Category Archives: Photo Albums

The KC Derby Digest Experience

From the very beginning, the goal of KC Derby Digest has been to bring Kansas City roller derby into the spotlight and give it the exposure it so richly deserves, exposure the mainstream media apparently cannot (or will not) offer this great sport and its participants.

In the earliest days, we simply had the web site and a Facebook presence, and at the time, that was really all we needed. However, as KC Derby Digest and Kansas City roller derby continue to grow and expand, it has become necessary to branch out and meet fans halfway wherever they may be — and in this age of digital information, that means social media.

So branch out, we have. We now have a social media presence in what we consider all the right places, so feel free to like us, follow us, pin us, and tweet along with us as we bring you The KC Derby Digest Experience.

On Smugmug

Inexplicably, one of the most common questions we get at events and bout nights is, “What do you do with all the photos you take?” Of course, to know the answer to that, you’d have to already follow us on social media, and we understand many people aren’t quite as plugged in as we are simply because they have lives and we don’t.

Smugmug is technically not “social media” in the strictest sense, but it is where we keep all the photos we’ve taken at the various events the Kansas City roller derby leagues have hosted since we launched this little endeavor back in late 2011. You may notice that the quality of our photos has improved dramatically since those early days, and that’s simply because we’re not professional photographers and have never claimed to be. We do, however, strive for constant improvement, and along those lines, we think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.

Click for ALL the photos!

Feel free to share our photos on various social media, but if you do, please don’t crop, edit, or alter the photos in any way. Always remember to credit KC Derby Digest, not an individual photographer, in the caption.

On Facebook

Like it or not, Facebook is the granddaddy of them all in the world of social media. It wasn’t the first to come along, but it is by far the most important, and probably always will be.

As of press time, we have nearly 1,400 ‘likes’ on Facebook — which is more than some of the teams and leagues we promote — and we are growing every day. Good old Zuckerberg drives more traffic to this web site than any other entity, hands down, with the possible exception of word of mouth. If you haven’t already ‘liked’ us, get yer tail over there and get ‘er done.

Click for the Facebook page.

We post to Facebook all the time. It’s our most often-used social medium. We don’t use it for photo albums because of its low-quality presentation (and peoples’ rampant tendency to share photos without credit, a phenomenon that doesn’t happen on other social media, for some reason), but we use it heavily to advertise new articles on the web site, upcoming events, and other derby-related news going on in Kansas City.

Always feel free to ‘share’ any of our posts you may find on Facebook. That helps spread the word about us, and in turn, spreads the word about Kansas City roller derby.

On Twitter

We’ve resisted the siren song of Twitter from the day it was launched. Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve always believed it’s the single most prominent example of everything that’s wrong with human nature. However, there are marketing opportunities too valuable to ignore.

Click for our Twitter page.

There is some good news, however.

The first is that you don’t actually have to follow us on Twitter if you don’t have an account (or don’t want one). All our tweets are public, and they always will be for that very reason. To reach the maximum number of people possible, we don’t lock anything down. Just go to our Twitter page, and everything’s there.

The second bit of good news is that there are only two times we will tweet: when we publish a new article on KC Derby Digest, and when bouts are in progress. On bout nights, you’ll see us tweeting scores and highlights, mainly at period breaks.

Other than those two times, we simply don’t tweet. It’s not because we don’t like it (even though we don’t), it’s because we don’t want to blow up your Twitter feed if you don’t follow a particular league, or if you’re simply more of a casual fan than we are.

On Pinterest

We might be a little late to the party, but we finally got around to launching our Pinterest page a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been pinning away ever since. It’s surprisingly fun. We didn’t announce it right away because we wanted to build up some content first.

Click for our Pinterest page.

We think you’ll especially enjoy the board called “Pre-KC Derby Digest,” a collection of photos from when we were just wee fans, well before we launched this web site.

On Instagram

What, you may ask, is the point of having a photo album on Smugmug and a collection of photos on Instagram simultaneously? In the beginning, we asked ourselves that same question.

Think of our Instagram page as a backstage pass, an opportunity to see the bouts from a vantage point you might not otherwise have.  Since most leagues grant us access to areas of the venue the general public can’t visit themselves, our Instagram photos will offer an interesting behind-the-scenes look at your favorite leagues.

Click for our Instagram page.

We will only post photos to our Instagram page during events — no other time. Our philosophy here mirrors that of our Twitter page: we want you to enjoy our content, not be bludgeoned by it. You can follow our tweets and Instagram photos during events even if you’re there too, kind of like live tweeting for photos… without the need for Twitter.

Our Instagram photos are exclusive content found nowhere else, and if you share them online, please remember to credit KC Derby Digest accordingly.

