Last Saturday I think we lived out our "Kill! Kill! Kill!" philosophy to its greatest extent in our Full Metal Derby bout. We took on the Stateline Derby Divas and skated away with a 303 to 69 victory. The Warrior was unfortunately out for the Divas, and it sounds like they played a handful of newbies like, Marilyn Monsoon, Sookie Smackhouse, and RBQue who all played fiercely and never quit, even when Bat R Up had her way with them. (She hungers for fresh meat.) We were holding our usual strong front walls and kept our eyes and asses on their jammers, which allowed for our jammers to hold their own as they all had multiple passes through the pack. Myself and GLADi8HER both had 27 point jams, and a stellar 37 point jam by Ophelia Fracture.
Beware of the Kraken
With Furyis Jorge still laid up with her Furyis Fibula and Hitzy Blonde still recovering from her bionic knee, Holm Wrecker and Gigahurtz were able to finally pop their bout cherries. They, along with everyone else on the team, had a go at jamming that evening and skated beautifully. Although I’m beginning to think people are living out their derby names too literally as Gigahurtz ended her evening early with a hurt finger, dislocating it and popping it back, in a matter of minutes. A lesson in keeping your hands off the track.This was minor compared to CK Ann Destroy from the Divas who was taken away in an ambulance. Later I was told she only tweaked her knee, although please correct me if I’m wrong.
After launching ourselves into an impressive lead early on, we used this bout to work on new things and practice strategy. One thing we did which we don’t do too often is “poodling”. In derby you have minor penalties and major penalties. A minor backblock for instance would be touching the back of the girl in front of you with your arms as you enter the pack. You may not have moved her stance or forward motion, but you obviously made contact with her back. A major would be flying into the pack and knocking her to her knees by pushing into her back. Now you are knocking her off her feet or changing her speed with an illegal block. You may only receive four of these minors before it results in a major penalty and you are sent off the track.
Old Yeller, is a poodle? Along with OFX.
Let’s say Tynamite (our bench coach, duh) wanted to send Ophelia Fracture (OFX) in to jam, but she notices that OFX has 3 minors. She wouldn’t want to send OFX in as a jammer with the potential of her receiving a fourth minor, sending our scoring skater to the box. By sending OFX in as a blocker instead and have her start behind the jammers, she receives her fourth minor for illegal procedure and is sent to the box. This way we are skating only a blocker short one jam so that OFX may go in next as a jammer with a clean slate. This ladies and gentlemen, is called “poodling”.
Another strategic move we tried out is called “passing the star”. This is a rarely seen tactic in derby but it sure gets everyone’s ‘panties’ in a twist to see it happen. During a jam there are two helmet covers on the floor for a team’s lineup. You have the pivot, who starts at the front of the pack and wears a cover with a single stripe down the center. The jammer, who starts on the second line, wears a cover with a star on each side. The jammer cover, or panty, seems obvious in recognizing the score earning skater for each team. The pivot panty always seems a little vague in its purpose. The pivot is essentially a blocker but *should* stay on the line and control the pace of the pack. Really, they can skate wherever they’d like in the pack (right, Sugar?).
But alas, the girl wearing the pivot panty is the only blocker who has the potential to become a jammer, mid-jam! This is what is known as “passing the star”. The jammer may remove her star panty and physically hand it to the pivot, who then puts it on over her pivot panty and takes off as the new jammer, leaving the previous one a blocker. This could happen because the jammer is tired, can’t get through the pack, or just wants to sneak an awesome play on the other team.
Look out MIR.