RetRollSpective – Rojo Rollers

RetRollSpective – Rojo Rollers

Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes. This time, we’re going to “roll out” to the Rojo Rollers, a team that was featured in the original Marble League.

The logo for the Rojo Rollers, designed by Tim Ritz.

Located exactly in the middle of Central America, Numerun is known as the “newest old” city in the world. Its territory has been settled for over a millennium, but the city itself was rediscovered by settlers from across the ocean nearly five hundred years ago. The settlers shared goods from their side of the world with Numerun, attracting a competitive economy, the likes of which Numerun had never seen before. As a result, the city grew immensely in the next few hundred years, becoming one of the most diverse, economical, and intellectual cities in the world.

Through all of this, the ancient city center of Numerun has been preserved from modern urban development, making the city one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the world. One of the most notable landmarks is Colina Umerun, an artificially created hill designed specifically for marble racing. The hill was designed centuries ago for recreation, and, through frequent renovation, is still in use today. In fact, going down Colina Umerun is what inspired each of the Rojo Rollers—and Red Number 3—to enter the realm of marble sports.

The Rojo Rollers hail from the outskirts of Numerun and previously worked in the modern city center, which encircles Numerun Antigua. The five team members were all familiar with each other from the workplace, where they were mathematicians at competing universities. They formally met each other during the city’s Milenaria, which was celebrated in Numerun Antigua. The universities decided to go together in a historic academic event, grouping together departments of various schools on the trip. After getting to know each other throughout the day and making several bad math puns, the five marbles went down the Colina, one after the other, and regrouped at the bottom.

            “I’ve always been a big fan of racing,” said Rojo Uno. “It may not look like it considering how academic I am, but it has always inspired me. But I never actually wanted to be a part of it until that day.”

Colina Numerun depicted on the Rojo Rollers' Marbula One poster, illustrated by Jack_Ironhide.

Rojo Uno expected the other four marbles to show the same amazement, but they simply shook it off and moved on with the day. It was not until a few months later, when they met for dinner, that they all began to realize that they felt the same way.

            “It was a lot. An eye-opening, and I wasn’t ready to accept it then,” admitted Rojo Dos. “But I could tell that day had changed my life forever.”

Rojo Uno, Rojo Dos, Rojo Tres, and Rojo Cuatro stepped away from their jobs the following semester, and began to seek training. Luckily for them, Numerun was the host city for the Surculo, the most popular marble sports tournament south of Marbopolis. They quickly found a trainer, and in 2012, entered the Surculo.

Rojo Cinco remained at their job to complete a second doctorate degree in sports medicine. During their time at university, they came across Red Number 3, who was completing his master’s degree in sports medicine. The two became friendly in class upon finding out that they were both interested in the Surculo.

The Rojo Rollers, named for the red adobe homes of Numerun Antigua, started off poorly in the Surculo, placing in the bottom half of their first tournament. The Rollers were not deterred, however, and in 2013, they improved, finishing exactly in the middle of the competition. In 2014, their margin of improvement was significant, and they earned a wild card spot in the elite league. Even though the stakes rose in 2015, the Rojo Rollers, steadfast to their passion and skill, improved still, and finished as runners-up to the Jawbreakers at the conclusion of the tournament.

With the announcement of the 2016 Marble League, Greg Woods extended an invite to the leading teams of many regional marble sports tournaments. This included the top three teams of the 2015 Surculo, which were the Jawbreakers, the Rojo Rollers, and the Quicksilvers. The Jawbreakers and Rojo Rollers accepted, while the Quicksilvers declined in favor of one more shot at the Surculo Championship. The Jungle Jumpers, who placed fourth, also declined the invite, so the Chocolatiers, who placed fifth, were the third team accepted.

The first podium in Marble League history.

The Rojo Rollers entered the 2016 Marble League as strong as they possibly could have, earning the first gold medal in the tournament’s history in the Balancing event. Their points record, at 347 cm, lasted for three years until the Crazy Cat’s Eyes broke it in the 2019 Marble League. Although 2019 was the first year that the event returned to competition, it still stands as an impressive feat that only six teams have managed to score above 347 cm in Balancing.

            “We needed that validation, right out of the gate. We got it, and I couldn’t have been more grateful,” Rojo Tres remarked. “It stuck with us for the rest of the season, and proved to us that we always have the opportunity to be the best—but only if we work for it.”

The team earned one point during the Relay Race due to the malfunction on the top track. The team placed dead last during Collision, but made up for it in the Sand Rally when Rojo Uno earned a silver medal. The team was at the top of the standings for the second time. Rojo Dos placed fourth in the next event, the Long Jump, to earn four points. However, the next event, the Water Race, proved problematic for the team, and their performance was disqualified due to Rojo Cuatro allegedly blocking another team. The Rojo Rollers lost three points as a result of this.

A misstep on the road to success?

“That was a false accusation, plain and simple,” Rojo Cuatro claimed. “I was already stuck, off the flow of water, and Snowy from the Snowballs hit me. I couldn’t get rolling again, but I didn’t want to block anyone else from rolling again. Being disqualified was not fair to me and to my team.”

The team appealed the decision, but the appeal was denied. This only made the team work harder, though, and their effort immediately paid off in the next event, High Jump, where Rojo Dos earned a gold medal. For the third time in seven events, the Rojo Rollers were at the top of the standings.

Unfortunately, the Rojo Rollers only earned one point during the last five events of the season, that point being from placing eighth in Quartet Diving. They finished the 2016 Marble League in sixth place with 30 points. Had the team not been disqualified, the Rojo Rollers would have finished in fifth place, two points above the O’rangers.

The Rojo Rollers’ return in the 2017 Marble League Qualifiers proved to be a continuation of the downturn they experienced in the latter half of the previous season. Although the Rojo Rollers placed ninth in the Relay Race, they went scoreless during the rest of Qualifiers and finished in dead last with only four points. Out of the four original teams who failed to appear in a second consecutive season, the Rojo Rollers were arguably the most surprising on the list. The team had been in the top four of the standings at the end of every 2016 event except for the last two. In the 2017 Qualifiers, their performance was almost the exact opposite.

While the Rojo Rollers experienced their first extended offseason, they entered into an official partnership with rising Sand Marble Rally star Red Number 3, who hailed from Bifornya, a village outside of Numerun. As a part of the partnership, Rojo Cinco finally joined the Rojo Rollers as their “rojo-serve” and the team traveled to Doornse Gat to support RN3 in the 2017 Sand Marble Rally. The team became very close with him, even including his likeness in their logo, and began training at his side.

The athlete that would become the pinnacle of the Marble Rally in years to come.

“I always wanted to secure my second degree, and I’m happy that I got it, but joining the Rojo Rollers is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel at home,” remarked Rojo Cinco.

All five members of the team competed in the 2018 Marble League Qualifiers, and won the first event, Curling, in Group A. They also earned a silver medal in the final event, Halfpipe, but unfortunately, the Rojo Rollers failed to qualify for the second year in a row, with just 19 points to their name in fifth place. The Balls of Chaos, who had missed the 2017 Marble League along with the Rollers, qualified at the top of their group. The Snowballs were already hosting the 2017 Marble League, making the Rojo Rollers and the Kobalts the two teams to miss two Marble Leagues in a row.