And as always, feel free to share any of our social media pages (and this web site) on any social media forum you like. The more you promote KC Derby Digest, the more you help promote the sport we love. And if you love Kansas City roller derby half as much as we do, take a moment and let everyone know about KC Derby Digest. It’s always been our mission to promote The Greatest Sport in the World, and like the leagues we follow, we rely on fans to get the word out. Roll on, Kansas City!

(More) Tons of Bout Photos

It’s kind of exciting to be this caught up on derby photos this late in the season. As I was explaining to a friend just the other night, given the sheer number of leagues we cover on KC Derby Digest, it’s nearly impossible to keep photos on schedule throughout the season without fail. If nothing else, life gets in the way.

But Kansas City, as you know, has so much incredible roller derby action going on this time of year that if you’re going to keep yourself fed and on any kind of sleep schedule, you’re almost guaranteed, in our line of work, to fall behind at some point. It’s a good thing we’re just so darned dedicated, because today we bring you a whole entire slew of photos from recent events and bouts you hopefully didn’t miss, even if you haven’t seen the albums.

Just for fun, let’s see how long we can stick with a wacky “fall down/go boom” theme.

Dead Girl Derby’s Coed League

We’ve already touted the Untouchables and the Public Enemies as the best new thing in Kansas City roller derby since the Banked Beauties made their debut back in 2012 (a league we hope to see again). Competitive coed roller derby is something Kansas City has never seen before, and to be sure, this crop of Dead Girls and Guys has made the most of a fantastic idea. They held their most recent game back on June 22, and we have the photos for you.

Click for the full album.

Going backwards in time here, the Coed League held their second game of the season on May 18th, and we were there as well, capturing the madness on digital film for your enjoyment. Don’t kid yourself, though, it was for ours too.

Click for Game 2.

Dead Girl Derby’s Zombie League

Once upon a time, there was only Black Plague and Gang Green, and today, that tradition lives on stronger than ever through Dead Girl Derby‘s Zombie League.

Their most recent game was also on June 22, alongside the Coed League.

Game 3.

And likewise, rewinding the clock a bit, Game 2 for the Zombie League was also on May 18, so here you have it.

Game 2.

Fountain City Expo Games

Come September 8th, Dead Girl Derby will officially become known as Fountain City Roller Derby, a name change we’ve already squealed like a girl over in recent days and can’t wait to see finally take place.

About this time last month, the Coed League, Zombie League, and Fountain City travel teams held a unique outdoor event at the Alamo Drafthouse and put their mad derby skillz on display before riffing all over Whip It as part of a league fundraiser hosted by the Alamo. It was the most exciting new event in a long time, and we, of course, wouldn’t have missed it.

Click for the expo games photo album.

Blacksnake Rollergirls

If you haven’t been up to St. Joseph to witness the flat track awesomeness that is the Blacksnake Rollergirls at the Civic Arena, you’re definitely missing out. Dead Girl Derby‘s sister league puts on a heck of a show every month, and the league is growing like a weed. They went from two house teams to four after just one season — the 2013 house championship was won by the Danger Dolls, one of the expansion teams — and there’s been no stopping them ever since.

KC Derby Digest unfortunately had to miss the BRGs’ most recent game because it was slated for July 12th, the same night as the Dead Girls, but last month’s games on June 7th were as wild as they ever were, and we were definitely there for that. It was a 60s-themed event called Peace Love & Roller Derby, so… what’s not to love?

Click for the photo album.

Previously on the Blacksnake Rollergirls‘ schedule was a May event known as ABLOCKalypse Now, a military appreciation-themed event that took place near Memorial Day, and true to its name…

ABLOCKalypse Now.

What’s Next

Dead Girl Derby‘s third house game of the season was this past Saturday night at Hale Arena, and in the spirit of this whole keeping-up-with-photos thing we’ve got going on at the moment, we hope to have those published sometime this week.

The NEMO Viqueens, our favorite flat track team out of Kirksville, Missouri, has invited us to shoot their upcoming bout, and both the Dead Girls and the Blacksnake Rollergirls have August and September events we plan to cover as well. The 2014 season is in full swing and there’s still plenty left, including the respective championships, so stay tuned to KC Derby Digest and all our social media for the latest. As incredible as the season’s been so far… something tells us the best is still in front of us.

(Tons of) Bout Photos

One thing any derby fan worth his/her salt has realized in the three-ish years we’ve been doing this is that we have a lot of roller derby in this town. And that’s a good thing. Whatever your preference, whether it’s hard-hitting men’s flat track action, the WFTDA rule set, the MADE rule set, or amazing coed bouts, Kansas City roller derby has nearly everything a fan of the flat track could possibly want.

Alongside all that amazing sports action is a plethora of bout photos that we at KC Derby Digest take great pride in… and that sometimes backs us up a week or two. When you follow as much roller derby insanity as we do, that tends to happen. Game dates conflict, photos get backlogged, and we get frazzled. But it’s what we do, and we love it.

