Thursday, 8 November 2012

Featured League: Pirate City Rollers

Copyright Pirate City Rollers

This blog's featured league hails from New Zealand with roots in the United States. Founded by Dale "Black Dahlia" Rio when she moved to New Zealand in 2006, Pirate City has the excellent distinction of being the world's oldest derby league outside of North America. Running competitive home seasons since 2007, Pirate City is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Today, Pirate City boasts three teams: Dead Wreckoning, Mascara Massacre and Blackheart Bruisers. According to the Roller Derby New Zealand website, Pirate City is ranked #1 in the country and #4 in the Southern Hemisphere.About half of Team New Zealand (who forever stole my heart by once claiming the title of 'butchest World Cup team' in the Comments section of this blog) in the 2011 Roller Derby World Cup hailed from Pirate City.

Copyright Pirate City Rollers
My favourite thing about Pirate City is the ethos stated on its website that the league offers its support to other nascent leagues. Sometimes in the derby community, the competitive spirit can get the best of us. But the sport spreads best when we lend each other hand, especially across league lines. I'm proud to hear that Pirate City is willing to lend a hook.

Pirate City's bouting season and Freshmeat intake courses are over for the year, but they offer two leveled options for new skaters: the Maiden Voyage casual classes and the Freshmeat course, available to skaters after passing a skills test. Having these two options makes a clear division between non-league skaters paying for training and league members entering the ranks for Fresh Meat training.

Sometimes leagues do not sufficiently clarify the practical differences between being what amounts to a customer paying for training and skate time and being a league-member and/or team-member benefiting from the funds brought in by those league customers. At a practical level, travel teams, for example, sometimes rely on money generated for the league by skaters who only practice or scrimmage and who do not have a place on a league team: these kinds of skaters pull a lot of financial weight for some leagues and they deserve recognition. I hope we can learn from leagues like Pirate City that make those distinctions clear and, I hope, show all their skaters respect for what they contribute to a league's community and finances.

So, please consider roaring a hearty "Arrr!" in honour of Pirate City, Auckland's derby buccaneers. See their website, Facebook and Twitter for more information!

Copyright Pirate City Rollers

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