When a Community Grieves: Suggestions for Support

Within the tight knit derby community, any loss of a community member has a deep impact on us all. However, death – even using the word “death”, instead of a euphemism – is a hard subject. As a general rule we seem to think that if we don’t think about it, we won’t have to deal with it.

What this winds up meaning is that when tragedy does occur we are left scrambling to figure out what to do, what to say, and how to process.

Having thought through how to care for people beforehand won’t make the pain of grief less, but it will allow your league to come together more readily and let fewer people go through this alone.

May 2017 WFTDA Rankings Update

May 2017 WFTDA Rankings Update Photo credit: Preflash Gordon. facebook.com/preflash

Now that we have entered June, teams will be battling to secure their spots for the WFTDA tournament season. This year it will be a tougher fight with the amended tournament structure as just the top 36 teams will make Division 1 Playoffs and the next 16 will make up Division 2.

May had a lot going on and gave us our first look at many top-level roller derby teams, making this ranking release a telling one as we head into the homestretch before the June 30th cutoff. From the Big O in Eugene, Oregon to many important single games around the globe, there are some big movements to highlight.

I’m a pregnant roller derby athlete

I’m a pregnant roller derby athlete Photo credit Marko Niemela (https://www.facebook.com/punkmarkophotos/)

Part One: Holy shit this is happening

I want to start out by saying; this is me being honest. This is what I went through. It might not be popular, or what other people went through… but this is what happened, and how it made me feel, and how I handled it. I’m here to share my experience so others don’t feel judged by expectation, so please don’t jump down my throat for my choices.

Pregnancy has a million expectations on women, and that’s part of what makes it difficult… because it’s not just the craziness of hormones and body changes you’re handling, but also the set of parameters of how you should feel because of that expectation of “OH THIS IS ALL WORTH IT, ‘CAUSE: BABY”.

That makes me furious. It ignores my struggles and frustrations like I should be some happy robot housewife from the ’50s.

So without further ado, here’s my story of learning about my pregnancy…

2017 Big O Results

2017 Big O Results Photo credit: Benma Photo. facebook.com/benmaphoto

The Big O Tournament has been a platform for WFTDA, MRDA, and Junior roller derby teams to hit the track since 2011. In 2017 there are 16 WFTDA teams, 9 MRDA, and 4 junior teams in Eugene, Oregon from four different continents.

Check out our WFTDA preview of the weekend, Muckety Muck’s MRDA overview, and Sean Hale’s tournament tips for fans. Below are the results from the weekend with each team’s current ranking. Green are WFTDA sanctioned games, purple are WFTDA B teams, blue is MRDA games, and yellow are the junior games. Each game is linked with its archived video.

2017 Big O WFTDA Briefing

2017 Big O WFTDA Briefing Photo credit: Benma Photo. facebook.com/benmaphoto/

Coming up this weekend: the annual Big O Invitational in Eugene, Oregon (USA). While there have already been a few high-level tournaments already this season, this has become one of the most highly anticipated WFTDA Recognized Tournaments since it’s the first time we see many of the top-ranked teams back on the track each year.

There will be a few exciting rematches from last year, some new teams to watch, and plenty of roller derby on three tracks for three days. Are you ready?

Keep on reading for a quick briefing on the WFTDA and Junior teams in attendance. You can also check out our coverage of the MRDA briefing by Muckety Muck, as well as some tournament survival tips for fans by Sean Hale. Streaming of all three tracks will be done through WFTDA.tv and all WFTDA rankings are from today’s April 30th release.