Having said that, let’s get caught up on some of the amazing bouts this fantastic city has to offer during derby season.

The 2014 Rink of Fire

Teal Teal Teal! Kill Kill Kill! The Knockouts are the 2014 Rink of Fire champions for the first time ever. They took down the formidable Black Eye Susans 134-99 in a championship bout we won’t soon forget.

Earlier that evening, the Victory Vixens secured third place against the surging Dreadnought Dorothys, who as we said earlier this week, are not to be underestimated in the coming season(s). They’ve had a rough go of it the last couple of years, but given their performance on the track at the Rink of Fire, they’re on their way back up in a big way.

Bout photos are published, people!

Click for the full photo album.

Dead Girl Derby’s Coed League

One thing that’s never been seen before in Kansas City is coed flat track roller derby. We’ve had mash-ups in the past and pick-up leagues on the banked track that sporadically featured coed action, but never before has a league featured established coed teams in which the ladies and gents directly competed on a regularly scheduled basis. Well, thanks to Dead Girl Derby, that’s all changed, and history has been made in the process.

The Public Enemies and the Untouchables debuted last month at B&D Skate Center, and we couldn’t have been more excited. The coed league not only features some of the most promising up-and-coming talent Kansas City has to offer, it also boasts some of the biggest names to ever take the track in this town, names like Bomb Pop, Jamalamadingdong, and Red Ripper, just to name a few. Ladies are coming out of retirement to play for this league, so if that doesn’t tell you how huge this is, I have some beachfront property in the desert southwest I’d like to see if you’re interested in.

Last month’s coed bout featured some of the best derby photos we’ve ever had the privilege of publishing, and you can check them out here.

Click for the full photo album.

The next coed bout will be on Sunday, May 18th at B&D Skate Center, and we’ll be sure and bring you reminders about that on Facebook and here on the web site.

Zombie League

Last season, the good people at Dead Girl Derby had one of the greatest new ideas we’ve seen since we started following this fine sport back in 2010: take the skaters who aren’t rostered for that month’s bout, for whatever reason, and roster them for a B-team-style bout against each other. They brought back the OG team names — Black Plague and Gang Green — but kept the lineups consistent and offered it up to the crowd as the third game of the evening. Fans received thrice the derby action for their money, and the ladies involved got some valuable experience on the track — and in front of an audience — that they might not have otherwise gotten.

And as this league continues to grow by leaps and friggin’ bounds, so will the amazing action fans are treated to both at Hale Arena and at B&D Skate Center. The Zombie League debuted last month alongside the Coed League, and the results were incredible. As always, we have the photos.

Click for the full photo album.

The Zombie League’s next game is again on the same night as the Coed League, May 18th. Keep an eye on our Facebook page, we’ll keep you updated.

28 Skates Later

The Blacksnake Rollergirls of St. Joseph are now in their third season and loving every minute of it. As their derby footprint continues to grow, so will their coverage here on KC Derby Digest regardless of the fact that St. Joe isn’t technically Kansas City. The league itself was founded by former Dead Girl and Royal Pain Notorious L.I.Z., who has been in the news herself recently due to some unfortunate circumstances they’re still recovering from. However, last month’s zombie-themed event, 28 Skates Later, was an incredible success at the St. Joseph Civic Arena, and as always, we were on hand to join in the festivities.

The four St. Joseph teams — the Jesse Janes, the Venomous Vixens, the Danger Dolls, and the Rushin’ Rollettes — are really starting to dazzle some people with their skill and tenacity on eight wheels, and we look forward to their bouts every month, never mind the 55-mile drive. These BRGs make it worth every mile, and if you’re so inclined, we would encourage you to check out their next game on June 7.

For now, we’ve got photos from 28 Skates Later, zombie makeup and all:

Click for the full photo album.

As always, keep an eye on KC Derby Digest‘s Facebook page for upcoming bouts, events, and fundraisers, and we will see you trackside, coming soon! Roll on, Kansas City!

KC Roller Derby at the 2014 Polar Plunge

The annual Polar Plunge and 5k Strut to benefit Special Olympics Kansas is always a memorable experience, particularly for those taking the leap into the lake for such a great cause. The Kansas City roller derby leagues are there every year to help raise money for our Special Olympians, and this year was no exception. It was KC Derby Digest‘s third year joining the derby festivities out at Shawnee Mission Park, and as always, there was nary a dull moment.

I’m told that the water in the lake this year was the coldest it’s ever been, even colder than in 2011, when Plungers required the assistance of men with chainsaws to even get into the water. Longtime sponsor Papa Murphy’s was on hand to mercifully feed us pizza as the morning turned into afternoon, and the highlight of the morning had to be when Fox 4 meteorologist Michelle Bogowith‘s doberman freaked out about the drone filming the festivities from overhead. Animal comedy never disappoints.


