names give players fun personae and help
the women keep their derby lives separate
from their day jobs.
Schreier plays as herself, without the
benefit of a name, though some of her
new teammates have taken to calling her
Infini-T. (It’s a reference to her nickname,
T, and the fact that—going into a twelfth
season—she’s played forever.)
Now that she’s returned to the league,
Schreier feels like she’s back where she
belongs. “It turns out that all of my friends
are derby people,” she admits.
That’s what keeps her coming
back, and that’s what binds the rest of
the players of the QCRG together: the
camaraderie and friendships built up over
months of long practices, long car trips,
and battles where they pit their skills
against willing opponents.
a special covering over her helmet with a
star that marks her.
Each team’s jammer attempts to score
points by passing and lapping the blockers
and other jammer as she goes around the
track. The blockers on her team attempt
to open lanes for her while the opposing
blockers try to stop her or knock her off
Each jam is two minutes long and
the jammers try to skate as many
times around track as possible to score.
The jammer, who is in the lead, may
strategically end the jam before the
two minutes are up if she chooses. The
blocking is where some of the real action
is. Some skaters, Schreier especially, are
known for their ability to throw big hits to
Seating is close to the action at
River Works, and a player hit with a big
block can sometimes end up intimately
acquainted with fans in the first row.
Most, but not all, of the skaters go by
derby names—like Librawlian (who is
actually a librarian in her day job), Head
Huntress, and Blackrock Bruiser. The
It was inevitable: on June 30, she
announced on Facebook that she was
no longer going to sit on the sidelines,
hashtagging her post #ONEMOREYEAR.
In October, Schreier entered the house
league draft and was selected by the
Alley Kats, where she’ll play for the 2019
The house league offers a perfect
solution for Schreier. She can keep
the competitive juices flowing while
committing less time than during her nine
years on the Furies.
Anatomy of derby
Roller derby is complex and full of
strategy, so a first-time viewer can’t
necessarily be expected to understand all
the rules right away. The league positions
ushers around the building who can
answer questions and explain the finer
points to spectators, and there’s also
running play-by-play over the PA that
helps people follow the action.
In brief: there are five skaters per
side on the track at any given time, four
blockers and a jammer. The jammer wears
Tabrina Shreier (no. 52 in blue) is shown playing with the Furies; Schreier’s “Fathead” is shown at top, left.