Warriors host a Very Derby Halloween

By Bruce Urquhart Sentinel-Review

Posted 1 hour ago

WOODSTOCK – When they were doing their brainstorming, A Very Derby Halloween Open Skate just made too much sense.

Given the edgy sensibility inherent in the roller derby phenomenon, the new Woodstock Warriors decided a Halloween fundraiser was a perfect way to put some money in the bank while reaching out to the larger community.

So on Saturday, Oct. 29, Woodstonians are invited to bring their roller or inline skates to the Oxford Auditorium for an evening redolent of the roller rinks from the 1970s and 1980s.

“It’s a costumed Halloween skate,” organizer Melissa Schneider said. “We’d love for people to dress up. There’s going to be prizes for best costume.”

Co-hosted with the Woodstock Agricultural Society, the money raised through the licensed event will be used by the Woodstock Warriors to host an exhibition game in early 2012.

“We need to raise about $2,500 to hold a game in Woodstock,” Schneider said. “It will be nice to get people in Woodstock to know what derby is.”

The open skate portion of the evening runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., although the Halloween party – and the music – doesn’t wrap up until 1 a.m.

“Even if you don’t want to come and skate, you can come out and party,” Schneider said.

For those who don’t own a pair of roller or inline skates, there will be an assortment available for rental during the event. During the evening, the team is also giving away a number of door prizes, thanks to the generosity of a number of local businesses.

As for the team itself, the Woodstock Warriors now have a full complement of 14 “dedicated” players. Some of the team members, Schneider said, are very close to being ready for a full contact game.

“They are very enthusiastic,” she said. “It’s awesome to see it. They’re all very driven. They’re all very excited.”

For those who may be interested in roller derby, the team is hosting an open practice on Oct. 27 at the Oxford Auditorium.

The roller-derby renaissance began in the mid-2000s as a kind of do-it-yourself grassroots movement in Canada and the U.S. Predominantly a female sport – although there are a small number of male and mixed leagues – roller derby has adopted a largely punk esthetic, which contributes to the adoption of player alter egos and the pervasive pop culture references.

With most teams and leagues using rules established by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, the sport has become fairly standardized. At the roller-derby bouts, two teams of skaters face off on a flat oval track. One skater, the jammer, scores points for her team by passing opposing players while four teammates act as blockers, which usually involves a few bone-clattering hits.

What: A Very Derby Halloween Open Skate and Party

When: Saturday, Oct 29, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Where: Oxford Auditorium, 875 Nellis St., Woodstock

Cost is $7. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Record Works. Tickets will also be available at the door.

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