Saturday, August 18, 2012, started off as a game day for CCDD’s Dolly Rogers. They were supposed to pack their gear and head to Kingston to play the Kingston Derby Girls’ (KDG) Skateful Dead. In other derby news, the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTAR) Derby Debutantes were supposed to travel to Ottawa and play Rideau Valley Roller Girls’ (RVRG) Riot Squad on Saturday, August 18, 2012. Both of these games would have been blow-outs. No disrespect intended here: the Skateful Dead are KDG’s second B team and the Debutantes are GTAR’s B team. The Dolly Rogers beat KDG’s other B team by a significant margin earlier in the season and while a great time was had by all, there was a skills gap. Due to roster changes, the Debutantes found themselves with quite a few new players and at a tournament in July, the Debutantes lost to a CCDD-Limestone Crushers mash-up team of new players, strongly suggesting a skills gap between the Debs and Riot Squad that would make for a predictable game. The teams involved were pretty unaware of the similar situations facing both teams, until the Ottawa men’s derby team got talking about their game, which is also on August 18. Busy day. Thing about the men’s team is that two of it’s players are CCDD’s head coach and head ref. If they’re in Kingston, how’s the men’s game going to happen?
Enter Red. CCDD’s coach.
He looked at the facts and concluded the following:
1. the Dolly Rogers are going to beat Kingston;
2. Riot Squad is going to beat the Debutantes; and
3. there can be no men’s game if the men are scattered around the province coaching/reffing their respective women’s games.
The solution: pretty obvious. The Debs play the Skateful Dead. Riot Squad and the Dolly Rogers stay in Ottawa. The men’s game is on. We call this an ideal solution. Blow-outs are no fun. They’re great for the players because the learning opportunity is priceless, but the crowd is not so entertained. Moreover, it’s hard to raise the profile of men’s derby when the men can’t have a game. Finally, there’s so much great derby in this city that why travel when you can have a helluva night right in your own city?
Except that GTAR can’t roster a team for Kingston. And the Skateful Dead need an opponent. And it’s on us to do something about it. And so something is exactly what we did. We asked our newer players how they felt about bouting, and following a positive response from a number of players, we were on our way to a roster. But there were still gaps that needed to be filled; gaps that are being filled by RVRG. There are still some details to sort out, but August 18th is turning out to be quite a day:
1. RVRG is playing CCDD;
2. the men’s team is made up of CCDD and RVRG members (our boys count as league members); and
3. CCDD and RVRG are playing together in Kingston.
This is the truest sense of cooperation. For those of you who don’t play derby or know much about its history in Ottawa, things haven’t always been this easy. In fact, it’s been a long, hard road but this last year, with its freezing cold practices out in Rockland, represented a noticeable shift in derby culture in Ottawa. The development of a friendship off the track, the opportunity to nurture a healthy and positive rivalry on the track, and the fostering of a sense of team cooperation in Kingston make August 18 a great day.
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See you there!