Category Archives: Lehigh Valley Rollergirls

Nice girls don’t wear Cha-Cha heels

Borrowing a line from my favorite trash cinema seems apropos as the Lehigh Valley Roller Girls take on Charm City’s Female Trouble this coming Saturday, July 14 at the Independence Family Fun Center in the lovely industrial quarter known to locals as Schnecksville, PA.

You don’t have to be a nice girl or wear cha-cha heels, but you must come to the IFFC and watch the ladies of LVRG battle it out against Charm City. As always the facts are the same, doors fly open at 5pm, first whistle blows at 6 and no glass bottles please. BYOB, leave the large coolers in the car. Bring ID if you want to drink adult beverages, no exceptions.

Tickets are $10 in advance, kids are half price, $12 at the door. The clock is ticking away so catch up with the nearest roller girl and save a couple bucks while avoiding the long ticket line. This will be a good one for sure (aren’t they all?). And if you haven’t been to a bout yet, get down to the IFFC this weekend! If you are a regular reader of this blog you know it’s always massive fun. Charm City is coming to the Valley from Baltimore, so you can certainly drive a few miles to Schnecksville, PA. No excuses! See you there or I’ll send Dawn Davenport to get you!

To purchase your tickets online, click the handy link here.


Filed under Lehigh Valley Rollergirls, Roller Derby, Sports

What’s black and white and ref all over?

Courtesy: LVRG

Have you ever wanted to become more than a roller derby fan but not ready or interested in being on the bad end of a hit? Well I have got some great news for you today. The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls are looking for some good men and women to become NSO’s and referees.

Yes, you too can become a part of the action while staying somewhat safe from harm’s way! LVRG will be having an open recruitment session specifically for future refs and NSOs (non skating officials) at 8pm on Monday, July 16 at Independence Family Fun Center in Schnecksville, PA.

By becoming a referee or non-skating official, you will learn the ins and outs of women’s flat track roller derby and gain a richer appreciation of the sport. You will finally be able to know what all those hand signals mean, the difference between major and minor violations and the reason why your favorite roller girl ended up in the penalty box.

Roller derby looks and feels entirely different when it is orbiting around YOU. The officials are an integral part of the game, without them the whistle doesn’t blow and the bout doesn’t take place. Another perk is you get to point at people without it being considered rude, yell at them (and they have to listen, though they may yell a few choice words in your general direction) and send adults into a timeout. That alone is worth considering taking your enthusiasm for the sport to the next level.

Black shirts (NSOs) and vertical stripes (Refs) are very slimming and look great on everyone. People will come up to you telling you how fabulous you look and asking what your fitness regiment is. You will get a workout in addition to merely looking good. The pace is fast and you have to be on top of things to catch all the penalties. Rollergirls can be sneaky, they’ll try to get an illegal move in if they think you aren’t looking.

Being an official comes with tremendous responsibility. You must be fair and totally unbiased. You will have to keep your emotions in check while working a bout. You can’t jump up and down fist pumping if Rose Beef knocks an opponent into the crowd, or look the other way if Loogie Vuitton happens to use a brilliant but unauthorized move on someone. When you are in the role of official your job is to ensure the outcome of the bout is as honest as possible. Save your emotions for the after party at Grumpy’s.

Another cool perk is you’ll also get to have your very own officially recognized roller derby name. Do you have a secret derby name you’ve been dying to use? Well now you can.

You’ll look important by holding a clipboard. It’s a known fact that if you are holding a clipboard people think you are in charge, and now you will be. You will also get to lay down the tape for the track, so you can boast to your friends and family, “See the track? I helped build it. And I’ll be tearing it down too!” How cool is that? Not only will you have a hand in defining the actual playing surface, you get to destroy it at the end of the bout (well not the wood floor, but you do get to pull up the tape).

And there’s even more, you will get to go to the bouts for free. No more waiting on long lines at the door or trying to track your favorite roller girl down for a pre-sale ticket. Think of all the money you’re going to save. You can use the extra cash to buy cool socks and referee clothes.

And finally, you will make incredible friends that will become your new roller derby family. So what are you waiting for? Get a sitter, take time off from work if need be and sashay your little booty to the IFFC. Get in the game!

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ECDX 2012 Impressions & observations

(Photo: Deb Boylan)

The sixth annual ECDX has ended and now resides as a wonderful memory that participants and spectators will fondly recall while they await next year’s event. I will say it was everything that it was hyped up to be and then some. I am glad that I decided to attend this year and will mark it down as a new tradition to be repeated. I met some fabulous new people and saw tons of familiar faces. I never felt alone while there.

