Apr 222010

Hey Derby obsessed.  It’s Madie here again.  This time taking you deeper into the world of quad skates and booty blocks.

In my last entry, you learned the basics of the sport of flat track roller derby.  Today, I’m going to talk about something I considered as seldom seen as cool inline skaters (sorry guys but its all about the quads). A procedure called duh duh duh duh wait for it…


Here, Rock Bottom and Sour Patch Kid would've been secret lovers...in my mind.

First, a basic explanation.  Pivots, the ladies with the striped panties, and jammers, the ladies with the star panties, have a special relationship.  In my mind I always treat this as some sordid affair that takes a lot of work, which is the reason for its rare occurrence.

The procedure known as “Passing the star” occurs when a jammer takes her panty off and passes it to the pivot, who puts the panty on her helmet and skates on as the jammer.

The reason for my affair idea is because only the jammer and pivot are allowed to touch the panties.  If for some reason they drop the panties, only the pivot or jammer can recover it.  And it is possible to drop them because blocks are legal for attempting to prevent a star pass.

There are a few catches to this:

If the jammer who wants to pass the star is the lead jammer, the second she takes off her starred panty she forfeits that position and the jam continues without a lead jammer.  If she decided to remain jammer after taking off her helmet cover and puts it back on, she still has lost the lead jammer status.

Passing the star can only be done legally inside the zone of engagement.  The zone of engagement is 20 feet in front of and behind the pack.  So say a jammer was exhausted and fell way behind the pack, a pivot couldn’t fall way back and get the star to go on and score points.  That jammer would have to push until she was in the zone of engagement.

The star cannot be passed back to the original jammer or to anyone else after the pivot takes it.  This sucks because maybe that pass didn’t do anything for the team’s point predicament.  Or the original jammer was doing better than the newly elected.


Ms. Volatile goes charging around the pack (Photo by Maggie Bowles)

Now I’ve only ever seen this once in my short nearly 8 months of roller derby and trust me when I say you never really know when it’s coming, and it’s quite hard to catch.  It was when my team played the Psyche Ward Sirens of Houston Roller Derby.  I was watching the merch table (kind of but I was missing an impeccable match so I sort of watched the table and bout from a spot rather distant from both). What I saw was our lovely, loudmouthed jammer Heidi Volatilee go charging into the pack with no avail (HRD is a kickass league).   She screamed something that I’m sure was unintelligible to nearly everyone and next thing I know Rock Bottom is slipping the jammer panty on over her pivot panty and pushing her way out of the pack.

Afterward I asked Rock Bottom about it and she said she had no idea it was going to happen.  And honestly I didn’t see it happen.  I saw Heidi as the jammer, then Rock as the jammer.  If this had been an official account that was all I could give. No more, no less.

So passing the star is almost some sort of mythical act, like something you’d see in Harry Potter. But it happens.  And if you catch it, you’re a lucky one.  Trust me. Watch this video a million times so you can prepare yourself for catching a glimpse because that’s are there are.  Glimpses.
Toronto vs Detroit


At Ease, Finally

 Posted by at 8:00 am  No Responses »
Apr 122010

I think I have a lot of things to say.

I have an independent, me-centric blog out there, you know, but no one reads it. People are going to read this. You’re reading it, I think, unless you’re stoned and just seeing it. I get that, though.

I’d like to put things out on Al Gore’s internet that matter and that touch people, and I’d like to do it in a way that isn’t me-centric. Here’s my effort to create something that might as well have been written by you, because we folks who walk upright on our two legs experience a lot of the same shit, even though we experience a lot of different shit.

sup baby

Roller derby is that perfect clash and blend of collectivism and individualism. It’s like if Japan and America got married and their rollerbaby was like, Hey, teammate. We’re so the same because we’re not the same as anybody else so lets drink some stuff and skate and celebrate it. Actually, RSRD’s bylaws would forbid the rollerbaby to do it in that order, but the rollerbaby would be so cool that it wouldn’t care.

What am I saying?

I’m saying that I don’t fit into any one world, which makes me ironically like a lot of people. A handful of these people reconcile this issue by playing roller derby.  I get together with these people at roller rinks, bars, homes, parades: anyplace that permits public hotpanting. No matter the place, it feels a lot like a womb. Warm and comfortable.

With these people, I can say, I haven’t been to mass in a while, and it makes feel guilty. Or I think I might throw up all that Patron. Or Should I wear these Spiderman boy underwear even though you can see my cellulite and my mom will scold me for it?

My teammates don’t always get me, but they get not being gotten. They know what it’s like to feel inconsistent, because work and home sometimes don’t get them.

I hope you get this. If you play roller derby, I’m sure you do. Actually, I take that back. If you’re not just catholic or just a professional or just any one thing, then you already understand what it’s like to need a space that accepts all the parts of you without, itself, feeling threatened.

It’s like finding a lover who adores your smile as much as your absurdly nourished love handles. That’s love. It’s apparently what I’ve been searching for for a while now. It’s roller derby.

Feb 072010

Rock Bottom is the freshest kind of fresh meat. She’s a sweet piece of tail from the Big Easy, but she reps the Red Stick Roller Derby. She loves the Saints, knocking bitches down, and skating circles around the pack. She’s the best thing since Pop Tarts™ and her ass is one of the Seven Wonders of the world.

Photo Credits: RSRD