A special thanks to Weavin’ Kohl Bear for this compelling account of the SVRG exhibition bout while I was off road trippin’.
For their second exhibition bout at Roosevelt Park, SVRG split itself into two teams, the Stars and the Stripes. Skaters set aside their signature green and black for red, white, and blue in an early celebration of Independence Day. The roller girls had a chance to show their creativity as well as athleticism as they bouted in homemade uniforms that expressed their personal style. To complete the theme, the teams’ patriotic looks were topped off by custom jammer and pivot helmet covers, hand-made by skater Steffen Razor.
Team Stripes took the early lead, with jammers Smashleigh, CynTax, and The Undietaker earning a combined 16 points in the first three jams while their blockers kept the Stars jammers from scoring a single point. Team Stars fought back in the fourth jam, shutting out the Stripes and putting 4 points on the scoreboard, but they just couldn’t stop the Stripes’ momentum.
Team Stars pushed themselves to gain the lead, with three of their skaters jamming in back-to-back jams in the 90-degree heat; in roller derby, though, your score is limited by how many times your jammer can lap the pack. Jammers do not score on their first pass through the pack, and Team Stars jammers were never able to make it through the pack more than twice in the first period, limiting their ability to put points on the board. Team Stripes achieved several scoring passes, including one 10-point jam by Feisty Irish where she earned two grand slam points for lapping the opposing team’s jammer, as well as earning points on each Stars blocker. At the end of the first period, the Stripes were ahead of the Stars, 46-11.
In the second period, Team Stars exploded off the jam line like a 4th of July firecracker, and Stars jammers scored 9 points to the Stripes’ 4 in the first three jams. In the fourth jam, Team Stars’ Double Easy had one of the biggest jams of the game, with three scoring passes that totaled 11 points, equivalent to the Stars’ first period total score. The Stars were definitely making a comeback, but there’s always one factor that can change the game: penalties.
Team Stars had twice as many major penalties as Team Stripes during the second period, which took their skaters off the track and gave the Stripes an advantage. Skaters must serve one full minute in the penalty box every time they earn one major penalty or accrue four minor penalties. Because of the extreme heat, Stars & Stripes played two 20-minute periods rather than the traditional 30-minute periods; in the second period, Stars skaters spent a total of 12 minutes in the penalty box.
The Stripes took advantage of their opponents’ time in the penalty box, and jammer Smashleigh skated an 11-point jam, matching the Stars’ Double Easy for the highest-scoring jam of the bout. Team Stripes seemed to have another trick up their sleeve that brought them an advantage: of the 11 skaters on the Stripes roster, 9 of them took on the role of jammer during the bout. This versatility allowed each jammer more time to rest between jams, while the six Stars jammers spent more time fighting their way through the pack. Ultimately, while Team Stars was able to close the gap on the Stripes’ lead, the Stripes were victorious, with the final score of 79-50.
In spite of the heat, SVRG’s second exhibition bout was a success. Graduates of SVRG’s first eight-week skills Boot Camp attended their first bout as official league members. Our referee crew was able to cheer on refs The Se7en Year Bitch (SVRG) and All Nate Long (Undead Betties) in their first bout on eight wheels, as we said a sad goodbye to veteran ref Needle Fever, who is transferring to Central Coast Roller Derby.
Special thanks to referees Dual Cannonz and Winnie Baygo from Santa Cruz Derby Girls, All Nate Long from the Undead Betties, Randy Eye Candy from Central Coast Roller Derby and announcers Koach Kahuna and Bad Ass Blondee from CCRD for volunteering their time and making our bout a success.
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