Monday, April 9, 2012
This week Carrie Carpenter explores the pros and cons of "slow derby."
It seems every year around roller derby tournament season, one team will employ a new strategy which exploits the rules and challenges their validity and strength. Recent exploitations have gradually brought derby to a halt, literally; which those of us in the derby community call “slow derby.” Last season the derby community was in an uproar over a jam that is now infamous. The All Star travel teams for New York and Philadelphia were in a heated battle fighting for prime placement on the track. The first whistle blew starting a rugby-type scrum from blockers of both teams. Philadelphia’s strategy was to wall up in a horizontal line with their four blockers standing side-by-side. The idea was that those four blockers could catch the …
Monday, March 26, 2012
This week Carrie Carpenter talks about the effort she put in to become a derby athlete.
After a private practice for my local team, I noticed one of my teammates had a volley ball with her. I suggested that we “pepper”— which basically means hit the ball to each other. After sending the ball all over our practice space, my teammate told me, “You’re the pepper killer.” To tell the truth, I’m not naturally inclined to sports that require coordination. In junior high and high school I was mediocre at long distance running and swimming. That’s about it. I was somehow good at music, but that’s totally different coordination. I always wanted to be good at sports, desperately so. I tried out for everything: volleyball, basketball, soccer, cheerleading even. But I always got cut. So when I decided to try skating rather than just …
Monday, March 12, 2012
Carrie Carpenter explains her rituals when prepping for a bout.
I am in no way a superstitious person. I don’t believe in ghosts, spirits, magic elves or any of that crap. We’ve all heard of the standard sports superstitions, mostly involving grossness and a serious lack of laundry detergent. Superstitions like unwashed jockstraps, unwashed socks and never washing a winning jersey come to mind. Derby folks are no different. I know people who won’t wash their bras or jockstraps…ever. I’m not sure if most derby grossness is the product of planning and forethought, or pure laziness. There are surely some skaters out there who have stank gear only because they are too lazy to wash it, not because they think the stink serves a higher purpose. In my case, I just recently had to get new wrist-guards because …
Monday, February 27, 2012
Roller derby columnist Carrie Carpenter explains how she handles a bout's madness.
Hi. My name is Carrie... ...and I’m a roller derby rage-a-holic. It’s suiting that we’ve assigned ourselves these “derby names.” Reflecting on some of my less shining moments in roller derby, I think to myself “Who’s that bitch wearing a Carrie suit?” Most of the time, I am a quiet, shy and even reserved person. I’m a bit of a wall flower and tend to keep to myself. People I meet are always somewhat shocked that I play roller derby. How could this seemingly passive young lady play such a rough and tumble game like roller derby? As it turns out, I fit right in. I make inappropriate jokes and hand gestures with my teammates on the side lines. I have gradually taken more of a leadership role in my league — both on and off the track. I’m bossy…
Monday, February 13, 2012
Coming back to the sport after having an injury can be a challenge, columnist Carrie Carpenter says.
I recently attended an Arch Rival Roller Girls All Stars practice. I’m still recuperating from my surgery a few weeks ago, so I was sitting by myself on a bench watching my teammates skate and do drills. Someone at practice came to talk to me for a moment and said, “It’s the hardest thing; to watch your team practice without you.” It totally sucks watching your teams practice without you. But I don’t know if it’s the hardest thing. Trying to explain a drill or move to teammates without being able to show them is harder. Watching helplessly while your team struggles to make up for missing players during a game while you get them water from behind the bench is harder. Remembering all the people that told you before the season began that you …
Friday, February 10, 2012
Jennifer Loughman, a Maryland Heights resident and Arch Rival Roller Girl, discusses her team's commitment to charitable causes.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- Rob McLean
Friday, February 10, 2012
Maryland Heights resident Jennifer Loughman, aka "Biohazard Betty," skates with the Arch Rival Roller Girls. She's also active with the team's charity committee. Loughman and other team members volunteered for the Heat Up St. Louis charity event on Feb. 10. We spoke with Loughman about her team's commitment to philanthropic activities, as well as how she got involved in the roller derby lifestyle.
Monday, January 23, 2012
This week Carrie Carpenter discusses her decision to get a roller derby-inspired tattoo.
I think it’s fair to say that when most of the outside world thinks of roller derby, they think of girls with tattoos. They’re not wrong. Tattoos are popular among the roller derby community. A lot of gals come into derby already sporting tattoos. Some are inspired to get tattoos after they join the derby world. I was. Many of my derby friends have tattoos. Being exposed to tattoos on so regular a basis allows you to appreciate them: for their artwork, their meaning, even their placement on the body. About a week after my tattoo was finished, my mom accosted me via telephone. She was in an uproar because someone that can see my Facebook page snitched on me and told her that I had gotten one, that it was big, and not incredibly hidden. I …
Monday, January 9, 2012
Not even torn cartilage will keep Carrie Carpenter off the roller derby track.
As I write this, I lay on my couch with my leg elevated and bundled up in the world’s largest ACE bandage ever made by humans. The coffee table in front of me braces the contents of four bottles of pain killers. My mother is darting around my apartment, trying to find something she can do for me to take her mind off the image (from early that morning) of her youngest child with IVs and a heart monitor strapped to her. The last time I wrote about derby injuries, it was a much more light-hearted story… I wasn’t seriously hurt that time. This time, I had to undergo arthroscopic surgery; which although not insignificant, is only minorly invasive. After some MRIs and X-rays and physical therapy, my doctor could not specifically diagnose my pain…
Monday, December 19, 2011
This week our roller derby columnist provides a rebuttal to a commentary taking the sport to task.
About a week ago my Facebook newsfeed was inundated with angry reactions to some fellow’s column claiming that roller derby isn’t a sport. My derby community was outraged and I was grizzled. Adrian Taylor of the The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin is apparently a humor columnist, although he uses the British spelling “humour.” Unfortunately, Mr. Taylor isn’t funny. I’m sure he gets his jollies by inciting sharp reactions from readers, but his criticism of roller derby was both unfounded and vacant. His contrite and pompous column boiled down to this: “I hate sports that don’t involve balls.” (Whoa… so many insinuations there, I’ll let you, the reader, figure them all out.) Just kidding (or am I?). The problem with Mr. Taylor’s diatribe is …
Monday, December 5, 2011
Carrie Carpenter talks about the importance of the two roller derby roles that focus on strategy.
The first time these teams played one another, one of their league mates was dressed like Yoda and kneeling on the ground in a brown robe. The most recent bout between the STL GateKeepers’ The Force and The Darkside, my friend who was bench coaching The Force yet again appeared in a super hot Pricess Leia costume. No, not slutty slave Leia, the other one with the cinnamon roll hair. I wore Capri pants and a cut-up t-shirt. To be fair, I did buy a black cape at a player’s behest down at the dollar store before the game, but accidentally-on-purpose forgot it in the locker room. Roller derby teams generally have two bench coaches: A line coach who calls players onto the track and one that watches the game and makes strategy calls. Bench …