Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I Sometimes Hesitate to Recruit Derby Skaters

Everyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love derby.  I watch derby, I blog about derby, and I am willing to drop everything for the chance to play derby.  I am derby addicted!  Because I am so dedicated to the sport and my league, I tend to be on the prowl for skaters I see at Open Skates every week.  Yes, I scope out the adult skaters, both women and men, and sometimes I approach them and try to sell them on derby.  I usually have business cards to give them, or flyers about try outs.  I'm usually pretty good at engaging people, but every once in a while I find myself hesitating to recruit people into our world.   Let's face it, there are a lot of "not so positive" things about our sport, and is it unethical to not mention them?
Roller Derby Wants Your Life!

Reason Number the First
Derby is a time suck that makes all other time sucks look like amateur time sucks.  I smile and tell potential recruits that our league has three practices a week with two speed practices that are optional, making it five practices a week, but that doesn't include the volunteer hours, the committee meetings, the cross training, the travel time and team bonding.  Don't forget about our is endless.   How can I sell these innocent skaters the idea of derby without giving them a warning about how their lives will slowly narrow down into the black hole of roller derby.  Should I warn them?  I kind of wish someone had warned me.  Don't you?

Reason Number the Second
Derby ain't cheap.  Not only do you have dues, but you have to buy gear, pay for travel, pay for uniforms, replace gear, get more wheels, get better boots, get better plates, buy the WFTDA feed for the playoffs....whew! Did I mention buy more wheels?  BUY ALL THE WHEELS! Did Bont just release a new boot?  MUST GET IT! It's hard to express just how expensive derby can be, without scaring a new recruit off. 

Reason Number the Third
Hey possible recruit, you WILL get hurt.  It's not a matter of if, but of when, and how severe.  That seems to be the most popular question I get asked by possible recruits, "Do you get hurt?"  I answer honestly; I've broken my nose, three fingers, severely sprained my ankle, cracked my sternum, earned a permanent dimple in my butt from a skate wheel, not to mention countless bruises!  Derby is painful, and depending on the severity of the injury, it might permanently affect your life.  It also can permanently affect your job.  So, can I sign you up?

Reason Number the Fourth
Derby can completely break your heart.  It doesn't always last forever, but derby can be a really capricious bitch when it comes to your self respect, self image and ego.  Sometimes derby can bring you to the highest highs and the lowest lows, all in the same day.  Drama, rosters, pecking orders, ugh!  Derby is a nightmare at times, and if your league is going through any of those issues, it is hard to look a recruit in his or her hopeful face and say "Sure, it's the most awesome of experiences!"  Make sure your league is a place you would want to bring someone before you recruit!

On the Other Hand
Sometimes I hesitate to recruit someone because of something I've discovered about the recruit while I'm talking to them.  Usually, I try and let the recruit talk about what they like to do in their spare time.  If they do EVERYTHING EVER, then I wonder if they'll be able to commit to derby?  If they're playing rugby, mountain biking, mentoring special needs kids, traveling for work constantly, derby is probably not going to fit their lifestyle.  I also hesitate to recruit people if they come across as absolute messes. You know what I mean; derby calls enough crazies to skate, so I don't think I need to recruit more insanity.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Refs Need Skills Too, Yo.

Reffing is definitely an art and a skill; I've tried my hand at it in a casual way last year, and it is a lot harder than it looks.  If ever you think reffing is easy, I suggest you don the zebra stripes and step up to the plate.  In fact, it would probably behoove (pun intended) ever skater to try his or her hand at reffing a couple of times, and I promise you that you won't be so quick to criticize.  But back to the ref skills!  Refs need almost as many skating skills as derby skaters, and they definitely need as much training to be masters of their skills.  Are you training to be the best ref you can be?  Answer these questions to see how you might be able to improve your training.

