Last Saturday was the final home bout for the Mid Iowa Rollers. The local Des Moines area female roller derby team. As I've said before, I had known about them for a while but this was only the second bout I have actually made it to. This home bout was much better produced than the last bout. The announcers and the technical aspects (like the score board) seemed to be run much better with much less lag and down time. It made a huge difference. Also they had better intermission entertainment in the form of the Twin City Terrors male roller derby team doing a short exhibition bout each break. It was interesting to see the difference between the two genders. Female bouts seem to be more about finesse and agility...being able to bypass opponents with nimble movements. Male bouts were all about brute force, smashing your way through opposing blockers. The female league definitely has their own violence, pushing, shoving and tripping but that is not what makes a big impression on me. I like the skating ability - dodging other players, squeezing through small openings in your opponents defenses, the timing of teamwork, and side stepping a big hit at the last second. I am always impressed by the skill it takes for some of these skaters. Male derby was OK but it seemed ham-fisted and blunt by comparison. This was a pretty good intermission activity, but I would like to see even more variation - I always thought having a band play during the intermission (or maybe afterward) would be a nice fit.
This bout was against the Muddy Water Derby Dolls from eastern Iowa. The bout itself was very one sided. Although down the first couple Jams. The Mid-Iowa Rollers quickly took the lead and never gave it back. All the MIRs did a great job on Saturday. cTAL-faTAL once again stood out as one of the most skilled skaters - fast with great side to side action. I love watching her sprint off the starting line. Rarely can an opponent jammer keep up. Krystallica (I believe was her name) was almost able to keep pace for the first half of the bout but started falling further and further behind. The MIR girls just looked better conditioned. Anna D Killa Amazon looked good again but was having some trouble getting past the pack, she was continually being tripped up by the Dolls and had difficulty scoring. She did however play some wonderful defence during her time in the pack and was able to block the opposing jammer with her long legs and stride. But it definitely was a team effort. Sin DeRolla looked really good and would have scored many points if she would have been able to stay out of the penalty box. Despite the penalty box she was able to recover and not let the other team score many (if any) points. Fanny Firestarter played with a lot of heart and attitude. She might not have been the fastest or the flashiest, but she went out and skated hard every single jam. Lolli Pop Ya seemed to be all over the track, scoring points, huge hits and blocks. Lolli really looked like she was determined this bout. She had a fantastic effort. The entire team looked good and it payed off in the end. I don't remember the exact score but I do remember that the Mid-Iowa Rollers won by 124 points. It was a total blowout, but I do have to hand it to the Muddy Water Derby Dolls for not giving up...although they were out of the competition, they still skated and hit hard.
Roller Derby draws a really mixed crowd. All ages, styles, and personalities gather at the rink. Exampled by the 70 year old grandmother bringing her 8 year old grandson...both of whom were really into the bout, and everything in between. I was a little shocked by the red headed girl who decided to wear body paint instead of a shirt. It is a testament to her beauty though that I didn't even notice that she was missing a shirt until the second time she walked by and the people in front of me made some kind of joke about it. Actually the body paint was very pretty...and intricate design of yellow and green with a little red and blue thrown in (the design reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright mixed with a little Piet Mondrian and a little bit of Kandinsky). I'm not sure what the point was, it definitely got you some attention but I thought you were cute enough on your own that you didn't need it.
Great season girls. I can't wait till next year (season starts in March I believe).
Photos borrowed from MIR website.