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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

Countdown to the Cup

The countdown to the WFTDA North America East Continental Cup is on! Catch up with skaters and coaches from the OHRD All Stars to find out how they’re preparing, what they loved most about the regular season, and their secrets to making magic happen on the track. OHRD took a summer break after the last home game in June. How did you spend it? Betty T. KayO: Ugh, that feels like so long ago. Elektra Magneto: There was a break? I read at least 6 books by the pool, kept up/progressed with exercise, and did derby work. Vyles: I took a fairly disastrous trip to Spain, my dad needed to have some very serious surgery, and I had to move! Let's just say I am ready for some roller derby. Kelsey Khaos: Mostly sleeping on practice nights, and enjoying some down time. The second week I started preparing my life for more intense training leading up the cup. Catch Mikachu: I spent my break training for my Ironman, playing rugby 7s, and getting back into my firefighting workout regimen. Amy Spears: Doing DIY projects around my house (I painted the trim on 23 windows!!!) and catching back up with aerial silks/trapeze classes. Birch Slap: Swimming. Traveling to Cincinnati,

OHIO BESTS BRANDYWINE

Skating their second-to-last home games of the 2019 season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed Brandywine Roller Derby for Pride Night and racked up early leads that led to triple-digit victories in both games. (63) OHIO ROCKETS PAST (69) BRANDYWINE, 235-64 With just a few weeks remaining for games that can impact postseason tournament seeding, and incredibly close competition among half a dozen teams in the North America East region hovering near the cutoff point for Continental Cup eligibility, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars drew on the momentum they gained from their 3-0 run at Midwest BrewHaHa and charged into their 12th game of the season swinging. Aiming for a 2:1 spread over the Brandywine Belligerents, the home contenders wasted no time on the track, opening a tidy 100-point lead by halftime and obtaining lead jammer status in 78% of jams. Quick shutout jams dominated the opening minutes of the contest, as Ohio jammers largely limited themselves to single scoring passes. Brandywine snuck onto the board in jam 7, but a subsequent power start for Ohio stalled their progress. KloverKill and Kelsey Khaos burned a Brandywine power jam, then Bigg Rigg made the first major move for Ohio with a 16-4 gain, shifting their

OHIO TOPPLES STEEL CITY

Hitting the road together for the first time in 2019, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and Gang Green hopped across the Ohio River to Pittsburgh for a pair of scrappy, hard-fought games against longtime opponents Steel City Roller Derby, scratching out late-game victories in both matchups. ALL STARS SQUEAK PAST STEEL HURTIN’, 181-167 Unceasing back-and-forth battle and a total of ten lead changes kept both teams on their toes for the entire sixty minutes of gameplay, but the final moments saw Ohio narrowly edging out their opponents. Catch Mikachu nicked the first point of the contest; two lead changes followed in as many jams, with Jane, Literally squeezing out of the pack for a 9-0 gain as a Steel Hurtin’ blocker picked up the first pack penalty. After swapping scoring passes for several minutes, Banana Jamma tied the score at 18-all despite strong triangulation from the Ohio defense; River Kyx then tipped the scales in favor of the home squad. Belle A. Trix took full advantage of a two-minute jam, edging through on toe stops for 8 points, but the Hurtin’ retaliated with back-to-back shutout jams, exploiting a depleted Ohio wall to widen their lead to 31-60. A team timeout allowed the

MIXED RESULTS FOR OHIO AGAINST NEIGHBORING GEM CITY

In their first matchups in recent memory, Ohio and Gem City faced off in two fierce battles that resulted in one win and one loss for each league. ALL STARS EDGED OUT BY PURPLE REIGN, 118-134 Aggressive from the opening whistle and only building in intensity, the charter game saw both teams fighting to find and maintain the narrowest of leads throughout both periods, and was ultimately determined in the final minutes of play. The All Stars jumped onto the scoreboard with a 4-0 inaugural jam, but the Purple Reign quickly answered with two consecutive shutout jams, causing the first lead change in jam 3. Speedy packs minimized Gem City gains in the early minutes of the period, and Ohio jammers took advantage of holes left by their opponents to race away from the defense and force early call offs. While unsuccessful in their request for an illegal contact penalty assessment to the Reign jammer at the end of jam 8, the brief lull in action allowed the All Stars to reset; BrussKnuckles pulled off the first double-digit scoring run in jam 10, sprinting up the inside for a 15-4 gain and flipping Ohio into the lead, 25-24. Gem City fired back in

OHIO NARROWLY SILENCED BY ROC CITY

Barrelling full steam ahead into the season, Ohio Roller Derby hosted Roc City Roller Derby (Rochester, NY) for two incredibly close-scoring games that each saw numerous lead changes and outcomes determined in the closing minutes. (66) OHIO UPSET BY (71) ROC CITY IN NAILBITER, 156-171 Meeting for the first time since 2016, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and the Roc City Roc Stars fought for every point in a back-and-forth battle, with neither team managing to accumulate a sizeable lead. Six jams ending in a tied score, seven lead changes, and nine jams with matched scoring passes kept all 30 skaters on their toes while fans in attendance steadily raised the volume in the Ohio Building throughout the game. Fast pack speed in the first handful of jams minimized gains on both sides, but a star pass to Betty T. KayO helped Ohio capitalize on the first power jam opportunity in jam 6 and take an 18-14 lead. After the All Stars controlled the clock for three consecutive jams, Florence Fightingale picked up lead jammer status for Roc City in jam 11, but massive hits by Pain Train stalled her progress; meanwhile, Chainsaw took a star pass and hustled through the pack

