Category Archives: 2016 Season

October 2016 MVP of the Month – WENCER!

Wencer

Photo by Neil Gunner

Wencer is a tour de force. You can find him, before every bout, tearing around the Bunker making sure that the sound system is set up, the announcers have what they need, the 50/50 draw is underway, and the tv broadcast is ready to go. When he isn’t adding colourful commentary to the Rogers broadcast, Wencer is rocking mics for tournaments big and small — from WFTDA sanctioned events like ECDX to the Fresh and Furious. Not only is he a great ambassador for our league, he helps foster new announcing talent that helps improves fan experience and build understanding of our sport.

But Wencer’s commitment to derby goes well beyond announcing and event duties. He is one of the co-heads of TORD’s PR committee and the driving force behind much of our social media. Wencer’s attention to detail and strategic thinking have helped our league as we continue to build an online presence and develop our audiences.

Wencer, you are the comma that completes our sentence. We cloud not do this without you.

August 2016 MVPs of the Month – The Gs!

August 2016 MVPs of the Month – The Gs!

GOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo Forces!!! This dynamic duo is a no brainer for our August MVP(s) of the Month! G and Mr. Force are an integral part of our derby community and have been for years. They are part of the heart of league and do so much to help us keep going and growing!

G-Force has her hand in so many areas of the league we can’t even list all the things she does… but we’ll try! G has been a mainstay for Front of House for the last few seasons. You will also see her at every bout helping out or rocking her booth in our vendor alley selling her amazing chain maille jewelry. G even sold our merch at the Men’s World Cup in Calgary this year! She is the voice of reason during league conversations and she will also be the one to join you for a beer afterwards. Lastly, and this does not get as much attention as it should, is the incredible support G gives to the D-VAS, our newest ToRD members, year after year. She welcomes, she teaches, she makes friends. In short, we ♥ her.

Mr. Force is awesome in his own right. We’re pretty sure the entire league knows of his magical technical and video powers. He is there for every ToRD game, whether it be our bouts, tournaments, away games and tournaments hosted by other leagues, Roll Out or even some of our scrimmages. Mr. Force is a big reason why we as a league and as skaters are able to be better. The footage he shoots helps us in soooo many ways. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience saved in his archives which helps us devise strategies, learn what we need to improve on and see the progress we have made. What is even more amazing is that he makes this all accessible to us and our family, friends, and fans of the derby community. We also love watching his videos to hear Mr. Force just off-camera yelling encouragements “GOOOOOOOOOOOO D-VAS!!”.

Together these two make an amazing pair and one the league would truly be remiss without – WE LOVE YOU FORCES!!

Season 10 End of Season Awards!

ToRD End Of Season Bash
On Saturday August 6, Toronto Roller Derby closed out our historic 10th Season with our annual End of Season Awards bash, which celebrates the best of Toronto Roller Derby, both on and off the track. Here are the 2016 winners:

The awards

Skating Awards
Best Jammer – Beaver Mansbridge (Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Best Pivot – LowBlow Palooza (Smoke City)
Best Blocker – Biggley Smallz (Chicks Ahoy!)
Rookie of the Year – Banshee (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Outstanding Newcomer – Boxcar (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Feared Skater – Biggley Smallz (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Improved Skater – Annguard (Chicks Ahoy!)
Holy Grail – Pretty (Chicks Ahoy!)

ToRD Culture Awards
Most Help off the Track – Morton
Encore Award – Murdercat!
Draw First Blood – Scrappy
Downright Awesome Award – Morton
Heart of Gold – Casey McNally

Tordie of the Year – Dawson

Most awards are voted upon by ToRD members, recognizing their peers for their performances both on and off the track, and are geared mostly towards recognizing members for their contributions to our home team season. Best Jammer is based on statistics from the 2016 Season. Best Blocker and Best Pivot are fairly self-explanatory. Rookie of the Year recognizes the best new skater who developed first and foremost as a ToRD member, and had not previously played for another full contact derby organization, while Best Newcomer recognizes a new skater who has transferred from another full contact league (Boxcar has a long derby lineage, including with Montreal, Rose City and Thunder Bay). Most Feared recognizes a skater who is your worst nightmare to face on the track, and Most Improved Skater recognizes a skater who has shown a noticeable growth and improvement in their play, leadership and skating. While not a skater award per se, the Holy Grail award returned this year, honouring the bench manager who has the greatest impact on their team’s success.

