Sunday, October 21, 2012

Brigade Maneuvers

The Jerzey Derby Brigade was back in Morristown last night with an intraleague bout. The two teams of the Jerzey Derby Brigade women’s roller derby league are the Corporal Punishers and the Major Pains. Last night, however, in a Halloween themed event, two ad hoc teams were formed from the league membership (plus a little help from PA): LMFAO and Dark & Dangerous. Despite some mixing and matching, LMFAO was still, more or less, the Punishers while Dark & Dangerous was still, more or less, the Pains. They wore special uniforms for the occasion. Dark & Dangerous had the better ones: black with a death’s head vs. LMFAO’s pink.

It was clear the Jerzey Derby was using the intraleague bout as an opportunity to hone skills for interleague bouts and also to give some newcomers to the teams track experience. The teams employed the one knee start method was tested more than the usual number of times. This start method releases the jammers, thereby preventing an opposing team from burning up time by slowing down the start of a jam, as it might choose to do if a key player is in the penalty box for a one minute penalty. (For anyone unfamiliar with derby terms and scoring, see this instructional video: .) For all that, the evening was not simply a practice session. It was a full-fought rough-and-tumble bout, as #91 Pussycat Mauls can attest after she was injured on the track. (She got up and left on her own wheels).

In the past two years, the Jerzey Derby Brigade teams significantly have improved their defensive blocking, which was once (no pun intended) hit and miss. The importance of this showed last night when LMFAO jumped into an early lead and maintained it through the first half, despite the two best jammers on the track last night skating for Dark & Dangerous: #57 Heinz Catchup and #9 Baked Beanz,. Both Heinz and Beanz are very fast in the open and both expertly can exploit holes in opposing defenses, but both were slowed by LMFAO blockers, especially the formidable combination of Doom Hilda and Bruta Lee, and so their point totals were kept in some check. Dark and Dangerous blocking (special mention to Easthell Getty and Ginger-Ail) also was strong, but the edge went to LMFAO.  LMFAO fielded several good jammers. Particularly impressive was newcomer Hits Spaniola; I expect to see more of her in upcoming bouts. Voldeloxx and Californicate had a good night jamming for LMFAO (Californicate took some serious hits in the process), and Stevie NixHer (guest skater from Wilkes-Barre) also had a very strong performance.

The first half ended 82/49 favoring LMFAO. At halftime, prizes were awarded for both children’s and adult Halloween costumes.

The second half, as usual increased in intensity as the lead team struggled to defend its lead while the trailing one struggled to close the gap. Dark & Dangerous succeeded in reducing the spread, frequently employing what the announcer called “hit it and quit it” – which is to say calling off a jam immediately after scoring points in order to make best use of the clock. It wasn’t quite enough. LMFAO prevailed 139/110.

JDB delivered another fun night, and is well prepped for the next interleague bout on November 3.

On October 27 the NJRD (New Jersey Roller Derby), Morristown's other derby league, comes home to skate. I’ll be there too.

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