Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cincinnati Rollergirls vs. Gem City Rollergirls

Final ScoreLast night Dianne and I drove up to Dayton to watch the Cincinnati Rollergirls (CRG) take on the Gem City Rollergirls (GCRG) in the “We Got the Beat (Down)” bout at the Nutter Center. The final score shown at the right says it all. Congratulations to the CRG team on the win! They had a lead of 15-20 points most of the match.

The GCRG group has some good skaters. Ruff’n the Passer, Polly Rocket, Hannah Barbaric, and Toma Hawk all stood out as strong skaters and jammers. The blocking was tough from their whole team. It was no picnic for the CRG skaters to get through the pack. Nevertheless, GCRG got behind after the first couple jams and stayed there the whole match. They kept fighting back the whole time, but just couldn’t put a group together that would let them score a lot of points against Cincinnati. Even when GCRG was able to score a lot in a jam, Cincinnati usually matched them.

Starting the JamThe whole CRG team was in sync and it showed with solid jams from multiple rotation sets of players. Every skater seemed focused and was contributing. Everything came together for the group and it was really fun to watch. The CRG blocking was amazing! There was a lot of coordination in the CRG pack and many hard blocks that made it very tough for the GCRG skaters. There were a couple jams where the GCRG skater couldn’t make it through the pack. We were surrounded by GCRG fans and you could hear the frustration in the tone of their voice. There were a few times where the lead CRG blockers got more than 20 feet from the pack and had to let the jammer through. The GCRG fans behind exclaimed “there she made it through easy!” I don't think they understood the 20 foot rule and that the blockers had to let her through.

Blocking for the JammerThe hard block moment of the night goes to the hit that Juwana Hurt put on Seoul Sister. I don’t know how she does it, but Juwana Hurt gets in position in front of a skater and makes a sharp cut to slow down quickly and lay a hard shoulder block into the opponent. Juwana's hit on Seoul Sister made her fall over backwards and she landed hard. Seoul Sister had to leave the match after that one. I hope she wasn’t seriously hurt, but I’m sure she is sore this morning. The photo here shows Juwana (the blurred #74) doing the same move earlier in the match. Click on the photo to see a larger version. She was putting a lot of hits on opponents. The GCRG fans behind us said they wouldn’t want to be the jammers trying to pass Juwana. Although they didn't like her, they appreciated her blocking ability.

Roseanne Scarr and MeThe CRG jammers were strong as well. The hard CRG blocking and the speedy skating of Roseanne Scarr yielded two grand slams for her (when one jammer laps the opposing jammer). Those jams gave a lot of points to Cincinnati. Dianne got a photo of me with Roseanne after the match. Skates with Fists, Gummi Lov, and Miss Print were jamming and scoring as well. There were two jams where Miss Print was jamming against Ruff’n the Passer. In both of those jams, Passer focused on blocking (in effect becoming another member of the pack) to slow down Miss Print and stop her from scoring. Even that strategy wasn’t entirely effective as the CRG group used blocks, screens, and whips to help jammers through. It was a great performance and the Cincinnati Rollergirls have to be very proud of their victory.

The Nutter Center is a very good location for a roller derby match. I was a bit surprised at the size of the crowd (smaller than I expected) and the lack of crowd intensity. At the start of the first jam, it was so quiet you could practically hear a pin drop! I’m probably biased, but the orchestration of the event wasn’t as elaborate as the matches hosted by Cincinnati. However, one interesting feature the Gem City group had was a wireless microphone on the head referee (Harry Brawls). It was like the NFL head ref mike that’s used to explain a call or a timeout. I found that very nice – the sound quality was good and it was interesting to get the info first hand.

I posted a few pictures from the bout on Flickr. Jeff was there and I’m sure he’ll have some great photos posted soon. The next CRG event is August 25th at the Cincinnati Gardens. One of the bouts at that event is a rematch with GCRG. Don’t miss it!


Lauren Bishop said...

Thanks again for making the trip up and for the speedy recap and great photos -- see you on the 25th!

A said...

That photo of you and me made Diet Coke shoot out my nose. ;P I'm looking a little deranged, no?

But, all joking aside, thanks so much for making the trek to Dayton and issuing yet another great writeup. :D

Anonymous said...

Earl thank you for your continued support!! We really appreciate it.

Deep Threat

Earl said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Roseanne -- the diet coke out the nose would have made a good photo :^) I like the photo of you and Polly Rocket sprinting off the line.