I sense a disturbance in the force

Sonic Doom was up at the bar in the  Sleeman Centre.

We pointed a finger at him and said: “He would know! What was the final score?”

“111 to 46,” was his reply. “Dyna Hurtcha was the difference” or words to that effect.

Meanwhile, just minutes before at the Downtown Throwdown doubleheader, the GTA GStars more or less in the guise of the Derby Debutantes took on the Royal City All-Stars for the second time this season while the Belle City Rollergirls took on the Violet Uprising home team from RCRG.

Justine Sane of Belle City found herself in the sin bin for numerous infractions and seemingly upset with it all found herself ejected from the game with 11 minutes to go, to which she waved goodbye with a smile.

The young guns from Royal City squared off in a rematch of epic proportions against the Debutantes or all-star variant thereof. On their home court the All-Stars blasted two jammers off the line that we had been warned would be a surprise catch them if you can.


/… more to come

From Canada with Derby Love – part 4 – Revenge, Birth and Battle

Sloppy Boggins at Ted Reeve Arena

Preamble: Sloppy Boggins has done the special kindness of allowing his experiences in Sweden and Derby to be journaled on these pages. Originally with the Austin Rollergirls where Derby was reborn, he was bidden a sad and fond farewell by the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls when he came back home to Canada. Here, Sloppy lent his coaching hand amongst the GTA Rollergirls in Toronto and helped nurture the Chrome Mollys. After a while, Sloppy left the country for another life to continue coaching in Sweden. Everybody in GTAR awaits the day Sloppy comes back.

In his first installment Sloppy wrote about his introduction to coaching Derby in Stockholm Roller Derby (STRD). The second chapter GAME TIME! detailed the STRD travels to play in Malmö, then came the birth of a great day in Swedish Roller Derby, “the birth of Swedish rollerderby”, the first Derby bout in Sweden itself ever. The third chapter covered Fresh meat and coaching from Sloppy’s point of view. This new chapter covers the latest action in STRD and birth of a new team in Sweden.

Over to you, Sloppy!

Sloppy: It seems odd that Stockholm was having their first home bout after years of preparation and several away bouts and scrimmages but it was worth the wait. The sold out crowd was treated to a grudge match of sorts with the Hamburg Harbor Girls in town trying to repeat their performance from December. STRD had lost a close and hard fought battle and were looking to avenge their loss in their home debut. That they did.

Stockholm Rollerderby (150) vs Hamburg Harbor Girls (55)

Stockholm vs Hamburg - Gruesome Action (in foreground) - photo credit Räven Frejd

Calm is not something commonly said about derby but there was no panic in the steely eyes of STRD who were determined to take care of business and they had all the confidence and ability to do just that. Jam after jam of smart but tough domination tempered with high speeds that left the Harbor Girls looking for a life boat. It was exactly how you want to play a team that had recently pulled victory from your grasp. A stomp before the smile.

It’s not how I would normally approach a game. In men’s sports it is far too common to have an angry approach to a game. I thought it was good for STRD to play a game with a little anger and see how that approach worked for them. Each of the games we had played together had a different vibe, and being experienced in how to deal with emotion in sport, I feel, is important. I had also used a more common line structure that, in combination with penalties, did not evenly utilize players. Some were less happy with this approach but it is how the game is played. We all have days where we aren’t playing up to our level and there are opponents that require the use of certain players above others. Would it be responsible of me to continue to play a player who is either having a bad day or whose abilities are not working against an opponent simply to have them on the track for an allotment of time? Certainly not if it means that we lose our edge and then possibly the game.

Personally, I’d love to play everyone as often as possible but in reality there are always those who don’t make a roster and those who don’t get as much track time in a bout. For players who seem to be in this situation more often than others and have difficulty in dealing with it I recommend playing for the B team. A pessimist may see it as a demotion but the time you want will be available and I often see people do this and are then able to find their game and truly understand what it is that they bring to the table in a bout. It also builds leadership skills with the players who may often find themselves being looked to for advice.

With Team Sweden try-outs between games, there was ample opportunity to tune up with the best the country has to offer. The physical mayhem so close to a bout meant that those involved in the try-outs could focus on the more mental side of the game in the few practices before the bout.

Stockholm Rollerderby Rookies (97) vs Kallio Rolling Rainbow Rookies (14)

Birdy Black Eye (left in white with STRD pivot cap) and Maskulina (right, in white with black helmet))

Time did not allow for a full length game but after two 15 minute periods there was no denying the result. With simple, well rounded lines the objectives were clear for the rookies: “Play each pass one at a time”, “The only mistake is to dwell on mistakes” and “Remember to have fun”.

