Roller Derby on Any Sport Any Time

Roller Derby Tournament Doing it Differently

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013


Iron Woman Tournament

The weekend of September 14 _ 15, 2013, Crossfields Alberta will be inundated with Roller Derby players from across the province. The tournament is being hosted by the Rocky View Roller Derby Association, in partnership with the CWRDA.

This is an ALL Alberta, ALL Womens, 18+ Tournament.  This is a time for travel teams to show their skills in a non-traditional derby tournament setting. So what makes this tournament unique, from the dozens of other Roller Derby tournaments that occur in Alberta annually? What is this non-traditional derby you are talking about? Well, on Saturday, how about 30 minutes with NO LEAD JAMMER! Anti-derby for 30 minutes – what is that you are thinking? CLOCK WISE!!! And how do you think a team will do when you are only allowed to switch out two players per jam, and the other three must remain?! Hence being named the Iron Woman Tournament!

Not only will this challenge the skills and endurance of these players, it will also somewhat level the playing ground between the participants. Plus, it will be a whole lot of fun to watch!!

Teams confirmed for this tournament are; Oil City Derby Girls and E-Ville Roller Derby from Edmonton, Central Alberta Roller Derby Association, from Wetaskiwin, Grande Prairie Roller Derby Association and Red Deer Roller Derby Association. There is also an Iron Woman mixed team that is composed of all-star players from across that province, whose leagues did not have enough players to roster a full team themselves.

It will be a great weekend of Roller Derby!

For more information on the event, click here. Advanced ticket sales are also available online, here.

Hope to see you there!

Much derby love.




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First Ever Roller Derby National Championships to be at West Edmonton Mall

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The weekend of March 15-17, 2013 the Ice Palace at the West Edmonton Mall will be hosting the FIRST EVER  Roller Derby Association of Canada National Championships tournament. 6 regionally qualified teams from across the country will be competing for the national title.

West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace

Edmonton is a very fitting place to hold the inaugural RDAC National Tournament. Not only was roller derby in Canada started in Edmonton, when the Oil City Derby Girls were founded in 2005, but it now hosts multiple leagues within the area, and has a well established love and excitement for the sport. (more…)

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Edmonton Juniors to Attend Roller Derby Tournament in the US

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

GEJRDA Skaters in action

The explosive growth of Roller Derby in Canada, has also extended to teams for juniors.

The Greater Edmonton Junior Roller Derby Association (GEJRDA) is Canada’s oldest junior Roller Derby League. In just over 3 years it has grown from 8 to 60+ skaters. Like their adult counterparts, the largest challenges to their growth is the availability of concrete surfaces year round, and an understanding of the sport…as a legitimate sport. (more…)

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NHL Lockout=Follow a New Sport: Roller Derby

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012



Wildrose Cup, 2012

Our national sport will be noticeably absent for a while. What better opportunity to expand your sports repertoire. The gaping void will need to be filled, and I have a great suggestion for you. Why not check out a local Roller Derby game? In Alberta alone, there are more than 17 adult leagues and 4 junior leagues (and growing continuously) There is not a Saturday night that goes by without a game within your reach.


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Thursday, July 12th, 2012

July 21, 2012
This day in History:

On July 20, 1969, a couple of fellows named Neil and Buzz landed on the moon. 6 hours later, on July 21, 1969, they finally pulled on their crash pads*, opened the door to their space-cruiser and took a peek outside. While other folks had sent objects off into the wilds of space, this was the first time actual people had crunched those moon bits under their boots.

July 21, 2012, is a big day in our history. Today marks our home opener – Season 1 Bout 1. It’s our Apollo 11.

*crash pads: pull on booty shorts with protective padding, also worn in roller derby.


Chinook City Roller Derby is proud to present Apollo 11 – S1B1. This is our first public bout since Flat Track Fever and we are excited to be presenting a double header featuring a junior invitational bout and then the newest CCRD team, Natural Born Thrillers will be taking on the Oil City Drill Bits in a co-ed bout! Come one, come all for awesome roller derby action!

Tickets online for $10 or $12.00 at the door, cash only. Children 10 and under get in FREE!

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Roller Derby: Major Problem from Quick Growth

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Oil City Ref, Jefftimus, as captured by Anthony Canada

Roller Derby would not be the controlled sport it has become without a strong ruleset. We would still be back in the days of scripted action, ala WWE, without strict governing guidelines, and people to enforce them: referees.

For those not familiar with Roller Derby, 7 refs per game may seem excessive. One only needs to be somewhat familiar with the WFTDA (Womens Flat Track Derby Association) rules to understand the necessity of this number. Each jammer (there are two) has their own ref. There are outside pack refs, inside pack refs, etc. They watch for incidental penalties and flagrant violations. (more…)

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the butterflies have begun…

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Bring it!

In 27 hours and counting, the Kill Jills hit the track at the Olympic Oval for their first regulation bout in Alberta’s largest roller derby tournament, Flat Track Fever.

I’m a little nervous, being fairly new at this roller derby thing…I only joined the league last October, and have yet to play a real bout.  A few scrimmages, against our neighbours at Foothills, and amongst ourselves and the Dogs. But a real bout?  with spectators, and announcers, and pressure…

Actually, that sounds pretty awesome!  I mean, in real life, who gets to do what they love with a crowd of people cheering (or jeering) you on?  Besides, since we’re a new team, there are quite a few of us who have never played in front of anyone.  So we’ll figure it out together.  And we have some more seasoned players on our team, to provide guidance and to keep our heads on the track instead of in the crowd.

So bring it. And come watch us leave our blood sweat and tears on the track for the first time. Whether we score more points than our competitors or not, we will come out of this weekend winners, because we have waged our first battle on the track.

Let the games begin!


Photo by Steve Recsky

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Flat Track Fever starts Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Anticipation is building with Flat Track Fever less than 2 days away…Fans and players are getting ready, rosters are finalized, and Chinook City Roller Derby is set to host the biggest roller derby tournament in Alberta.

Action starts at 2:00pm Friday afternoon at the Olympic Oval onthe U of C campus, and goes all weekend long!  Don’t miss the Kill Jills in our debut regulation bout at 2:45 pm as we take on CARDA…I don’t know if I’m more excited about playing or about watching the killer lineup of teams – Spokkannibals vs. Foothills will be a great matchup, and for the men, the Vancouver Murder vs. our own Glenmore Reservoir Dogs is one I’m looking forward to!  Also, don’t miss out on the mini-derby matchups; the Juniors bring a new perspective on derby which has not been seen in Calgary to date, so bring the kids, a donation to the YWCA, and let the games begin!

For a full line up, check out


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A Newbie’s Guide to Flat Track Fever

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

So with Flat Track Fever rolling into the Olympic Oval in less than three days, you might be should be contemplating strolling down to the University of Calgary campus to see what this crazy and colourful world of flat track roller derby is really all about.  If you are a newbie to the sport, the idea might be daunting. But don’t worry, my friend, I have assembled a quick guide to help you along.

1.  Learn the rules.  On the surface, roller derby might seem simple – a bunch of skaters rolling around a track knocking the crap out of one another.  While true, that also only scratches the surface.  The fact is … modern roller derby plays by a pretty complex rule set. Most (if not all) of the leagues skate under the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association) rule set.   This is the current international rule set that governs our current style of play. Its a complicated tome that might send your average newbie fan fleeing into the night.

Chinook City Roller DerbyBut rest assured, the more you watch roller derby, the easier it will be to understand.   And for the basics, just check out this link for a brief run down provided by my beauteous team mate, Crimson Shivers.  Or if you are like me and a visual learner, check out this video that the lovely ladies of Hammer City put together.

2. Rest up.  Flat Track Fever runs three days – a very long, intense and action filled three days. These days will be BURSTING with roller derby awesome and if you aren’t rested, you will burn yourself out.   So get plenty of sleep Thursday night and pace yourself. You have the opportunity to see some of the best roller derby in Alberta and it would be a shame if you missed it because you were dozing in the bleachers.

