TXRD Season-Opening Recap and a Quick Course on Roller Derby Rules

The 2006-2007 season of the Lonestar Rollergirls kicked off Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Austin Convention Center. Lust was in the air for blood and nasty panty-ripping among Austin's finest roller skating/fighting babes.

To start off the season, Sunday's Cornucopia of Death consisted of five minibouts to allow the teams to feel one another out (up) and get to know the competition facing them in the ankle-twisting months to come. The teams competing for the gold in the 2007 Calvello Cup Championship, finishing out the season on June 23, 2007, are the Cherry Bombs, Hellcats, Holy Rollers, Rhinestone Cowgirls, and the defending Calvello Cup champions, the Putas del Fuego (fire whores). To spice the event up even more, in these matches the referees only called major penalties, not minor ones. Elbows to the face? It's all gravy.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the actual rules of Roller Derby (after all, we're all really in it for the panty shots and potential catty scuffles off and on the track, n'est pas?) the general rules are as follows: The teams (10 to 12 players, with a maximum of five players on the track per team for each jam) include one pivot, three blockers, and one jammer. Once the first whistle is blown, the pack starts; the second whistle signals for the jammers to sprint ahead. A single jam lasts up to 60 seconds or until the lead jammer calls it off, by placing both hands on her hips. The jammer – star on helmet – scores a point with each lap that she passes an opponent. The pivot – stripe on helmet – can take over the jammer position once she has the star in her possession; the blockers set up plays to help the jammer or block to prevent the opposing jammer from lapping players. The most the teams can score per match is four points. Each match consists of eight one-minute periods; in a normal game there are four 8-minute periods played between two teams, but during this season's kickoff, teams only played each other once unless they won the match.

In the first round, the Cherry Bombs slew the Rhinestone Cowgirls, 15 to 11. In the second round, the Holy Rollers slaughtered the Hellcats, 20 to 8. In the third round, the Holy Rollers again claimed victory over the Cherry Bombs, 19 to 15. This was the most intense match, with one of the Cherry Bombs shooting through the rail head-first into the crowd (thank Satan for the mandatory helmet rule). Immediately, she bounced back into the track determined to finish her lap. After a lengthy intermission – allowing time for the reigning champions, Putas del Fuego, to warm up and for the live-music entertainment, the Chalk Outlines, to dizzy the crowd with a seemingly never-ending rendition of "Psycho Killer" – the final round commenced – a heated skating duel between the upstanding Holy Rollers and the spicy whores of fire. The throbbing excitement ended with the Holy Rollers championing the night, 12 to 8.

All in attendance at this black-fishnet affair was a medley of Roller Derby enthusiasts (read: babes with butch dos, leather dresses, and 8-inch clunkers), preps, emos, honky-tonkers, kids, middle-aged mall-goers, and Quentin Tarantino. But who wouldn't want to watch athletic kittens with names like Varuca Assault, Rollergasm, and Miz Amerikill battle for blood on roller skates? And these ladies, amateurs and rookies the majority, are top performers and good sports – and all playing on a brand-new track.

The Lonestar Rollergirls' next bout is the All-Scar game, Nov. 19, when the Putas del Fuego play the all-stars from the rest of the teams. Regular season play commences Dec. 3. Visit txrd.com for the season schedule.

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