News and Bout Info

Dear everyone.

The 2014 season will be my last with KDG, and as the days fly by leading up to our fifth anniversary game, I can’t help but reflect on my time with this league, which has been such an integral part of me for so long. As I look back, I am filled with so much gratitude for all those who have made the past five years some of the best of my life, and I hope you’ll bear with me while I take a moment to appreciate those people.

Thank you first and foremost to my kids, who have involuntarily lent me out to this sport and this league for a staggering portion of 2009 through 2014. I don’t know that my youngest son even remembers a me without derby, but I do know that they have remained my staunchest supporters, through rushed dinners, ad-hoc babysitting arrangements, whirlwind trips to away games, “just one more email”s too many to count, fetching me things and learning to slow down when I broke my leg, and cheering me on when I put my skates back on following my injury. They’re sad to see me leave the league, but as my eldest enters his teenage years, I see how the years, months, days, and moments fly by and I want to enjoy the time I have with these two wonderful humans to the fullest.

Thank you to my mother, who has been to every game she could possibly attend, listened to countless hours of derby discussion, talked up our league and our sport everywhere she goes, and supported me in every single way she could (and there have been many) over the past five years.

Thank you more times than I can say to Kristi, my favourite skater in the universe, my partner on and off the track, who has talked me through a gazillion derby decisions and ideas, waited patiently while I waded through hundreds of emails post-meeting and pre-game, brought me ice packs, checked my pupils, fed me pizza, and loved and cared for me perfectly all around.

Thanks to my incredibly passionate, committed, and talented co-founder and dear friend, LaVallee of the Dolls. This league would not exist without her, and she made the past five years possible: both on the track and off. At my most exhausted, discouraged and burnt-out times, she was always the one to look me in the eye and say, “Pull it together. Your league needs you. You got this.” She has been my derby rock since long before Day One.

Thank you to the 66 brave and trusting women who lined up at our first registration and showed us in no uncertain terms that Kingston was ready for roller derby. This league has accomplished  amazing things every single year, but I know everyone who was there will agree that 2010 was something magical and I am so grateful that every single one of those 66 women was part of it.

Thank you to the directors who have sat on our board through league structure changes, shifts in direction, conflict, celebration, new teams, new leagues, transitions in skaters, coaches, volunteers… we weathered a lot of storms and I have such respect for every person who has accepted a nomination, and for those who have sat on the board to ensure that the big picture and long-term survival of the league is always at top of mind.

Thank you to the coaches and team-mates who showed me – a total rookie to any sport, let alone a team sport – how to train my body to do things I never thought it could do, how to accept feedback and learn from it, how to trust and depend on other people, how to put my team first while constantly pushing myself to be the best I can be. You’ve all taught me so much about teamwork, strength, and persistence – skills that are transferable to every aspect of life.

Thank you to all the skaters who taught me so much about group dynamics, running a non-profit sports league, how to keep going with this dream of a Kingston derby league even when things were really hard, both in and outside of derby.

Thank you to the intrepid PMS (Promotions, Media, Sponsorship) Committee who entrusted me for several years with the role of head of Media, which forced (I mean, allowed) me to get over my terror of speaking in public or on the record… Turns out when you have something you love and believe in more than anything it’s not so hard to talk about it to any sized group of people.

Thank you to every skater who has come up to me and told me your story of what derby has meant to you and how it has changed your life. Everyone’s story is different, and the same, and every single one moves me to tears. Every time. I know this sport has changed my life for the better and I am always so happy to hear others say the same. It makes my heart swell.

Thank you to our tireless volunteers: coaches, NSOs, refs, who do all the work without the glory of getting to play in the games – KDG would not be turning five without your selfless devotion. Thank you. And thank you again.

Thank you to our annual batch of freshies, who bring a much-appreciated injection of enthusiasm and excitement to our league every year. It was a privilege to be part of the fresh meat coaching team for a couple of years – you all re-ignited my love for derby with every single practice.

Thank you to all of my “civilian” friends who have stuck with me while I pursued this time- and mind-consuming passion – I can’t wait to see more of each and every one of you once my schedule returns to a normal pace.

