Bonneville Bone Crushers vs. Magic City Rollers. Photo: O'Durgy
The Magic City Rollers rolled into Salt Lake this weekend from Billings, Montana to face Wasatch Roller Derby’s Bonneville Bone Crushers. Fans were treated to an evenly matched bout, which featured numerous lead changes and close scores throughout. Both teams played clean with relatively few players spending time in the penalty box. The pace of the pack was rather quick, and passive blocking seemed to be favored rather than blockers putting on big hits. That strategy tends to keep players on the track rather than risking getting called out on penalties. Right before the half, Magic City jammers Boioioioioing and White Vengeance had ten-point jams, giving Magic City the edge going into half-time, 67-44.
Wasatch must have used the half-time break to motivate themselves to get back into the game and plan how to keep the opposing jammers at bay. During the first jam of the second half, WRD’s Clam Jammer came blazing back with a fifteen-point jam, getting Wasatch back within eight points. Wasatch was able to get back within two points, but penalties started affecting both teams during the second half.
I’m not a huge fan of the strategy of blockers standing still as the whistle to start the jam blows. I can see how this might be an effective clock-killing strategy if your team’s jammer is in the box, but I couldn’t determine any rhyme or reason as to when the strategy was employed. All I know is that it makes for boring derby for the spectators. In one jam in particular, blockers spent over a minute of the two-minute jam standing on the line before anyone moved. It was difficult to discern which team was initiating this strategy, or if they both were, but either way it takes away from the game.
Wasatch’s Penny Slain fouled out of the game after accruing too many trips to the penalty box. Additional missteps for Wasatch in the last jams of the bout included starting a jam one blocker short (typically resulting from some type of miscommunication on the bench) and jammer Bruiser Ego getting sent to the penalty box, giving Magic City a power jam and the ability to get an eight-point lead with just minutes left in the game. Final score: Wasatch Roller Derby loses to Magic City 96-104.
Check out more photos by O'Durgy here.