Sanctioned action in August from the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) saw select teams jockey for potential seeds in the governing body’s upcoming post-season tournament, which included a menacing rankings’ upset that might re-arrange the hierarchy when the bracket is released later this month.
Topping the news last month was seventh-ranked Bridgetown’s 152-107 victory over #4 New York Shock Exchange in the opening day of the four-league “Dog Days of Derby” invitational held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 20 & 21. At the time, the 45-point duke gave the Portland, Oregon-based rollers its second win of the season, but more historically, gave the Menace its first victory over its Empire State counterparts after three prior setbacks.
Jammer Munster and blocker Defensive Destroyer picked up respective MVPs in the game for Bridgetown while jammer Kenbo Slice and blocker Malcolm Sex netted matching awards for New York, who dropped to 4-2 in sanctioned-play.
Bridgetown utilized Saturday’s momentum en route to a three-game sweep at “Dog Days.” Toppers over #10 Mass Maelstrom (263-54) and event host #16 Philadelphia (205-108) pushed the Menace’s sanctioned mark to 4-2 and might help the perennial playoff team snag a higher seed in the upcoming MRDA Championships held in North Richland Hills, Texas in October.
With the weekend results, Mass Maelstrom (5-2) saw its four-game winning streak snapped but still retain a fighting chance to make the MRDA’s ten-team, post-season tournament. Meanwhile, the hard-charging Hooligans (9-4) also proved that it should be considered as a possible future entrant, if not this year, then potentially next season.
Also noteworthy for the month was a pair of August victories claimed by current #2 Your Mom Men’s Roller Derby. Last year’s silver medalists skated at the inaugural three-team “Paddling Up the Creek” invitational, held in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 13 & 14, and collected overpowering wins over host #17 Twin Cities (297-23) and #32 BizMan Bomberz (484-55).
With the Gopher State trek, Your Mom (3-0) achieved enough sanctioned games to qualify for this season’s MRDA post-season play and waits to see where its future seed lies. On August 23, YMMD made a very-lengthy post on its official Facebook page about its league’s history as well as past and future charter complexions. Reaction was mixed, as those that side with the Des Moines, Iowa-based league, a three-time MRDA Champ, offered full support while others opposed.
In the other “Paddling” game held during the weekend, Twin Cities notched a 302-103 win over BizMan to push its extremely active ledger to 5-9 while the Bomberz dropped to 1-4.
That same weekend, the six-league “O-Town Throwdown” was held at Ottawa, Ontario, at Canada’s Jack Charron Arena. The two-day, round-robin tournament featured games in a pool play format on Saturday that determined Sunday’s semifinalists.
In Saturday’s A-pool round, current #14 Montreal Mont Royals topped #27 Toronto (164-160) and unranked Chinook City’s Glenmore Reservoir Dogs (159-127) to claim automatic entry to the semifinals. Meanwhile in the B-pool, #15 Vancouver Murder topped unranked host Ottawa (361-13) and #16 Philadelphia Hooligans (219-105) to secure an O-Town Final 4 slot. Continuing Saturday’s respective pool play, Philly topped Ottawa (318-14) and Glenmore bested Toronto (219-144) to finish the day 1-1 and advance to the semifinals.
The Day One results configured Sunday morning’s semifinal pairings of Montreal versus Philadelphia and Vancouver versus Glenmore. In the opener, Philly claimed a 226-105 rankings upset over the Mont Royals to advance to the event’s finale.
However, the other scheduled semifinal was never held. According to a post on the Vancouver Murder’s official Facebook account by the team’s Redrum later that day, the organizers of the event gave the Murder an option to play Montreal, the higher MRDA-ranked team that had already lost in Sunday’s semifinals, on Sunday if they would forfeit the scheduled semifinal game against unranked Glenmore.
“We took that option to play a team (that) we’ve never played before and strengthen the East/West relationships within the MRDA,” stated Redrum in the league’s Facebook post. As a result, Vancouver forfeited the semifinal game against Chinook City and the result was recorded as a 100-0 non-sanctioned win for the Reservoir Dogs, who now jettisoned to O-Town’s title game against Philadelphia.
Unfortunately for Vancouver, its game against the Mont Royals never took place. “We were subsequently ejected from the tournament for poor sportsmanship for taking the option they presented to us,” continued Redrum’s post. In the end, the Murder never skated on Sunday but finished the weekend with two wins that pushed its sanctioned record to 6-0. The MRDA is currently reviewing the incidents involving Vancouver’s outcomes at the event and are expected to make a decision shortly.
Meanwhile back at the bracket, with no opponent for the Mont Royals in its third-place game, Sunday afternoon’s consolation contest between Ottawa and Toronto, who were both winless on Saturday, became a play-in game for third place entry. Toronto topped Ottawa (243-117) to advance to the event’s sub-main. In the third place tussle, the Mont Royals topped Toronto (240-133) to finish the weekend 3-1 and push its sanctioned record to 10-2. Toronto finished the weekend 1-3 and currently sports a 2-4 sanctioned record.
By weekend’s end, the team that benefitted the most was #16 Philadelphia, who topped Glenmore (235-150) to claim the event’s top prize. With a 3-1 record at the event, which included a convincing win over higher-ranked Montreal, the Hooligans achieved newfound heights with nine sanctioned victories for the year after the fruitful Canadian trek.
Across the pond in MRDA-sanctioned play, current #6 Southern Discomfort secured a potential Champs trip with its 370-29 home win over unranked Pan Am on August 20. The Brits have been flawless this season with six overall victories and a sanctioned record of 4-0. So Disco has outscored its opponents collectively, 1436-192, this season.
In other MRDA-sanctioned action during August, #13 Race City Rebels improved to 6-2 on the season with its 132-117 road victory over #28 Carolina Wreckingballs on August 6. Meanwhile that same weekend, #38 Capital City Hooligans notched a 256-108 home win over unranked Detroit Riot to up its sanctioned mark to 3-3.
In the final weekend of the month, #12 Tyne and Fear pushed its record to 4-2 with its 463-47 victory over unranked United Kingdom-counterpart Inhuman on August 28, where the 416-point spread was its largest sanctioned winning differential to date. #26 Denver Ground Control continued its breakthrough season with its 429-27 home triumph over unranked Tulsa to up its record to 7-4 and bolster a new benchmark in regular season wins. #37 Harm City topped unranked Cleveland at home, 263-123, to raise its record to 3-5 in sanctioned play.
Within the MRDA’s Top 10, current top-ranked St. Louis GateKeepers (9-0) played a non-sanctioned road game against Race City on August 13 and the defending MRDA Champs recorded a 466-10 duke. Meanwhile, #3 Texas (8-1), #5 Puget Sound (4-3), #8 Magic City (2-2) and #9 San Diego (2-3) were idle for the month but continued scrimmages for upcoming post-season play.
Finally, the MRDA has added a new sanctioned member as Buenos Aries, Argentina-based ThunderQuads Roller Derby Masculino is welcomed into mix, pushing to the governing body’s representation to 68 international leagues. The franchise, founded in 2013, currently posts a 1-2 sanctioned mark after a trifecta of July games, highlighted by a 258-95 win over aforementioned Glenmore.
Eyes now await the reveal of the MRDA’s Championship bracket and its ensuing participants.
For more information on the MRDA, go to mensrollerderbyassociation.com. If you have scores, events, or statistics you want to see on Derby Central, please contact Brian Ledford: firstname.lastname@example.org.