Now that I have gotten my first ECDX under my belt, I feel I am well prepared for future years. I ended up staying at the Crowne Plaza instead of the Red Roof Inn as originally planned and that turned out to be a huge plus. I would highly recommend staying at one of the three ECDX hotels on the bus shuttle route. They may cost a few dollars more but the amenities and convenience is priceless. The Crowne Plaza boasts an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna along with two full service dining options. They offer a breakfast buffet each day where for 10.99 you can have unlimited orange juice, coffee and a nice selection of hot items such as French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. There are also healthy options available as part of the buffet like fresh melon and yogurt. In the evening Brady’s Pub and sports bar serves up pub fare and even live entertainment. If you prefer to step outside and enjoy a pleasant evening, there are tables and chairs available along with wait service.

(Photo: Deb Boylan)

In my opinion being on the bus route is key and it is well worth the extra money to stay in one of these three hotels compared to other lodging options. The Philly Roller Girls have an arrangement in place for shuttle busses between the three afore mentioned hotels and the SportsPlex venue.

The SportsPlex is located within a small industrial park and parking is at a premium. Over one thousand roller girls, their friends, families and partners, plus fans in attendance make for many hassles if you insist on bringing your vehicle to the site. Several parking spots are reserved for Volunteer staff and Emergency Medical personnel throughout the duration of the event which further limits available parking. Unless you plan on getting to the complex at the crack of dawn expect to battle it out for a place to park. The busses run between the three hotels and deposit riders right at the end of the street where the SportsPlex is a very short walk away.

I had to run back to the hotel on Saturday because I ran out of space on my memory card mid-way through and needed to dump photos on to my computer’s hard drive. It was as simple as picking up the bus and running back to the Crowne Plaza and then hopping on another bus when I was ready to return. The bus service is fairly efficient but if you are looking to go to a “must see” bout plan on grabbing a bus early enough because there can be huge lags in pickup time. The bus pass for the weekend costs an additional $20 ($30 if you want the after party bus on Sunday night). It is well worth this additional charge to save gas and the aggravation of driving to the arena and parking. The only driving I ended up doing was to the hotel and then leaving to return home.

The bus is also great if you want to let loose and enjoy a few cold beers at the SportsPlex. Unlike LVRG home bouts, at ECDX you are not allowed to bring outside beer into the arena. Many people attending had coolers at their cars and that is acceptable. Inside the arena and at poolside they had Cricket Hill Lager and Summer Ale available for $5. Be sure to spend an initial $3 on an ECDX plastic souvenir mug, you will get 22 ounces of beer as opposed to 16 in the paper cups, plus it is eco-friendly. Beer was vended at two places, in between rinks two and three along the concourse and in the pool area. I found going out to the pool was the best to avoid long lines. The bathrooms in the pool house are also a better option to get in and out quickly vs. the arena restrooms.

Gotham Superstar Suzy Hotrod

ECDX is very well run, the Philly Roller Girls plan an entire year to bring a top notch event to fans and skaters. The SportsPlex is a beautiful complex featuring three air-conditioned arenas as well as an outdoor pool and pool house. Bring a lock and you will have access to a locker all day. I was lucky my roommate had a Master lock with two keys. We were able to keep bathing suits and my camera gear locked up when wanting to walk around unburdened.

Once inside it can be difficult to decide which bouts to see. I had some in mind that I wanted to catch and many times I would bounce around from rink to rink to see a little of one and then some of another if there were two I wanted to see at the same time. You will never be able to see it all so decide what you want to watch and stick to that or jump from track to track catching a sampling of each.

If you are really unsure which bouts to see, ask a more expereinced friend what they suggest. More often than not, they will steer you in the right direction. I owe it to a friend that I saw Gotham v. Rose City rather than another bout going on at the same time. If you don’t know anyone there don’t be afraid to approach other fans and ask for their opinion, they will likely give it to you.

I was glad that I requested a photographer’s pass early on; the bouts between highly ranked teams could get quite crowded and being able to slip into a designated photographer’s spot on the floor was a big help. If you plan on taking photos using anything beyond a point and shoot camera, PRG requests you register as a photographer.

Speaking of photography, shooting at ECDX is fun! They have a small box marked off for one photographer to stand in the center of the rink with the referees and NSOs. It is approximately 2’x 2′ and you cannot leave the marked off zone unless you want to get yelled at or run over by a ref. The box is available for any registered photographer to use on a first come first serve basis. Basically if you are in the box you stay for a little while then hop out and allow someone else an opportunity. It’s about sharing and not getting too greedy. I liked being in the box because it was such a unique perspective and I felt like I was part of the bout in a way.

