“It went really well. It was an awesome event and we had a lot of people come out which was great.”
Close to 300 people turned out at Oceanside Place Saturday evening for the debut of Roller Derby in these parts, and those close to the sport say they have every intention of bringing it back.
An exhibition match between the Harbour City Rollers out of Nanaimo and the Alberni Valley Roller Girls, this was a high scoring match-up with the Rollers coming out on top 232-103.
According to HCR’s Melissa Morrow, one of the organizers of the event that skates under the name Holly Go Blightly (in roller derby the combatants get to make up whacky names for themselves), and as seen by those who turned out to take it in, the game is broken into two 30 minute halves with each half made up of a series of two minute jams (kind of like line changes in hockey).
Each team sends out five players at a time — four blockers and a jammer.
“The whole point is that the jammer gets points when she passes the girls from the other team.”
The blockers, as we learned, try and stop the opposing jammer from getting by, and also try and spring their own jammer, which creates plenty of bashing and crashing.
Leading the way in scoring for HCR was the girl known as Pebbles and Jam Jam, along with Smasha Hoe Dawn, and for Alberni Valley it was Wife of Wrath and Cooch Willis.
“She did an awesome job for Alberni Valley,” said Morrow, adding, “both teams played really hard and were very evenly matched in both skill and strategy. There may have been a difference in the score, but on the track both teams came out very strong, and AVRG definitely made HCR fight for it.”
“We’re just really excited about the turnout — it was a great experience, just to show the people what it’s all about and to give our rookies a chance to finally play a bout and to show off the skills they’ve been working on.”
The City of Parksville approached her club “about bringing roller derby to the community …” she explained, adding, “I think it went awesome — the crowd got really into it. As soon as they learned the rules they started to cheer and boo at the calls … it was a really good energy. It was a lot of fun.”
The Harbour City Rollers next home game is Aug. 18 at VIX in Nanaimo. For more information on the club and on the sport go to www.harbourcityrollers.com.