Category Archives: All-Star games

Sunday, Derby Sunday

Roller derby fans in Kansas City are sometimes treated to the kind of phenomenon we’re faced with this weekend: two of the most amazing leagues in this town had the audacity to schedule bouts on the same night without consulting us. I know, what were they thinking? Fortunately for you, KC Derby Digest is here to do absolutely nothing about it. We certainly can’t help you decide — because if we can’t, then you’re on your own.


Derby problems.

But one thing we are good for is letting you in on where you can find all the amazing derby action, and well, we’re frankly good at that. So let’s get to it.


KCRW vs. ARRG


Click for the event page.
Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Roller Warriors.

It’s been a few years since the Arch Rival Roller Girls of St. Louis paid a visit to Kansas City, and this Sunday afternoon, they’ll be stopping by Winnwood Skate Center for another taste of what these Kansas City Roller Warriors are all about. Doors open at 2:00, and the games begin at 3:00 with Plan B taking on the Arch Rival B Team in the first contest. Adult tickets are $16 and kids are $8. Rugrats 3 and under are always free. Click that photo up there for full event information.


Dead Girl Derby’s Zombie/Coed Leagues

One of the coolest things going in the world of Kansas City roller derby these days is the formation of Dead Girl Derby‘s Coed League. We’ve spent quite a bit of time recently talking up this innovative branch of one of Kansas City’s premiere leagues, and this Sunday night, at B&D Skate Center, you’ll get your chance to see them in action alongside the Zombie League in another double-header guaranteed to blow the roof off the place.


Click for the event page.
Photo courtesy of Dead Girl Derby.

We’re unclear at this point who plays first, but it really makes no difference, because you won’t want to miss either one. Doors open at 5:00 and the first bout begins at 5:30. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and no charge for kids ages 5 and under.

B&D Skate Center is located at 13903 S Noland Ct in Independence. Join us for some of the best up-and-coming talent Kansas City has to offer, as well as some of the biggest names to ever take the flat track in this town. We will see you this weekend for Derby Sunday!

Landlocked Lace-Up

Even though we’d originally intended to attend this weekend’s South Central Region Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska — affectionately named the Landlocked Lace-Up — life happened (in a good way) and we are instead watching at home via live streaming on WFTDA.tv.

You can too, if you’re not able to make the trip to Lincoln, and you can also create your own bracket predictions for the tournament at WFTDA.com, not to be confused with the streaming link above.

And now, a quick peek at our bracket for the weekend. You can (and will almost certainly have to) click to view the full-size version:

The three teams we’ve selected for the Championship tournament next month in Atlanta are the Texas Rollergirls, the Kansas City Roller Warriors, and Houston Roller Derby. Yes, we’re aware that those are the top three seeds this weekend and therefore the most obvious choices. However, given what we know about the South Central Region this year, and certainly taking into account how last year’s Show-Me Der-B-Q went, that is how our bracket panned out. While our love for KCRW knows absolutely no bounds, we do believe Texas is going to take first, and you may notice we’ve got our beloved Omaha Rollergirls taking 7th in the tournament this weekend, a far cry from their winless 10th place outing last Fall.

Best of luck to both the Wolfpack and the ladies of ORG. Stay tuned to WFTDA.tv for all the action this weekend!

KCRW vs. Naptown photos

Take a peek! We’ve posted photos from the recent bout featuring the Kansas City Roller Warriors All Stars and the Naptown Rollergirls!


Click to see the full album.

Big thanks, as always, to the ladies of KCRW for doing what they do so well. Without you, we’d have to find other things to spend our time and money on, and that way leads to a whole lotta trouble.

Weekend-o-Derby

There is much derby action to be had in Kansas City this weekend, fans!

Tomorrow night, the Kansas City Roller Warriors All Stars, ranked second on the South Central division as of press time, take the track against the Naptown Rollergirls of Indianapolis, ranked third in the North Central division.


Click to view the event page.

I think the first half of the game will be a shootout, but the second half will see the Wolfpack pull away relatively early before running off with it altogether. It’s not going to be a good weekend for Indy, I’m afraid.

On Sunday, the Kansas City Banked Beauties are back on the banked track to take on… the Naptown Rollergirls?!


