As I start my 3rd season with my team The Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls I take a moment to reflect on last season and just how much the league has changed from start to finish. Last season we chose to partake in the new championships offered in the UK called The British Champs. The team had already suffered a pretty substantial loss of veteran skaters because of either injury or retirement the season before so much so that we ended up disbanding our B team The Damebusters and just carrying on as an Advanced Travel Team only. As a league, we also decided that we would not pursue singular WFTDA games but just focus on playing only the games set up by The British Champs.
The season started strong. We were put in tier 3 and were confident that we would be OK. We lost our first game but were told by spectators who we would be playing later that it wasn’t an easy win for the opposing team. We fought our asses off. We were ready for the second game! That’s where the change started. We went from a roster of 14 to a roster of 10. We lost players due to retirement, injury, transfers and other various reasons. We are not a team of quitters so we chose to carry on. We showed up to our second game, 10 players ready to go but bad luck struck us during the game. One of our primary jammers and team captain suffered a bad break and was taken to the hospital a few jams in. That left us with 9 players and only a few jammers ( myself included and I was not ready for that yet). As we watched the paramedics take our friend and fellow skater away we had one choice. We had to carry on and fight for our fallen comrade. I personally knew what I needed to do now. I was going to have to take that jammer panty and step the hell up. I’d like to say I took that panty and played the best game ever and won the game by myself and we all rode off into the English sunset and laughed and celebrated over Five Guys Hamburgers but sadly, that’s not what happened. Well, I shouldn’t say it like that. We actually did carry on and just went and won the damn game. We won because of a beautiful power jam that put us a few points over the other team and it was freaking amazing!
What made that game our glory game is because we knew what each one of us needed to do. We came into the game handicapped with 10 players thinking we were just gonna do what we do. Have fun. The dynamics changed in a blink of the eye. 9 players! We won a game with 9 freaking players! That should tell you a little something about my team. We have heart and we have fun. Unfortunately, this is our only glory story last season lol. We still had more games to go.
I’m not going to go into great detail about the rest of our games because it’s easier just to say that it all seemed to go downhill from there.
We suffered another big loss with a transfer to another team. Can’t be sad about it because our all around bad ass fellow skater and coach Florence the Machine only went and became a freaking London Roller Girl! See, in derby you support your derby sisters when they move on to bigger and better things. Even if that means you’ve just lost an extremely valuable player and teammate. You hug and congratulate your friend, wish her the best and promise to go watch and cheer her on when she plays. Then you move on.
So now we’ve got 8 players because of the broken ankle and transfer to LRG. What do we do now? Well, we focus on our upcomers who’ve been chomping at the bit to get their skills passed and for the love of bacon, their freaking big girl team jersey! Oh, I guess I should mention we’ve only got about a month to do this.
Lucky for us we had a few girls who were just about ready. We went from 8 girls to about 12 for our next game on my favorite American holiday, the 4th of July. Unlike the history of my favorite holiday, we did not win this game and declare Independence for all. In fact we really really lost this game lol. But again, we left in good spirits.
I missed the next game to go home on holiday ( sorry, I need some American reset sometimes ). Again, that game also suffered a few of the advanced skaters not being there. So now we’ve got broken leg, 9 month injury, a nervous bride to be not wanting to chance a break before her wedding and my selfish holiday home. That left the majority of the players being newly passed skills with not much track time under their fishnets ( just kidding, fishnets are sooooo 2012 ). So we suffered a really huge loss in points . Probably the biggest in Bomber history ( probably slight exaggeration ).
So this brings us to our last game. Still down a few veteran players but up in skaters because we had more newer passed skills join us to play. Looming over us was also the sad fact that this was going to be our beloved Synyster Motives AKA Womb Splitters last game with the team because she was going to hang her skates up for good. So no matter what happened that game, we were going to leave a bit sad.
I went in knowing I was going to be a primary jammer. Let me point out that I lacked serious confidence as a jammer and knew that as a jammer, your job is literally a moving target for the opposing team to bash to hell. But what the hell, this is why we sign up for this crazy sport right?
A few jams in I take a massive hit right to my fresh, still healing lip piercing, pulling it upward and ripping the inside of my lip. There was blood man! After the jam ended I had to miss a few jams to try and take the stud out. When I couldn’t get it out I enlisted teammates to help. Soooo many fingers in my mouth. Long story short, it was staying put for the rest of the game. So naturally, just like you would a fresh bruise on someone else, everyone from that point forward felt the need to poke and pull at my tender piercing.
We did not win this game either. Bright side, we didn’t lose as bad as we did the game prior. Little victories.
That brings me to the point of my blog. Change. I’m told by so many people that change is part of derby. I don’t doubt that but can’t help but feel the change they are talking about is slow, not like the freaking tornado that blew through and wreaked havoc on my team in just a matter of months. So what do you do when this happens? As I sit and think about who is left on the team and who’ve we got just about ready to pass their skills and get the ultimate prize, the big girl bouting jersey, I can’t help but smile to myself. I can’t help but look around at my new team, my new bench and my new lineup manager and get excited butterflies. Because you know what? Change is good. Change keeps things from getting boring. Change is the ultimate test of dedication. The only thing that my kick ass team won’t allow to change is our hearts and love for the game and each other. Doesn’t matter the season, we will always be LBRG. We are just a brand new LBRG and I’m OK with that.
Photos courtesy of Peter Worth Photography