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From VA to PA: A Banked Track Adventure

August 20, 2013

Roller derby will make you do crazy things…..such as, getting up at 5 am and driving 6 hours to a place you’ve never been, to skate for a few hours, and then drive back! That’s exactly what Iron Man and Beccanator did on June 30 Banked Track Mixer hosted in Philadelphia by Penn Jersey Roller Derby. Not only was this a rare opportunity for an all-male derby game, it was even more exciting to skate on a banked track – the Penn Jersey Hooligans actually built this one, and there are only about a dozen in the USA. Iron Man represented the state of VA well, skating against members of the New York Shock Exchange, Harm City Homicide, NY Vice Squad, Chesapeake Roller Derby, and Penn Jersey of course. Some of our favorite new friends are Nurse Ratchet (who reffed the BWR-ECD game a couple years ago), General Tso Fine, Abs of Flab, Jurasskick Park, Beater Griffin, and Deep In Cider. Special thanks to our old friend Crash Kalwa for inviting us to this awesome event!

This was an extremely exciting game to watch, with hardly more than a 5 point difference at any time! It was also played by MADE (Modern Athletic Derby Endeavor) rules, based on the classic OSDA (Old School Derby Association) style. This means that pivots can act as jammers, without actually passing the helmet cover, if the opposing jammer breaks through the pack. Furthermore, positions are not held in the penalty box, so there is always jammer competition no matter what – no “stroller roller” (stopped track power jams) here! The lead jammer is the one who happens to be in front at the time. The jams are 90 seconds instead of 2 minutes, and the pack speed is incredible. The greatest issue for this game, despite the unfamiliar track and rule set, was actually the level of sweat! The game was stopped at least every jam, and some in between, to mop the moisture off the track (thanks to towel girl MissFortune Cookie).

It was particularly amusing to notice that the vast majority of refs and spectators were ladies. Beccanator made some new friends from the Freedom Belles (of Waldorf, MD), and ran into another former East Coast Devastation Derby skater, Annabelle Lethal (now with the Belles). Postgame, we enjoyed warehouse brews after an opportunity to try out the track (for those of us who didn’t get to play.) Iron Man (who is an actual union ironworker by trade) went home considering where to build a banked track of his own….now THAT would put Blackwater on the map! Donations gladly accepted. J Til next time….skate on!




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