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What does #bmorecharming mean to you?

Charm City Roller Girls truly love Baltimore. This city is more than just our namesake, it’s part of who we are! Hence, CCRG’s new hashtag, #bmorecharming. We asked members of our league family to share what #bmorecharming means to them, and we think you’ll find the responses both fun and inspiring … a lot like our dear city!

To me, #bmorecharming is my opportunity to represent one of the top roller derby teams in the world. I moved to Baltimore from Miami in June 2014, and have been working my tail off to improve upon my skills in order to even TRY and be as awesome as all these wonderful ladies that I have the opportunity to skate with. #Bmorecharming is about growth and moving forward in my derby career, with the help of some spectacular skaters.
-50 Shades of Pain, Mobtown Mods

#bmorecharming is about promoting the essence of the Charm City Roller Girls. We work hard, we play hard, and we build each other up. We are closely tied to the community and want what’s best for the City of Baltimore. I chose Baltimore for a couple of reasons, and the Charm City Roller Girls are one of them. This is my family. Baltimore is my home. – I.M. Pain, Night Terrors

It’s about keeping things safe and fair. It’s about doing better every time you go out there. It’s about teaching and helping skaters be their best. – Admiral Mayhem, Referee

Ever since the 1st little girl ran up to me after a bout complimenting me for being “so shiny,” I have tried to #bmorecharming by painting my face in silver with cyborg rivets and usually skating in something shiny. To me, it has always been about inspiring and entertaining the kids. -Allie B. Back, Speed Regime

Look for our hashtag #bmorecharming on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and don’t forget to tell us what #bmorecharming means to you!

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The Official Review

Photos by Down’n’Out Photography

What do you call roller derby without referees? We don’t know, but we’re pretty sure it wouldn’t work. Roller derby depends on volunteer officials (some off skates and some on) to enforce the rules, track penalties, keep score, run the penalty box, set up the track, and help keep everyone safe. Basically, without them, there’s no game.

To help you become an educated fan of our favorite sport, CCRG ref Admiral Mayhem answers our questions about what derby officials do! Read this educational Q&A, then show off your derby savvy at our next bout: July 12 at The Garden’s Ice House.

Admiral Mayhem: First, let me just say that all views and opinions are my own and in no way should they reflect upon the WFTDA, Officials, Charm City Roller Girls affiliated Officials or Charm City Roller girls. They are solely my personal views and opinions and should be taken only as such with no consequence to anyone else.

Miss Dirt: How would you describe the experience of being a derby ref?
Admiral: Being a ref for roller derby is such a unique experience in this sport. I feel like I am in the calm of the storm. Especially when I am working the inside of the track with derby girls racing around each other. The mindset of being a ref is this stressful calm as well. Keeping your mind clear to think of all the rules, enforcing safety, watching for penalties, keep the game fair and fun can be immensely stressful. Some people joke that I have one of the best spots in the house to watch the game, but the fact is that I don’t see the score or pay attention to who is winning and losing. I am doing so many other things that those fall to the side. I do watch derby from time to time and take breaks to watch, but I’m usually off duty and not reffing in order to do so. I personally love officiating. I find great enjoyment in it and love the sport and am very happy to be involved.

Photos by Down’n’Out Photography

MD: How did you decide to become a ref, and how long have you been involved in the league?
Admiral: I’ve been involved with Charm since about 2011. I started as a skater. As I became more proficient at skating and derby, I was able to go to scrimmage practice and start blocking. I quickly realized that getting hit and hitting others was not for me. During that time I was helping out as a Non Skating Official, learning the rules and helping anywhere I could. I became a ref because I still love skating and wanted to be involved. Not only do I officiate on skates, I am also able to officiate off skates. NSOing is wonderful to do if you are starting out or dislike skating. NSOing is also incredibly important in order to keep track over everything that is going on.