We threw together a fun video overnight of KC Roller Derby’s day at Shawnee Mission Park and uploaded it to YouTube for your enjoyment. Feel free to share as you like, it’s only about a minute and a half long. It includes several snapshots from the event, as well as the plunge into the lake at 11 a.m.

And finally, the photo album itself. No Kansas City derby-related event would be complete without one of those:

Click for the full album.

Many thanks to Donna Zimmerman, Senior Vice President of Public Relations and Communications, for providing KC Derby Digest with press accommodations at this year’s very successful Polar Plunge and 5k Strut, and thanks as always to the incredible men and women of Kansas City roller derby for taking the time to help such a fantastic organization. We will definitely see everyone out there again next year!

Speeder of the Pack photos

Dead Girl Derby‘s championship, Speeder of the Pack, was everything we expected it to be as The Royal Pains brought home the 2013 championship trophy. In an amazing twist, the Deadly Sirens took down the Lovely Lethals 38-21 in a consolation game no one could have predicted, except perhaps those amazing Sirens themselves.

As always, we’ve got photos from Speeder of the Pack you won’t want to miss.

Click for the full album.

Congratulations to all our incredible Dead Girls for an outstanding 2013 season. We can’t wait to see you back on the track in 2014.

Game Photos: Rink of Fire 2013

If you’ve been following our annual shenanigans on Facebook this week, you know by now how the 2013 Rink of Fire championship went. The Victory Vixens scored a third-place win over the Dreadnought Dorothys by a score of 197-86, and the Black Eye Susans pulled out a literal last-second win against the slightly-favored Knockouts with a 176-162 final score that, as close as that is in flat track, doesn’t begin to describe the game-ending intensity — nay, insanity — roller derby fans were treated to in the final moments of this amazing season.

The Knockouts‘ jammer was sent to the box in the very first jam and allowed the Susans to jump out in front 24-0. Eleven minutes later, the KOs had roared back and taken the lead 70-28 with about 18 minutes left in the first period. By halftime, the Black & Yellow had pared the Glitter Mafia’s lead down to 30 and was poised to strike not only at the heart of the Knockouts‘ defense, but at the root of all latent cardiovascular maladies lurking silently in the audience, mine included.

Without game footage in front of me, and with only scrambled memories and KC Derby Digest‘s Twitter feed to guide me, I can tell you that as time ticked away in the final period of this championship game, the Knockouts‘ lead gradually dwindled until the final jam of regulation. At that point, the Susans seemed to pull ahead just as the clock ran out.

Did we win???

I’ve never personally experienced such an intense wait at a bout. I was standing at Turn One next to Damsel of D’Tension, who was bench coaching that night, and as officials on the track communicated with NSOs on the sidelines, fans were shocked to discover that the score was dead even at 158.

Fans stood and wondered. Those Susans who had begun celebrating prematurely were gradually silenced. Few people in the auditorium that night had ever seen a WFTDA bout go into overtime, and as such, we were all in for a real treat. It may have had something to do with the fact that no one knew what the hell was going to happen.

As it was explained to us over the PA, one overtime jam is held. There is no lead jammer, so the jam will last the full two excruciating minutes. Whichever team is ahead at the end of the jam will take the game, of course, and repeat overtime jams may be held in the event of another tie. Everyone scooted a little closer to the edges of their seats; the teams lined up, the whistle blew, and the skaters were off.

Moments later, the Knockouts‘ jammer, Bomb Pop, was sent to the box on what I believe was a track-cut penalty [citation needed], which allowed the Susans’ Trauma a golden opportunity to fight her way through the KO’s formidable defense and score points unopposed. By the time Bomb Pop‘s penalty had been served and she had re-entered the game, Trauma was too far ahead to be caught, and there wasn’t nearly enough time for the Ladies in Teal to make up the difference. The Black Eye Susans brought home their first-ever Rink of Fire championship as the audience inside Municipal Auditorium absolutely lost its shit in a way I’ve never seen in the four years I’ve been doing this. It was far and away the best Rink of Fire I’ve ever witnessed.

We have game photos, as always, and this could be one of the most amazing sets we’ve captured all season.

Click to see the full, amazing album.

It was great to see retired Susans out there celebrating with their old team, players like Oucho Marx, Kay C. Shuffle, and Yvette Yerass. It was great to see the supreme sportsmanship on the part of the Knockouts, whose phenomenal 2013 season had brought them this far. And it was great to see the Black Eye Susans hoisting the trophy over their heads after years of struggle, determination, and monumental progress that gradually brought them from the bottom of the heap to the very top.

Many, many thanks to the entire Kansas City Roller Warriors organization for an outstanding season. We simply can’t wait to see you all back on the flat track in 2014.