Assault City Roller Derby Announces June Double Header

On Saturday, June 11th, Assault City Roller Derby will once again bring the excitement and action of women’s flat-track roller derby back to the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena. In a double-header against Central New York Roller Derby, ACRD’s Assault Squad will take on the CNY All-Stars, and ACRD’s Battery Brigade will face off against the Rome Wreckers. Doors will open at 4:30 PM, and the Assault Squad bout will begin at 5 PM, with the Battery Brigade bout to follow. Both ACRD teams won their bouts last month, and the teams are looking to repeat their success in this double header.

» ACRD wins double header (photos), plus Derby 101

The bout features live halftime entertainment by Born Again Rebels, and $1 of every ticket sold will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York. Presale general admission tickets are $10 each and presale front line tickets are $20 each. Reduced price children’s tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at TicketLeap.com or at Black Mamba Skate Park in Shoppingtown Mall. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event for $12 for general admission and $22 for front line. After the bout, fans can join the derby girls for food and drinks at Sharkey's Eclectic Sports Lounge in Liverpool, NY.

ACRD is an all-women’s flat track roller derby league consisting of working mothers, professionals, wives, and students, ranging in age from 21 to 45. Their goal is to help local communities and promote women’s empowerment. Since its inception in late 2007, Assault City has competed on the road in Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Ohio as well as throughout Upstate New York. For additional information about ACRD, please visit www.assaultcityrollerderby.com.

Assault City Roller Derby Opens Skating Lights Out. Plus: Derby 101 for Fans

Assault City Roller Derby started off their home season skating lights out this year. It's like an entirely different team, and I hope the winning helps them pick up some popularity. There are already lots of reasons I love derby (more), but to see the home team winning? Awesome.

» Derby in the context of a skater's life

Roller Derby 101

That's a good video up there, but for those who need to read, here's a basic look at how flat track roller derby is played.

A bout is 60 minutes long, divided into two, 30-minute halves. Each "play" is called a jam, and is timed to a maximum of two minutes.

A standard jam includes five skaters from each team, lined up in a 1-3-1 formation. One skater from each team sets the pace from the front, with the middle six skaters (three from each team) making up the pack. The final skater from each team, called the "jammer," starts several seconds after the rest of the pack.

The jammer's goal is to get through the pack without skating out of bounds. Skaters in the pack have two goals: (1) get their jammer through, and (2) stop the other team's jammer from getting through. This is where the jostling, hip checks, booty blocks and other nastiness fun happens.

Once the jammer gets through the pack, she must skate around the track, and then scores points for her team by skating cleanly past skaters from the other team (by cleanly, I mean staying in-bounds). Thus, if she makes it through the pack a second time, she'll have past four members of the other team, scoring four points. Any skater, including the jammer, knocked out of bounds, must come in-bounds behind the skater who knocked her out.

The first jammer through the pack has the ability to end a jam before two minutes have passed. She might do this so that the other team is unable to score.

There are, of course, penalties and strategies, but them's the basics, and if you're watching a bout, that's what you're seeing.

Assault City Roller Derby Announces Home Double Header!

Woohoo! It's derby time! Below is the press release from Texas Terror announcing Assault City's opening double header on May 14.

Syracuse, NY – May 1, 2011: Assault City Roller Derby is excited to announce its first ever double header to be held at the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena in Baldwinsville, NY on Saturday, May 14th. In this home opening bout, Assault City's Battery Brigadewill take on the Capital City Derby Dames of Ottawa, Canada, while the Assault Squad will battle the Skyland Roller Girls of Hackettstown, NJ. Doors open at 4:30 PM, and theF irst bout will begin at 5 PM, with the second bout to follow. There will be refreshments, halftime entertainment and loads of excitement.

Presale general admission tickets are $10 each while a limited number of front line tickets are $20 each. Reduced price children's tickets are available. Tickets can be
purchased at http://assaultcityrollerderby.ticketleap.com/rollingfortherescue/ or at Black Mamba Skate Park in Shoppingtown Mall. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event for $12 for general admission and $22 for front line. $1 from each ticket sold will benefit the Rescue Mission of Syracuse, who provides support and programs for the less fortunate living in and around the Syracuse area.

