Monday, November 29, 2010

Sprechen sie Derby??

The best part of Roller Derby Is of course the bout it self.
Seeing how the Amsterdam Derby Dames haven't played yet, and no other leagues in holland are ready to play a bout, we have to travel if we want to see a live bout. You could say, that this is really annoying. And of course it is in some way, but I happen to love road trips!! And lucky me, cause so does my Derby wife Lola Rock 'n' Rolla.
Earlier this week we decided it would be cool to go to Stuttgart and see the bout between SVRG Rookies and GGGRG.
I contacted the Gent girls, and heard the pre-sale tickets were sold out.... Which of course is great, but not if you don't have tickets yet.
So I contacted Riff Reff, Stuttgart's own Head Ref. Asking him if there were still tickets left and if he might know a cheap place to stay. Luckily there were still some tickets left, to be sold at the door, and he could make sure we could get two. But he also suggested i would NSO. Seeing how I will be NSO'ing in Berlin in a couple of weeks and have no experience in doing that. It would be a good chance to practice. I was so excited, I immediately said yes!
He also arranged for us to crash at one of the SVRG girls, Valerie. Which was just perfect!

After packing up my 'official' gear, we left Saturday morning at 9 for our 5.30 hour drive to Stuttgart.

Now let me tell you there are a lot of good things about driving to Germany with a German driving the car. Lola is first of all used to driving for a long time and actually enjoys it. Also the right hand lane, is not her favorite lane. And her car will go faster then a 120km/h. :)

I also love driving through Germany, because it is so pretty. Mountains, forest, trees. Its so pretty.

Around 2.30 we arrived at Valerie's house. We made a really good time. Only stopping for the necessary bathroom brakes, and not hitting any traffic jams.

At Valerie's house we quickly changed and left again. For Valerie had to be there at 4, and me too for an officials meeting.
We took the subway to the venue which is just outside of stuttgart.

My first 'officials meeting' before a bout was really informative. I got to see how this part of roller derby is organized.
The officials team (Ref's and NSO) is so important. As a part of starting league I think its so important to see how this works too. It's not just the players you need.

At 6 the bout started. The hall was filled with supporters. From both sides! A bus load of people from Belgium showed up, which was very cool, to have so much support on a 'away bout'.
The Ref's and NSO's came in first and we all stood in the middle of the track. After that the girls of both teams skated around and were introduced one by one. I think this was actually the most nerve wrecking. Standing there in the middle in front of all these people! I will probably puke the first time I get on the track to play...

Finally it was time to actually start the bout! All the girls were ready to play.
And I, was ready to NSO! :) Standing next to the track at the corner armed with a whiteboard, a marker and a cloth, I was ready to communicate those penalties to the penalty trackers on the inside.

The bout itself was exciting. The teams were true opponents, as the scores were pretty close together most of the bout. Half time started and both teams had exactly the same amount of points! And they stayed close for a long time, except for one moment where GGGRG had double the amount of points as SVRG had. But the bout was undecided till the absolute last jam. In which the SVRG Rookies (who had been behind a couple of points before that jam started) scored enough points to win!

For me experiencing the bout as an NSO was a lot different from watching it from the stands. I couldn't scream, cheer or clap or anything like that. Because first of all, you are busy and focussed on your job, and secondly, because NSO's and Ref's have to be impartial. So you can't cheer for a team even if you had the time too.
I would have had the time, there were enough penalties, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't crazy busy with writing every jam.
The most annoying thing about doing the NSO job of outside whiteboard, is that refs are in a hurry, so you don't always understand what they are saying so quickly, and that penalty trackers don't pay attention to you sometimes, which leaves you standing there next to the track bouncing up and down with your whiteboard! Of course it's understandable, because on the inside of the track it's crazy busy. So it's not that they are ignoring you and purpose. But it's also not like you scream to them 'hey look at me'. Cause for those who haven't been to a RD bout, it's one hell of a loud sport!

In the end it was a great bout. And I am so happy I got the chance to experience NSO'ing. And to see the bout a little more from an organizational side of things, instead of being a spectator.

Luckily, a bout isn't a roller derby bout, unless it has an after party! :p And Stuttgart knows how to throw one.
They continued the 80's theme at the after party. And even though I am not that much into 80's music I had a great time. And was dancing and singing along most of the night!

The thing I like the best about the roller derby after party, next to the drinking, singing and dancing, is meeting all these rad roller derby ladies and gents! I have met so many awesome people from Stuttgart, Gent, Antwerp an Rotterdam. And that was just great! Not just talking on facebook or through email, but in real life is just great.

The days after are always kind of a downer, as you have to get back to reality (with a huge hangover of course..). You just wish it could be bout day everyday!
Luckily for me, I have practice tonight. So I'll get my shot of derby!!

- Furrrocious

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Come and get your fresh meat!!

Today was our last fresh meat training till next year March. The new fresh meat will be getting a three month beginner course ending in taking the WFDTA skills test.
We had all been promoting this last fresh meat opportunity and it worked!! We had no less then 13 new girls and two refs. Which is so amazing.

