If you attended last Sunday’s Houston Roller Derby bout you likely saw a beat-down. The HRD invited a South Side Roller Derby team to their turf and, frankly, kicked their ass. The score: 193 to (get ready for it) 12. For those not familiar with derby, that’s bad (and uncommon). You don’t really have to know the sport to recognize a 181 point difference is never good.
We received an e-mail from a concerned fan “imploring” us to look into the game. Apparently, some foul play was suspected.
We called SSRD’s Brenda Holley who said she felt the game was officiated fairly, but that HRD did fail to mention a crucial element:
“The floor the girls were skating on was a plastic floor and we didn’t find out until the second half of the game that you need these certain type of wheels to be able to skate that floor,” Holley says.
A brief lesson in derby floors: there are two types for flat-track racing: hardwood and plastic (known as sport court). Holley says skaters need softer wheels for plastic tracks because the surface is smoother, so they need more grip. Her skaters didn’t have these wheels.
“We had wheels that were made for hardwood floors, so our girls couldn’t even stand up on the fucking floor,” Holley says.
But Scarlet O’Hurtya of the HRD says that’s not true. She says the SSRD signed contracts before the bouts that indicated the type of floor.
“In the first line of the inter-league contract … it does state the venue and that we will be playing on a sport-court floor,” O’Hurtya says. “So they were indeed notified, they signed the contract and they were fully aware that we would be playing on a sport court.” She added that Holley regularly attends HRD bouts and has seen the floor and wheels the girls use. Plus, O’Hurtya says that even if SSRD hadn’t been notified, it really doesn’t make a difference.
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“It’s seriously such as subjective thing,” she says about what wheels skaters use on different floors. O’Hurtya says there were girls from the HRD who were skating on the same wheels as SSRD. In other words, this may be a dude-who-could-dunk-if-he-only-had-the-new-Jordans argument.
O’Hurtya called us back later in the day to assure us that both the HRD and SSRD are going to discuss the bout and make sure any animosity is cleared up.
And if that doesn’t’ work, we know another way they could settle it: derby … oh wait.
— Dusti Rhodes