March 2016 WFTDA Recap & Rankings

March 2016 WFTDA Recap & Rankings Photo credit: Joe Mac. facebook.com/joemacphoto

Since WFTDA Championships last November there has been very little movement in the WFTDA rankings, but March seemed to kick start the competitive season with tournaments all around the globe. From Quad City Chaos to The European Smackdown to the Japan Open, teams across WFTDA, and the world, saw some of their first big games and gave us a glimpse of what may lie ahead this season.

The Main Events

The first four WFTDA Recognized Tournaments took place in March, including the first-ever Division 1 level tournament in Europe. The European Smackdown took place the first weekend in March in Malmö, Sweden and it included the top 5 WFTDA ranked teams in Europe, with Detroit also making the trip overseas to take part. We recapped how the games went previously, but now the teams are seeing where those games took them in the rankings. London stayed put at #3, but the hosts Crime City saw the biggest boost from their event, moving up 7 spots to take #18. They only had one loss that weekend, but it was an unsanctioned game against London, so it didn’t have an affect on their placement.

With two Swedish teams in the top 20 for the first time, Crime City now sits just above Stockholm who fell 2 spots to #19 after they lost to both Detroit and London. They had previously beaten Detroit by 97 points at ECDX last year, but this time they lost by 11. Detroit went on to have a rougher experience at the Smackdown, so this could indicate that Stockholm will need to work a littler harder if they want to stay in the upper 20 of the D1. With Detroit missing some of their jammer power at the event, they fell 4 places to #24, but we will see how they fair at home this weekend when they host Windy City. Helsinki saw a rankings improvement after their 2-1 performance, and moved up 4 spots to #29 while Glasgow saw the biggest drop from The European Smackdown with a fall of 38 places to #67. Watch archived videos of the games here.

Also that weekend, the Columbia QuadSquad hosted March Badness in South Carolina with juniors and adults playing 8 games over two days. Demolition City has gone through some turnover since they took 3rd place in Division 2 last fall, and their games last month took them down 28 places to #58. Columbia and Jet City benefited by playing them however, and now they sit at #27 and #52 respectively. Carolina played just one game against Jet City, and they took a 77-point loss.

On the other side of the United States, Wild West Showdown took place that same weekend in Bremerton, Washington, and it helped the Mainland Misfits, Waimea Wranglers, and Whidbey Island get ranked for the first time at #124, #271, and #278 respectively. The Capidoll Stars saw a huge 43-place boost from it to #144 while #211 Snake Pit, #155 Rainier, and #134 Bellingham all saw a slight drop in their rankings. The Northwest Derby Company played their first sanctioned games that weekend, winning one and losing one resulting in a Flat Track Stats ranking of #234.

Photo credit: Joe Mac

Photo credit: Joe Mac.

Two weekends later was Quad City Chaos in Toronto Canada, another WFTDA Recognized Tournament which mostly hosted teams from Canada and Queen City, from Buffalo, New York who won both of their games in the triple digits and earn a 14-place ranking boost to #33. Losing both their games, Toronto fell to Division 2 territory at #54 while Tri-City rests above them at #47. Toronto has been a long time D1 contender, while Tri-City has toed the line between Divisions, but both may be looking at a D2 future this year.

Quad City Chaos helped Roller Derby Quebec get ranked for the first time at #90 with losses to both Toronto and Tri-City, but they picked up their first sanctioned win against Royal City. That was the only game the Royal City Brute-Leggers played at that event, but they also took on and beat Lansing last month which, combined with a few games falling off their average from last year, moved them up 11 places to #93. You can re-watch the games from Quad City Chaos here.

That same weekend Clover Cup took place in Dallas, Texas, and in a bracketed format over 3 days, the Dallas Derby Devils took 1st place. Beating Tucson, Arizona, and Des Moines United, Dallas moved up 2 spots to #17. United took 2nd place and saw an increase of 1 to #21 while Sacred City took 3rd and fell 3 spots to #35. Their third place win was against Santa Cruz, who received a boost into D1, and now sit at #37.

Kansas City, who saw a jump above the #4o cut off after Champs, fell 10 spots with losses to both Arizona and Tucson at the Clover Cup. Arizona also dropped to #49, but Tucson benefited with a 14-place jump to #50. A rebuilding year saw Kansas City fall into D2 last year, and Arizona is starting the year the year there too, but it’s still early for both leagues. Tucson missed out on playoffs last year, so if they can keep this up they could return to tournaments this fall. Check out footage of the games on the Dallas Derby Devils’ YouTube Channel.

Also the weekend of March 18th-20th, Derby Revolution of Bakersfield hosted the 7th annual Dustbowl Invitational in Bakersfield, California. Nine teams took part in a double elimination bracket with V-Town taking 1st place, San Fernando taking 2nd, and Sonoma County in 3rd. V-Town and Silicon Valley both had 14-spot jumps in the rankings to #118 and #222 respectively but Sonoma had an increase of 43 to #158.

