Happy Officials Appreciation Month: Shotgun Mike and Melody Mayhem!

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What’s that? A skater? A ref? An NSO? Oh, wait- it’s all three! This week’s officials appreciation post centers around Melody Mayhem– a trifecta of roller derby talent- and her husband, Shotgun Mike! (Also very talented!)

Melody started out as a skater, or more specifically, a formidable jammer with sharp shoulders and hard hits. She would often travel with Shotgun Mike and decided to start NSOing as well! Eventually that turned into reffing and the rest is history. She’s been officiating for about 4 years now.

Shotgun Mike is going into his 5th season officiating roller derby, and man does he make those stripes look good! Mike is always willing to explain the rules to newbies…and okay, let’s face it, vets too. He’s a great teacher and refs with integrity and an impeccable knowledge of the game, no matter how much it changes year to year.

Photo courtesy of Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography

This power couple has been to scrimmages, games, and tournaments together. They are also some of the most welcoming and kind people you can meet. Whether it’s opening their home on holidays and lending an ear or a smile, making calls to keep skaters safe or working hard to make events go smoothly, these two approach every situation with grace, thoughtfulness and humor.

While these two have many titles within CFDD, they’ve recently added two new ones: Mom and Dad! While quarantine is keeping many of us from holding sweet little Penny and staring at her tiny toes, (how are they SO small?!) we’re all very happy and are excited for these two and the amazing parents they’ve become. Thanks for our newest, tiniest ref, guys!

Want more info about this perfect pair? Here’s their two cents:

Shotgun Mike

Photo by Matt Ruddick

Shotgun Mike:

What got you started officiating? 

My wife joined as a skater, so I was around derby all the time anyway. This seemed like the best way for me to contribute to the community!

Do you prefer to officiate on or off skates? Why? 

On skates because it’s as close as you can get to the action without taking hits all the time!

What is the hardest part of officiating? 

Players, coaches, and fans sometimes take it WAY too seriously when things don’t go their way.

What is the best part? 

The feeling of taking a chaotic game and keeping it safe and fun for everybody.

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming an official? 

Do it! Especially you skaters out there! C’mon! Grab a whistle! Let’s go!

What do you do when you’re not officiating? 

I teach filmmaking (mostly sound production) at a university

What is a fun fact about you? 

I’ve lived on both coasts (Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles)

 

Melody Mayhem

Photo by Matt Ruddick

Melody Mayhem:

What got you started officiating? 

My husband, Shotgun Mike. He would travel around to get experience reffing and I would travel with him. NSOs are always in need, so I started volunteering to NSO. Then one day I tried my hand at reffing, not only to help out but to learn and understand the rules of derby better…which has helped me greatly when playing derby.

Do you prefer to officiate on or off skates? Why? 

Off skates, because I’m a nerd and I love the paperwork!

What is the hardest part of officiating? 

Having a neutral face during game play, especially during a hard, nasty hit.

What is the best part? 

Meeting officials from all over the world.

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming an official? 

Do it! Seriously though, give it a try. It’s a great way to watch and support roller derby.

What do you do when you’re not officiating? 

I teach elementary music, knit/crochet, and love cuddling my brand new baby girl!

What is a fun fact about you? 

I love unicorns. Does that count as fun??? lol

We sure think so. Unicorns are magical, just like these two roller derby lovin’ fools. While we can’t bout right now, we are having fun scavenger hunts and other team bonding events from home! Make sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest and corniest updates.

Photo courtesy of Matt Mardis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Officials Appreciation Week: Tweety Bird!

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Tweety serving up sass for Season 10! Photo by Matt Ruddick

As more businesses shut their doors for the next few weeks and bouts everywhere are being rescheduled- I think it is safe to say we could all use some positivity. While events are being cancelled left and right, there’s one thing that can’t be cancelled: Officials Appreciation Month! This week’s featured official is an actual ray of sunshine and someone who can always make a gloomy day (or global pandemic) brighter.

Tweety Bird has been a non-skating official for about 4 years. In that time she has become somewhat of a fixture on the track, and in our hearts. Tweety is bubbly, kind, friendly and her lipgloss is always poppin’.

