I’m spending my day preparing for tomorrow’s trip to Feasterville, PA to experience ECDX. This will be my first venture to this annual roller derby tournament hosted by the Philly Roller Girls and I’m really not sure what to expect or what I’m in for. What I do know is this event is a biggie and I’m happy I made the decision to attend and report on my experience there. I also know that over a thousand roller girls and at least 100 teams from across the US and Canada will converge upon the Philadelphia area to battle it out, learn from one another, and have an all out great time. There will be bouts on three rinks inside the massive sports complex as well as pool parties and other opportunities to socialize and raise hell derby style.
The main challenge for me will be deciding which bouts to go and see since there will be action occurring simultaneously on three rinks. I know that seeing Philly v Gotham is a must. Gotham is a legendary team who continuously hold firm on to the top spot in their WFTDA division. Philly is another top team boasting super stars such as former LVRG jammer and Team USA gold medalist, V-Diva. I haven’t seen Diva skate in some time, but I have heard through the derby grapevine that she has gotten faster (is that even possible??).
The primary strategy I have devised for myself is to make a point of seeing teams I would otherwise not have an opportunity to watch bout, teams from Canada, Boston, and of course my home town Long Island. Lehigh Valley will be competing on both Saturday and Sunday, so of course I will make a point to stop by their bouts as well. There are WFTDA bouts (Sanctioned) and unsanctioned challenge bouts comprised of teams with silly names such as Zombies, Vampires and Sasquatch. I’m not sure which skaters are on those teams but I’ll have to check a little of that out as well.
Friday is the day to ease into the fun; there are only two bouts that evening, so I will have plenty of time to get settled in before the derby mania hits me head on. Make no mistake, as much as Friday will be a relaxing day, the two evening bouts serve as a fitting kickoff to the festivities. At 6pm Philly takes on Gotham and at 7:30 Montreal meets up with Texas. That should put me in “derby mode” immediately.
Once I arrive I plan on heading to the hotel, grabbing a bite to eat and a cool beverage in the hotel sports bar and then I’ll hop on the hotel’s shuttle to the Sports complex. The great thing about the hotel I will be staying at is they provide shuttle bus service to and from the arena. I plan on parking my car and staying self contained between the hotel and the facility. Everything I can need will be at both sites. I will have to bring plenty of cash as there will be vendors aplenty at the arena. I hope to pick up some ECDX merchandise as well as shirts or hopefully tank tops and Koozies from some out of town teams.
I will most likely over pack but I am going to attempt to do my best to travel light enough. I will have to bring my laptop in order to dump pictures every so often. And of course the camera gear. I think I will go light on the gear bringing my favorite sports lens and my prime and maybe a flash. I’ll also have my point and shoot for party pics and basic snapshots.
I look forward to seeing the familiar faces of LVRG as well as meeting and talking to derby skaters and officials from all over. Although I am bit overwhelmed at the sheer number of bouts taking place, I am sure this will be an unforgettable weekend.
Look for some live tweeting by me during the event (if I can take my eyes away from the action that is), so be sure to follow me on twitter @thecornerseat and I’ll also be posting on facebook.
See you there, I’m off to pack!