Roller Derby: First Scrimmage, First Fracture

Posted on June 1, 2011 by

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Finally, after much skill-based training, try-outs, tests and a tribunal I got to undertake my first roller derby scrimmage!  Scrimmages are essentially “practice” games and not full-on bouts but they give you a feel for what to expect and help you hone your skills in a “real life” situation.

I was nervously pumped and got to be the jammer first up which was totally awesome because that’s what I hope to be someday and where I thought my strengths might lay – in my speed, fitness, endurance and agility rather than my blocking ability (which is rather non-existent at this point!) or my non-intimidating size.

Anyway, we lined up and I had a rough plan of how I’d play.  In my mind I was going to be brilliantly agile, super-hero-fast and more strategic than a crooked politician.  The first whistle blew and I perched up on my toe-stops, the second whistle blew and I enthusiastically bolted from the start line (super hero fast) to chase the pack where I hoped to demonstrate my agility and grace…  

A mere 10 seconds later I somehow managed to fall rather un-strategically on my backside.  In an attempt to soften the impact it seems I used my finger to break the fall.  Not to be deterred I jumped up and continued in my quest for brilliance – then toppled over again.  And again.  And again.  And again…

All skills, knowledge and training had appeared to have dramatically evacuated my head in a mock fire drill!  Amnesia kicked in and I totally forgot what I was meant to be doing and just frantically skated like I was demonically possessed – there was much flailing, falling and generally, to my own disgust, no apparent tactics whatsoever!  Uggh!!

For the first half of the session I kept forgetting which team I was on and was kindly reminded by my jammer, Corpse Carbie, to “stop blocking me dude, I’m on your side”.  Doh!!  And then at some point I unceremoniously dived over two fallen comrades (or maybe they were the opposing team, I really have no idea?!) leaving my skates entangled in their limbs.  But I got up and kept going.

I have to say loved every minute of it though, in spite of my obvious lack of ability (I appear to have taken on the Google dictionary meaning of a scrimmage – “a confused struggle or fight”!) 

However, all was not lost as I learnt a lot and can summarise it as:

    1. DON’T use your fingers to break your fall as they will break first (I sustained an avulsion fracture of my right pointer finger!).
    2. DO know who’s on your team – your jammer won’t appreciate you blocking her and I’m fairly sure it’s not legal to hip whip off the opposition!
    3. DO debrief with your fellow freshies (pink stars) at the pub after – it’s team building right?
    4. DO hold (and drink!) pints of beer as ice packs for a fractured finger (it’s most effective)!

So now I have my first scrimmage and derby fracture out of the way, the only way is up right?  Right??!

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Posted in: LimboLand