Suffice it to say that the team was disappointed, but they decided to remain together, as did the Kobalts. The team initially planned to return to their universities for a semester to teach, but realized that the paparazzi would be hounding them. A few months in, they hosted a joint conference about their experience in the Marble League, and broke records for the largest attendance in academic conference history. It was clear that, despite not being in the Marble League for so long, the Rojo Rollers still had a dedicated fanbase, especially in their home city. Additionally, with the help of RN3, the team began construction of a training facility and marble sports stadium, located in the city of Numerun. This stadium was submitted as a host for the 2019 Marble League, but was not picked.

The Rollers’ performance in the two offseason events were moderate at best. Rojo Tres placed sixteenth in the 100 Meter Water Race, just behind Yellup from Mellow Yellow. In the Amazing Maze Marble Race, the team placed first in their heat, but last in their semifinal. The team showed promise, but doubt was cast on their ability to follow through in the 2019 Marble League Qualifiers. This doubt became their reality on 26 January 2019, when the Rojo Rollers failed to qualify for the Marble League for the third season in a row. The team did not place above tenth for any of the events, and was never in the top twelve.

As described by the article “The Teams You’ll Miss in the 2019 Marble League”, it was revealed that the Rojo Rollers had a difficult offseason. As the 2018 Sand Marble Rally approached, the new logo for the Rollers was released to the public, displaying a roller skate instead of the traditional red number 3 ball. This disturbed Red Number 3, who thought that the Marble League team was ending its long-standing relationship with him. Rojo Rollers privately met with Red Number 3, assuring him otherwise, and preventing the dissent from reaching the public. 

The athlete that would become the pinnacle of controversy, as well.

Needless to say, the confirmation in December that Red Number 3 was not a glass marble ballooned the scale of the controversy and created chaos. In the midst of training for 2019 Marble League Qualifiers, Rojo Rollers had to act quickly and cut its partnership before the team’s reputation was tarnished in relation to Red Number 3. According to Rojo Tres: 

“We had no idea he wasn’t a marble. The drama over this has been astounding, and while we tried to ignore it, we didn’t want to disappoint our fans if they got the impression that we supported fraud. We roll fair and square, except not square, because then we’d be cubes, and cubes aren’t marbles.” 

This decision deeply hurt the team, particularly after the Qualifiers. Although the article stated that the Rojo Rollers were willing to move away from the controversy, Jelle’s confirmation that RN3 would be returning to the 2019 Marble Rally eased the tension surrounding the situation.

            “I understand why [the Rojo Rollers] did what they did. I understand why my fans were so upset,” Red Number 3 sighed. “I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and I feel the most disappointed in myself. I’m happy that I’m still being allowed to compete in this next season. I only hope the Rollers will forgive me for the way I acted.”

Since then, no official statement has been released regarding any future collaborations between the Marble Rally athlete and the team, but we hope that relations between the two parties have improved.

At this point, the Rojo Rollers were prepared to experience a third extended offseason, and maybe longer. As their new coach, Rojo Cero, put it:

            “I got onto the management, took one look at the team, and knew that their morale was gone. The Rojo Rollers have always been strong in team events, but it’s their individual events where—save for Uno and Dos—the athletes can’t follow through. It really takes a toll on them, especially when you don’t get into the Championship League for three seasons in a row. The Showdown saved them. They counted on that tournament to give them the exposure and experience they needed to redefine themselves and return to Qualifiers, ready to make it.”

The Rojo Rollers rejoiced at the announcement of the Showdown, and immediately got to training. As the Showdown approached, the team was a favorite to not only advance to 2020 Qualifiers, but to win the Showdown overall.

The Rojo Rollers reclaiming the top of the podium for the first time in three years.

Rojo Cuatro represented the team in the first event, Sand Rally, and placed seventh. The next event, Collision, saw the team dominate over its group and pull tight leads over its competitors in quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the finals. All five of the Rojo Rollers were on the podium for their first gold medal since the 2018 Qualifiers.

The team rose to second place in the standings, further proving their place in the top twelve. In the third event, Funnel Spinning, the Rollers put in Rojo Dos. Although Cuatro had more experience in funnel spinning, they had already participated in the Sand Rally. The team’s gamble with Dos paid off immensely, with their performance earning a bronze medal, a second overall spot, just one point behind the Snowballs, and, most importantly, a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers.

Rojo Dos' time to shine on the Marble League Showdown podium!

The final event, Balancing, was the event that the Rojo Rollers had the best experience in—but they did not show it. The team, perhaps in an effort to conserve its energy, placed dead last. The three teams who got on the podium were Team Primary, the Snowballs, and the Hornets. The Hornets moved ahead of the Rollers, taking second place at the conclusion of the Showdown. The Rojo Rollers remained on the podium by two points, with Team Primary a point and a medal below them in fourth. The Kobalts finished the Showdown in tenth place and will remain in the Showdown in 2020, guaranteeing that at least one of the two teams will not get a second season of the Marble League—just yet.

While training for the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers, Rojo Cero received an official letter from the JMRC, inviting the Rojo Rollers to compete in the first season of Marbula One. The Rojo Rollers accepted the invitation and will be represented by Rojo Uno and Rojo Dos during the tournament.

In RetRollSpective, the Rojo Rollers are not the paradigm of consistency. They are a team that has demonstrated a lot of promise, but has been unable to follow through, even in its first season of the Marble League. If the team can take the scale of improvement that they made in the Surculo four years ago and apply it to their performance in the 2020 Qualifiers, then the odds of the Rojo Rollers returning to the Championship League will be strong.

While working on this RetRollSpective, we got to visit Numerun to interview the athletes and tour the city. It could be considered both an old and modern wonder of the world—that’s how impressive Numerun is. In touring the Rollers’ new stadium, we discovered a beautiful tribute: a gap in the grandstands of the Rollers’ stadium that allows fans to get a direct view of Colina Umerun. The gap pays a breathtaking homage to the origins of not only the Rojo Rollers, but also the origins of marble racing.

We hope that, sooner rather than later, fans around the world will be able to experience this treasure for themselves. Best of luck to the Rojo Rollers in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers, keep on rolling!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

RetRollSpective – Limers

The Limers’ logo, designed by Tim Ritz. Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes that have been

Read More »

Copyright © 2019 MARBLE SPORTS. All rights reserved. Proudly powered by the JMRC

RetRollSpective – Snowballs

RetRollSpective – Snowballs

Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes. This time, we’re going to focus on the Snowballs, a team that originated in the 2016 Marble League. Read on to find out how this team has chilled the competition!

The logo for the Snowballs, designed by Tim Ritz.

The Snowballs hail from North America, where they grew up in Hailfern, a small city on the northeast coast of the continent. In their youth, the city was but a village known for its ski slopes, located in the valley a little ways inland of the village. Snowflake, who would later become the team captain, lived on one of the ski slopes in an acacia log house with her parents, who owned the slope and named it after her. Snowflake Slope became a regional tourist destination for marbles who lived on the southeast coast of the continent. It is believed that the O’Marbles family came up there to ski each winter prior to competing in the Fruit Circuit.

Snowflake traveled down the slope and through the valley to attend school in Hailfern each day. She met Snowstorm and Snowblast through the school’s snowtubing club, an afterschool activity where they would travel into the valley and tube for fun. When Snowflake got older, she founded the school’s first ski team. They practiced on her family’s slope and competed throughout the region.

The house atop Snowflake Slope where Snowflake grew up.