1.  How are you at skating?  No, seriously, how are you at skating? If you're not a very skilled skater, then you need to work on your derby skills.  It's so important for refs to be confident on their wheels.  If they aren't, they spend most of their time and brain power worrying about their feet instead of worrying what's happening on the track.  Practice your stops, transitions and backwards skating.  Does your league have any footwork drills you can join? Sometimes I feel like refs think that they aren't welcome to do league drills, but for the most part, I think derby skaters love love love to see their refs working on their skating skills. I personally want to give a ref a hug when he or she joins in on any endurance drill.

2.  Do you watch footage with other refs?  Derby skaters watch footage of themselves, painful though it may be, so they can learn what their patterns are.  Are you doing the same?  Sometimes it sucks watching yourself; it can be quite embarrassing, but you can learn so much! Watch with other refs and give each other feedback. Also remember that the camera angle is going to be different from the one you had when you were making your calls, so don't completely second guess every cut track call you made, but be honest with yourself.  What calls did you miss?  Did you overcall some penalties?  What calls did you make that were good?  Sometimes we focus in on the mistakes we make, and don't acknowledge the good stuff we do, skaters and refs included!

3.  Who do you train with?  If you're not in touch with other refs, then you aren't furthering your education; how often do you skate with other leagues?  Do you attend referee clinics?  Are you talking to other refs on the forums?  If you aren't doing these things, how do you know if your interpretations of the rules are correct?  Derby is a crazy sport, and because of the new ruleset changes, there are a ton of on the track lawyers just itching to come up with the new "passive offense."  Derby players and coaches think they're pretty clever and are constantly trying to game the system.  You might have to make some pretty interesting judgement calls on some of this "strategy" and discussing it with outside refs might give you a different perspective. 

Asking yourself these questions can help you focus on what you need to do to up your ref training.  Some of them might be easier to improve on than others, but you're such an important part to this game, that everyone wants you to grow and become even more awesome than you already are.

An oldy, but a good documentation of my time reffing the guys.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hawaii 5-0: Pass or Fail?

Here we go again, Q watched another TV cop show about roller derby.  Yes, I did, and I am going to try to watch any and all "entertainment" media dealing with our sport.  So far, I've watched the CSI episodes, part of the Bachelor, Whip It, Bones, and now Hawaii 5-0.  TV has really taken some ugly liberties with our sport over the years, so I didn't go into the Hawaii 5-0 episode with high hopes, but what I saw wasn't what I expected.

 By the way, this is an action shot.  They aren't standing on the jammer line.
Yes, the episode was riddled with ridiculous interpretations of derby, as to be expected.  The victim was a derby girl, and the cops immediately jump to the conclusion that she has been abused because she has bruises.  As soon as I heard the words "domestic abuse victim" I rolled my eyes and missed how they discovered she had a secret identity as a roller derby girl.  I also rolled my eyes when I heard that her boyfriend had no idea that she was involved in roller derby; it's kind of difficult to hide your derby career from your significant other.  Your pad stench would be a massive hint, not to mention all of the time you were spending there; in this day and age of social media, I highly doubt anyone can hide their secret identity.  Also, what derby girl doesn't want to talk about derby?  TV often likes to treat derby as if it is some weird gang and the derby girls have to hide their associations with derby.  I guess they do this to make the plot more exciting, and to have one of their own detectives "infiltrate" the team by trying out.  More eye rolling.

At least this time, the detective in question had some skating in her background, so it was a teensy bit less far fetched than the Bones episode.  What made me laugh out loud was the fact the derby victim was "the team's only jammer".  Uh....what?  Did I hear that correctly?  I know it was done for TV and for the plot, but really?  Because their one jammer was dead, the team was forced into having try outs for the championship game, which was the next day.  Sigh.  At least in this episode, the undercover officer came in second instead of being "a natural."  When she does get chosen to be on the team, she introduces herself to a teammate as "I'm your new jammer."  More giggling ensued in the Q household. She also apologizes to one of her blockers while she's jamming. "I'm sorry I didn't block for you."  At least the blocker sets her straight and tells her that blockers block for jammers, not the other way around.  Hey, I've heard fresh meat say similar silly things.