MD: What’s one rule you really wish everyone understood?
Admiral: There are so many! Right now it is star pass procedures because the new rule set has made them more complicated and easier to achieve at the same time.

MD: So, could you tell me in your words how a star pass works? I was sitting with some new derby fans during the last bout, and they were pretty confused by that, and I could barely explain it to them.
Admiral: Let’s pretend that you are the jammer for my team and that I’m the pivot (the skater with the stripe on their head). A star pass occurs when the jammer hands their pivot the jammer’s helmet cover (the cover with the star on it.)This hand off has to be hand-to-hand. As the jammer, you can’t throw it to me or pass it to someone else to give to me. Also, the pass has to happen while we are both upright, inside the track boundaries, and not penalized. You can’t transfer the rights as jammer and all the powers thereof to a person that has to go sit a penalty for 30 seconds. So, having done all these things correctly, the jammer is able to give their pivot their position and powers. This transfer happens at the handoff. When you take the star off your helmet, you become an inactive jammer. When you hand it to me legally and LET GO, I become the inactive jammer and you become a blocker. When I finally put the cover on my head, I’m a real jammer! This last point of wearing the cover is very important, because you can’t score points if you aren’t wearing the helmet cover.

Photos by Down’n’Out Photography

MD: I hear one of the best parts of being a ref or NSO is that you’re needed practically everywhere and get to visit a lot of different places/leagues. Have you gotten to do much travel as an official? What’s that been like?
Admiral: Very true. This is really my first year focusing on traveling to other leagues and participating away from home. It’s been an invaluable experience learning from other officials and also experiencing the style of gameplay of other leagues. I personally think the best part of officiating is pointing and yelling at people 😉

MD: I know officials aren’t supposed to get hit, but that does seem to happen sometimes. How risky is your job?
Admiral: I’m not going to say that being an official is not risky, both for skating officials (SO) and non-skating officials (NSOs). We are all involved in a contact sport with people hitting each other on 8 wheels. Things can get dangerous. But as an official, the risk of injury is much lower as an SO and even lower as an NSO. But things happen. As an NSO that is working the penalty box, if the penalized skater coming in is going too fast when they sit in the chair, and they can go flying back and hit you (this can get a penalty by the way, and if it is bad enough it is an ejection.) The risk of getting injured or hit as an NSO is very, very small, but always a possibility. As a skating official, the risk is higher. We are on skates and in the thick of it with skaters. Technically, SOs are not supposed to get hit and there are penalties to enforce that, but things happen. I tend to jump over a lot of skaters who miss a hit and fall to the inside of the track. I’ve been hit a few times, and once where I got the wind knocked out of me. I know of other SOs who have been seriously injured. The number of injuries we acquire as officials is small in comparison to the multiple broken ankles, cheekbones, and fingers that I have seen skaters rack up. So being an official is not risk free, but it is less risky than being a skater.

MD: Since refs don’t have to be at every skating practice, it seems like the time commitment might be easier, but you still have meetings and other responsibilities. How much of your week is typically spent on derby stuff?
Admiral: Personally, almost my entire week is spent doing derby stuff. I would say 6 out of 7 days on a light week. The biggest misconception I hear is that people think that if you can’t skate, go officiate. If you don’t want to skate or are working up to skating, being an NSO may be right for you. If you want to be a skating official, there is a lot of time that goes into becoming a better skater. We have to be faster than the fastest jammer, skate laps around the outside of the track, and be able to haul butt backwards when everyone changes directions. This is essential because if you aren’t in the right place to see a penalty, you can’t call it. We also spend a lot of time reviewing, discussing, and teaching the rules to ourselves and the skaters. There are 74 pages of the current rule set with several additional pieces of paperwork for officials. Did you know that each penalty has a special verbal cue by which to call it by? This time commitment is a bit more flexible though. I chose to do that many days a week, while others do not. And that’s all good, because everyone has different goals and prior commitments, and we have a bit more leniency worked into our structure.

