Gotham Girls Roller Derby
Founded in 2003
New York City
Queens of Pain
Gotham Girls All-Stars (travel)
Wall Street Traitors (travel)
Meat Packing District (travel)
|Venue||varies; most frequently at Hunter College Sportsplex|
|Org. type||501(c)(3) NPO|
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (GGRD) is a flat track roller derby league based in New York City, New York. Founded in late 2003, Gotham Girls Roller Derby was the first skater-operated flat track roller derby league in the metropolitan New York area. GGRD is a founding member league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) which was formed in November 2005.
GGRD hosts flat-track roller derby competitions which showcase bouts among the various teams in the league. The league is made up of four home teams that play within the league and at times compete with member teams from other WFTDA leagues. The league is also home to inter-league competition teams, the Wall Street Traitors and the Gotham Girls All-Stars, which are teams compiled of league skaters from all four home teams and compete against other leagues. The Gotham Girls All-Stars represent the league in WFTDA inter-league competitions that count towards WFTDA national rankings.
The skaters, referees, and other league volunteers have the option to adopt 'skater names' for their uniforms, league activities, and other league business. Members choose their own names which they may start using after an initial league probationary period. The league encourages these names to be unique within the modern roller derby universe, in deference to the International Rollergirls Master Roster maintained at twoevils.org.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. The IRS recognized Gotham Girls Roller Derby as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity in September 2008.
Each GGRD skater competes on a single 'home team.' Each home team is supported by a 'Jeerleader' squad.
• The Brooklyn Bombshells. Founded 2004.
Team Mascot: Victor E. Jeerleader Squad: The Bomb Squad.
• The Manhattan Mayhem. Founded 2004.
Team Mascots: Originally ('04-'06) Mattley Mayhem. Added Flying Mason ('07) and Matt Lock ('08). Jeerleader Squad: The Jailhouse Rockettes.
• The Queens of Pain. Founded 2005.
Team Mascot: The Persuader. Jeerleader Squad: The Royal Pains.
• The Bronx Gridlock. Founded 2006.
Team Mascots: Travis Bickle (retired after '06), Skid Marxx (retired after '08). Jeerleader Squad: The Backseat Betties.
These teams practice together and jointly manage the league. The borough-based team designations do not necessarily reflect the residences of the skaters on a particular team.
Additionally, the league fields compilation teams:
• The Gotham Girls All-Stars - The sanctioned all star travel team for competition with other leagues in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, composed of skaters from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan teams. Team Mascot: Has varied. Most recent incarnation: 'Suspicious Package' (March '09).
• The Wall Street Traitors - An "all-borough" travel team for exhibition games with other leagues, composed of skaters from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan teams. Team Mascot: David Lee Roth IRA (starting March '09).
• The Meat Packing District - An "all-rookie" travel team for exhibition games with other leagues, composed of rookie skaters from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan teams.
2009: GGRD opens the season with a March interleague double-header at the Schwartz Athletic Center on the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. The GGRD All-Stars defeat the Boston Massacre of Boston Derby Dames in a full-length WFTDA-sanctioned bout, and the GGRD Wall Street Traitors defeat the Suburban Brawl All-Stars of Suburbia Roller Derby in a 30-minute exhibition.  The remainder of the league's eight home bouts are held at Manhattan's Hunter College Sportsplex.
In May, the Meatpacking District lose to the Filles du Rois of Montreal Roller Derby in Gotham's first international travel.
In June, the All-Stars extend their winning streak to sixteen with two victories: a 185-31 win over All-Stars from the Carolina Rollergirls  (in Raleigh) and a 84-76 victory over the All-Stars of the Texas Rollergirls, skated on neutral ground in Woodbridge, CT, hosted by the CT Rollergirls of Connecticut.
The All-Stars win their first two bouts at September's "Wicked Wheels of the East" Regional tournament in Raleigh, defeating Providence and Boston, but fall 90-89 to the Philly Roller Girls in the WFTDA Regional Final, losing in the final moments and ending the All-Stars' winning streak after 18 victories in a row.
In October, the Brooklyn and Queens teams host an unusual transcontinental double-header at Hunter College as each team played the Sockit Wenches from Seattle's Rat City Rollergirls, back-to-back. The Sockit Wenches prevail over Brooklyn by 20 and Queens by 19, marking the first home losses for Gotham teams in interleague action since 2005.
