Friday, July 10, 2015

Upcoming Fresh Meat Night!

Our season is rolling strong, with two away games and a home game under our wheels, but we're always looking for new skaters, officials, and volunteers to be apart of our team!

Join us for our next Fresh Meat Night! 
Sunday, August 9th from 7-9pm
Interskate 91 South
203 Boston Rd
Wilbraham, MA

You will get to meet the team, find out how you can be involved, and get even gear up and skate a few drills! All levels of skating ability are welcome, and we have skates and safety gear for you to borrow.

If you are thinking about coming, fill out this handy SURVEY, and we will get back to you ASAP with any additional information you may need.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Skater of the Month: Nikki Tesla

Welcome to our monthly feature on the blog where we help you all get to know our players a little better! This month, we're featuring our 2015 team Secretary:

Skater Name: Nikki Tesla

Number: 134

Story Behind the Name: With a hardcore love of all things Steampunk, and a husband who is an electrician, taking the name of a famous Nineteenth Century Inventor just seemed to fit. Plus, now I can aim to be "electrifying" on the track!
Hometown: A small town in Northern CT

Derby Experience: I've just passed my one year anniversary playing Derby! I'm excited to be skating on the Team's Roster this season and I can't wait...

Sports background: I've played softball and soccer. I used to ride bikes or rollerskate for HOURS after school every day. I did Kempo Karate and Ju Jitsu in high school and college. Now, it's all Derby or trying to get in extra cardio at the gym.

Why Derby: At first it was just a way to get more exercise. Now it's a constant way to challenge myself both physically and intellectually.  There's so much to keep track of and to try to master! I love it.

Derby Style: Ummm...sometimes it's a pure case of "fake it 'til you make it!" Basically, I try to bolster my teammates in whatever way works best on the track. I fall down, I get back up, and keep moving on.

Why Pair O' Dice: Originally, I came to POD because two of my coworkers were already affiliated with the team. I stayed because we are a tight-knit group of fabulously strong girls who work to support each other both on and off the track. It's like having a new, extended family.

Derby Goals: To learn to be a great blocker and solid addition to the team.  Then, after that, I'd love to learn to master track awareness so that I can become a solid swing, playing both offense and defense on the track.

Favorite players: Can I name my own teammates?  LOL.  Seriously, I want to learn to skate low and fast like our own Donny Brook. I want to learn some epic shenanijams from our Suga Burn and I want to learn to take advantage of the rules in the smartest ways possible like Astra Knot.  Outside of POD, I'd love to someday be as strong and agile as Western Mass' Rammy Lammy, and be able to maneuver as confidently backwards and forwards as Boston's Shark Week.

Outside of Derby: Librarian by day... I'm a reader, writer, and answer finder. I love to curl up with a great book or in front of my favorite cheesy sci-fi tv shows.

Things I have learned about derby: I've learned it's a sport you need to be passionate to play. I've learned that Derby works best when you have team mates you can depend on and they know they can depend on you. Really though, I've learned that no matter what, there's always more to learn about Derby! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

POD's Healthy "Fuel" of the Month

In the interest of fun and nutrition - and showing that yes, you CAN combine the two sometimes - we are going to be featuring one healthy meal a month that can be used to help fuel up before a game or to recharge afterwards. Every once in a while, we'll probably also have a recipe or two for some fabulously tasty treats...because what Derby girl doesn't love treats??

This month, we're going to feature a simple recipe that can be a great way to refuel after a hard practice or a big bout! (Yes, I know the after-party usually features a whole different kind of "fuel," but go with me here...) 

Picture from Healthy Today  Healthy Tomorrows
1 package whole wheat couscous
1 lb. chicken tenders 
1 head of broccoli
1 red pepper
3 scallions 
10 baby carrots 
2 tblspn olive oil 
1 tblspn rice vinegar
2 tblspn red. sodium soy sauce
1 tlbspn Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 

1. Pour olive oil into a large skillet and bring to medium heat. 
2. Turn heat down slightly, bringing skillet to medium low heat. 
3. Chop vegetables and add to pan, starting with the broccoli and carrots (the harder veggies) first as they'll take longer to cook. Stir occasionally to keep from burning.  
4. Prepare the couscous according to package directions. 
5. Cut chicken into small pieces and add to veggie skillet.  Turn heat up a notch and stir frequently to ensure chicken cooks through. 
6. Add vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes to taste.  
7. Place a decent portion of couscous on each plate, then top with chicken and veggies. Serve!

