The Case Against MVP Blocker Awards
by Genea Morfeld Swan
|Genea skates for the Charlotte Roller Girls|
I love being recognized. I love when I lay a big hit and an opponent flies in to the stands and the crowd roars. Who doesn’t? But a GREAT blocker works with her teammates. We make impenetrable walls and recycle repeatedly. Like the legs of a giant centipede, we should march and think as one.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. You have the chaser, the gets-knocked-down-easily-goat, you have that fancy skater who has to do the tricky moves that don’t really help block the jammer or clear the line, the swoosh-out-and-lays-a-big-hit-but-then-can’t-recover-quickly-enough-player. The uninformed crowd loves these types. Those of us on her team are thinking: “WHAT are you doing?”
I recently attended a game where the MVP blocker award was mistakenly awarded to a player who had been ejected for insubordination. The team was flustered by having to choose someone directly after the game and, unfortunately, the selection of MVP was actually made by a player who was skating at the time of the ejection and didn’t see it happen.
So what IS the thought process of the people making these haphazard and potential rash choices for MVP?
Sometimes I think it’s a person’s boutfit that stood out. Or just one big play. Maybe that person was able to hold a jammer alone in the front in several consecutive jams, ending up out of play but always racing ahead alone anyway.
Do these things make for a good derby player? Are we unintentionally rewarding this behavior by giving an award to the blocker that ‘stood out’ during the game? What about those players who are talking to their teammates and keeping them together? What about the hard worker whose solid game play keeps her teammates on task and aware of each jammers location to move effectively as one and keeping the pack slow so the jammer can’t get an advantage?
And don’t get me started about the jammers with the fancy skating that don’t net the most points.
In summary, MVP awards are awesome for two people.... But I am not sure they are truly representative of game play that should be rewarded.