Archive for June, 2011

GrrAnimal and B. Onya Guard attempt to chase down the too fast Eva Lucien

The 2011 Burning River Roller Girls semi-finals night exploded into action with the Cleveland Steamers taking on the reigning Hazard Cup Champions, the Rolling Pin-Ups. This bout was fast-moving and action packed. Hits were hard. Packs were racing. The Rolling Pin-Ups sped to a 48-5 lead in the first quarter. But the Cleveland Steamers were not to be left behind. They battled jam after jam but couldn’t quite catch up. Halftime score left the Rolling Pin-Ups ahead 81-34.

The Cleveland Steamers came out in the second half skating their hearts out, still hoping to take down the reigning champs. The Rolling Pin-Ups were not taking the Steamers lightly. Hard hits sent skaters from both teams flying and even caused an injury or two. The Cleveland Steamers closed the gap a bit and never gave up. But after another extremely fast-paced half, the Rolling-Pin-Ups prevailed and pulled off the win with a final score of 118-67. They will be defending the crown July 16 at the Hazard Cup Finals.

Jammers Razor and Mommy's Little Monster cut it close

The second bout continued the excitement of the night with Hard Knockers taking on the Hellbombers. The pace of this match-up was a little different with the Hard Knockers using slow derby methods to catch the Hellbombers off guard and to try to shake up their strategy. The Hellbombers would have none of it, and blasted through the slow packs time and time again and pulled out to an early 24-4 lead. The Hard Knockers would not throw in the towel or give up on their strategy and forged ahead. They stuck together and made small gains on the Hellbomber lead. As the time ran out at halftime, Hellbombers led 91-40.
The Hard Knockers came out with added energy in the second half and kept pounding away at the Hellbombers lead. The Hellbombers kept fighting and would not be taken down. In the end, the Hellbombers took a commanding lead and won, beating the Hard Knockers 165-96. The Hellbombers will be facing the reigning champs, The Rolling Pin-Ups, at the Hazard Cup Finals on July 16.

Get your Championship Bout tickets at

Recap courtesy of Skully Smasher


Q:What prompted you to get into derby?
I started going to the bouts to watch Death Proof and cheer on the Steamers! Although I really didn’t understand the game except for the jammer having to get through the pack, I loved the atmosphere in the stadium; skaters, fans, music, costumes, skulls, tats – totally cool! I went to an open skate a week before fresh meat started to see if I remembered how to skate and bought my gear the following day! Been diggin’ it ever since!

Q:What about being on a team is different from what you previously thought?
I’ve played with other teams in other sports before and usually most of the time teams will “click” and everyone will get along, but for some reason in derby, teams just seem to bond more! I cannot imagine being on another team.

Q: What was it like, getting to skate in your first bout against Bleeding Heartland?
I’m sure I didn’t think this before the Bleeding Heartland bout because I was so nervous at the time, but playing there first helped take away some of my jitters for the first home bout in Cleveland at the Wolstein (just some)!  My HazMat teammates and all the vets calmed my nerves  from breakfast time until the bout started! I had never felt that much adrenalin with any other sport I have played. It was a total rush!

Q:What has been your most humbling moment in derby so far?
When I first started skating with the fresh meat I really had no skating or derby skills so it was pretty cool when I  passed the skills test.  And then little by little the vets started to trickle in and real derby began!  I consider myself a pretty competitive person so it was very humbling to skate with the vets.  It was like skating with my super heroes!

Q:Tell us about your off-skates workout regimen.
I workout pretty consistently off skates, I always have. I get cranky when I can’t. I love running outside.  I can’t do treadmills they are way too boring for me!  Ashtanga and Bikram yoga at least two times a week.  Spin classes totally suck but are totally necessary!  And since I started derby, I’ve been making an effort to do more plyometric training and weights, the really fun stuff!

Q:What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
My biggest challenge I’ve had with derby so far is being able to play faster, smarter derby. Not faster as in my skating, but the actual game. Recognizing whether I should be switching from offense to defense,  my position on the track, being aware of both jammers, communicating with my team.  It’s a fast, strategic game with a ton of rules!

Q:Any words of advice for someone considering trying out for BRRG?
The only advice I have to the future BRRG fresh meaties is to STAY INTO IT! Don’t give up no matter how many times you wanna throw up from line drills or hit your bottom on the floor!  It’s alllll worth it!

Q:Tell our fans one fun fact about you:
I’m a total biker chic when I can be!

Q:Do you have a pre-bout routine or any bout day superstitions?
I do anything but rest or relax before the bouts, I’m way too anxious to sit around.  I do a mini workout in the morning and usually end up spastically cleaning my apartment.

