The Roller Derby Monster Mash-up, the first Halloween-themed derby to take place in Bloomington, was also the debut of two exhibition teams: the Monsters and the Zombies.
The Monsters ranged in outfits from the devil to the Cookie Monster, bringing color to the matchup.
The crowd, old and young, also shared in the Halloween spirit.
Dale Behrman, putting on his best Mickey Mouse, brought his pirate grandchildren to the bout.
Numerous sinister characters met with glitter fairies and geishas in the center of the track at halftime to compete for best costume. The prize for best children’s costume went to the 18-month-old Simone Dilg, the bat baby.
After a near draw with a teenage boy hula dancer, the winner of the adult contest was Craig Donnelly, the vampire slayer.
The light-hearted atmosphere made the derby more accessible to non-traditional fans.
Natalie Bainter, a grad student studying English, was at the derby with her friends.
“I don’t even like sports, but I liked derby. It was great,” she said.
For other fans, it was all about the action.
“I thought the match was so intense. You could totally see it on the girls’ faces that they could feel the intensity too,” Carrie Albright said.
For the Rollergirls themselves, combining costumes with athletic feats of speed, strength and agility is what the derby is all about. Stephanie Mize Toby loved combining the derby with Halloween.
“I’m a huge Halloween fan, and the bout was really good on both sides – I love nail-biters,” she said.
The score was tied at 70 points going into the last jam when rookie Terror d’Bits managed three passes to lead the Zombies to victory.
The Zombies led the first half until the 14th jam, when Bombshell Shock earned two points to tie the game at 30. In the 15th jam, Ka Ka Caliente, the Monsters’ point leader, set the score at 30-35.
In the final jam of the first half, Terror d’Bits earned six points to put the Zombies ahead by one.
In the second half, the Monsters had a ten-point double grand slam by Unicoroner, Melissa Rocheleau.
However, in the 12th jam, Terror d’Bits scored 15 points – a triple grand slam – to bring the Zombies within one point of the Monsters, 66-67. The next three jams brought the crowd to their feet for some exceptional derby action.
In the 13th jam, the Unicoroner was sent to the box for a penalty, allowing Party Foul to score three points and take the lead.
After being released from the penalty box in the 14th jam, Unicoroner scored three points, tying the game at 70 with less than a minute left in the bout. Setting off at full speed, Unicoroner took a hard hit from Margles McNasty.
Unicoroner was down and in pain, but she managed to get to her skates. While she was trying to catch the pack, Ka Ka Caliente came out of the penalty box and sacked Terror d’Bits.
But Terror got up and scored three points right before the jam was done.
“We have some really close games. Sometimes it just happens that way,” said Tammy Behrman, also known as Boogie Tights.
“The end was so intense,” said Suzanne Donnelly, Zombies captain, who goes by Knock R Down, “and that’s how it’s been all season – these little five-point, two-point, one-point wins in literally the last jam of the game.”
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