VOTE: Derby Frontier’s 2013 Best of Saskatchewan Roller Derby Celebration

Voting for Derby Frontier’s 2013 Best of Saskatchewan Roller Derby celebration begins today!!! The polls will be open for ONE WEEK before they close and winners are announced, so share with your friends, family, league, fans and community as we recognize just a few of the outstanding contributors to this sport within our province! For any questions, please feel free to contact me any time at kevdennison@gmail.com.

UPDATE 1: People have been asking how it works. It’s a basic, fun poll set to accept 1 vote per device. Anyone can vote! Fans, friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, the community, the government, people in Norway, etc. 100% public vote.

UPDATE 2: There are no cash prizes or merch giveaway associated with this vote. It is simply meant as a fun celebration for derby in Saskatchewan. Winners will receive awesome bragging rights, their names featured in a blog post and a rad, personalized Derby Frontier 2013 “… of the Year” (or whatever your winning award category is) certificate mailed to them.

UPDATE 3: Coverage and exposure for leagues, teams, skaters, the votes and for the sport in general has been phenomenal! Check some of it out here:

CBC Radio 1 (Saskatchewan)
Golden West Radio / Discover Moose Jaw
Golden West Radio / Discover Swift Current
Prince Albert Herald
Weyburn Review

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38 comments

  1. WOW!!!! 571 VOTES for best jammer!!!! Are there even that many people in the derby community in Saskatchewan?? Now that I think of it – Swift is leading by a crazy amount in a lot of categories….sometimes double the next person…..is this really an accurate representation of Saskatchewan’s best? Or has someone written a very clever computer program to get around the voting process? If that’s not the case, then I thought this contest was supposed to be voted on by the members of the DERBY community in Saskatchewan, not the league with the most community support. Why isn’t Kevlar doing media interviews with ALL the cities that have nominees???

    1. Hello John!

      There are actually well over 571 members of the Saskatchewan Roller Derby community. Accounting for all of the skaters, referees, non-skating officials, coaches/trainers, fresh meat, announcers, volunteers, fans, sponsors and friends and family of all the aforementioned, there are thousands and 571 is a very low participation number which I expect will triple over the coming days.

      Additionally, I’d just like to clarify that this contest was never meant to be voted on by just derby people. This contest was meant to CELEBRATE the sport provincially and to raise even greater awareness for leagues all around Saskatchewan in the process. If there are complete strangers who are just voting based on the coolest names, that’s cool too! Maybe they’ll buy tickets to their next local game and become fans of their local league! The voting is 100% public, allowing for 1 vote per device.

      In terms of the progress so far, if you’ve been watching the polls as closely as I have, you’ll have seen that there have been waves of votes over the past 48 hours. Pile of Bone’s Derby Club was leading the votes right out of the gates, then the Gapland Roller nominees were dominating numbers and now the Redneck Betties have pulled ahead, which is not surprising at all considering how incredibly supportive the city of Swift Current is of roller derby. The Betties’ home games are almost always sold out, their social media is booming with community participation and the local Boston Pizza restaurant named their bar the Betties Lounge. They even have Redneck Betties jerseys hanging up over booths.

      The reason why I haven’t done media interviews with all of the cities that have nominees is because not all of the city’s papers have contacted me to cover it. I’d be more than happy to talk with every city in the province about the votes and to promote it but I’ve only been contacted by a few. Some leagues have even gone ahead and done their own promotion, like Swift Current and Prince Albert, whose papers both interviewed their local nominees, all on their own, without contacting me for comment at all. My information is extremely public so if any media wants to contact me there are several ways to do so. I’ll next be on CBC Saskatchewan Radio live at 5:50 PM tonight talking about the votes and the growth of the sport across the province.

      Thank you for bringing up these questions and concerns! I hope that helped clarify a few things!
      Kevlar

    2. Really John…someone has gone and made a program to fix a derby poll??

      Just enjoy it for what it is dude.

  2. Right on Kevlar.

    I am sure the Derby community appreciates the work you’ve done!

    Congrats to all the nominees!

  3. I enjoy the concept of this but sadly I think it’s a popularity contest and not actually based on skills. Would be awesome to see a poll with votes only by the derby community that actually know the skills of the players and not in the media for communities to just be voting for their local skaters who they may never have seen them skate, let alone their competition.

