Final Straw
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OHRD at Battle of the All-Stars

The Battle of the All-Stars (BOTAS) has taken place in Hatfield, PA, every year since 2011. It is a tournament meant to showcase the best talent from states and provinces across North America. Ohio started fielding a team in 2013 and they haven't missed a year since. Team Ohio may be comprised of skaters from leagues all over the state, but there are several names on the roster that will be familiar to OHRD fans! Betty or not, Birch Slap, Belle A. Trix, Catch Mikachu, and active alumnus Paige Bleed were all members of Team Ohio for 2020's tournament. Skaters weren't the only ones seeing action at BOTAS this year. Each state is also represented by talented volunteers from various leagues. Head Referee Stray Taco and home announcer Final Straw filled those shoes for OHRD. Team Ohio prepared together all over the state including practices in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Playing such a demanding sport can feel daunting and playing with new teammates can be a challenge. However, OHRD's Paige Bleed says, "It was awesome! We had to attend at least five practices after making the team and learn to skate well together

The OHkapi Way

Ohio Roller Derby has a newish group in town called the OHkapi Krew. What is an OHkapi, and is it related to the African animal called an okapi? The answer: kind of.  OHRD is comprised of skaters, but also of officials--both skating and non-skating ones--who not only know the rules, but ensure safe gameplay while tracking scoring, penalties, and many other statistics. They frequently have to know how to deal with issues quickly while maintaining game flow, all while maintaining a professional, “no fun” demeanor in front of a cheering crowd. How they manage all that they do is a mystery, or just takes a lot of practice!  In not-so-recent history, referees were called zebras for obvious reasons, and non-skating officials (NSOs) wore pink shirts and were called flamingos. Recently, uniform requirements for NSOs changed, and they now wear black shirts at games. It suits them, as they run much of the behind-the-scenes work and are ninja-like. However, OHRD officials wanted to have a united identity. Someone learned of the okapi, a rainforest-dwelling relative of the giraffe which looks like a small horse that was being painted into a zebra, and whomever was doing the painting got interrupted before they could finish.