Tonight was my second time at all-league training, which again had 50-odd people turn up.
I arrived to see everyone gearing up (I had thought I was still 5 minutes early… oh well!) so I got on skates and warmed-up with laps. We then assembled and the new Whites Stars got called up one by one to receive their (silver) star stickers on their helmets. HOORAY!!!
Tonight’s focus was stops and recovery (ie. keeping your balance). First drill was “Partner up with ‘someone you haven’t skated with before/ isn’t your level” to do some stopping practice. Jillie demonstrated all the different stops for us (so many!!! Half of which I hadn’t heard of before and most of them required transitions), and I paired with Afro Violet. We talked a bit and I attempted some C and Tomahawk stops, but it was hard with so many people on the track constantly stopping and starting so I often just defaulted to a plow. We then split up into small teams and did a relay across the gym; sprint to halfway, stop (any stop), sprint to end, stop, knee fall/ tap and sprint back to the beginning to tag the next person. The first time I just did plow stops, the second I tried a C/ hockey stop but I fell over on the first one Stayed upright on the second but it was messy.
Next drill was blocking/ recycling in pairs. I teamed up with one of the roller soccer guys and we took turns knocking each other out of bounds then skating backwards to force them to re-enter the track further back. I’m getting better at blocking, especially just getting in the way and leaning on people, but I’m not very fast or agile at the recycling part. I got in a few good hits and blocks, but my partner was much faster on the recycle than I was. Like everything else; MORE PRACTICE! After that we practiced hopping over the line on the whistle (in bounds, out of bounds, in bounds!) which we probably should have done first but oh well.
We did another relay drill, back in same teams to make it quicker. We had two people acting as markers at 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across the gym. Skate up to overtake one, oh no your outside foot has crossed the track line and is out of bounds! Lift inside foot to go completely out, recycle and repeat on second person. It was interesting, but also confusing because we had too many people to actually do it on the track which mean there were no actual lines on the ground to work with.
We had a game of Assholes and Angels with a handful of Assholes for the big groups, including myself. I always forget that I can shove/ do things that are outside rules of play in this game, so I wasn’t a particularly effective Asshole the first time around. But I ended up with the panty again in the second half of the game and it was on. Lots of fun, and I only fell over once (when I was not being an Asshole, T-Ref laid a big push on me at the same time as I was hit by two other people, one pushing in the opposite direction and the other already falling and they took out my legs).
Since we already had panties on we then played a team version of Queen of the Rink, Panties vs None. I got out about halfway through in the first game (but I had already knocked out a couple of people so I was happy), and for the second game I got called on a cut when I was too busy trying to recover my balance after taking a hit to look where I was going. None won the first round and Panties won the second so hooray!
Next up was blocking and walls. Groups of 5; wall of 3 in front, wall of 2 behind. We skated two laps, the front wall controled speed and movement, the second wall copied and followed while keeping in close. Unfortunately as my group came back in to line up for another go, /er stacked it while stopping (hit the join in the floor badly) and twisted her ankle 😦
Last drill of the night was the Gauntlet. Half a dozen or so people stand between the Jammer and Pivot line, and everyone else skates laps and then jukes between them. Depending on level of difficulty the blockers can have their feet stuck to the floor, use or not use their arms as obstacles, or can move within the designated area. I skated a few laps which was fun, then swapped out with someone as a blocker and got to lean, hit and generally make life difficult for people. I liked that much more 😀
No Lurby tonight, but we did have a few announcements from the team captain Beverley Bonecrusher with thanks yous for everyone who helped run the bout, and announcements for best Blocker, Jammer and MVP from the game.