MD: Wow, we don’t often think about how much skating skill is required for refs. That’s pretty intense. Do you guys do skating practices, or do you have to do that on your own?
Admiral: A bit of both. On Monday when we have practice, we try to use the rink with you all, but there is only so much we are able to do in that shared space. Wednesday scrimmage is both skating and practicing all that we do. Some days we will meet up and skate around the lakes in Baltimore to practice endurance. We try to fit it in there 🙂

MD: And finally, for folks who are interested in becoming officials, where do they start?
Admiral: Anyone interested in officiating in any capacity, both on and off skates, can contact us at referees@charmcityrollergirls. Go to the contact us part of the website and you can find the link. Also, if you attend a game, feel free to come up to me and ask any questions in between games or at the end. I have my name stamped across my back and wear a funny hat when I’m out of stripes. Go team Zebras and Flamingos!

With your newfound knowledge of who makes derby amazing, come out to see the refs and skaters in action! Our next bout is on July 12 at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel. Doors open at 5:30 and the first whistle is at 6:30. Bonus: You can help make derby great by getting involved! We are always looking for officials, especially NSOs. Email to learn more.

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Rolling with The Collector’s Corner

For the first time the Charm City Roller Girls sold out Du Burns Arena for the second bout of the 2010 home season. Over 1800 people crowded in to watch our home teams battle it out, and we’re thrilled to see these record breaking crowds!

These sellout crowds mean longer lines for tickets at the door, and we want to remind our fans that we have plenty of pre-sale outlets around Baltimore! In coming weeks we’ll spotlight some of these sponsors and ticket locations, so you can get your tickets early and catch all of the derby action.

She Guevara of the Mobtown Mods and Paige Fault of the Junkyard Dolls helped a longtime ticket outlet Collectors Corner open their new location in Parkville, MD. The new location has an enormous selection of comics, manga, DVDs, role-playing books, and other collectibles.


We took a minute with the owner of Collectors Corner, Randy, to find out why Charm City Roller Girls fans should check out his new location!


So, I know you’re excited about the new space, what’s your favorite improvement or new product?

Huge new space, Art Gallery, more games, vintage back issues, bargain comics, and dvd and graphic novel RENTALS!

You’re one of our best ticket vendors, how many tickets do you usually sell for each bout? How did you become a ticket vendor?

We sold out once for an All Star Bout, but normally anywhere from 15 – 35 tickets per bout.
We asked to become one since we had so many customers that were going to the bouts, it makes sense. There is a lot of cross-over business between roller derby and comics.

Do you have a favorite roller girl? A favorite team?

I would say our store contact, Emily (She Guevara) and her team, the Mobtown Mods.

Is there a book you’d recommend to derby girls? How about our fans?

There are a ton of great comic books out right now, a couple of favorites like Chew about a cop that get a psychic imprint from anything he tastes, The Boys – Hardcore superhero satire, character study and darkly humorous riff on comic book lore. Turf, Walking Dead, Irredeemable, and plenty more. As far as collected editions there are classics like Sandman, Preacher, Watchmen, Fables, Love and Rockets, Batman, and many more.

What else should our fans know about you and Collectors Corner?

That Collectors Corner is the comic shop other stores wish they could be, we have the coolest customers, and the most fun! We don’t promote an inclusive vibe here, the store is inviting to everyone. We stock more comics, games, graphic novels and collectibles than anyone in Baltimore, and know more about our products than anyone around.

If you’re a new or casual reader or gamer or hardcore fanboy or fangirl we treat everyone equally and try to show everyone that walks in just how awesome comic books and games can be as entertainment! We have many items other stores don’t and also have events every week, like FREE Movie Nights, Board Game Night, Accoustic Open Mic Night, and Comic Book Club meetings and sales at least once per month. Come on out and check out The Coolest store in Baltimore! Ask for your FREE membership card.

We had a great time meeting our fans – old and new! – and hope to see some of our new friends at the Championship Bout, May 22nd!