There were glaring issues with the treatment of derby; the one that really made me crazy was the fact that they weren't wearing mouth guards.  I don't know why that was left out, since all talking was done on the bench, but it bothered me only because they got so many other things almost right.  Of course, this time the coach was the killer, and of course he was creepy as hell, but the thing that made me snort derisively was when he was giving his players cortisone shots.  Snort!  Hell, after some practices I WISH my coach could give me a cortisone shot, but I'm pretty sure that's a universal no no. 

The bright points in the episode were many; none of the derby girls were deviant, sex crazed psychos.  Yea!  Two of the characters featured had normal jobs; the victim was a teacher and one of the suspects was a doctor, so that felt real.  When the cops interviewed some of the derby girls about their teammate, they used her real name and one of the derby skaters said "who?"  I don't always know everyone's "real name" on my team, so I thought that was a nice touch.  They showed the undercover cop take a normal hit and tweak her knee when she fell, which is ever so much better than getting punched in the face or elbowed in the chin.  When they introduced the team, they showed some flat track scrimmaging going on; I saw people skating backwards to block, hitting with hips, and people falling down, but nothing excessive and crazy.  Nobody was rolling through blood or throwing egregious elbows, even though I did see some forearms.  I was impressed they showed some real skating.  Unfortunately, when they showed the "Championship game play" I thought that it felt really slow and boring, but I think that was because they were focused on the actresses skating, instead of editing them in.  The packs were moving slow, and not in a good way.  It wasn't very intense.

So, there it is.  If I were giving this episode a grade, I'd give it a B.   You could tell they tried to keep it in the realm of realism, but screwed up on some basics.  It kicks the crap out of that Bones episode though; that one is a definite F.

Monday, March 18, 2013

If I had five wishes.

Today I am in a pondering kind of mood, and I'm indulging in my fantasies about what I would like to see happen in derby this year.  I know I don't have control over time and space, but I still wish certain things would be become a reality in flat track derby.  Too bad I don't have a magic wand.
Image found here.  Wanna watch a scary video about head trauma? Click here.

1.  I wish all derby skaters would get decent helmets.  I don't care which helmet you go with, Nutcase, hockey helmets, or S-1s, but please dump the Triple 8 helmets with the sweat savers.  The sweat savers do NOTHING to protect your head from impact.  Yes, they're comfortable and they deal with your sweat; but please think about your brain's safety, and look into getting a more resilient helmet.  If your helmet has taken a beating, it's time to get a new one as well.  Look into the better helmets; you get one brain, take care of it.  BTW, it's been proven that mouth guards do NOT stop concussions; they keep your teeth safe, but that's about it. 

2.  I wish all derby players would stop dragging their foot when they block.  I know this is left over from the olden days, but every skater that drags his or her foot is asking for an ACL tear or is creating a situation where someone is going to trip over that foot and screw themselves up.  Learn to use your edges and control your hits that way.  Stop using your dragging foot as a crutch!  Unfortunately, I'm starting to see this method show back up in modern derby; please stop it!

3.  I wish all skaters would pledge to leave their crappy attitudes at the door.  Please drop your inflated egos too, because skating would be more fun if people worked together instead of sniping at each other.  Everyone knows that one skater who is nice when she's not wearing skates, but as soon as she is on the track, she's complaining, bitchy and unpleasant.  Moderate your personality.  Just because you're playing derby, doesn't mean you have to be jerk.  Don't talk shit, let your hips talk shit.

4.  I wish skaters would concentrate on learning to be amazing derby players instead of being on track lawyers trying to find loopholes in the rules.  It's March and already derby peeps are trying to game the rules, and be the new masterminds of derby.  Please stop.  We all work so hard to be better skaters; we do endurance, we drill endlessly, watch footage, and train train train.  How about we all just play derby? 

