2012-2013 Season Schedule
Season nine is in full swing with the Minnesota RollerGirls - Minnesota’s original roller derby league.
Saturday, September 8
WFTDA Regionals, Sept. 14-16
Saturday, October 6
WFTDA Championships, Nov. 2-4
Saturday, November 10
Saturday, January 19
Saturday, February 16 with Minnesota Swarm
Saturday, March 2
Saturday, March 23
Saturday, April 6
Tournament Recap: Derby never quits: the 2011 MNRG All-Star Season - part 1
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The Minnesota RollerGirls All-Stars now stand amidst the top eight leagues of the world.
Whether you’re new to roller derby or have been watching the MNRG since the first season, it’s hard to understand how incredible that statement is, so let’s break that down for you. The modern roller derby movement has gone viral. As of this writing, there are 1018 women’s flat track derby leagues across the globe.
Of those, the MNRG – still an amateur league made of 80 women working day jobs, still a group of women transforming a dead sport into something fantastic, still unpaid for their bruises, breaks, and sprains – are in the top eight of this global sport.
‘Minnesota is back’ - the 2010 tournaments:
It begins in September 2010 with these words, written in the comments of the Derby News Network Power Rankings:
“In the case of Minnesota, we were really, really wrong.” – Justice Feelgood Marshall
That quote from the Derby News Network’s most venerable writer summed up the general sense of astonishment from roller derby fans across the nation in the autumn of 2010. Minnesota’s wins in the 2010 tournament season took them from simply being one of those old founding leagues of the sport and made them a regional leader.
Last year Minnesota began as the 7th-seed in the North Central region. Only the top three teams make it out of a WFTDA regional tournament for the chance to play in the Championship. The chips were stacked against us; we had to win against two teams – one reputed to be far better than we were. We overcame, sending both Omaha (10th-seed) and powerful Detroit (2nd-seed) into the consolation bracket the opening day of the tournament. We defeated Madison (3rd-seed) in the semis and played for the regional championship. That feat alone earned us respect and an automatic berth at 2010 Championals. We lost to Chicago’s Windy City Rollers in the North Central finals, and – on our first trip to the WFTDA Championships - got knocked out by Baltimore’s Charm City in the first round.
The defeat to Charm took place in November. Minnesota took a couple of months off playing as an all-star team; its players melted back into MNRG home teams…but rest time is short in roller derby. The derby schedule is murderous for the All-Stars; when the hometeam season ends, the All-Stars host three home bouts for our fans at the Roy. At the end of the April, the road season begins in earnest.
Defending Saint Paul from all comers:
The 2011 season of All-Star play began in January with a surprise home stand at the Xcel Energy Centre as well as three home bouts at the Roy. We first played Madison as part of a double-header with the Minnesota Swarm at the Xcel and soundly defeated them 196-74. Tucson and DC followed in February and March we beat each by over one hundred points. Naptown was a far closer bout. The Tornado Sirens took us to the brink of defeat, but Minnesota adjusted just in time and took the victory 111-95.
Juke Boxx, co-captain of MNRG All-Stars: We had the game controlled, but I wouldn’t say we were totally prepared for [Naptown’s] style of play.
If you think back to the DC/Tucson/Naptown bouts, you can judge how much the All-Stars had come. Each of those Roy bouts were scheduled before the 2010 tournament when the common perception was that Minnesota was not much of a threat on the regional stage. These three teams were all near our rung on the WFTDA ranking ladder before the tournament. Common sense said that the games would be very challenging and tense. Only Naptown turned out to be a difficult fight, but that was in part because Naptown was also on the rise in the 2010 tournament season.
The sprint to the 2011 tournament:
Following the season closer, our All-Stars went into overdrive. They had their initial practices and tryouts only days after the Naptown victory. The All-Stars took in several rookies (Moto Fluzzi, Hurtrude Stein, and Commander Nix) and continued training with Coach Dan. Dan is a man of mild demeanor at the bench, but he works closely with the team and holds them to a very high standard of fitness. Endurance training, cross-training, strategy, tactics…the road to the Championships would be seven months long, and the team couldn’t just stay as they were to succeed.
Early on, the team trained with other coaches that had different perspectives on the sport, using the training in a scrimmage against the fantastic Chicago Outfit (Chi-Town’s other women’s league). May brought with it the Midwest Brewhaha, the North Central’s roller derby exhibition. To give our entire All-Star team an opportunity to play, we fielded two teams; MNRG All-Stars and MNRG Shark Attack. The two teams went 2-2 for the weekend, and we took our first loss of the year against Windy City.
Psycho Novia, co-captain of MNRG All-Stars: We had a guest skater from out west come in for a weekend and run a skating clinic for us. This was HUGE. It was an all weekend thing, 8 hours of skating each day. We just pounded out new strategies and learned that derby isn’t always about brute strength but also about how smart you play.
It’s sort of funny, but I think that the East Coast Derby Extravaganza was a huge turning point even though we didn’t go out there and skate. A lot of us hunkered down in front of our computers that weekend and just learned a crap ton about derby. We studied other teams and other strategies and then we tried to grow from them. We learned our opponents’ game so well that we wanted to try and play it better than they could. It worked a lot of times. Sometimes it didn’t. We studied the slow game a LOT before we went to Nashville and that is something that we learned from watching ECDX.
Two more trips east kept the team travelling and training. We went to Nashville and scored a big win against their Music City Roller Girls (130-84). Nashville’s team had also been a big surprise in 2010 for their rise to the Championships; we got to try out slow-pack derby on the southern queens of the technique. On that trip, we also played against Evansville’s Demolition City and won big (221-28).
We were to begin our second trip east on August 5th. Two days before that, the WFTDA announced the all-important second-quarter rankings. The state of the rankings ladder in Q2 is important because the top ten leagues of each region from that decision are given invitations to the regional tournament. Minnesota received the news that they would be given the 3rd seed behind Detroit and Windy City. Due to the vagaries of the bracket, this meant that their likely course of play in the 2011 tournament would be Madison in the quarterfinals, Detroit in the semis, and yet another bout against the Windy City Rollers to take the title. We now had a clear view of what it would take to get to the WFTDA Championship tournament.
A Belle-shaped bump in the road:
The second trip proved pivotal. The All-Stars had scheduled a bout against the Philadelphia Liberty Belles on Philly’s home track. The Belles have consistently played at the WFTDA Championships; this bout’s outcome would tell us a lot about how we might play in the tournaments to come. Minnesota came within just a few jams of victory – only ill-timed penalties in the final few jams kept us from upsetting the powerhouse from the City of Sisterly Shove. Final score on that? 101-84.
We also took a detour to Charm City, who invited us for a Sunday scrimmage. Now, Charm is ranked 3rd in the East (Philadelphia is #2), so we made sure to make that scrimmage. We played for ninety minutes against Baltimore’s finest and unofficial reports from the scrimmage said that the two teams battled each other to nearly a tie. If we had gone east to find out how good we were getting…the response seemed to be that we were getting awfully close.
Psycho Novia: The Philly bout would be comparable to our Bay Area trip in 2010. We knew Philly would be a rough and tough bout so we practiced all out, 100% for a couple months in preparation for a hard-hitting and brutal bout. It was always a thought that we could win, but not until during the actual bout did I look at my team on the bench and see that they KNEW we could win. It was a huge turning point, believing in ourselves and in our game. It was also a great bonding weekend. The next day we traveled and scrimmaged Charm, and that was also a very valuable experience for our team.
The team redoubled its efforts in August and September. By early October, the team had worked out sets of new tactics and surprise formations for their opponents…so many so that several players remarked that they were losing track of all of the new ideas. On October 8th, Minnesota packed up their Zuca bags and headed to Indianapolis for the 2011 North Central regionals. The time had come for “Monumental Mayhem” on Naptown’s home turf.
We will pick up the 2011 All-Star story next Thursday, and finish it before 2011 draws to a close. Stay tuned.
May 02, 2013
The Minnesota RollerGirls close their season down with its annual celebration of the league’s best and brightest. WHEELIES RESULTS AHEAD.
April 11, 2013
Three times the ABS went ahead; three times the Rockits almost caught up. The unstoppable Atomic Bombshells earn a third spot on the coveted MNRG hometeam trophy.
April 10, 2013
Led by vets and rookies alike, the Garda Belts triumphed and controlled the track against a short-staffed Doll team.
April 08, 2013
Gardas take 3rd against the Dagger Dolls in our final night of the season.
April 08, 2013
A member of the Minnesota RollerGirls since season 1, Hanna is an intimidating presence on the track. Off the track, she’s a huge part of helping to develop the next generation of RollerGirls!