18 March 2012

Bout Recap: GMDD vs. Hudson Valley Horrors

It makes rules geeks like us very happy when, before a game, the refs get together with the coaches and go over the basics. It seems that Ref Doomsday has gotten so tired of having to explain to irate coaches why he didn't let their jammers call off the jam by patting themselves in the ribs that he's gone, as the businessfolk say, proactive. Before both of last night's bouts, he had a little infield meeting with all the refs and coaches, and we saw him demonstrating the ways a jam could and could not be called off. He probably covered some other rules, too, but we were way up in the bleachers and our long-distance lip-reading skills need work.

Bout 1: Black Ice Brawlers vs. ZomB Squad

The first bout of the night got off to a quick start. Snatch McKraken grabbed an easy 4-0 jam for the Brawlers, and the scores never got closer than that for the rest of the bout. About halfway through the first half, with the Brawlers leading 34-11, Johnny noticed that there hadn't been a power jam yet. Sure enough, the next jam saw the ZomB jammer Dodge Charger go to the box, leaving Snatch McKraken free to increase the Brawlers' lead to 55-11. Dodge compensated for her penalty in the next jam by doing a mini apex jump while Brawlers jammer Veggie Mighty was hung up on the outside, and while it only got the ZomB Squad four points, it was an impressive bit of skating.

If you've watched tournament-level roller derby, you know that bench coaches will keep an eye on the penalty board to see if any of their upcoming jammers are running a little heavy on minors. They'll send a jammer in as a blocker a jam ahead, intentionally out of position, so she can get her fourth minor, serve her time in the box, and be penalty-free when she puts on the star. The Brawlers, for whatever reason, don't do this. ZomB jammer Hitz'n Glamour enjoyed a power jam when Brawlers jammer Highway rAubry picked up her fourth minor on her initial pass. There was enough room in the score that it didn't affect the outcome of the game, but it was still a strategic mistake.

The Brawlers spent the second half holding a roughly 70-point lead over the ZomB Squad, taking advantage of power jams and showing how much their blocking skills have improved over the last season. The ZomB Squad rocked a few power jams of their own, most notably Dodge Charger's 23-point jam halfway through the period, but it wasn't enough to catch the Brawlers. The game ended with the Brawlers winning 178-101, and we wondered if the A-teams' bout would mirror this one.

Name of the Bout: S. Scar Go #00 (HVH)

Bout 2: Grade A Fancy vs. Hudson Valley Horrors

We heard the Dames buzzing about how, according to Flat Track Stats, they needed to beat the Horrors by a 3-1 margin to keep their ranking from falling. It turns out they needn't have worried.

This bout is best covered by the numbers. The Horrors didn't score until jam 7, and then didn't score again until jam 22, when they racked up nearly half the points they'd score in the entire game. The Fancy scored almost 100 points in the second half, while the Horrors scored just 14. The Fancy had lead jammer status in over 80% of the jams. The Horrors had only 12 scoring jams in the 47-jam game.

Aside from that, there's not a whole lot to say about this game. The Fancy have improved their blocking and teamwork dramatically since this time last year, and they had much less box time than they did in their last game. The Horrors skated well, but were out of their league.

The final score was 194-48.

Names of the Bout: Pin-Up Ghoul #B17 (HVH) and Ref Peter Rabid #88mph (HVH)