FINvitational league interviews: Crime City Rollers

How would you describe your team?

Our team is a great mix of both more experienced and new players. Many of us have played with CCR for a long time so we’ve travelled together a lot and gotten used to each others’ special features. Everyone has their own place in the team. In the beginning of each season we set a clear goal for the team and then work hard together both mentally and physically to reach the goal.

This season will be a tough one but also an incredibly fun one! Our strive to always get better, and sometimes it’s hard. It’s about making everyone stronger and becoming a complete and fully strong team. The team always comes first!

How would you introduce your team to the audience?

We’re a tough team with killer offense!

Tell me some fun facts about your team that can’t be googled.

One of our chants before games is taken from the Swedish comedy show Hipp Hipp. It is about who’s not allowed in the Systembolaget (the liquor store). The obvious answer is: ”the dog, the cat and the ice cream”, right? (Vem får inte komma in på systemet? HUNDEN, KATTEN, GLASSEN!)

15 % of the A team is from Finland and most of us LOVE bathing in sauna!

We live on falafels and love good beer.

Rankings in 2016: how was it for you? How about rankings development in the past?

Three years ago in 2014 we travelled to the States for the first time to play in the ECDX tournament. That gave us a small boost in the rankings. Two years ago we were ranked 82nd and then less than six months later we were in the top 30. Biggest bump-up came from the Beach Brawl 2015 which we totally owned! Our goal was to get to D2 Playoffs and we couldn’t believe it when all of the sudden it was D1 for us. That was huge!

2016 was a big year for us. We climbed into the top 20 in the rankings. The season was tough and we learned a lot, mostly when it comes to planning a sustainable season. This year we are more prepared than ever, including vacations. Now the ultimate goal is to stay in D1 in order to get to play in our own Playoffs – the second goal is to get the best possible ranking so the seeding in the playoffs will be beneficial for us.

How many times have you made it to the Playoffs? How was the 2016 Playoffs for you?

2016 was our second time in D1 Playoffs and the expectations were a lot higher than the first time around. The most important game was the first – which we lost in the last 5 minutes to Atlanta. That night our vibes weren’t too good. Luckily the next morning we realized that there was a whole tournament yet to be played and nailed the last of it. We came in with the fifth seed and finished fifth so that was ok. We went in it for the Champs and obviously didn’t reach it quite yet but this fall we’ll try again!

Especially in the past the rankings boosts have required heavy travelling overseas and we all know it’s not free of charge. What kind of problems you have faced regarding funding the travelling and how have you solved them?

The first time we traveled to the States we tried hard to raise money for our trip. We played a lot of games and were away for two weeks. That was an amazing trip but it is not possible to travel like that every year. The last couple of years we have just attended a tournament and not played any other games. Our league is really supportive and understands how much it costs to play at such a high level. We would have loved to be able to play even opponents closer to Sweden but that was not a choice at first. We have tried to arrange tournaments here in Malmö instead, as an option for going to the States. For two years we have hosted big WFTDA-tournaments in Malmö. This year we are hosting Division 1 playoffs. To be able to offer high level derby in Europe is one of our leagues goals.

One hint for the fundraising: don’t get merch with multicoloured printing! It looks really cool, sure, but it’s expensive and won’t leave you with much profit.

You managed to get a D1 Playoff tournament in Malmö, Europe, hooray! Tell us something about that: expectations, preparations, work already done etc.?

Yeah! How exciting is that?! It feels amazing to be able to share Malmö with the rest of the Derby world. Malmö is the ultimate city for these kinds of events. The city of Malmö have helped out a lot with the application and without their support we would never have gotten the opportunity.

WFTDA handles most of the preparations themselves, eg. the marketing and the streaming.

Of course this time there are a lot more teams attending than ever before so that requires more also from us in advance: Hotel deals have already been taken care of and we’re negotiating with a local vegan burger joint on their legendary CCR burger

We are expecting a lot of people!

You’ve just gotten your very own practise venue, congrats! Has it been hard to find practise space earlier? In Helsinki it most definitely is a struggle… Can you arrange your future games in this venue or will you still need to rent out a different venue?

THANK YOU!

Our new venue is amazing, it’s all we ever wanted. During the last couple of years finding practice venues hasn’t been such a struggle for us since the city of Malmö is really helpful. But when the city decided to tear down one of our main practice venues our president demanded an own venue for us. And since she is the best in pulling the right strings, we got it. The new venue should fit some audience but that’s something we’ll look into in the future. Right now we still will rent out separate game venues with decent auditoriums.

We also have our own sports court that had served as a festival floor of some sort and been stored filthy for the last three years… So we spent several months washing it with pressure cleaner (?) one square meter at a time as the new hall was rising. In December the whole thing was getting kinda old but now it’s the best.

Do you ever feel like you are competing against the same teams again and again? (Last year’s both MayDay in HEL and Smackdown there were HRD, CCR and STRD, this year there will be Anarchy in the UK with the same teams plus RCRG. In addition to this KRR has also played STRD, HRD and Rainy pretty recently.) Do you see this as an advantage or a disadvantage?

We do go up against the same teams a lot – we’re fortunate to have that many challenging and approximately the same-level teams close to us. It’s fun to be able to watch this close the teams grow and advance. The teams  work also as somewhat dipsticks for us to measure our own development against: we sort of  spar each other to develop in the same pace. Being able to play a team that you know well have it’s pro’s and con’s. Mostly we are happy to play each other – as long as we get other opponents as well. We all play in a kind of similar style, which makes it always a bit more challenging to play eg. American teams. On the other hand there are some patterns of American teams playing each other often as well so there’s that. Also it’s a smart thing to do to keep down the expences.

KRR is hosting their first big international multi day WFTDA tournament: do you have good tips regarding hosting an event? At least what to avoid at any cost?

You want to share the responsibilities evenly early on so that no-one will burn out. Good planning and schedule will take you far. Nobody should have too much on their plate! You want to have plenty of coffee and food for officials and referees so food sponsors will come in handy. Take good care of your volunteers: players shouldn’t be doing anything else than play during the tournament and the days before that.

Crime City Rollers FINvitational roster