This past weekend I sat in front of my computer screaming at the monitor, not cause my computer crashed but because my teammates in the San Diego Derby Dolls were kicking ass at the Battle of the Banked: Capital Punishment Tournament in Austin Texas. They came home with the 1st place trophy, rightfully claiming their place as the best team in California on any surface and the best in the nation on banked.
But I realized as I was watching these intense games, we are just about there. Who really needs a TV to watch derby. As it stands now, I don’t have cable anyway. I have to go to the bar or over to my friend’s or family’s houses to watch the Chargers play or the Lakers game. Nearly everyone I know has a computer with the Internet. Streaming videos is common place now with sites like YouTube and UStream.
About a year ago, Derby News Network started broadcasting bouts as text-casts; enlisting the help of local derby fanatics to text the updates from a game. Slow and lacking the same intensity, the text-casts offered the derby community an outlet to see how your team was doing in a game that you could not be at. They got the points, penalties, lead jammer status and maybe when a key player took a spill. Viewers could give their two cents or shout outs like a standard moderated chatroom.
For nearly every tournament since August 2008, Derby News Network has broadcasted video boutcasts showing the true excitement and intensity of the sport. Text-casts still continue to this day as an entertaining communication tool to the eyes on the track.
This weekend is the East Coast Extravaganza in Philly, a large-scale flat track derby event featuring teams from across the US and Canada. And guess what that means? A weekend of watching roller derby streaming live straight to you. Derby News Network will be broadcasting (video and text) HERE both Saturday and Sunday, all games starting at 10:30am EDT.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the country, the LA Derby Dolls are streaming live the their double header for the first time in five years (or is it six). The Rookie skaters will duke it out in the Baby Doll Brawl. In between bouts, the Junior Derby Dolls will take the track showing off their moves. Kids in derby, priceless. The second match up will be the LA Derby Dolls B Bracket Team, the Aftershockers who will take on a combination of skaters from local Flat track leagues called the Prom Queens. HERE is the link that will take you to this west coast action. Bout starts at 3:30pm PDT, don’t be late!
I think this signifies a new era. We may not be on TV but the Internet reaches a wider audience and is much more portable. So if you haven’t got a chance to go see your local derby league play, check out the action online. Who knows, you may find you actually like it.