Windy City Rollers

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Windy City Rollers
League logo
Metro area Chicago, Illinois
Country United States
Founded September 2004
Teams Double Crossers
The Fury
Haymarket Rioters
Hell's Belles
Manic Attackers
Second Wind (B team)
WCR All-Stars (travel)
Track type(s) Flat
Venue UIC Pavilion
Affiliations WFTDA
Org. type 501c3
Website windycityrollers.com

The Windy City Rollers are an all-female flat-track Roller Derby league located in Chicago, the city where roller derby first emerged as a sport in 1937. The Windy City Rollers, founded by Juanna Rumbel (Elizabeth Gomez) and Sister Sledgehammer (Kelly Simmons), are the first flat-track Roller Derby league established in Chicago. This all female league comprises members of four league teams for play within the league as well as two travel leagues, an A and B team, that compete with other leagues around the world.[1]

Member teams[edit]

  • Double Crossers[2] - 2007 Season Champions; An elite team of silent assassins on wheels with the motto "Skate and let die, but leave a really HOT corpse."
  • The Fury[3] - 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Season Champions; Named after the goddesses of vengeance in Greek mythology.
  • Haymarket Rioters[4] - The Windy City Rollers' farm team.
  • Hell's Belles[5] 2008 Season Champions. Ladies who busted out of finishing school to become the femme fatales of the flat track.
  • Manic Attackers[6] 2009 and 2012 Season Champions. Escaped mental patients who will steal your meds and eat your babies.
  • Second Wind - Windy City Rollers' B Team[7]
  • Windy City Rollers All-Stars[8] - The all star travel team for competition with other leagues in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. Currently ranked 1st in the North Central Region.

League history[edit]

In Chicago in 2004, Simmons and Gomez organized the four-team league and on the initial recruitment nearly 100 women appeared. In 2006 hundreds showed up to recruitment parties showing interest in joining the league. In 2005, they played in Chicago's Congress Theatre and attracted the largest roller derby audience flat-track derby had ever seen at the time. They moved to the Cicero Stadium to accommodate for a regulation track in early 2006. The Windy City Rollers changed venues again in October 2008 and currently play at the University of Illinois Chicago Pavilion.[9]

In early 2006, the Windy City Rollers began inter-league bouting. After suffering defeat at Dust Devil 2006, the league realized it needed to regroup. They moved to a bouting venue that allowed them to play on a regulation sized track, and increased the number of league practices. After completing another season of intra-league bouting, the All-Stars team was reformed. In early 2007, the league resumed inter-league play.

The Windy City Rollers All-Stars entered the competition at the 2007 WFTDA Eastern Regional Tournament in Columbus (the Heartland Havoc) ranked 14th in the nation (7th in their region). After defeating 20th-ranked Atlanta on day one, they achieved what many considered a stunning victory on day 2, defeating Madison, Wisconsin's Mad Rollin' Dolls, ranked fourth nationally and first in the Eastern region. They went on to claim second place in the tournament, defeating the Carolina Rollergirls before falling to New York's Gotham Girls.[10] At the 2007 WFTDA National Championships (the Texas Shootout) in Austin, TX, the Windy City Rollers All-Stars were defeated in the first round by the home favorite Texas Rollergirls, finishing in seventh position in the nation.

At the 2008 WFTDA Eastern Regional Tournament in Madison, WI (Derby in Dairyland) the Windy City Rollers All-Stars defeated Baltimore's Charm City Rollergirls and the Carolina Rollergirls from Raleigh, NC to advance to the final match. They were defeated by New York's Gotham Girls and placed second in the region, advancing them to the 2008 national championship (the Northwest Knockdown) in Portland, OR. There the Windy City Rollers All-Stars advanced to the final match after winning games against Seattle's Rat City Rollergirls and Austin's Texas Rollergirls. In a third tournament championship match-up the Gotham Girls again defeated the Windy City Rollers All-Stars.

At the 2009 WFTDA North Central Regional Tournament in St. Paul, MN (Brawl of America) the Windy City Rollers All-Stars beat the Minnesota Rollergirls (St. Paul, MN), Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep (Cincinnati, OH) and Mad Rollin' Dolls Dairyland Dolls to become the North Central regional champions.[11] They had a bye in the preliminary round and were defeated by Denver Roller Dolls' Mile High Club at WFTDA 2009 Nationals (Declaration of Derby).[12] The Windy City Rollers continued their domination of the North Central Region by once again claiming the Regional Championship title in 2010.

In November 2010, the Windy City Rollers earned even more prestige in the derby world by hosting and participating in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Championships, Uproar on the Lakeshore.

In intra-league play, Windy City Rollers hold an annual championship game named after Chicago derby legend, Ivy King. The Fury won the Ivy King Cup Championship games in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 the trophy was claimed by the Double Crossers. In 2008 the Ivy King Cup was won by the Hell's Belles. In 2009 the Manic Attackers beat out the Hell's Belles to win the Ivy King Cup. The Fury came back to claim the cup in 2010 and 2011. The Manic Attackers beat The Fury in 2012 to win the title.

On August 25, 2007, Chicago attorney Tahirah Johnson, skating as "Tequila Mockingbird" for The Fury, was injured in the most serious accident of the current roller derby revival. She injured her spinal cord during a bout, and was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. She has since returned home and through physical therapy has regained some movement in all of her limbs.[13]

Seasons[edit]

Season Final ranking[14] Regionals Championship
2006 22[15] 18[16]
2007 7[17] 2[18] R1[19]
2008 1 2[20] 2[21]
2009 1 1[22] QF[23]
2010 1 1[24] QF[25]
2011 1 1[26] QF[27]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Windy City Rollers
  2. ^ Double Crossers
  3. ^ The Fury
  4. ^ Haymarket Rioters
  5. ^ Hell's Belles
  6. ^ Manic Attackers
  7. ^ Second Wind
  8. ^ All-Stars
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Brotman, Barbara. "Rollers chase glory--and revenge". Chicago Tribune. 
  11. ^ Feelgood, Justice (2009-10-09). "North Central Regionals Capsule Recaps". Derby News Network. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  12. ^ Feelgood, Justice (2009-11-22). "2009 Nationals: Capsule Recaps". Derby News Network. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  13. ^ Help Tequila
  14. ^ "Current Rankings", WFTDA
  15. ^ "12/8/2006 WFTDA National Rankings", WFTDA [version of 23 February 2007]
  16. ^ "February 2006 Dust Devil Invitational Rankings", WFTDA [version of 23 February 2007]
  17. ^ "Current WFTDA Rankings", Derby News Network, October 2007
  18. ^ "Heartland Havoc", Ohio Rollergirls
  19. ^ "Texas Shootout 2007", Flat Track Stats
  20. ^ "Derby in Dairyland", Flat Track Stats
  21. ^ "Tournament Results", Northwest Knockdown
  22. ^ "Brawl of America 2009 North Central Regionals", WFTDA
  23. ^ "Declaration of Derby", WFTDA
  24. ^ "Thunda on the Tundra 2010 North Central Region Playoffs", WFTDA
  25. ^ "Uproar on the Lakeshore", WFTDA
  26. ^ "Monumental Mayhem WFTDA 2011 North Central Region Playoffs", WFTDA
  27. ^ Michael Frighten'd, "Championships Quarterfinal: 2SC Kansas City Overcomes 1NC Windy City, 112-95", Derby News Network, 12 November 2011

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New tournament
WFTDA North Central Regional Tournament winners
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Tournaments restructured