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, be sure to check out Free Comic Book Day at Collectors Corner!

May 1st 2010, FREE PIZZA, FREE COMICS, 20+ ARTISTS including JO CHEN – Cover Artist for Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Dark Horse Comics and many local professionals!


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Not Your Typical Derby Girl, Featuring River Strong

Photo Credit: Down’n’Out Photography

As the home team season begins, fans will see some new faces on the track, including athletic trainer River Strong. River skates with the Trouble Makers and is one of the newest recruits to Speed Regime. The Regime will face off against the Mobtown Mods this Saturday in Charm’s home season opener.(tickets here!) Get to know more about this Charmer and come see her play this weekend!

1. What’s your job title?
I am a Certified Athletic Trainer, licensed through the state of Maryland. I currently work as the Assistant Athletic Trainer at a private girls school in Baltimore where I work with their middle school and high school athletes.

2. What are your job duties?
My responsibilities include first response and emergency care, as well as the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions of my student athletes.

3. Why did you decide to pursue this job? What/Who inspired you?
I first became interested in athletic training after I spent my senior season of high school softball in our school’s athletic training room thanks to a stress fracture in my leg and a broken bone in my hand two weeks after returning from the stress fracture. When I went to college, I took a few prerequisite courses in first aid, athletic injury care, and anatomy and physiology which only secured my interest in the field. There was an intense clinical component outside of classes where we were working with professional athletic trainers in area secondary schools and colleges. I was inspired by being able to observe those athletic trainers that I worked with and by seeing the impact they made on their student-athletes. I also found the subject matter fascinating and loved being able to apply something we were learning about in class to see real world application and results.

4. What (if any) challenges do you deal with? How do you deal with them?
This is a fast-paced, unpredictable, continually-changing job. Athletic trainers are expected to maintain all aspects of the safety of our athletes and as such are concerned with everything from the environment and weather conditions at practice to emotional and mental wellness and the physical health of the athletes we care for. Every day I must be prepared for the (hoped against) risk of a catastrophic injury, the daily grind of taping ankles and padding blisters, and everything in between. Preparation is key. Ideally, a lot of my job would simply be standing on the sideline, watching a sports team play but you always need to be ready if there is an injury. There’s a lot of training, certifications, and education that we must keep up to date with, in the hope of being as prepared as possible.

5. Why did you decide to start playing derby?
I decided to start playing derby after I had been volunteering for two years. I originally got involved with derby because my girlfriend was a skater (-turned-official). I’d always played sports and derby looked like it was loads of fun (spoiler: it is). I started helping her at bouts and watching a lot of derby but we were still students at the time and I saw how difficult it was to manage school and derby. I knew that with my studies, I would need to wait until after I graduated to start skating. CCRG began its boot camp and fresh meat try out during my last semester of school so I had to wait until the next spring before I tried out and joined the league.

6. What’s your derby history?
I started skating with the C travel team, the Trouble Makers, this past summer and was just drafted on to the Speed Regime for home team season! I mainly play blocker, though I’m working to improve my jamming skills. My derby name is River Strong, in reference to the Doctor Who character River Song, because she is a bad-ass and we both have crazy hair. There’s also a subtle reminder to myself that perseverance is key and I am stronger than I am inclined to think sometimes. My number is 11, which actually came before the name simply because I have always worn that number and I already had shirts with it on the back. Plus it works with the Whovian reference 🙂

7. What words of encouragement would you impart upon a female considering your career?
Never stop learning. If you aren’t a fan, this is not the job for you. You will be challenged and pushed at times, but it will be worth it to see the effect you have on your student-athletes. Always strive to maintain a good work-life balance.

8. Anything else you want to share?
I’m hoping to head to graduate school for my master’s in athletic administration next fall. I hope to attain a graduate assistant athletic trainer position in the athletic training room of my school while I’m studying.

