Ohio Roller Derby 2020 Season Preview
UPDATE 3/13/20: In an effort to do our part to mitigate the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, and to follow the guidelines set forth by Governor Dewine to cancel or postpone mass gatherings, we have postponed our season opener at the Ohio Expo Center. Read about it here.
After an intense interleague schedule culminating in a repeat appearance at the North America East Continental Cup, Ohio Roller Derby prioritized fun, rest, and recovery in late 2019. The league played two themed mixed-level games and then packed the stands for the annual Skatemare Before Christmas exhibition event. In January, skaters returned to strength training and skating fundamentals, ramping up for another season of exciting competition at all levels.
Celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year, Ohio returns to their home track at the Ohio Expo Center from mid-March through the end of June. While last season brought a handful of retirements and an influx of fresh skaters, the 2020 All Stars roster remains largely unchanged from the 2019 postseason. Captained by Amy Spears, Kelsey Khaos, and Vyles, veteran players Betty Me-Owww (formerly Betty T. KayO), Bigg Rigg, Birch Slap, BrussKnuckles, Catch Mikachu, Chainsaw, and KloverKill also return. A strong core of experienced crossover skaters continue to pull double duty for both the All Stars and Gang Green: Belle A. Trix, Jane, Literally, Kegel Scout, Lara Del Rage, Smash Panda, and TactiGal. Rejoining the pack after time off, Elektra Magneto rounds out the initial charter for the year. Gang Green also continues with a highly veteran pool, boasting 16 returning skaters. The addition of 13 rookies will allow endless configurations as well as several developmental games for Green Machine, OHRD’s unofficial C team. The All Stars are coached by BerMurder Triangle, Elektra Magneto, and Sheepskate, while Gang Green & Green Machine are guided by Birch Slap, Blitz Lemon, and Kelsey Khaos.
(59) Ohio has scheduled another compact season against a slew of familiar rivals from across the eastern United States and Canada, with several travel weekends in addition to six home doubleheaders in Columbus. Competition begins on March 21st with their home opener against longtime friends (71) Steel City (Pittsburgh, PA), quickly followed by a much-anticipated rematch in Dayton against (61) Gem City on April 4th. Action continues throughout April with a home game against (60) Royal City (Guelph, ON, CA) on the 18th and a trip to upstate New York to play (65) Roc City (Rochester, NY). In May, the All Stars head north to Canada to revisit the annual Put Up Your Toques tournament from May 8th-10th. They will be joined there by (62) Toronto Roller Derby, (69) Ottawa Valley Roller Derby, Royal City Roller Derby, Roc City Roller Derby, Steel City Roller Derby, Gem City Roller Derby, and tournament hosts (56) Tri-City Roller Derby. Back home, they face off against Toronto on May 30th and (73) Grand Raggidy (Grand Rapids, MI) on June 13th. An additional travel weekend and the home closer against (47) Madison Roller Derby on June 27th round out the regular season.
Gang Green and Green Machine also have full schedules at home and away. Gang Green plays at home against the B teams of Steel City, Royal City, Toronto, Grand Raggidy, and Madison, and will join the All Stars on the road to play Gem City’s Violet Femmes and the Roc City B-Sides in April. Green Machine will play a handful of away games against WFTDA B- and C-level teams, as well as non-WFTDA teams. Fans will have the opportunity to check out all the new and returning talent on both teams at home on May 2nd.
All of Ohio’s home games will take place at the Ohio Expo Center; the first five will be played in the Ohio Building, and the sixth in the Lausche Building. Doors open at 4 p.m.; the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars play first at 5 p.m., followed by Gang Green around 7 p.m. (May 2nd game only: Gang Green plays first, followed by Green Machine). Season passes will be available online until March 22nd; single game tickets are available online at https://ohiorollerderby.square.site/shop/tickets/2 or at the door on game days. On site parking is $5 per car (cash only) and carpooling is encouraged. Accessible seating available, as well as bleacher, chair, and trackside floor seating (18+ only); outside seating prohibited in the Ohio Building. Food, beverages, beer, and OHRD merchandise will be available for purchase.
Thank you for your continued support of Ohio Roller Derby, and we’ll see you at the Expo Center for our fifteenth season!
Photos by Chris Baker