Sunday June 24th 2012 saw Dutch roller derby history in the making with the first ever bout between to Dutch leagues. It was a clash of ‘East meets West’ when the B-team of the Amsterdam Derby Dames lined up against the Eastside Rock’nRollers from Enschede in the aptly named ‘The Hellhound’ gym in the outskirts of Enschede.
Before telling you about the bout itself let me start by telling you that it’s so cool to be a witness to the development of this amazing sport and to document the process a bit with my photography. To see a whole infrastructure develop, with not just the skaters, but for instance also refs and NSOs (non skating officials). Each element is as important as the other and as one NSO told me on Sunday: ‘no zebras (read: referees) no circus’, which says a lot. Everybody is there to contribute to the growth of the sport and you can sense that when you’re at a derby event. Basically the whole vibe, all the energy coming from the roller derby scene is highly addictive and I’m loving it!
But to get back to the actual bout, as this saw a pretty spectacular turn of events… After the first few jams (jams are the maximum 2 minute periods where the action happens) the ADD B-team was in the lead and looked like winning the bout comfortably. Then again, there were already some tell tale signs that especially the jammers (these are the point scorers in derby) from the Eastside Rock’nRollers (ESRnR) were a force to be reckoned with. Very explosive and athletic skaters who were literally jumping through opposing walls of blockers as if they weren’t there.
And in the second part of the first half this also began to show on the scoreboard. ESRnR managed to capitalize on a powerjam (where the jammer of the opposing team is out of play in the penalty box) and scored a lot of points. With the team from Enschede slightly in the lead, it gave the ADD B-team something to think about during halftime.
During halftime there was a cool demonstration of artistic rolling skating, with zombies skating a choreography on Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. But the question remaining was if ADD could avoid a nightmare scenario in the second half…
Well… To cut a long story short, they couldn’t… ESRnR got lead jammer time and time again and managed to score loads of points to end the bout with a whopping score of ESRnR 208 against ADD B-team 88!
ADD fought like tigers, but ESRnR deservedly won their first ever bout. The ADD B-team members were the first ones to congratulate them and the photo below and especially the first one in this post tell a lot about the spirit of roller derby with everybody involved super happy about creating another piece of Dutch roller derby history.
Full (huge!) gallery after the break…
Enjoy the photos!