Ever wonder what it feels like to skate in a bout?
We asked dead ringers skater Lola Lacerate to give us her perspective of the game from the track at our season opener, May 31st, 2014 at Shannon Park Arena. Dead Ringers vs Black Rock Bandits.
Season Opener Bout Review by Lola Lacerate, Dead Ringers
Hmm. A difficult task, reviewing a roller derby game. Not least because our bench policy was to avert our eyes from the track whilst waiting to go on, so I suppose I missed quite a bit of the action. Why was that our policy, you ask? Well, it’s an exciting thing, this game of roller derby. Some of the side effects of watching include involuntary cries and howls escaping the throat as your blockers take chunks out of their jammer and heart palpitations as you watch, helplessly from the sidelines, as your jammer battles to take those final strides in order to break free from the pack. So as a team, we tried to avoid eye contact with the calculated chaos around us in order to stay focused on our jobs once we rolled up in anticipation of the 5-second call.
Beyond this, reviewing the game is an especially difficult task for me seeing as it was the second game I have ever played and the first one at home. So in that way, I don’t have much to compare against in my review. Oh, and my troubles don’t end there. With the game being between the Halifax Anchor City Rollers home teams, the Ringers and the Bandits, I had to stand on the track as a Ringer and blank out that the opposition was made up of women who had up until that point been my league mates, teachers and friends. I certainly found that a challenge. The jam bit goes by in such a blur, well for me at least, so not much to say there. The battle wounds visible the next day speak for themselves.
What I can say is that I am still in awe at the colossal effort, time and planning that went into creating the event and making it what it was. I find it so inspiring that the people who came together to make the event happen are regular people with busy, complicated lives outside of derby. The community spirit created by these people fed into the sense of comradery and respect felt on the track on Saturday night. I can’t review a game, because derby is about so much more. I wish that everyone could experience it either as a spectator or a league member.
Photo ©: Richard Lafortune