women's flat track roller derby team in columbus, ohio - empowering women and gender-expansive people in sport
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Just days prior to the Ohio Roller Girls All Stars facing off against the Atlanta Rollergirls Dirty South Derby Girls, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association released updated April rankings.  While Ohio held their place at #20, Atlanta fell five spots to #15.  When the two teams played last year, they were slightly farther apart in ranking, with Ohio at #23 and Atlanta at #15.  As Ohio has proven before, rankings alone can’t predict a game’s outcome. After last year’s away game loss to Atlanta of 186-247, could Ohio turn the tables at home?

The Smacktivist took the jammer line for Ohio first, matched up against Jammunition from Atlanta. With the help from blockers like Queen Loseyateefa and Switchblade Siouxsie frustrating Ohio’s players, Atlanta was able to draw first blood.  They put 33 points on the board in the first few jams, despite hard defensive work from Ohio blockers such as Jesse “Ava Tarr” Fox and Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin. In the fourth jam, Lora “Outa My” Wayman came out of the penalty box with a vengeance and pulled Atlanta jammer Jean-Juke Picard into a low block penalty as the jam was called.  This was Ohio’s first power jam and The Smacktivist was able to earn 14 points. Ohio’s biggest scoring jam would come only under similar circumstances.  With well over half of the period over, Picard would again get called on a low block, giving Ohio another chance to make up ground. With the help of Ava Tarr‘s excellently timed sweep of Atlanta’s pack, The Smacktivist would earn the biggest scoring jam of the game with 24 points, narrowing the gap between the two teams to only 16 points.

The penalties on Ohio started to hurt toward the end of the first half. With only two jams left, Ohio jammers Kitty Liquorbottom and The Smacktivist were called on back to back track cuts, giving Atlanta a couple of their highest scoring jams thanks to the quick work of Bruze Orman and Belle of the Brawl. Atlanta would hold onto their lead into the second half with a score of 51-125.

Unfortunately, the second half played out much like the first for Ohio. Atlanta’s jammers skated fast, gaining lead for 12 out of the 17 jams in the second period, while Ohio’s jammers were left to fight against what one announcer called “glacial” walls. These tight, slow walls made it hard for jammer Bigg Rigg to push through, though she was inevitably one of the highest scoring jammers for Ohio.  With that speed and tough blocking, even when Ohio did gain lead during a jam, it was often called early to prevent Atlanta from scoring also. While gaining the first lead in the second half, The Smacktivist found themselves skating straight into what appeared to be an impenetrable Atlanta wall with Jammunition so close behind that they had to call at the sacrifice of points.

Penalties were an unfortunate part of the game for Ohio in the second half as well. With 20 penalties in the second (as well as the first) and Lora “OutaMy” Wayman fouling out early in the second half, the home town team was obviously frustrated. The penalty calls were also unpopular with Ohio fans, who were making their dislike known loud and clear from the sidelines. Despite this, Ohio blockers Amy Spears and Ena Flash did their best in the second half to hold defense against hard hitters like Alassin Sane.

After Ohio’s hard fought battle to gain an advantage over Atlanta, the game ended with a final score of 117-261.

Ohio Roller Girls All Stars

0125 Paige Bleed | 10 Lora “Outa My” Wayman | 1098 Amy Spears | 1101 Jesse “Ava Tarr” Fox | 12 Kitty Liquorbottom | 138 Sarah Bruce | 19 Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker | 1993 Bratislava Bruiser | 365 The Smacktivist | 451 Burnadeath | 50 Sk8 Crime | 59 Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin | 815 Bigg Rigg | ICU2 Ena Flash

Atlanta Rollergirls Dirty South Derby Girls

12AM Rebel Yellow | 1701 Jean-Juke Picard | 2LBU Queen Loseyateefa | 32 Belle of the Brawl | 50 Jammunition | 504 Nattie Long Legs | 6 Wild Cherri | 73 Alassin Sane | 747 Ozzie Kamakazi | 762 Scout Snipeher | 850 Bruze Orman | 8979 Switchblade Siouxsie | 9 Rudy Huxtabrawl | 852 Amelia Scareheart

Photos by Dorn Byg of Byg Day Photography (full set here).