Rubber City Rollergirls moving start of 2013 season
|Shown are members of the Rubber City Rollergirls.|
|Photo courtesy of Bruce Gates Photography|
“We have recently decided to move our home season starting in 2013,” said Tracy Soulsby, president and co-founder of the league. “Roller derby is an indoor sport, and with having our season in the summer, we are competing with a lot of outdoor activities. Starting in 2013, our season will run from January through May. This will also allow our players to play in more away bouts during the summer.”
As the weather heats up each year, Soulsby said, the Rubber City Rollergirls start to notice a drop in attendance.
“We had about 800 at our home opener, and our attendance has leveled off at between 450 and 600 per bout,” she said. “Based upon prior years’ experience, this leveling off of our attendance is in line with prior seasons. When May and June hit, we are competing with the nice weather and a lot of outdoor activities, vacations, graduations, weddings, and so on.”
Last season, the Rubber City Rollergirls divided into two teams — an A team and a B team — and this season, Soulsby said, has “definitely been a rebuilding phase” for the 28-player league.
“Things are going steadily along,” she stated. “We are now in our fourth season, and we had a fair amount of turnover after last season — several veteran players moved and others retired from derby altogether. So we have brought on a fair number of new players this year and new coaches as well. The result is that we are a ‘young league’ again, with many newer players who are still sharpening their skills. So fans will see a lot of new faces on the track and a ‘greener’ team this season vs. last season. Our A team’s current record is 0-4 at home, and our B team is 2-2.”
The next home bout for the Rubber City Rollergirls is scheduled for July 14 at the John S. Knight Center.
“Our A team will play Motor City Disassembly Line from Detroit, and our B team will play Corn Fed Derby Dames from Muncie, Ind.,” Soulsby said. “We also have home bouts scheduled for Aug. 11 and Sept. 22 and an away bout on July 21 in New York.”
Adult tickets for the bouts cost $9 in advance or $13 at the door. Tickets for children 12 and younger cost $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com/pro file/11337 or by calling 800-838-3006.
“Coming to see roller derby is such a great value. It’s inexpensive, family-friendly entertainment that is close to home,” said Soulsby, whose roller derby nickname is “Eighty-SixHer.” “People can expect to see a full-contact women’s sport event that appeals to people of all ages and walks of life. We strive to keep our bouts family friendly, and have a fair amount of kids at our events.”
In addition to the bouts, Soulsby said, the team has two fundraisers coming up.
“We will be hosting a poker run on Aug. 26, and then a reverse raffle in October,” she said. “We are actively looking for our own permanent training space, and these fundraisers will be used to support that effort.”
According to Soulsby, the Rubber City Rollergirls have always placed an emphasis on giving back to the community. And recently, the league was honored for its charitable work.
“The Rubber City Rollergirls were recognized at the 11th annual Zenith Awards, which honor contributions to the hospitality industry in Akron and Summit County,” she said. “We were honored to be in the same company as some very established local organizations, such as the [Akron] Marathon, Akron Civic Theatre and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. It told us that our community has come to know the Rubber City Rollergirls, and reinforces our optimism for the future of our organization. We have come a long way in four short years, and we plan to keep pushing forward and to be around for a long time to come.”
For additional information about the league, visit www.RubberCityRollergirls.com.
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