Roller derby made a hard-hitting return to the lakecity Sunday when the Williams Lake Puddle Pounders played host to the North Coast Nightmares of Terrace.
Roughly 150 fans packed rink two of the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex where both teams showed their toughness, competitive spirits and grit.
It was the first time a roller derby bout had been hosted in Williams Lake in several years, and the first official bout for the Puddle Pounders, who were founded in 2014.
And with player names like Battle Cat, Lady MacDeath, Betty Shocker and Haruko Cage, to name a few, the Puddle Pounders have carved a niche in the sport, which is picking up steam around the province and even being considered as an Olympic sport in 2020.
The end result of the bout, said team president Sunny Dyck, was a resoundingly successful response.
“It was awesome,” she said. “That was an awful lot of work to pull that off but so worth it.”
The Puddle Pounders fell 252-143 in the bout, however, Dyck, who goes by the derby name of Adycktion, was still smiling from ear to ear on Monday of the experience.
“It’s fierce, it’s fun, it’s entertainment, and we were hearing a lot of ‘ooooohs’ from the crowd,” she said. “The ladies were just phenomenal. When you go into a bout everything sort of becomes a blur. Everything could change at the drop of a second and when you’ve got to think that quickly it’s a lot of pressure to play. I’m just so proud.”
In a roller derby bout, which is broken down into multiple ‘jams,’ five skaters occupy one of three positions: a jammer, a blocker and a pivot. Bouts consist of two 30-minute periods, broken up into two-minute jams.
A jammer scores points by lapping opposing team members, blockers prevent the opposition jammer from scoring by using position or bodychecks and pivots are a blocker who may be designated as a jammer during the course of a jam.
The first jammer to pass through the pack becomes the lead jammer and can then score points. Jammers score one point for each blocker they pass on each subsequent pass through the pack. The lead jammer can choose to end the jam strategically by touching her hands to her hips repeatedly.
Dyck, meanwhile, said the team is always looking for new ladies who want to give the sport a shot.
The Puddle Pounders host an adult practice on Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the CMRC, and a junior practice on Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m., also at the CMRC.
For more information visit the team’s Facebook page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
– With files from the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association on rules