Girl on Girl, Zombie on Zombie
Before I discuss October 15th’s Nightmare on 3rd Street bout, let me do a quick explanation for those who are not well aquatinted with roller derby and its rules. River City Rollergirls, or RCR, is a league of Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), which means they play on flat ground as opposed to a banked track. In the Greater Richmond Convention Center, where RCR plays their bouts, the track is outlined on the floor in tape. Within each bout, there are two 30 minute halves, and within each half, multiple 2 minute jams.
There are five members from each team on the track: 3 blockers, 1 pivot (with a striped helmet cover) and 1 jammer (with a star helmet cover). The jammer is the girl on a team who can score and the other girls on the floor make up the pack. The group starts out on the first line on the track, called the “pivot line," and the jammers start at the second line, appropriately called the “jammer line.” At the first whistle, the pack takes off and the jammers go out at the second whistle. The jammers then try to break through the pack, as the first jammer to get cleanly through becomes the lead jammer, who has the power to “call off the jam” at any point, by placing her hands on her hips. Calling off the jam is an important power to have in order to control who gets the points and how many.
Now, back to the bout. It was a double header, with RVA’s Uncivil Warriors taking on DC’s Capitol Offenders first and RVA’s Poe’s Punishers going against the Boston B Party. At arrival, there was a sight to be seen with Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman and Zorro zooming around on roller skates, throwing candy out to the crowd.
For the bout between the Uncivil Warriors and the Capitol Offenders, despite our lead and some good moves, the Offenders were in the lead at the half, 45 to 25. During a short 15 minute intermission, we got to enjoy children (and adults) spinning around and then attempting to run without falling down around the track to win a RCR shirt. After a tense second half, and Honey Ryder really pulling some stellar jams, the Warriors fall to the Offenders, 98 to 69.
During the half time break, a RCR girl dressed up like Wonder Woman held the costume contest, judged by claps, for adults and kids. The children’s category winner was a little girl dressed up like Pocahontas and the adult’s winner was a guy dressed up like the Joker in full nurse getup from "The Dark Knight Returns."
The second bout had some really exciting jams! First jam into the half, the B Party is ahead by five, but in the second jam, Punishers co-captain Paris Kills scores 16 points! At half time, the Punishers are in the lead, 76 to 26. Seems pretty formidable, but nothing a few good jams can’t close. In the second half, there are a crazy amount of 10+ point jams on both sides, most notably Hayley Contagious on the Boston side, but the Punishers prevail, 124 to 78.
If you’ve never been to a roller derby bout, you are really missing out. The atmosphere is loud and crazy but also fun and friendly. If you have any questions, there are appointed girls walking around with stickers that say ‘Ask me about Roller Derby’ and the RCR girls are just all around awesome. It’s super easy to volunteer, and the next bout is Season’s Beatings on December 3rd at the Convention Center and if you want to be a derby girl, RCR is holding Fresh Meat tryouts October 23rd and 25th at the Skateland on Hull Street in Richmond, VA.