Most Help Off the Track goes to a skater who contributes strongly to the league behind the scenes. The Encore Award (“winning the afterparty”) represents the fun side of Toronto Roller Derby.

The D-VAS introduced a new award this season, the Draw First Blood award. This award goes to a team member that always brings 100% to every practice, consistently shows the most enthusiasm, and pushes the team. A brief collection of accolades from Scrappy’s teammates:

“There’s a lot of personalities, varying skill levels, and personal and team goals to navigate. Scrappy finds the balance with such confidence and positivity. She keeps us focused, makes us work, and brings the fun! … She wanted the team to really work at this sport we all love, but she never made those who needed a lower intensity feel excluded … She motivates the D-VAS into getting the best out of practice and scrimmages. She is gracious and effective when it comes to skater feedback and giving tips to get you to your best level. … she makes the team committed and perform with all their heart, as she always does. All heart, that’s Scrappy.”

The Downright Awesome Award, named for its first recipient in 2009 (“Downright Dirty” Dawson) recognizes someone who makes a positive change in ToRD culture. This is also a pay-it-forward award, with each year’s recipient picking the winner the following year. Last year’s winner, Honey Boom Boom, honored Morton, for all of her hard work behind the scenes throughout the season, including organizing the annual league draft. Previous winners of this award are:

  • 2009: Dawson
  • 2010: Speedin Hawking
  • 2011: Chronic
  • 2012: Babushkill
  • 2013: Betty Bomber
  • 2014: Mr Force
  • 2015: Honey Boom Boom

The ToRD Heart of Gold Award, also known as the Crankypants Award (named in honour of our former announcer Cranky), recognizes a non-skater for their contributions to the growth and development of ToRD. This year’s winner is volunteer extraordinaire Casey McNally, who contributes to every single event during the ToRD season, whether that is selling tickets, working the beer table, helping with setup or teardown or even donating raffle prizes. Thank you, Casey, for everything you do for ToRD!

Previous winners of this award are:

  • 2012: Mr Force
  • 2013: The Reverend Ramirez
  • 2014: Wencer / Mr Whistler
  • 2015: Derby Nerd

the 2016 ToRDie of the Year is Dawson. ToRDies of the Year goes to a skater who “has experienced on-track success and who has best exemplified the values and spirit of ToRD on and off the track this past season. Our league values include: Community, Inclusivity, Empowerment, Development, and Respect.” A veteran skater, Dawson is the epitome of the heart and soul of Toronto Roller Derby, a magical combination of skill, attitude, fun and passion for the game that is infectious.

5 and 10-years!

At every End of Season event, we recognize our veteran members who have reached their 5-year mark with Toronto Roller Derby. The people to hit that milestone this year were:

  • Babushkill
  • Biggley Smallz
  • Free Range Clam
  • Joss Wheelin’
  • Lexi Con
  • LowBlow Palooza
  • Mazel Tough
  • Moose Knuckles
  • R2 Smack U
  • Viktory Lapp
  • WackedHer

ToRD End Of Season 10 years
As this was Toronto Roller Derby’s 10th Season, we were thrilled to be able to honour members who go back to the very beginning! 10 years is a long time, and it is an age in roller derby terms. Congratulations to the following folks for sticking with it:

  • Betty Bomber – D-VAS (original), Death Track Dolls, CN Power / ToRD All-Stars
  • Classic Joker – ToRD Officials
  • G-Force!! – Chicks Ahoy!, CN Power, D-VAS
  • Mia Culprit – D-VAS (original), Gore-Gore Rollergirls, Smoke City Betties, CN Power / ToRD All-Stars
  • Penny Whistler – ToRD Officials

Thank you

Two other one-time awards were handed out:

In honour of their continued service to and work for Toronto Roller Derby, G-Force!! and her husband Mr Force were recognized as The Big Gs, with a trophy that featured a dinosaur on it. As one of the rare 10-year skaters in ToRD, and a long time trainer, advisor and committee member G-Force!! has put in countless hours over the years. If you lined up those hours end to end they would certainly break a metaphor halfway around the world. Mr Force of course is the brains and brawn behind layer9.ca, the most extensive archive of ToRD video footage going back to the first season. ToRD would not be where we are without their efforts.