They certainly had fun as their nerves dissipated with the first whistle and all the scrimmages against the veterans began to show their worth. Sticking to what they knew rather than reaching too far was what I asked of them knowing that it would keep their heads cool in the crazy heat.

I felt that the rookies knew enough to win but they really surprised me. The rookies lit up the crowd, the veteran squad and myself with a performance that made us all think that they were practicing in some secret location and had waited until now to show what they really had. Dominant, in control, calm and cool, the rookies dismantled their opposition. Hits did not rattle the rookies’ resolve to play their game and they are now Fresh Meat no more.

Stockholm Rollerderby Veterans (146) vs Kallio Rolling Rainbow Veterans (40)

from left to right (standing), Blood Countess, Bess Irv Cold behind Blood Countess, Becky Lawless, Hyper Nova - photo credit: Hank Oscarsson

The veteran squad had played a tightly fought battle back in February with KRR and we knew that they had gotten even better. With all the distractions in the previous week, there was an odd feeling going into the game, but with the joy of the rookie performance in our hearts, our love for our competitors, and the feeling that the team had reached a new level, STRD went out there to play the game they play and see if it was enough.

Was it ever! It was a total team effort. It didn’t seem to matter who was out there on the track as each unit worked so well together. I had even made lines on the fly that seem to gel instantly. Someone said: “KRR played great but STRD played as a team!”

With the focus on “fun” there was an early confusion that quickly settled into a “this is why we play this sport” kind of feeling. I’m sure that every player on STRD would agree that despite what the score read it was not at all an easy victory. Every point was worked for as KRR always fight to the very last whistle. In contrast to the last game against Hamburg we wanted to get everything out of every jam that we could. Our “goating” was exceptional, whereas against Hamburg we gave them no rest from speed. STRD even performed its first in game “amoeba” to the delight of the crowd who were in full force to cheer on their team.

With the game over I got the usual question from the photographers, “How was that?” After Hamburg I said with a smile: “They did their job”, but after these two games all I could say was “Wow!!!”

The afterparty let out into the early morning sunshine of downtown Stockholm where the “pony races” took place. The reigning champs of STRD retained their title to the delight and/or complete befuddlement of a large crowd outside. I got a falafel to go with my flask of whiskey to savour the moment.

But hold those thoughts for my next and last installment.

Thanks to Sloppy as always! Looking forward to seeing you again on the track!! Many thanks to all the Derby photographers in Sweden who provided the photographs for this installment: Räven Frejd and Henrik Hank Oscarsson!


originally uploaded by Midnight Matinee 24.

Via Flickr:Hammer City Eh! Team vs. Lake Effect FuriesDave Andreychuk [Mountain] Arena Hamilton, ONTARIO CANADA

Preamble: Woke up got out of bed, that was a good way to start the day. With so many events on the 11th of June, there were all the conflicting choices and no handy dandy DeLorean and flux capacitor. The Derby Debs were hosting Rideau Redux with the Riot Squad at Ted Reeve, Royal City Rollergirls had their Royal City Riot with first time South Simcoe facing Killer Queen and Our Ladies of Pain going up against Violet Uprising, Toronto Roller Derby had their 2 vs 3 semi-finals with Chicks Ahoy! meeting the Dolls in their second bout in two weeks. Mais les jeux sont fait with Hammer City Eh! Team facing the Hammer City Eh! Team.
Hammer time in the city as the Lake Effect Furies brought their brrrr! game to Hamilton. It was storm und drang as the Hammer City Eh! Team led by mainstays Bitchslap Barbie, Lock and Eduskating Rita fought back with their classic hit and run style. The travelling Furies from Queen City Roller Girls in Buffalo, New York ventured across the border with a squad of eleven captained by #52 CU-T and LipService wearing #77 instead of her customary #360, some rookie Furies #303 Konichiwow and #711 Day TripHer with their new coach in tow Mr. T and Diamond Crushher running bench. The Furies ranked currently #17 in Q1 in the Eastern Division in their first year of WFTDA are nothing if not new Derby on the edge of a revolution.

Meanwhile ranked #19 in Q1 Hammer City Eh! Team were into their second bout of the home season while the Furies had already been busy at home against Steel City, Hudson Valley and Maine, and on the road against the likes of Green Mountain and Montreal New Skids on the Block, and the QCRG home teams just finishing off the Queen City Cup championships won by the Devil Dollies over the NCKO.

The match with Hammer City would be QCRG’s seventh ranked match of the year whereas Hammer City would be back from BrewHaha 2011 and their part in the doubleheader with Forest City.

