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Golden Bowl 2014: Bay Area v Angel City Derby Girls

Knock Knock fights the Angels
Knock Knock fights the Angels
Photography by D.E.sign

The headliner bout of the 2014 Golden Bowl, held at the fabulous ocean-side Craneway Pavilion on Sunday, June 15 was also referred to as the battle of the gold helmets or the battle for the Golden State. The Bay Area Derby Girls (#2) and the Angel City Derby Girls (#6) are both California teams and not surprisingly, they both wear gold helmets. To have two California teams so high in worldwide WFTDA rankings, and to have them both in the same building playing against each other is a rare treat for skaters and spectators alike.

All the bouts at the Golden Bowl are important because point spreads, the amount by which a team beats another team, matter in rankings. This is how BAD overtook Texas in rankings, even though they have yet to play against each other this season. Bay Area, according to Flat Track Stats, was projected to score 5 points for every 2 points that ACDG scored. ACDG did better than expected allowing BAD to score only 4 points to every 2. Though often referred to as roller derby, in this bout there was a dearth of skating and endless moments of chest-shoving stalemates. Both teams were so powerful at maintaining their ground the action often wouldn't pass the pivot line for 30 seconds or more.

The first jam

ACDG’s Satan’s Little Helper (who won Jammer MVP for the 2014 Golden Bowl) was out first, just as BAD’s Amanda Jamitinya was sent to serve the first penalty for an out-of-play call. Chantilly Mace, jamming for BAD, was stuck in the pack allowing Helper to collect a grand slam. Once Mace was free, Helper called off the jam, leaving ACDG with a 5-0 lead.

Knock Knock for BAD was the next to take the jammer line against Chris Dobbins. Knock had lead and a 5-point pass in moments for a 5-5 tie game. Bricktator, who would jam and block throughout the bout, took the jammer line for BAD against Ghetto Fabu-Lez for ACDG. Bricktator got out first with Lez not far behind. She was able to collect four points and call it off before Lez could score. 9-5, BAD.

Next was Lulu Lockjaw for BAD and Chica Go Lightning for ACDG. Chica was sent to the box for a track cut but only had to serve the new, shorter 30-second penalty. Meanwhile the Scarlet pack was containing Lockjaw. Chica re-entered the track and began what would be an arduous fight through BAD defense. After pushing her way through one, two, three blockers Chica found herself in a deadly game of cat and mouse with Murderyn Monroe. Monroe, who displayed unparalleled one-on-one defense at the front of the pack playfully batted Chica to the left and the right, to the edge to the center, not allowing her to gain even an inch toward the 20-feet barrier of freedom. Finally, after a breathless hush fell on the crowd and the announcers, Chica emerged on the other side for four points, just as the jam expired. 9-9, all.

In the next jam, though Mace was lead, Helper snuck by and scored two points to take the lead back. 11-9, ACDG. Knock Knock lined up against Mickispeedia who immediately got lead jam and scored four points. On her second pass, despite a huge hit by Dorato, she scored three more points and called it before Knock could score any. 11-17, ACDG

After two ties and two lead changes in the first 10 minutes of game play, it seemed both California teams were better matched than originally thought. That is, until Bricktator came back to the jammer line. Before emerging on her initial pass, Dobbins of ACDG was sent to the penalty box for a forearm (a penalty that would be assessed to jammers from both teams no less than nine times). This left Bricktator in control for a 17-point jam and put BAD in the lead which they would maintain for the remainder of the bout. After this ACDG would pull off some 0-0 jams and make small gains.

At one point, Ghetto Fabu-Lez, in an attempt to get the upper hand from Knock Knock, passed the panty to Laci Knight. It was a messy affair and netted nothing, as Knock Knock was aware and simply called off the jam. Panty passes were an extremely common theme at the Golden Bowl and most if any, were a waste of time garnering no advantage whatsoever.

Just before the half, Lulu Lockjaw, after serving her penalty for a forearm, rejoined the pack just as Satan’s Little Helper went in for a back block. Lockjaw, fighting to get through the pack, proceeded to be punished by Ima Blowbya and Soledad until she was pushed backwards and landed awkwardly on her ankles. She had a look of pain on her face as she stood up, only to get assaulted again. She was well enough to continue.

Score at the half: 80-51, BAD

The second half was a fight for points, one at a time if necessary. Once again Dobbins passed the star to Laci Knight only for Chantilly Mace to call off the jam after scoring nine points. 93-51, BAD.

In the next jam Lulu Lockjaw went to the box for yet another forearm and left Mickispeedia in a power jam. Sadly, she was met by Brawlin Angel and Belle Right Hooks who recycled her back halfway around the track. Despite the setback, Mickispeedia got through for a grand slam.

With 7:08 left in the bout, during general pack chaos, Kid Ace fell and quickly crawled to the inside of the track. Game play continued because she was safely out of the way but she was holding her face and trembling, obviously in pain. After the whistle it looked like Ace’s nose was broken. There was blood on her face and blood on the track, which Demanda Riot cleaned up with a squirt bottle. Ace didn’t return to game play but did skate off the track.

In the final minutes Mickispeedia pulled out her secret weapon. Lulu was sent to the box for a cut leaving Mickispeedia a power jam. After fighting with the BAD pack for some time she rolled her body on the inside and did a tip toe flip pass for five points.

Final Score 169-84, BAD