The Hailfern Ski Team was competing in the regional finals in Blancouver when Snowflake received news that her father had perished in an avalanche. She dropped out of the race that she was supposed to compete in and returned home. Snowstorm and Snowblast, to raise support for Snowflake, reached out to the other teams competing. The Blancouver Ski Team, headed by Snow and Snowy, donated their fundraising proceeds from hosting to Snowflake and her mother.

Several months later, the Blancouver Ski Team visited Hailfern for a competition. Snowflake had already dropped out of school to help her mother run the ski lift, but she attended the competition in support of his team. Snow and Snowy, along with Snowstorm, visited her after the competition, and the four rekindled over their memories in the regional finals. They went out to the slopes, where they rolled together, cruising down the hill in sync with each other. As they ascended up the ski lift at sunset that night, they were ecstatic and promised to meet again.

Snowflake’s mother supported her daughter’s endeavors in marble sports as she got older, which included team competitions. She eventually rejoined the ski team at his school, and upon graduation, was admitted to the University of Snoronto. She attended university there along with Snow, Snowy, and Snowstorm, where they competed together in a variety of marble sports. Their coalition, which became known as the Snowballs, became rivals with the school’s other major coalition: the Gliding Glaciers, whose members were all from an island city called Guuk.

            “It was a friendly rivalry…mostly because they knew that we were better than them,” Snowy explained. “They were more chill. Everyone loved their personalities, but we knew how to dominate the competition.”

The Snowballs became one of the most popular university teams on the continent, bringing international attention to Hailfern for the first time in centuries. The team’s incoming invitation to the 2016 Marble League only added to the excitement surrounding them.

The four original members of the team.

“We were a wildcard pick, plain and simple,” Snow stated. “We had to be. There was no way we were that good, even if we were performing well in the college leagues. It’s like we skipped the major and regional leagues of marble sports entirely.”

The Snowballs were revealed as the fifteenth team coming to the Marble League, and entered the tournament as a counter-pick to more internationally recognized teams like Team Primary, the Rojo Rollers, and the Savage Speeders. They began the season by earning one point in Balancing and five points in the Relay Race, earning a technical bronze medal due to a defect in the top lane of the track. The Snowballs earned only eight points over the next ten events, going scoreless in six of the ten. The team finished their inaugural season in a disappointing fourteenth place.

The team entered the 2017 Marble League Qualifiers with high hopes, only for those hopes to be crushed. Despite placing fifth in the Relay Race and eighth in the Sand Rally, the Snowballs scored no points in the next two events and missed qualifying for the 2017 Marble League in thirteenth place, tied with the Kobalts. After two dismal performances, the team convened to discuss their future.

            “It was obvious that we weren’t doing as well as we could have,” Snowflake confessed. “We realized that we needed a lot more professional experience. After watching some of the 2017 Marble League, we competed as an exhibition team in the MFC Championship League, which we had heard of from the Balls of Chaos. That experience prepared us for so much more success in the 2018 season.”

 

Back home, Snowblast had built up the Hailfern Ski Team to claim its first ever regional title. The championship was amidst a rapid expansion of the village in business. One of the largest tenants included a construction company, Arctic Corporation, that was working on an arena and training facility for the Snowballs. The stadium was named the Arctic Circle upon its completion.

The Arctic Circle, photographed upon its completion in 2017.

The stadium was located on the opposite side of the mountain from Snowflake Slope, facing the new city of Hailfern. During the fall of 2017, the Bakker brothers and Greg Woods visited the facility during their world tour, after meeting with Royal Family of Snoronto. They liked the stadium so much that they offered the Snowballs the chance to host the upcoming 2018 Marble League. In their offer, the team would automatically qualify for the tournament and be able to propose themed events. The Snowballs accepted without hesitation, and became the first team to ever host a Marble League.

The team did not appear at the Draw or at Qualifiers, which were held in the Arctic Circle. They recruited Snowblast as their fifth member for the Friendly Round, an exhibition tournament new to the ML that year. The Snowballs dominated throughout the tournament, earning first in both the 5 Meter Ice Dash and in the Halfpipe against series mainstays Savage Speeders, O’rangers, and Mellow Yellow. Could 2018 be their year to shine, and on their turf?

Snow began the season strongly for the Snowballs, finishing fourth in the finals of the 5 Meter Dash, and Snowstorm followed up his performance with a ninth-place finish in the Ski Jump. The team fell apart during the Halfpipe event, getting dead last in an event they had dominated in during the Friendly Round, and attempted to resuscitate their fall in the Bobsled event, an event in which the team placed seventh. The Snowballs dropped further to thirteenth place.

 

The team hung their hopes on Snowflake for Speed Skating, an investment which turned out to be more than worth it. Snowflake earned her first bronze medal against Ruzzy from the Raspberry Racers, which happened to be the team’s first medal ever. The team rose to seventh place in the standings and faced Team Pursuit next. The event was on the same course as Speed Skating and was a team event, requiring the cooperation of all four team members for the third marble to pass. The team put Snowy in front and Snowflake just behind, making Snowstorm the third marble with Snow as the back marble. Their strategy and speed led the team to their first gold medal.

The Snowballs' first ever gold medal in the Marble League.

This, combined with Snowy’s fourth place finish in the Snow Rally, placed the Snowballs in second in the overall standings. These higher finishes during the middle of the season allowed the Snowballs to remain in the top half of the standings and as championship contenders, although the team did not return to the podium after the eighth event. From the Snowboard Cross to the Sand Mogul Rally, the Snowballs earned thirty points to finish the 2018 Marble League in seventh place. They were tied with the Raspberry Racers in points but had a gold medal advantage over the team, and were just two points below the Hazers in sixth place.

The Snowballs’ improved season was marred by tragedy. During a blizzard in Hailfern, an avalanche slid down the mountain and caused major damage to the Arctic Circle, destroying the stadium and severely damaging the Snowballs’ training facilities. The avalanche occurred during a break in the 2018 tournament, which meant that no marble was present in the stadium. Upon surveying the damage, the Bakker brothers and the IMC decided to use the Bakker Bowl as a temporary stadium for the final event, the Sand Mogul Race.

The stadium used for the last event of the 2018 Marble League was adapted from its appearance in ML16 and ML17.

The Snowballs began rebuilding the stadium during early 2019, after participating in the two offseason events. Snowflake placed twenty-first in the 100 Meter Water Race and did not finish the race; she was the first marble to DNF. The Gliding Glaciers, notably, finished third in the race, but announced their retirement from the Marble League shortly after. The Snowballs also participated in the Amazing Maze Marble Race, but failed to get past the initial heat and placed second-to-last overall. Things were not looking the best for the Snowballs leading up to the 2019 Marble League Qualifiers.

All of the team’s struggles throughout the offseason manifested at the end of January 2019. The team earned only seven points throughout the first three events of Qualifiers, sitting in eighteenth place. Snow placed eighth in the Underwater Race, earning eleven points, but it was not enough to save the team. The Snowballs finished the 2019 Marble League Qualifiers in eighteenth place with eighteen points and did not make the cut for what would have been their third Marble League. The team’s accumulation of skills seemed to have melted.

            “It’s something we really tried to prepare against, but we ultimately couldn’t overcome. We know we can do better than that.” Snowflake paused, seeming as if she was deep in thought. “Maybe if the conditions were fairer…”

This comment drew scrutiny from the Oceanics, who were upset that the Snowballs were blaming them for their poor performance. The Snowballs dropped the charges after being advised to do so by the Royal Family of Snoronto, who negotiated with the Royal Family of Dunduei on the topic.

