Some great derby history was made last Sunday, the 8th of September, during the Best Hits Rookie Tournament held at Pasila Sports hall! The teams competing were Tampere Roller Derby’s b-team The Howlin’ Rolls, Lahti Roller Derby’s b-team Lihamukiloijat, Helsinki Roller Derby’s c-team The C-cassette and all the way from Seinäjoki we got see Seinäjoki Roller derby, with some borrowed players from Kallio Rolling Rainbow and Pori Rolling Brigade. At first the teams played 30 minute games against each other, of which the winners would play in the finale and the loosing teams would go against each other for the 3rd place.
Tampere Howlin’ Rolls vs HRD C-cassette. Photo by Jorma Pulkkinen
In the first game Helsinki Roller Derby’s c-team met up with Tampere Roller Derby’s b-team. In the beginning Helsinki took lead, but after just a few jams Tampere managed to catch up. Right from the start both the teams had to give their all, because the game was only 30 minutes long. Helsinki managed to stay focused, and we got to see some good positional blocking and some recycling from Helsinki. We also got to see fast jams, where the jammers where trying to get the first four points and then call off the jam, but Tampere’s courageous jammers managed to slip by the Helsinki c-teams walls. We also got to see a few power jams for both of the teams, during which the scoring jammers got to shine. The game was really tight until the end, and the final score was 68–77 to Tampere, who would be battling for the gold in the final.
Tampere Roller Derby b-teams Howlin Roll’s Best jammer: Mitsuho, Best blocker: Dumbho, MVP: Zero Holerance
Helsinki Roller Derby’s c-teams Best jammer: Catnip Slip, Best blocker: Pomo, MVP: Mirka Virolainen.
Lahti’s Lihamukiloijat vs. Seinäjoki. Photo by Jari Aarnio
The next teams to go head to head were Seinäjoki Roller Derby and Lahti Roller Derby’s Lihamukiloijat. The game was thrilling from the start to the end. Both of the teams defended their points actively. The walls formed by Lahti were very powerful and Lihamukiloijat managed to take the game in control, and help their jammers score more points than Seinäjoki, who did not however give up easily. The game ended 71–134 for Lahti, who would confront Tampere in the finale.
Lahti Roller Derby b-teams Lihamukiloijat’s Best jammer: Nelli, Best blocker: Platy Push, MVP: Hypno
Seinäjoki Roller Derby’s Best jammer: Metadonna, Best blocker: Queen George, MVP: Yano Cyber D.
Seinäjoki vs. HRD C-cassette. Photo by Jari Aarnio.
Next up was the battle for the 3rd place, where HRD’s c-team would go against Seinäjoki Roller Derby. The fact that both the teams had already played warm up games, showed right from the beginning. HRD’s C-cassette stayed more focused and Seinäjoki’s team play was effective.
HRD c-teams jammer Mirka managed to do a few great starts by blasting by the Seinäjoki walls just a few seconds into the first jam. Seinäjoki’s own blocker Yano Cyber D also shined as an effective blocker throughout the game. The game was exciting, but throughout, you could see Helsinki gaining more and more control control. Also in this game, the jams were short, the blocking effective and the teamwork crucial. This was a great game, because both of the teams did make some “own derby history”: Helsinki Roller Derby c-team by winning their first game, 147-70, and Seinäjoki Roller Derby by taking part in their first tournament – not bad!
Seinäjoki Roller Derby’s Best jammer: Metadonna, Best blocker: Kimmy Ka-Boom, MVP: Yano Cyber D.
Helsinki Roller Derby c-team’s Best jammer: Catnip Slip, Best blocker: Anna Miettinen, MVP: Mirka Virolainen
Seinäjoki vs. HRD C-cassette: group photo after a great game! Photo by Jari Aarnio.
Tampere’s Howlin’ Rolls met up with Lahti’s Lihamukiloijat in the finale. You could sense the competitiveness right from the first whistle. The scores stayed even throughout the game. Tampere Howlin Roll’s managed to keep their walls tight, which forced Lahti to work hard for their points. The game was a thriller until the very last jam, final score being 122-128 to Tampere.
Lahti Roller Derby b-teams Lihamukiloijat’s Best jammer: Hypno, Best blocker: Pussiraija, MVP: Rose McGogo
Tampere Roller Derby Howlin Roll’s Best jammer: Rullavelho, Best blocker: Mitsuho, MVP Dumbho
The atmosphere in this closed tournament was amazing. It’s great that a rookie tournament like this was possible, because I believe that everyone who was there got so much out of it. This really was a great day for Finnish Roller Derby!
– Ella Bergele