5.  I wish derby skaters would stop breaking their ankles.  Lately it seems that so many skaters are breaking their ankles and needing to get surgery and excessive hardware. In fact, it's slowly becoming the number one injury in derby.  I'm not sure if it's the way we're skating now, or if we haven't been strengthening our ankles the way we should be.  After the third skater in as many months broke his ankle, I found these strengthening exercises for ankles.  I've started doing them myself and I can tell that they are definitely building my ankle strength.  You can find them here.

Somebody want to find me a genie, or a monkey's paw or something?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Derby etiQuette

I've decided to tackle some of the thornier issues of etiquette in roller derby in this blog post, but of course I'm kind of blunt, so take it all with a grain of salt.  In all seriousness, I do tend to get messaged some strange and humorous questions about roller derby polite society, so I've sort of put them into a Dear Abby kind of format just to protect the original poster.

Dear Q,
Every time I get on the jammer line, I have to pass gas.  It's become kind of joke in my league, but should I claim the fart during a game?
Hoof Hearted

Dear Hoof Hearted,
Yes, everyone tends to have some sort of gas issue in derby; if you fart on the jammer line during a game, you don't have to claim it unless you want to.  Do you think it will throw the other jammer off?  Would you rather be a silent but deadly ninja?  That's up to you and your style.  You don't owe the other team any kind of explanation or love until the game is over.  Remember, you can always blame it on the refs. 

Dear Q,
My teammate is awesome, but her gear smells like a cross between a decaying corpse and an open sewer. Many people in the league have asked her to wash her pads, or at least air them out, but she doesn't.  It's gotten so bad that I don't want to be in a wall with her.  How can our team deal with this issue without being jerks?
Stuck in Stankonia
Waaaaaaash meeeeeeeee!

Dear Stuck in Stankonia,
There are some people in this world who truly don't believe that they smell bad, and you teammate might be one of them. The best thing you can do is beg your captain to lay down the law to her, since you aren't the only one having issues with her pad smell.  If that still doesn't work, you can bring a spray to practice and spray down her gear; you can be sneaky about it, or obvious, since she doesn't seem to care about what kind of impact she's having on everyone else.

Dear Q,
My teammates are always borrowing wheels or bearings from me right before a game, and half of them never seem to give them back.  I don't want to be an asshole about this, but I can barely afford to keep myself in wheels; I can't keep supplying the whole league, but then I feel guilty if I say no because it affects my team.
Wheelin' and Dealin'

Dear Wheelin' and Dealin'
First of all, I'm sure your teammates haven't meant to hold on to your wheels; if the exchange happened right before a game, they probably were distracted and forgot about it.  It's ok to remind people that they have your stuff and you need it back.  You don't have to be a jerk about it at all, but if you run into some "repeat offenders" you don't have to feel bad about not lending them wheels again.  Trust is earned, and giving someone a set of wheels is definitely trusting on your part.  If they don't hold up their end of the bargain, then you don't have to offer.  If you're like me, and sometimes forget that you've lent someone some wheels, keep an index card in your bag and just jot down the transaction as a reminder; it's not a legal document, but it can help jog your memory when you're trying figure out what happened to your set of Stingers.  If you want to be a jerk, you can always pretend you're Golem from Lord of the Rings and scream "My precious!" while you clutch your extra wheels to your chest.  They might get the picture then.

Dear Q,
At the beginning of practice, our league kind of has set places where we all sit to gear up; lately, we have newer skaters who haven't figured out that everyone has "her spot" and it feels like they're invading.  I don't want to be unfriendly, but I like the spot I'm in!  As a newbie myself, I had to find a spot that nobody wanted and claim it.  Am I wrong to say something to them?
Seating Chartered

Dear Seating Chartered,
There are a couple of ways to deal with this issue; you can be direct, or you can be sneaky.  I prefer direct, but be prepared for butthurt to happen in response.  Just let the newbie know that she's in your spot; she may take it well or she may call you a bitch behind your back, but at least you were direct and honest.  The other way you can deal with this is get to practice and your spot early, and scatter your gear all over; she probably won't sit next to you or in your spot if there isn't any room.  I prefer the direct route, but it depends on your personality. 