    1. Hey Danielle!

      While a poll with votes restricted to be among the derby community would be interesting, I personally think it would still have been a popularity contest in many ways. Many leagues would likely still vote for their own jammers, their own blockers, their own coaches or their own fresh meat who they have personally witnessed grow and improve. Many of those not voting for their own league mates would likely still be voting for the favorites, their role models, their friends or the most known of the nominees who wowed them at bouts. The leads between votes might not have been as big, but just like you’re seeing now I’m willing to bet that the leagues with larger MEMBERSHIP numbers would have had their nominees in the lead. Of course, this is all theoretical, but it is in my opinion that regardless of who is being polled the votes would have still been influenced by personal opinion, popularity and subjectivity.

      As such, making it so public just made the most sense to me! Roller Derby is a sport that is all about being inclusive and is working overtime to be accepted as a legitimate sport on the local, national, and international level. I feel it would be counter productive to celebrate and recognize our athletes through whispering behind closed doors, especially considering how many leagues struggle to recruit, retain and secure venues, volunteers and members. I’m happy to see friendly rivalries for votes happening on social media and in many cities. It’s also great to see that regardless of the current standings, many of the nominees are getting a lot of attention in their city and the derby community, some of which for the first time!

      Also, what exactly constitutes the “derby community”? The skaters? The officials? The coaches and trainers? The announcers and volunteers? The sponsors and fans? The media and networks that promote and support it all? Where do you draw the line to say: “you’re not part of this, you can’t vote”?

      In hindsight, naming the vote “Best of Sask Roller Derby” seems to have caused some confusion of the purpose of the nominations and voting so if I decide to do another vote next year I’ll likely rename it to something like “Derby Frontier’s Saskatchewan Roller Derby Recognition Awards” or something in that vein that carries less weight than the current title seems to.

      Thank you for the feedback! Take care and happy bouting this year!

      Kevlar

  4. “In hindsight, naming the vote “Best of Sask Roller Derby” seems to have caused some confusion of the purpose of the nominations and voting so if I decide to do another vote next year I’ll likely rename it to something like “Derby Frontier’s Saskatchewan Roller Derby Recognition Awards” or something in that vein that carries less weight than the current title seems to.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Maybe if you took Sask out of it. Normally I enjoy Derby Frontier’s articles and while I don’t agree with them all, it gets people talking about derby and that’s good BUT I don’t think this thinly veiled rip off of “BC’s All Star team” is doing a lot of good for the province. It’s probably going to cause hurt feelings, and frankly as a member of the derby community, I don’t feel that even all the nominees are an accurate representation of “the best of sask roller derby”.

    I would have enjoyed this much more if you had simply picked them yourself (because I do believe you have a firm grasp on where the talent lies in this province – both skaterwise and others – officials, NSOs, juniors, etc) and highlighted them over the year. Derby Frontier’s Sask Derby Person of the Month or something. I’m disappointed with this contest and won’t be participating.

    By the way Kevlar I like that all of your replies are respectful and thought out. This is a pretty emotional subject for people and it’s nice to see it being well moderated.

    1. I’d personally disagree that this vote isn’t doing good for the province as hundreds have been sharing the polls and multiple news outlets have been publicly discussing it in a positive, supportive and community building light. People and news outlets who previously weren’t getting behind the sport are getting behind it now, and I think that is a good thing! But I certainly understand the reasoning behind some people’s frustrations disappointments. Admittedly, I agree that the title of the vote could have been clearer in representing the intentions of this poll. It was my first time doing something like this and I now know about the impact that wording can have on my followers’ perception of content. I will make sure to be mindful of this with future endeavors.

      But I think it is important to discuss too that not long ago the national roller derby community was also upset when the SRDL Mindfox were declared National Champions after winning the RDAC tournament, which many did not feel was a representation of the “best of Canada” much like how you (and I’m sure some others) feel that the nominees here do not represent “the best of Saskatchewan”. But the SRDL Mindfox still played a tremendous tournament and were deserving of their title and win and I feel the same will be true for whichever of the nominees listed above wins the vote.

      We’re all still very much in our infancy and like with my personal experiences out on the flat track as an official or coach, I am also constantly learning and re-evaluating articles, topics and the direction of Derby Frontier. There are a number of lesson’s I will take away from organizing this vote about what did or what didn’t work and about what was well received vs what upset people. Big lessons that I’m thankful I have experienced as I feel they will help me improve as an individual and promoter. Ultimately though, with something like this I knew it would be impossible to please everybody, and I believe that it would have still been impossible to not upset some people regardless of what I titled the vote. However, I set out with a goal and mind and overall I’m happy with the positive interactions, engaging discussions and progress that has come of it so far. And I will take both what was good and bad about this vote forward with me so that I am better prepared in the event that I do another vote down the road!

