Columbia, SC (WLTX) Columbia's nationally ranked roller derby league, the Columbia QuadSquad Rollergirls held their 4th Annual Southern Discomfort Roller Derby Tournament over the weekend.
Teams from all over the United States battled it out at the National Guard Armory on Bluff Road in Columbia.
As southerners we're taught to act like ladies; no shouting and certainly no shoving. But in the Southern Discomfort roller derby tournament the roller girls showed the crowd what it means to be a strong Southern woman. Stacey Franklin who is known as Holly Hunter in roller derby, has been on the Columbia Quad Squad team almost since the beginning. Before, she was a figure skater. But she says, it was roller derby that helped her find her strength. She tells News 19, "I like the competitive part of it. It gives me confidence. I was a totally different person before I started playing roller derby. I was quiet and shy."
But she is not any more. In Sunday's game the Columbia QuadSquad All Stars took on the Rocky Mountain Fight Club team. Both teams are ranked in the top 50 in the U.S. and it wasn't an easy match. Franklin says, "We always say we're down by one. We're always in the mindset that we have to fight for every point that we get."
Maisie Osteen is a defense attorney. But in the ring, as Roxanne Stones, she serves up her own type of justice. Osteen says, "I kind of consider myself a big girl who comes in to regulate."
Tiffany Quick, or "Poison Violet," stings the competition when she jams her way through the opponents. But she says even though roller derby is a really physical sport, she uses her brains too. '
"It's more about what can I exploit," she explains. "Where is it going to be more advantageous for me to go. I don't view it as there is a whole bunch of blockers and I have to fight through. I view it as a puzzle and where do I fit. Where do I go and how can I make myself fit in there and maneuver. So when I see a wall of blockers, I don't see a whole bunch of people bigger than me. I'm looking at the floor because I am looking to see who doesn't have their breaks on. Who isn't as stable? That's my target, and I don't have to fight three or four people I just have to fight one."
Each game has two halves. During the game there is a series of short match-ups called jams. The object is to get your jammer through the opposition so she can lap the other players racking up points. At the same time your team is also trying to prevent the other teams jammer from doing the same thing. In this match, Columbia Quad Squad came out on top, 176 to 134.
Osteens breaks down the game saying, "The name of that game was composure. And being able to ride out those point differentials and to stay together as a pack because that's so important, particularly when the pack gets fast so we can regroup together and really break down that defense so we can slow it down."
Columbia QaudSquad is a nonprofit and all the girls pay a $40 month dues to play. That money goes toward their travel expenses and rental for their practice rink.