London Rollergirls

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London Rollergirls
League logo
Metro area London
Country United Kingdom
Founded April 2006
Teams Steam Rollers
Suffra Jets
Ultraviolent Femmes
Harbour Grudges
London Brawling (travel)
Brawl Saints (B travel)
Batter C Power (C travel)
Track type(s) Flat
Venue Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
Affiliations WFTDA, UKRDA
Org. type Private company limited by guarantee
Website http://www.londonrollergirls.com

The London Rollergirls (LRG) is an all-women flat track roller derby league and not-for-profit organisation based in London, England. Founded by Courtney Welch, Lauren Langston and Danielle West,[1] the London Rollergirls is the oldest all-female roller derby league in the United Kingdom.[2] The skater-owned and run league includes goals of promoting athleticism, charity, teamwork and confidence in women and aims to represent the diverse London area in regard to body shape, occupations, sexual orientation, race and nationality.[3] The London Rollergirls play by the rules of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

The name "London Rollergirls" and the associated logo are registered trademarks in the United Kingdom and Europe.

League history[edit]

Since LRG began in April 2006,[4] the league has grown to include over 60 members plus referees and support crew. The London Rollergirls held the first public women's flat track roller derby bout held in the United Kingdom on 7 September 2007,[5] to a sold out crowd of over 500 people. The London Rollergirls held their first British inter-league bout in March 2008 against the Glasgow Rollergirls' travel team, The Irn Bruisers, and their first international bout in June 2008 against Team Canada, a Canadian team made up of members from Toronto Roller Derby, Oil City Derby Girls (Edmonton), Terminal City Roller Girls (Vancouver), Calgary Roller Derby Association, and Saskatoon Roller Derby.[3]

In July 2009 the London Rollergirls hosted Europe's first roller derby tournament, Roll Britannia, featuring 12 teams from the UK and Germany. The tournament was held at the historic Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, England. London Rollergirls won the tournament and became the first champions of European roller derby.

On 4 November 2009 London Rollergirls joined the Women's Flat Track Derby Association under their Apprentice Program, and graduated to full membership status in June 2010. London Rollergirls was the first league outside North America to become a member of the WFTDA.[6]

The London Rollergirls won the British Airways Great Britons competition in Winter 2009 – providing them free tickets on BA to fly to the East coast of the US in April 2010 to train with and play some of the top leagues in the US.[7]

London Rollergirls became the first non-USA team to break the Derby News Network top 20 power rankings in May 2010, after a successful North American tour where they beat Providence Roller Derby, the CT RollerGirls, and lost by one point to the home team Philthy Britches from Philly Rollergirls.[8]

In April 2011 London Rollergirls hosted the first WFTDA tournament outside of North America and played host to Charm City Rollergirls (Baltimore), Montreal Roller Derby and Steel City Derby Demons at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London.

In September 2011 London Rollergirls participated in the WFTDA East Region Playoffs, "Nightmare on 95". They entered the competition as the 10th place seed, and left at 5th place – the largest jump by a bottom-ranked team in WFTDA playoff history.

Eleven members of the London Rollergirls were selected to represent Team England at the inaugural Roller Derby World Cup, which was held in Toronto in December 2011. LRG skaters also represented Team Sweden and Team Ireland.[9]

In September 2012 London Rollergirls again qualified for the WFTDA East Region Playoffs, entering the tournament at No. 6 and finishing in 4th place, again bettering their seeding and establishing themselves as the top non-US team worldwide.

The first European Roller Derby Championships were held in Berlin in November 2012. London Rollergirls entered the tournament seeded No. 1 and finished as victors, defeating hosts Bear City Roller Derby in the final.

A second North American tour in June 2013 saw London head to the West Coast to take on five US and Canadian teams. Wins over Terminal City Rollergirls, Jet City Rollergirls and Rat City Rollergirls, and narrow losses to Rose City Rollers and Oly Rollers set London in position to comfortably qualify for the 2013 WFTDA Playoffs.

Teams[edit]

The London Rollergirls have an all-star travel team called London Brawling, whose name is inspired by the song London Calling by UK punk rock band The Clash. Official travel team/league colours are pink and black. The London Rollergirls' B team, or reserves team, is called the London Brawl Saints and debuted in June 2009. The London Rollergirls' C team is called Batter C Power, and debuted in autumn 2011.

In summer of 2008, three permanent league teams were formed: The Steam Rollers, The Suffra Jets, and the Ultraviolent Femmes. A fourth team, Harbour Grudges, had their debut in 2010.

2009 Season Champions – Suffra Jets (2nd Steam Rollers, 3rd Ultraviolent Femmes)

2010 Season Champions – Suffra Jets (2nd Ultraviolent Femmes, 3rd Steam Rollers)

2011 Season Champions – Steam Rollers (2nd Harbour Grudges, 3rd Suffra Jets, 4th Ultraviolent Femmes)

2012 Season Champions – Harbour Grudges (2nd Ultraviolent Femmes, 3rd Steam Rollers, 4th Suffra Jets)

2013 Season Champions – Ultraviolent Femmes (2nd Steam Rollers, 3rd Suffra Jets, 4th Harbour Grudges)

Notable Bouts[edit]

Kamikaze Kitten rolling out with the LRG flag.