River and her team will be in action on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 in our home team season opener at Du Burns Arena. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the first game starts at 6:30. All ages are welcome!

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Not Your Typical Derby Girl, Featuring Punchwrap Supreme

Derby girls don’t do “typical.” Members of the Charm City Roller Girls come from every walk of life, work in all types of professions, and take on all kinds of challenges. Our skaters are trail blazers, and over the coming months our blog will feature our skaters that work in positions in science, math, engineering, technology, finance, construction, medicine and other fields that are traditionally male-dominated.

First up, Jackye Peretz, a postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She’s #289 Punchwrap Supreme, blocker for the Charm City Roller Girls All-Stars and hometown champions the Mobtown Mods.

Wanting to be part of the solution to worldwide public health emergencies depicted in movies like Outbreakand books like The Hot Zone was what pushed her into science initially. In her current position, she’s researching how exposure to chemicals or compounds can alter hormones in the human body. These are important for maintaining overall health and are even more important when fighting off diseases such an influenza, which affects the global population every year. Further, men and women can have different responses to influenza, which may be mediated, at least in part, by hormones. We know that these endocrine disrupting chemicals can alter hormone levels in men and women but little to no research has investigated how these endocrine disrupting chemicals can affect our immune response to influenza. Punchy’s graduate work was in reproductive toxicology so learning immunology on the fly has been a challenge.

“I deal with the challenges by playing roller derby and getting my frustrations out in a physical way so I can clear my head,” she says. “Derby also constantly forces a person to interact with many different personalities so that has helped with my interpersonal skills at work.”

“I love a good contact sport,” Punchy says. She started playing roller derby in 2010 because she was bored. She played rugby in college and there wasn’t a women’s team back home in Champaign, IL, so she tried derby. Her first league was the Twin City Derby Girls . She transferred to the Charm City Roller Girls in January 2014. Her name and number are an homage to the Crunchwrap Supreme which sells for $2.89 in her hometown.

Punchy offers this advice to young women pursuing a career in science and public health:

“Have confidence in yourself and never let someone undermine your self-esteem or intellect. Science can be a difficult field for women depending on the field of study, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.’”

Punchy is a great example of what the Charm City Roller Girls and WFTDA are all about: Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary. To see more of these strong women playing hard and meet the skaters, join us this Saturday, Oct. 18, at Du Burns arena in Canton.

To learn more about Charm City skaters and other women doing amazing things, like us on Facebook!

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Not Your Typical Derby Girl, Featuring Allie B. Back

We all know the Charm City Roller Girls roller derby league is made up of dedicated athletes, but what you don’t see on the track is how intelligent, talented and accomplished our skaters are outside their favorite sport. Get to know this league and you’ll quickly see there’s no such thing as a “typical derby girl.” For example, Allie B. Back, co-captain of Speed Regime, is a leader not only on the track but also in medical research. Here, Allie tells us all about her love of science, her career in research, and how she found her way to roller derby.

What’s your job title?
Research Program Manager at Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of Infection Control

Tell us about what you do.
I setup and manage multiple research studies for our group, including a multi-center study on influenza with sites across the US, a Phase III investigational drug clinical trial, a multi-center chart review study on c. difficile, etc. I am responsible for submitting relevant grant applications, Institutional Review Board applications and renewals, and budgeting for both the research studies and my Principal Investigator’s accounts. I train and directly supervise three full-time Research Assistants and at least two part-time student Research Assistants.

Why did you decide to pursue this job? Who or what inspired you?
I have always loved science and did my undergraduate studies in Theoretical Physics. Unfortunately, when I graduated there were no open positions for a lab tech in Physics (it appears to be a tough field to get into right out of college) so I began applying for anything science-related that was relatively close to me. I was living in Delaware and working in PA at the time. I lucked into a position at Hopkins fairly quickly and, in the process, discovered that I had a knack and interest in not just performing lab duties but actually managing grant applications, journal articles, and the research activities. I moved around to different departments, realizing that research management is always the same even if the research subject changes. This is great because I can stay at Hopkins and never get bored! I have worked in otolaryngology, neurology, OB/GYN, and now in infection control. My favorites have probably been neurology and my current position because I can see how universally important and immediately relevant the research is in these two fields in particular.

