Category Archives: 2012 Season

ToRD Goes 1 and 1 in Grand Rapids

Over the weekend of October 27th, the Bay Street Bruisers and CN Power packed themselves into vans and drove down to Grand Rapids, MI, to challenge the Grand Raggidy Rollergirls in an A-team/B-team double header.

The Bay Street Bruisers and the GRRG G-Rap Attack opened up the evening. Though the first jam went to the G-Rap Attack, the Bruisers quickly added points of their own. For only their second game with this roster, and the first on sport court, the Bruisers put together an excellent showing, maintaining a solid lead throughout most of the game.

Final Score: BSB 162 – G-Rap Attack 80.

CN Power hit the track next, in their first game with their latest roster, after a few months of break from bouting. The game started off incredibly exciting, with both teams low scoring and trading points for the first 5 minutes of the bout, and the teams seemed well matched. However, the GRRG All Stars began to pull away with a lead that would keep them ahead of CN Power for the remainder of the bout.

Final Score: All Stars 187 – CN Power 80.

Unfortunately we don’t have any archived videos of this bout for you, but head on over here to read the Derby Nerd’s recap of the bout, or visit Flickr for some photos of the action.

A big thanks to the Grand Raggidy Rollergirls for having us down to play the bouts, and for being amazing hosts!

Victories at home close out 2012

Last Saturday marked the last two home bouts of 2012 for ToRD. The Royal City Rollergirls came down with their fresh meat team, the Top Herloins, and their travel team, the Brute Leggers, to challenge the DVAS and the Bay Street Bruisers.

The Herloins and the DVAS opened up the night on the flat track. The last time these teams met was at the 2Fresh 2Furious: GTA Drift tournament in July, where the Herloins won the 20 minutes bout 39 – 27 over the DVAS. Saturday’s game showed a much matured DVAS team, who quickly took the lead in the first half and kept it throughout the bout.

Final score: DVAS 258 – Top Herloins 105

The Bruisers and the Brute Leggers also have history in 2012. In July at the Sleeman Center in Guelph, these teams played in a close full length bout that saw the Bruisers win by the small margin of 20 points. Since then the Bruisers line up has changed significantly; this was the first game the updated Bruisers were playing together. Both teams played hard, fast roller derby, but capitalizing on an early power jam, the Bruisers vaulted ahead and maintained a strong lead throughout the bout.

Final score: Bruisers 271 – Brute Leggers 43.

So ends 2012 in the Bunker. CN Power and the Bruisers are travelling to Michigan next weekend to take on the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls. We’ll be back in early March, stay tuned for more information on our 2013 schedule!

This Weekend – Last 2012 ToRD bout!

One more heave-ho for 2012, on Saturday October 20th hit up The Bunker for a double header! This one’s special, because both visiting teams are from the Royal City Rollergirls, and both games are rematches!

The night opens up with a battle between the D-VAS and the Top Herloins. The Top Herloins beat the D-VAS at this summer’s 2Fresh2Furious tournament for newer skaters in the semi-finals by only two points, and went on to win 2nd place, while the D-VAS finished in third. Catch them on the track at 6pm; it’s bound to be another very close bout.

Following that bout, the Bay Street Bruisers and the Brute Leggers hit the track. These two teams met earlier this year in Guelph, where the Bruisers took home the win 176- 153 in a very exciting match! Although the team has been around for roughly a year, this is the first Bruisers home bout to be played since they reformed as ToRD’s B-Team.

Doors at 5pm, D-VAS vs Top Herloins at 6pm, Bruisers vs Brute Leggers at 8. Bring a chair for track-side seating, or watch from the raised bleachers! Food, beverages and merch will be available for purchase at the event. Want to know who else is coming? Hit up the event on Facebook.

What’s Up, October?

Are you a member of a WFTDA league? Does your all star team want to kick off 2013 with a bang? Registration to participate in QCC 2013 is open until October 10th! Three lucky teams will be drawn from the submitters to challenge CN Power and play 3 sanctioned bouts over the course of a weekend against the other participants. Sounds like a good time, right? Then register your league now.

