by Mark Sprain
What is it with Derby Liberation Front!? They always begin bouts slowly, usually fall behind, and seem to take a few jams to get the lights on and the coffee brewing. Just when you think it’s going to be a contest and settle in for an hour of close competition they throw some native funk and flash at you that suddenly turns no lead into a six point lead that rapidly becomes a 90 point lead. Last Saturday, March 28, at the Rat’s Nest their latest show of superiority turned into a 268 to 163 win over the Sockit Wenches.
At the start of the early bout between DLF and the Wenches it looked like it was going to be a contest of equals even though one team, DLF, came in undefeated while the other, SW, was still looking for its first win of the season.
From the opening whistle it was clear that the Wenches weren’t on the track to be just another speed bump in DLF’s march to a second straight Rat City Rollergirls championship. There were no slough-off blocks in this one. Solid hits sent sweat and snot flying. Muscled, unpadded bodies forced grunts and yells as they slammed into other muscled, unpadded bodies. A lane opened, another closed. It was 1-1, then 3-1. In jam three Sun Shiner (#36), Sister Slaughter (#480) and Moe YaDown (#14) kept DLF jammer WeeWah Smiles (#56) battling in the pack for two laps. Wenches jammer Vishus Trollope (#106) made three passes and it was 18-1 in favor of the Wenches.
The lead grew. A couple jams later Thumper Skull (#83) put on the star for DLF. Sister Slaughter planted her with a well-placed hip, a knock down that left Thumper with a few seconds of recovery time. Eight more points for the Wenches by jammer Sun Shiner and her team was now ahead 33-12.
Sockit Wenches pivot Sun Shiner doesn’t particularly want Derby Liberation Front blocker Chocolate Coma in this
space. The look on CC’s face says she had no plans to go anywhere else. Photo by Bob Ayers.
Jam seven was a power jam that flipped for the Wenches. At the start they were down 3-5. A minute later they had a 5-2 advantage. While Moe YaDown and Mad ScrapHer (#5150) were keeping DLF jammer Terror Swift (#86) in the recycling bin Sun Shiner was adding 17 more points and it was now a 50-19 lead in favor of the mechanics.
That’s when you could smell the coffee brewing.
DLF scored nine. Then Cynthia Bartok (#39) detonated for 29. DLF went ahead 57-51 and the bout was, for all practical purposes, over.
In the final thirteen jams of the first half the Sockit Wenches scored eight points. They were shut out in nine of them. Over that same span DLF went from 28 to 148. Bartok did it with speed, picking up 23 more in jam 13. Nothing the Wenches did could stop WeeWah Smiles in the next jam as she made four passes for 20 points. The Wenches went to a reliable scorer, Sister Slaughter, as the half closed but DLF blocker Wreck N Shrew (#24) put the full anatomy defense on Sister, a thigh here, a hip there, some shoulder, an illegal forearm, a chest slam, some booty block. The Wenches jammer got one point. Wreck N Shrew probably saved her team another 15.
At the half DLF had 19 penalties, the Sockit Wenches, 29.
New clarification on the use of the forearms led to many of the calls. This bout ended with 104 penalties. For much of the second half the Wenches skated on the wrong side of power jams, limiting their scoring ability.
Track official Sir Osis explained the new interpretation of the forearm rule this way:
“I think the salient point now is that we have a change in the impact spectrum that can be pretty significant. Previously, forearms calls were most often made because of an observable push, but that push had to cause the opponent to fall, go out of bounds, lose superior position on the track or allow an opponent to gain superior position because of the illegal contract.
Now, we’re looking for something different. If the forearm contact causes a significant alteration in trajectory or speed, you have a potential call. One call that would illustrate the difference is if you imagine a blocker moving laterally towards a jammer on the inside line. The jammer extends her forearm when the blocker gets close to her, effectively pushing her away and preventing contact by the blocker. The blocker’s trajectory goes from lateral motion (outside line to inside line) to a forward trajectory. Provided the player doesn’t fall or otherwise lose relative position or go out of bounds, which was a no call under the old rule set. It’s potentially a call now because of the alteration of trajectory.”
Winter Scoming from the Sockit Wenches would like to get by these two Derby Liberation Front blockers but it looks like no points this time around as Wreck N Shrew and Raven Evergore put up a solid wall. Photo by Bob Ayers.
The second half was more of the same. DLF jammers rang up 15s and 27s and 22s. Wenches jammer Sister Slaughter managed 16 in one jam, the first five coming over the body of DLF blocker CC (#90), whom Sister planted with a no frills full on shoulder slam. Vishus Trollope added 19 in the final jam. That was the one were WeeWah Smiles was called for blocking with the head. It was penalty 104.
DLF picked Wenches blocker Winter Scoming (#1221) as their Most Valuable Opponent. The Sockit Wenches gave that honor to Terror Swift.
Vishus Trollope led Sockit Wenches scoring with 60. Sun Shiner had 51, Sister Slaughter, 25, Kendle Bjelland (#808), 12, Winter Scoming, 11, and Mal Fet (#26), 4.
Leading all scorers for the night was DLF jammer Cynthia Bartok with 97. Terror Swift had 66, WeeWah Smiles, 54, new comer Nasty Drew (#72), 21, Thumper Skull, 13, Chocolate Coma (CC), 9 and Dirty South (#87), 8.