3. Replenish.  Excitement makes me hungry and thirsty.  So, if you are anything like me, you will make sure you keep yourself well-fed and well-hydrated over the three days.  And we can certainly help you do that.  On-site, you will have access to some yummy noshes provided by the Ship _ Anchor Pub.   Plus, just a few steps away at MacEwan Hall, you can access a plethora of food stylings that will cater to any palette.  But just make sure you get back quickly so you don’t miss anything!

We also have a beer garden for those of you who enjoy an adult libation or two.

4. Cash money.  In addition to a slathering of roller derby fun,  Flat Track Fever also offers an amazing vendor alley. We have local photographers and artisans as well as some big names in the business of roller derby that will be offering their wares throughout the three days.  I know I will be spying some new pads! Maybe  you can even pick up your first pair of quad skates so you can play in the tournament next year!

Chinook City Roller DerbyFor the most part, this means we are a cash only event.  And if you are planning on buying your tickets at the door, it’s cash only.  But as the brilliant Douglas Adams once said….Don’t Panic!  There is an ATM machine available at the Oval and MacEwan Hall also houses several machines.   So your pockets can easily be refilled with coin.

5. Go Green.  Flat Track Fever is a green event.  You will find recycling and compost bins throughout the venue.  Make sure you use them! We’d also encourage you to bring your own reusable water bottle as we won’t be selling bottled water on-site.   Every little bit helps keep our lovely mud ball of a planet healthy and pretty.

6. Team colours. Don’t forget to bring signs, pom-poms, or other fabulous fan-nish things in your favourite team or league’s colours!  Skaters thrive off of fan support. The louder you scream, the faster we go! The most ruckus you make, the harder we will hit!  We feast on your energy so bring as much as you can!  And if you don’t yet have favourite team colours, may I recommend yellow and black?

7. Be coifed. The entire three days of Flat Track Fever will be live streamed across the vastness of cyberspace.  The fabulous folks at Canuck Derby TV and Derby News Network will be taking care of streaming this event.  So you never know if your mug will be beamed across the cosmos and onto the laptop of some unsuspecting derby fan in Australia, UK, or even Alpha Centauri.

Chinook City Roller Derby8. Have fun!  While this is an intensely competitive sport, our fundamental goal is to have fun – both for the skaters and the fans.   For the most part, we don’t take ourselves very seriously (just look at the outfit your average derby girl is sporting).  We like to have a good time and gut-busting laughter is definitely the norm.  So prepare for a healthy dose of F-U-N!

9. What else?!  In my advanced age its quite possible I missed something.  So if you arrive at the Oval and find yourself a bit confused or have a question, you can head over to the Information Booth.  The lovely Info Booth minions will be happy to answer any addition questions you might have.

And if you wanna earn a lot of points, hug a volunteer!  If it wasn’t for them, this tournament would not be happening.  So always remember to thank them. They are our foundation!

In closing, if this is your first foray into roller derby, you are going to find yourself in an amazing world over the three days of the tournament.  You will be treated to some fantastic sport, awesome athletes, and will probably experience one of the best times you have had in a while. And in all likelihood, it will be the gateway to a brand new addiction…

Trust me.

All photos have been provided by Steve Recsky.

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The most fun you can have with your skates on

Monday, April 9th, 2012

With Flat Track Fever, Alberta’s largest Roller Derby tournament rapidly approaching (in 4 days!!!), many potential derby fans may be wondering what kind of rules govern this crazy alternative sport where women (and men, and kids) skate around a track for 30-60 minutes at a time.  Don’t worry!  Enlightenment awaits!

According to Wikipedia, the original rules for this fast-paced, very physical sport were designed in the late ’30s.  The evolution of roller derby, which for most of its history has been classified as Sports Entertainment, into legitimate sport, is only as recent as 2007.  Though, somewhat surprisingly, the basic rules to score points have not changed much.

Derby 101

Two teams skate on an oval track, in a series of jams (periods of play lasting two minutes or less).  Five players from each team are on the track during the jam; four blockers (including the lead blocker, called the Pivot – she’s easy to spot because of the big stripe on her helmet cover),

and the Jammer (also easy to keep track of – she has two stars on her helmet cover).