Former league president, and retiring skater Mazel Tough was honoured with the Tough as Nails award. In her years with the league Tough served multiple years on the executive and basically made everything work. Her leadership, perseverance, commitment and friendship will all be missed greatly.

Thank you to everyone on the EoS Committee for putting together a wonderful, fun event to mark Season 10, thank you also to Bill Murray for being our host, and congratulations to all of this season’s winners!

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July 2016 MVP of the Month – MORTON!

MVP of the Month

Toronto Roller Derby is 100% volunteer-run. That means that everything from training to outreach to event planning is made possible by the efforts of our league members.

Every month, we recognize one member of the ToRD community for their extraordinary contributions to the league. Because there are many aspects to building and promoting a derby league, MVPs are recognized for lots of different reasons. But they all share one key attribute: they are the ones that take on the big, messy, and tough jobs. And we could not play the sport that we love without their help. Help us celebrate and thank Toronto Roller Derby’s MVPs!

July 2016 MVP of the Month – MORTON!

Emily Morton #47

When something needs to get done, Morton makes it happen! Not only did she co-lead our WFTDA-Recognized Tournament Quad City Chaos in March 2016, but even before the start of this year’s season, Morton ensured that we had not one, but two!, successful home team drafts (and draft parties)! The home team draft is a core activity so that we can continue to successfully grow our teams and talent… and now she is gearing up to make it happen all over again this year!

That’s not all folks. Morton is an active member of our league’s Board of Directors and her love of the sport and league really shines through when she offers and completes updates to important league policies. She is a person of a thousand ideas! In addition to all of this, Morton not only skates with our home team SCB but she is also rocking things on the All-Stars team this year! An injury may have her recovering off-skates right now, but we are all looking forward to her being back on track and delivering the pounding hits she does so well! Thanks Em!

Fresh Meat Starts August 7!

ToRD Fresh Meat join us rookie skaters

Our 2016 season has come to an end! Want to get in on Season 11 for 2017? Sign up for our Fresh Meat program!

    Toronto Roller Derby will be starting our next Fresh Meat Program on Sunday August 7th at 1:30pm at the Downsview Bunker. This is a program that will take you from whatever your current level is to being ready to play in games!
    We will be hosting a Meat ‘n Greet at the Bunker on Monday July 18 at 7pm to answer all your questions – it will be in two parts:
    1) a chance to watch derby and have people in the community explain to you how it works, answer any questions you have
    2) a presentation about the program, what to expect and what’s involved – we will also have a vendor on site to answer questions/sell derby gear. You can also send us an email at freshmeat@torontorollerderby.com to find out more about this year’s program!

Roll-Out 2016: The Pack is Queer!

2016 clam slam uhaul brawl

Roll-Out (formerly known as Clam Slam and uHaul Brawl) is our 8th annual roller derby event to kick off Pride weekend, and brings together the LGBTQ2 roller derby community for an event like no other! We bring together queer skaters from across North America to celebrate and demonstrate pride and ownership of space and the power of gathering as queer athletes.

We provide a kid-friendly, wheelchair-accessible, and campy sports event that is fun for everyone!

Who’s playing?

It’s always a fun surprise to see who comes from where to skate at this event, with many skaters adopting fun derby names just for the day.
Once again this year we will have TWO bouts!
Thursday June 30
6:30 pm: Blundstone Brigade vs the Glitterazzi
8:00 pm: Team Bi-Yonce vs Team Gay-Z

Where is Ted Reeve Arena?

Do not go to the Bunker that evening – we won’t be there! Ted Reeve Arena is located at 175 Main Street at Gerrard – just south of the Main Street subway station on the Line 2 Bloor-Danforth line. There is ample, free parking on the premises. Ted Reeve Arena is a year-round sports complex, complete with permanent tiered seating and snack bar, where our skaters and fans will be easily accommodated. As usual, you can sit up in the stands or sit trackside – bring a blanket or folding chair if you prefer the latter!

Special event pricing!

Tickets are $10 in advance online and $15 at the door. Door tickets, as well as on site vendor purchases are cash only. Tickets for this event are NOT available at our ticket outlets – online or at the door only. If you are a Season Pass holder and have not yet used your “bonus punch”, you may do so at Roll-Out.