      Thank you for the thoughtful discussion, cheers!

      Kevlar

  5. I have to agree that the numbers seem quite skew in alot of the categories. Seriously someone get 5 votes and then someone gets over 500 in the same category. Really? Farce. I’m calling bull shit. But I guess Of that’s the way that people need to win….

    Oh and by the way just Google polldaddy hack. You don’t need to write a program to cheat, someone already did.

    http://dynobin.com/blog/polldaddy-votes-hack-v2/

    1. Hello Becca,

      While I understand the concern I honestly do not feel that people are hacking the polls. Support for derby ranges from area to area and different people are pushing for votes harder than others, which I feel is what is being reflected here.

      Kevlar

    2. I have been part of a online contest where it was done with the most Facebook likes and trust me people who work in large offices, or have students are very capable of producing a lot of votes in a very short period of time!
      It’s very unlikely anyone would care to cheat but if they did you certainly made it easy for them. lol
      Congratulations to all nominees your all winners thru my eyes!

  6. Just wondering how the names were picked out? Just because I have heard many coments that there are not the best names representing the catagories…. Personally neverheard or knew about any nominations as I would have personally nominated a few awesome players that deserve to have their names up therei

    1. Hello Confused,

      Nominations were open for about two weeks and had over 70 people from multiple leagues in the province putting forth names. Everyone who was nominated, and met the guidelines, was included in the nominee list.

      Kevlar

  7. Kevlar,

    The fact you took this upon yourself to do something to recognize the different people who make up the derby community good for you. I see people laughing and talking about it, friendly banter between “rivals”, media coverage, positivity and the smiles from the nominees. I know it has helped some people feel good about themselves to just be nominated, people who were struggling with how they felt about their contribution to this great sport and it has rekindled some peoples love for the sport and getting them to stay and continue in some capacity. Sooooo…. GOOD JOB!!!! Was it done perfectly, no, are you making notes of how to improve it for next time, I would guarantee you are!!! For every person who is not impressed with the proceedings there are NUMEROUS others who are tickled pink about just getting the nod. The people that are getting voted for have fans, and to those fans they are the best, its their right to vote, as they see something in them that others may not.

    To take something you have done out of the goodness of your heart, your love for the sport, to get this sport and these skaters names out into the media and to try to tear it apart, that’s sad, its too bad people don’t focus on the positive, instead of the negative.

    You are doing so much for this sport, and for all of us in it. Thank-you so much for everything you do and are!!!

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself Derby Lover! Thank you for being able to articulate my feelings in a much nicer way than I ever could.

  8. Argh koodos to those nominated, good on you :)……..and boo on the negative Nancys! Always got to be a complainer in the group! Happy voting! And good luck to all! You all made it on here for a reason…..cause you fabulous of course :)!!

  9. Kevlar has done this poll as a “fun” contest, it’s not meant to be anything more! If people want to see the best the province has to offer they will have to head on out to their most local league and check out the action this year, lots of publicity means potential for new fans, who might not be derby related and general public which is awesome! Thanks Kevlar!

  10. The following is not just to the people who have commented on this poll but to those people who have posted on other boards and comments I have heard from people. But saying this here will make sure all to the people my rant applies to will see it.

    The Negative Nancy’s in the Sask “Derby Community” really need to check their egos, I was highly insulted at some of the comments I have seen about this poll being rigged or out right cheating, as well as the other comment “It should just be the derby community”.

    We all joined this sport for the FUN, and I have seen the fun being sucked out of the game because of peoples egos, we can’t all be winners, This what I tell my kids ” Did you try your hardest? And did you have fun doing it? If the answer is yes to both of those then what do you have to complain about? Nothing because you did your best and had fun doing and next time you will do better. Why drag others down because your being a sore loser? Be proud of them, they beat the best (aka you) for now, you’ll get them next time.”

    Losing makes you better just as much as winning does, it is just sucks that it is a slightly harder lesson to see at first.

    The Derby Community consists of , yes all of the players, Refs, NSOs, volunteers, announcers. However, there would be NO community without the fans, the people who cheer for you, support you at your fundraisers, buy your tickets to see the games, buy your merchandise, and tell everyone they know about the awesome game they saw on the weekend and how their friends have missed out.

    Over the past eight years I have been all over this country and have seen what happens south of the border and the fans carry the leagues because they love the game and their team. Too many people in the “derby community” forget about the fans, or worse they do not care at all about them.