Click for tickets.

This phenomenal bout takes place at Z Sports 1, located at 707 Doc Henry Road in Greenwood, MO. Doors open at 12:00 noon and the games begin at 1:00. Don’t miss this chance to see your Banked Beauties in action!

KCRW vs. Mid Iowa Rollers

Apologies for the week-long delay, derby fans, but we have posted photos from Sunday’s Kansas City Roller Warriors All-Stars vs. Mid Iowa Rollers game:


Click any bad-ass to view the full album.

Right now they’re only posted to Facebook, but we will soon have them uploaded to our new Smugmug site, which is still under construction at the moment.

Once again, it was a phenomenal game, it was fantastic to see the ladies from Mid Iowa again, and profuse thank-yous to the Kansas City Roller Warriors for inviting KC Derby Digest to be a part of the closed event.

The Mid Iowa Rollers

Our site stats tell us that today we’ve had a small rush of visits from the Des Moines/West Des Moines and Newton, Iowa areas. This, no doubt, is due to the plethora of amazing ladies I met at yesterday’s closed bout between the Kansas City Roller Warriors All-Stars and the Mid Iowa Rollers at Winnwood Skate Center. It was a fantastic, hard-fought, emotional bout that saw a very close halftime score before the Wolfpack widened the gap later on, eventually winning 212-96.

Many of the Mid Iowa ladies saw KC Derby Digest taking photos of the bout and inquired as to when and where pictures would be posted. I was, of course, more than happy to pass out business cards, which then led to the increase in site traffic this morning and afternoon. After all, two amazing teams slugging it out on the flat track will certainly give birth to some good game photos, right?


“Holy crap, I’m covered in awesome.”

We hope to have bout photos up no later than this week sometime — we still have one set from Dead Girl Derby to finish first — but we will certainly keep you posted, so to speak.

In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook, you can follow us on Twitter, and you can even subscribe to the site and be notified via e-mail when new posts are up; just click the “Sign Me Up” button off to the right under “Subscribe to KCDD,” and you’re all set.

Big thanks again to the Kansas City Roller Warriors All-Stars for inviting KC Derby Digest out to the closed event, and thanks to the Mid Iowa Rollers for such a great bout.

Some parting thoughts on the Show-me Der-B-Q

Having attended 15 of the 17 games at this weekend’s Show-Me Der-B-Q at Municipal Auditorium (and only missing the two because of a death in the family), I came away with several impressions I’d like to share, both of the bouts themselves and of the dominant teams in the South Central Region. It was a fantastic weekend of derby, some games were much more intense than others, and I have to say, I learned quite a bit myself.


1. Competition really exists at the top.


First, and this is bound to be disputed by some, I was shocked by how few national-caliber teams there appear to be this season in the South Central Region. If you look at this weekend’s tournament results, the list of teams capable of competing on the national level appears to be exactly two names deep:  (#1)Kansas City and (#2)Texas. Any seeds lower than that, and it will only be a shootout when they’re playing each other. For instance, the game between (#2)Texas and (#3)Nashville on Saturday was billed as the game of the day; it was bound to be a clash of the titans once teams seeded that high got around to playing each other, right?

Except that Nashville got squashed, as did (#4)Atlanta when they played (#1)Kansas City later that day. And that seemed to be the theme that ran through most of the tournament: when the lower seeds meet, you might see some close games and a few upsets, but once you start climbing the ranks into the higher seeds, more and more blowouts begin to ensue.

Hell, even the game between (#3)Nashville and (#4)Atlanta on the final day of the tournament was a snoozer. Nashville thrashed Atlanta by 175 points and held them to only 1 point in the entire second half. Clearly, there’s a gulf that exists even amongst some of the higher-ranked teams in the region, and it’s no wonder people are left with impressions like this:

“I’m really proud of our team and our region. I think a lot of people underestimate the North and South Central Regions, but we’re really coming up. I’m so proud to be going to Championships with Kansas City and Nashville.”
— Texas co-captain Bloody Mary

(quote courtesy of WFTDA.com)

The problem with this statement is that no one appears to be underestimating anything. Kansas City and Texas mow everyone down, and the lower seeds are left to squabble over the sandbox. I certainly don’t intend to insult anyone’s efforts or competitive spirit, but when you start looking at teams on the national level (Gotham, Oly, Rocky Mountain, Kansas City), a person really has to wonder how long a team like Nashville would even last in next month’s championship tournament — and they were seeded third. Anytime the third seed gets pummeled so handily by a team one seed higher, you can pretty well forget anyone seeded below them, particularly from a national perspective.

