November 4, 2015
Much has changed since 2010 when wftda.com first featured the Minnesota RollerGirls. From new and familiar faces, the consistently strategic and aggressive game play that Minnesota brings to the track is just a part of the reason fans will get to see MNRG compete at the 2015 International WFTDA Championships this months. The other, larger part of the equation is the passion Minnesota has for roller derby and WFTDA, a passion that fans and skaters alike will be able to experience as they host Championships. Read on to learn more about Minnesota RollerGirls, what to expect from them on the track, and what fans can expect in Saint Paul during Champs!
Saint Paul, Minnesota
How does your season run?
Our home season consists of 7 bouts at the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium in the RiverCentre. The four home teams compete for the coveted Golden Skate for the first 6 and our All Stars are featured in the last bout of the season.
Are you close to any other WFTDA leagues?
The North Star Roller Girls skate only 10 miles from us!
How many skaters/teams do you have?
Our league consists of 4 home teams, that compete against each other as well as an All-Star team. There are up to 20 skaters on the roster for each home team. Our All-Star team, along with the B-team called the Minnesota Nice, are composed of the finest skaters from the 4 home teams.
How is your league structured (home teams, travel team, management)?
Our league has 4 home teams: The Atomic Bombshells, The Dagger Dolls, The Garda Belts, and The Rockits. The All-Stars are composed of players from all 4 teams. We have an All-Star coach and a Department of Training that sets the practice structure and organization of the teams on the league. We also hold an 18+ clinic held once a week called the Debu-Taunts. It is designed to train women interested in learning about the sport. It also offers an opportunity to train for Minnesota RollerGirls' tryouts.
How many days a week do you practice?
We hold practice three days a week. Typical league practice or home team practice lasts two hours, and the All-Stars practice lasts for three hours.
Who is MNRG's biggest rival? And have you had any outstanding, memorable moments against them when you bouted?
Historically, our biggest rival has been the Windy City Rollers. We’re old North Central foes, facing off 11 times in regular season and tournament play -- and we famously TIED in a real barn-burner of a game during the summer of 2012.
Do you have any sister leagues you’d like to give a shout out to?
Shout out to our Minneapolis sisters with North Star Roller Girls and our brothers the Twin Cities Terrors at Minnesota Men’s Roller Derby! And let’s not forget the littles at Twin Cities Junior Roller Derby and North East Roller Derby Youth! Further shout outs to every Minnesota league, and especially our friends at Harbor City Roller Dames, Saint Cloud Area Roller Dolls, and MedCity Mafia Roller Derby!
What are the individual challenges of your city?
We have two leagues in very close proximity. It’s only natural that the average “What’s this roller derby thing?” person may have some confusion about which league is which.
Who are some of your favorite sponsors?
Surly Brewing Co. and Pizza Luce fall into the delicious category, and Fiant Dental has outfitted all of our skaters with mouthguards. 89.3 the Current plugs MNRG into the Twin City airwaves. We also can’t say enough about how well the Legendary Roy Wilkins auditorium treats us.
What are your biggest training challenges?
Overall, we are lucky to have the space that we do at the Roy and the only real issue is dividing up skaters’ time between the All-Star team and the home teams.
Who are some of the "behind the scenes" skaters who make your league run?
We are grateful to all our volunteers, skaters, retired skaters and class C skaters who band together to make MNRG run as smoothly as it does!
Who are some of your star on-track skaters and why?
We’ve got a deep bench in the experienced talent pool with skaters like Shiver Me Kimbers, Hurtrude Stein and Second Hand Smoke bringin’ the hurt like we can always rely on them to do! Newcomer rookies like Jacked Pipes bring excitement to the track and will undoubtedly make this a Championship tournament to remember!
What kind of training/bouting facilities do you have?
We’re very fortunate in that we get to practice and bout at the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium! There are always two tracks set up and plenty of space for four home-teams to run practices simultaneously.
As a league that is going to balance hosting duties along with competing on the track at the 2015 International WFTDA Championships in Saint Paul, how is your league pulling together to coordinate and manage such a huge event?
Teamwork! Communication! Our league has a wonderful organizational structure. We are organized in such a way that many of the different departments can operate independently from the All-Star team. If folks who volunteered to plan Championships happen to be on the All-Star team (like many of them are) they pull double duty. We have the most amazing support from Visit Saint Paul, Saint Paul RiverCentre staff, the WFTDA, and our strong local network of sponsors, support staff, volunteers, and league members who have all really stepped up to make this happen! Everyone is doing their part, and following through on their commitments, which has made planning as smooth as possible. We are all committed to making this the best Champs ever for participating skaters, officials, volunteers, traveling roller derby fans and our own fantastic local fans.
For those who have never been to the "Twin Cities" and are planning to come for Championships, what are some of the things fans should check out when they are in town?