What challenges do you face in your work life, and how do you deal with them?
One of the biggest challenges in research, especially research that spans multiple sites/locations is communication. You need to communicate early, often, and repeatedly for things to get done. It can be frustrating to coordinate everyone’s schedules for a call, but the payoff is great when you can make decisions in that 1 hour on the phone with the whole team that could take months of back-and-forth via email otherwise. side from that, research always faces challenges in recruitment of participants and maintaining funding. Hopkins (as I imagine most university research institutions) offer a number of courses to help train you in various ways to overcome these challenges and I highly recommend taking them whenever you have the opportunity.

Why did you decide to start playing roller derby?
I found out about roller derby through a friend that had watched a Gotham (NYC) bout and thought I would be interested. At the time, I was recovering from a difficult breakup and didn’t know anyone in Baltimore, so I was definitely looking for an outlet and way to make new friends. As I watched my 1st CCRG bout, I found myself twitching in my seat, wanting to be out there on the track with those girls. I immediately signed up for the Skater Tot group (women interested in trying out). However, I am very shy and I sat for 20 minutes in my car during the 1st “meet up” of Tots at a local Skateland; I couldn’t believe I was scared to walk into a roller rink! I am so extremely glad that I forced myself to do it though because I could never have imagined how great an impact this journey would have on my life. These skaters are my family and have helped me through both tough and amazingly great times. Plus this whole roller derby thing is freaking awesome fun!

Tell us about your derby career so far.
I joined CCRG in 2008 and got seriously injured (requiring surgery) in my first scrimmage in 2009. But I came back with a vengeance and even made it on the All-Stars my first tryout. I have played off-and-on (due to additional injuries) since then. I was drafted by Speed Regime who had given me a place while recouping from my first injury (by helping bench manage) and will always have a stronghold on my heart. TerrorIzHer and I have been the Captains of Regime since 2010. This year, I decided to step down from the All-Stars to focus on my education (finished an MLA), career, and home-life (bought a house). I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with CCRG’s B-team, Female Trouble, this year.

What words of encouragement would you give to a female considering your career?
There is a trade-off in university-associated medical research, which tends to be salary. You will never make a ton of money at this unless you go into private for-profit sectors of research (think pharmaceutical companies). That said, you will be on the cutting edge of research that makes a difference in people’s lives and that can be more rewarding than any paycheck (as long as you make enough to pay the bills, which I do). Management skills of all types are critical: time management, project management, people management. You can do a crash course in any topic to learn enough of the science to do your job, but you have to have that innate knack for organization to do well. As a woman in the medical field, I do occasionally experience a bias towards males but I have been lucky to be mentored by some strong female bosses. Find a female mentor as soon as possible to help you navigate and teach you the ropes, and you’ll get far.

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Meet the Trouble Makers

Photo courtesy of Tyler Shaw

by Sadie Stingray

Flat track roller derby is expanding across the globe, and here in Baltimore, the Charm City Roller Girls are doing their part in that expansion. Last year saw the introduction of their third interleague team, the Trouble Makers. In their freshman season the Trouble Makers brought derby back to the up-close-and-personal fan experience through their games at Skateland in Dundalk, and they ended their rookie season with an impressive 4-1 record. They’ll kick off an exciting second season on Saturday June 13 as part of an action packed triple header with Female Trouble and the Harm City Havoc. Buy your tickets now!

This team of skaters possesses an array of game experience, but they are ready to throw down with a smile and work their way towards becoming CCRG’s future All Star skaters. Their game play takes derby back to its foundations, building their strategy on having a strong footing in core skills – speed control, solid walls, consistent communication on and off the track. From a strong foundation, the team builds into the techniques being used at the world-class level today – diamonds, triangles, and all other hidden gems to come.

