring spree easily breezing through the pack as Tactical Nuclear Penguin pinched two, sometimes three skaters to the inside or outside. After Astral’s 25-point power jam, Flood Water pulled into the lead.
Things took a downward turn in the bout just a few minutes before the half. Jammer Zombie Sue Aside of Red Bluff, fighting for her way around the apex, found herself on the bottom of a pile up and tweaked her knee. She was carried off the track and did not return to play.
Score at the half: 93-79, Flood Water
The bout was managed by International Derby Officials’ Organization (IDOO), a staffing agency bringing together all the necessary referees and non-skating officials. While they were on top of the paperwork and up to date on the new WFTDA rules clarifications, the bout ran less than smoothly in an official capacity. To begin with, the bout was understaffed, a common problem at roller derby bouts, leaving many NSOs to do the work of two or three people. As a further problem, IDOO continues to staff referees known to be completely incompetent and about whom they have received numerous complaints from numerous leagues. Roller derby, however, remains a sport of necessity, which could explain why staffing problems can’t be avoided. It does not however, excuse claims by certain volunteers that head staff members were abusive. Many volunteers were staffed in positions with brief, last minute training. Just moments before the bout began, the three board wasn’t yet set up. The NSO meeting, giving volunteers their assignments, was held less than 10 minutes before the bout began. Alas, the bout must go on.
The second half
After the loss of Zombie Sue Aside, Red Bluff relied heavily on the impressive jamming skills of Swift D. Mize and the aggressive blocking prowess of Am Bam Booty Slam and Smelly Brikhaus. Swifty had two or three jams with multiple scoring passes and cut through opposing blockers like butter. As if in a private duel with Swifty, Lil Beez Neez of Flood Water had a few high scoring jams herself, keeping Flood Water in the lead. For a few jams in the second half the score was nearly tied again, until Flood Water pulled away, once and for all.
Final Score: 194-139, Flood Water