Last year, the Rated PG RollerGirls hosted their first tournament, with five teams on the track.
This year, they’re hosting two tournaments, including one this weekend with seven teams.
“We had to split it up because of how many teams were interested,” says team member Ruthless Red. “And we had to split our team because of how many skaters we have this year.”
So this weekend it will be Red and the rest of her Northstar teammates on the track at the Roll-a-Dome, with their first match tonight (Friday) against Grande Prairie.
“We’ve been doing some more endurance training the last little while,” she says, “because you might have to play three games in a row on Sunday. I know some of the girls have also been doing some mental ‘workouts’ to get in the right frame of mind.”
Ruthless Red (real name Stephanie Barry) says it wasn’t hard to come up with a derby name when she joined the RollerGirls five years ago.
“Clearly I’m a ginger,” she says before a practice Monday evening, “and I’m ruthless.”
She got into roller derby because, to some extent, she wasn’t sure what else to do.
“I had graduated from university and was looking for something to do. Roller derby looked like a lot of fun.
“I had never skated before, but I enjoyed it.”
She continues to split her time on the track between being a jammer (the skater who can score points for her team) and a blocker (the skaters who stop the other team’s jammer from scoring points), but says she is spending more time in the pack.
“I’m doing more blocking now, mainly because we’ve got some new skaters who are good jammers.”
This weekend’s tournament has five teams from B.C. (Prince George, Quesnel, Fort St. John, Terrace and Kamloops) as well as Grande Prairie and Saskatoon.
“I’m excited about the chance to play Saskatoon,” Red says. “They’re ranked pretty high in Canada.”
According to the rankings at RollerGirl.ca on March 17, Saskatoon is the 17th best team in the country.
The Northern Exposure Tournament opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the host Northstars taking on Grande Prairie. Play resumes Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and continues all day. Play resumes at 8:30 a.m. Sunday with the final set for 1:45 p.m.