From our roaring 20s Dancing with a Dame event to every parade, Tweety shows up to support local roller derby! If she isn’t NSOing, you can find her in the crowd or at an event to cheer everyone on.

Whether she is manning the stopwatch, calling five seconds, blowing a whistle or helping tape down the track, Tweety gives 100%. She is a dedicated and knowledgeable official and Cornfed is so very grateful to have her around!

Tweety Bird blows the whistle on Tazmanian Ethel. Ah, what are best friends for? Photo by Matt Ruddick

Tweety got involved with derby through a new skater clinic with her best friend, and our very own Tazmanian Ethel. Wanna be besties with Tweety too? Get to know her better with this fun Q&A:

What got you started officiating? 

My best friend Ethel plays derby! So I tried the skater clinic, but was so sore afterwards and we didn’t even hit each other! So I decided officiating was for me! 🙂

Do you prefer to officiate on or off skates? Why? 

Off skates at this time. Because while I own skates and can skate, I do not own the pads, and like with the skater clinic, my body was so sore because of all the pads, cause I’m a weakling apparently lol off skates is just as fun! Plus, my derby wife is an NSO at this time, and I like officiating with her!

What is the hardest part of officiating?

When skaters get hurt, especially the ones I’m closest to. It is also hard to handle when skaters become disrespectful to officials. Thankfully this does not happen often. Many things in officiating are time based, and when multiple time based things are happening at once, that can be hard to manage as well.

What is the best part? 

The people I get to work with! Also, I love watching all the strong athletes out on the track!

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming an official?

Do it! It’s a wonderful experience and you will get to meet so many amazing people!

What do you do when you’re not officiating?

I work as a speech therapist at a long term care facility. I love to hang out with my two rabbits, Basket and Casey. My boyfriend Brandon is pretty great, and he officiates with me sometimes! We love to spend some time with both our families, and friends. I love to skate, craft, sleep, workout, and travel!

Cornfed Derby Dames St. Patrick's Day Parade

Tweety Bird and Dames show off their St. Patrick’s Day Spirit! Photo courtesy Debra Roberts

There you have it, folks! Tweety is an instrumental part of Midwestern roller derby and a huge asset to CFDD. We hope you all had a fun and safe St. Patty’s yesterday and continue to find joy in the little things until COVID-19 blows over.

Stay safe and healthy and in the meantime, make sure you show a little love to the people who keep our sport safe 24/7.

Happy Officials Appreciation Month: Bethly Hallows!

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Cornfed Officials

Photo courtesy of Matt Ruddick

If you’re anything like me, today may not be your day. It’s the first day of  daylight savings time- aka we all lost an hour of sleep and I’m going to need about a gallon of coffee to make up for it- but that’s okay, because today also marks Cornfed’s first day in a month-long celebration of roller derby officials! March is *officially* roller derby officials appreciation month, and CFDD is very lucky to have so many talented and patient officials to highlight.

Speaking of highlights, our first featured official always has a killer new hair color and fresh highlights that steal the show during each official review.

Bethly Hallows is going into her sixth season as an NSO, or non-skating official. She serves as head NSO often at CFDD’s home games and is a pro at anything rules-related. She is kind and warm and has these really cool holographic sneakers that you NEED to see.

Photo courtesy of ShutHerUp Photography

Bethly is also a wiz at recruiting and teaching people new to the roller derby world how to get involved on or off skates.

She can break down even the most complicated  bout paperwork and turn a day one volunteer into a seasoned pro. She’s a great teacher who specializes in making others feel comfortable and valued.

Bethly is definitely someone you need to know- so we are gonna go ahead and help you out with that via this handy Q&A:

What got you started officiating?

Slowey Ramone came to my work looking for sponsorship. I lamented that I wished I could join but I don’t skate. That’s when I learned about all the fun you can have off skates in the derby world.

Do you prefer to officiate on or off skates? Why?

Off. Wheely shoes are scary.

What is the hardest part of officiating? 

Keeping a straight face when I see a good play or big hit.

What is the best part? 

All the cool people I’ve met and became friends with.

What do you do when you’re not officiating? 

Binge Netflix.

Photo courtesy of Matt Ruddick

What is a fun fact about you?

