Women in Groton with no names, but plenty of flying elbows

Groton - Shore Line Roller Derby has a travel team without a name. And it's had only one bout.

But it's undefeated.

Shore Line (SLRD), the name of the overall organization, sent its no-name travel team to Woodbridge at the end of March and defeated the Yankee Brutals of the CT Roller Girls organization, 111-102.

After a recruitment drive and tryouts in January, the SLRD increased its roster from about 40 to more than 60 women in just its second year.

Shore Line has three home teams, all of which have names. Two of them will show the public what women's flat track roller derby is all about Sunday evening at Galaxy Rink at 210 Bridge St.

The Understated Knockouts take on the Steam Queens at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets will be $12 at the door, or $10 pre-sale by visiting www.brown paperticket.com or shorelinerollerderby.com. Shore Line's third team is the Burlesque Bruisers.

Roller Derby is a two-tiered program. The "home" teams collectively are a league, owned and operated by the organization (SLRD). Some of the members of the league teams also play on the "travel squad."

The home teams play against each other, while the travel team competes against other organizations' travel teams. Shore Line can establish more teams if more women join and increase the size of its league. The teams are made up of women of various skill levels, including some who learn to skate after they join the team.

And then they learn to block, or to score. A team consists of three blockers, a pivot who leads the blockers, and a jammer, the only skater who scores points. The jammer can be identified by the helmet cover with a star on it. The pivot has a stripe on hers.

After making it through the pack of opposing blockers once, the jammer begins scoring points for each opposing blocker she passes legally and in bounds. She can also score points on opponents who are in the penalty box and can get a fifth point if she laps the opposing jammer. Blockers are trying to stop the opposing team's jammer while helping their own jammer get through.

"It's going well," said Erin Cox, the organization's spokesperson. "We continue to pick up players. A lot of them have started scrimmaging. Officially, they passed their second assessment. They have to acquire a certain list of skills. They're already hitting each other."



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