Eastbound Throwdown this weekend

By on August 21, 2019

Twelve of the top teams from the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) will be rolling into Lancaster County this weekend to compete in the Eastbound Throwdown.

Lancaster’s premier roller derby team, The Dutchland Derby Rollers, will be hosting the Eastbound Throwdown at Spooky Nook Sports from Aug. 23 to 25. Doors open at 9 a.m. for fast-paced derby action.

The Eastbound Throwdown is the North America East Regional WFTDA Continental Cup. The Continental Cups are the regional postseason tournaments for teams that rank just below the best 28 teams that compete for the Hydra Cup in the WFTDA International Playoffs and Championships. WFTDA has over 450 teams scattered across six continents that compete internationally from

February through June for a chance to rank high enough to continue on to playoffs.

Teams, such as the Sailor City Rollers, have traveled from as far as Argentina to compete for medals in the Eastbound Throwdown.

The Dutchland Derby Rollers have been bringing the sport of roller derby to the Lancaster community since 2006, but there are still many locals who have never been to a game and do not how roller derby is played.

Roller derby is a full contact sport that features two teams each with five players on the track playing both offense and defense in two minute jams that comprise two thirty minute periods. The jammer or “scorer” ducks, weaves and jukes around the track to rack up points by skating past members of the opposing team. Blockers can knock players down, hold them back and push them out of bounds using their body while on skates.

Just like most other full-contact sports, roller derby has rules regarding illegal contact.

Dutchland Derby Roller’s league member and coach, Stephanie Countess, was the driving force behind bringing the Eastbound Throwdown to Lancaster County. Stephanie was inspired by the task, “This tournament is on a scale that we’ve never done before in Lancaster, but when I read about the requirements, I knew Dutchland could handle the challenge. As a league we always want to promote ourselves to a larger audience and bring awareness to our sport. Hosting such a high-profile event seemed like the perfect way to do that, so I knew we had to try.”

WFTDA has a comprehensive bidding process for selecting the member leagues and locations that will host playoff and championship tournaments. According to WFTDA’s Senior Director of Programs, Karen Kuhn, the Continental Cup application process assesses the location for accessibility for other teams in the region, a venue that can safely accommodate the track and safety zones and the profitability for the league based on their proposed budget.

“We feel that this program is important not only for the teams who get to compete in the event, but also for the host leagues to get experience running tournaments, promoting their league and our sport, and to hopefully make some profits that they can invest in the own programs that benefit the local community,” said Kuhn.

Lancaster’s premier roller derby team, The Dutchland Derby Rollers, will be hosting the Eastbound Throwdown at Spooky Nook Sports from Aug. 23 to 25.

When Dutchland Derby Rollers put together their proposal to host the North America East Regional WFTDA Continental Cup they made sure to highlight their league’s goals, their partnerships with local businesses and advertising partners, their dedicated league members and their loyal fan base. Countess also felt it was important to showcase Lancaster County and all of his wonderful resources.

“This area has such a unique history and culture with a vibrant city, beautiful landscapes and endless options for food and entertainment,” said Countess. “We were also incredibly lucky to partner with “Spooky Nook Sports, whose facilities, turn-key service and enthusiasm made them the perfect venue for this tournament.”

WFTDA agreed that Lancaster County had several attractive features that made it a perfect location for this year’s Continental Cup. “We have 20 member leagues within easy driving distance of

Lancaster, and many more in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions,” said Kuhn. “The proximity to the Philadelphia Airport made Lancaster an attractive location for a regional event and Lancaster is a beautiful historic area to explore.”

Dutchland Derby Rollers’ Director of Marketing and Continental Cup Committee Member, Nicole Matero, is feeling the excitement leading up to the Eastbound Throwdown. “We are excited to bring high level roller derby to the region. We are hoping this tournament will draw in some people who have never watched a game or only know the roller derby that they watch on TV as a kid.

The tournament gives us the opportunity to reach a larger audience and increase our own fan base, but maybe even deepen out bench with our upcoming recruitment just around the corner.”

According to Kuhn, “My favorite thing about roller derby is seeing how much it has changed the lives of its participants. It’s about empowerment and community and inclusion. We are working hard on a local and global level to change what sports governance looks like. We put athletes in charge, have an open gender policy and are striving to make everyone who identifies with WFTDA roller derby feel safe and included in our community.”

The Eastbound Throwdown is a great chance for roller derby fans in the region to watch high level players complete, but it is also the perfect opportunity for sports fans who have never seen a roller derby game to enjoy the action!

What: The Eastbound Throwdown

Where: Spooky Nook Sports, 75 Champ Blvd., Manheim

When: Friday, Aug. 23 to Sunday, Aug. 25 Doors open at 9 a.m. daily.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Tickets are $20 for a single day pass or $50 for a three day pass. Children under the age of 10 are free.

Dutchland Derby Rollers Fall Home Teams Season:

Where: Overlook Activities Center, 301 Golf Drive, Lancaster

When: Saturday, Sept. 1, Saturday, Oct. 5, Saturday, Nov. 2

For more information: dutchlandrollers.com

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