Roller Derby returns to Kamloops
The Tournament City Derby Dolls (TCDD) want to silence the Sirens — and they want to do it in front of a raucous home crowd at Memorial Arena.
More than 700 people attended the Dolls’ first bout — a 144-125 triumph over the Lumby Redneck Daisies at the Tournament Capital Centre on May 7 — and Cristina Ostapovitch is expecting at least double that amount when the Dolls and Squamish Sea-to-Sky Sirens meet at Memorial at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.
“Kamloops went derby crazy,” Ostapovitch, a Dolls’ blocker, recalled of the team’s inaugural bout against Lumby.
“We were still selling tickets 10 minutes before the game ended and it was a [Vancouver] Canucks’ playoff night, too.”
The Dolls’ roster, much like their fan club, received a boost in numbers — from 32 to more than 50 — after the May bout.
Some of the new talent are former members of the now-defunct Kamloops Roller Derby Association.
“After the bout [against Lumby], they just took a look at where their league was and where our league was,” Ostapovitch said.
“They were tired of skating around in circles and they wanted to play. We welcomed them with open arms and it’s been awesome.”
The Sirens’ franchise is just as young as the Dolls, but the Squamish team is favoured to put one over on the hometown squad, Ostapovitch said.
“From what we understand, it will be a tough game for us.
“The same thing happened last time, though. We were supposed to get our asses kicked, but we ended up winning.”
The TCDD, who have practised at pretty much every arena and school under Kamloops’ sun, are still in search of a permanent home.
Ostapovitch said an ideal location for the Dolls would be an open warehouse with a smooth concrete floor.
Anyone in the city who might be able to help can contact the Dolls through their website, tcdd.ca.
Spectators and volunteers who attend Saturday night’s bout are invited to dress like the 1950s pin-up girl of their choice.
Tickets for the bout are on sale for $10 at The Ruby Room (145 Victoria St.). They can also be bought at the door for $15.
Memorial’s doors will open at 6 p.m. on Saturday, as will the beer garden.
“We don’t do derby without beer,” said Ostapovitch, noting the Dolls’ Facebook page is a great way for fans to follow the team.
Memorial will not be the Dolls’ long-term home, as ice will soon cover the floor, but Ostapovitch is looking forward to playing in the venerable barn.
“TCC was great, but it’s very varsity,” she said.
“Memorial has a more down, dirty and intimate feel.”
The Derby Dolls’ bout roster
Yvonne Dmyterko (Yvonne The Terrible), Celeste Imus (Celestial Beatings), Cristina Ostapovitch (Acid Doll), Jo LeFlufy (Fifi 4x4), Kristin Nowicki (Susy Bruisemaker), Dana Kushner (Purple Kush), Staci Grant (Comin In Hot), Lyndsey Curnow (Big Wang Theory), Amanda Scott (Ram Bumptious), Karen Hungar (Tenacious DDs), Bonnie Fleming (Cheeky Bon Bon), Melanie McConnell (The Clap), Gretchen Fox (Flying Fox), Stephanie Ferrari (Kriminal Kutie).
Roller derby, the basics
Two teams of five players — one jammer (scorer), three blockers (defence) and a pivot — race counter-clockwise on a flat-surface circuit track.
Rounds, or jams, last two minutes. Jammers must first pass the opposing team’s entire pack.
After doing so, jammers earn single points every time they pass an opposing team member.