My cats have derby names. Stinkerbell and The Mighty Taquito.

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming an official? 

Doooo iiiiit! It’s a fun way to get involved in a wonderful community. And if you’re a skater, it lets to learn the sport better so you can be a better player.

As you can tell, Bethly is a gem. But hey, don’t take our word for it- come see for yourself at our next home bout on March 21! Doors open for the double header at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game. Tickets at the door are $12 per person (cash or card) or $10 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. Learn more by clicking here.

 

New Year, New Coaching Staff

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Season 10 Head CoachesHappy New Year folks!

For some of us, a new year means cleaning up the confetti, setting our sights on a new job and making new goals. For others, it means creating a challenging new workout and making gains. If you’re like me, maybe you’re living that self care life and got stocked up on books, face masks and candles. I see you! Whatever your new years plans are, we wish you well.

Here at CFDD, we don’t take #newyearnewme lightly. Not only do we have a slew of awesome new skaters, but we are rolling into 2020 with a brand new coaching staff! North Carolina native and the former head coach of Milwaukee’s Brewcity Bruisers Kelly McLaughlin plans to coach the All Stars to victory this season. Leading the Muncie Missfits is heavy hitter, mama bear and fan favorite U.S Amee. 

Kelly and her two pups, Kodak and Nova.

Kelly joins CFDD following her move to Muncie last year. She says her coaching skills, her “firm dad” attitude and team-oriented mindset will help the All Stars crush Season 10:

What are you looking forward to this season?

KM: On top of all the growth and team bonding that’s going to happen, I’m looking forward to meeting some new teams! Cornfed is playing teams that I am not familiar with, it is always great to see new styles and challenges that push your knowledge of the sport. 

What made you want to coach CFDD?

KM: I had the opportunity to coach at Brewcity a couple years ago, and before that I had been coaching volleyball on and off for several years. When CFDD needed a coach, it seemed natural for my to throw my name in the hat and offer my skills to the team. 

What are some goals you have for the season?

KM: I’d like to see us come together as a truly unified team this season. There is so much potential for growth this year and for CFDD to do well! I would also like to see us win at least half of our games and make sure that every skater on the A-team learns 1 new skill this season. 

What is your favorite thing about Cornfed?

KM: My favorite thing about Cornfed is the people on the team. Everyone I know is awesome and always ready to help out however you may need. 

What would you say your coaching style is? 

KM: I’m a firm dad. Very caring, want you to do well – but not afraid to lay down the law and let you know if you aren’t meeting my expectations. 

Fun fact about you:

KM: The Avett Brothers are my favorite band! 

U.S.Amee Season 10

Amee has been skating for 8 seasons with CFDD, and some fans may know her by the echo of “AMEEEEE” that tends to emerge from the crowd after she lands a particularly hard hit. Through the years, she’s been a leader, a skater, and even president of the league. See what she had to say about taking on becoming a coach: 

What are you looking forward to this season? 

AMEEEEE: Watching skaters grow! From the new skaters becoming amazing roller derby athletes, to the veterans who want to work towards becoming an All-Star. It’s so rewarding knowing I play a small role in their growth!

What made you want to coach CFDD?

AMEEEEE:I have been a part of the MissFits coaching staff, in some form, since the beginning of our B team. We had the need for a head coach and I thought I could help, so I stepped onto the challenge!

What are some goals you have for the season?

AMEEEEE:

-Lead by example. I’m also a skater on the All-Stars and I want to be a good role model. 

-Challenge the skaters to grow individually and as a unit. 

-Believe in them, and make them believe in themselves!

-Win a few games, or learn from them.

What is your favorite thing about Cornfed?

AMEEEEE: Oh man! I have so many things I love about Cornfed! One of them is our “never give up” attitude!! 

What would you say your coaching style is?

AMEEEEE: I would say steady and supportive. I’m very patient with the learning process. I want every single skater to reach their goals!

Fun fact about you:

AMEEEEE: I am a part of a grassroots group, Muncie Street Outreach, who feed hungry street friends, once a week. Oh, and I like to make people laugh, although I tell horrible jokes. 