I talked to a few of my fellow photographers at ECDX and some liked the box and others preferred to stay along the perimeter. To be honest after my first time in the box, I thought it was limiting on the photos I could take since you have refs in your shots a lot and only a partial angle you can shoot from with no obstruction, but after reviewing some of my photos I think the best ones that I got ended up being from inside the box.

The lighting seemed better inside the box too. I spent a lot of time hopping into the box during bouts simply because it was so much fun. It is interesting to be in the center of the action and to see the bout unfold around you. I have even more respect for the Referees and NSOs than I already had before because the game play seems faster looking at it from inside. I don’t know how they keep track of it all. Also to their credit, not a single ref or NSO bumped in to me while I was standing there.

Derby photographers just like most derby folk are very friendly. They are willing to share tips and tricks with you and will make room in an already tight floor area so you can have a seat. One photographer even lent me his lens to shoot pictures when I was in the box because my zoom was too much and I felt my prime (fixed focal length) offered too wide of a view. Another offered me lenses too, but his were Canon and mine were Nikon and they unfortunately don’t interchange.

As for the derby, there is plenty of it on all levels. From challenge bouts made up of a mixed bag of players having fun to sanctioned WFTDA events there really is something for everyone. Teams playing in bouts are often tested to their limits by being paired up with higher ranked teams. Sometimes this can end up in a huge points disparity as seen in bouts like Lehigh Valley v. Dominion and Harrisburg v. Toronto, but regardless win or lose all the teams played with incredible heart and I’m sure they took lessons away from their bouts that will make them even stronger. I know Lehigh Valley turned around and gave Hudson Valley a beating the following day. ECDX is an opportunity to play against opponents that might otherwise not be on a team’s regular schedule.

ECDX is also a chance to see the highest ranked teams face off against one another. One of the most thrilling bouts I saw that weekend was the last bout I watched before heading home, Rose City v. Gotham. The level of skating and play was unlike anything I have ever been exposed to. It was women’s flat track roller derby of the highest caliber. The blockers made the jammers seriously fight to get through and once they broke through the pack you could feel the breeze from their incredible speed.

(Photo: Deb Boylan)

The fans at ECDX are hard core derby fans; they cheer loudly, wear crazy costumes and further electrify the energy inside the rink. I have never seen such intense and enthusiastic crowds at any other sporting event. I suppose it could be compared to the intensity of European Soccer fans. Another amazing thing about ECDX is that people are allowed to bring dogs there. I saw everything from pink dyed Paris Hilton dogs in tote bags to large loveable mutts outside and also trackside. I’ve always said that roller derby is all inclusive; well this just further proves my point.

Another exciting aspect of ECDX is the chance to meet and mingle with some of the sport’s biggest celebrities. Seeing so many experienced and well regarded derby photographers that I admire, well known announcers like Dumptruck and Axl Rolls and local and national superstars like V-Diva and Suzy Hot Rod all under the same roof is awe inspiring. The only real complaint I have and it is a minor one, was the sound on the announcers was inconsistent the first day and a half. I enjoy derby announcing, but it was really difficult to hear some of the commentary at times. It did improve markedly as the event wore on.

To summarize, ECDX is an incredible experience whether you are a seasoned derby fan or new to the sport. To skate in such an environment must be thrilling as well. I’ve learned so much this past weekend, both in how to manage my photography as well as my overall trip. I’ve seen derby moves that astounded me and hits that scared me out of my knee socks. The level of play ranged from fun to fierce. As cliché as it may sound, I will never forget this first ECDX weekend am already dreaming of ECDX 2013.

(Photo: Deb Boylan)

If you missed any of the ECDX action be sure to check out the archives on WFTDA TV.

We will be posting more photos shortly on Flickr!

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It’s back! Lehigh Valley Rollergirls to bout Saturday, June 9th

It’s baaack. After what has seemed like an eternity. The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls will be back bouting it out in an intra-league match. Come out and watch the pink squad take on the black Saturday June 9th at Independence Family Fun Center in Schnecksville. As I have mentioned here in the past, this season the ladies have really upped the ante by employing a more aggressive and ever adapting set of strategic maneuvers. It will be quite interesting to see how this plays out as teammates battle one another. Expect the action to be fierce as the girls vie for bragging rights.