In November, the Gotham Girls All-Stars handily defeat the Detroit Derby Girls 187-38 in their first-round matchup at the 2009 WFTDA Nationals (the "Declaration of Derby," hosted by the Philly Rollergirls), but then the Gotham squad falls to the Oly Rollers of Olympia, Washington, 135-105, in their quarterfinal matchup. The Oly Rollers goes on to defeat two other opponents (the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and Texas Rollergirls, by much larger margins) to win the 2009 title, marking the second time in three years that Gotham is eliminated from the WFTDA title by its eventual champion.
Also in November, in the year's final bout, the Bronx Gridlock roar back from a 42-point halftime deficit to defeat the Manhattan Mayhem, 116-105, winning the Gridlock's second GGRD league title. Bonnie Thunders scores a league-record 88 points in the winning effort.
2008: GGRD enters its second season practicing at the “Crashpad,” and twelve new skaters are added to the league. Eight bouts are held at Hunter College in Manhattan, with an additional season-opening interleague doubleheader against Philadelphia (vs. Gotham's All-Stars) and the Connecticut RollerGirls (vs. the Wall Street Traitors) at the Schwartz Athletic Center on the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University.
In June, the Gotham Girls All-Stars thrill eastern derby fans with a milestone 60-point win over the original flat-track roller derby pioneers, the Texas Rollergirls, at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza hosted by the Philly Roller Girls. This is followed by an All-Star victory over the Denver Roller Dolls. At the same event, the Wall Street Traitors defeat New England Roller Derby (N.E.R.D.), a collection of skaters from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. GGRD's all-rookie Meatpacking District defeat the Skater Tots, a team of rookies from Chicago's Windy City Rollers.
In July, GGRD is ranked #2 nationally within the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. In August, the All-Stars travel to Arizona to defeat the all-star Saddletramps of Tucson Roller Derby, and in September, the Wall Street Traitors travel to Asbury Park to defeat the Jersey Shore Rollergirls. The league also hosts an international doubleheader, as the Brooklyn Bombshells defeat all-stars from Montreal Roller Derby and the Manhattan Mayhem defeat all-stars from Providence Roller Derby.
In October, GGRD All-Stars win their second consecutive WFTDA Eastern Region title at the Derby in Dairyland Tournament (Madison, WI) with victories over Madison's Mad Rollin' Dolls, Philadelphia's Liberty Belles, and Chicago's Windy City Rollers. The Queens of Pain defeat the Bronx Gridlock to win its third Gotham Girls Roller Derby league championship in four seasons.
In November, the GGRD All-Stars move up to the #1 national ranking within the WFTDA and win their first WFTDA national championship at the Northwest Knockdown tournament in Portland, Oregon.  As the top seed in the East, GGRD defeats Duke City (Albuquerque) followed by victories in East Region tournament rematches against Philadelphia's Liberty Belles and Chicago's Windy City Rollers. Bonnie Thunders is named the tournament MVP. The GGRD All-Stars' winning streak (beginning in October 2007) is extended to twelve bouts.
2007: In February, GGRD secures a practice space known as the “Crashpad” and welcomes fourteen new skaters to the league. Season bouts are held at City College of New York in Harlem with two additional bouts at Hunter College. The Bronx Gridlock enjoys an undefeated season and wins the GGRD Championship in a final over the Queens of Pain.
In interleague all-star action, the Gotham Girls All-Stars begin the season with a loss to the Carolina Rollergirls and a victory over Chicago's Windy City Rollers. Gotham then starts to put its full-time practice facility to use and proceeds to dominate the Heartland Havoc, the first ever WFTDA Eastern Regional Tournament (August, in Columbus, Ohio), and are crowned 2007 Eastern Region Champions, with a sequence of blowout victories over Grand Rapids, Philadelphia, Windy City, and Detroit. At the Texas Shootout (the 2007 WFTDA National Championships in Austin, Texas), the GGRD All-Stars are eliminated in the first round by the eventual 2007 WFTDA champions, the Kansas City Roller Warriors. GGRD is ranked #5 nationally within the WFTDA.
In a November interleague double-header, the Brooklyn Bombshells
defeat all-stars from the Long Island Roller Rebels and the
Manhattan Mayhem defeat all-stars from the New Jersey Dirty Dames
(New Brunswick, NJ).
2006: The Gotham Girls All-Stars travel to Tucson, Arizona to compete in the Dust Devil Tournament, the first ever WFTDA sanctioned flat-track roller derby tournament, and emerge ranked 11th nationally with "mini-bout" victories over Atlanta and Albuquerque, "mini-bout" losses to Texas and Kansas City, and a full-length bout loss to Madison.