Thank you to the Kingston community for helping to make my dream come true and coming out and supporting us at game after game – it is the biggest reward of all to see people filling the stands and getting to know and love the sport like we all do.

A huge thank you to all those skaters who will be back next year and continuing to make sure this league is a going concern in another five years. I have all the faith in the world that KDG will thrive in your committed, skilled, and powerful hands.

Thank you to each and every one of you for sharing your time, your skill, your passion, and your commitment with this league. I am honoured to have been part of it and I can’t wait to cheer myself hoarse from the suicide seats next year and beyond.

All sentimental reflection aside now – I’d better see you all September 6th for our fifth annual Back to Cruel – it’s gonna be a good one.

Skate at Home Mom

 

 

Summer Smash-Up in Dundalk

The Kingston Derby Girls made their way to Dundalk, Ontario (we had to Google it too) this weekend for Summer Smash-Up, hosted by Fergus Roller Derby. The Disloyalists took on the Fergus Feims (we had to look that up too: apparently “feim” is Gaelic for “violent heat”) and fought hard but the Feims took the win 154 to 96. Next up, a Dead Rogues smashup team skating in Dead Red went up against GTAR’s Derby Debutantes. The lead changed almost every jam, it seemed, in this neck and neck battle, and your Kingston Derby Girls came out on top with a final score of 204 to 182. Congratulations to both KDG teams!

Cross-Border Battle

The Skateful Dead crossed the border last night to take on the Port City Sirens in the War of Sk8teen Twelve and the teams were well matched. Both teams fought hard and no one could predict who would come out on top. In the end, your hometown team in red, the Skateful Dead, took the win 251 to 241. Let’s do it again soon, New York State!

Training with Jess Bandit

Tonight we were lucky enough to host Jess Bandit of Montreal Roller Derby’s New Skids on the Block and Team Canada. Thanks so much for coming, Jess, and for the great blocking tips and strategy!

International roller derby hits Kingston

This guest post is brought to you by Rogue Warrior co-captain Red Nasty.

Saturday night saw two hard-fought battles on Canadian soil as our Kingston Derby Girls took on Port City Roller Derby of Oswego, New York. The teams were well-matched and both bouts were action-packed to the last jam.

Port City’s Breakwall Bombshells started out strong against the Disloyalists, taking a five-point lead with an apex jump in the first jam. Skateful Dead jammer Caume-a-Kazi, playing with the Disloyalists for the game, quickly closed the score gap, and TyKnee Smasher brought the Disloyalists to a 12-point lead with a power jam. By halftime, it was anyone’s game with a score of 101 to 83 in the Bombshells’ favour. Disloyalist blockers Madge and Willard (and guest Frigger Skater of the Skateful Dead) laid some heavy hits, but the Bombshells proved to be a second-half team, winning the bout with a final score of 215 to 170.

Kingston’s Rogue Warriors took the track for the second bout, facing off against the Port City Sirens. The Sirens racked up points right away in the first half, despite Rogues Nikki Heat and Kimminent Danger taking lead jammer early in the period. More aggressive blocking from the Rogue Warriors held the Sirens at bay, and rookie jammer Fist N’ Shout! took the Rogues to a lead of 79 to 77 in the last jam of the period. In the second half, the Rogues advanced their lead with blockers Sparta Kiss and Manic Breeze mercilessly hitting the Sirens’ jammer out of bounds. The Rogues beat out the Sirens with a final score of 197 to 153.

KDG would like to give a big thank you to our fantastic audience members for their support, and to all of our refs, officials, and volunteers for their dedication and hard work. Stay tuned for our next home bout on September 6, featuring all three of Kingston’s teams! Finally, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for news, updates, and chances to win tickets to upcoming bouts.

International roller derby hits Kingston this Saturday

This guest post has been penned by Rogue Warrior co-captain Red-Nasty.

Get ready to watch some international action this Saturday as the Kingston Derby Girls face off against the USA’s Port City Roller Derby in Can-Am Slam!

