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Roller Girls Find New Home in Toms River

Photo Credit: George Gee
Photo Credit: George Gee
By George Gee

The seventh annual season championship for the Jersey Shore Roller Girls spent its first night in a new home, bringing hip checks and body blocks to the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.

With its original venue, Asbury Park Convention Hall, unavailable due to ceiling and fire safety issues, the roller derby league found the Pine Belt Center could transform its basketball hardwood into a roller derby track, in time for the Anchor Assassins to play the defending champion Right Coast Rollers for the  Golden Skate Trophy.

Starting in the afternoon, league members laid the track down piece by piece until the floor was set the 8 p.m. bout. Halftime would feature the 9-18 year old girls of Jersey Junior Roller Derby in a bout, marking the littler set’s debut in the new arena, too.

But it was the fast-paced action of women’s flat track roller derby that packed the bleachers of Pine Belt Arena, as women with personas such as Payne Gretsky and Stoli Slammer skated as blockers, to help get their jammer through the pack of blockers to score, while simultaneously making the opposing jammer’s life miserable by checking and blocking her.

The action is comprised of “jams,” where the star-helmeted player known as the jammer must fight her way through the pack of blockers, and scores a point for every opposing blocker she passes. Each team has four blockers in the pack each jam, until someone earns a trip to the penalty box for offenses such as tripping, high blocking, or elbowing, forcing their team to skate short.

Besides the excitement of a new venue, the league was celebrating the end of its seventh season with a match-up between the Anchors and Right Coast. The Anchor Assassins’ jammers – Mick Jab Her, SoCo and Kid Kill-o-Watt – racked up the points giving them the lead for the first minutes of the first half.

But Right Coast would overcome the point deficit with strong jamming by Principal Rooney, Koopa Troopa, Shermaine Tank and Emma Effa, and solid blocking by Pinky & the Pain and Jack & Choke. The score at the half had Right Coast up, 109 to 54.

In the second half, despite deft blocking by Anchors’ Stoli Slammer, Lita Floor Her and Mustache Her, the Anchor Assassins saw Right Coast pull ahead by nearly 100 points at one point, though they managed to shrink that spread many times throughout the half. Several Anchors earned ejections from the game, for having too many trips to the penalty box, while Right Coast continued to leap, dart and  spin through the pack for points.

Both veteran and new skaters relished in the excitement of making it to the championship, and fought until the last jam whistle for every point. But it would be Right Coast crowned the 2013 Jersey Shore Roller Girls champions, winning 245 to 139.

For more information on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls, visit www.jerseyshorerollergirls.net.
SB Girl December 04, 2013 at 07:24 AM
Nice to hear this "private" arena is being used...not that I'm a roller derby fan...but does anyone have any idea how to find a list of the events that are scheduled, as infrequent as they may be, and how to go about getting tickets for the events?? Seems like this is a tightly held secret!?!

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