History shows there have been bouts between Queen City and the Hammer. So the night would be marking the resumption of their small rivalry. Miss Carriage, #33 with Hammer City Eh! Team vet noted: “The Eh! Team hasn’t played Queen City since 2009 so I was really excited to skate against Queen City.”

From the moment the Furies skated onto the track, they brought their style and fluidity in skating that showed they meant business. The Furies have demonstrated in the past through two matches in Ontario with Tri-City Thunder and CN Power they have defence and speed. And their coach Mr. T had brought in some track savvy and wiles. It also became apparent during their speedy and fervent warmup that the Furies had something up their sleeves [if they had been wearing any].

Hammer City Eh Team #613 Hammerhead said: “The Furies brought intensity to the track. They were strong, and fearless competitors. Often incorporating the element of ‘surprise’ into their game play and strategy.”

One of the elements of surprise was a manner of skating which is not commonly seen in Derby but taken to the heart and actively encouraged within Queen City.

Miss Carriage continues: “Watching the Furies warm up it was apparent that they incorporated backwards skating into their game play, so our team chatted about ways to combat it. Whatever direction the Furies skated in, swarming our jammers and throwing big hits were a part of their successful strategy, which we countered with everything we had, including some solid blocks of our own.”

The bout was as swift yet defensive and hard hitting as could be imagined by any fan of the Hammer or the Furies. The gameplan by the Furies was a sight to behold. Trying to keep it on the mum side, Lake Effect Furies ploy of backwards skating and blocking as shown by their #44 R. Rose Selavey nonetheless looked revolutionary, then again, anything involving players in Derby on the track is revolutionary. Backwards skating and blocking in the direction of play may not be prevalent, but it is a tactic that could be incorporated. The advantages are within the realm of the teams themselves.

Wily Lambchop #71 of the Furies always eyeing out her opposition, delivered the hit of the night for her team on an unsuspecting Oh! Henry, while Miss Carriage countered in kind for Hammer.


Although the Furies were racing up the scoreboard reaching triple digits, it was not due to any lack of heart or hustle by HCRG to match their opposition. Hammer jammers #5 JJ Bladez, #33 Miss Carriage, co-captains #2009 Eduskating Rita and even #00 Lock N Roll [and others] were going against the likes of Furies’s #525 Addy Rawl, #10 B.J. Harmstrong, #77 Lipservice [all three of whom tried out for Team USA for the World Cup coming in December]. Furthermore, Crazy Legs #24 was chosen Captain for Team Argentina. The win due more to a cohesive Furies team out to get to the top of the scoreboard and rankings, agile jammer for Lake Furies #525 Addy Rawl says: “In our post game talk we all agreed that the score did not reflect how we felt during the game. It was high intensity from the first whistle to the last. We were able to incorporate the things we have been doing in practice over the past few months and we did a great job of communicating and working together. Our blockers were extraordinary, holding the opposing team’s jammer for most of the jams. Our blockers make our job easy.”

One of the nice parts of Derby is the afterwards picking of the MVP by the two sides for the night. The Eh! Team chose #711 Day TripHer as Lake Effect’s MVP, while #5150 Oh! Henry was chosen as Eh! Team’s MVP by their Queen City counterparts. This thrilled #5150 no end.

“This was my first home game and it was alot of fun, having some friends and family cheering me on really helped! I didn’t expect to win an MVP award but I’m obviously thrilled and can’t wait till our next game.”

To help sum up the night, Miss Carriage proudly states: “Our team achieved some of the goals we set out to and look forward to furthering them at ECDX. All in all it made for a really fun game that the fans enjoyed despite the score differential, we hope to skate with QCRG more often!”

Furthermore, says #795 Tempura Tantrum who skated last year in the Waterfront match in the sauna like conditions: “The Eh! Team is rebuilding but we still bring the HCRG fight to every bout. But credit clearly goes to the Furies. You learn so much from playing a team as cohesive and strategically sound as the they are. With every jam we play, I definitely think we’re continuing to grow stronger as a team. The Eh! Team is on the right track.”

Next matches to come for Hammer City slotted against Maine and Long Island down at East Coast Derby Extravaganza. Then July 9 back at home with Roc City currently WFTDA Apprentice. Roc City have played previously against Suburgia, Lehigh, Long Island and QCRG, with future bouts against Garden State, Lake Effect and Harrisburg.

/… more to come

As we write this: Lake Effect Furies have just defeated Central New York 152-135 on June 18th. Cheers!


all content copyright © midnight matinee

From rochestersportsfan.com: “The Furies might be ranked a hair low, their first three bouts were booked a bit ambitiously, they faced some stiff beatings from Steel City, Maine, and Montreal, while blowing out unranked opponents like Green Mountain and Hudson Valley Horrors. Later in the season they face off against Suburbia Roller Derby and Long Island Roller Rebels, who might give the rankings voters a better idea of where their team belongs in the rankings.”

