As roller derby continues to gain traction in Cleveland, we realized that some of you might not be familiar with how the structure of our league works. Some of you have even asked us “Which team is Cleveland?”
We understand how there might be some confusion, so here is a handy guide to Cleveland roller derby.
Burning River Roller Girls
This is Cleveland’s flat-track roller derby league. We are a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). We have more than 70 member skaters, who are divided among teams. We have both home teams who play each other in intraleague bouts and travel teams who play against other leagues. Some of these travel team games are sanctioned by WFTDA and count toward our national rankings.
Our league colors are red and white, though each team within the league has their own colors. We’ve incorporated a theme throughout the league relating to the “burning river” concept, including the travel team names, our logos and the home team championship trophy, the Hazard Cup.
Skaters must pass a skills test during a predetermined recruiting period or transfer from another league to become a member of the Burning River Roller Girls. At that point they become a member of our farm team (pool of skaters eligible to be drafted) and from there they can eventually end up on a home team, a travel team or both.
Once part of the Burning River Roller Girls, skaters are eligible to be drafted to one of four home teams. These teams play each other at the Cleveland State Wolstein Center five times a year.
One of BRRG’s four home teams. They wear gold and blue and have a nautical theme. They are the only team with the word “Cleveland” in the name, but all of the teams listed here are from Cleveland.
One of BRRG’s four home teams. They wear pink and black, often accented with stars.
One of BRRG’s four home teams. They wear black and red. They are four-time champions of the intraleague home team competitions.
One of BRRG’s four home teams. They wear green with black and white polka dots. They won the intraleague home team competition in 2010.
You can next see the home teams play May 5 at the Cleveland State Wolstein Center in our semifinals doubleheader.
Travel teams are populated based on tryouts rather than a draft system. Only skaters who have passed the initial skills test and are members of our league are eligible to participate in these tryouts. Most of these skaters are also members of one of the four home teams listed above.
Burning River All-Stars
This is BRRG’s “A” travel team. They are our WFTDA-sanctioned team and primarily play in bouts against other WFTDA-sanctioned teams to count toward their national ranking. Their colors are blue and orange.
You can next see the All-Stars play May 6 at Pla-Mor Skating Rink against the Long Island Roller Rebels.
BRRG’s “B” travel team. These skaters often play other B teams in double-headers with the All-Stars. They also play other teams within the North Central region, but generally not ones that are WFTDA-sanctioned. Their colors are also blue and orange.
You can next see the HazMat Crew play June 16 at the Wolstein Center against the Tri-City Roller Girls. (This will be a double-header with the All-Stars).
Once part of the Burning River Roller Girls, skaters are placed on the Pyromaniacs, the team from which home teams within the league may draft skaters. They play interleague bouts against teams from other cities. They are eligible to try out for our travel teams, but they also remain on the Pyromaniacs until drafted to a home team. Their colors are purple and black.
The Pyromaniacs can next been seen May 5 at 5:15 at the Wolstein Center during a pre-show bout against the Sandusky Roller Girls.
Hopefully that clears things up. Still confused? Don’t worry, just remember that all of these teams are from Cleveland and feel good knowing that you are cheering for a group of hard-working home-town athletes. Go Cleveland!