Thursday, October 27, 2011

SVRG Halloween Tournament

Sunday was SVRG's first ever Halloween Tournament! When I first caught wind of this, I signed up almost immediately, because it sounded like the most fun ever - skaters from all over the area being divided up into Halloween-themed teams and then facing off? Hell yeah!

We ended up having four teams - Team Skeletons (black), Team Pumpkins (orange), Team Zombies (purple), and Team Ghosts (white - my team). Black and Orange faced off first, then Purple and White, and the winner from each one would face each other in a "championship" bout.

I arrived at Roosevelt Park on Sunday already burning up - for October, it sure was hot out. The outdoor rink had no cover whatsoever, and spectators were crammed into what little shade there was in the stands. The track surface was slick and at times covered in water spots seeping up from beneath the sport court tiles - the combination of the heat and having to work so hard just to stabilize myself meant that I was already sweaty after warm-ups.

I proudly watched as two of my league mates, Jentropy and Saffron Cisco, contributed to the Pumpkins' win over the Skeletons, and then took to the track to get ready for my own bout. I was the only PRG skater on the Ghosts (or as we called ourselves, Team WOOooOOoo), skating with some girls from Santa Cruz and SVRG, among other leagues. The Zombies featured two of my former league mates, Foo Bar and Roxo Gene, as well as some other skaters I used to be in bootcamp with.

Ghosts pulled ahead and never looked back. I believe our score at the half was 60-something to 20-something, and despite the fact that we were winning by a wide margin, I couldn't help grimacing a little at the idea of playing a second game in hot sun.

I even got to jam! Death by Dollface (whom I admire and respect and look up to) asked me, "Do you want to jam next?" and I nervously replied, "Um, no... but okay!" Why not, right? She assured me that either she or Lizapalooza (another SVRG skater I have known a while and admire) would be in my pack to help me out. And as it turned out, we did have a VERY strong pack for my jam, and it was thanks to their awesome blocking that I got lead jammer! And I even made one full successful scoring pass after getting lead! I skated out the full two minutes (I was trying REALLY hard to get back to the pack, but I was just too tired and slow), and came off the track to congratulations from everyone on my team, including the bench coach.

Other than my one "star turn," I either pivoted or blocked. All four teams had lots of people dropping out for various reasons, so we each only had about 9 skaters, so we did packs of three rather than four. The Ghosts defeated the Zombies by a fairly wide margin, and then went on to defeat the Pumpkins in the championship bout to win the day!

I feel pretty good about my blocking - in the practices leading up to Sunday, Carl has had us working specifically on blocking skills and techniques, and I tried to implement whatever I could. In game 2 against the Pumpkins, I found myself blocking against Jentropy, who is a jammer and very fast and agile, on a couple different occasions. We had been practicing how to sort of stride match with a jammer coming off the line - how long to wait before you move, how fast you have to go when you DO start moving so the jammer doesn't just pass you - and I focused on that and got a couple good hits on her. (Love you, Jentropy! =P)

Despite the heat and the skating surface, it was LOADS of fun. I got to reconnect with some skaters I hadn't seen in a long time, and we all played a good clean game, and my scary ghost makeup stayed on THE ENTIRE TIME. It was awesome. I would totally do this again next year... though I would kinda love for it to be indoors ;)

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