Jammers - see the stars?


The group of blockers is called the Pack.

The Pack

To score points, the Jammers must skate through the pack and around the track to pass through the pack again, when they can score points.  On this second pass, and on each pass after that for the length of the Jam, the Jammers score a point for each time they legally pass the hips of an active player on the opposite team.  The first Jammer to make it through the pack on the initial pass has Lead status (a ref will be pointing at her), and this Jammer can call the Jam off at any time by touching her hands to her own hips three times in a row.

Jammer calling off a Jam

Simple enough, right? So then, if only the Jammer can score points, and her job is to get through the pack, the job of the blockers is to help their Jammer get through the pack.  Oh, and also to stop the opposite team’s jammer from getting through the pack.

Blocking the Jammer

This is where the fit hits the shan, if you know what I mean! Hip checks, shoulder checks, booty blocks, pushing one of your own players into a player from the opposite team; these are all legal plays used by blockers (and jammers too) to make or close holes in the pack.  Head butting, clotheslining, elbowing, tripping, and hitting someone between the shoulder blades are penalized by a one minute stint in the box, or, if they think you are really trying to hurt someone, by expulsion from the bout.

Now that you know the basics, when you come down to the Olympic Oval this weekend, you’ll know what to watch for.  If you’re just coming for the fishnets and beer, well, we may just surprise you with just how much fun you can have when we have our skates on…




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Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Calling all soccer moms, rock fans, alternative punks, zombie lovers, Ph.D. candidates, bus drivers, shoe fanatics, plumbers, recovering drug addicts, and all those with sun shining out of their asses.
You should come watch roller derby. Then, you should come out and play roller derby . Because literally, there is something for everyone, and everyone is welcome. That’s really what makes it alternative; it isn’t the tattoos and piercings that some of us wear, the independant music preferences or the crazy hair. No, what makes us alternative is the belief that if you show up to practice, and you want to play, you can. Whether you are Speedy Gonzales on wheels or just learning to skate, you are welcome, if you show up with attitude and willingness to play and learn.
If you like the idea of mutual respect between two women who are hammering into each other while trying to keep their balance on eight wheels, come on down to the Olympic Oval next weekend and feel the love. Derby style.

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The hurt locker

Friday, April 6th, 2012


I haven’t actually seen the movie the Hurt Locker, but I figured it was a good title for a derby post.  Because most people, when I mention Roller Derby, comment on one of two things.  1) Isn’t it like wrestling, with scripted storylines? and/or 2)  Wow, that’s a pretty rough sport.

Now I didn’t know, being relatively new to the sport, that it was, indeed originally based on plots and rehearsed fights and all that jazz.  Had I known that, I would probably have joined a lot sooner…:) But gone are the days where derby bouts are all flash and soap opera with more action, like the WWE.  Which makes me a little sad (tear…), but actually improves the game.  We still have quirky derby names, we still wear fun uniforms and make up, if we want to, and we add a touch of whimsy wherever we can, but derby has evolved into a more or less legitimate sport.  With ex-speed skaters, hockey players, and all-round atheletes joining our ranks, the skill level is rising, and the focus has become less about heavy hits and playing for the audience and more about strategy and defense.  And scoring, of course.

Which brings us to 2) – yes it is still a pretty rough sport.  There are penalties for illegal hits, such as throwing elbows, clotheslining, tripping, back blocking…any deliberate or negligent action that has the potential to cause major injury can have you thrown out of the game. This keeps us all safer.  That being said, there’s nothing like a can opener  – which is a perfectly legal hit – to land a girl flat on her ass, wind knocked out of her, and perhaps not able to recover in time to join the pack.  I have had a few significant bangs in my short time playing, including a pulled quad, jarred knee, and a thumb that got caught under another skater’s wheels.  Not to mention all the various bumps and bruises that come during practice – we recently had an experienced visiting skater actually break her ankle during practice. (She is healing well and the Kill Jills wish her all our best so that she can get back on skates and kick our butts on the track once again!).  So yes, derby is a rough sport.  But you know the best part of it?  When I lay into a girl (or guy, we scrimmage with the Reservoir Dogs pretty regularly), and I get a really excellent legal hit on, that player, without fail, will turn around and congratulate me on a good hit.  And I do the same.  It feels good, in a twisted way; they hit you because you’re between them and a couple of points, and so, really, a good hit is a reward for a job well done.

