Keweenaw Takes a Win in Beloit

A very quick derby primer for the brand new fans: Derby bouts are played on a flat oval track in rounds called jams. Each jam, both teams field a jammer and four blockers. The first jammer to push, dodge, or jump their way through the pack of blockers is awarded “Lead” status and has the ability to strategically call off the jam. Some jams, the jammers go round and round to rack up points, while in others they grab four points and call it off before the opposing jammer gets any. Blockers impede the jammers by forming human walls and (sometimes) knocking jammers right off their skates!


While Keweenaw Roller Derby’s home season is going to kick off in just two short days, the team has already had the opportunity to flex those derby muscles on the road once this year. On April 27, we road-tripped our way down to Southern Wisconsin for a hard-hitting bout against the Beloit Bombshells. KRD took home a win with a final score of 161-178.


Beloit’s jammers proved formidable, gaining lead in just over half the jams. However, KRD spent the winter drilling offensive strategies and it absolutely showed; even when our jammers didn’t snag the lead position, we got them out of the pack and into position to force a call-off fast. In several jams, our non-lead jammers snagged more points than the lead jammers. Quite a feat!


Throughout the game, KRD’s communication was excellent. Skaters who have been with us for just a season or two have really found their skates and identified their strongest positions. Our crop of new skaters are jumping in smoothly and proving invaluable in our walls. The vets continue to push the team in new, strategic directions. As both a skater and a team trainer, I continue to be impressed by the flexibility and self-awareness of KRD. Everyone left the bout full of positivity, excitement, and with a long list of new strategies to try out – exactly the attitude you hope to see in a team!


Huge shout out and thanks to the Beloit Bombshells for being amazing hosts and to all of the officials who made this game possible.


MVP Blocker: I Love Skatin’

MVP Jammer: Smushella deVil

Stellar Bench Staff: Feline Fatale, Hex Bex, and Princess Bubblebutt


Look for us this weekend at the Dee Stadium where we’ll be keeping it low, slow, and hard hitting against Madison’s Team Unicorn!


~ Rowena Ragin’Claw


Nail Biters: an away game recap


Numbers Recap:

Keweenaw Roller Girls (217) vs. Ypsilanti Vigilantes (225)

Keweenaw Roller Girls (154) vs. East Lansing Roller Derby (146)


While this upcoming Saturday, May 5, is our first home game this summer, our season actually kicked off with a set of away games in April. Over the course of one Saturday evening, East Lansing Roller Derby hosted a round robin tournament with KRG and Ann Arbor’s Ypsilanti Vigilantes. It was a tough night with three games back to back: ELRD played the Vigis, the Vigis turned around and played KRG, and we ended with KRG vs. ELRD. The Vigis took home the win in both their games, but KRG put up a helluva fight. Our team captain, Thimbleberry Slam, said:

I went into the weekend knowing the games would be well matched, but wasn’t sure how we’d fair against Ypsilanti Vigilantes since they played strong in Division 1 at the Mitten Kitten last year. We were in Division 2. Looking up at the scoreboard throughout our game I was awestruck that we had held the lead through the length of the game. KRG was on fire and communicating so well. We were where we needed to be when we needed to be there.

In the final game against ELRD, KRG pulled out a win. Again of just 8 points! It was a wild sort of parallel. In both games our blocking walls were strong and our jammers hit the pack with an immense amount of fight.

We had two of our newest league members helping out on the bench. They made sure we had all our helmet panties on straight, kept an eye on who was in the box, and got an up-close-and-personal view of the game that neither had experienced before. Princess Fury reported back:

Going into this weekend I had no idea what to expect, but when players needed breaks and we had people in the penalty box everyone was flexible when it came to lines and communicated extremely well on the bench before getting out onto the track. I think its why we did so well during both bouts.

And Princess Bubblebutt :

Our communication is our biggest strength. It really lets us capitalize on the individual strengths of our players. We demonstrated in these first two games that we have some things to work on, but with our strong foundation, it’s only up from here.

(Editorial note: Hell yeah, we picked up two princesses this year!)

These games taught us a lot. We are settling into set lines for the season, learning (or re-learning!) each others’ blocking quirks, cleaning up our game (seven penalties = ejection, yikes!) and developing a long list of offensive strategies we need to master to make our jammers’ lives happier. We are so grateful to both ELRD and the Vigis for being wonderful opponents and being part of two of the closest, greatest nailbiters we’ve ever experienced.

Can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out, and hope to see you join us on Saturday, May 5 as we go up against Alpena’s Shipwreck Alley!