Tuesday, December 11, 2012

LVRG 2013 LVRG Season Schedule and Our New Captains

The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls are proud to announce their 2013 season schedule, listed below.  And, with the start of the 2013 season shortly approaching us, we would like to take the time to introduce the Captain of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls’ (LVRG) Hissy Fits, Lin Diesel and the Captain of the Special Vixens Unit, Wayward Stay. We asked them both a few questions about their start with LVRG and asked them to give us their insight into the new season.

Lin Diesel, Hissy Fits Captain
Lin Diesel, now entering her 6th season on the team and Wayward Stay, entering her 4th season, are both strong role models as captains because they lead by example.  Lin Diesel started with the team because she saw an article in the local GO Guide with full color pictures of the team in all their glory and she said to herself, "I have to do this." Wayward Stay started with the team when a friend asked her to join her in learning how to do some basic derby skills at a local clinic. She hasn’t stopped skating since.

Both women have held board of director positions with LVRG, and actively hold other professional careers. Wayward Stay is the photo director for a local bicycling magazine, and Lin Diesel is the transportation manager for the Active Learning Center and Lehigh Valley Martial Arts.

Wayward Stay, Special Vixens Unit Captain
When asked what it meant to be the Captain of their respective teams, this is how they responded. Wayward Stay stated “it means a lot to know that my teammates trust me with the responsibility.”  Lin Diesel responded by saying “being the captain means I can bring my positive influence to practice every time and try to keep my teammates motivated to be the best players they can be. I can encourage everyone to learn the new rules and we can implement them as we learn together.”

Every year, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls hold open recruiting for new skaters. Here is the advice that both captains have for our new recruits.  Wayward Stay said “don't give up.  It may seem scary at first, but after you fall a few times, you realize it's not so bad.  Don't be intimidated by the vets on the team.  They are your greatest resource for learning the game.  And mostly, give it a try!  Nothing is worse than a missed opportunity.” Lin Diesel added, “my advice for the new recruits is you can do anything you put your mind to. If you do not know the game, we will teach you. It will be up to you to push yourself forward but you do not have to do it alone. There are multiple resources for you to learn, and with commitment and dedication, you can move forward and become part of this great organization.”

The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls are excited to have both women as our captains and look forward to them leading us to many victories this season. For information about ordering season tickets, please email us at : contactus@lehighvalleyrollergirls.com


2/16/13:           HOME --Pink vs. Black (Interleague bout)
3/09/13:           HOME --Hissy Fits vs.  Ithaca
4/06/13:           HOME --Hissy Fits vs. Mother State
4/27/13:           HOME --Special Vixens Unit vs. Black Rose
6/15/13:           AWAY -Special Vixens Unit vs. Iron Mtn
7/13/13:           HOME --Hissy Fits vs. New River Valley
8/10/13:           AWAY --Special Vixens Unit vs. Ithaca
8/24/13            HOME - -Hissy Fits vs. Salisbury
9/07/13:           HOME --Special Vixens Unit vs. Iron Mtn
9/28/13:           AWAY-- Hissy Fits vs. Cape Fear
10/19/13:         HOME -Pink vs. Black (Interleague bout)
11/9/13:           HOME --Battle in the Valley Tournament

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls Give Back to the Community

The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls (LVRG) are dedicated to providing an opportunity for women athletes to achieve their maximum potential, both athletically and intellectually through the sport of roller derby.

However, LVRG does more than just skate; we give back to the community. Our members are proud to be positive role models in the community through our continued volunteer efforts on and off the track. 

This season, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem.  LVRG members visited the club throughout the year, interacting with the children by playing games with them, by doing crafts together and by spending the much needed quality time they deserve.  Also, many of the Boys and Girls Club members were our special VIP guests throughout the season and came to watch our games. They each had front row seats to all of the hard hitting action.

Throughout the season to continue our efforts to support the Boys and Girls Club, LVRG collected items for donation such as toys, toiletries and other necessities. The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls also were able to raise $1000 through fundraising, and presented a check to the foundation during the final bout of the season. The Boys and Girls Club indicated that the financial donation from LVRG will not only keep the electric on at the club during the winter months, but it will allow them to run the heat while the children are there as well.  The donated items will be the children’s Christmas presents this year.

This season, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls also participated in a charity event called “Together We Can,” sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Conference of Churches. This event is a major fundraiser for their soup kitchen, which just fed over 300 people during the week of super storm Hurricane Sandy.  The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls were the skating models for the events’ fashion show.  Each girl modeled two outfits, and many of the attendees purchased the clothing we modeled to donate to the cause.  All the clothing was purchased from local thrift stores - the message was that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be fashionable.  In addition to the fashion show, there was an art auction and a person who played the harp.  A $40 ticket to the event fed 150 people, so the $32,000 that was raised will feed 120,000 in the Lehigh Valley.

