Blue Ridge Rollergirls

The Blue Ridge Rollergirls (BRRG) is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in 2006,[1] Blue Ridge held its first competitive season in 2007,[2] joined the WFTDA Apprentice Program in 2010,[3] and became a full member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) in March 2012.[4][5]

Blue Ridge Roller Girls
Metro areaAsheville, North Carolina
CountryUnited States
Founded2006
TeamsAll-Stars (A team)
French Broads (B team)
Mad Divas Junior Derby
Track type(s)Flat
VenueAsheville Coliseum
AffiliationsWFTDA
Org. type501c(3) nonprofit corporation
Websiteblueridgerollergirls.com

Structure and history

After first organizing in 2006, Blue Ridge held its first public games on June 30, 2007 at Carrier Park in Asheville,[6] drawing over 300 fans.[7] By 2012, Blue Ridge was drawing up to 2,000 fans to games at the Ag Center.[8]

Blue Ridge Rollergirls is composed of two teams, the All-Stars travel team, and the French Broads, the BRRG B team[9] (named for the French Broad River that flows through Asheville). The league also has two home teams: The Candy Apple Razorblades and The Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am's. The two home teams were initially created so that the league could play intraleague games when the league was first getting started and there weren't many other teams located near by. The home teams made appearance in 2016 to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the league. Members of Blue Ridge formed a junior roller derby branch, the Mad Divas Junior Derby for girls 12-17.[10]

In November 2012, the WFTDA announced that Blue Ridge would be the host league of one of its four International Division 1 Playoff tournaments, held in Asheville on 20–22 September 2013.[11][12]

WFTDA competition

Little over a year into WFTDA membership, Blue Ridge qualified for WFTDA Playoffs for the first time, qualifying for the first-ever Division 2 Playoff in Des Moines, Iowa.[13] The third seed at Des Moines, Blue Ridge won their first-ever WFTDA Playoff game 188-120 over Duke City Derby[14] (Albuquerque), and followed that with a semifinal, 179-170 victory against Treasure Valley Rollergirls (Boise),[15] thus earning a trip to WFTDA Championships later in the year. In the Des Moines final, Blue Ridge fell 2018-113 to Jet City Rollergirls (Everett, Washington) to finish in second place.[16] At Championships in Milwaukee, Blue Ridge won the third place game against Sac City Rollers (Sacramento) 215-188.[17] In 2014, Blue Ridge was ranked at 41st place when tournament seedings were determined, but after a high-ranked team declined their invitation to Playoffs this allowed Blue Ridge to compete at Division 1 Playoffs instead.[18] As the tenth seed in Sacramento, Blue Ridge lost all their games and finished in tenth place.[19]

After missing WFTDA Playoffs entirely in 2015, Blue Ridge bounced back in 2016, entering the Division 2 Playoff in Wichita as the seventh seed.[20] After opening Wichita with a win over tenth seed Carolina Rollergirls,[21] Blue Ridge followed with rankings upsets over #2 Houston Roller Derby[22] and #3 Nashville Roller Girls, before losing 146-123 to Brandywine Roller Derby to finish in second place.[23] Blue Ridge jammer Dr. Octopushy was named MVP of the tournament.[23] This time around a second-place Playoff finish allowed for the possibility of making the D2 Championship game, which Blue Ridge did after defeating Calgary Roller Derby Association in their opening game, 225-183.[24] This set up a rematch of the Wichita final, and this time Blue Ridge defeated Brandywine 257-188 to win the Division 2 championship.[25]

In 2017, Blue Ridge qualified for WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs, ranked at 33 overall on June 30, however they declined their invitation to Playoffs.[26][27] In 2018, Blue Ridge qualified for the WFTDA North American East Continental Cup held in Kalamazoo, Michigan as the fourth seed, but after losing their quarterfinal to Team United Roller Derby finished the weekend in the consolation round.[28]

Rankings

Season Final ranking[29] Playoffs Championship
2012 12 SC[30] DNQ DNQ
2013 53 WFTDA[31] 2 D2[16] 3 D2[17]
2014 53 WFTDA[32] 10 D1[19] DNQ
2015 73 WFTDA[33] DNQ DNQ
2016 38 WFTDA[34] 2 D2[23] 1 D2[25]
2017 34 WFTDA[35] DNP D1[26] DNQ
2018 44 WFTDA[36] CR CC NA East[28] NA
  • CR = consolation round

In the community

The league fosters community outreach[37] and gives a portion of the proceeds of each bout to a western North Carolina charity.[38] Charities supported include The Animal Compassion Network, Care Partners Children's Fund, Skye, RAINN, and Interlace.[37][39][40] In 2016 and 2017 the league worked with Brother Wolf assisting with their annual Drag Queen Bingo which helps to raise money for the local animal shelter. The league also participates in community events such as the Asheville Holiday Parade, Women and Girls in Sports Day, and Walk A Mile Asheville hosted by Our Voice.