Lil’ Trouble in paradise at Toronto Junior Roller Derby

May 14 marked a historic night in Toronto Junior Roller Derby history with its premiere bout, and first International bout to boot.

The Mad Missfits from New Hampshire brought up eight of their team to The Hangar which necessitated some roster shifts so six Knicker Kickers ended up being on The Mad Missfits for the night.

The rosters for the first Toronto Junior Roller Derby bout at The Hangar on May 14, 2011.


Snow Fight 3
Skate Pilgrim 7X
Feral Carole 13
Little Miss Behave 100
Miss Fit 138
Betty Butt Bruiser 517E
Maximus 555
Awesome Sauce 666
Kamikaze Kupcake 714
Anick Anger 999
Susie Bruises 1001
B.D.I. 1234
Joan of Argghh 1337
Darling Doom 5299

Auti-Mobile Z00M
Art Attach-Her
Madzilla 5 ½ (TJRD)
Better Red Than Dead 11 (TJRD)
Biff Break-It 14BC (TJRD)
Bad Bad Black Sheep 42
Dipsie Chick 57
Pearl Slam 151
Dora the Destroyer 98
Terryn It Up 711
Li’l Trouble 911 (TJRD)
FBI 1313 (TJRD)
Monster Mayhem 1999 (TJRD)
Cinnamon Peaches 4558
Lil' Trouble jamming for Mad Missfits against Knicker Kickers
There was a definite GTAR connection to the Toronto Junior Roller Derby match as a parent or two of the players involved with the presences of Lil’ Trouble and Monster Mayhem.
Leather Locklear of GTA Rollergirls Derby Debutantes had a match later on that night going against the visiting Royal City Roller Girls, but first she just had to see Lil Trouble in action.
Due to rostering, Knicker Kickers split up their team and by luck of the draw, Lil’ Trouble was picked from the hat to be on the Mad Missfits along with Monster Mayhem was on the team of the Mad Missfits. Lil’ Trouble found herself jamming at one point against Kamikaze Kupcake of the Knicker Kickers.

The match was historical, being the first junior Roller Derby match at Toronto Roller Derby and the first international match at that. The final score was close 82 to 74 which was hardly what mattered. The action on the track was highly skilled and maybe surprising, players on the track showed a lot of adeptness and strong skating ability, with occasional falls or being positionally blocked out of play or onto to the floor.

From the mother’s perspective: “It was a bit stressful to rush from one venue to the other…but i made it! and it was well worth it to get to see my daughter play in her first bout and for me to get to be in my bout against Royal City. It was a great game and yes, Royal City were definitely a little tougher than I thought they would be. They have had some great training for sure!!!”

As for Trouble on the track: “Lil’ Trouble was excited for days before her bout. Even with the roster change and having to play for the Mad Missfits, she was just excited to finally be having her first bout She just went out there and took the training that TJRD and GTAR have given her in the past year and played the best she could. She is anxiously awaiting the August 20th bout [Chrome Mollys vs. Peterborough] where she will get to play in front of the GTAR crowd…where she had first strapped on her skates and got her first taste of Roller Derby. Lil’ Trouble will definitely have a good share of fans cheering her on…those being her derby mentors…The GTA Rollergirls!!!!”


Thanks to DN for help with the rosters.




“The story is tonight… She left one league to join another. Is that really tolerated? And will she get pummeled for doing it? Stay tuned.

June 4th is the date I have been waiting months for. This is the Tri City Thunder vs. Vermont game and TKOs. My old team. Now playing my new team. Killer Queens. At my old arena, too. It will be bittersweet. I know they will man up on me if they can because I intend to win that game. It will be a rivalry for sure.”


midnight matinee preamble: After dashing across the city from The Hangar after the Toronto Junior Roller Derby match to Ted Reeve Arena by the Debutante’s Leather Locklear, it was a pleasant surprise to see some familiar faces on the track, especially the Zebra in the form of Chocolate Meltdown who was first met at bouts up in Tri-City. That was just a hint of what was to come on the track. One of the offshoots of Tri-City is Royal City’s Bonny BruiseHer, a very friendly character off the track but once the game starts, all bets are off as you, Gentle Reader, are about to find out. Her progress through Derby is emblazoned by an attitude to playing instilled through Tri-City. Bonny BruiseHer takes over her story.

Derby enables you to be someone else. 

It’s like theatre.