Sunday, October 14, 2012
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
at The Royal
608 College Street, Toronto

Toronto Roller Derby and Cardinal Skate Co. present…

Derby, Baby!
A Story of Love, Addiction and Rink Rash

For the first time ever, the story of women’s roller derby is covered from both a national and international perspective, as Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Robin Bond and Dave Wruck take you with them on their international quest to learn why women’s flat track roller derby is the fastest growing sport in the world. Derby, Baby! explores the drama, the friendships, and the addictive nature of the women’s flat-track roller derby, including never-before-seen bout footage of the international flat-track roller derby champions.

Narrated by Whip It star and actress/musician Juliette Lewis, who also appears on-camera, the Derby, Baby! story spans the most turbulent and exciting time for the sport in decades, featuring interviews with promoter Jerry “The Commissioner” Seltzer, whose father Leo Seltzer invented roller derby in the 1930s; and Chuck Morris, President of AEG Live Rocky Mountains and one of the most ardent promoters of modern roller derby. The film looks at the many incarnations of the sport since its invention 77 years ago, and explores the WWF-like legacy and over-played television coverage of the past that threatens the sport’s image even today. Also featured are the new “rock stars” of roller derby, whose charisma and athleticism may be the key to pushing the sport over the “tipping point.”

Enjoy Sunday night at the movies with your favourite ToRD skaters!

Tickets are only $10 in advance, $12 at the door
*Receive a special Cardinal Skate Co. Gift Bag with each ticket purchase!*
(to be collected at the theatre on the evening of the event). Tickets can be purchased online, at Cardinal Skate Co, the Purple Purl, or Eyesore Cinema (801 Queen St. West, 2nd floor)

Pay the Bunker a final visit for this year on October 20th, for a ToRD vs. Royal City double header! The DVAS will take on the Top Herloins, and the Bay Street Bruisers will rematch the Brute Leggers.

Doors at 5:00pm, first bout at 6. Stay tuned for more details and information on ticket sales!

A Thank You to Toronto Roller Derby and its Fans

When you’ve been fortunate enough to live a long and weird life – one where you look back and have no idea how you got here, how none of it was according to any plans made when young – instinct unknowingly takes over about what to do and when. Conscious thought and strategy don’t apply. Things just happen when they happen, because things just are what they are.

There was no blueprint for announcing women’s flat-track roller derby back when I called my first Toronto Roller Derby league bout at George Bell Arena at the start of summer 2007. People with microphones just showed up, and the night was on. The athletes on the track, the officials (skating and non-skating) in and around it, the crowds and the announcers: We were all getting our feet (and skates) wet, and we were kind of flying by the seats of our pants. We had drive; we had passion; we had a belief that the modern revival and refinement of this great sport would be something that would take off with people and stick with them.

And it has. The support and rabid enthusiasm from all of you continues to ensure that. Women’s flat-track roller derby is still growing exponentially, and it will never go away. Consider Toronto Roller Derby now a permanent part of our civic culture.

I am extremely proud of the guidance, confidence and support of everyone in getting to be a part of that great piece of history. It has been a great honour and a great love to be the trackside play-by-play announcer for this beautiful league, for these great athletes and volunteers, and for you, the fans that have made all of this happen.

We started with six teams. Then we boiled it down to an essential four, then five, then six and now seven. That couldn’t have happened – couldn’t be happening – without you.

Every announcer handles the job differently. I got impatient with sitting at a table, as I did in Season 1, and started walking around. It brought me closer to the fans. And I have no plan and no script. I don’t have routines or banter. I don’t believe in that stuff. Toronto Roller Derby is unpredictable. It’s fast. It’s tough. It’s blood and guts on Saturday nights, right down there on the oval. I’ve always felt my job is to stay on everything in real time: I’m just the conduit between the energy on the track and the energy in the stands, and my job is to just keep relaying that back and forth as it happens. My obligation has always been to the players and to the fans, and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth….

…and instinct keeps kicking in. Things in Toronto Roller Derby are getting bigger and bolder – and that’s the way it’s supposed to be for a league that has taken the initiative on such great community events as the Pride Toronto ToRD Clam Slam, the Quad City Chaos tournament, and last December’s first-ever World Cup of Roller Derby at The Bunker. And it wasn’t just the skaters who made that possible. All of you made that happen. Because all of you keep showing the love, keep getting involved, keep being integral to the blossoming of this sport.