Leading the Trouble Makers this year are captains Sadie Stingray and Tearin’ Tina, and coaches Smearin’ Off Ice, Natty Bones and dropping in to help with drills, Punchwrap Supreme. Ice brings her 4 years of experience as a skater for CCRG’s Junkyard Dolls and Female Trouble to whip the Trouble Makers into shape, running them through practices designed to support the development of the team’s skills and strategy.

Analyzing their work on the track, Ice and Punchy develop drills to challenge, strengthen and mold the skaters into peak performance shape. Natty Bones, former skater for Harm City Havoc (formerly Harm City Homicide, Baltimore’s men’s derby league) and coach for CCRG’s Female Trouble, devises our pack formations, pairing skaters that complement each other into packs that lead and learn from each other in a synergy designed to control game play and assist our jammers into lead positions, scoring point after point in pursuit of another winning season.

While the coaches work their magic, Tina and Sadie work in tandem on the track and behind the scenes to build on last year’s success, solidifying the infrastructure to support this fledging team. Though they are fierce competitors during the home season, when Tina’s Night Terrors and Sadie’s Speed Regime teams battle their way towards the home team championship title, they have formed a partnership for the Trouble Makers that is becoming eerily close to hive mind between the two. They work with the leadership of the league and especially with the captains and coaches of Female Trouble, to deconstruct the strategy of our All Star team and bring that strategy through all levels of interleague play, working to create a cohesion and progression of world-class roller derby game play to all of the travel teams.

The Trouble Makers are excited to make their sophomore season one that cements their name in Charm City’s proud athletic culture by continuing the Charm City Roller Girls legacy of excellence. Tickets for this summer season kickoff are available online now!

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Meet the Skating Ladies in Red

Photo by Tyler Shaw

In May 2014, The Mobtown Mods took home the Donaghy Cup as the top home team of Charm City Roller Girls. As the champs prepare to face a new home season, McJagged gives us some insight into what makes this team tick.

“Alright I admit it– I do enjoy skating in a red dress,” she says, but that’s not all she loves about her team. “I admire each of the other red ladies. I can’t believe I get to skate with them sometimes.”

2014 was Jagged’s first season as a teamed skater, so she’s had some great opportunities to learn from her teammates. “LQ is a font of wisdom, derby anecdotes, and general hilarity,” she says of teammate and veteran skater Lady Quebeaum. “During my first ever bout at Du Burns, guest skating with the Mods as a newly-minted green star, I was freaking out a moderate amount before the game. Just nerves and worries. She came up to me and said, Jagged, what happens if we lose? Nothing. What happens if we win? Nothing. Are you having a blast? There ya go. You wouldn’t be here if no one believed in you. Now let’s go and play some damn derby. (Something like that) and I felt fine!”

Jagged says the strength of her team’s blockers is one of their winning traits. “I think we have incredible blocks — both holding blocks in walls and devastating hitting blocks. Try to get past Punchy or Colleen, probably not gonna happen. Plus our two coaches, Banshee and Rosie the Rioter, have so many years of experience and knowledge to give us after each jam.”

But maybe those red mini dresses have something to do with the team’s winning streak, considering their mantra: Keep it sexy. Jagged explains: “‘Keep it sexy’ is something like staying together, communicating well, moving and working as one, while keeping our cool. It’s also when you pull some great moves with your teammate like hitting a jammer out hard or while jamming, slicing through like buttah.”

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Travel season is drawing to a close and the Charm City Roller Girls are once again revving up for home season. To help you prepare, we’re interviewing players from all seven (yes, seven!) of our teams, including the four home teams and three travel teams. To get us started, Speed Regime co-captain Allie B. Back tells us about what makes her team stand out.