The team learned shortly afterwards of the Marble League Showdown and began training for the tournament in their training facility, which had already been repaired. The public heard little from the Snowballs until the 2019 Marble League Showdown, where they were set to compete against the seven other unqualified teams, two fan-voted teams, and two Hubelino teams. The Snowballs had a lot to prove in not a lot of time, and most fans were expecting the Snowballs to fall by the wayside in favor of the Rojo Rollers, Hornets, and somehow, the Shining Swarm.

The Snowballs earned 53 points in the Showdown and advanced to Qualifiers at the top of the standings.

The Snowballs’ Showdown showing was one that seemed to flash-freeze the competition. The team earned three medals, one in every event but Collision. Snowstorm earned a bronze medal in the Sand Rally, Snow took the gold in Funnel Spinning, and the team earned a silver medal in Balancing. The team won the Showdown and secured a spot in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers.

While training for 2020, the team received an official letter from the JMRC, inviting the team to compete in the first season of Marbula One. The Snowballs accepted and will be represented by Snowy and Snowflake in the upcoming tournament. Snowflake’s acacia log cabin and Snowflake Slope itself were featured in the background of the team’s reveal poster.

 

In RetRollSpective, the Snowballs are a team that has come a long way since their first season to win the Showdown. They have experienced loss and tragedy that life brings, but chosen to fight through it all towards victory, all the while having “snow much fun” doing what they love. Best of luck to the Snowballs in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers, keep on rolling! 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

RetRollSpective – Limers

The Limers’ logo, designed by Tim Ritz. Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes that have been

Read More »

Copyright © 2019 MARBLE SPORTS. All rights reserved. Proudly powered by the JMRC

RetRollSpective – Limers

RetRollSpective – Limers

The Limers' logo, designed by Tim Ritz.

Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes that have been featured in the Marble League. This time, we’re going to discuss the history of the Limers, an inaugural team of the Marble League which will not appear in the 2020 edition of the championship. Read on to find out why…

The Limers hail from the Adriatic Coast in southern Europe, and got their name from two sources—the vast reserves of limestone that are nestled slightly inland of the Gulf of Tartufo, and their favorite dessert, cassata, which is traditionally served with limes on top. The Limers began racing in Sotsevsa, a city across the sea to the southeast of the gulf known for its philosophical teachings in ancient times, as well as its Syndesmarble, an ancient marble racing tournament which is still celebrated as a yearly tradition in the city. One year, the four performed so well that they caught the attention of a marble sports aficionado named Greg Woods. The team was approached soon after by Woods, who invited the team to join his Fruit Circuit troupe, and the team accepted. 

The Limers were one of the first teams in the Fruit Circuit when it began touring in 2004, alongside now-inactive teams like the Strawberry Strudels, Boysenberry Ballers, and Grape Nuts. They ended up outlasting these teams because of their persistence. According to Sublime:

“Much of the marblebase has asked us why we’re still going. Why do we keep trying every time that we do badly in an event or a season? It’s because we love this craft. We love marble sports because it gives us a purpose to be active and to make a difference in the world. We want to keep doing that for as long as we possibly can, not just for our fans, but for ourselves.”

The O’rangers, Raspberry Racers, and Mellow Yellow eventually joined the Fruit Circuit, and all three teams proved to be challenging for the Limers to shake. When the 2016 Marble League transfer spots from the Fruit Circuit were announced, the stakes rose even higher, particularly against the Raspberry Racers. Upon joining the circuit, the Racers quickly became rivals with the Limers due to their geographic proximity to each other and their contrasting team colors. The rivalry between the two teams is one of the most competitive in marble sports history, let alone in Marble League history.

The Cliffs of Tartufo, located just off the scenic Adriatic Coast.

“The Limers are the reason that we did not qualify for the 2016 Marble League,” Razzy remarked, almost snidely. “During the third-to-last race, Slimelime rolled into me right out of the starting gate, killed my momentum, and blocked me from moving to the front. He finished in second. I finished in sixth. If I had the momentum I needed to burst forward, I would’ve at least been on the podium for that race. But he got all the glory…and I got nothing.”

When asked, Slimelime disregarded the claim: “I maybe felt a slight nudge out of the starting gate, but I didn’t intend to block anyone out of the gate. One, that’s really poor sportsmanship. Two, I wouldn’t have put it past Razzy to nudge me back, and either way, she would not admit to it.”

Ultimately, the Limers came out on top, winning the Fruit Circuit in its final year and qualifying for the 2016 Marble League along with Mellow Yellow and the O’rangers. The team entered the tournament with honor, knowing that the Marble League was the modern-day realization of the ancient Syndesmarble tournament.

 

The four original members of the Limers: Sublime, Lemonlime, Jellime, and Slimelime.

Sublime, Lemonlime, Jellime, and Slimelime entered the 2016 Marble League with high hopes that were soon deflated by subpar performances. The Limers went scoreless in the first half of the tournament except for the second event, the Relay Race, in which they earned two points in sixth place. The Limers’ second half proved more fruitful for the team, save for two more scoreless events, and produced a bronze medal in Quartet Diving, but the team finished the season in a disappointing fifteenth place. In fact, the Limers would have tied with the Pinkies for dead last, had the Pinkies not been disqualified in the final event.

“We were admittedly surprised by the circumstances. We expected the Marble League to reward performance with solely medals. The points system threw us off not necessarily because it was there, but because of how punishing it was. If you earned any place lower than eighth, tough luck. If you got seventh, you could’ve gotten eighth and gotten the same amount of points.” Lemonlime rolled her self. “It made no sense, and we were determined to change it. We appealed to Jelle, and it was done.”

The offseason brought other substantial changes for the Limers. They began a rigorous training session in the steep cliffs of limestone near Tartufo, and also began building a training center just outside the city. Jellime left the team early in the offseason to become an advisor for the Syndesmarble, and was replaced swiftly by Goolime. He declined to comment on whether his leave was influenced directly by the Limers’ poor performance in the 2016 Marble League.

The Limers entered the 2017 Marble League Qualifiers with a lot to prove in a short amount of time. The team scored nothing during the Relay Race but picked up enough points in the remaining three events to qualify for the main tournament in twelfth place, four points ahead of the Kobalts and Snowballs, who both failed to qualify. The Limers became one of twelve teams that would be appearing in their second straight Marble League Championship.

In the 2016 Marble League, the Limers went scoreless in half of the events. In the 2017 Marble League, the Limers went scoreless in zero of the events. The Limers placed in the bottom half during the first two events before earning a silver medal in the infamous Fidget Spinner Collision event. The team finished in the top half over the next four events, earning a bronze medal in the Relay Run, demonstrating a significant improvement from Qualifiers. The Limers peaked in the standings at second place after the Relay Run, and remained strong at third place after Block Pushing.

The Limers' first silver medal in the Marble League.

Unfortunately, the Limers did not perform as strongly in the latter half of the season as they had in 2016. The Limers placed in the bottom half of the standings for every event except for Block Pushing and Steeplechase, notably around ninth to fourteenth place. As such, the Limers fell from the top half of the standings with grace, and finished the season in tenth place, just one place above its starting position in the 2017 Marble League. Despite their slowdown, the Limers were still happy with their season. Goolime noted,

            “The growth that I have seen this team endure ever since I joined is nothing short of astounding. I’m so proud of how far they’ve come since 2016, and I’m lucky to be a part of it this year. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.”