Stir-fry is one of those great meals that you can basically make out of anything. Beef, Sausage, chicken, rice, noodles, couscous, and whatever veggies you happen to have around the house. I've used eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, every type of veggie you can think of!  I chose this recipe to share as it's the one I make most often. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and contains important nutrients like niacin and vitamin B. I also like to use the whole wheat couscous because it gives an interesting texture to the stir-fry and increases the dish's protein and fiber content without adding massive calories. No matter what you put in your stir-fry, just go easy on the soy sauce.  Adding all that sodium in after a good workout will only make you feel dehydrated and gross - hello bloat! Buy low sodium and use as little as possible. 

The next time you're looking for a quick and easy dish to throw together, give a chicken stir-fry a shot! Let me know how it goes. 

- Nikki Tesla #134

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Skater of the Month: Donny Brook

Sorry all for the "radio silence" this past month. A few personal issues took over during the month, but we're back now! So, here you go...
Welcome to our monthly feature on the blog where we help you all get to know our players a little better! This month, we're featuring our 2015 team Vice-Chair: 

Skater Name: Donny Brook 

Number: 86

Story Behind the Name: Donnybrook is sort of a family name; it's what Gramps named his farm. Donnybrook was a fair in Co. Dublin that, over 500 years, devolved into a yearly drunken brawl. I feel it translates well to derby.

Hometown: Kelly's Irish Alps

Derby Experience: I'm starting my 5th year of roller derby! Wow. I hadn't been on skates since I was a kid. I am also a founding member of Pair O' Dice City Roller Derby in 2011.

Sports background: Theater, drinking, dog-walking. Those are sports, right?

Why Derby: I had no idea what I was getting into. I came cause I figured I was fast and could take good hit (that theory has panned out). I stay because its an opportunity to be the best me I can be. My body, mind and patience are constantly challenged and are continually get stronger!

Derby Style: Billy-goat and bean dip.

Why Pair O' Dice: POD City is strong and pretty! We work really hard. We try too hard and fall on our faces. We laugh and get up. We push ourselves till we puke and come back for more. We'll play with a roster of 7 and never stop smiling.

Derby Goals: 1. master a 360 jump. 2. train strong jammers 3.Keep derby as a part of my life forever

Favorite players: Jurasskick Park (He skated on Team USA!). Oh, if only I could skate like him....

Outside of Derby:  Totally obsessed with fiber art. Knitting, weaving, crochet, and learning to spin. I make fabulous hand-dyed yarn too.

Things I have learned about derby: Everything! I came in with zero knowledge of the sport or the dedication it takes to maintain a league. I didn't even know how to skate when I started. That's what is great about this community- we accept and guide everyone to be the best they can be. I would never be where I am now without the help and care of everyone in this sport.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Introducing Big Rink Burn!!

What is Big Rink Burn?

Two hours of fitness building, calorie burning skating and strength-building exercises, with a little fun and games thrown in.

We started these practices to allow all of our league members,including NSOs, retired skaters, and skaters who are not yet eligible for contact, a fun and challenging practice they can participate in 100 percent. We have decided to open them up to former and new members who are interested in skating for fitness, but without the commitment of full contact roller derby.

Who can come?

These sessions are co-ed, but due to insurance requirements are adults only.

When and where is Big Rink Burn?

Two nights a month (alternating Thursdays) at 7-9 at Interskate South in Wilbraham.

What is required?

Full derby protective gear (helmet and wrist, elbow, and knee guards); loaner gear is available. Rental roller skates are available at the rink, but doing some of the moves in these skates will be challenging (and not in a good way). Entry level derby skates are recommended (try the Riedell Dart, available in fun colors from the Bruised BoutiqueTurn Two Skate Shop or from our very own home rink, Interskate South in Wilbraham).

What is the cost?

$20 a month covers the two sessions, plus you will receive a pass to the adult night skate every Wednesday at Interskate.

Is there hitting?

Not at these sessions, don’t worry! We are a competitive derby league and our skaters will attend these practices, but no contact is allowed on these nights.

Is skating experience required?