ACRD is an all-women's flat track roller derby league consisting of working mothers, professionals, wives, and students, ranging in age from 21 to 45. Their goal is to help local communities and promote women's empowerment.Since its inception in late 2007, Assault City has competed on the road in Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Ohio as well as throughout Upstate New York.

ACRD is also currently recruiting skaters and referees. Skaters must be 21 years old; no skating experience is required. Referees can be male or female. For additional information, please visit us at www.assaultcityrollerderby.com.

Derby Dancing Double Header: Assault City at Ithaca this Saturday

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca League of Women Rollers will take on their sisterly arch-rivals from Syracuse, Assault City Roller Derby, to end their 2010 season on Saturday October 9 at Cass Park Rink. The doubleheader will feature the Ithaca BlueStockings, who will take on Syracuse’s “B” team, and will continue as the SufferJets—recently voted Ithaca’s #1 local sports team by readers of the Ithaca Times—take on the seasoned Assault City skaters.

The Ithaca League of Women Rollers and Syracuse’s Assault City Roller Derby share derby roots: they began learning the sport together in September 2007 before they split into their respective teams in February 2008, just prior to both leagues’ premiere friends-and-family bout in March 2008. The teams continue to meet on the track annually, although after two seasons of tight matches, Syracuse remains hungry for a win over Ithaca.

This year’s match-up promises to be especially exciting, as the SufferJets’ former first-string power blocker, Brutal Vroom (also known as Hollow Bones, Amber Waves of Pain, and Amber Chaos), returns to Cass Park wearing Assault City colors as she takes on her former Sisters of Suffrage. Brutal Vroom moved to Syracuse early in the 2010 season. She reports, “I have never been so nervous before a bout. I hope I don’t give the wrong person a whip.

Cass Park will open its doors on Saturday, October 9, at 5:00 pm, and the first whistle will blow at 5:30. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Friendship Donation food rescue and gleaning program. Please bring a nonperishable food donation to the door. Donations of $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12 keep our derby dames rolling.

An after-party will be held at Stella’s, 403 College Ave., featuring ILWR DJs Bob and Luke.

Approximate Program Times:
5:00 Doors open at Cass Park Rink
5:30 Whistle Blows—Period 1 BlueStockings vs. Assault City B Team
6:10 End of First period—short half time
6:20 Period 1 SufferJets vs. Assault City A Team
7:00 Period 2 BlueStockings vs. Assault City B Team
7:35 Period 2 SufferJets cs. Assault City A Team

Assault City Roller Derby Closes Out Home Season

Krispy Kremya Otto A Linement Roller Derby Wedding

Assault City Roller Derby hosted its final home bout of the 2010 season on Saturday, falling 161-57 to the Tri-City Roller Girls of Waterloo, Ontario. Which is in Canada, by the way.

• What I love about roller derby »
• Roller derby in the context of a derby girl's life »

This to love about this bout:

Canadian national spirit. I've often taken the "grateful, not proud" stance on being an American. We have some great freedoms here, but (and forgive the brief foray into politics) we do some pretty crappy things to our own people and to the world. And we all stand respectfully and take our hats off when our national anthem is sung before sporting events, but Canadians actually sing along. Loudly. [Maybe it's because their anthem wasn't written by a prisoner to the tune of a drinking song popular among the people imprisoning him, but still.]

Announcers. DeafGeoff (aka Funk Roll Brother) and Jason (aka Rebel Without a Pulse) called the bout. Geoff is a radio guy and Jason is an actor. They are both also part of the Quadfathers, a men's roller derby team out of Utica. And they're friends. So the personalities are great, the banter was hysterical, they know derby and can explain it, and just all-around they enhanced the experience.

Solidarity and Bad-Assitude. About three minutes into the bout, Assault City's Deb Crush leveled Lippy Wrongstocking. Deb makes her living in the penalty box (though this was a clean hit) and is known for, er, not being gentle. When someone gets hurt, everybody (both teams and the refs) immediately takes a knee – it's the best way to ensure there's no further damage and it shows some solidarity – but any time the EMTs have to make their way out, it's scary. After about five minutes (which is a long time to be down), Lippy managed to skate off, and Deb made a bee-line for the Tri-City bench to check in on her. And while Lippy didn't skate again in the first half, she was right back at it in the second half, making up for lost time.