 

Come see Kelly and Amee jump into the new year wheels first at CFDD’s first scrimmage of Season 10 on February 8th. Doors open for the double header at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game. Tickets at the door are $12 per person (cash or card) or $10 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. For more information, click here! 

Wanna stick around and see how the season goes? Season passes are also available through January 17th by clicking here.

Season 10 New Skater Clinic & Pizza Party

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The Cornfed Derby Dames are excited to begin their tenth season this fall and are starting the season off with a New Skater Clinic & Pizza Party on Sunday, September 8 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Gibson’s Skating Arena. If you have ever contemplated getting involved with roller derby now is your chance!

The clinic is open to anyone 18 years or older interested in playing roller derby, becoming a referee or non-skating official. No previous skating experience is necessary; our talented coaching staff will spend the clinic teaching the basic skating skills of roller derby. The following gear is required at the clinic: quad roller skates, mouth guard, helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads. Much of the required gear is available to borrow from Cornfed but each participant must provide their own mouth guard. 

The clinic is just $10 to attend and does not require any long-term league commitment. It does however include pizza! At 5:30 we will have a casual pizza party where skaters will be able to meet more of the Dames and ask questions! If you do choose to join the league, a three-week boot camp will follow the clinic and expand on skating skills before league practices resume in October. Pre-registration is required, to register CLICK HERE. If you have any additional questions about the clinic or borrowing gear email cfddrecruitment@gmail.com

HELP WANTED: All Stars Head Coach and Missfits Head Coach (Volunteer)

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Hey you! Yeah, YOU! Do you love roller derby? Are you retired and looking to get back into the community? Are you involved with derby and have some extra time? Have you ever thought about coaching? Are you tired of being asked questions?

Well, you’re in luck! The Cornfed Derby Dames are actively seeking a Head Coach for the All Stars AND a head coach for our B team, the Muncie Missfits!

Applications will be accepted through Monday, September 9. See additional info below!

 

To connect to the All Stars Head Coach Listing, click here.

To connect to the Missfits Head Coach Listing, click here.

Smalltown Smackdown: Cornament of Champions!

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The Cornfed Derby Dames will host the second annual Smalltown Smackdown roller derby tournament on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. This two-day event will kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday with seven games on Saturday lasting until 9:30 p.m. Sunday’s five games will begin at 9 a.m. with the championship game ending at 6:30 p.m.

The Smalltown Smackdown: Cornament of Champions will feature Cornfed’s Muncie Missfits, the Barbed Wire Betties All Stars (DeKalb, IL), The Dire Skates (Richmond, IN), Somer City Roller Derby (Somerset, KY), Naptown Roller Derby’s Third Alarm (Indianapolis, IN), Quad City Rollers (Eldridge, IA), Fort Wayne Derby Girls’ SWAT Team (Fort Wayne, IN), and MedCity Mafia Roller Derby (Rochester, MN).

The tournament will take place at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, 210 N Wheeling Ave. Fans are encouraged to come and go throughout the weekend. Tickets will be available at the door for $20 per person for a weekend pass, $15 for Saturday only, or $12 for Sunday only. College students, military personnel, veterans, firefighters, and EMT’s are just $15 with an ID or $10 for one-day passes. Children 10 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two children). Volunteers are needed for the event, if you are interested in helping please reach out to Cornfed at cornfeddd@gmail.com.

Food trucks and local beer vendors will be onsite throughout the weekend with refreshments available at an additional cost. A portion of all bout proceeds in 2019 will be donated to Open Door Health Services. This will be the final home event of the Cornfed Derby Dames Season 9. Information about recruitment events, clinics, boot camps, and scrimmages will be available in the fall.

Featured Skater: ZiggyZig Ahh #911

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Ground Control to Major Tom, this week’s feature skater is the sassy, spooky and skilled Ziggyzig Ahh! Skating originally as Ziggy Starthrust, she swapped the name for a nod to her go-to karaoke song, “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.

The spirit behind the David Bowie-themed moniker has not faded, however. You can easily spot Ziggy on the track by her signature and intricate makeup. Ziggy has sported a Bowie-esque lightning bolt, a full galaxy and other designs to accentuate her self-proclaimed “crazy eyes.”


