Last night—on his birthday, no less—I dragged Nick out to his second-ever roller derby bout: Rat City Rollergirls, Season 3, Bout 3.
It was one helluva show. This season the league is trying something new: instead of having their four teams play each other at every bout (there are two games per event, A vs. B and C vs. D), they're inviting a visiting team to each bout; so you'll see two Rat City teams play each other, and then a third Rat City team playing the visiting team. At Bout 2 the visiting team was the Muñecas Muertas of Duke City Derby (Albuquerque, NM). They were good, but it was pretty clear from the beginning of the game that the Sockit Wenches were going to slowly crush them (which they eventually did).
Last night's visitors were the Bay Area Derby Girls' travel team. And they were good. They had a couple amazing jammers and really, really solid defense. The game was pretty close all the way through, but in the end they beat Grave Danger (I can't remember the score... I should start writing these down if I'm gonna blog them). I think the final point spread was < 10, which makes for a great edge-of-your-seat game all the way through.
The other game was between the Sockit Wenches and the DLF. DLF completely clobbered the Sockit Wenches; they pulled out ahead early in the first half and just kept growing their lead for the rest of the game. They won by almost 100 points. Along with some sexy jamming and all-around good skating, they pulled—twice—the most amazing thing I've ever seen on skates: a leg whip.
For those of you not in the know, a "whip" (or an "assist") is when one skater reaches out for another skater behind her and then pulls/propels that skater in front of her. It's a great way to help your jammer get some extra speed or shoot ahead of an enemy blocker. Not a terribly difficult move, but it does take some balance to stay on your feet and keep skating while whipping someone ahead of you.
But now, imagine doing that with your leg instead of with your hand. I had never even heard of this until I saw it last night... Check out the clip below (pilfered from Frenzy Lohan), or watch this video of it from last year's Bumberbout to see it in context (the leg whip happens ~45 seconds in).
This morning PFM (the squad I skate with) was lucky enough to get to share some rink time with the Rat City boys who are preparing for the Boy Bout (May 6 @ Bellevue Skate King) and some B.A.D.Girls who came out to scrimmage with us. Almost everyone was hung over from last night's post-bout after-party, but we got some hard skating in and had a good time. I've gotta say, there's nothing like skating w/ real rollergirls to teach you how much you've still got to learn about derby...