With loud cheers, screaming whistles and the scraping sound of wheels on the floor, the Morgantown Roller Vixens hosted a Jingle Brawl Roller Derby tournament Saturday.
Jingle Brawl was a tournament between four Christmas themed teams: the Reindeer Dames, Naughty Nutcrackers, Santa’s Slayers and Sugar Plum Scaries.
In the Jingle Brawl tournament, the games were cut in half in order to hold four games in one night. The first game was played between the Naughty Nutcrackers and the Sugar Plum Scaries. The Naughty Nutcrackers won 70 to 46. Then the Santa Slayers won over the Reindeer Dames 111 to 94.
The night continued with the Reindeer Dames securing third place in a 98 to 86 win over the Sugar Plum Scaries. Santa’s Slayers won first place by 71 points in a final victory 150 to the Naughty Nutcrackers’ 79 points.
From the Naughty Nutcrackers, Epic Flail has been with the Morgantown Roller Vixens for the past three years. Epic Flail, whose real name is Ami Schiffbauer, is an English professor at West Virginia University and works at a library in Fairmont, West Virginia.
"I think a lot of people have misconceptions about roller derby. If you have seen Whip It, or I know my parents and grandparents, when they heard about roller derby they thought of roller derby from the ‘60s and ‘70s," Schiffbauer said. "At that point of time, there weren’t that many rules, and, well, there were a lot of things that you could do back then, that you can’t do now. So elbows, you can’t do that, you can’t trip people, there is no railing so you can’t throw people over it and all that.
"It is more about skill than it is about the violence and the spectacle. I mean obviously there are still some big hits, but it is more about the skating and the precision," Schiffbauer said.
For a game, each team has six people playing at all times. There are four blockers, one pivot and one jammer. The jammer’s goal is to get out in front of the pack and pass the people on the other team to score points. If the jammer is stuck within the blockers, she can pass her star to the pivot and she will continue the jam.
"A really strategic move is to get out of the pack, score your points, and call off the jam so that the other team’s jammer can’t score any points," said Liz Boycan, a ‘freshmeat’ for the Morgantown Roller
The teams are made up of participants from 15 different roller derby leagues.
The different participating leagues include the Morgantown Roller Vixens, Jewel City Roller Girls, Chemical Valley Rollergirls, Steel City Roller Derby, Beckley Area Derby Dames, Eerie Roller Girls, Ohio Valley Roller Girls, Burning River Roller Derby, West Co. Derby, Rink Assassins Dolls of Doom, Providence Roller Derby, Poison Apple Roller Derby, Derby Dames, Mason-Dixon Roller Vixens and Pennsylvania Underground Roller Rebellion.
"It was very unlike anything I have ever seen. It was just very different, but I thought it was cool," said Lisa Deklau, a senior sport and exercise psychology student. "It took me a little while to understand the rules, but once you understand the point scoring and everything it is really an interesting sport."
From MRV, Traumakazi, Malice Chalmers, Madea K Jefa, Polish Killbossy, Deceptidawn on the Reindeer Dames. Bruisianna, Dingleberry and Epic Flail on the Naughty Nutcrackers. On the Sugar Plum Scaries were Tootsie Roller and Sigourney Reaper. On the winning team, Santa’s Slayers, were Rita Repulsa, Deja Boom and Bohemian Blasphemy.
"Everybody should at least come and watch it at one point in time. We have games pretty regularly out here in Mylan. Later in the spring and summer, we play a lot at the ice rink over at White Park," Schiffbauer said. "So if you’re interested definitely come and check it out and see what its all about and if you think you might want to try it out then give it a shot because you never know how its going to go."
For more information on the Morgantown Roller Vixens, visit http://.morgantownrollervixens.com.