Derby is a weird and closed society, and every league is different and has strange and quirky rules of survival.  The answers I gave to these questions, and yes, they were real questions, are from my experience only.  If you want to ask me a question, you can email it to me or message me on FB. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gift Baskets: How to make them awesome

Traveling for derby is exhausting; if you are on a travel team, you know that you will either be driving or flying during uncomfortable hours and you are usually strapped for cash, time or sleep.  We travel for the good of the game, but it isn't always the easiest thing we do in derby.  Because money is tight, and this sport is still volunteer based, the little niceties go a long long way; if you're the host team, it's a good idea to provide the visiting team a great gift basket.

The first bit of advice I have is to actually provide a basket!  Some teams have gotten away from this practice, but it's a good way to build bridges between leagues.  With travel money getting tighter, it's imperative to make visiting leagues want to come to you.  Part of that can be the way you treat the visiting league, and gift baskets are a nice way to welcome people to your venue.

Core comforts should be provided in each basket; bananas seem to be the number one item people want.  Sometimes it's hard to transport fruit, especially fruit that bruises if you sneeze on it. Bananas are nature's recovery food, and even though I hate the texture and taste of them, I'm always grateful to see them in a gift basket, because I know it's something I should eat at half time.  OTC pain killers are also a giant help!  You never  know when you might get a headache or muscle pain in a game.  My personal favorite OTC?  Goody Powders.  If you aren't southern, you might not be familiar with this miracle powder, but you can find it here.  It's not for the faint of heart!  Feminine hygiene products can really save someone from a difficult situation, but make sure not to skimp on the quality.  Nothing sucks worse than cheap-o tampons. Other than that, food is always welcome; I personally love chocolate, but any kind of food works for me!

Skating essentials are always a good bet.  Some skate laces, duct tape (fun prints are the best!)  and maybe a package of Astro Nuts might make a skater's day.  Another "skating" necessity is a sharpie marker.  Every coach carries sharpies, but half of them dry out over time.  Having a fresh marker in a basket can make everything easier for a coach dealing with a million things on the road.  People often forget their bandanas when they travel too, so buy a pack of cheap bandanas and if you have time, personalize them with some fabric paint.  Useful, thoughtful and fun basket stuffers can bring a smile to the other team's faces.

Swag from your team can be a nice thing to add to the basket.  Buttons and stickers don't cost a lot, and they make great mementos   I have a "derby hat" which has a pin from every derby team I've played or seen play.  I'm always looking to add to it, and I'm sure I'm not alone.  Finally, make sure the gift basket has enough programs in it for the team.  Personally, I tend to forget to grab a program in the hustle and bustle of a travel game, but I love to collect them.

My pin collection has grown exponentially since this picture was taken.
Some other awesome items you can put in your gift basket can be fun or practical.  Stickers, travel sized deodorant, press on mustaches, traveling medical kits, hair ties, gum, temporary tattoos, crayons and coloring books can be well appreciated items.  Some people put condoms in their baskets; I don't have anything against that, especially if Planned Parenthood is one of your sponsors, but maybe your money could go towards something more immediately useful.  Although some enterprising people I know have used the free condoms in welcome baskets as super giant water balloons thrown from hotel balconies after the after party.  All parties will remain anonymous to protect the guilty.

PS!  Don't forget your zebras!  Zebras like gift baskets too!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Privacy is Dead

A long long time ago, in a practice space we no longer use, a speed practice was ending and the public was coming in to a public skate.  One of my former teammates was taking video of the practice and the team cooling down; we were all waving at her camera, singing the bad music being played by the dj, when another former teammate decided to moon the camera.  Oops.  Nobody really thought too much about it at the time, and the woman taking the video even said "I'm definitely posting this tonight when I get home." Situation over, right?