Hopefully, in the seasons to come, the regional bracket won’t be dominated over (and entirely decided by) what kind of day the top seeds are having. Ideally, I’d love to see a tournament in which any one of the ten teams could compete on the national level — but I realize that’s “ideally.”


2. My love for the Omaha Rollergirls is only limited by my love for Kansas City.


Take a look at this…

… and tell me you don’t absolutely love the Omaha Rollergirls. To begin with, that’s Auntie Embolism on the left, formerly of the Kansas City Black Eye Susans (the greatest of the KC house teams, win-loss record be damned). On the right, that’s Anna Maniac, star jammer for Omaha and possibly the most underrated player in the division. She is to the Omaha Rollergirls as Mike Sweeney was to the Kansas City Royals — a star player on a middle-of-the-road team who would stand out wherever she went, but who may never get the recognition she deserves simply due to geographic location.

More importantly than any of this, though… just look at ’em. When this photo was taken, the Omaha Rollergirls hadn’t won a damn game all weekend. [Editor’s note: they would lose their remaining game as well.] But their team pride and their competitive spirits hadn’t diminished one little bit, and my friends, that is what roller derby is really about. The true spirit of the WFTDA lives in many cities, and Omaha is by no means the least of them.


3. The Kansas City-Texas game was closer than the score reflects.


The Texas Rollergirls wound up winning the South Central Region title by 40 points, and that’s not a huge margin, but it still doesn’t accurately reflect the intensity of the game on a whole.

When the tournament began on Friday, Texas left me with the impression that they were a one- or two-trick pony — they relied extremely heavily on star jammer Olivia Shootin’ John to the exclusion of nearly every other jammer on the team, with the possible exception of Vicious van GoGo, who saw more and more action as the tournament progressed. But given the team’s over-use of John, particularly in the second game against Nashville on Saturday, one wonders where they would be if she were to be injured and Texas had only GoGo and their stellar defense to guide them. I dare say they would not have defeated Kansas City, and indeed, Nashville would have been a much bigger problem, even taking into account the 143-point victory that Texas eventually celebrated over them.

Kansas City, on the other hand, has a stellar defense as well, but they also boast an impressive array of jammers whose varying styles of play can only serve to confuse opponents. Hall Balls, clearly the best of the bunch, sports a quiet, understated, graceful style of ass-kicking that simply doesn’t alert the opposing team to the threat they face. Up-and-coming jammer Jade Lightning also seems to have adopted this approach and will likely achieve a similar level of success with the proper experience. By contrast, dynamic jammers Track Rat and Kelley Young are like a rain of fire, storming the pack and breaking through like the Kool-Aid man whether anyone’s thirsty or not.


Drink up, bitches.

Strong, lanky jammer Case Closed seems to be the most versatile of the bunch, capable of catching opposing blockers completely off guard with her unpredictable skating style and her ability to switch from Track Rat to Jade Lightning in the blink of an eye.

Facing down Kansas City, though, and working to their obvious disadvantage, was the penalty trouble that is the result of their naturally aggressive style of play. Too often, jams began with only two Kansas City defenders and sometimes no jammer, the missing skaters relegated to the box after much back-blocking and track-cutting ensued. At no point did Texas suffer from any comparable defensive disadvantage, and they enjoyed many more power jams than they should have as a result.

And while the two teams’ defensive strategies are similar, Kansas City’s jammers experienced an inexplicable difficulty breaking through the pack that Texas simply did not, by and large, and between that and the penalty trouble, it was just too much for the Wolfpack to overcome. They did surprisingly well in the face of all this, and their extremely sportsmanlike conduct on the track after the game was inspiring on a level that I have never witnessed in any other sport, professional or otherwise.

Kansas City, Texas, and Nashville move on to the WFTDA Championship Tournament next month in Denver, and I’m picking Gotham to win it all.