OHIO DEBUTS PROMISING START TO FOURTEENTH SEASON

Returning once more to their home track after a long off-season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed perennial adversaries Toronto Roller Derby to Columbus, playing two action-packed games for a nearly sold-out crowd. (64) OHIO BREAKS (58) TORONTO WIN STREAK, 150-121 Aiming to both maintain a perfect record against Toronto and disrupt their 13-game win streak, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars rolled with multiple lead changes in the first half before tightening defense, committing to a core veteran jammer rotation, and denying points in crucial moments to secure their victory. Both teams spent the first few jams feeling out one another’s defense, swapping a scant handful of points. A penalty on the Toronto jammer allowed Catch Mikachu to make the first bold move for Ohio and pick up 12 points in jam 6; Toronto responded with back-to-back shutout power jams, posting 24 points for the first lead change of the game. Quick offense helped BrussKnuckles to snag lead and a quick 4 points, but momentum ground to a near halt in jam 11 as Bigg Rigg and Monster Muffin each fought immovable walls. Mikachu swung the momentum back in Ohio’s favor with a second lead change, posting a 13-0 gain while the home defense

(64) Ohio Kicks Off Season 14 with International Match Against (58) Toronto

Prepared both mentally and physically for a jam-packed schedule this year, Ohio Roller Derby will launch their fourteenth season on Saturday, March 23rd against familiar Canadian contenders (58) Toronto Roller Derby (Toronto, ON, CA). Ohio will look to improve on their 4-0 record over the All-Stars, having bested them annually from 2012-2015 on home and away tracks as well as in tournament play. The two teams may potentially rematch more than once later in the season, as both have been accepted to the Put Up Your Toques and Midwest BrewHaHa tournaments in May and June. Toronto put in steady work to climb the WFTDA rankings in 2018, ultimately going 12-0 and very narrowly missing a postseason invitation to the North America East Continental Cup. Retaining a large veteran squad, Toronto will try to build on their previous success, beginning with the trip to Columbus. In addition to stacking games over tournament weekends, they will also take on Boston Roller Derby and Royal City Roller Derby in April. The inevitable rebuilding year last season brought new challenges and resulted in a 4-8 season, but ultimately helped set Ohio up for greater cohesion this year. When unable to achieve overwhelming victories, as against North Star

Ohio Roller Derby 2019 Season Preview

After a postseason trip to the North America East Continental Cup last August and a fun-filled season of intraleague play that culminated in the revival of the fan-favorite Skatemare Before Christmas game, Ohio Roller Derby enjoyed a well-deserved off-season. Now, with renewed minds and increased strength, they return once more to their home track at the Ohio Expo Center in 2019, gearing up for their fourteenth year of competition against old rivals and new challengers alike. Twelve skaters from the 2018 playoffs roster return to the All Stars roster this season: Amy Spears (captain), Betty T. KayO, Bigg Rigg, Birch Slap, BrussKnuckles, Kelsey Khaos, KloverKill, Pain Train, and Vyles, as well as crossover skaters Belle A. Trix, Smash Panda (formerly known as Jane Goodfall), and TactiGal. After spending last season coaching, Chainsaw rejoins the pack, and recent transfer Catch Mikachu will provide additional versatility in the jammer pool. New to All Stars but certainly not to the track, Baby Kakes, Jane, Literally, Lara Del Rage, Jonny No, and Oxford Coma join in pulling double duty for both the A and B squads. Already retaining a solid veteran core, Gang Green welcomes a robust rookie class and a few additional transfer skaters

OHIO GAINS EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL PLAY AT ROYAL BRAWL

While short rosters proved an extra hurdle in Ohio’s path to victory over Memorial Day weekend, both the All Stars and Gang Green challenged themselves and found other successes on the track at the Royal Brawl invitational in Guelph, ON, Canada. Endurance training paid off as skaters played in as many as five games over two days, and utilizing newer talent on both teams allowed for creativity in shifting roles and pack dynamics. SATURDAY: ROYAL CITY AND E-VILLE Gang Green opened the action at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre on Saturday morning against the Royal City Rum Rollers (Guelph, ON, CA). While obtaining lead less often than they would have liked in the first half, Ohio jammers chased down their opponents, forcing short jams and quick call offs. Birch Slap picked up the first lead of the game, but double jammer penalties and a subsequent power start allowed the Royal City B team to quickly open a 32-point lead. Avocado ToeStop, Kegel Scout, and Belle A. Trix clumped up to contain Harley Twin while Just Jane grabbed lead status and the first four points for Gang Green. After a successful official review halfway through the first period landed the Rum Rollers jammer