Wrong.  Teammate A definitely posted the video and started to tag people in it. Hoo boy, she did warn us, didn't she?  Well, instead of being angry at the person who mooned the camera deliberately, people started getting pissed at the person who posted it. Interesting.  I didn't care one way or the other; the woman who mooned the camera was aware it was on, that it was getting posted, and that she had chosen to do something inappropriate in a public area.  What was the problem?

Clearly, I have no shame.
Well, the problem is that derby folk think that they are surrounded by a wall of derby society that let's them behave in "inappropriate ways" without any fallout.  A lot of people argued that it was our team's job to protect the mooning teammate from her own stupidity.  Personally, I felt that the teammate in question was an adult woman, and she wasn't inebriated, just silly.  She wasn't wearing a league shirt in the video and since the video was so long, most people wouldn't have seen her extremely pale butt anyway.  But it made me wonder, why do derby people think that other derby people will cover for their bad behavior?

I behave the same in my "real" life and opposed to my "derby" life.  I don't have a persona, and I generally don't act like an idiot no matter where I am, or I act like an idiot no matter where I am!  Evidently, others do, and expect people not to expose their antics to the public.  The problem is, the public is everywhere now; if derby people get out of control at an afterparty, you can bet someone there has a cell phone and is taking pictures.  They don't need your permission!  If you are in a public space, you are fair game.  If you are doing something embarrassing to you or to your league while wearing your team logo, you have made a grave error in judgement.  Nobody HAS to protect you; you shouldn't be putting yourself in situations where you need to be protected.

But Q, teammates have each others backs!  Yes, absolutely, but teammates shouldn't force other teammates into the babysitter role.  Just because I don't drink much or any, doesn't mean that I want to be the "fun police" for the night; I shouldn't have to stop you from from climbing onto the bar and trying to pour yourself a beer, or chase you down so you don't flash the party your boobs, or screaming threats across the room.  Even if I was ok with being your babysitter, I certainly can't be your security force and stop people from documenting your public ridiculousness.

With the advent of better cell phone cameras and the immediacy of Facebook, more and more people are opening themselves up to being humiliated on social media, and that means they are also opening their league up to the same humiliation.  Remember, most leagues are fighting to have this sport accepted as legitimate; when you are out being inappropriate, it reflects badly on everyone involved.  Sponsors don't want their names associated with an out of control group of people; derby already has that rep, and it's been a long struggle to change the perception of derby.  Also, most leagues try to attract families to be spectators, and when the image they have of a derby girl is a half naked party girl, then maybe they won't be inclined to come to the games!

I'm not saying you should never cut loose at an afterparty, but you need to know that derby isn't going to be able to stop outsiders from posting pictures or videos of you.  Facebook is another problem.  Even if you are tagged in a dubious picture and you think you're the only one who can see it, you're wrong.  Friends of your friends can sometimes see pictures and posts because you friends have a different privacy settings on their account.  You can't always assume you can control who has access to your images.  Google your derby name once in a while, and see what images come up. You might be surprised.  Just remember that privacy is not what it used to be, and big brother is watching!  Also, once it's on the internet, it's like digital herpes.  That's stuff is there for life.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Butthurt is in the eye of the beholder

I'm pretty sure by now that everyone who reads my blog knows I'm not a giant fan of butthurt in derby.  To be honest, I am disturbed about how many people seem bound and determined to play for Team Butthurt instead of Team Grownup in derby.  Yes, everyone has grumpy days and bad times, or hurt feelings, but butthurt is definitely different.  It absolutely bothers me that people say "Derby has empowered me", and yet I see so many people with their egos crushed under the wheels of Butthurt.   Butthurt is beyond hurt feelings.  Butthurt comes in many different flavors, and they all taste like poo. 