The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls believe in supporting our community and we look forward to continuing these efforts in the 2013 season.

WFMZ News Article on "Together We Can"

Monday, November 26, 2012

~New WFTDA Rules for the 2013 Season~

    Just when you thought you knew derby, the rules CHANGE!  Starting January 1st, 2013, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is adapting a revised roller derby rule set. You can find the rule set in length here: http://wftda.com/rules/20130101

Here are some of the big changes you will see in the 2013 season:

LVRG Head Referee,  Bob Lloyd
1.      One whistle will start game play simultaneously for both blockers and jammers. This will eliminate the slow play starts we have been seeing in the past.

2.      There will be NO MORE MINOR PENALTIES!  Instead, some minors from the old rule set will now be upgraded to MAJOR penalties. Some of these include direction of play blocking, and cutting one opposing blocker or more than one of your own teammates. 

3.       Hands, touching and different contact: with the elimination of the no minors ruling, players may now touch opponents for up to 3 seconds (without changing their relative position or knocking them off balance).

      So who is in charge of enforcing all of these WFTDA rules? The referees, or as we call them, our zebras.  This year, our zebra pack is lead by WFTDA Certified [head] referee Bob Lloyd. We sat down with  Bob Lloyd and asked him a little bit about the refereeing aspect of derby and how he stared with the team:

Tell us about your history with the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls (LVRG):
      I started officiating women's flat track roller derby back in June of 2008.  I went to high school with Tortellina Temptress, a member of LVRG, and came to watch her play.  I had been to a few games, and really enjoyed what I saw.  One day, I saw an advertisement on MySpace (yeah, THAT long ago!) that LVRG was looking for volunteers, referees, and officials.  Right away I sent a message to the league saying I wanted to come help out.  I hadn't been on roller skates in about 15 years, but I really wanted to try something new.  4 years and 80 some bouts later, here I am!  Since I started, I've learned to skate, learned the sport inside and out, and met hundreds of new, interesting people I would have never met, otherwise, best of all - I met my wife, Heather, through roller derby!

How long does it take to be eligible to be certified? What makes up the qualifications?  
     There really isn't a time that it takes to become certified, it depends on how actively you pursue it, and how well you officiate.  The WFTDA has minimum requirements, which they publish on their website (WFTDA.com/officiating), but those are really some bare-minimum requirements.  It took me about 2 1/2 years of working actively towards certification, until I felt that I met the requirements, and the expectations of the WFTDA skaters and officials.  Some officials may take less, or even more, time until they earn their certification.

     Officials are considered qualified for a certification level based on their performance, experience, and ability. Officials are reviewed by their peers through evaluations that are submitted for the official when he/she works a regulation or sanctioned (ranked) bout.  These evaluations are reviewed by a referee certification committee (made up of skaters and officials from many different leagues) who votes to award certification to an official, in addition to the official passing a rules and skating test.  Higher level certifications are available for officials who excel and have a large amount of high level officiating experience (at tournaments, for example).

What advice do you have for someone who is intrigued by becoming a Roller Derby official, but is not sure on how, what, or why they'd pursue such?
      Just get out and do it!!  It's so much fun!  - Seriously though, we will be having recruitment and meet and greet sessions at the beginning of the 2013 season, and are always looking for good, dedicated volunteers.  Keep your eye out on Lehigh Valley's home page for more details about meet and greets and officials recruitment sessions.  If you just can't wait, you can contact the recruitment e-mail for Lehigh Valley and someone will get in touch with you.

Why would someone want to be a roller derby official?  
     Most likely, they're a glutton for punishment!  After that, it's the excitement, the fast paced action, and the challenge of officiating the hardest sport to officiate.  Period.  Roller Derby is a unique sport in the way it's officiated (it doesn't stop for penalties, like hockey or football do, for starters), and that challenge is what keeps me coming back for more each season.  Also, the ability to meet so many great people, travel all over to officiate in so many different places, and to challenge and push yourself are all great reasons why someone would get into officiating roller derby.       At the end of the day, it's rewarding to know you've done a good job, called a fair and even bout, and given the skaters the best bouting experience possible. I am definitely proud to be a WFTDA official, and to be affiliated with Lehigh Valley.  But at the end of the day, I know I've done a great job if no one's noticed me.  Part of being a great official is letting the skaters be the stars of the show, it's their bout, their sport, I'm just there to make sure it all goes smoothly.  Though, I definitely rock my WFTDA track jacket when it's getting a little chilly outside. 