7 September 2007, "The Great Rock n' Rollerderby Swindle": First UK Roller Derby Bout. Intra-league bout, Team Pink 77 v Team Black 100

29 March 2008, "Riots of Spring": First LRG inter-league bout, London Brawling 163 v Irn Bruisers 31 (Glasgow Rollergirls' Travel Team)

7 June 2008, "Mutiny on the Mountie": International inter-league bout, London Brawling 128 v Team Canada 45

28 April 2009, "Grand Slam": Inter-league bout, Ultraviolent Femmes 171 v Barockcity Roller Derby 15; First UK Intra-league championship bout, Suffra Jets 97 v Steam Rollers 73

6 June 2009, "Double Trouble": Inter-league bout, London Brawl Saints (B team, debut bout) 156 v Leeds Roller Dolls 47; Inter-league bout, London Brawling 249 v Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames 20

18–19 June 2009, "Roll Britannia": European Tournament, London Rollergirls 1st, Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames 2nd, Glasgow Roller Girls 3rd.[10]

20 March 2010, "A Fistful of Rollers": Inter-league bout, Hustlers (Texas Rollergirls home team) 84 vs London Brawling 63; Inter-league bout, London Brawl Saints 79 v Irn Bruisers 19[11]

10, 17, 18 April 2010, "2010 East Coast Tour" first UK team to play inter-league bouts in the USA. Philthy Britches (Philly Rollergirls home team) 103 vs London Brawling 102, CT RollerGirls 50 vs London Brawling 179, Providence Roller Derby 60 vs London Brawling 157

9–10 April 2011, "Anarchy in the UK" first full WFTDA-sanctioned bouts to be held in the UK. Four-way tournament featuring London Rollergirls, Charm City Roller Girls, Montreal Roller Derby and Steel City Derby Demons.

16–18 September 2011, "Nightmare on 95" WFTDA East Region Playoffs. First team from outside North America to play at a regional playoff tournament. Having initially been seeded No. 10, London managed to finish the tournament in 5th place with Stefanie Mainey picking up the honour of tournament MVP.

28–30 September 2012, "Sugarbush Showdown" WFTDA East Region Playoffs. Entering the tournament as 6th seed, London defeated old rivals Montreal before losing to Philly and Charm City to end the tournament in 4th place, narrowly missing out on a trip to Championships.

1–8 June 2013, "2013 West Coast Tour" second major North American tour including first UK-Canada bout held in Canada, London defeating Terminal City Rollergirls of Vancouver. First win over a WFTDA Top Ten ranked team, defeating #6-ranked Rat City Rollergirls.

In April 2014, London played Toronto Roller Derby's A-team, CN Power, at the Spectrum Centre in Guildford, defeating them 477–41.[12]

League Structure[edit]

The LRG is a D.I.Y. member-run organisation with a board of directors and committees.[13] League committees include: Administration, Bout Production, Events, Merchandising, Public Relations, Referees, Sponsorship, Coaching, Tech, and Venues. There are also visitor coordinators to provide hospitality to visitors from other roller derby leagues. League members are eligible to vote in league matters and participate on committees. LRG trains participants to roller skate and to play roller derby under a structured training program. Although skaters are all women, men are allowed to be involved in all other league roles (such as referees, support crew, and announcing).[2]

In 2010 LRG also started a recreational league, which offers a training ground for skaters new to derby. Tryouts are required for recreational league skaters to enter the main London Rollergirls league.

WFTDA rankings[edit]

Season Final ranking[14] Playoffs Championship
2011 5 (E) 5[15] N/A
2012 4 (E) 4[16] N/A
2013 3[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roller Girl's Derby".  Retrieved 19 August 2013
  2. ^ a b http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/jul/27/healthandwellbeing.lifeandhealth Guardian article on London Rollergirls
  3. ^ a b http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/roller-derby-meet-the-ladies-who-crunch-837714.html Independent sports section article on London Rollergirls
  4. ^ "Time Out article on London Rollergirls". Time Out. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Article on Women's Sport Foundation". Wsf.org.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "WFTDA Announces International Expansion – Latest News – Women's Flat Track Derby Association". Wftda.com. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Independent article on London Rollergirls winning the BA Great Britons competition". The Independent. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "London Rollergirls break into DNN Power Rankings at No. 15". Derbynewsnetwork.com. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Mercy Less. "Team England 2011 World Cup Roster". Derby News Network. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Roll Britannia". Dazed Digital. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Cosh, Mollie (22 March 2010). "TX Hustlers Escape London With 84–63 Win". Derby News Network. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Coby, Alex Sassoon (13 April 2014). "London Pulverizes Toronto, 477–41". Derby News Network. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Interview by Courtney Lane Welch (28 October 2007). "Interview with London Rollergirls' Bette Noir". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Current Rankings", WFTDA
  15. ^ Nightmare on 95
  16. ^ Sugarbush Showdown
  17. ^ D1 Playoffs: Fort Wayne

External links[edit]