Bring the bang: Gorge Roller Girls host home bout

Gorge roller girls are ready for their first home bout on March 16.

Gorge roller girls are ready for their first home bout on March 16.

If there was ever a time in Hood River to break-out the clickty-clackers, cowbells, plastic clappy-hands, thunder-sticks and vuvuzelas, Saturday is it. The otherwise maddening spectator noisemakers will provide appropriate harmony for the Gorge Roller Girls’ first-ever league bout; a match-up between the River Reapers and the Cherry Bombers March 16, 6 p.m. at Hood River Valley High School.

The contest between the two GRG flat-track squads is a milestone in what has quickly proved to be a vibrant and energetic new sport for the region. Founded a little more than a year ago, GRG started with a core group of women who had no experience but wanted to learn the sport of roller derby. After learning the basics in Portland, the group formed a club in Hood River with women from throughout the Gorge. Interest exploded, and before long there were enough players to field two separate teams; hence Saturday’s Bombers vs. Reapers match-up.

“This game will be for bragging rights in our local league,” said coach Shannon Burns. “We expect this game to be neck-and-neck all the way to the end. We have tried to make the teams even in abilities and it should be a hard-fought game.”

Doors open for the event at 5 p.m., action starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and tickets should be purchased ahead of time online at A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

Top players from both teams will make up the GRG All Stars, which will have several bouts in the 2013 season, including the first scheduled for April 13 at HRVHS against the Southern Oregon Rollergirls. The GRG’s first full season comes after bouts last year in Hermiston, Ellensburg, Astoria and Portland; the team lost the first two and won the second two.

Since then the group has been training regularly — daily for many — to get toughened-up for the season.

“These ladies are athletes that work very hard to learn how to skate, learn the rules, learn how to play and get in the best shape that they can,” Burns said.

“Skaters come in every size and shape. They may make up silly names for themselves, but they are very serious. All you need to play derby is a little desire and a lot of guts.”

Leagues and contests are run under Women’s Flat Track Derby Association rules and regulations. WFTDA has 177 member leagues from coast to coast, including the Rose City Rollers, which recently accepted GRG as an expansion team.

To better enjoy Saturday’s contest, it might be helpful to brush up on how bouts are run and scored and the roles different positions play in the game. An in-depth description of the sport, its history, rules and points system can be found by a quick Wikipedia search of roller derby.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners