It was awesome, but before I start with that, I want to talk about the preparation. I got to the rink around 4:45 and we were just starting to set up. We were told to grab our knee pads, so I got mine and helped as the head ref did the chalk outline. I’d never seen them do the outline, so it was really cool. He had a long chain that had different rings and labels that told you which lines went where. Once the chalk outlines were done, we started laying out the rope and taping it down. It took us quite a while and then one of the refs came over and helped do the rest of the track in 3 seconds flat. He said he got really fast at it because the rink he used to be at wouldn’t let them set up until very late.
At that time I had to gear up and I started feeling very nervous. For the first 30 minutes I was on skates I couldn’t remember how to stop (it was more about the rope lines and being scared of tripping over them). Because so many people signed up for the scrimmage we were going to have three 30-minute periods (we ended up having two 30-minute periods and one 15-minute period, but that whole thing comes later), and I was put as B2 in the 1st and 7th lines and then as Pivot in the 3rd line during the 3rd period.
Because I was in the first line I got to do the example jam at the beginning. I always thought it was some kind of planned thing, but apparently not. After the demo we lined back up for real and the whistle blew to start the first jam. And I literally do not remember what happened after that. The jammer probably passed right by me and I may have hit one person, but I have no clue. Before I knew it the whistle was blown four times by all the refs and the jam was over as quickly as it had begun.
A few highlights from my times on the track, since I can’t really recall enough to fully talk about one:
- One girl fell right in front of me and I tripped over her and fell spectacularly, but I got right back up.
- There was a bit of a pile up around turn three and I ran over someone’s fingers. It was like driving on a bumpy road.
- I accidentally hit the jammer with my elbow (though she didn’t fall or anything) and luckily I didn’t get a minor (actually, I didn’t any minors or majors, but then again I didn’t play a whole bunch).
- I hit the jammer with my elbow at turn two, but at turn 4 I hit her out of bounds!
- I was really good about looking behind me and I think I spent more time looking behind than looking forward
We did have a few problems though. One woman fell (not during a jam) and snapped her ankle in two places. They called the ambulance and had to reset her ankle last night. That happened with about 3 minutes left at the end of the 2nd period and they were going to call the bout. They decided to go ahead and finish out the period and follow it up with a 15 minute period rather than a 30 minute period like they planned.
The 3rd period was going to be more evenly matched players against each other. Basically it’d be a line of all beginners, and then a line of intermediates, and then a line of advanced. I was the pivot in the beginners group.
With about 5 minutes left on the clock our jammer got hit and broke her clavicle. We all thought she had just hit her bad shoulder again, but at the after party we found out what happened. She was able to get up on her own steam and walk off the track and be driven to the hospital. So yeah, two very bad injuries in one scrimmage, both of them from my team. I am just so bummed and feel horrible for the ladies who were hurt, both of them love derby and it's going to kill them not to be able to play for however long they're out of commission. :(
The final jam was pretty intense. It started out as a power jam for the Santas and after about 2 or 3 grand slams our jammer was released from the box and was able to get some points before the jam was called off. It took several seconds to update the scoreboard and when we saw that it was 190-188, we all flipped! My first scrimmage and I was on the winning team!
At the end of the night I had smudges from other people’s numbers on my arms (and it was awesome). I had to resist the temptation to just leave my numbers on my shoulders because I’m sure my co-workers would not want to see it. Now we're on a break until January 3rd and our first bout of the 2012 season is February 12th. So yes, two more months and I have some goals/ideas for how I want to improve and I'll talk about those in another post.
And here's some pictures, all lumped at the bottom because I'm too lazy to sprinkle them through the whole post like a good blogger.