Hoppin and hittin
Hoppin' and hittin' Kelley Gardiner

It’s Friday in the Rose City, and we’re ready for roller derby! The Memorial Coliseum is crawling with people in sporty jackets with their own punny names screen printed on them. The scalpers next door are shouting to the gals walking by, in a festive mood: “Hey, Rat City! Seattle!” “How’s the roller derby?” The roller derby has started, and sirs, it is fine. It’s the first day of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Championships, and things are getting hot fast.

WFTDA holds two levels of playoffs each year, so more skaters and teams get the tournament experience. The top teams from two Division 2 tournaments get to play at Championships, too. In Division 2 action, Brandywine Roller Derby and Blue Ridge Rollergirls won their games, and advance for their divisional championship game on Sunday. Aw heck yeah! In Division 1 play...

Denver gets warmed up
Denver gets warmed up Kelley Gardiner

Denver Roller Derby 165, Arch Rival Roller Derby 177
The DJ is playing “Oh Bondage, Up Yours,” just in case you forgot what you were doing in a sports arena this afternoon. Denver (Colorado) has been to the Big Show many times before, with plenty of experience and training on their side, but Arch Rival (St. Louis, Missouri) advances for the first time at championships with a gritty and solid performance. Bricktator, who is both the cutest and also a brick powerhouse of a jammer, puts up 99 points for the winning team. Arch Rival advances to play London, in an early Saturday matchup of two pink teams.

Angel City Derby Girls 217, Montréal Roller Derby 116
Things were close enough to make Angel City (Los Angeles, California) fans nervous at first, but Angel was just too strong for everyone’s favorite neon Canadians. Seriously, those Angel City skaters are super into like, CrossFit. So Los Angeles advances to play Gotham (New York, New York), but everyone falls a little bit more in love avec Montréal. (This game featured a timeout for medical care and blood cleanup. I feel it’s my duty here to report that blood cleanup is about as common in roller derby as it is in any other sport, but geez, that poor woman sure got it in the nose.)

Minnesota RollerGirls 158, Jacksonville RollerGirls 207
Oh snap! This final score wasn’t super close, but the game? OH IT WAS. It was 164-155 in favor of the North Country when Jamsterella put up 23 points for Jacksonville (Florida) with just six minutes left on the clock. Then 14 points for Erin Jackson pulled them further ahead, and 24 points for Jamsterella in the final jam made the final score look less competitive than it was. Brickyard scored 98 for the team from St. Paul. I’m also happy to report that I finally get a slice of pizza during halftime of this game, despite pizza being sold out earlier. Jacksonville advances to play Victoria tomorrow, and I reconsider my dinner options for Saturday.

Texas Rollergirls 238, Rat City Rollergirls 50
“Ooh, Texas and Rat!” I say excitedly out loud to myself before this game, like a nerd. Rat (Seattle, Washington) was great this year! Texas (Austin, Texas) is always great! Alas, the game isn’t “interesting” in the sense that it was ever close, but it’s an intriguing data point in that our hometown heroines, the Rose City Rollers, have to take on this Texas juggernaut next. Freight Train, a jammer for Texas (who your mother will remind you is dangerous and faster than she looks), emerges as the crowd favorite, with all of her 41 points cheered. She does seem very lovable. I cheer for her.

The winners of these four Saturday afternoon matchups will play each other Saturday evening to determine who’ll play in the 3rd place and 1st place games on Sunday.

Tickets are still available, so come on down! Rose City plays at 4 pm, and, we hope, again at 8:30 pm today.