November 14, 2013
Hailing from Sacramento, California the SAC City Rollers were founded in 2006 and have been striving since then to increase their competitive profile in the roller derby world as well as giving back to the community as a non-profit organization. Boasting six different teams and a junior league, the SAC City Rollers show no sign of slowing down on their success track. Read on to learn more about this month's Featured League.
What city are you based in?
How does your season run? We are pretty much year round with the exception of a month off between December and January.
How many skaters/teams do you have?
Four teams accommodating four levels of skaters. We currently have about 80 active skaters.
We understand that Sac City has recently added a new team: the River City Regulators. What prompted the addition of a new team? How has Sac City been managing the league's rapid growth?
Yes, we debuted the team on November 2nd to a packed house! Sac City got to a point this year where we needed to add another team and skill level giving more skaters a chance to skate and bout. We are also adding staff to both the board and coaches crews (secretaries and assistants).
How is your league structured (home teams, travel team, management)?
The teams are: the Capitol Punishers (all stars), the Folsom Prison Bruisers (intermediate level), our newest team, the River City Regulators (beginner level), the Bad Apples (juniors), and our Rec League that meets once a week.
Our leadership consists of: the Board of Directors (business management), Officials, Coaches Crew and Junior Derby Manager.
Please tell us about the relationship between the Sac City Rollers and the Bad Apples (junior roller derby league). It seems that you have had the opportunity to host double-header events together -- how have your fans responded to these events?
We love our juniors! The Sac City Rollers have developed the Bad Apples for female athletes under the age of 18. Their coaches and manager work under the Head Coach and Board. Having the Bad Apples as an opener to our adult teams has brought a new fan to roller derby in general, and community response has been very positive -- these girls work hard!
Who is your biggest rival? And have you had any outstanding, memorable moments against them when you played them?
Everyone is considered equal competition and we always enjoy playing teams that we have never bouted against.
Do you have any sister leagues you’d like to give a shout out to?
Thank you to our WFTDA mentor league for letting us apprentice with them, the fabulous Silicon Valley Roller Girls!
2013 was a big year for the Sac City Rollers! Not only did you become a WFTDA member league, your charter team -- the Capitol Punishers -- qualified to compete at D2 Playoffs. Congratulations! How did your league prepare for WFTDA tournament season?
At the beginning of season the coaches set up a plan of action, met with captains and made it clear to the team, as well as the league, that this was our goal for 2013 and everyone was needed to make it happen. As a team, we upped our outside training, added practices, watched video, and constantly discussed with each other areas of improvement and wins throughout the season.
In August, the Capitol Punishers earned second place at the D2 Playoffs in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Congratulations! As a result, they will play for the D2 title at WFTDA Championships this month. Wow! What can we expect to see from the Capitol Punishers and Sac City at Championships? How have the team and the league been preparing for this opportunity?
We were very excited about achieving this goal and knew we only had to kick up the momentum even more. We allowed skaters a few weeks of rest and then hit the ground skating. We have been dialing in specific positions and strategies to ensure our total domination.
Editor's note: Sac City Rollers came in 4th in Division 2 Championships.
The Capitol Punishers competed at a number of tournaments this year, including the Wild West Showdown and Dust Devil Tournament. How did this early season tournament play help the team to be successful at the WFTDA D2 Playoffs? What were some of the most important lessons your league learned from these experiences?
Playing such highly ranked teams on that stage gave us the experience and insight we needed to set the tone for the remainder of the season. Being part of the WFTDA for the first time gave us the opportunity to play at a certain tier we hadn’t experienced before and this helped us take our game to the next level.
How was Sac City able to navigate the current WFTDA Rankings to go from being unranked at the beginning of the season to competing at D2 Playoffs? What advice do you have for other new WFTDA member leagues?
We established an in-house rankings team. We met with them on a weekly basis, and they helped us understand the inner workings of the rankings algorithm and how to prepare for it. We value our rankings team more than words can express! We highly suggest all leagues gather a group of individuals who enjoy statistics and derby to help guide them to success.
What are the individual challenges of your city?
One of the biggest challenges was finding open span warehouse space -- it took us about five years to find our training facility.
What are your biggest training challenges?
Most leagues have this same problem; consistent attendance across the league.
What kind of training/bouting facilities do you have?
15,000 square feet of open span warehouse with office and storage. We have a beautiful orange and blue track, and we decorated with skater art and a huge SCR logo on the back wall.
How many days a week do you practice? How are your practices divided/organized among your teams/skaters?
Our Capitol Punishers practice 3-4 days a week, and the Bruisers, Regulators and Bad Apples practice 2-3 days a week. Several practice hours overlap. When we train for a specific event (bouts/tournaments/playoffs), we schedule team-only practice hours.
Who are some “behind the scenes” skaters/members who really help your league run?
We have faithful super fans that support us on and off the track, giving us the inspiration to keep pushing hard. Our Board and coaches spend hours off the track ensuring day-to-day business and training are consistently executed at a high level. Special shout-outs to our heads of each department: Ryder Azz (Bad Apples Manager), Boozebag (Head NSO), MarriedJuana (Head Referee), Scandaliz (Head Coach), and La Lucha (General Manager).
Who are some of your star skaters on the track, and why?
The skaters who competed in Kalamazoo are clearly the stars we will be taking to Milwaukee. Our team motto is O.C.T.U., meaning: One Cohesive Team Unit. We expect all of our skaters to be stars -- stars in one butt-kicking constellation!
We've heard that most of Sac City's skaters are self-taught (i.e., they didn't have skating experience before joining the league). Please tell us how your league manages to train non-skaters to become such excellent roller derby skaters.
Our coaches are held to a standard to attend other league’s skating clinics or practices (as we travel) to gain perspective and a higher level of training. Some of our coaches have been around since the league was founded, and have their own experience in developing skills without the skating background. Every week we include skating fundamentals in practice, a requirement for all skill levels. Practice makes perfect!
Do you have any big bouts coming up that you're really looking forward to? Why?
Of course! Division 2 Championships and meeting the Blue Ridge Rollergirls on the track.
How does your league give back to the community?
We choose a charity each month to which we donate a portion of raffle proceeds from our home bouts. We are also active within the community, volunteering and making appearances at local events.
We understand that you are gearing up for your 8th annual Red Holiday fundraiser. Please tell us about this fundraiser. How did this fundraiser start, and what should the derby-verse know about this year's event?
Red Red Holiday started as an idea to gather local derby leagues to play for fun while raising funding and awareness for charities in Sacramento. This year we will have over 30 leagues representing three states! This tournament is a great opportunity to network with other leagues, play with all skills levels -- all while shopping for the derby holidays! Cruz Skate Shop(one of our wonderful sponsors) will have a great set-up for all of our derby needs leading into the next season. To-date we have been able to raise almost $15,000 for the Sacramento Food Bank.
Who are some of your favorite sponsors?
One of our longest standing sponsors is Colin over at The Cotton Shoppe. Also, Submerge Magazine for all their advertising, graphics work, and constant cross promotion. Empire’s Comics Vault is so enthusiastic, and big thanks to Coach from Broadway Boxing, and Meg from Action Boot Camps for whipping our girls into shape!
Do you have a special message for your fans?
The Sac City Rollers are a proud member of the WFTDA, and to climb from being a non-ranking team to being ranked at the top of Division 2 has made our dreams come true. Hard works pays off!
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.