Hailing from Oswego, New York, two of Port City’s teams will be competing in this double-header on Canadian soil. First up, at 6:30, the Breakwall Bombshells will take on our very own Disloyalists. The Bombshells have been officially undefeated so far this season, but the Disloyalists are returning from last month’s decisive win over the Durham Derby Devils and are hungry for more. Veteran jammers and blockers like LaVallee of the Dolls and Banger Management will be tearing up the track alongside Cat O’Clysm and Fist ‘N’ Shout!, newly drafted from the Rogue Warriors. The Disloyalists were defeated in their encounter with the Breakwater Bombshells last year, but with the help of new coaches Vincent and Vincent, they hope to turn the tables.

The second game of the night starts at 8:30, when Kingston’s Rogue Warriors trade bruises with the Port City Sirens. Crowd favourite Kimminent Danger will be jamming and blocking as the Rogues’ most menacing triple threat, while veteran blockers Bluestocking and Fate Tempter stop the Siren’s jammer in her tracks. Rookies Tara F. N. Headoff and the Blockness Monster will round out the Rogues’ impressive roster. Following a close loss to the Skateful Dead in their last home game, the Rogues are ready for a comeback.

As always, beer and snacks will be available from the Mansion’s trackside beer garden. Bring a chair for suicide seating if you want to get up close and personal while you cheer on your hometown (and home country) teams. Kingston hasn’t seen a battle like this since 1812! Doors open at 5:30 at the Memorial Centre (303 York Street). Tickets are $10 and are available online, at the door, or in Kingston at the Mansion, Digigraphics, Novel Idea, the Sleepless Goat, Chumleigh’s, and Blossoms.

Humans of KDG: Caume-a-Kazi!

What is your name? Your derby name?

My proper name is Tanya but you can call me Caume-a-Kazi

When did you join KDG?

I was inducted into the awesome world that is KDG on May 3rd 2014, best Saturday of my life to date!!

What is your role in the league (skater, ref, NSO, etc.)?

I skate with the Skateful Dead

What committee(s) are you on?

I am a member of PMS and VAG….. Wait, am I still talking about committees here??

What do you love most about derby?

Apart from the thrill of breaking through the pack first, I love the camaraderie that exists between players/teams regardless of outcome. To watch two jammers dancing with each other on the line during time-outs and an opposing team celebrating around their chosen rival MVP sets derby apart from other sports.

What do you do in your “real life” (for fun, for pay, for others… tell us a bit about you!)?

During normal hours, you will find me working for Service Ontario, hitting the gym and my local Chinese restaurant for date night with my derby wife. I have two fur babies in the form of a crazy orange cat Ginger and her adorably sweet loving champagne coloured sister Scottie.

What are your derby and/or real life goals for the

Derby goals for this next year, to jump the apex! As well as improve/fine tune my footwork.

Personal goal, to get rid of my gas guzzling car for something more economical… Or maybe just move closer to Kingston!

What’s a fun fact about you?

I can roll my tongue upside down and I am hopeless at getting metal lids back on jars.

 

 

The Dead rise in Oakwood

The Skateful Dead travelled through rolling hills to the flat plains of Oakwood, Ontario, to go toe-stop to toe-stop (and sometimes elbow to face…oops) with the Peterborough Jamazons. It was a crowd-pleasing match, with the lead flipping like a stack of slam cakes.

The Jamazons were hard-hitting and some kind of fierce, knocking the Dead jammers out of bounds like cooked spaghetti and executing perfect strategy to force jammer cutting penalties. It took the Dead jammers a few jams to figure out how to penetrate the Jamazons’ formidable green wall of death, consisting of seasoned skaters Lucid Lou, Jaxalottapus, Lemon Tart, and MVP blocker Iggy Popper.

By the seventh jam, the Dead had a 24-point deficit, and while the scoreboard said they were down, they were never out. It was time to rise from the Dead. “Twenty-four points is nothing,” declared Boney L’ass, before stealing an outside-line pick meant for the opposing jammer and scooping points to narrow the gap. Caume-a-Kazi, in her fluid jamming style, followed suit by gliding by on the outside line on one foot to seize the lead, while Dead blockers Coop du Jour, Booty on Duty, The General, and No’Tori’ous Knockout held the Jamazon jammer. Game on.

