Then there’s the fact that roller derby is a women’s sport first. Sport, like society, has always been patriarchal and patronizing towards women. There’s soccer and women’s soccer; tennis and women’s tennis; basketball and women’s basketball; but there’s roller derby and men’s roller derby. When used without a modifier, the term “roller derby” means a sport played by women. Roller derby is unique in this regard, as is the fact that it is a full contact team sport, every bit as hard-hitting as rugby or American football, yet played by women.
Nothing ruins a game more than a straight red card. When a straight red card is given on a tip tackle that isn’t that dangerous… that really pisses me off! Something needs to be done about this shit.
Last week we had two straight red cards that dramatically changed the games. It took me back to the epically ridiculous decision in the 18 minutes of a World Cup semi-final to give a straight red card on the Welsh team captain, Sam Warburton. You think referees would be a bit more lenient after seeing that shitty decision.
We had a pathetic red card for Cardiff Blues scrumhalf Lloyd Williams. He turns the player so he lands on his team’s side, great play. But it wasn’t a pretty tackle and he gets red carded. Before that game we had Chris Hala'ufia straight red card for his tackle on Seb Jewell. It was an outrageous decision for a perfectly legitimate BIG tackle.
Straight red cards are awful decisions; referees really need to stop over-policing these incidents and start looking at other areas which are still bringing down the game.
He knows you before you even realize he’s there. He pays attention in ways you don’t even understand, and it drives you mad. There’s something that’s knowing in his eyes, but also something incredibly sad. When he’s not peering at you from behind his camera, his battle cry can be heard on the rugby pitch where he hits out every frustration and tries to wrestle with every demon he has. Some days it works. Some days it doesn’t. There’s a decision he carries around like a pall, like the weight of a world he had broken. But he has a crooked smile and a quick wit, and you almost convince yourself that that look in his eyes wasn’t there.