It’s fair to say that Glasgow Roller Derby had a packed year in 2015.
With the launch of British Championships last year, GRD A, the Irn Bruisers, had a full set of fixtures in the first half of the year just dealing with the Premier Tier bouts. This busy schedule didn’t affect the Bruisers’ performance, however, and they managed to top their tier (and therefore become crowned the strongest team in British Champs) with an unbroken win record.
Somehow, the Bruisers also found time to make it over to Berlin to take on the Berlin Bombshells in April, which chalked up their only loss for the first half of the year, in a hard fought game for both teams.
Nevertheless, their extraordinary performance in Champs, especially their 226 point win over Tiger Bay Brawlers, and 116 pt margin against Auld Reekie, was sufficient to place GRD A at 24th in the WFTDA world rankings, and win them a place in the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs in Jacksonville. (Glasgow are currently only the second UK league, after London, to make Division 1 Playoffs.) It also got Glasgow to be WFTDA Featured League for July!
In all this excitement, GRD B, the Maiden Grrders, weren’t sitting around doing nothing. In March, the Grrders flew over to Nantes to participate in West Track Story III, facing hosts Nantes Derby Girls along with Amsterdam, Bear City B (Inglorious Bombshells) and Kallio B (Kinapori Fistfunkers). After some close games against Amsterdam and Berlin, the Maidens placed a creditable middle of the table.
In April, Glasgow also took on Team Metal Legs as part of Mean City Roller Derby’s double header, with a mash-up team containing A and B team skaters.
Glasgow C, the Cannie Gingers, also had a successful first half of the year, taking on Voodoo Roller Dollies and New Town Roller Girls in February’s Highland Rampage, and winning with 100 and 200 pt margins respectively.On to the second half of the year, and Glasgow doubled down on fundraising to get the Irn Bruisers over to America.
Arriving in Jacksonville, seeded 7th, Glasgow A played a strong game against first opponents, Charlottesville, before being outlasted by them for a relatively close loss. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay then took a strong win against the Bruisers; thankfully, GRD recovered from their loss to take a convincing final bout against Pike’s Peak, finishing their first ever Division 1 Playoffs with a 1-2 win-loss ratio.
With everything else on pause a bit for playoffs, the Maidens and the Gingers had a quieter second half of the year. The Maidens took on Auld Reekie B and Manchester for convincing wins, and then Finland’s Tampere and (rematching) Kinapori for losses. The Gingers took on Bairn City Rollers’ Central Belters in July, and also attended a second Voodoo hosted tournament, beating the hosts again, and demolishing Luzern’s Hellveticats in their first “European” match-up.
With all of this excitement, there wasn’t enough room in the year for a full Home Teams tournament in 2015, so the bouting year was capped by a single-day Home Teams Extravaganza, which the Bad Omens won fairly convincingly.
As for 2016:
Glasgow Roller Derby are one of the few Premier Tier leagues returning for a second year in British Champs, and no-doubt they’ll be aiming to retain the championship, and return to the USA for a more successful Division 1 Playoffs. In aid of this second aim, the Irn Bruisers are attending the first ever WFTDA European Division 1 Tournament, the European Smackdown.
The first bout of the year, however, will also be GRD’s first bout in a new venue: Glasgow’s A and B teams taking on Vagine Regime UK’s A and B rosters in the Lagoon Centre, Paisley. After the closure of the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena left GRD with only the small confines of the ARC in Glasgow Caledonian University, they’ve been looking for a more expansive venue, and the Lagoon Centre will hopefully meet their requirements.