This comes as no surprise, as Ziggy is a special effects make-up artist when she’s not on eight wheels and works at a company that makes Halloween masks and horror props. Ziggy says the act of putting together a bout day look is something that comes naturally to her and gets her in a good mindset to play.

“I love bout make up. I know some people think it takes away from making derby feel like a “real sport” but I like that I can add my weird personality into my game. The theatrics of derby are part of what drew me to it. And the act of putting it on is a nice grounding ritual for me.”

Ziggy also preps for game day with a face mask and her favorite Spotify playlist, Witchy Woman. It’s no secret game day can be a whopper on your mental state, so Ziggy makes sure she’s prepared. Oh yeah, and she eats a Whopper at halftime to help with that.

“Before I get to the venue I HAVE to stop at Burger King and get a whopper. I save the whopper for half time of the second game and I eat it as my way to rally and finish the game strong.”

Ziggy is our Interleague Coordinator and part of CFDD’s Practice Committee and trains the team to work together and keep improving. She does this with drills, footwork exercises, hexes, spells and potions. Probably the most magical part is the attitude Ziggy instills in her teammates and in herself.

“Derby has taught me that I am stronger, physically and mentally, than I ever thought I could be. It has taught me to be more confident and encouraged me to step up and become a leader. Derby has helped me curb a lot of my anxiety.”


Spice up your life and come see Ziggy take the track this Saturday, May 18 at the Muncie Fairgrounds.

Bring a Whopper to chow down on at halftime and see Ziggy’s witchy wonders in person. Find out more about the event by clicking here.

Season 9 Bout #2

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The Cornfed Derby Dames will hold their second bout of Season 9 on Saturday, March 23 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in the Memorial Building. The CFDD All-Stars will take on Hoosier rivals Naptown Roller Derby’s Warning Belles of Indianapolis, Indiana and the Muncie Missfits will play Naptown’s Third Alarm.

Doors open for the double header at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game. Tickets at the door are $12 per person (cash or card) or $10 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. Veterans, college students, EMT, firefighters, and police are just $8 with a valid ID and children ages 10 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two children).

CFDD merchandise will be available for purchase. A portion of all bout proceeds this season will benefit Open Door Health Services.

February Featured Skater: #815 Muffin Top

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She likes the color purple, macaroni and cheese, ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees. Our featured skater this month is #815 Muffin Top.

It was the summer of 2008 when Muffin Top’s dreams came true: Drew Barrymore was in her town shooting a little movie we in the roller derby world know quite well. Muff snuck around roped-off areas of the city, catching glimpses of the filming before it was the legend we know and love today: Whip It. After that, Muff knew she wanted to play derby- she just had to move to a city that had a team.

Muffin Top came to Cornfed after getting her start with the Dubuque Bomb Squad, a small, non-WFTDA member league from Dubuque, Iowa.  Before lacing up with Cornfed in Season 8, she skated with the Bomb Squad for their 2015-2016 season.

Now a Cornfed All-Star, Muff dons the star, the stripe or goes without a panty! On the track she is quick with solid hit-outs, shoulder punches, and killer offense. Off the track, she is the only Dame to have a listing on IMDb (watch out, Drew), superior Harry Potter knowledge, and extensive baking experience.

She may look sweet, but Muff is one of the toughest skaters repping blue and black. That’s how she got the name Tough Muff. Just kidding, no one calls her that. What we do call her is a friend and a sister. When asked what keeps her lacing up her skates, Muff said:

Muffin Top doin her thing at CFDD’s recent bout vs Kalamazoo. Photo courtesy of Shutterup Photography

“I keep coming back to derby for the siblinghood and the empowerment.  Before derby, I was too insecure to walk out of my bedroom in a tank top.  The positive body image I’ve gained is profoundly empowering, from feeling comfortable sleeveless to feeling comfortable in my own skin.  The camaraderie, membership, and support system is unparalleled.  I really love being part of a team.”

This Valentine’s Day, let Muff worm her way into your heart. Literally, she does an amazing worm and even does the splits on special occasions…or really even just on mediocre occasions to be honest.

But don’t take my word for it, come see for yourself this Saturday, February 9th at Cornfed’s Season Opener home game at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.  Connect to the event on Facebook or get tickets by clicking here.