On Saturday, April 25, 2015, 50 skaters from four different teams, including four members of the Cape Girardeau Roller Girls, gathered together to skate an open Mash-up in Benton County, Arkansas. Other teams included Benton County Roller Derby (Rogers, AR), Fountain City Roller Derby (Kansas City, MO), and LeFlore County Roller Derby (Poteau, OK). Skaters were placed on teams at random to play in the co-ed, beginners, and/or advanced scrimmages featuring the M.A.D.E. (Modern Athletic Derby Endeavor) style of roller derby.
What is M.A.D.E. you may ask? M.A.D.E. is one flavor of flat track roller derby that has a different ruleset than the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) ruleset which CGRG uses. There are similarities and differences between the two, and the basics are highlighted below. Regardless of the different flavors of roller derby, both are fun to play!
What are some of the things that make WFTDA and M.A.D.E. similar in their styles of play? They both have 5 players on each side skating counterclockwise around an oval track on quad skates. They both feature blockers, pivots, and jammers; and blockers still skate in a pack. There’s no blocking to the head or below the knee and no fighting or unsafe behavior. Points are scored by sending one player (the active jammer) out to lap opposing players, and the most points wins!
The basic difference between WFTDA and M.A.D.E. is that skaters for M.A.D.E. are constantly moving in a forward motion counterclockwise and cannot stop, whereas WFTDA skaters can stop on the track and skate in a clockwise direction for a short distance. Overall, M.A.D.E. can be a faster game because of its style of play. Another difference is that the M.A.D.E. pivot can become the active jammer without having to do a star pass. This happens when one jammer breaks out of the pack and becomes “lead”. At this point, the other team’s pivot can also break out of the pack and become his/her team’s “active jammer.” Not only can the pivot become a jammer, he/she can also become the “lead jammer” by passing the opposing team’s jammer. Alternately, the WFTDA pivot can become the jammer with a star pass, but can never become the lead Jammer. He/she can, however, still score points.
Either way, both the M.A.D.E. and WFTDA rule sets provide exciting game play for fans to watch! Bruise Fairy and Sue Bob Fight both felt the opportunity to play a M.A.D.E. game was a new challenge to adapt their WFTDA style of play to M.A.D.E. and a rush to try something new. “My dependence on brute strength is replaced with a need for speed. My power hits are replaced with a greater reliance on positional blocking,” said Bruise Fairy. Bruise Fairy and Sue Bob Fight competed in the Co-ed game; Sue Bob Fight, Flesner, and Landowski competed in the Women’s Beginner’s game; and finally Bruise Fairy and Flesner also competed in the Women’s Advanced game. After the games, Bruise Fairy won MVP Blocker for Advanced, Flesner won MVP Jammer for Advanced, and Landowski won MVP Jammer for Beginner’s. CGRG members Bruise Fairy, Sue Bob Fight, Flesner, and Landowski all agreed that it was an overall fun event to skate with old friends, make new friends, and to learn a new style of play!