After a rigorous offseason of training, the Limers were invited to the 2018 Marble League Draw in the Arctic Circle, and happily chose to attend. When they arrived, they were greeted with a surprise, for better or for worse: the Raspberry Racers were also in attendance. Greg Woods introduced them in the video, stating:

“They have a long history going back with the Limers, the two of them, so ideally they would like to be in separate groups, although some might say they want to be in the same just to knock each other out before they even make it…”

The two teams ended up in the same qualifying group.

“We were only separated by the Shining Swarm, but it felt like we were eons apart,” Sublime mused. “We reached out to the team after they failed to qualify in 2016, but they had already disbanded and wanted nothing to do with marble sports. We never thought we would see them again in tournament, let alone in the Marble League.”

The return of the Raspberry Racers threw the Limers for a loop not only in concept, but more importantly in tournament. The Limers got two silvers and one bronze, but they could only edge ahead of the Racers in Curling and the Halfpipe. At the end of Qualifiers, the Raspberry Racers qualified for the 2018 Marble League in second with 22 points. The Limers qualified in fourth with 21 points.

 

The Fruit Circuit was back.

“I was new to the team that year, and even I could tell that the Raspberry Racers had never performed like this before,” Limelime admitted. “They had a drive like no other team to win the Marble League. And they didn’t in 2018, but we all know that they eventually would.”

“2018 felt off from the beginning of Qualifiers. Even if we didn’t show it then, we felt it,” Slimelime added. “We were definitely showing it by the second event.”

The 2018 Marble League resembled much of the Limers’ inaugural season. The team scored no points in a quarter of the events, and placed in the top half in only a third of the events. The Limers started the season in tenth place, but by end of the Snow Rally, the seventh event, the team had been in last place in the standings at the end of all but three events.

Comeback time...

“It became really clear to us that we were not going to win the Championship, regardless of whether it was mathematically possible or not. We did not have the gusto in us to do it. But we also didn’t want to take last place. I certainly didn’t,” remarked Sublime. He glanced at his gold medal, which was enclosed in a small display case at the Limers’ training facility. “We had taken last in the Snow Rally, and the team voted on me to do the Snowboard Cross. They said that they had a funny feeling that I would do well. And somehow—somehow, they were right.”

In a surprise turnaround for the Limers, Sublime eased his way down the course during the heat, finishing barely a second behind the Raspberry Racers, and dominated during the final, finishing two seconds before Anarchy from the Balls of Chaos narrowly edged ahead of Bolto from the Thunderbolts. The result was the Limers’ first ever gold medal, and a pathway out of the basement of the standings for the rest of the 2018 Marble League.

The team performed in the middle of the pack throughout the remainder of the season, save for a last-place finish in Ice Hockey, which surprised fans due to the Limers’ silver medal in Collision the year before. The Limers finished the tournament in fourteenth place with the same amount of points as Mellow Yellow but a medal to edge above their fellow Fruit Circuit competition. However, the Limers were more focused on the performance of another Fruit Circuit team.

“The Raspberry Racers beat us in every single event except for the 5-Meter Ice Dash and the Snowboard Cross,” Keylime said without hesitation. “When I joined the team as coach in the offseason, I made sure that my team knew that. The fans wanted a rivalry, but we gave the other team the championship.”

Vindication at its finest.

In the 2018 offseason, the Limers placed second in the 100m Water Race, above the Raspberry Racers in thirteenth, and ascended to the finals of the Amazing Marble Race against the Raspberry Racers, O’rangers, and Savage Speeders. The team’s drive ground to a halt, and the Limers placed fourth with only twenty-five points scored. The Raspberry Racers won the tournament with forty-three points scored, and became known as a strong contender for the 2019 Marble League. The Oceanics were revealed as the hosts for the season, denying the Limers’ bid to host.

“Things were not looking good. My team’s morale had really fallen over the course of the past year. That hosting bid would have done a lot to raise their spirits, and it also would have done a lot for the Marble League as a whole. We were in contact with Jellime and the whole Syndesmarble advisory board to make it something really special.” Keylime sighed. “Things were getting much better for the team in the last few weeks leading up to Qualifiers. Their form was starting to look much like their 2017 selves. I was hopeful.”

The Limers remained in a safe position in the standings for much of Qualifiers, boosted by a second-place finish in Block Pushing. However, the Underwater Race changed their fate for the worse. Slimelime finished in nineteenth and earned only one point, bringing the Limers’ total number of points to thirty-five. The Chocolatiers finished in fourth and earned fifteen points, bolstering them three points above the Limers and earning the final qualifying spot for the 2019 Marble League. Had Slimelime been four milliseconds faster, the Limers would have qualified.

Are the Limers trash, or was their fans' debris trash?

Granted, the Limers’ presence in Qualifiers was soured when their fans started throwing debris into the Relay Race arena, disrupting the flow of the event and allegedly blocking Team Primary from finishing the race (an allegation that the JMRC denies). Needless to say, the fans’ actions in the stands were reckless, and Goolime agreed: 

“We do not condone actions like that—in fact, these types of things distract us too. We’re marble athletes and we’re focused on that—we’re trying to do the best we can. That’s all.” 

Limers did in fact finish in third in that heat, and twelfth place overall in that event. Had their fans not disrupted the flow, the end result could have changed. Instead, the team missed out on its first Marble League ever. Here’s what Lemonlime had to say about that: 

“I know what the fans are thinking. ‘Wow, Limers finally didn’t qualify. They’ve always been in the bottom half of the standings. They didn’t deserve to be in the Marble League.’ And they have every right to feel that way. Our response is this, plain and simple: we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to compete in these tournaments. We’ve loved to do what we do, no matter how well we’ve placed. It’s been far from perfect, but it doesn’t stop here. Right now, it hurts. But trust me when I say that we’re going to do everything we can to keep pushing. Thank you to the fans. We’ll see you soon.”

An expansion to the ML that will no doubt increase its longevity.

The Limers were ready to take a hiatus from training, but they were pleasantly surprised to hear the news that there would be a Marble League Showdown that would give the unqualified teams of the 2019 Marble League a chance to compete and prove their worth for the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers. The Limers immediately regrouped and began training again, rebuilding their team mentally, emotionally, and physically. The more they spent time together, the more optimistic they felt. As the weather got warmer, they returned to the Cliffs of Tartufo to train there without any disruption from the happenings of the world.

They were finishing their dinner with cassata when the sixteenth and final event of the 2019 Marble League was on television, and watched silently as the Raspberry Racers secured the Championship. The event was followed by a lengthy news recap, which covered the Racers’ season in depth and also discussed predictions for the Showdown. After some time, in which the cassata stayed on the table, uneaten, the waitress rolled over to the table and asked the Limers,

“Are you finished with your dessert yet? Or would you like some raspberry syrup to sweeten the dish?”