Also returning are our regular posts here at the Corner Seat. You may have noticed it was a bit quiet around here since the last match; rest assured we still have roller derby on our minds. Apologies for not being as prolific of late, but I had been pursuing some employment opportunities. We will be getting you caught up in the coming days leading up to Saturday’s bout. Look for a May wrap up from none other than Coach Rose Beef amongst other things.

Doors will open for the bout at 5pm and the first whistle will blow promptly at 6pm. Get there early for a sit in the suicide section. BYOB, proper ID required if consuming alcoholic beverages and no large coolers or glass bottles will be permitted in the facility. Chairs will be provided so leave the lawn furniture at home.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, children are half price admission. The bout is only days away so be sure to catch up with your favorite rollergirl or order online prior to Saturday. Visiting rollergirls can receive half off admission by presenting either a USARS identification or WFTDA uniform patch.

Independence Family Fun Center is conveniently located in Schnecksville, PA close to major roadways. For directions click here.

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LVRG Rising Star: Lauranimal

(Editor’s note: Since the Loogie Vuitton profile I reprinted from the LVRG bout program was so popular; I thought you might like to learn about another Lehigh Valley Rollergirls star skater. Here is an interview that originally appeared in the September 2011 edition of the LVRG newsletter. Without further adieu, let’s meet #30 Lauranimal!)

Photo: LVRG

Lauranimal made her Hissy Fit debut during the July 16th [2011] bout against NHRD Skate Free or Die. She did her team proud by delivering an outstanding performance as one of their Jammers. Anytime she was knocked down she quickly bounced back with the resilience of a cat. Lauranimal took time out of her “9-lives” to discuss her blossoming roller derby career. Here are a few questions from the interview:

So tell us, what was it like playing in your first Hissy Fits’ bout?

Well, to start things off not only was it my first Hissy Fit bout, but it was my first “real” bout ever… I actually think that I was more nervous the week leading up to the bout more so than I was at the bout itself. Throughout the entire bout I had a strong feeling of accomplishment & I was so proud to be representingLVRG. Surprisingly I wasn’t too nervous playing in front of the big crowd. Naturally playing in front of crowd makes you skate harder to impress them & so I did.

Have you always wanted to be a Jammer?

Yes, I have always wanted to be a Jammer from the time I watched my first game to even now when I routinely get pummeled by my lovely teammates. For the most part everyone watches the Jammer during a bout, which is fine with me now, but growing up I did not like to be the center of attention. It’s weird that Ilike to jam sooo much. I just love the challenge that the position requires & now I like the attention… but off track I still prefer not to be in the spotlight. Weird I guess…

And how long have you been playing roller derby?

I have been playing roller derby for about a year now. And I love it! I play for many reasons; first to keep physically fit & to keep busy. My family or friends will tell you that I cannot sit still for a long period of time. Secondly, I wanted to be a part of something. And then lastly to prove to myself that I could do it.

How did you come up with your derby name, Lauranimal?

It is funny how Lauranimal came about. I needed an e-mail address & out of the blue I came up with it because I’m a Veterinary Technician and I love animals, so the e-mail address soon became my skater name.

Before skating for the Lehigh Valley Roller Girls, when was the last time you went roller skating?

A looonnnggg time, I would have to estimate 15-20 years before LVRG that was the last time I had been on skates.

What’s your favorite thing about the Lehigh Valley Roller Girls?

My favorite thing about LVRG is the skaters & how we are like one big family who support each other. Also the skating of course.

What do you attribute to your success?

Let’s see where do I start? First, I would have to say that it’s my determined attitude, doing well under pressure and continuing to really push myself are a few things that I attribute to my success. Honestly, I

am amazed at where I am today. Derby has made me live a healthier life, not only by eating better but also exercising outside of practice to build up my endurance, help strengthen my muscles, etc. I would

not be where I am now if it wasn’t for my talented coaches who continue to provide me with the skills & knowledge to be a great skater. Also, I am grateful for the support of my fellow skaters and family on and

off the track. Finally, I continue to strive to be the best player I can be.

Any lucky rituals or traditions you like to do before you skate?

I wouldn’t say that I have any lucky rituals or traditions before I skate, it is more so like a routine that I start even before the day of the bout. On the day before the bout I have taken some advice from fellow skaters and I double my water intake (sorry to my coworkers) plus I carb up and make sure I eat lean proteins. For the day of the bout I wake up early, take a walk to get my muscles warmed up & calm my

nerves, I follow that up with a nap… then its game time! Oh and I can’t forget to wear my Animal, you know from the Muppets, T-shirt for good luck to the rink.

