Monday, July 25, 2011

Derby Name Etiquette

On the subject of derby name etiquette, the following question was sent to your friendly neighborhood Derby Helper. With the explosion of new roller derby leagues around the world, I though others might benefit from the exchange so here you go:

HELP PLEASE........... Question: I am part of a new league and we have just broke into teams. We have thought of all kinds of great ideas for names, colors, and themes.... But, the names we like the BEST are already skater names in singular or different spellings. Can we use these or is it considered Taboo? We are using the Two Evil's registry to check names.

I think the key is whether or not there could be confusion generated by the name. If two skater names are too close to each other, you could conceivably mistake one skater for another. But if a skater name and a team name are equally similar, there is far less of a chance of confusion. I doubt anyone would read your posters and excitedly drive to your bout expecting to see their favorite player singlehandedly playing another whole team. (Though I would plunk down money RIGHT NOW to see any skater who could pull that off!) This is ultimately a judgement call you have to make but if the team name isn't completely identical to the skater name, and especially if this is for intraleague team names that will never play against other leagues anyway, I think you're relatively unlikely to receive any flack about the similarity. If TwoEvils rejects it, do what more and more skaters and teams around the world are doing and just ignore them. (Edit: That's not a rebuke against the efforts of the TwoEvils folks, just a growing acceptance of the reality that as the number of leagues worldwide climbs toward four digits and the number of registered skater names soars toward the mid five digits, there just isn't any point to not using a name in Ireland because someone in New Zealand is using it.)

So there's my opinion on the subject. Feel free to poop all over said opinion down below in the comments.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That ref was LAME!

This is weird because usually they're just blind.


Monday, June 20, 2011

The State of Derby Helper

The folks over at Roller Derby Inside Track have a nice series underway right now where they are interviewing different people and organizations to get an overview of the state or roller derby. This sorta smacked me to awareness of the fact that although I am now more active in the world of roller derby than I have ever been, the Derby Helper blog has been sitting here rotting like an 8-track tape factory.

"Welcome to Derby Helper world headquarters!"

There are a few reasons why my efforts are not translating into new Derby Helper articles and I thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know why.

  1. Derby Earth
    The Derby Earth project takes a decent chunk of my roller derby time.  When someone submits an addition or change, I don't just blindly accept that it is accurate.  I dig around the internet to confirm the submitted information and often discover that there are pieces that missing or inaccurate.  My desire to make the placemarks zoom to the exact building location when double-clicked can lead to a ridiculous amount of searching around in Google Streetview to find a real position that was obviously wrong when the address is punched in to Maps.  Basically, my own anal-retentiveness makes Derby Earth marginally more useful while simultaneously condemning me to hours of tedious busywork that I probably could get by without.
  2. Coaching Juniors
    Rather than continuing my old modus operandi of sitting on my internet high horse writing articles about how everyone else should do things, I finally put my money where my mouth is and co-founded a junior roller derby league that I help to coach and operate.  I can happily say that this has been one of the most wonderfully rewarding things that I have ever thrown myself into.  I can't even explain to you how fulfilling it is to me to have a new girl show up for the first time unable to even stand up in skates, to work with that girl on skating fundamentals 2 times per week and to see that same girl 6 months later playing jammer in a drill taking hits and giving them right back with a look on her face like every minute of practice is the best minute of her life.  Junior roller derby is probably the main reason why Derby Helper has been on unintentional hiatus, simply because that is where the majority of my available roller derby time gets spent.
  3. Health
    My whole life, I've had a pretty high constitution (in nerd-speak, I rolled about a 16) so my whole adult life I never had to deal with any serious wellness problems with my self or anyone else in my household.  Until the last 12 months that is.  Suddenly in a ridiculous flurry of infirmity reminiscent of the Old Testament's Book of Job, I lost use of an arm, discovered I had a tumor, had to rush my wife to the emergency room multiple times, was told I had cancer (incorrectly thank goodness), took my wife in for several surgeries for the same problem, had surgery myself to fix the arm, shattered my tibia and fibula (kinda like this, if you're brave enough to watch it) , had two MORE surgeries myself and currently have to use a grandma-style walker to shuffle to the bathroom if I don't want to be forced to pee in a jug.

    Though come to think of it,  there is a third option...

    The upshot is that it's hard to come up with new insights in the world of roller derby to share with my reader base when I'm busy singlehandedly bringing the entire healthcare system out of the recession.  (If you work in healthcare and you've gotten a raise in the last year, you're welcome.)  I've been so physically and emotionally drained by all of this that it has been a challenge just to keep Derby Earth and the junior roller derby running.  The usual stream of ideas for article subject matter pretty much dried up as I sort of turned emo and started spending all my time feeling sorry for myself.

    They even made a t-shirt about me.

    Now that I've finally decided to cowboy-up, stop my personal pity party and grab life by the horns again, I'm hoping to start slowly but surely returning this space to being a consistent resource for useful roller derby information sprinkled with silly roller derby humor like it was in the good old days.  It may be infrequent due to points 1 and 2, but I plan to not let point 3 be a factor in it anymore.
So there you have it, the State of Derby Helper.  Thanks for all of your readership over the past 2 years and I look forward to doing everything I can to continue to develop and improve the body of information available to the world of roller derby for all of you. Remember, you can always send me your roller derby questions and you will get them answered either by my well-thought out, thoroughly convincing articles or by all the people in the article comments pointing out all the reasons why I'm an idiot.