    In Sask. the best example of this is the Roughriders, a team that nearly folded several times, then they reached out to their fans and embraced them as the 13th man promotion. Their fans in turn embraced them, and together they created the hottest team in the CFL even when they were losing, because of their fans. Had they not realized they needed to embrace their fans, there would be no Roughriders except in Ottawa (shudder).

    I have walked into events for leagues that just started and they start out with just a handful of fans, and then I come back a few months later and there is several hundred people cheering so loud the ceiling and walls are shaking. So when you say just the derby community, you have forgotten about the thousands of people who support derby with their wallets and their voices, and that is what this fun pole is all about.

    If you want an award that is decided by just people who play, and work in derby, then get off your ass and get lists from all the leagues in the province. But do not sit there and insult and drag down the guy who is including the fans, and who is bringing some fun back to the sport.

    I have known Kevlar for two years now, their is a few people I meet who love the sport and the community that surrounds it as much as him. He actually gives a damn, and I can’t sit back and watch as people slam him for doing what he believes is good for community. And guess what? He is right, it is good for the community.

    If you want more votes, get your friends and family to vote, get your community behind you. As in Derby if you don’t push forward you’ll get passed. Now go out there keep calm and skate on!

    Keep up the great work Kev, and don’t ever stop.

  11. I’m very impressed with the awareness and publicity this poll has generated for derby in SK and for our league. Will our girls win? By the looks of it prob not. Does it matter? Not even a little bit. I agree with the comments that even if this generates a handful of new fans for the different leagues, it was a success. There is no “prize” so who cares who “wins”? We all win. If you want to have and actual “best player” type contest then have a skills competition. If you feel that this isn’t a fair representation and someone you admire wasn’t nominated then you should have nominated them. Maybe next year Kevlar, you could send the list of categories to all the leagues and ask for each league to submit someone for each if it applies. I feel categories that could be added are another set of skater categories for men. We should recognize them and their accomplishments also. Just a thought. For a first time out I think you did a great job and I’m impressed with the way you are handling and acknowledging your mistakes. We are all growing in this and you set a great example. Keep it up!

  12. Kinky Charlie I don’t know you yet, but after reading your words, I would like to. That was a very well written post and I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for writing a very well written and well thought out post!

  13. As a rookie coach in this sport I am taking the saying “an honor to be nominated” as my way of looking at this vote. We are a small league from a small town and are really just beginning our derby adventure so to have my name stand beside the others on this list is pretty awesome. There will always be haters and people who will say there is a better way but none of them have done it. So huge thanks to Kevlar and hope everyone has a great upcoming season.

  14. I love the idea of this vote and the participation from everyone is awesome. I have noticed one thing…. The people complaining that the vote can be rigged or is open to too many people ie not exclusive to derby players appear to be from the leagues who are not in the top percentages, my advice, suck it up and take this for what it is….. FUN and POSITIVE EXPOSURE OF DERBY

  15. I would like to agree with the folks whom think this poll could do more harm than good. In many ways. I do not feel this should be an undertaking of a blog called Derby Frontier. Who is just one person with one opinion. This poll/contest ( from what I hear on the streets) would have been much more respectable coming from say, the likes of the new Saskatchewan Derby committee as opposed to one mans blog website. Plus, it is not truly about who is the most deserving in their category but who can share the link most on their Facebook page or who’s community rallies behind them most. Being nominated for a particular category by one of your peers is about all one should take away from this as an honour.

    1. The Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association is certainly free to do their own nominations and votes just as I am free to do my own nominations and votes (which is what I’m doing right now). If you take a look at the name of the vote, it’s called “Derby Frontier’s Best of Sask Derby celebration”, which means it is Derby Frontier’s (this blog) Best of Sask Derby celebration. This list of nominees isn’t just my own opinion either, it was the opinion of 89 people to be precise. 89 individuals across the province who put for the names you see listed above, which are now seeing votes based on the opinions of 3000 other people.

      The Academy Awards nominates and picks their best films of the year and so does the Golden Globes, the MTV Movie Awards, IMDB, IGN, The British Film Institute, the Toronto Film Critics Association, the Writers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, and so on and so forth.

      If another roller derby association wants to do the awards another way, I would certainly encourage it and be happy for them. But I’m pretty confused as to why my blog is getting ostracized for recognizing some very talented people in my own way which has simultaneously raised awareness for the sport on a large scale. Blogs and associations all around the world have been doing the exact same thing for various other sports for decades.