You will get a lot more out of these sessions if you can skate, stop, and turn confidently. However, all levels are welcome and you can modify any exercise to make it right for you.

This sounds awesome! How do I get started?

Come to our next free intro session on Thursday, January 22nd to try it out and get all the information. If you can’t make this session, email for the next one.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Holiday Treats to Tempt You: The Second Edition

Now that the Holidays are fully over, we here at POD want to give one last goodies hoorah before going back to thinking healthy. As promised, here are two more of OUR favorite goody recipes! Enjoy.

BROWNED BUTTER BACON RICE KRISPIE TREATS (Submitted by Tesla...originally via Suga)

Photo taken from
4 slices of bacon
1 stick (4 oz) of unsalted butter
1 (10 oz) bag of marshmallows 
1/4 tsp. seas salt
6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
Cooking Spray

1. Fry bacon in a small pan to desired crispness. Lay flat on paper towel to drain. Once cool, chop into pieces. *try not to eat any of the deliciousness...*
2. Spray an 8 x 8 pan and set aside. 
3. Melt the stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter starts to melt, stir continuously. Let the butter first froth, then start to darken a little, until it turns brown and smells toasty. KEEP STIRRING so that the butter does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. 
4. Turn off the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Stir until completely melted. 
5. Take the pan off the cooling burner and stir in the rice krispies, sea salt, and bacon pieces until well combined. 
6. Spoon the mixture into the pan you set aside. Spray the back of your spoon with cooking spray and then press the mixture hard into the pan to make sure it fills out the pan completely. 
7. Once cool, you can cut and serve! 

SWEET POTATO PIE (Submitted by Tesla) 

Picture from
1 premade pie crust 
2 - 3 small sweet potatoes
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream (though I've used Half and Half in a pinch) 
3 eggs
3/4 cup honey
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray surface of a baking sheet, then cut sweet potatoes lengthwise and place halves cut side down. Bake until the sweet potatoes feel tender. 
2. Put the potatoes off to the side to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the oven heat up to 400 degrees. 
3. Spray the inside of your pie dish then unroll the crust into the dish and press the sides firmly, creating a good shell. 
4. Remove the potato peels and smush the insides in a large bowl. 
5 Mix in the ginger, cinnamon, and salt.  Then add the eggs, one at a time, beat each into the mixture until it feels combined. 
6.Add the honey and heavy whipping cream, while mixing continuously. 
7. Pour the filling mixture from the bowl into the pie shell, then bake at 400 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. 
8. Cool, then enjoy! 

...And that ends our special Holiday goodies posts for this year. Keep an eye out for our next Healthy "Fuel" of the Month post, where we'll be getting back to business!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Skater of the Month: Haulin-Sass

Welcome to our monthly feature on the blog where we help you all get to know our players a little better! This month, we're featuring our 2015 team Chair:

Skater Name: Haulin-Sass

Number: 318

Story Behind the Name: My name is pretty sentimental. It's in honor of my late boyfriend who was an over the road truck driver. He had planned on opening up his own trucking company named "Westhaulin". I combined the name of his company with my sassy personality and became Haulin-Sass!

Hometown: Born and raised in Springfield MA aka "the 413."

Derby Experience: I joined POD on 9/22/2013 and have loved every second of it!

Sports background: Aside from doing many endurance challenges and just general "keeping in shape" athletics, I didn't really grow up playing any sports.

Why Derby: I never really took an interest in any of the "typical" sports. But one day while at work my coworker was talking about derby and I found it fascinating. Unfortunately, there wasn't a local team for us to try out for, so we talked about creating our own league. Neither of us had ever played before,
though... I then quit that job and a year went by, when a friend of a friend mentioned she played for a local team and invited me to come watch, after that one night I was immediately hooked and kept coming back! Shortly after I started skating I found out my grandmother was a derby girl, no wonder I was so drawn to it; It's in my blood.

Derby Style: I am still working on that. I don't feel that I have enough experience under by belt just yet to have a specific style... But, I do put everything I have into what ever position I am playing.

Why Pair O' Dice: I like to think fate brought us together. At just the right moment in my life a friend of a friend came into my life and invited me to come see the team practice, and I never left.

Derby Goals: I'd like to become a much stronger Jammer.

Favorite players: Well, Of course there is my Derby Wife, Vicious Aloysuis, (-->) but every player that I have met in the short time I've been playing derby has made a huge impact on me and I truly appreciate each and every one of them.