My new scrimmage shirt, care of
One flavor of butthurt comes from feeling entitled.  Sometimes leagues foster a feeling of entitlement in talented skaters; this causes them to think they don't have to try hard to make rosters, come to practice as often, or do boring league volunteer work, such as taping down the track every practice, or committee work.    People who work hard to earn their spots, come to practices and do their volunteer work have every right to feel butthurt about the entitled.  It's not fair that some people aren't being held to the same standards as the rest of the league, and it's just not healthy for any league to keep promoting this kind of caste system.

I blame this excusable butthurt on the league culture, and unless you want to be around some rightfully unhappy teammates for the duration of your derby career, then you need to change your league's expectations for all skaters.  I don't care how amazing your star players are, if they can't drag their butts to practice, then they don't belong on a roster.  If they can't do the expected work of the average volunteer, how can they expect to skate?  Be honest.  Do you really think it's ok for star skaters to have a different set of expectations? If you do, then you deserve all of the butthurt that comes with it in your league.  It's your legacy.  Here's a big ol' spoon, CHOW DOWN!

Another flavor of butthurt comes in the bad feedback receiver.  Ugh.  This seems to be a flavor that is most commonly eaten by newer skaters.  Some newbies come into derby with the best attitudes and take even the most brutal feedback with a smile, but a lot of newer skaters don't seem to be capable of accepting and understanding feedback.  "She's mean!"  "She didn't tell me I rocked in that jam!" Derby is not a gentle and nurturing sport all of the time.  Yes, there is an element of sisterhood, but it's a rough and tumble sport where people are hitting you; sometimes they do it legally!   Not everyone is going to give you glowing feedback, and that's not a terrible thing.  You can get seriously hurt in derby, and you can hurt others by doing something unsafe or clumsy on the track. Scrimmaging with newbies is tense for everyone involved, and sometimes the feedback you receive isn't going to given in dulcet tones. If you easily get your feelings hurt, then maybe this isn't the sport for you.

The final flavor of butthurt is the wrong self perception butthurt.  This flavor can be created when people aren't honest enough with skaters to give accurate feedback, and the skater herself has an inflated sense of her skills in comparison with the rest of the league.  Example: a newer skater is doing well, but she's not quite ready to make a roster in the next game.  Her captains, coaches and trainers don't want to discourage her, but none of them want to give her the brutally honest feedback she deserves, so when the rosters are announced, she's shocked and chowing down on a steaming bowl of butthurt.  In her experience, she's been told that she's doing well; why isn't she on the roster?

It's a good question, and I say it's a matter of a communication breakdown.  How honest is too honest for a skater?  Some coaches and captains feel awkward not being super positive with feedback, and I say that is the recipe for a big ol' cake made of butthurt.  People get butthurt when their expectations aren't being met by reality, plain and simple.  Are you as a coach or captain setting a skater up to have too high of expectations?  Be honest with them.  Let them know why they aren't going to be on a roster, or play a lot if they do make one.  COMMUNICATE with your players.  I know, I know, you don't want people mad at you; then don't be a coach or a captain!  Coaching and captaining is one of the hardest jobs in derby. You have to make tough decisions and stand by those decisions, even when they aren't the popular ones.  Communicate with your players honestly and consistently, and you can get out of the kitchen when Butthurt Cake is being baked.

If you have coaches and captains who are communicating with you honestly, and you don't make a roster, you are ALLOWED to be disappointed; I know it's hard.  It's public rejection, and you don't want to seem weak and weepy, but you also don't want to seem like you don't care.  I'm a private person, and I deal with disappointment privately.  I try and keep the disappointment to myself until I can work my way through it; you don't have to be like that, but try and not to be bitter.  People will be sympathetic to a point, but it really is only a game.  It's not life and death. It's not a job interview.  It's not cancer.  It's a game.  Put it into perspective.  If you can't help but be butthurt over such a decision, once again, this may not be the sport for you. 

There are other flavors of butthurt, but those three seem to be the most common flavors leagues deal with.  Butthurt doesn't taste good no matter what flavor you're eating.  Get it off of your league's menu!