Boom. State. Clash.
Three words that loomed in our minds, I’m sure, for months. We’ve all heard of TGSS and Rollercon, these fantastic tournaments and workshops, with derby idols zooming past you on and off the track. We’d been given tips and tricks from those lucky few who got to rub shoulders with the derby-elite in far off places. But to have our very own? Here? In WA? THIS year? It seemed an unreal possibility, something we dared not dream of, in case we jinxed it. Yet, thanks to THE ORGANISERS* who dared to speak its name, skaters refs and NSOs from all over the boom state had the opportunity to gather to play, learn and watch some actual real-life roller derby with skaters from over ten different leagues!
I got up at six or something unreasonable, already had most of my stuff packed – bout shirt and gear bag – all those things I should have washed a LONG time ago- snacks, keys, water – COFFEE, and it was time to go, afire with nerves! I’m hoping I’m not the only one whose morning went something like that. I am pretty sure that I was the only one who followed Google Maps to the WRONG venue, EVEN THOUGH I’d been there before! Once there, however, things seemed to run smoothly, with the checking in of our gear, baggage tags, wristbands and stickers allocated, it was time to hug and nervously smile at my teammates, all of us wondering what exactly we had gotten ourselves into.
The tournament itself consisted of 14 tournament bouts between eight leagues, some of which had both A and B teams competing. There were also challenge bouts – mixed league, co-ed, and even level 3 – all giving skaters NOT on tournament teams a chance to try out their skills. Six on-skates training sessions were also held over the weekend, coached by skaters from WA leagues on a variety of topics; offence, jamming, backwards blocking, and more!
Many skaters were tournament virgins, easily recognisable by wide eyes and grins – or at least they would have been had the interstate tournament veterans not been sporting identical expressions of wonder. The inclusivity evident in roller derby is legendary, and each league becomes its own community. This home-grown tournament made all of those league pieces click together (if they hadn’t already) and really showed us what a HUGE community exists in WA. (Just thinking about it makes me grin!)
Personally, I feel that a lot of us evolved over the two days this tournament took place. Facing teams you’ve never faced before means changing tactics on the fly, coming up with new ways to stay strong against your opposition. ‘Playing up’ meant building mental strength, and not allowing the other (scarier) team to get inside your head and mess with your mojo. We came away knowing our strengths, our weaknesses, and with a sense of pride for having worked so hard in the lead-up and during the event. There’s a kind of sadness that came with it too, once the bouts were done with. We knew it was time to go home, and rest our poor, battered bodies and skates a while (thankful for the public holiday on the Monday!) Luckily we can re-live it a little, by chatting to our teammates and by going through the photos, There’s always the inevitable tag-fest after any bout, and this was no different!
Check out the Boom State Clash Facebook page for full result data (and pics).
You can also check out some video footage on YouTube.
General Results of the Clash
NOTE: This is not a ranking of leagues in WA. It is simply the outcome of this one particular event based on points differentials.
- Perth Roller Derby (A) West Coast Evils
- WA Roller Derby (A) WARDs of the Skate
- WA Roller Derby (B) WayWARDs
- Bunbury Roller Derby
- Perth Roller Derby (B) Rumble Bees
- Gold City Rollers
- Dread Pirate Rollers
- Margaret River Roller Derby
You don’t have to take my word for how amazing it was – read below for proof!
Skatal Attraction (Trax)
“Waking up two days in a row and knowing that today I’m doing derby, talking derby, seeing derby ALL DAY is better than Christmas. Which leads to the kind of elation that always results in a Queen induced grand final dance off!” – PandaNH4 – Perth Men’s Derby
“BSC was an amazing opportunity for refs in Western Australia – it provided an opportunity to receive feedback and then instantly put that feedback into practice in the next game in a couple of hours, rather than wait days or weeks for the next opportunity. It also allowed us to work with refs and NSOs we don’t normally work with.” – Vector (referee) – WA Roller Derby
“BSC was awesome on so many levels! I am a fresh meat skater in a brand new league (GRD) that has only been established for six months, so to be able to attend the coaching sessions and skate with experienced skaters was amazing! I learnt so many new skills and drills to pass on to our evolving club. It was also go great to be able to watch lots of bouts which really helped with understanding rules and strategy!! Meeting other skaters and networking was pretty darn cool. Looking forward to BOOM 2014!!” – Sarah Bell – Geraldton Roller Derby
“I just had fun really. I’m pretty much the least athletic athlete you’re going to get. I was glad to have an opportunity to be out there with my teamies, having fun doing the derbies!” – Anne T. Social – WA Roller Derby
“The BSC was fantastic. Plenty of derby, dancing and good times. Loved every minute of it, so much derby love under one roof can’t wait for next year.” – Jesta Jam Fancy – Margaret River Roller Derby
“I came away with strengthened relationships both with skaters from my own league and with skaters from other leagues. The whole weekend was well-organised, and it was fantastic to have a sense of how roller derby is coming along in WA.” – Bowie SinSkates – WA Roller Derby
*BSC Committee Members:
Sid Down (WARD), Whisky Sour (WARD), Morgan Wildchild (Chair/PRD), Wheels McCoy (PRD), Princess Mosh (SCDD), Heidi Clare War (SCDD), IScream (SCDD), April O’Squeal (GCR), Princess Pinebox (BRD), Carleigh Deveraux (BRD), Dani Hellraiser (MRRD), Hell Kat (RDRD), Ezy Peazy (RDRD), Soozy Slugworth (DPR), Eris Dueller (DPR), Winsome Lewsome (GRD), Lumen Essence (GRD), Freeda Fly (GRD), Karma Croppa (NWRD), Rampage (PMD), General Justice (Tournament Head Referee) & Connie Penal’tea Cakes (Tournament Head NSO)
Photo credit: Ishtar Photographics