We are days away from kicking off our fifth season, and we want you in the stands to see it. Whether this is the first bout you’ve ever planned on attending, a die-hard Brawler fan, or a visiting derby sister, the following is a list that will help you get to know our league better. This sport that we love, that we LOVE oh so much, is relatively young and can be somewhat confusing. These are seven things that I’d like for you to know about our sport and our league.
A lot has changed in Roller Derby since this picture was taken in the 1950s.
1. This is a LEGIT sport with LEGIT athletes. As with any other sport in existence, our sport is ever evolving. In its very early birth, Roller Derby was somewhat of a spectacle. Where the focus was once drama and entertainment, the sport has evolved to become the sport we want you to experience with us. Roller Derby has grown tons to become the display of teamwork, skill, strategy, and strength that it is today. Today’s Roller Derby runs on a very specific rule-set, a rule-set created to promote fairness and safety for all involved. The rule-set we follow is laid out by WFTDA. WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association,) is an organization that CVDD is proud to be a full-fledged member of.
Strategy and teamwork replace drama in today’s Rollery Derby.
While you will see sixty minutes of solid derby action, we put in so many more hours in preparation to make us the athletes that we need to be to make us the best Brawlers we can be. Each week we put in six-ten hours of practice, and work-out on our own time. Roller Derby is exhilarating, but exhausting to a body that isn’t finely-tuned. Quickness, agility, mental strength, and stamina are all necessary components to being good at this sport. We work out together, as well as separately, as a deposit to our team strength. Don’t believe me? Just challenge Di to a vertical jump contest (on-skates if you’re an over-acheiver,) hit up Schwing for a footrace, let chaos lead you in a core workout, or ask Halo for a hip-check. These ladies are LEGIT athletes.
CVDD: 2015 Push-Up Brawler Uniform
2. No Fishnets here. Uniforms for UNITY. Every league has the option to allow their skaters to design their own bout-fits. At the birth of our league you may have seen fishnets and hot-pants, but those have been lovingly left in the past. Today’s Brawlers can all be identified at home by the following: Black pants, purple Brawler uniform top, white helmet, all the appropriate safety gear, and a look of determination. As we are one team; we wear one uniform. And, the fishnets? They are actually awful. Ask any skater who has slid across the concrete floor at McElroy in them. Those things leave a mark, and wow does it burn….
Who knows though. Maybe Risky Frizness and Dani DeBeato have their fifth season bout-faces ready to paint on. Glitter? Well, yes there will still be glitter, of course.
3. Speaking of CONCRETE, yeah it’s that hard, and yes we fall, but we get back up just as fast. We play our bouts in McElroy Auditorium, on the National Cattle Congress grounds in Waterloo, Iowa. If you want to know how to get here, click here. Flat Track Roller Derby is the epitome of full-contact. Part of our training is learning how to fall (and most certainly to deliver those big hits,) with the safety of our bodies, and the safety of those around us, in mind. On the sidelines Saturday night you’ll see certified EMTs, our team chiropractor Jennifer Rasmussen, and all the appropriate medical equipment. Injuries sometimes happen, but both teams playing that night are in great hands.
4. Our Roller Derby redefines DIY. Usually when you hit up a sporting event as awesome as this bout will be, you see staff and interns running all over helping to execute the event. Maybe you spot a merchandise stand with a colorful array of goodies to buy to support your team that is staffed by a separate entity. Suppose you take in how the venue has been set up, by yet another group altogether. Not us, that’s not how we roll, pardon the obvious pun. Our league members and volunteers do everything from start to finish with each bout. The scheduling, the set up, the merchandise for sale, the promotional materials you have hopefully spotted around town, the halftime entertainment–all us. Each of us brings our own special skills to the table to make these things happen–in addition to our time on skates. We do it because we love it, and we want you to love it too. So high-five a volunteer, hug an emcee, and cheer extra loud. That’s all the recognition needed.
Post Bout Smiles All Around
5. On the topic of love, have you heard of Derby Sisters? We are a family, these are my sisters. We’re in it for the long haul, through thick and thin. We know each other — really know each other, and genuinely care about each other. We know all about each of the families we have at home, the challenges in our careers, and the happenings in our personal lives. Throughout it all, we support each other, on and off the track. These are relationships that will last forever.
Hours and hours of sweat and tears have been shed in making this the best Brawlers team yet. Veterans like Desmo and After School Special join forces with new faces like Kickin Schwing and Pix C Pop to form a whole new kind of team. A team focused on athleticism, strength, and unity. A team focussed on winning.
Our Derby Sisterhood reaches well-past our league boundaries. Take a look around Saturday night, and I bet you see some other league colors out there supporting us. That’s how amazing this sport is, we all support each other. We flat-out just love being able to play this sport, this is evident in the post-bout pictures. Win or lose, there’s always smiling faces.
Coach Flash taking in the action on the floor with Team Captain Dani DeBeato.
I can gush about derby family and derby unity, but maybe you ask Coach Flash Saturday night how he feels about wrangling all of us twice a week for hours at a time….
5. What the HELL is going on? So, you get to the bout, you read the rules handout lovingly prepared by our refs, and you feel like you kind of understand the sport after you’ve perused the info-graphic on the program…. And then all HELL breaks loose. There’s whistles and penalties, and oooh what a hit! All you have is questions. Do you know what we want you to do with those questions? ASK US!!! We have league members all over the venue who would love to explain this sport to you. Seriously, just ask, or even throw up your hands in the stands, someone will find you and answer your questions. We want you to know more about the sport. The more you understand what awesomeness is playing out in front of you, the louder you’ll cheer. We like loud cheering.
6. Why on Earth do we do this?!?! I think this is one of the most important things I can convey to you. We do this because we LOVE this sport. We all ended up here from all kinds of different life-paths, but we find a common thread in each other through this sport. There’s an ‘Uncle Leon and the Alibis’ song called “Roller Derby Saved My Soul” (to read the lyrics click here.) There’s another side to this ‘soul-saving revolution’ that he’s not necessarily singing about: What this sport; this team does for us.: the camaraderie, the relationships, and working toward our common goal is something that each of us has found as a Brawler. Ask any of them, they’ll probably tell you that ‘Roller Derby Saved Their Soul.’
7. What do I want from you? I want you to show up. Maybe you’ve never been, maybe you have always wanted to go, maybe you’ve never missed a bout. I just want you to see this. I want you to be a part of this. We LOVE our fans, as much as we love our sport. Did someone ask you to buy a ticket? She didn’t do that to increase ticket sales, she asked you because she wants to share this with you–to make you a part of this growing Brawler family. So, now all you have to do is find a ticket. You can buy $8 advance tickets from any CVDD league member, at Mohair Pear in Cedar Falls, Plaid Peacock in Waterloo, or the National Cattle Congress office. You can listen to 97.7 KCRR for chances to win tickets, or go to their website to enter to win tickets here. On Saturday, January 24th, our box office will open for $10 ticket sales at 5pm. Kids 8 & under are free. The Brawlers first jam against the Rockford Rage will begin at 6pm.
I’ll see you all Saturday night! Brawlers on THREE!
PS: If you miss this one, our next home bout is Fifty Shades hotter than anything else you’ll be doing that night on Saturday, February 14th.