Needless to say, the Limers entered the 2019 Marble League Showdown under immense pressure from the marblebase—fans that were flocking back from the Green Ducks, fans that had virtually no hope in the Limers, and fans in the middle of it all, who hoped that the Limers would at least get by.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but not one of the 2,879 words that compose this RetRollSpective could equate to the emotions that Limers fans felt when the Limers finished in last during the 2019 Marble League Showdown. One of the fans that was banned from the Seven Seas Stadium expressed their disconcert,

“I guess I understand how the Oceanics fans feel, but at least they got to be a part of the Marble League Championship. We won’t even get a chance to be in the Championship until 2021, and that’s if we can score in more than half of the events, and score well. I have a right to be angry.”

The Limers declined to comment on the Showdown and its aftermath, although we can only imagine that they are beyond heartbroken. In RetRollSpective, the Limers are a team that have done better in earlier years, especially prior to the Marble League. The rise of newer teams, notably the Raspberry Racers, have put into question the Limers’ form and overall capabilities. Nevertheless, there is something to be said about the team’s resilience, and after hitting rock-bottom in this year’s Showdown, we can only hope that they will come back stronger than they have ever been, perhaps even in the first season of Marbula One, which Sublime and Limelime accepted their invitation to in December 2019. Best of luck to the Limers in the 2020 Marble League Showdown, keep on rolling!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

RetRollSpective – Limers

The Limers’ logo, designed by Tim Ritz. Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes that have been

Read More »

Copyright © 2019 MARBLE SPORTS. All rights reserved. Proudly powered by the JMRC

Tide Out: The Oceanics’ State of Affairs in the 2019 MarbleLympics

Tide Out: The Oceanics’ State of Affairs in the 2019 MarbleLympics

Dearest Oceanics Fans,

First of all, we acknowledge and sympathize with your disappointment by the Oceanics’ performance in the 2019 MarbleLympics. We oversaw their training in the Seven Seas Stadium as its construction neared completion, and can confirm that the team trained well enough for the events that would be offered. The Oceanics took on an immense challenge this season by offering water events in the tournament—these being types of events that the team typically does not fare well in. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the results of this year’s MarbleLympics, it seems that their endeavors were anything but successful.

The Royal Family of Dunduei has treasured the spirit that the Oceanics have brought to Oceania, and we desire to reinvigorate the determination and morale of the team, as well as you, the fans, who were heartbroken this season. In order to preserve this spirit, and perhaps better it, the Royal Family has agreed to purchase the Oceanics from Tide, who was not only the team’s coach, but the team’s owner. We will retain the team’s manager, Reef, and the team’s new coach, Lagoon, as a part of this acquisition. Additionally, this purchase includes ownership of the Seven Seas Stadium, which will now operate under the Royal Seal of Dunduei, and be protected under such securities.

This was not an easy decision for the Royal Family to make. We have been struggling during the past few months due to the previously unannounced sickness of Queen Marina, who, as you may have noticed, has not appeared at the proper 2019 MarbleLympics events and ceremonies. In the interim, King Triton has been ruling over the region alone, with no desire to replace his wife, regardless of the strain that ruling alone has placed on him. In witnessing the Oceanics continue to perform poorly in the 2019 MarbleLympics, Her Majesty, distraught, has urged the King to act. In this manner, His Majesty shall do so, honoring his wife’s wishes as well as the wishes of the region, and perhaps of the world.

The Royal Family of Dunduei

Hey guys! Stynth reporting. The JMRC received an important letter from the Royal Family of Dunduei today…and wow, does it seem to be a doozy. After months of witnessing the Oceanics’ fall from grace during the 2019 MarbleLympics, it seems that even the Royal Family has gotten involved. In fact, they’ve worked out an agreement with the team’s former coach, Tide, to purchase the team from him entirely. How did this come to be, you ask? We interviewed the Oceanics themselves to discuss this recent development in marble sports news.

“We knew that we were taking on a big risk,” Reef, the team’s manager, echoed from the letter. “However, in consulting with MarbleLympics officials, we realized that only by offering water events could we offer our greatest potential as hosts for the 2019 MarbleLympics. That opportunity was there for us, and we took it.”

“I was brought on to the team in late 2018,” recalled Bay. “The Oceanics got wind from the officials that it was a conflict of interest if the coach of a team was also an active member of a team, and Tide stepped away from his reserve position. I was already being sponsored by Tide in the Oceania Surfing League, so he brought me on to support the team in the 2019 MarbleLympics.”

Things were looking good for the Oceanics prior to the 2019 MarbleLympics. The team won the Friendly Round before it was even over, having secured enough points to win in the first three events and being able to afford a finish in dead last for the final event, the Underwater Race. Fans were optimistic that the team’s success in the Friendly Round would translate to high results in the main tournament, at least for regular events. The call for #TidePride had never been louder.

“It’s not like we didn’t train,” Ocean explained. “We were a little conflicted when the stadium was under construction, but once it was completed, we dove in. I’d be lying if I said that everything was okay, though. That something didn’t feel off.”

“The team didn’t feel the same. Our mojo was thrown off because Tide wasn’t competing on the team anymore, and not only that. He didn’t coach as well when we wasn’t competing on the team. He didn’t see where we were struggling,” said Sea.

“He didn’t see that we were struggling,” Shore assured.

The first blow to the Oceanics’ morale came in the first event of the main tournament, when Ocean came last in her heat, in front of His Majesty King Triton and over the commentary of Greg Woods, exclaiming “Oceanics, ah, they’re going to finish last again in an underwater event. They will not move on.” The team began the 2019 MarbleLympics with three points, and over the course of the next five events, secured bottom-half finishes in four of those five in order to sit at the bottom of the standings at the end of the sixth event, Relay Race. One of those finishes included a dead-last performance in the fourth event, Gravitrax Slalom.

Although Tide declined to comment for this feature, we were able to interview him shortly after the Relay Race, an event in which the Oceanics won in the Friendly Round. He had this to say to us:

“You know, the way we see it, this would look worse on the team if this year’s season was only twelve events long. We’re not at the halfway point yet, and we still have a chance to bring this home—literally.”

Unfortunately, the team was still in a bad place by the time the tenth event, Maze, rolled around. Although the Oceanics managed to keep out of last place, they were still in second-to-last place, only above the Pinkies, a team which is notorious in the MarbleLympics for being in last place at the end of two of the tournaments.

“Suffice it to say that we were not impressed with the team’s performance,” Reef stated. “We didn’t consider being better than the Pinkies much of an accomplishment…until we weren’t.”

Although the Oceanics reached the finals in the Maze, the team squandered their high odds of medaling when they finished in fourth place. In the next event, Dirt Race, Shore made it to the final race, but bounced off the course, finishing in seventh and returning the Oceanics to last place overall.

The Pinkies medaled in both events.

“Morale was at an all-time low for us…or in hindsight, it wasn’t even as low as it was at the end of the season,” Aqua said, dismally. “We tried to muster up what we had left during Rafting. We thought we did well, until ten other teams ended up doing better than us.”

That cemented the Oceanics’ fate in the season. “The Oceanics in the meantime, cruelly, they become the first team who will not be able to win the MarbleLympics,” noted Greg Woods as the updated standings appeared on the scoreboard.

The next event, the Elimination Race, appropriately saw two of the Oceanics get eliminated—the team member who participated in the event, Sea, and the coach of the team, Tide.

“I was sitting near Coach Tide when he was removed from the grandstands. Reef and Alvin rolled over to us with a bunch of stadium security marbles, and Reef fired him on the spot. It seemed as if he had been planning to fire him for a time, at least for a few weeks,” one of the other team’s coaches, who asked to remain anonymous, reported. “What made it particularly awkward is that Tide owned the team, but Reef was the manager, and thus had the authority to relieve Tide of his coach duties.”