  16. When you try to do something fun and try to raise awareness for something you love sometimes people get mad because they weren’t invited to the party. The fact is you posted the link everywhere for people to nominate people for TWO WEEKS, And it’s bringing awareness of the sport into the spotlight, and it’s getting communities to be more aware of the people and the sport in their towns. What’s not positive? Iam not sure why people are getting their knickers in a twist about it.

    This supposed to be fun people!!! Get your heads out of your butts and stop being such pretentious little turds. Like DF pointed out there are many different awards and many different ways of going about picking the nominees. Kevlar DIDN’T PICK THE PLAYERS NOMINATED HERE, THEY WERE NOMINATED BY A GROUP OF THEIR PEERS, SO BASICALLY YOU ARE TELLING YOUR FELLOW DERBY PEOPLE THEY ARE WRONG FOR WHO THEY NOMINATED, YOU ARE TELLING THOSE WHO VOTED THEY ARE WRONG FOR PICKING WHO THEY PICKED. WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO TELL PEOPLE THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE THEIR OWN OPINION or vote for who they think is the best. Some leagues have a broader fan base, did you ever think that’s because they are out in their communities more?

    I love the colour purple, I love cheese, I love kickboxing, does it differ from what you like? Does that make my likes or choices wrong or less important or true because they don’t line up with what you like?

    Take one thing away from this: this poll is to help bring more awareness to the sport and maybe you will have more fans because of it, new recruits because of it, more sponsorship from it because more people are aware of it.

    Don’t ruin something that is a positive by being so condescending and rude. You are telling people they shouldn’t feel valued for being nominated by their peers, take a step back and realize you a splapping people in the face with your comments. Maybe you don’t agree with the nominees but you don’t control who was nominated. People saw something special in the person they nominated that you may not have, vote for those you want or don’t vote at all.

    Don’t push a supportive person to the edge where they no longer give a damn.

  17. I want to say thank-you for doing this poll. This has done a great thing for a couple of our members specifically who were nominated. By being nominated and by receiving some votes they have realized how valuable and appreciated they are to us and by sticking around we aren’t going to lose them and have our numbers depleted even more. We are a small club and losing one person possibly three would have been devastating. So thank-you

  18. As someone who has been interested in joining derby reading thru these comments it sure would be nice to know what league the negative people belong to so I don’t join the wrong club, cause wow I sure wouldn’t want to be around that kind of “support”. I would be afraid to join because what if I said or did the wrong thing?, would my opinions matter or do I just follow blindly and hope to escape their judgement? Unfortunately people see the negativity first and it may drive people away. Maybe the derogatory people should consider that before posting. Helping or hindering?

  19. Debbie, I totes agree. This has bad news all over it. Congrats to the nominees. They deserve it. But attention could have come in a better way. This all just feels wrong.

  20. Hey, did you hear? Adam Levine is the sexiest man alive. Oh wait…you don’t agree. Hmmm, I guess the poll that was done didn’t please everyone. I suppose it should have been done by some governing body that covet sexiness in men. 😉

  21. All this negativity is really horrid! Geez!!
    Great job dealing Kevlar!
    Anyways I just have a curiosity question…
    What was the requirements for new official?? See some who Im sure I saw officiating in 2012 and just curious as to what the timeline was for being nominated??

    1. Hello Question!

      For Most Promising New Official the requirements were that the nominee was new to the role as of 18 months prior to January 1st, 2014 (so fall of 2012). For the 2014 vote I think I might look a little more into when exactly leagues are starting their fresh meat training to clarify when a better determining date might be. 18 months? 16 months? 14 months? For this year’s vote September of 2012 felt like a good cut-off date, so if September 2013 is decided on for the Best of Sask 2014 vote I’ll make sure to clarify that those who have been around longer are all eligible for NSO and referee of the year instead!

      Thank you for the great question! Needless to say, that was one of the categories I knew I wanted to re-approach for next time. I think it worked nicely for the first vote though :).

      Cheers,

      Kevlar

  22. Maybe this has been said already but here’s the thing.

    IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE POLL YOU ARE IN NO WAY OBLIGATED TO LOOK AT IT.

    Seriously folks “Should I Join” asked if Derby was worth it because they saw so many negative postings.

    Really?? That’s how you want to represent your sport?

    Kevlar brings a very important side to derby by providing insight, commentary and YES a fricken poll here and there.

    Will it cause your derby league to collapse? No. Will it change the way you play the game? No. Will you get your itty-bitty feelings hurt? Only if you choose to!

    Enjoy it! The key word is FUN!

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