Derby Notes: May 2011

Every month here on WRDN, I’ll be putting together a monthly glance at the latest derby news, upcoming action among DNN’s Top 25 teams, and a glance at DNN and WFTDA rankings.  I’ll also pick the WRDN Game of the Month, a match-up between teams that I think will be the best or most interesting to see.  This way, everyone can get a quick summary of what to look forward to in the month ahead, without needing to go all over the place to get it.  (You’re welcome.)

News at a Glance

WFTDA Creates Gender Policy – Finally addressing the concerns of transgendered women in roller derby, the WFTDA has created a gender policy to define exactly what a female is, and how one can get the necessary paperwork in place to make sure everything is kosher on that front.  As this will only affect a sanctioned league’s all-star travel team (the one that plays for rankings and tournament eligibility), home/local teams or unsanctioned leagues will not be affected by it.  The policy will officially come into affect in the new year.

MRDA Championships Announced – In case you missed it last month, the body formerly known as the Men’s Derby Coalition (MDC) has, in their words, “grown up” and rechristened themselves the Men’s Roller Derby Association, or MRDA.  MRDA is now the true male equivalent of the WFTDA, in that they will sanction leagues, oversee all-star travel teams, and organize tournaments.

Speaking of tournaments, the organization has announced that the 2011 MRDA Championships will be held in New York on October 22, hosted by men’s powerhouse New York Shock Exchange. It will feature the top six MRDA teams, with the winner receiving the Athletic Cup Trophy. This conveniently places it between the last WFTDA regional and national tournament weekends, providing a good time to showcase what men’s derby is all about.

If you don’t want to wait that long, you’ll have the multi-game Spring Roll weekend to look forward to this month, which will feature an astounding 17 games between MRDA teams.  Last year’s Spring Roll had an even split between men’s and women’s games; this year, there aren’t even 10 women’s games.

Upcoming Top-25 Action

With the critical Q2 WFTDA rankings season upon us, teams are continually playing other teams within their own regions so they can try to improve their seeding or get invited to the regional championships later this year.  However, one team this month is doing quite the opposite.

Texas will be extremely busy in May, playing five games against some of the best teams in the east and the west.  This weekend will have them facing Philly and Charm City. In two weeks they’ll roll through the PacNW corridor and face Rose City, Rat City, and Oly.

While these games won’t help or hurt them in the South Central region, you’ve got to think that Texas is looking to thicken their skin in preparation for tournament season.  After several months of trending downward, culminating with Kansas City’s upset over them last year in the South Central finals, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Texas was looking to sharpen their knives and go for the kill-kill-kill should a regional finals rematch be in the cards.

Here’s the upcoming schedule for games between DNN’s Top-25 teams.  Games in bold are match-ups between two teams in the top ten.  Check your local listings for game times or live streaming coverage.

May 7

  • (5) Rose City vs (1) Rocky
  • (12) Texas vs (9) Philly
  • (17) Naptown vs (13) Detroit

May 8

  • (5) Rose City vs (4) Denver
  • (12) Texas vs (10) Charm City

May 14

May 20

  • (12) Texas vs (5) Rose City

May 21

  • (1) Rocky Mountain vs (6) Bay Area
  • (3) Gotham vs (10) Charm City
  • (12) Texas vs (2) Oly
  • (24) Maine vs (15) Montreal
  • (17) Naptown vs (25) Madison
  • Midwest Brewhaha feat. (8) Windy City, (13) Detroit, (16) Minnesota, (17) Naptown, (22) Chicago Outfit, (25) Madison

May 22

  • (12) Texas vs (7) Rat City
  • (16) Minnesota vs (8) Windy City

May 28

  • (7) Rat City vs (2) Oly 

WRDN Game of the Month

Texas vs. Philly

It’s been 2½ years since these two teams faced each other, with the meeting giving Philly a third-place victory during 2008 WFTDA Nationals (as they were called back then), 114-95. However, both teams have recently been on extended downward slides against top-ranked opponents.

Texas has lost two out of their last three WFTDA tournament games and their number one regional ranking in the south. Philly hasn’t been able to keep up with their rivals Gotham since their stunning one-ghost-point upset at the East Regional in 2009, never mind their recent losses against Denver and Rocky Mountain.

Still, Philly didn’t have their full roster with them during their Colorado swing due to injuries, and playing at home is always a good thing to help with that. Texas is always a threat against any team, as their win over a hot Bay Area team during 2010 Championships helped remind everyone. Both teams used to be a lot better then they have been recently, however, and would both like to prove that they aren’t happy or comfortable with their respective regional #2 rankings.