“I had to do what was best for the team,” Reef added. “Tide was our weakest link, especially when it came to training for the water events. We were going to wait until the season was over to make an action, but after the first heat of the Elimination Race, I lost my cool.”

From there, Reef brought Lagoon in as the new coach of the Oceanics, while Tide’s hands were figuratively tied. He tried to fire Reef as manager, but this proved futile when the Royal Family got involved. Regardless, the Oceanics’ performance in the 2019 MarbleLympics did not improve, and the team finished the season with the worst points average of any team in MarbleLympics history. When asked about this, Reef had this to say:

“This season has been one of the most difficult seasons that any team has had to experience. You need to have a clear and positive mindset in order to compete in a tournament as demanding as the MarbleLympics, and between their stress in hosting, changes in coaching, and the loss of support from their fans, the Oceanics couldn’t do as well as they wanted to. It’s sad. And it’s even more sad that we let down our fans on our home turf. They had every right to be disappointed in us.”

“I still believe in our team, though,” said Sea, after a long pause from the team. “We hit rock bottom this year—there’s no denying that. But it was still an honor to host and to be a part of the MarbleLympics for another year. That’s what matters above all, and in order to continue that, we’re going to work hard next year on ourselves—mentally, emotionally, and physically— to qualify and to prove our worth again in competition.”

We thank the Oceanics for participating in this interview and hold the utmost respect for them for holding their heads high during this difficult time. Upon further investigation, it seems that the Royal Family has offered Tide a hefty sum for the rights to the Oceanics and their stadium— apparently an offer that he could not refuse. It would be foolish to assume that we have seen the last of Tide’s influence in marble sports, and it would be even more foolish to assume that Tide is not salty about letting the Oceanics go, even for the amount of money he got for them. After all, it was his influence on the team that led to their best performance yet in the MarbleLympics…along with their worst.

Tide is out, and royalty is in…where will this lead the Oceanics in 2020? We’ll just have to wait and sea. Thank you for reading this Marble Sports Blog feature, and keep on rolling!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

RetRollSpective – Limers

The Limers’ logo, designed by Tim Ritz. Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes that have been

Read More »

Copyright © 2019 MARBLE SPORTS. All rights reserved. Proudly powered by the JMRC

The Teams You’ll Miss In The 2019 MarbleLympics

The Teams You’ll Miss In The 2019 MarbleLympics

Logo: Marblelympics

After months of waiting to see which teams would compete in the 2019 MarbleLympics, we finally know the sixteen teams that have qualified, including the four that prequalified at the end of the 2018 MarbleLympics and the twelve that competed in the 2019 MarbleLympics Qualifiers. And now that we know…that’s it, for three months. These teams will train rigorously for the main tournament, and we’ll be left to speculate who will triumph come April. 

In our theorizing, meme-making, and hype intensifying, we’ll rally behind at least one of the sixteen teams that have qualified, if not all of them. From the two rookie teams, including the newly announced Green Ducks, to four-time veterans such as Savage Speeders, Pinkies, and Team Galactic, each team deserves to prove its worth in the MarbleLympics. They all have something unique to bring to the games, and they have brought their all in order to secure their roles. 

Regardless, there is a certain tragedy with the passing of the Qualifiers each year. There are sixteen spots in the MarbleLympics each year, meaning that if more than twelve teams are seeing to compete, there will be cuts. This has been the case since 2017, when the first Qualifiers were held, and Kobalts, Snowballs, Balls of Chaos, and Rojo Rollers failed to qualify. In 2018, twelve teams failed to qualify (four from each group), the most in a single season yet. 

This year saw a mixture of teams get cut. Some were beloved fan favorites. Others were hoping, after years of being unsuccessful, to finally return to the competition. But none of them can be forgotten. Like the sixteen teams that have qualified, these eight teams all bring something special to the competition. The difference is the effort put in—either it isn’t “their all” or it’s masked by other teams. And so it goes. 

Still, as we await the 2019 MarbleLympics, we would like to reflect on these “forbidden eight”, if you will. They deserve to be heard, and their legacies deserve to be honored. Any team could be in their position right now. 

Torn To Pieces

A loss welcomed by Raspberry Racers and Team Primary fans, Limers were four points short of overcoming the Chocolatiers to qualify. Their presence in Qualifiers was soured when Limers fans starting throwing debris into the Relay Race arena, disrupting the flow of the event and allegedly blocking Team Primary from finishing the race (an allegation that the IMC denies). Needless to say, the fans’ actions in the stands were reckless, and Goolime agreed: 

“We do not condone actions like that—in fact, these types of things distract us too. We’re marble athletes and we’re focused on that—we’re trying to do the best we can. That’s all.” 

Limers did in fact finish in third in that heat, and twelfth place overall in that event. Had their fans not disrupted the flow, the end result could have changed. Instead, the team is missing out on its first MarbleLympics ever. Here’s what Lemonlime had to say about that: 

“I know what the fans are thinking. ‘Wow, Limers finally didn’t qualify. They’ve always been in the bottom half of the standings. They didn’t deserve to be in the MarbleLympics.’ And they have every right to feel that way. Our response is this, plain and simple: we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to compete in these tournaments. We’ve loved to do what we do, no matter how well we’ve placed. It’s been far from perfect, but it doesn’t stop here. Right now, it hurts. But trust me when I say that we’re going to do everything we can to keep pushing. Thank you to the fans. We’ll see you soon.” 

All the best to Limers in the offseason. The team has resilience—and one day, it’ll carry them far.

Still Mo-Motivated

To say that Team Momo has had a difficult time in recent MarbleLympics would be an understatement. From the infamous Fidget Spinner Collision in 2017 to their Bobsleigh woes in 

2018, many hoped that the Momo clan would qualify and have a normal season. They even got a new logo to celebrate, tossing away a logo that many fans reviled as a “stinky green trash bag”. 

The fans were ecstatic during the first event, and held their breath until Mo crossed the finish line in the Underwater Race, never losing hope. But it simply was not Team Momo’s year. The downward spiral of points the team earned in the four events perhaps resembled its downward spiral over the past four years, from earning fourth overall in the 2016 MarbleLympics to missing out on qualifying this year, in 2019, by two places. 

Team Momo initially declined to comment, but we got a call from Momomomo late in the night of 26 January. He sounded tired, perhaps a little sniffly. But I had never heard him more determined: 

“These past two years have been really rough on me. When the medics took me out of the arena, past the view of the fans, and there was a chunk of me missing, I was despondent. I thought I’d never be able to compete again. I couldn’t understand why it had to happen, let alone to me. But life went on. My team put Mimo in, and got three medals that season. Even last year. Team Primary helped us out, and we got two medals. Being part of Team Momo has made me realize something: that I can’t quit when things don’t go my way. So we didn’t qualify this year. That’s not how I wanted things to go, but it’s not going to stop me. And it won’t stop our team from mo-moving forward.” 

We wish Team Momo the best in the offseason, and hope that they will appear in “mo-more” MarbleLympics to come.

Dead Red Redemption

A team with constant fan support in the offseason, Rojo Rollers have been unsuccessful in Qualifiers for the past two seasons, and sadly, this year was no exception. After getting a new logo and being likened to as Mario in the Super Smash Marbles fanart by Instagram artist 

@vinartstudio, Rojo Rollers were thirteen points short of returning to the MarbleLympics for the first time since 2016, a year in which they placed in an impressive sixth place overall. 