True to their name, Speed Regime focuses on using speed control to win games.”Given our name, we try to excel at speed control. We’ve done best when we had skaters that fully committed to coming to scrimmages and practices to learn more. It made us more adaptable in the moment. Now that we have some long-term vets on the squad, we’re trying to use that knowledge to foster our newbies.”

This means Regime skaters need the ability to go fast when needed and stop on a dime. Strong blockers are able to slow down quickly to stop a jammer from passing and to maintain their position when being pushed by opposing players.

While there’s an honored tradition of partying in the derby world, Regime players tend to be more laid back. “We don’t party hard and rarely ‘win the afterparty,’ but we support each other and have a great time playing this sport we all love,” Allie says.

Many skaters develop strong bonds with their teams. Here’s how Allie describes her connection with Speed Regime:

“Regime gave me a home when I needed it most. I was injured as a fresh meat skater before I was drafted (during my 1st scrimmage ever actually) and I was out with a major shoulder injury for about 6 months (including surgery). I was almost ready to quit because I was frustrated at being unable to join in with my fellow freshies as they moved up the ranks and onto teams. Regime asked me to help them out on the bench, giving me a role and reason to keep coming to practice. They encouraged me through my physical therapy and fought for me when I was finally draft-able. No other team could have quite the same place in my heart as Regime; they truly are my family.”

Regime players enjoy competing with the Night Terrors, another team often noted for their speediness thanks to a roster full of great jammers. Allie says she enjoys when they get to play against other leagues. “I think we have the most fun/toughest games when we get to skate against other leagues. We get to really let loose and put some aggression out there when we’re not up against the same gals we skate with week after week.”

Speed Regime will bout against the Black Rose Rollers from Hanover, PA in a preseason game on Saturday, Sept. 13. Black Rose is looking to build on a 6-game winning streak while Regime aims to ramp up to the home season with a pre-season win. Get tickets and read more here.

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Lean, Mean and Thinking Pink

Photo by Down’n’Out Photography

The Junkyard Dolls may be CCRG’s most recognizable team with their pink and grey uniforms and rockstar roster, but this team’s wins don’t come from resting on their reputation. As we gear up for the new home season, Dolls co-captain Federal Kill shares what makes her team great.

“The Dolls excel at strategy and being workhorses,” says Fed. “We are fortunate to have numerous coaches and analytical players who can discuss and digest gameplay with ease. Additionally, many of our team members are highly driven and cross train outside of derby. Their work ethic shines both on and off the track, and motivates their teammates.”

Once known as the “rowdy wild cards of the league,” the Dolls have transformed themselves over the years. “You could find these ladies drinking margaritas before their bouts and smoking cigarettes at halftime. They hit hard and drank even harder,” says Fed. “Today’s Dolls are lean, mean, hell raising machines, but with a tad more discipline to boot.”

With their improved focus and discipline, this team’s passion for the game shines through more than ever. “It is undeniable this team has more heart than any other on the league. This heart manifests itself in our efforts on the track and respect for one another off of it. It’s why I love being a Doll.”

Last season provided plenty challenges including injuries to multiple skaters. “We were constantly having to supplement our roster or play short since we were so down in numbers,” says Fed. “It was tough, but again, the team kept rolling and put their collective hearts out there.”

After fighting through those challenges, the Dolls are looking for some big payoffs this season. “Always remember to ‘Think Pink!’ Expect to see big things from the Dolls in 2015. We’re striving for a healthy roster, and have our sights set on the Donoghy Cup.”

The Dolls certainly are not lacking in experience and dedication, but they also have the wisdom never to ignore an opponent. Fed says she’s keeping an eye on Speed Regime. “I think the Speed Regime is an underestimated team, having kept the same core of skaters for multiple years. I’m excited to see what they do this season.”

See Federal Kill in action this Sunday Sept. 14 at Skateland North Point and follow us on Facebook for news on future Junkyard Dolls games.