The league currently practices three times a week at Sk8t Depot in Hendersonville, NC and is currently seeking a practice space and venue to host home games in Asheville, NC. The league used to practice at Tarwheels Skate Way in Asheville before it closed in the summer of 2015. The league has no scheduled home games in the 2018 season as they seek a new venue the league has held games at both the Ag. Center and the U.S. Cellular Center in the past. The past few seasons have been heavy travel seasons for both the All Star's and the French Broad's competing in games and tournaments all over the country. The teams prepares for games with acupuncture sessions,[41] and features synchronized yoga on skates during its warmup laps.[42] Skaters also cross train with sponsors at Beer City Crossfit and Anytime Fitness.

References

  1. "About the Blue Ridge Rollergirls". Blue Ridge Rollergirls.
  2. O'Connor, Aislinn (Spring 2008). "BLUE RIDGE ROLLERGIRLS: Asheville's Derby Divas". Marquee Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  3. "WFTDA APPRENTICE PROGRAM WELCOMES 10 NEW LEAGUES". WFTDA.
  4. "WFTDA WELCOMES 14 NEW MEMBERS". WFTDA. Archived from the original on 2016-05-18.
  5. Rhodes, Bill. "Blue Ridge Rollergirls accepted to international association". Mountain Xpress Newspaper. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  6. Postelle, Brian (27 June 2007). "The Wheel Deal". Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  7. Postelle, Brian (2 July 2007). "In the rink and on the brink". Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  8. Rhodes, Bill (9 April 2012). "Blue Ridge Rollergirls season opener draws 2,000 to Ag Center". Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  9. "Roller Derby Action In Boone". Image Asheville. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  10. Hyworth, Tracy. "Smac and Smithereen". Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  11. "WFTDA Announces 2013 Tournament Locations". WFTDA. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  12. "U.S. Cellular Center to host roller derby playoffs September 2013 in Asheville". blog.ashevillechamber.org. Asheville Chamber of Commerce. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  13. "September 2013 Featured League:Blue Ridge Rollergirls - Featured Leagueof the Month - Women's Flat Track Derby Association". wftda.org. WFTDA. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  14. Talionis, Lex (16 August 2013). "D2DM: Blue Ridge Cooks Duke City, 188-120 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  15. Deadwards, Lisa (18 August 2013). "D2DM: Blue Ridge Loots Treasure Valley, 179-170 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  16. Wise, Beck (19 August 2013). "D2DM 1st place: Jet City Flies Past Blue Ridge, 208-113 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  17. "D2C 3rd: Blue Ridge Climbs Sac City, 215-188 | Derby News Network". Derby News Network. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  18. "WFTDA Releases June 30, 2014 Rankings, Tournament Seeding - LatestNews - Women's Flat Track Derby Association". wftda.org. WFTDA. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  19. "Game 13: (9) New Hampshire Skate Free or Die All-Stars V. (10) Blue Ridge Rollergirls - Game Recaps - Women's Flat Track Derby Association". wftda.org. WFTDA. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  20. Deadwards, Lisa (15 July 2016). "2016 WFTDA June Rankings and Tournament Seeding". Derby Central. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  21. Deadwards, Lisa (19 August 2016). "D2W: #7 Blue Ridge handles #10 Carolina 309-94". Derby Central. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  22. "D2W: #7 Blue Ridge Rollergirls floods plains of #2 Houston All Stars, 182-137". Derby Central. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  23. Fristoe, Chelsea (22 August 2016). "D2W: #4 Brandywine Stops #7 Blue Ridge, 146-123". Derby Central. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  24. Deadwards, Lisa (4 November 2016). "WFTDA D2 Champs: #43 Blue Ridge vs #48 Calgary, 225-183". Derby Central. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  25. Castro, Mishel (6 November 2016). "WFTDA Champs: Blue Ridge takes 1st vs Brandywine 257-188". Derby Central. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  26. Deadwards, Lisa (14 July 2017). "2017 WFTDA June Rankings and Tournament Seeding". Derby Central. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  27. "The 2017 WFTDA Playoff Placement Announcement Is Out!". The Apex. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  28. "Boston Roller Derby Wins 2018 WFTDA Continental Cup – North America East – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. 21 August 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  29. "Current Rankings Archived 2010-04-30 at the Wayback Machine", WFTDA
  30. "Current Rankings". WFTDA. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  31. "Rankings: December 31, 2013 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  32. "Rankings: December 31, 2014 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  33. "Rankings: December 31, 2015 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  34. "Rankings: December 31, 2016 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  35. "Rankings: December 31, 2017 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  36. "Rankings: December 31, 2018 – WFTDA". wftda.com. WFTDA. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  37. "Fly People: Blue Ridge Rollergirls". Fly JBA.
  38. "Blue Ridge Rollergirls". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  39. "Blue Ridge Rollergirls". Animal Compassion Network. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  40. "Special Events: Roller Derby supports our fund for children". Care Partners Foundation. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  41. "Blue Ridge Roller Girls use acupuncture". Asheville Acupuncture. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  42. "Blue Ridge Roller Girls Report: Roller Girls dominate; beer taps dry up; ejection for fighting; promise of free popcorn from the Asheville Civic Center; and much more". Ashevegas. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
Preceded by
Sacred City Derby Girls
WFTDA Division 2 Championship winners
2016
Succeeded by
Boston Roller Derby
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