To learn more about officiating for the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls, please contact us at: join@lehighvalleyrollergirls.com

Monday, November 12, 2012

Battle in the Valley Wrap Up 11/10/12

     The Battle of the Valley (BitV) proved to be a battle of skills, sheer strength and strategy this past weekend, as four teams, Lehigh Valley’s Special Vixen’s Unit (SVU), New Jersey Roller Derby (NJRD), Pottstown’s Roller Derby Rockstars (PRDR) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Roller Radicals, met to make their mark in this battle at the end of the 2012 season.  The tournament started with Lehigh’s Special Vixen’s Unit taking on New Jersey Roller Derby.  It was a vicious beginning with both teams fighting to gain an early lead. The New Jersey Roller Derby jammers, such as their star jammer Pixie Bust, was relentless and took command early, establishing a 10 point lead at the half, with a score of 98-88. 
     Both teams looked physically exhausted at the half, but with some restrategizing, the Special Vixen’s Unit brought a big surprise to New Jersey in the second half.  The SVU blockers, led by Captain Tortellina Temptress, became a more cohesive unit and began to capitalize on their walls and jam start strategies.  Pivots Wayward Stay, D.TainHer and Minerva Steel took command of their packs, which allowed the Lehigh team to incrementally gain points jam after jam.  There was also break out blocking by LVRG’s Phish Tahko, who commanded the front of her packs to keep NJRD’s jammers from getting ahead, and blocking by Stella McHurtye, who established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the track.  Also, Lehigh Valley tournament newcomers, Dixie Freebird, Christie Winkler and NJ Wrecker, had some great debut tournament performances.  After a long fought battle, the SVU team took the semi win over New Jersey Roller Derby with a score of 198-135. This allowed the SVU team to advance to the finals to play the winner of the second semi final bout.
    In the second semi final game of the tournament, the returning 2011 BitV champions, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Roller Radicals, took on Pottstown’s Roller Derby Rockstars.  Pottstown came out strong for this semi final bout and took immediate control of both the pack speed and lead jammer status the majority of the first half. Led by defensive blocking by A. Moral and outstanding jamming by Sun Drop, Pottstown looked solid and kept their lead to end the first half with a 14 point advantage at 84-70. At the start of the second half of this semi final bout, there were early penalties on the Pottstown side that allowed WBRR to catch up fast.  It was still any team’s game, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre experienced many penalties also, losing one of their best skaters to an early ejection.  However, Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre proved to Pottstown that they are still the powerhouse they were in the 2011 BitV, WBRR took advantage of Pottstown power jam after power jam once Pottstown got into penalty trouble.  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pulled away with too many points for Pottstown to catch up with after they got out of penalty trouble, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the semi final win over Pottstown with a score of 163-136. This moved the 2011 BitV champions to play in the finals.
LVRG's MeBust U Up and D.TainHer take on WBRR's Jammer
     In the Battle in the Valley championship finals, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls' Special Vixen’s Unit was seated to play against the 2011 BitV Champions, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Roller Radicals. It was an all out blocking fest against both teams in the first half. LVRG Jammers Betty Switch and Lauranimal had their work cut out for them, as Wilkes-Barre came with force utalizing blockers Smart Cookie and Stevie Nixher. Each team shared lead jammer status as the score teetered back and forth between the teams as to who was the leader at any given point.  SVU blockers MeBust U Up, Arista Crash and Double Barrel Hot Gunz did a great job in holding the LVRG inside line tight and minimized the points that were scored against the Lehigh team.  At half time, the score was brutally reflective of how evenly matched both teams were with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre taking a small 2 point lead over Lehigh with a score of 62-60. 
      After a short half time break, both teams were fired up to end each of their seasons with a big championship win. Both teams continued to fight and the score continued to seesaw back and forth for the first 10 minutes into the second half of finals play.  It was an all out war between the two teams which resulted in not only injuries that took out two of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s jammers (Pussycat Mauls suffered from a broken ankle), but penalties also took out another ejected Scranton/Wilkes-Barre player, Veronika Gettsberger.  LVRG was quick to capitalize on these advantages as SVU blockers Good Time Charlie and Estelle Hurtz cleared all paths for their jammers to score grand slam points three jams in a row. Those points were exactly what the Special Vixen’s Unit needed to gain a lead in the evenly matched bout. As the clock ran out in the second half, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls secured the title as the 2012 Battle in the Valley Champions with a final score of 131-107 over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Roller Radicals.

     It has been a great season for the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls. We thank all of our fans for supporting us, and all of our referees and volunteers.   We look forward to the 2013 season, which starts back up on February 16th, 2013 with an LVRG interleague bout.   Please stay posted to this blog for updates, the posting of the upcoming 2013 season schedule, and more information on how to become an official.