It was a beautiful Saturday for an outdoor bout in Anthem, Ariz., and a beautiful win for the Arizona Roller Derby Surly Gurlies as they defeated the Northern Arizona Roller Derby Whiskey Row-llers, 194-84.
It was the first AZRD bout played under the new WFTDA rule set, which went into effect Jan. 1. Under the new rules there was a notable lack of whistles to start the jam and release the jammers, but those whistles found their way into action, calling major penalties.
The squads combined for nearly 70 penalties and 12 power jams, left to be defended by the few blockers not in the penalty box.
The Surly Gurlies notched another Arizona State Roller Derby Conference victory behind strong defense. The pirates held the Whiskey Row-llers scoreless for more than half of the bout’s jams, allowing just one double-digit jam.
But the bout didn’t start out that way. NAZRD jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first six jams of the game as the Surlies adjusted to the unfamiliar outdoor surface and the morning sun.
Pushy Tushy broke the game open for AZRD in the eighth jam. The Whiskey Row-llers’ jammer panty didn’t make it onto the track, and without a designated jammer the team was unable to score points. Pushy Tushy scored 14 — thanks in part to a whip by Luz Chaos — before being called for a penalty and going to the box. With no jammers on the track, the referees called the jam off.
But the gate was open after that unusual play. The penalties started mounting for both teams, and Luz Chaos turned in a 24-point power jam, then Hannah Barbaric followed with a 14-point power jam.
Carbomb-ya entertained the crowd just before halftime by toying with NAZRD jammer Lil’ Kitty Split. After holding the pink jammer in a slow positional block for most of the track, Carbomb-ya gave a small hit to knock her opponent out of bounds, then goaded her into a track cutting penalty. Carbomb-ya then picked up a grand slam on the resulting power jam. The Surlies took a halftime lead of 90-39.
The second half brought fatigue and more penalties. Both teams had to adjust to having fewer blockers on the track at any given time, but the Surly defense — featuring H Face Killa, Amunisha, Evol Em, The Violator, The Grave Little Toaster and Luz Chaos — continued to hold the Whiskey Row-llers to minimal points.
Pushy Tushy and NAZRD’s Holly Ween ramped up the competition in the second half, as Holly laid a jammer-on-jammer hit on Pushy in the 16th jam only to be rewarded later with a hard mash-up when Pushy was on defense.
Defensively the Whiskey Row-llers had a significant size advantage and were led by Jamit Smacksum, Buffy Vanderbush and Juana Ash Kickin.
Luz Chaos had a game-high 72 points, while Carbomb-ya and Pushy Tushy each scored 42 and Hannah Barbaric had 38. NAZRD was led by Lil’ Kitty Split with 39, Holly Ween with 33 and After Math with 12.
— PulHitzHer Prize