Have a Juicy Lucy! What’s a Juicy Lucy, you ask? It’s a cheeseburger, but the cheese is on the inside. We know, it sounds weird but just try it. You will love it. You can find a wide variety of this Minnesota-concocted burger at The Nook, Groveland Tap, Bennett’s, and Blue Door Pub.
After washing down a Juicy Lucy, you may want to consider a stroll around town to burn it off. We recommend Summit Avenue, the longest stretch of preserved Victorian architecture in the United States. F. Scott Fitzgerald grew up on the street and Garrison Keillor (that Prairie Home Companion guy) lives there now so it’s got some big names, awesome houses and a few stories to tell. Downtown Saint Paul, specifically Lowertown, has an incredible collection of historic buildings and architecture to drool over and a great collection of art galleries, bars, and restaurants to kick back at when you just can’t look at another awesome building.
Here are some other things to check out:
Check out www.visitsaintpaul.com for lots of other great ideas!
Are there any special events or surprised planned for fans and skaters at this Championships?
The answer is yes. We’re not going to ruin any surprises, don’tcha know, but we’ve planned tons of fun activities to keep you occupied before first whistle and after the last game each day. Here is a summary of what’s going on:
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH:
5 pm – close
490 Robert St N
St Paul, MN 55101
Socialize and compare bracket predictions at Minnesota RollerGirls sponsor Camp Bar. At 7:30 pm, Camp will screen Vagine Regime documentary IN THE TURN.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH:
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
9 pm – 2 am
6 W 6th St
St Paul, MN 55102
Downtown St Paul’s coolest new music venue features a full range of spirits, cocktails, quality beer, and a delicious Dutch-inspired menu. 90s cover band You Oughta Know will play from 9 - 11 pm will be followed by DJ Girl Named Jane from 11 pm - 1am.
The Moth StorySLAM
$10 at TheMoth.org
213 4th St E
St Paul, MN 55101
Experience true stories told live, and/or prepare a 5 minute story and put your name in the hat for the chance to tell a story from your life on stage. Roller derby stories welcome!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH:
Downtown Saint Paul will be full of Minnesota Wild hockey fans on Saturday night, so take the opportunity to get a taste of Minneapolis! Both of these locations are accessible via MetroTransit Green Line light rail trains.
Nomad World Pub
10 pm – 2 am
$5 with a Champs ticket, $7 for everyone else
501 Cedar Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Party like you skate with locals DJ Keezy and rapper BdotCroc in the upstairs room of the Nomad, or jam out to live music downstairs. Cash bar. BdotCroc has been rapping since the age of 8. Fans and supporters would say “She’s not dope for a FEMALE MC, she’s a DOPE MC.” DJ Keezy is influenced by the music she grew up with, especially female artists. She loves bringing people together by creating a high energy atmosphere with dope remixes and throwback jams!
Surly Brewing Company
9 pm – 1 am
520 Malcolm Avenue Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55414
One of our beloved sponsors, Surly Brewing Company has won numerous awards and gained a rabid following for its distinctive and delicious brews. The special event space of their fantastic destination brewery will be open for roller derby + beer fans to gather on Saturday night. There will also be special extended hours: the kitchen will be open until midnight, and the brewery will close at 1 am. Entertainment TBA.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH:
InterContinental Saint Paul-Riverfront (formerly known as the Crowne Plaza)’s lower level.
9 pm – 1 am
$5 in advance, $7 at the door
11 Kellogg Blvd E
St Paul, MN 55101
The Vigilantease Collective will treat us to a night of dancing and pop-up performances. There will be drink specials and room to lounge and chat outside of the main room. Get your wristband in advance at the Minnesota RollerGirls merchandise booth all weekend!
Chicks In Bowls Meetup
3rd Lair Skate Park and Skate Shop
Saturday, November 7th
9 am – 12 pm
Admission is $10 for a 3 hour open skate session.
850 Florida Ave South
Golden Valley, MN 55426
Intermediate & Advanced Co-Ed Scrimmages
Roy Wilkins Auditorium
Sunday, November 8th
7:30 am – 10:30 am
$10 for a 1 hour scrimmage
Pre-registration is full, but there will be spots open at the door.
Is there any other information that you would like to share with wftda.com?
Winter. Is. Coming.
Do you have a special message to your fans?
From all the people who left their shirts at home for bodypaint, to the Superfans traveling with us and all the friends and family who come to every home bout - you're so much a part of this league and we thank you for supporting us and making it possible for us to play this awesome sport.
Would your league like to be the WFTDA Featured League of the month? Have you had an extraordinarily successful season that you'd like to share with the wftda.com fans? If you are a full WFTDA member league and have the authorization to speak on behalf of your league, we'd love to hear from you! Or nominate your favorite league and tell us why they should be featured on wftda.com! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.