Monday, October 22, 2012

The Derby Duel

This last weekend, two of the most exciting jammers in Europe challenged each other to what I can only call a Derby Duel.

2 Minutes

2 Jammers

1 Winner

Skate around the track.  Whoever is further ahead when the time expires wins the duel.  All normal derby contact allowed.

Do you skate fast?  Do you go for hits?  That's all up to you and the one-on-one strategy you choose to employ.

It's really the ultimate test of jammer-on-jammer ability, and a great way of finding out who has the skills to be a good jammer.  No pack to get in the way, or offer assistance.  Just pure one-on-one.  Also, it's the most excitement you'll ever see on 16 wheels!

I can see this being a good training routine--if a team wants to work on jammer skills, what a great way to drill cleverness and contact all in one go.

There is a precedent for this sort of thing.  Baseball has the home run derby and basketball has a slam dunk contest.  Both are displays of a basic skill taken to the extreme, and given a high degree of showmanship.  Both are a part of the all-star festivities in each sport.

I would like to see Derby Duels taking the same sort of position.  If there's a tournament, have a duel at the halftime of every bout.  Thus, there will be a duel tournament nested within the main one, giving the audience no excuse to leave the track!

Or simply arrange a few to take place at the half time of a regular bout.  I'm sure there would be loads of skaters vying for those 4 spots in a duels playoff.  They wouldn't even need to be from the leagues involved in the main bout.  It would only take 6 minutes to get a champion, and keep the crowd in their seats and screaming for the first part of halftime.  Way better than any other halftime show, by far!

The first derby duel was started as a display of sportsmanship and fun, plain and simple.  Two jammers only had one opportunity to face each other all day, and wanted another round of it.  All that was said was "I jam against you, and you speak it."  That 2 minute game showed 100% fun.  It was nothing but the sheer joy of derby, and the crowd were right up against the outside line screaming.

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