As ToRD’s world expands, there will be more boutcasts, more television, more media. Things are starting to get huge here. Me? Instinct tells me that this is the time to pass the baton (or the microphone, I guess) and let the future take its grand course. I’m a face-to-face, feet-on-the-ground guy. What I’ve dug more than anything is being right in there – physically, visually, vocally, hearing you all the way through and working to pass your energy along and around – for the direct action. No matter how badly a week may have been going, kicking into it in that space between the play and the crowd has never failed to boost me.

In other words: You great people have been awesome and incredible. And I can’t thank you enough for that.

Toronto Roller Derby is on to a rapidly expanding, great future. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done in service to the sport, the league and its supporters through these crucial six years. I’ve valued your input (yes, at almost every bout someone would come up to me to talk about mushy sound; ever tried to mic an arena or a warehouse? It’s damned near impossible!), and as much fun as calling the action on the track has been, it’s been even more fun to have conversations with so many of you at halftimes and after bouts. Toronto Roller Derby fans are abundantly kind, above all.

I’ve held a lot of different jobs during my life, and I’ve never been fired or laid off. (At least, I think so. One job seems really up in the air to me.) I’ve always known when the crossroads are coming, when it’s time to wish well and let the future take hold. Now is that time.

Consider this: The six years with Toronto Roller Derby are the longest I’ve ever held any job.

I still have no favourite team. I never will. It’s not that my job is to be impartial (which it is), but it’s that I live for those unscripted moments: That moment when an individual player suddenly summons a confidence she didn’t know she had to just start knocking ‘em dead with incredible skating and blocks; those moments when a team that has been struggling to get it together suddenly gels and goes into overdrive; those moments when not a single player gives up, no matter what the score in the bout. Overall, that, to me, is the great success of women’s flat-track roller derby, and of Toronto Roller Derby.

Spee Dee Ramone of the Death Track Dolls – who I’ve known longer than any other ToRD member, except for her teammate Jubilee – sent me a text just before the start of the 2012 Battle for the Boot: “Knock ‘em dead, Cranky… and don’t cry.”

I hope I did the former last Saturday, and I haven’t done the latter – yet. It hasn’t sunk in. Six years of volunteering for the greatest athletes and volunteers and fans in Toronto just don’t shut off at the end of a bout.

I’m not sure when it will kick in. But when it does, most of all I’ll think about the joy everyone has brought me, about the worlds you’ve opened up for me, about the huge positive differences you’ve all made in my life.

What does the future hold? I don’t know. But it’ll be fun to find out, won’t it?

Keep showing the passion. Keep showing the support. Keep getting louder!

You have no idea what great things you’ve done for me, and I can only hope that I’ve given some of that back.


Love and full respect,

Crankypants #21

trackside play-by-play announcer 2007-2012

Toronto Roller Derby

Chicks take the Boot!

In front of a packed house at the Bunker Saturday night, the Chicks Ahoy prevailed over the Gore Gore Rollergirls 196 – 56 to win Battle for the Boot 2012. This is the third Boot for the sailors in green (2008, 2011, 2012), bringing them to a tie with the Gores for most number of Boots won (2007, 2009, 2010).

Photo courtesy of Greg Russell

Tensions were high on the track as many players for both teams will be retiring from the home teams next season to play full time for CN Power, representing ToRD across the WFTDA. Everyone wanted this win – despite the disparity in scoring, the game was intense, both teams pushing themselves through to the end.

Photo by James Hamilton

This bout also marked the final season for Crankypants, who will be retiring from his position as beloved ToRD announcer. For 6 years Cranky has been hyping up the croud and following the action on the track, helping out behind the scenes, and being an essential part of the league. We’re going to miss him so much!

Many thanks to our primary sponsor and event co-host RollerBug Skate Co. and to La Mexicana Restaurant and Coconut Bliss ice cream for keeping everyone at the bouts well fed.

If you missed the action, stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for announcements on when Rogers TV will broadcast the game on tv (thanks Rogers!) with commentary by The Derby Nerd and Monichrome. If you can’t wait, hit up Layer9 for Mr. Force’s track-side footage of the bout.

Photo courtesy of Greg Russell

Thus closes another home season for Toronto Roller Derby, but not the last action you will see from us this year. The DVAS, Bruisers and CN Power are still bouting, stay tuned for details on those upcoming events.