Asia's first Roller Derby Tournament: The Japan Open

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Photo courtesy of Japan Roller Derby Association
Photo courtesy of Japan Roller Derby Association

Asia's first Roller Derby Tournament: The Japan Open

by: . | .
Japan Roller Derby Association | .
published: November 25, 2015

The Kokeshi Roller Dolls (KRD) and the Japan Roller Derby Association (JRDA) are proud to announce the inaugural Japan Open Roller Derby Tournament, Asia’s first roller derby tournament that includes teams from the Asia-Pacific area. The 2-day invitational tournament will be held at Comprehensive Park Arena in Okinawa, Japan March 25-26, 2016 with FREE admission for all.

Leagues will play according to the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby) rules. The tournament will feature over 12 bouts in 2 days. The lineup includes Division A teams playing WFTDA sanctioned bouts and Division B teams playing by WFTDA rule set. Participating leagues include Adelaide Roller Derby (Australia), Pirate City Rollers (New Zealand), Juneau Rollergirls (United States), Kokeshi Roller Dolls (Japan), Tokyo Roller Girls (Japan), Devil Dog Derby Dames (Japan), Killa Geishas of Misawa (Japan), Team Japan (Japan), and Echo City Knockouts (United States). Sir Osis, a WFTDA Certified Skating Official Level 5 will be Tournament Head Referee. Tournament Head NSO will be Danger Muffin, a WFTDA Certified Non-Skating Official Level 4.

The tournament will take place inside a 1,500 seat arena, located on the grounds of the expansive Okinawa Prefectural Athletic Park in Okinawa City. The lower concourse will house 2 full regulation tracks, locker rooms, and public restrooms accessible by the north stairwell. The upper concourse will offer spectator seating overlooking the skating surface and host team vendor tables, all accessible from the 1F outdoor stair entrance. Concessions will also be located outside.

Roller derby has been thriving in Japan for over 5 years. “It was only a matter of time until Asia and Pacific leagues bouted in a centrally located tournament. A Far East tournament was included as a goal in our Apprenticeship package to WFTDA in 2011, and now we’ve partnered with JRDA (Japan Roller Derby Association) to achieve this milestone. Okinawa is a tourist destination and perfect location to host multiple leagues from Asia and the Pacific areas. We look forward to hosting the tournament which will contribute positively to the community’s economy while creating love for the island among tournament goers.” says Wendy “Cherry” Brandon, Marketing Director of the Kokeshi Roller Dolls and 12 year resident. “Spectators can meet participants from around the world and learn more about roller derby with every bout.”

Each bout consists of two 30 minute intervals. The action takes place in two-minute jams. During each jam, five players from each team use offensive and defensive maneuvers to help their point scorer (the Jammer) get through eight blockers (the Pack) while stopping the opposing Jammer from doing the same. Once the Jammer’s through, they race the oval track and rush to get through the pack again to pick up points. Points are scored by the Jammer for every opposing blocker she passes. Referees monitor the action and issue penalties to keep gameplay safe.

The Tournament will have 2 division winners that will be determined by most bouts won. In case of a tie, winner will be determined by point differential. JRDA chooses to recognize a Japan Open Champion and award the highest ranked Japan team with that title.

Masao Kato, JRDA President says, “The Japan Open is organized to invite the foreign teams to the First All Japan Roller Derby Championships for showing international-level play and competition to sports fans in Okinawa and promoting roller derby throughout Japan. The Tournament is of special importance to Japanese skaters. With the tournament, JRDA aims to discover and train promising Japanese skaters to compete in the FIRS World Roller Games held in Barcelona, Spain in 2017.”

Mark your calendar and start planning your travel to watch leagues from the Asia-Pacific area in Okinawa, Japan at the first Japan Open Roller Derby Tournament. The JRDA (Japan Roller Derby Association) is the primary sponsor of the Japan Open Roller Derby Tournament. We would like to thank Okinawa Prefectural Athletic Park and the Tokyo Dai-Ichi Hotel Okinawa Grand Mer Resort.

For tournament sponsor inquiries, please contact japanopen@kokeshirollerdolls.com. Volunteers are wanted for non-skating officials and referees. Please visit www.facebook.com/JapanOpenRollerDerby for more information or email japanopen@kokeshirollerdolls.com.

Name of Event:
Japan Open Roller Derby Tournament 2016

Dates and Hours:
9:00 AM-7:00 PM, March 25(Fri.), 2016
9:00 AM-8:00 PM, March 26(Sat.), 2016

Venue:
Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park, Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Admission:
Free

Sponsored by:
Japan Roller Derby Association (JRDA)

Hosted by:
Kokeshi Roller Dolls (KRD)

Supported by:
Japan Roller Sports Federation (JRSF)
Okinawa City/Okinawa City Board of Education
Okinawa Amateur Sports Association
Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Ryukyu Shimpo
The Okinawa Times
Okinawa Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd.
Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting Corporation
Ryukyu Broadcasting Corp.
Radio Okinawa
FM Okinawa

Participating Teams to Date:
◇Division A
Adelaide Roller Derby (Australia)
Devil Dog Derby Dames (Japan)
Juneau Rollergirls (USA)
Kokeshi Roller Dolls (Japan)
Tokyo Roller Girls (Japan)

◇Division B
Pirate City Rollers (New Zealand)
Echo City Knockouts (USA)
Misawa Killa Geishas (Japan)
Team Japan (Japan)

Contacts:
◇Kokeshi Roller Dolls (English)
japanopen@kokeshirollerdolls.com
www.kokeshirollerdolls.com

◇Japan Roller Derby Association (Japanese)
jrda@herb.ocn.ne.jp
www.jrda.jp