Going into the tournament, Monterey Bay already had a tough weekend ahead of then, but it was made more difficult when their vendor box and some gear was stolen. The generosity of the derby community and Derby Warehouse helped them out and they were able to finish the weekend.

The last big event to take place in March was in Okinawa, Japan, hosted by the Kokeshi Rollerdolls. The Japan Open was the first big WFTDA event in Asia, and Copenhagen got the biggest boost after 4 wins with a jump of 55 places to #164. Juneau got back on the rankings map at #220, and even though the Adelaides from Australia won 3 out of their 4 games, they fell 7 spots to #150. Most of the teams involved have had few games in their history, so this helped them get some unique opponents and experience playing multiple games in one weekend. Check out our recap of the Tournament here, and archived videos of the games here.

Teams Marching Forward

There wasn’t too much action in the top 20 of the WFTDA March rankings, but #6 Jacksonville took on their Southern rivals #15 Atlanta on the 19th, and New Jax City took them down by 140 points. This time last year Jacksonville only won by 3 points against them, indicating that they are still a strong top-10 team. Atlanta gained Blaque Jac from Tampa Bay however, and Jacksonville will have Snot Rocket Science on the track with them in May as we highlighted earlier this week.

Also towards the top of Division 1, Montreal took on Rideau Valley for a 304-40 win, earning them a step up in the rankings to #14 while Rideau Valley fell 17 places to #55. That drop may be due more to their games from last year’s Quad City Chaos falling off their average however.

Taking 3rd place in Division 2 Detroit last year, Naptown jumped 17 places to #32 after taking on Demolition City and winning 373-21. As we mentioned earlier, Demolition City has changed a bit since they made it all the way to D2 Champs, so Naptown may settle back into D2 after they log some more games.

Boulder County also finds themselves in the top 40 this month at #36 after taking on another team experiencing roster changes.  Losing to Rocky Mountain by just 35 points, Boulder took 9th place in Detroit at D2 playoffs last fall, so we’ll see where their ranking evens out at as the season progresses. Rocky made no movement in the rankings yet, but they will once their April losses to Minnesota and Des Moines United register in the calculator.

The Mad Rollin’ Dolls took 6th place in D1 Tucson last year, and over the last few months they wandered below the D1 cut off, but with a 234-91 win against Brewcity last month, they popped back up to #39. Falling 10 spots to #41 is Ohio, but they are notorious for playing a long season and we’ll see where they end up after their Skate to Thrill games take effect. Also landing in the 40s is Auld Reekie who is up 14 places to #48, and was one spot away from qualifying for WFTDA playoffs last season.

On the edge of Division 2 Grand Raggidy moved up 4 spots to #63. They’ve already been busy so far this season, but may take a hit after hosting an under ranked Nidaros (currently at #85) from Norway over the weekend. Also on the cusp from Helsinki is Kallio Rolling Rainbow who has continued their upward trajectory 10 more spots to #69 after a 204-117 game against Dock City. From Gothenburg, Sweden, that game helped Dock City get ranked for the first time at #147. Also from Sweden and getting their first ranking, Gothenburg Roller Derby entered at #153 with their 3rd sanctioned win coming against #233 Vienna last month, also ranked for the first time.

A little further outside D2 is Dupage, who we talked about at the end of last year, and they saw a 12-spot increase to #79 with a 217-115 win over Ft. Wayne (who fell 4 spots to #86). They are slated to take on Chicago Outfit this month which will give us a better idea of if they can cut it in Division 2 play.

Notables

Becoming a WFTDA member last June, the Undead Bettys started playing sanctioned games last fall and after 3 wins in March they jumped 23 places to #97. Part of this momentum may be due to Fluezy returning to her derby roots after her stint with Bay Area last season, and in February they played an unsanctioned game against Sac City, losing by only 48 points. They will need to take on some higher ranked opponents to get any more traction however.

Although Orangeville hasn’t played any sanctioned games just yet, the Canadian team just became WFTDA members in March and may make 2016 their year. With some experienced skaters joining the roster, and and a 266-103 win over #81 Killamazoo in March and an April 1st 3-point victory against #33 Queen City, they have strong potential this year.

In January, San Diego Roller Derby became WFTDA members and in March they played their first sanctioned game against South Coast and won 302-179. Sadly, San Diego lost one of their own at the beginning of April when a small plane crashed into a car of people heading to LA for a tournament. Toni Isbelle, Aka Rockalishous, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the rest were hospitalized. A GoFundMe for her funeral services has already met it’s goal, but you can still donate here. You can also support a fund for medical expenses for Rowdy Rodbuster, Vanilla Gorilla, and Witchy Wife over here.

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