Monday, October 10, 2011

Roller Derby for Beginners...

So, if everyone is going to continue to read my blog after the focus shift from running to roller derby, you should know the basics of the sport so I'm not leaving people behind.

First, I'll explain with words, and then I'm going to link to a video that will explain a lot (and is helpful for more visual people).

First things first- this ain't your grandma's derby.  It is no longer WWF style- no hair pulling, elbowing, punching, or fighting allowed folks- it's a legitimate sport.  We have a rule book and everything.  There's also divisional playoffs and international championships...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Second of all, most derby is played on a flat track.  There are many advantages to this- you can play anywhere (just mark off the area), you don't have to invest in an expensive banked track, it's easier to learn for new people, and it's a little safer.  The disadvantage is it's a little slower than a banked can still get crazy speed, but not as much as a banked track (it's just physics).

Third- it's still crazy fun and full of attitude.  Fishnets and boy shorts are worn frequently, as are massive amounts of eyeliner.  So, it's girls kicking ass and looking good doing it.

Now- how the heck do you play?  Broken down to the basics, there are five players from each team on the track at any given time.  Four from each side act as blockers, and one from each team acts as a jammer.  The jammer is the girl who gets the points.  To do this, she gets through the pack once (while they try to hit her and stop her), and then when she comes back around she begins to score- 1 point for each opposing player she passes.  The first jammer out of the pack is "lead jammer".  If the other jammer still hasn't made it out of the pack and the "lead jammer" passes her, it is a grand slam and she gets 5 points instead of the normal 4.

Lead jammer is the most strategic position on the track because she can call off the jam (round) at any time- often used to get points for her team and then call off the jam before the other team can score.  If she doesn't call off the jam, it will last for 2 minutes...and then the whole thing starts over again!  There are two halves that are 30 minutes long a piece.

So those are the basics- please ask questions in the comments if you have any!

Video explaining what I just did in words...

And...a video of a ridiculously awesome block...stay till of the end of it, they show it in slow mo...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So, a lot has happened...

In the last four months since I wrote here.  The biggest thing is...well...I'm not much of a runner lately.  I've gained a lot of weight since last fall, and it has made it uncomfortable and not fun to run.  Not a good excuse, but it really is what is keeping me from running.

That, and I have a new love in my life.  I new love that I dream about, think about during the day, research in the evenings, and yearn to be doing when I'm not.  My new love is roller derby.  In the end of July, I started going to practices in my town here for the Kingsford Krush roller derby.  My only athletic talent in life has always been roller skating (growing up I don't ever remember losing a race), so to have this in my life as an adult is thrilling.

I will return to running, but probably not until next spring.  Running will probably be a cross training activity for roller derby for me. 

I'm not doing the Chicago Marathon next weekend like I had planned...I'm woefully under-trained for it, and I have a roller derby scrimmage that same day that I would much rather be at!!

Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone (all 5 of you that probably read my blog, lol) on what I've been doing. 

I will probably begin to blog about roller derby now, and much less about running.

It feels great to have a love for a sport that actually loves me back by allowing me to be talented at it...unlike running!  :)

Enjoy the pics below of our practices!!