Rojo Rollers, admittedly, had a difficult offseason. As the 2018 Sand Marble Rally approached, the new logo for the Rollers was released to the public, displaying a roller skate instead of the traditional red number 3 ball. This disturbed Red Number 3, who thought that the MarbleLympics team was ending its long-standing relationship with him. Rojo Rollers privately met with Red Number 3, assuring him otherwise, and preventing the dissent from reaching the public. 

Needless to say, the confirmation in December that Red Number 3 was not a glass marble ballooned the scale of the controversy and created chaos. In the midst of training for 2019 MarbleLympics Qualifiers, Rojo Rollers had to act quickly and cut its partnership before the team’s reputation was tarnished in relation to Red Number 3. According to Rojo Tres: 

“We had no idea he wasn’t a marble. The drama over this has been astounding, and while we tried to ignore it, we didn’t want to disappoint our fans if they got the impression that we supported fraud. We roll fair and square, except not square, because then we’d be cubes, and cubes aren’t marbles.” 

Best of luck to Rojo Rollers. We hope that Rojo Rollers can move past this difficult offseason and, free of controversy, finally get to focus on the competition they’ve desired to return to for so long.

No-balts

Kobalts, as with Rojo Rollers, have not been in the MarbleLympics since its initial season in 2016, where they placed ninth overall with two silver medals to boot. And while the team replaced half of its members in 2017 with Meepo and Gnome, there seems to be no other reason why Kobalts have not been successful in Qualifiers. The team has had seasons to sync up and 

train together, but it can never seem to synthesize quite right. They also lack experience in Funnel Spinning, an event in which they scored one point in 2017 and one point this year. The team is competent at Block Pushing, as it scored twelve points in 2017 and ten points in 2019, but can never seem to succeed at anything else. 

Kobalts declined to comment. We hope they have a fruitful offseason, one that finally brings the team together to conquer future Qualifiers and MarbleLympics.

Too Tough To Crack

Although its fellow candy team, Chocolatiers, qualified this year after missing the 2018 MarbleLympics, Jawbreakers were unable to replicate such a comeback. Their two silver medals in 2016, landing them in seventh place overall, seemed promising. Their first place in the 2017 Qualifiers Sand Rally event continued this momentum, but it collapsed during the competition later that year when Jawbreakers failed to make the podium. Ending in thirteenth place overall, Jawbreakers were sour. The three former members of the team, Tidbit, Mouthful, and Tongue-Twister, blamed the team’s poor performance on Candy firing and replacing them. Candy’s response? Bitter, to say the least: 

“I was miserable last year [in 2016]. I don’t care how well we placed, you all treated me like I was a cough drop. Sugar, Sweet, and Taffy are all amazing teammates. They listen to me, and no matter what happens, at least we know we’re doing the right thing.” 

Unfortunately, the “right thing” has not bode well for the team, which has now missed two MarbleLympics. We hope that Jawbreakers can find their way and do the right thing in order to return to the MarbleLympics. 

Melted

Though we welcomed Snowballs hosting the 2018 MarbleLympics in the bleak midwinter, we are unfortunately going to miss the team in this year’s competition. One of the more surprising omissions from this year’s roster, after a well-earned seventh place last year, Snowballs seem to have dissolved in the waters of the Oceanics’s home turf. When asked about the stark difference in weather conditions this year, Snowflake noted: 

“It’s something we really tried to prepare against, but we ultimately couldn’t overcome. We know we can do better than that. Maybe if the conditions were fairer…” 

We have no information on whether Snowballs are pursuing legal action against Oceanics and/or the IMC for the event and stadium design. We will report developments as they come forth. Until then, we wish the best to Snowballs and hope they have a chill offseason.

A Fidgety Performance

The team that has rolled under the radar since its formation, perhaps because its name is similar to Savage Speeders in alliteration, Shining Swarm. The team has been notably unsuccessful in Qualifiers for the past two years, despite making it into the 2017 MarbleLympics and earning a gold medal in the Collision event. Shimmer remarked: 

“You know, our fanbase isn’t big. It’s not easy being overshadowed by franchises that are better grounded in the legacy of the MarbleLympics and trying to make your own mark in something as legendary as this competition. We’re a fun bunch and we love what we do. That’s why we were riding the fidget spinners when we were advancing and later won that event. Not everything has to be serious.” 

We appreciate Shining Swarm for taking their own “spin” on the MarbleLympics, and hope to see them again in future years.

Feeling Blue

The team that saved Team Momo last year could not save itself this year. Though its chances of qualifying were already looking slim after the first two events, Team Primary’s fate was sealed when Mary failed to start in the last leg of the Relay Race. The controversy surrounding her blunder will likely continue on in r/Marblelympics for months to come. For now, we hope that our chance to speak to Rima about why she thought the team had a disappointing Qualifiers will suffice: 

“To be honest, things haven’t been easy in the past year. When Team Momo called out for help last year, I was the one to suggest to Prima that we should merge with them. Prima initially denied, saying that a green team like Jungle Jumpers would be better suited to help them, but eventually realized that this would be an opportune chance for us to compete. Prim and I were 

the choice marble athletes to form Team Momary, but the fans wanted Mary to join. So Mary joined. And I was denied the chance to compete.” 

When asked about the merger, Mary shrugged it off, “I mean, it made sense for me to compete. My name is a part of “Momary”, so. It’s only fair.” 

Rima continued. “Imar, Aryp, and I watched from the sidelines as Team Momary got a gold and a silver, and then proceeded to get twelfth overall. We weren’t impressed, to say the least. And we made that known to Prim and Mary when they dissolved the merger in the offseason. Since then, it hasn’t been pretty between the five of us. Who knows if it will ever be.” 

It seems Team Primary is going through some rough patches. We hope its members can move past them and work together.

Conclusion: For Some Teams, But Maybe Not For Others

The hype that surrounds the MarbleLympics each year often obscures the hardships behind the scenes: the difficulty in training to qualify, the struggle in maintaining strong performances, and the challenge of demonstrating excellence, among others. If it was easy, any group of marbles would team up and casually roll past the competition—but it’s not. It takes determination to be involved in any aspect of the MarbleLympics, let alone participate in the main tournament, and it’s admittedly not for everyone. 

Nevertheless, the result has been proven to be worth it; it has been rewarding beyond any marble’s wildest dreams. If these eight teams work hard during the offseason—pushing their capabilities beyond what they have thought possible—they will rediscover those rewards, as they have in MarbleLympics past. 

Limers, Team Momo, Rojo Rollers, Kobalts, Jawbreakers, Snowballs, Shining Swarm, and Team Primary, we implore you not to give up, but to move forward. Learn from this, grow stronger, and be excellent. We’re looking forward to see you competing again. 

Let’s roll. 

Share this post on
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

RetRollSpective – Limers

The Limers’ logo, designed by Tim Ritz. Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where I reflect on the history of marble athletes that have been

Read More »

The JMRC Is Growing!

If you weren’t aware, a group of community members helps Jelle makes all his videos and interact with the community. The Jelle’s Marble Runs Committee

Read More »

Copyright © 2019 MARBLE SPORTS. All rights reserved. Proudly powered by the JMRC