Q:Give a shout out to the Hot Mess fans out there!
Thank you to all the BRRG fans. We love and appreciate all your cheers!  Keep it HOT, keep it M3SSY!

Last Chance for Pre-Sale Tickets!

Posted: June 10, 2011 by burningriverrollergirls in General

Today’s the last chance to get your pre-sale tickets for the semi-finals bout TOMORROW!  It’s a re-match event, as the Steamers and Pin-Ups face off in what is sure to be an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat bout.  Second, Knockers and Bombers will duke it out for the rights to the championship game.  Which two teams will be heading to the Hazard Cup Championships in July?  You’d better be there tomorrow to find out!

And, don’t forget about our rad raffle!  This month’s winner will get tickets to Lake County Captains, Crushers and BRRG championships, as well as gift certificates to several local restaurants and bars.  Just $20 for an arm span and you’ll be good to go!

Meet BRRG: Travis Sickle

Posted: June 3, 2011 by burningriverrollergirls in General, Interviews

Travis Sickle-head of stats

Q:Where did your derby name come from?
“Travis Sickle” comes from a play on Robert DeNiro’s character in Taxi Driver; he was “Travis Bickle” in that movie. I remember needing a derby name a week prior to volunteering at the beginning of the 2007 season and none of the names I previously thought of worked for me.  So during one of the early practices, Stirfry asks me “What’s your derby name?” It literally took me 5 seconds to think of Travis Sickle. He laughed and said “Classic.”

Q: Explain for our fans what goes on “inside” the track during a bout?
Think of the center group of Non-Skating Officials as a communication hub between not only the teams and the officials, but sometimes between the action and the play-by-play from our announcers. Ideally, our function is to accurately report everything our skating and non-skating officials call in to us.   
We have eyes and ears all over the field of play to assure nothing gets missed. Our four actions trackers are seated behind the announcers table tallying up offensive assists and defensive hits each player makes during the game. The scorekeepers (usually referees) are seated at the announce table keeping track of not only the amount of points scored per pass, but also skaters passed in the box. Lineup trackers are situated behind the penalty box writing down the five positions on the track per jam for each team, and in which pass they go to the box (if applicable).
At turns 2 and 4, you’ll find outside whiteboard persons relaying calls from our outside pack referees in to the center NSOs (non-skating officials) and referees. This is vital because you wouldn’t be picking up any outside calls without them due to the loudness of the arena and the storm you have to deal with inside.
This brings us to the center oval, where it all comes together. We have one penalty tracker per team, and they’re getting calls from everywhere: inside pack refs, outside whiteboard people, jam referees and the spotter/wrangler, which is what I do. I’m designated to run with the refs, scoop up nearly every penalty that comes our way and report back to the trackers. Since one of us can’t be everywhere at once, we have a system where one person will keep their ears open while I’m following the referees and keeping an eye on our outside whiteboard people.
That 5-foot monolith in the center is our inside whiteboard, which is really an up-to-the-second dry-erase board listing all of the major and minor penalties for each roster. I constructed this last year for the purpose of setting it apart from many leagues’ inside whiteboards. Each side is visible from either bench and the announce table, which helps captains see what skaters have penalty issues and also for our announcers to better communicate to the audience what happens for certain calls.

Q: What part of stats would you say is the hardest? Or the most under-appreciated?

It depends on experience level with any given facet of stats, but I would say penalty tracking can be very difficult, especially if you’re the only person doing it.  The act of tracking a penalty itself isn’t much – it’s the frequency in which it’s done that makes the task as overwhelming as it is.  Scrimmages spoil you on this aspect.
Underappreciated would be the lineup trackers – Lineups can be a useful tool in interleague play when you’re talking which head-to-head match-ups were most efficient defensively.
Q: Is it hard to stay focused and not get distracted by all of the action?
Oh, definitely. I’m not going to lie; the officiating team has to be vigilant even when the game seems out of reach, more so if the game’s got a razor-thin margin. Last year’s final was a perfect example of this – The Pin-Ups made up a 30-point swing in the score and the surrounding noise from all levels near the end of that game was shattering. Times like these are when the refs and the NSOs have to meet in the center and make a commitment to stay on point and pay attention, because a game like that cannot be sullied by missed calls or mistakes.
Q: Wanna give a shout out to your favorite skaters:
It’d have to be Schwo for putting up with 5 years of insults and Ref U G . . . because for me, a BRRG bout just doesn’t seem right unless I see U G.  
Q: Tell fans one fun fact about Travis Sickle:
I have no tattoos. It’s not that I don’t want to get any; it’s just that I don’t have the four-digit dollar amount to get what I want from who I want.