Wedding! Ref Otto A. Linement and Assault City skater Krispy Kremya renewed their vows at halftime (that's the photo up there at the top of the post). And about time, since apparently the first time they ran off and got married, then had a lot of phone calls to make and splainin' to do.

No more derby in B'ville this season, but Assault City skates in Utica on Sept. 19 and in a double header at Utica on Oct. 9. We'll also have some skaters at the October meeting of the 40 Below Civic Engagement Task Force.

Assault City announces first-ever international bout

A press release from Crazy Diamond at Assault City Roller Derby.

***

Syracuse, NY – Assault City Roller Derby is pleased to announce its first-ever international bout at the Greater Baldwinsville (Lysander) Ice Arena in Baldwinsville, NY, on Saturday, August 21st. Assault City will take on the Tri-City Roller Girls of Ontario, Canada. Doors open at 6 PM and the bout starts at 7 PM. There will be refreshments, music, halftime entertainment and loads of excitement. This is also ACRD’s last home bout of the 2010 season.

Presale general admission tickets are $10 each while a limited number of front line tickets are $20 each. Reduced price children’s tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased online or at Black Mamba Skate Park in Shoppingtown Mall. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event for $12 for general admission and $22 for front line.

ACRD is an all-women’s flat track roller derby league consisting of working mothers, professionals, wives, and students, ranging in age from 21 to 45. Their goal is to help local communities and promote women’s empowerment. Since its inception in late 2007, Assault City has competed on the road in Vermont, New Jersey, and Ohio as well as throughout Upstate New York. For additional information, please visit www.AssaultCityRollerDerby.com.

Roller Derby: Assault City vs. Ithaca

Assault City's B Team experienced some of the A Team's defensive problems on Saturday, when they hosted the Ithaca Bluestockings at Baldwinsville. But the offense was a bit better. Ithaca won the bout 202-90.

Assault City A Team coach Crazy Diamond and Hot 107.9's DeafGeoff emceed, and did an awesome job explaining not only the "what" of what was going on, but also the "why."

Favorite parts of the bout:

» The Bluestockings brought cheerleaders – all male, and all in matching jumpsuits.

» I've mentioned before roller derby is a family-friendly, and especially girl-friendly, event. One Assault City skater took a couple of young girls by the hand at halftime and skated them around the track (the girls were running). Awesome.

» Halftime entertainment: Live music by Feast of the Superb Owl, who were loud but still managed to sound good in an ice rink.

I still love all the things I said last time, too. And what Crazy D said. And it's why I'll continue to support derby locally as long as teams are playing.

Assault City's next bout is July 17 at the Baldwinsville Ice Arena. Go seem. And follow them on Twitter, too.

Putting roller derby in the context of life

I wrote an entry a few days ago on the Assault City vs Roc City roller derby bout on May 15. It elicited such a warm response from Crazy Diamond, who handles Assault City's PR, that I asked if I could post it here. These are her words, unedited. —JS

I work in a nearly all-male environment and it's great to be involved with something that is for women, by women and about women. Sometimes I am in awe when I think about our team and what we have managed to do both on and off the track in a little more than two years. We all use our particular skills to benefit the team. I'm in marketing for my day job, so I do PR and media. Our treasurer is a bookkeeper by day. Everyone brings something to the table. Male involvement is limited to support roles, such as refs and non skating officials. This is not be construed at all that we are man-haters or anything like that. The dynamic when it's just women is simply different. Our husbands, boyfriends, whomever - who we refer to as our "widows," are our biggest fans. We cannot do what we do without their support because derby is such a big time commitment. And our widows all get an unofficial derby name too!

Through derby, I'm meeting women I wouldn't otherwise in my daily life. We're a pretty eclectic bunch, but we all count each other as derby sisters. And despite what often happens when you get a bunch of women (especially strong, driven women) together, we don't have a lot of drama. The environment is very supportive and I feel like I have a whole network of people I could rely on if I was in a bad way somehow. People on the team have found each other jobs, attended each other's weddings, thrown baby showers, whatever. We've helped each other through divorces, moves, all kinds of stuff. The support is on and off the track. It extends to other teams as well. If a derby girl visits from out of town, we get an email or call asking if she can attend a practice. High-powered teams hold clinics to assist newer skaters in their development. People send money or gifts when a player is injured.