The Jamazon’s jammers were forces to be reckoned with, too. MVP jammer Crazy Mama zigzagged across the track like a lightning bolt, and Pip Tatters stopped hearts everywhere when she jumped the apex at the first of the final whistles to steal four points from the Dead.

Undeterred, the Dead’s tornado walls recycled relentlessly, forcing the Jamazons to fight for every inch of track real estate. At any one time, fifty percent of Dead blockers were skating backwards so they could look those Jamazons right in the eye and watch for their own jammer, as Frigger Skater did, when she grabbed the front of CM Tower’s shirt and whipped her clear out of the pack. The shirt-whip was born.

By the final jam the Dead were down by six points. It was do or die, and the Dead do not roll over. Boney L’Ass burst through the pack to take the lead, while MVP Coop du Jour and soul-crushers Wilson, Newey & Improved, and Frigger Skater tore a page from the Jamazon playbook and forced a cutting penalty on Crazy Mama, who was promptly tossed into the box. Hammering another nail into the coffin, the Dead blockers then grabbed a goat while Boney racked ‘em up on a power jam.

But would it be enough? Crazy Mama was released to do her worst, while the clock ran down and the whistle blew to signal the end of the bout. All skaters were sent to their benches to wait, with bated breath, for the final tally…140 to 136 for THE SKATEFUL DEAD!

Banger Management is All-Ontario!

KDG’s very own Banger Management is heading to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, as part of Team Ontario to represent the province in the ‘Toban Tussle Tournament. Team Ontario will be facing off against teams from Manitoba and Alberta in this battle for provincial honour and Banger’s teammates include some of the very best roller derby players in the country. We couldn’t be prouder. Go Banger go!

School’s Out for Summer!

There was some schooling last Saturday night!

The first game of our most recent home bout saw the Skateful Dead pull out a nail-biting win against Lindsay Roller Derby in the very last jam. Early in the game Newey and Improved was injured, shaking up the Dead lines (fear not — her leg isn’t broken!) Dead vs Lindsay Amazing blocking meant that the Dead got lead jammer several times, even when the jammer thought she was taking too long breaking through the pack. An amazing hip whip was given to CM Tower by The General, catapulting Tower through the opposition and out of the pack to score! The final jam was the one to see — the Skateful Dead thought they were going to be able to take the win, but then a penalty against Caume-a-Kazi started nailing the proverbial coffin. But what’s this? A penalty on Lindsay’s jammer? Eyes brightened, spirits rose, and derby karma abounded as Kazi got back into the jam to score four more points, bringing the final tally to 183 to 180. The Memorial Centre shook with cheers. Dead for the win!

As everyone headed to the beer garden by the Mansion or for tacos by Mission Street North (due to the extreme stress of that last jam!) the Disloyalists warmed up for their bout against the Durham Derby Devils. The game got off to a great start as the Disloyalists took the lead using their “four in the door” strategy. Before half-time, we saw an amazing move by LaVallee of the Dolls as she hit out the opposing jammer, then forced a cutting penalty by pulling her back around the track all the way to the pack!

Disloyalists v DurhamHave you ever wondered what happens when the jammer loses the star helmet cover? The Disloyalists haven’t — a perfectly executed play took place when TyKnee Smasher went to the penalty box for losing the star. Thankfully, a very sneaky Banger Management scooped it up and kept it safe from opposing blockers. When TyKnee reentered the track, Banger passed the helmet cover to her and the game continued legally. Smooth moves by the Disloyalists for sure!

Couple that fantastic jammer action with Mr. Kristi‘s constant hugging of the inside line, an “Eat-the-Baby” flawlessly executed by Manic Breeze, and some all-around great blocking, and you end up with a 209 to 98 win for the Disloyalists.

KDG would like to thank everyone for coming and give an especially big shout-out to our amazing volunteers, without whom we could not do what we do. Be sure to join us for our next home bout on July 19th as KDG takes on Oswego: the Rogue Warriors play the Port City Sirens, while the Disloyalists will be unleashed on the Breakwall Bombshells. Check out our Facebook page for your chance to win tickets!