Friday, February 5, 2010

First Bout Madness!

Well, we stepped up our training, got better as skaters and decided it was time to have our first inaugural bout. Lets show off what we have, what we are gonna do and who we are!!!! We scouted locations and found one who were willing to let us skate on their wooden floor!!!!! They decided to take a chance and found to their pleasure that we didn't ruin their floors with our wheels and we repaid them with the biggest attendance they had ever had in their stadium and the biggest in our country ever!!!!!
We started training in the stadium to get used to the new floors - they were a lot slippier than what we were used to and a few of our girls had to invest in a new set of wheels.
We had a meeting and discussed how we were gonna fit four teams into an inaugural bout. Were we gonna showcase our teams and if that's the case, how were we gonna fit that into one bout??? We held a meeting and decided to split the league into two temporary teams for the bout, we threw the four teams into a hat and the first two were picked for the first team with the second two forming the second team.
We formed themes for the teams and new names and started training separately. We also came together for one full league training session per week to touch base and scrimmage together.
The training was good, two teams gelling together under a new name was hard, but fun. Unknown to us though, we had set in action what was almost our undoing as a league.
Through the coming weeks, we found ourselves becoming more alienated towards each other, we stopped hanging out as a league and started socialising in our little groups. When we got together in our whole league scrimmage, it was clear who was coming out better and resentment began to fester. One team felt that the other wasn't taking part in constructive feedback after scrimmage and that they were keeping strategy and like to themselves. They were pulling out illegal moves on the track and as our refs weren't calling them up on it - they were being biased toward the other team. We started to hate league scrimmage and started to bitch behind our league mates backs, but in the middle of it all, new friendships were being formed - ones that would never of happened had we not split. Skaters who had not shone prior to the split, had been nurtured and turned out to be awesome at derby!! We were finding out more about each other than ever before.
Come the bout, we were a pack of amped up, resentful bitches waiting to go out and play for keeps. We had guest refs come along to help out with the numbers. We had awesome acts and even more awesome announcers. Our tickets had sold out days before the game.
Each teams changing rooms were a hive of activity and puking when we went into lockdown - through the door we could hear the stadium begin to fill and our announcers amp up the already excitable crowd!!! What if we fell on the track, what if the crowd couldn't follow the game, what if they didn't cheer?????
Game time came and went in a blur of nerves and adrenaline - the crowd went wild, the TV stations loved the new sensation that was Roller Derby and we made the sports news!!!!
Although the underdog team won by a mile, there were shenanigans going on with some of the refs. The guest refs had taken over the game and had undermined our head ref. There were penalties given as punishment for actions off track and what should have been our crowning moment in derby history was tainted by personal politics.
Thankfully most of the crowd were unaware.
It still leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but lessons were learned. Stronger teams have been forged and our league has undergone a major re-structuring as a result.

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