And thank you for bringing up the role of women in sports and all the shit, as you put it, that's out there. There are a handful of men's derby leagues, but it's almost exclusively a women's sport. There aren't many you can say this about. No worries about the men getting top billing. People seem more fascinated by women playing derby than men. However, many people don't take it seriously as a sport or mistakenly assume it's fake, and the derby of yesterday perpetuates this myth. You've been there - you've seen how physical and athletic it is and you know it's not fake. We train really hard and I would challenge any nay-sayer to get through a practice with us. I consider myself an athlete and want to be regarded as such. Yet I've done press and been told ON THE RADIO that my derby name sounds like a stripper name and I feel that mentality marginalizes us as athletes. (The derby name provides anonymity to otherwise normal people; I would be inhibited if my real name was in programs and on the websites and airwaves. There are fans with screws loose out there.) Yes, we wear fishnets and cute outfits; that's just derby style. But you can be strong and sexy at the same time; be an athlete and feminine; look hot while kicking some ass. If you don't care about looking hot, then just go kick some ass and that's totally fine and really more important at the end of the day anyway.

We are evolving into a force that rivals most other local semi-pro sports teams, in my opinion, in terms of our reach, organziation, and economic impact. We rent facilities, have partners/sponsors, sell team merchandise, spend money locally to promote and put on our events, etc. And we do this for fun, not for money or as jobs. All funds go back to the team for development or to charity. Being able to help the community in which we live through our charitable works is just the icing on the cake of all of this. Our next bout benefits the Galisano Children's Hospital.

Sorry to drone on... Obviously, I have strong feelings for this sport and I work tirelessly to promote it and my team. I'm just glad to see someone pick up on the things that are the best and most unique elements of derby, rather than just another simplistic piece about being a housewife by day and derby girl by night, as though we all live some kind of Clark Kent/Superman existence.

Roller Derby: Assault City vs Roc City

Are you on the roller derby bandwagon yet? If not, climb aboard. It's fun, it's family-friendly, it's woman-positive (well, women's derby is), and it's good for the community.

Assault City Roller Derby had their first home bout of the season (thanks Crazy Diamond for getting us some seats, and thanks Black Mamba Skate Park for connecting us to them) on May 15. The defense was a little sloppy; Roc City wound up with a 182-58 win.

The Baldwinsville Ice Arena was packed for the bout. Half an hour before it started, the bleachers were packed. Here are the things I love.

Woman-positive. And better yet, girl-positive. Ever since Brandy Chastain scored a game-winning goal, there's been so much shit out there about women and sports. The only reason anybody even remembers that moment is because she ripped her shirt off, exposing a not-at-all revealing sports bra and a truck-load of emotion. Now, everything women do in sports is scrutinized with an eye toward scandal.

Not in derby. What you can see from the stands is community. Yes, these women are playing against each other; heck, they're beating the snot out of each other much of the time. But they definitely shake hands before and after the bouts, and no hard feelings all around. And you know who else sees that? Nine-year-old girls in the audience, who have been looking up to Hillary fucking Duff or whomever.

Bumps and bruises are going to be part of the game, but if I had daughters, I'd want them to be part of this community.

Family-friendly. No, your kids can't sit on the floor and watch a bout – they're a little too likely to get a derby girl in their lap, at full speed (I think I just sold Mitch a ticket) – but the bleachers are plenty safe. Beer is only served in a designated area, and not in the stands. And while you're likely to run into some foul-mouthed fans (like me), you're equally as likely to run into foul-mouthed people in a diner, so, whatever.

Community-engaged. Last year, I saw Assault City hand over a check to the Carol M. Baldwin Foundation for some $900 and change to help fight cancer. On Saturday, the Shriners were out in full force, some of them in clown regalia. A dollar of every ticket sold goes to some charity or other. That is awesome. They even kicked me $15 for my beard on a whim. They are involved in charity work, and that's just awesome.

The next bout is June 19 in Baldwinsville. Hope to see you there!