Most of the banked track derby world converged in Monroe, WA during the weekend of June 1-3, 2018 for Battle on the Bank XI. This year’s tournament was hosted by Tilted Thunder at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds and comprised seven adult teams and five junior teams. For the first two days, the teams play 30-minute bouts to move through the brackets. Sunday is the semi-finals and championship bouts which are full 60-minute games. The first day of BOTB sets up the remaining brackets of tournament play. The tournament is double elimination and teams are matched by seeding based on previous year placement.
Day One of the tournament had eight games on tap. The tournament opened the San Diego Wildfires taking on South Side Roller Derby. San Diego came out swinging and took a commanding league early in the game and never looked back. The final score was 278-17.
The second game of the day saw the host team, Tilted Thunder Rail Birds, go up against the TXRD All Scar Army. TXRD is the newest addition to the RDCL family and has played in previous BOTB tournaments, as well as hosting BOTB II. But at the final whistle, the Rail Birds took the “W” with a score of 122-48.
In the third game of the day, the Arizona Derby Dames Hot Shots played Penn Jersey She Devils. This game was neck in neck for the first half of the game and the She Devils were giving the Hot Shots a good run. However, after the half time break and some adjustments were made, the Hot Shots locked down their first win of the tournament with a score of 113-46.
The fourth game of the day saw the 7-time champs, the LA Derby Dolls Ri-Ettes, go up against host team, Tilted Thunder who had won their earlier game. LADD came out on the track looking like the well oiled machine that they are. They dominated in the win against the Rail Birds with a score of 175-18.
Game 5 was the first juniors game of the tournament with the Arizona Derby Dames Minor Assaults taking on the Tilted Thunder Peeps. These two teams last met each other in February at Chingadera where the Minor Assaults came out the victor. This bout got off to a great start, but the Minor Assaults held on for the win by a score of 115-54.
Game 6 proved to be the most exciting bout of the day (in this writer’s humble opinion). The LADD Jr. Ri-Ettes were facing the TXRD Junior Cadets who were making their debut at Battle on the Bank. The Junior Cadets came into the tournament with an 11-man roster, the smallest roster of all of the teams. Their sheer determination and will to win more than made up for the small number of skaters on their roster. These two teams battled back and forth jam for jam. At one point, the TXRD team was down to only 8 skaters available due to penalties. This bout game down to the very last jam where TXRD pulled out the “W” with a score of 94-91 and notching their first win at BOTB.
Game 7 saw two great West Coast rivals meet up – the AZDD Hot Shots and the SDDD Wildfires. Any time these two teams take the track, you can expect masterful strategy, hard hitting and intensity. The score volleyed back and forth, but in the end, AZDD won 84-53. A noteworthy tidbit – this was the first time in AZDD history that the Hot Shots had won all of their games on the first day of BOTB.
Game 8 – the last game of the day saw the TXRD Junior Cadets, still high on their first win, take on the SDDD Spitfires. The experience and solid roster of SDDD were no match for the rookies from TXRD. SDDD dominated the entire game and won with a score of 232-12.
Of note…this year’s tournament was missing one member of the RDCL family – Deadly Rival Roller Derby. After undergoing an overhaul of league structure and travel team skaters, DRRD had to pull out of this year’s tournament. They were missed and all teams look forward to seeing them next year at BOTB XII.
Be sure to check back for the Day Two recap – peace out til next time.