Sunday, July 20 was the Junior Warriors home opener. For those of you unfamiliar with junior derby, allow me to take a minute and catch you up. Junior derby is open to girls between the ages of 10 and 17. It's broken up into two divisions due to obvious size and skill differences. Girls age 14-17 make up the advanced, or AAA, division that plays by standard WFTDA rules. Ages 10-13 play by almost the same rules with the exceptions being they can only use passive blocking and instead of going to the penalty box they get recycled to the back of the pack.
This year, instead of breaking it up into two different games, one for each division, they now play four periods. The juniors play the first period and then the advanced girls play the second. After a brief half time, it starts over again with periods three and four. There are two teams: Starry Fright and Rolling Thunder.
Rolling Thunder dominated from the beginning with a score of 61 to 38 after the first period. The AAA girls came in and the score was 101 to 71 by half time. At the end of the third period, Starry Fright was definitely on the ropes as the score rose to 154 to 107 and by the time the whistle blew on the fourth period, Rolling Thunder was sitting pretty with 223 to 164.
Sunday also saw the very first Alumni Bout when players from the last 10 years strapped on their skates once more. There were smiles, hugs and high-fives all around as some of derby's legends came out of retirement for a day. I have to admit that it was pretty fun seeing everybody play again, just like the good ol' days.
The players were divided into Team Black and Team White. Team Black had Hall Balls, Murphys Law, Maiden Hell, Eclipse, Archie Lee, Toto Basketcase, Connie Magic, Track Rat, Rita Ploy, Joyge Washington (a.k.a. Dur Hammer) and Stabbie Enyaback. Team White had Bypolar, Scratch-n-Tiff, Delia Death, Strawberry Cutthroat, Red Ripper, PDQ, Boom Boom Von Doom, Loli Crusher, Sassy B., Case Closed and Ami Geddon.
Team White ended up winning the game with 102 to 53 but when you're having that much fun, are there really any losers? Even the crowd was derby who's who with Coach Death, Snot Rocket, Dominant Jean, Damsel Of Detention, Mash Hun and Booberella. Lois Payne took a turn on the mic announcing with Dwayne and Ref Pirate Roberts made a brief return jam reffing.
The final seconds of the game ended in classic derby style with both benches emptying and the whole thing turning into a rolling free-for-all. It's hard to believe it's been ten years. If you were there then you know what a blast it was, if not, well, hopefully you won't have to wait another ten years, but it's hard to say when the next one's coming around.
Still craving more derby action? Well, never fear, the season isn't over yet. Plan B will take on the Capital City Crushers in Topeka on Aug. 9. Be there!