You know what stinks? Getting hit in the face.
You know what stinks even more? Getting hit in the face more than once during a bout.
Blockers and jammers alike have all had bruised lips, black eyes, velcro burn across the cheek, and a myriad of other face wounds. And they usually always hurt. Sometimes blockers will get called for a penalty, sometimes they won’t. Regardless, you have to keep playing, and you can’t let it get to your head (hehe).
I broke my nose during a practice (actually, all of my broken bones have come from practice and not bouts).
It hurt really bad at the time, and I had to wear a nose guard for most of a season. Even when someone smacked me in the face while I had the face guard on, I never got upset, yelled at the refs to call something, or got angry when jamming. I was determined to not let my fear of re-injury or any hits to my face impact my game.
I have seen jammers use “getting hit in the face” as a strategy during bouts. They fake getting hit in the face (or they do get hit in the face, but overreact) and then surge forward when all of the blockers let up a second to see what is going on. It’s not something I think I could do, but it sure seems to work. I think it works because everyone knows what it is like to react to getting hit in the face during a bout. You grab your face, you yell, you scoff at the other players…essentially, you STOP playing roller derby. In the middle of a jam.
I got a deep finger nail gash on my face during this bout. I decided to wear a Hello Kitty band-aid to keep me mentally positive.
Think about a time you might have gotten hit illegally (face or somewhere else) and how you reacted. Did you just keep going like nothing happened, or did you yell at the other team? Did you keep playing your best roller derby, or did you let up?
It is bad enough to get hit in the face, but if it also gives your opponent an advantage, it is even worse. Keep your cool and keep on playing – there will be plenty of ice waiting for you after the bout.