Is there anything specific you’d like your fans to know about you?

If you didn’t know that Animal from the Muppets is my mascot/derby ego, keep an eye out for the tattoo I have of him on by leg as I skate by.

Photo courtesy of Lauranimal

This interview is courtesy of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls and was written by Ali Doyle and Meredith Spirk.

Look for our LVRG v. Garden State bout recap coming soon as well as profiles of Hell Raisin’ Hussy and Stone Cold Roxxy Fox.

For the latest information, tickets and news check out the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls website!

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LVRG Featured Skater: Loogie Vuitton

This month’s featured skater in the LVRG’s recent bout program is none other than fan favorite Loogie Vuitton. We thought you might like to learn a few tidbits about this fierce competitor. Content is reprinted courtesy of LVRG.  Anything in bold italics is my opinion and mine alone.

Photo: LVRG

Loogie joined the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls in 2008. (that’s like 10 years in roller derby or a couple of dog years). She is our [LVRG] promotions manager and is the current skater voted Miss LVRG! (Was there a swimsuit and/or talent component to this award?)

When not skating she is attending school to become a Medical Lab Technician. She is currently on the Dean’s list.Loogie is happily married to High Voltage (referee). She enjoys baking, her favorite color is red, and her favorite letter of the alphabet is G.  She also loves her pupper dog! and that’s just one of many reasons why we adore her!

Editor’s note: Did you also know Loogie has her very own fan club? Fan club members can be spotted wearing official Loogie Vuitton fan club jackets. Look for them at the next bout!

Come out to LVRG’s next home bout June 9 and watch her deliver her trademark hard hits and showcase her impenetrable blocking ability.

Look for our recap and photos of last Saturday’s bout against Garden State coming soon!

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Beef Stew: Post bout wrap up LVRG v. Garden State

Rose Beef  provides her post-bout analysis of last saturday’s bout vs. Garden State and looks toward the upcoming face off with Columbia in South Carolina.

If you missed the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls’ (LVRG) Hissy Fits bout this weekend against Garden State’s Iron Bound Maidens, then you missed a real battle that was undecided until the very last seconds of the game. LVRG was prepared for a physical game and Garden State brought just that. From the very beginning, the Iron Bound Maidens initiated their signature knee down jam starts to try to throw off Lehigh Valley.  However, LVRG strategically countered their tactics by positioning themselves to secure lead jammer status on numerous occasions. LVRG jammers Happy Feet and Vanilla CreamHer took advantage of this and absorbed some early points in the first half while they had the opportunity. 

In the second half, Garden State recognized LVRG as a true threat and made the decision to only field power line ups, making the game that much more physical. Blockers Chikki Sixx, and Loogie Vuitton were persistent as LVRG’s work horses and continued to slow down the opposing jammer. Also playing an important role were pivots Helen Darink and Hell Razin’ Hussy, who kept control of their packs in order to keep a tight score the entire game. During the last few minutes of the game, LVRG found themselves in penalty trouble, costing them valuable points. The game literally was decided by the last jam of the night, with less than 30 seconds left on the clock. Garden State, with a 4 point lead, was able to establish lead jammer status and call of the jam before LVRG had an opportunity to score any more points. The final score was 116-120, Garden State.

The Lehigh Valley Hissy Fits’ next WFTDA sanctioned game will be held on May 19th when they travel to Columbus, SC to play the Columbia Quad Squad. Although Columbia’s team is ranked much higher than LVRG in most reported standings; Columbia is an unknown wildcard. There is little information about Columbia available and no record of their style of play or their longer term history. LVRG is going to have to pack every little trick up their sleeve for this long distance trip over 650 miles away.

In the upcoming weeks, LVRG will also be shifting gears and focusing on their second team, the Special Vixens Unit (SVU).  SVU will be opening their season by traveling to Williamsport, PA on May 5th to play the Susquehanna Valley Derby Vixens. Both teams should be equally matched, however, expect some surprises coming from LVRG’s up and coming skaters. Following this bout, the SVU team, led by Captain Tortelina Temptress, will play back to back games as they head to Philadelphia, PA the next week to bout against the Philly Cheeseskates on May 12th.

Rose Beef, A1

Head coach of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls

Rose Beef pictured with Garden State's Toni Soprano after receiving their MVP awards

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Filed under Lehigh Valley Rollergirls, Roller Derby, Sports