Doors at 6:00, first whistle of the first bout at 6:30, second bout gets underway at 8:00. Beer and cider will be available at the arena!

Afterparty will be held once again at The Steady Cafe & Bar, 1051 Bloor St West (between Dufferin and Dovercourt).

Chicks Ahoy! claim 4th Boot Title

Battle for the Boot X Champs

Chicks Ahoy! celebrate their 4th Boot – Photo by Neil Gunner

The air was electric at the Bunker on Saturday June 11 – the 10th Toronto Roller Derby league championship was about to get under way, and for the first time since 2012, ToRD’s two most-winningest teams, the Chicks Ahoy! and Gore-Gore Rollergirls, were going to go head to head in the Battle for the Boot. With a narrow regular season victory by the Chicks, and definitive win by the Gores in the Quarterfinal, the table was set for it to be Anyone’s Game™. But first, the ToRD skaters of tomorrow were taking the track, as the D-VAS were hosting Queen City’s Queens Court, up from Buffalo, in what can be viewed as a preview of Battles of the QEW to come.

And then all that electricity would appear to have conspired to mute the Bunker sound system (again) – only this time, the roar of the crowd – ably aided by the pipes on visiting announcer Jax – kept things lively and loud. The sound was back in full force by the latter stages of the D-VAS game, and the house only got louder as the night went on. The D-VAS have grown fast since we last saw them, and many of them had statement games looking ahead to the 2017 home team draft. The future of Queen City looks equally bright, however, and ultimately it was Queens Court who took the win in the opener, 204-142.

History was in the making for Battle for the Boot – the Chicks and Gores entered the night tied for the all-time lead in ToRD championships, so someone was going to walk away with the undisputed all-time lead. Both teams have championship experience on their rosters; Chronic, Jill Em All and Santa Muerte all date back to the Gores most recent title, while Biggley Smallz, Robber Blind (out with injury) and Tess D’Urb Evil (who wore the A for the Chicks this season) were all members of the Chicks’ 2012 Boot-winning team. Both teams even sport skaters who have previously won the Boot with a different ToRD team – the Gores’ Wackedher (Betties, 2015) and the Chicks’ Sleeper Hold (Dolls, 2014) – meaning that for the first time, a skater would be skating in the big game, and winning, for more than one ToRD team.

The first half started with the expected back-and-forth action on the scoreboard that comes from two immensely-talented rosters. In the early going, the Chicks appeared to be in penalty trouble (and indeed at halftime, the had 22 penalties accrued to only 8 on the Gores) as the Gore-Gore Rollergirls were pouncing. At halftime the Chicks had a tenuous 15-point lead, 76-61, and it looked like the second half was going to be more of the same – except somehow, even with the disparity on the whiteboard, the Chicks managed to build their lead. The Gores never stopped pushing, and kept fighting back to the end, but ultimately the Chicks prevailed and took their 4th Boot title by a final score of 164-88.

Immediately after the big game the teams awarded MVPS to one another. Here were the big winners:

  • Gores MVP blocker: Stabbey Road
  • Gores MVP Jammer: Wackedher
  • Chicks MVP Blocker: Joss Wheelin
  • Betties MVP Jammer: Boxcar

Recaps

The Derby Nerd has his writeup of the big game here, with all the details. More recaps will be added as they come!

Photos

As usual, the ToRD photographers were out in full force. Here are photo galleries that have come in so far (more will be added as they get posted):
Neil Gunner’s photo set may be found here.
Greg Russell’s photo set may be found here.
George Pelekis’ (aka TO Derby) photo set may be found here.
Paul Devisser’s photo set may be found here.

Broadcast and footage

Mr Force has his trackside footage available for viewing on Layer9.ca here. Make sure you look under “TORD 2016 videos”.

For the full experience, you’ll want to look for re-broadcasts of the Battle for the Boot (and the D-VAS game that preceded it) on Rogers TV. Featuring multiple camera angles, instant replay, and play-by-play and analysis by Derby Nerd and Mr Whistler, Rogers TV puts on a high-level production that you don’t want to miss! These games are not available online, and will only be viewable on Rogers TV. The premiere airdates for the Rogers broadcasts will be announced soon!