Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cincinnati Rollergirls -- In The Garden of Beatin'

On Saturday evening, Dianne and I went to the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ event called "In The Garden of Beatin’" at the Cincinnati Gardens. It was a double header event with the CRG team Silent Lambs taking on the Moonshiner team of the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls and the CRG team Black Sheep taking on the Liberty Belles of the Philly Rollergirls. The Silent Lambs won by a score of 77 to 36 and in the WFTDA event the Black Sheep lost to the highly ranked Liberty Belles with a score of 35 to 102.

candyKICKass BreaksIn the Lamb & Moonshiner bout, I thought the CRG team showed a lot of improvement compared to their first match about a month ago. They seemed to be working together a lot more. Once again, candyKICKass (at right) was zipping around and doing a lot of scoring. Jammers Dr. McDerby and Jungle Lacy did a lot of work and Skates with Fists got to jam as well. The pack was doing a good job too. I have to say I miss seeing Sk8 Crime wearing the jammer star, but she’s becoming quite the pivot! I think GeezLouise won the hardest hit award when she gave a solid shoulder block to a Moonshiner and sent her into the suicide seats. Apparently Louise has been to the Juwana Hurt school of blocking. My favorite photo of the night is the shot below showing Ima Payne pulling Dr. McDerby with a great whip (thanks for doing that right in front of us). You can clearly see her braced and pulling through her shoulder.

Ima Gives a Whip

Stride For StrideThe other bout between the Black Sheep and the Liberty Belles was both hard to watch and amazing to see. The Belles had control from the start and it was tough to watch the Belle jammers getting through the pack and scoring while the CRG jammers were getting tied up. I wasn’t keeping notes, but there were at least of few of the early jams where the Black Sheep were scoreless. It took me a while to appreciate what the Liberty Belles were doing to hold the Black Sheep. I thought the Belles’ main strengths were coordination and teamwork in the pack. If their jammer was being held up, a couple skaters shifted position (sped up or slowed down) to throw some blocks, make a hole, and help them get the jammer through. The amazing thing was not all the Belle pack shifted, so there were still blockers to hold back CRG’s jammer. I couldn’t tell how they were communicating and maybe there wasn’t much – just the experience coming through. That ability to dynamically and quickly assess the situation, shift position, and work together was amazing and really fun to watch. The photo below illustrates the Liberty Belles positioned and looking to slow CRG jammer Hannah Barbaric (in black with the jammer star) while one blocker is available to help their jammer around the wall of pivot Sk8r-Kinney (at the right).

The Night in a Nutshell

Shoulder to ShoulderThe Liberty Belle skaters were all solid and good at blocking, but I was particularly impressed with Nina Knockout and the smaller skater Annie Christ. Technique can prevail over size as many small skaters show. Cincinnati did adjust during the break and came out in the second half looking much stronger. They had some good jams in the second half that excited the crowd. There were a couple times when the pack consciously slowed to create a 20 foot gap between them and a couple blockers holding back the CRG jammer. That forced the Belles to let them by. That sort of adjustment and smart skating just wasn’t consistent enough to bring them back into the match. While it’s sad to see Cincinnati go down, I know they’ll use this experience to improve themselves in future bouts. They have talent and just need to develop that extra telepathic communication to adjust like the Belles.

The halftime entertainment was a group from the Powel Crosley YMCA doing a Double Dutch jump rope demo. They were really good! That was a great choice for entertainment. In the shot below, one girl helped the other flip inside the ropes.

Double Dutch

Me With Dr. McDerbyThere were a couple noticeable changes in the event logistics that I really liked. First, I noticed they centered the track underneath the overhead scoreboard. I think that helped a bit with the light and also opened up a lot more seats to even views of the track. I know that was at the price of the large warm-up area, but I liked it. Also we all heard Professor Murder explain some of the calls via a wireless microphone. Of course I’m biased, but I loved it. There were a couple times where he explained what was going on – once was explaining there is a limit of two skaters in the penalty box, but the refs will send a third skater there when a penalty is within 10 seconds of finishing. Good job Professor!

Me With Sista SacAfter the match I was able to meet Silent Lamb skater Dr. McDerby (above) and Black Sheep skater Sista Sacrelicious (at right). Dianne very kindly took photos of me with each of them. I have quite a few additional photos in my Flickr set that you can see here. Of course they don't compare to Jason's shots that I'm sure you'll find here shortly and Jeff's photos.

The next CRG home event is on June 7th when the Silent Lambs take on the North Star Roller Girls from Minneapolis and the Black Sheep take on the lower ranked Derby Demons of the Steel City Rollergirls in Pittsburgh. Be there to cheer on all the CRG skaters!


Erika said...

awesome jump rope shot!

Dianne said...

I really like the Philly team name and their logo... the uniforms, not-so-much.

I like that their team name reflects their hometown. I'm not really getting "Cincinnati" from Black Sheep.

Nice recap.

~Carla~ said...

Are you getting paid yet to cover the CRG stories? :)

Sweet pictures - you seem to have a photo with a new CRG each time! Where's the love for Sk8 Crime? :) heh..

Trauma said...

Love the blog Earl! We'll have to meet at the next bout. I always hear so much about you. :) Great pics!