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:

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 (, 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:

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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

LVRG vs. GMDD Post Game Wrap Up

    This past Saturday, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls’ (LVRG) Hissy Fits competed in a fierce battle against Vermont’s Green Mountain Derby Dames. The game was tightly played with both teams battling each jam from the first whistle for lead jammer status. Rookie Betty Switch performed well in her debut Hissy Fit bout, scoring many points along side of veteran jammers Vanilla CreamHer and Lauranimal.  By the end of the first half, the score was within 10 points as power blockers Loogie Vuitton and Hell Razin Hussy defended their pack and kept the team advancing into the second half.
   In the second half, LVRG started playing more aggressively which resulted in the team acquiring an abundant amount of penalties and players in the penalty box. With more than one LVRG blocker in the penalty box for multiple jams, the Green Mountain Derby Dames continued to capitalize on this advantage and picked up points along the way.  MVP of the bout Chikki Sixx and blocker Lin Diesel did their best to keep Green Mountain from scoring, knowing that at any given time, LVRG was a power jam away from closing the gap in points between the teams. However, Vermont’s team held their lead and came out with the victory, winning 122-91.
     The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls now move to focus on their upcoming end of the season tournament, the Battle of the Valley (BitV).  In the Battle of the Valley, four teams will bout each other to see who will rise to become victorious.  Below are the seedings for next week’s BitV on November 10th, 2012, hosted at the Independence Family Fun Center (4345 Independence Drive, Schnecksville, PA 18078).

Game 1: 
Lehigh Valley Rollergirls (SVU)
         New Jersey Roller Derby

Game 2: 
Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars
          Wilkes-Barre Roller Radicals

Game 3: Championship
Winner of Game 1
           Winner of Game 2

For more information about tickets for the BitV or about the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls, please see their website at: