On Saturday June 7, at Big League Dreams in Redding, CA, the Shasta Assassins welcomed one of Bay Area Derby Girls' (BAD) home teams, the ShEvil Dead to their home track. Each team took a seat on separate hockey bench nestled safely behind the glass and prepared for a derby match up on the sport court. After gear check, introductions, an official's meeting, and the general business of pre-derby the real fun was finally underway.
The first jam began with Masted Maulher for BAD against Swift D Mize for Shasta. Swifty broke away after some trouble from the Dead pack while Maulher was firmly controlled and prevented from making an initial pass. The Shasta pack, which included power blockers Betty Bolts and Lexus Holdem, handily contained Maulher as Swifty made two grand slam passes. When all was said and done, Shasta was 10-0 after the first jam, except that a mistake was made and Shasta was only awarded eight points. In the next jam, Slappa Ho for Shasta scored two more points, which were also not awarded. These four missing points wouldn't seem like a big deal, until half time when BAD was ahead by five points.
Throughout the first half, BAD lined up directly in front of the jammer line, leaving Shasta the front line of defense. Every jam began with two four-walls blocking two separate jammers. Most BAD jammers, including Xpress Lane Jane (formerly of Shasta), were controllable with pressure from two or more Shasta blockers. All except for BAD's Lithium, that is, who was controlled by no one, letting out short-burst screams as she pounded her way through the Shasta defense. Overall the first half was close fought and truly anyone's game. But then, things do change.
Score at the half: 62-57, ShEvil
During half time, The ShEvil Dead adjusted their strategy and opened their emergency can of Bay Area whoop ass. They came back to the jammer line with a whole new attitude. Instead of taking the back line, as they had done the entire first half, they left it wide open like a trap that Shasta happily stepped into. A new flux of violence and urgency emerged on the track. Rather than moving as a four-wall, the Dead broke off into smaller units, easily breaking apart the Shasta defense that had thwarted their jammers in the first half. HummVee was an especially aggressive blocker doing the Dead’s wet work and picking off Assassins one by one.
This half BAD jammers had no problem getting free during the chaos the small Dead packs created. Shasta jammers were consumed by sprawling packs and relentless waterfalls while Shasta blockers were trapped and stymied by the custom BAD offensive pinch. While Shasta does improve game play in the second half, it's safe to say that BAD improves it better.
Final Score: 172-104, ShEvil