The practice started out with a talk about Roller Derby and explaining about the Amsterdam Derby Dames. Our fresh meat committee did a great job on explaining the in's and out's and answering all sorts of questions.

After the introduction all the girls (and guys!!) got gear from our 'fresh meat supply' and from team skaters. It's all about sharing. :)
Trainers and fresh meat committee sorted everybody out with gear, how to put it on, etc.

And then the most exciting moment for all of us: they started skating around.
As roller skating isn't a big thing in holland, most girls and guys had their last skating days in their childhood. So it was very exciting to be back on skates.
They did great!!
Some were more nervous then others, and some were clearly better at skating then others. But all of them had fun and were super enthusiastic!

It was weird to look at the fresh meat and remembering my first practices on skates. I was scared shitless!! The wobbly legs and knees. Not having a clue about what I should or shouldn't be doing. And now I am almost ready to join the team.
And the funny thing is, when you tell these newbies that I was just like them beginning of this year, they look at you and say "yeah right! I don't believe that! I bet you're just saying that to make me feel better...".
And for those newbies out there that still think that, No we are not just saying that! We all started out not being able to skate (at one point or the other). So don't think you'll never get the hang of it, because you will!!

Seeing all these new girls struggling also gives a boost of confidence knowing how much we have progressed in this passed year. As skaters, but also as a league. Becoming more organized and really growing as a league. It was one of those great nights that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

To all ADD's new girls and guys! I hope you'll stick around and kick ass on the track in a couple of months! We are happy to have you!!

- Furrrocious

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The power of the blog!!

I have been completely amazed by how many people have been reading my blog! From all over the world, and when I say all over I mean it, from Israel, USA, France, Australia, and so many more. Almost 1100 people have read it. And that's just me writing about my journey to become a Roller Derby girl.

Today I was talking on Facebook with Matt the Knife, a head ref from Leeds, who I'll be working with on the German championship next month. And he had even read my blog!!
For people who are used to blogging this might actually be normal. But for me this is just all pretty mind blowing.
I love keeping track of my journey towards playing Roller Derby, but especially because I want to keep track of it for myself. Not because I thought people would like reading it!! Lol!!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you and thank you all for reading my blog and supporting me!

- Furrrocious

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Living the Derby life!!

It's been a while since my last post. Not that I wasn't working on getting to play derby. But just as all people have every once an awhile, there is just not enough time in a day to do all you want to do. Same with keeping up my blog.

Lots has happened though in Amsterdam Roller Derby world. :) We have been training as an expo team (still expo, cause it's not a full team yet).
I am not on it yet, as I have not passed my WFDTA test. But when I do I will get on it. For now I can join one of the team trainings which is awesome.

I unfortunately haven't been training on Mondays this month. To give rest to my injured ankles. It sucks not training as much and hearing the stories about how great last Mondays practice was, knowing I wanted nothing more then be there too. But sometimes you have to be wise and this is that time for me. Need my body to recuperate before I fuck it up more then I all ready have. Working with my physical therapist has been good though. I am happy to have a male physical therapist that takes Roller Derby serious as a sport.
I am hoping to be able to start training full on again in (mid) December, and I cannot wait!!

The last months I have been very busy as part of the inter league committee with ADD to get in touch with other leagues and joining Dutch and Belgium inter league discussions on working together in the future which is great! I love being on the inter league committee and sharing stories, ideas and questions with other girls around the globe. We all love the sport. And some have been at it longer then others and it's good to not have to figure everything out on your own.

Talking about the league organizational side of things. Today we chose our new board. And I was nominated for president of the board I gladly accepted the nomination and today I was voted new president of the Amsterdam Derby Dames!! It's crazy to think how involved I am in derby now. I never would have believed I would be so busy physical and other wise with this sport. But I am loving every minute of it!!

Next month the first German Roller Derby championship will take place in Berlin. And me and a group of girls from ADD will be there. Not only to support, but four of us will also be NSO'ing. For those not with familiar with the sport NSO means, Non Skating Official, and is a part of the referee team. There are several jobs that need to be done during a bout, like keeping track of all the penalties, keeping score, etc.
So me and three of the other girls will be helping out and working as NSO's during the games.
I just got our shirts, and they look awesome!

It's not the best picture. But more will follow after my trip to Berlin for sure.
I am so excited to go. It will be my first championship ever. And it will be a day filled with Roller Derby, and a night filled with party-ing with derby girls, so if you ask me, it will be a great day!!
I arranged for the Death Row Honeys (Rotterdam) and the Dom City Dolls (Utrecht) to be in the same hostel as the us. So it will be a crazy fun weekend, I am sure. I hope 36rooms hostel is ready for so many derby girls.... :p

In the next months I will try to be better in keeping up my blog. Because there will be lots to write about. We will hopefully have a brand new group of fresh meat going through a three month training period starting this coming week. EROC II is coming up, and we'll hopefully be playing our first bout before spring. And much much more of course, because Derby girls don't sleep!! :)

- Furrrocious

My stepmom made this awesome bag for me. My own Furrrocious merchandise!! :)