Outside of Derby:  In real life, I work for World Energy in the energy procurement field AKA energy superhero.

Things I have learned about derby: No matter how long you have been skating, there will always be something new to learn - be it rules, or skills. Most importantly, don't get discouraged!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Officials' Review: Sneaker Derby Charades

Happy New Year and Happy New Ruleset! There may not have been a lot of changes penaltywise in the newest Rules Update, with the exception of the adjustments to the Use Of Forearms and Hands, but when you add in holiday breaks and new members this is a good time of year to review the basics!    

One of the best ways to get everyone back into the derby frame of mind is Sneaker Derby, and so we thought why not work in our rules review too.

Sneaker Derby Charades

Objective: Building rules understanding among Refs, NSOs, and rules-loving-skaters.

Length of drill: Can vary depending on the number of participants.

Participants: Works best with 10 or more, but can be run with fewer. 

Materials needed: Protective Gear as identified in the WFTDA Rulebook; tape or cones; a stopwatch; a whistle; index cards or scrap paper; copies of the Penalties from the WFTDA Rulebook, the WFTDA Official Hand Signals, and the WFTDA Official Verbal Cues.  

Skill level: This drill is designed for group participation including everyone from fresh meat to seasoned skaters and officials.

Preparations: On each of the index cards or pieces of scrap paper, write out the name of a penalty creating penalty-cards. Layout tape, or cones, to delineate a portion of the track (if possible 20ft of the track with 10ft lines). Everybody, even the NSOs, gear up. 

How it works: 
  • Participants gear up, and divide into teams of 5 (more teams if there are 15 or more participants).
  • The first team draws one of the penalty-cards, and then has 30 seconds to figure out how to act out the penalty on the card (as timed by the other team). 
  • Someone from the second team whistles signaling the start of the first team's jam to demonstrate their penalty. 
  • Team two has 2 minutes (timed by one of their members) to guess the penalty being acted out by team one. 
  • Once team two has an answer, or at the end of the 2 minutes, one of their members whistles to end the jam.
  • Both teams come together to discuss the penalty, and what other actions would earn it.
  • Repeat with team two acting out a penalty.

Next Steps: adjustments for advanced penalty and procedure fans:
  • The Guessing team must answer with the hand signal for the penalty.
  • Make penalty-cards with more specific verbal cues for the different penalties.
  • Run a few actual jams of Sneaker Derby, but in each jam the "Head Official" secretly assigns one skater a penalty for them to do during the jam, it is up to the other skaters to identify the penalty. (This is best with the non-contact, or minor contact, penalties.)

Let us know how your team/league is planning on reviewing the new rules in the Comments section below. 

Happy 2015 Season! 

- Ducky

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday Treats to Tempt You: The First Edition

So, it's the Holidays and though we here at POD have been trying to think healthy (at least once a month!), even we can fully admit that there is no better time to embrace the goodies than now.  As promised, here are some of OUR favorite goody recipes! Enjoy.

PANCAKES A LA REF (Submitted by Brian)
*Makes One*

1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/2 Tbsp melted fat (butter, lard, bacon drippings)

1. Meanwhile, heat a skillet or sauté pan to medium (butter will sizzle but not brown)
2. Beat egg and milk together thoroughly
3. Gently whisk in flour
4. Stir in fat
5. Pour batter into pan after the butter stops sizzling
6. Flip when top of pancake becomes dry
7. Cook another few minutes on the other side

Serve with maple syrup, marmalade, lingonberries, or powdered sugar

Image and Recipe from The Gunny Sack

1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
12 mini pretzels
1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Put 1 tablespoon of the sugar cookie dough into each of 24 greased mini muffin tins.
3. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.
4. Make the chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil in a pan on top of the stove and then stirring in the hot cocoa mix.
5. Put the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large bowl then pour the hot cream over them and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.
6. Break off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles.
7. Melt the white chocolate in a small pan on the stove and use it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.
8. Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.
*For best results, store the hot chocolate cookie cups in the refrigerator until ready to serve* 

Rather than overload you with too many tempting recipes all at once, we're going to help you savor the sugary goodness by promising more recipes later.... stay tuned for Holiday Treats to Tempt You: The Second Edition, coming soon.