GGRD forms its fourth home team, the Bronx Gridlock. In March, the Skate Key unexpectedly closes down and GGRD loses its practice and bout venue three weeks prior to its scheduled 2006 season opener. GGRD launches “Operation Crashpad” to scour the New York boroughs in search of new practice and bout venues. Throughout the season, league and team practices are held at public outdoor venues, as skaters persevere through rain, cold, asphalt, and darkness. Regular practice venues included Tanahey Playground (Manhattan), Dutch Kills Park (Queens), Mafera Park (Queens), Peter's Field (Manhattan), Sara D. Roosevelt Park (Manhattan), Stanley Isaacs Playground (Manhattan), basketball courts under the West Side Highway at 78th Street (Manhattan), and William F. Passannante Ballfield (Manhattan).
Season games are attended by sold-out crowds at the Schwartz Athletic Center on the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University and at Hunter College in Manhattan, with one additional regular season bout (Queens vs. Manhattan) held in Seaford, Long Island as part of a unique double-header featuring another regular-season bout of the Long Island Roller Rebels. The Queens of Pain win the GGRD Championship for the second season in a row, losing to the Brooklyn Bombshells in May but defeating the Bronx Gridlock once and the Manhattan Mayhem twice (once in the regular season and once in the finals) to take the trophy.
The season concludes with an interleague All-Star bout victory at Philadelphia and an All-Star loss at Providence.
2005: GGRD launches its first full season of roller derby at The Skate Key. The league now boasts a skater roster of 20-25 skaters and forms a third home team, the Queens of Pain, created after two games between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Queens of Pain are undefeated throughout the season and become the first GGRD Season Champions and are awarded the GGRD Golden Skate Trophy by virtue of defeating the Manhattan Mayhem in the finals. The Gotham Girls All-Stars play (and lose) their first inter-league bout against the Mad Rollin' Dolls of Madison, Wisconsin. GGRD holds its first tryouts - over 100 hopeful skaters attend; 24 skaters are accepted for the 2006 season.
2004: GGRD continues to recruit skaters, referees and staff and holds periodic fundraisers. GGRD finds a new venue for practices at The Skate Key in the South Bronx. Practices are held twice weekly at The Skate Key and Rev. Joseph Moffo asphalt hockey rink in Tanahey Playground located in New York City’s Chinatown. GGRD host their first ever exposition flat-track roller derby bout (titled the Beat Down in the Boogie Down) and a crowd of 600 shows up to see the Brooklyn Bombshells and Manhattan Mayhem compete. (The Brooklyn Bombshells won, in overtime.)
2003: Karin Bruce (aka Chassis Crass) and David “Lefty” Leibowitz, both working independently to start a women’s roller derby league, meet thru an online classified ad. They decide to work together and form Gotham Girls Roller Derby. GGRD starts recruiting skaters and holding weekly practices at “open skate” sessions at Empire Roller Skating Center, a roller rink in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
League Champions are determined in an end-of-season playoff bout.
Award winners are determined by poll of league members.
The C.A.N.T.S.L.E.E.P. award is the "Crass Award for Never-Tiring Support for the League with Endless Enthusiasm and Positivity," named for league founder Chassis Crass. In 2005 this award was titled the "Miss GGRD" award, and it was re-named in 2006.
|Year||League Champion||League MVP||Best Jammer||Best Blocker||Best Pivot||Rookie of the Year||C.A.N.T.S.L.E.E.P. Award|
|2005||Queens of Pain||Rippin' Kittin (Manhattan)||Rippin' Kittin (Manhattan)||Carmen Monoxide (Queens)||Ginger Snap (Manhattan)||(not awarded)||Chassis Crass (Brooklyn)|
|2006||Queens of Pain||Suzy Hotrod (Queens)||Suzy Hotrod (Queens)||Donna Matrix (Queens)||Ana Bollocks (Queens)||Bonnie Thunders (Bronx)||Ana Bollocks (Queens)|
|2007||Bronx Gridlock||Beyonsláy (Bronx)||(co-winners)
Bonnie Thunders (Bronx)
|Beyonsláy (Bronx)||Kandy Kakes (Bronx)||Ani Dispanco (Brooklyn)||Ginger Snap (Bronx)|
|2008||Queens of Pain||Award divided as:
|Bonnie Thunders (Bronx)||Fisti Cuffs (Manhattan)||Sweet Sherry Pie (Manhattan)||Em Dash (Manhattan)||Stevie Kicks (Queens)|
|2009||Bronx Gridlock||Suzy Hotrod (Queens)||Bonnie Thunders (Bronx)||Fisti Cuffs (Manhattan)||Sweet Sherry Pie (Manhattan)||OMG WTF (Brooklyn)||Greta Turbo (Queens)|