I see this game being a lot more important for Philly then for Texas. Philly won’t see meaningful action again until East Coast Extravaganza in late June, and I can’t see them wanting to go into their showcase event with three straight high-profile losses behind them. As for Texas, this game is actually the easiest one (on paper) they’ll play in for a while. However, seeing as their competition will only get tougher as they go, you’ll know that they’ll be hungry for a win to get their road trip off to a good start.

Texas vs. Philly will take place this Saturday, May 7, after a Philly home team appetizer clash. I don’t believe live streaming of this game will be made available, unfortunately, but I hope DNN will at least provide a live textcast or full summary after the game. I’m really curious to see how this one pans out, and how much it will affect each team going into tournament season.

The Rankings

Note about rankings:  Numbers in parenthesis indicate the WFTDA regional ranking (W1) or DNN Top-25 ranking (1) for that team.  For the WFTDA regional rankings, a team not ranked in the DNN Top-25 is marked as (NR).   DNN Power Rankings are updated monthly, and WFTDA Rankings are updated every three months.

DNN Power Rankings Top Ten – May 2011
  1. Rocky Mountain (W1)
  2. Oly (W2)
  3. Gotham (E1)
  4.  Denver (W3)
  5. Rose City (W5)
  6. Bay Area (W4)
  7. Rat City (W6)
  8. Windy City (N1)
  9. Philly (E2)
  10. Charm City (E3)

WFTDA West – Q1 2011
35 sanctioned leagues | 23 regionally ranked teams | 6 DNN Top-25 Teams

West Region Top 5:

  1. Rocky Mountain (1)
  2. Oly (2)
  3. Denver (4)
  4. Bay Area (6)
  5. Rose City (5)

WFTDA North Central – Q1 2011
26 sanctioned leagues | 21 regionally ranked teams | 7 DNN Top-25 Teams

North Central Region Top 5:

  1. Windy City (8)
  2. Minnesota (16)
  3. Detroit (13)
  4. Madison (25)
  5. Cincinnati (18)

WFTDA South Central – Q1 2011
26 sanctioned leagues | 24 regionally ranked teams | 3 DNN Top-25 Teams

South Central Region Top 5:

  1. Kansas City (11)
  2. Texas (12)
  3. Nashville (NR)
  4. Houston (NR)
  5. Atlanta (NR)

WFTDA East – Q1 2011
25 sanctioned leagues | 19 regionally ranked teams | 9 DNN Top-25 Teams

East Region Top 5:

  1. Gotham (3)
  2. Philly (9)
  3. Charm City (10)
  4. Boston (19)
  5. Montreal (15)

For full WFTDA regional rankings for all four regions, go to the WFTDA Rankings page.
For DNN’s full Top-25 national rankings, go to the DNN Power Rankings page.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by nitetalker on 10 May 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Great blog here, WindyMan. I’m especially enjoying your commentaries on The Pack Problem.

    A couple notes on the WRDN Game of the Month, now that it has taken place.

    First a couple of corrections: The other game in the double-header matched the Philly Independence Dolls B-team against the Boston B-Party. And, although you were correct about the other game being an appetizer to the main event, as it turned out it was the dessert. Just hours before the scheduled 6pm start of the double-header, the games were swapped. I never heard the reason, and I didn’t find out it had happened until I arrived — 10 minutes into the Philly-Texas game. I would have arrived on time had I known.

    As for the game (the 50 minutes I saw), Philly really put the clamps on Texas. Their blocking schemes were well-conceived and they executed them, as the late Flyers hockey announcer Gene Hart used to say, to a fare-thee-well. They also did a good job of avoiding penalty trouble. All that added up to a very impressive 142-76 victory for Philly.

    When I saw the scores from Philly’s Colorado swing (183-32, yikes!), I started to have my doubts as to whether Philly is still one of the elite teams in the sport. Well, the win over Texas removed those doubts, at least for now.

    Sounds like the real WRDN Game of the Month should have been the Charm City-Texas private game the next day, won by Texas 162-156. Must have been a barn-burner!

    By the way, I was a little disappointed in the attendance in Philly. My guess is that there were only 1,200-1,400 of us rattling around the arena. I don’t know why they don’t draw better. The Warriors of the Roller Games drew very well decades ago. But that’s ancient history …


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