So no, it’s not scripted, and yes, people get hurt. But we do our best not to injure someone to the point that they won’t be able to play, because what fun is that?  The more people that play derby, the better bouts we have, so we do our best to keep all our players safe.  Besides, if too many people get hurt during the bout, there will be no one at the after-party, and that would be a real tragedy…:)

Come and see what the evolution of derby has to offer next weekend, at the Olympic Oval, during Flat Track Fever.  I promise to lay in a few good hits for you – and hopefully, I’ll take a few too!


Photos by Steve Recsky


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Flat Track Fever promises exciting roller derby action!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

On Friday, April 13th, the Olympic Oval will be home to the largest roller derby tournament in Western Canada.  Flat Track Fever, hosted by Calgary’s Chinook City Roller Derby, welcomes teams from all over Alberta, and even includes a few from beyond our borders.

Matchups promise to be exciting and unpredictable, as many of the teams have not played against each other.  Friday’s schedule introduces teams in short 30 minute bouts, which are half the length of regular bouts, for determination on which pool each team will play in.

The first bout will take place on Track One at 2:00 pm on Friday, Northern Alberta’s Grande Prairie Roller Derby Association takes on Southern Alberta’s Lethbridge Roller Derby Guild.  On Track Two, at 2:15 pm, our token international women’s team, the Spokannibals,  face off against the young and hot Foothills derby girls out of High River.  At 2:45 pm, Calgary’s own Kill Jills, of the Chinook City league, host the Central Alberta Roller Derby Association, in the first ever match up between these teams.  At 3:00 pm on Track Two, another North vs. South rivalry faces off with the Gas City Rollers out of Medicine Hat taking on the Lakeland derby girls out of Cold Lake.  The results of these primary bouts will determine who takes on the veteran teams from E-Ville, CRDA, OCDG, and the Red Deer Belladonnas, scheduled to play later Friday afternoon.

In the men’s pool, the Vancouver Murder are headed to the off leash park on Track One with Calgary’s own Glenmore Reservoir Dogs at 9:45 am, while the Red Deer Dreadnaughts have breakfast with the Puget Sound Outcast at 8:30 am on Track Two.

Junior action takes place at 2:15 pm with the G-Town Beat Down Derby Bratz and the GEJRD Rot’n Rollers in a rumble by the bike racks on Track One.

Derby action continues throughout the weekend, with ongoing scrimmages and challenge bouts scheduled.  For a full schedule, go to, and come cheer on your favourite team!  Or if you don’t have one yet, head down to the oval and find out what kind of Derby fan you are!

Tickets are available online through Brown Paper Tickets, and are $15/day or $30 for the whole weekend, if purchased in advance, or $20/day at the door. Kids get in free with a food bank donation, or $5.



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5 reasons roller derby in Calgary is awesome…

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

1. Weather may be temperamental, but you can channel all your pent up weather frustration into your game.

2. It is a perfect summer complement to winter sports like ice hockey and speed skating; keep on skating, just swap out the skates (and drop the hockey stick)!

3. There are multiple derby leagues within reasonable driving distance: Canmore, High River, Red Deer, Edmonton, St. Albert…not to mention overnight trips to Cold Lake, Fort Mac, Montana, Spokane, Vancouver, Kamloops…the list goes on!

4. The people. Derby folks just rule. Roller girls, roller guys, roller kids, roller refs, derby fans; they are all vastly different, and unquestionably AWESOME!

5. Flat Track Fever; which actually rolls together all of the above reasons into one awesome tournament, April 13-15, at the Olympic Oval.

So…if you have yet to check out a game, because you think derby is not your thing, then you need to head out to Flat Track Fever next weekend.

Because I’m pretty sure you’re awesome…which means you’ll fit right in!


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