This weekend there are three major roller derby tournaments happening on three different continents, each consisting of teams that fall into different sections of the WFTDA rankings. The Tomodachi Derby Tournament is happening over three days in Okinawa, EuroClash in Europe, and Skate to Thrill in the United States. Be sure to check back here or our Twitter feed for scores throughout the weekend.
Tomodachi Derby Tournament
The Tomodachi Derby Tournament is taking place at the Okinawa Comprehensive Park this weekend, March 24th-26th. Free and open to the public, there will be seventeen games each day on two tracks including a black and white scrimmage. The event isn’t being live streamed, but archived video will be posted online later. Games kicked off at 9:15 am Japan Standard Time, which was 12:15 am in London and 7:15 pm in the Central United States.
The five WFTDA member leagues participating are #309 Pacific Roller Derby from Hawaii (United States), #318 Okinawa Roller Derby (previously Kokeshi Roller Dolls) from Japan, #319 Tokyo Roller Girls from Japan, #321 Devil Dog Derby Dames also from Japan, and unranked Fairbanks Rollergirls from Alaska (United States).
Filling out the schedule are games between the Yokosuka Sushi Rollers, Women’s Roller Derby Japan, and the Pan-Asian Spring Rollers. The Sushi Rollers are a home team of Tokyo that are located on the naval base of Yokosuka. The latter two are mixed teams that will be playing together for the first time. The Women’s Japan team will be made up of individuals from five different teams in Okinawa, Tokyo, and Hawaii. The Spring Rollers have skaters from Bankok, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Check out the digital program for full rosters of teams.
Lastly, there will be men’s derby at the event as well, with Men’s Roller Derby Japan and Glenmore Reservoir Dogs facing off twice over the weekend. Roller Derby Japan first made an appearance at the 2014 Men’s Roller Derby World Cup, and now they will be seeking membership with the Men’s Roller Derby Association. From Calgary, Alberta in Canada, the Reservoir Dogs joined MRDA in 2013 and this will be their first tournament outside of North America.
|9:15 AM||Yokosuka vs Pan-Asia 307-51||WRDJ vs Yokosuka 167-152||#319 Tokyo vs #321 Devil Dog 169-167|
|1:00 PM||#319 Tokyo vs #309 Pacific 167-138||Glenmore vs MRDJ 273-113||#309 Pacific vs #318 Okinawa 172-108|
|5:00 PM||#321 Devil Dog vs #318 Okinawa 232-134||#319 Tokyo vs #318 Okinawa 127-126||Closing Ceremony|
|11:00 AM||#321 Devil Dog vs Fairbanks 317-150||Fairbanks vs #318 Okinawa 170-164||Glenmore vs MRDJ 288-134|
|3:00 PM||B/W Scrimmage||WRDJ vs Pan-Asian 218-157||#319 Tokyo vs Fairbanks 212-76|
|7:00 PM||Fairbanks vs #309 Pacific 188-136||#321 Devil Dog vs #309 251-174|
Over Saturday and Sunday, the Newcastle Roller Girls are hosting eight other WFTDA teams for a European roller derby invitational. Each day starts at 9 am local time, 4 am in the Central United States and 6 pm in Japan Standard Time. The teams participating are #53 Bear City, #55 Middlesbrough, #60 Auld Reekie, #63 Paris, #65 Leeds, #75 Tiger Bay, #76 Newcastle, #86 Central City, and #90 Dublin. Concluding the weekend will be a game between Team Ireland and Team Scotland who faced each other at Road to TBC last November with Ireland winning 190-150. (Click each team’s link to see their roster.) On Friday, Newcastle announced that thanks to Tyne and Fear Roller Derby, there will be a livestream on WFTDA.tv.
#53 Bear City has been traveling abroad and participating in WFTDA tournaments since 2014, taking 5th place last year in Division 2 playoffs in Lansing after entering as the 8th seed. Former teammate Master Blaster is listed on their roster, after spending a year with London Brawling, but returns as a bench coach for Bear City this weekend. Ranked two spots behind them, #55 Middlesbrough Roller Derby recently rebranded with a new name and logo. Last year they dropped off the rankings for one month, but after posting four big wins in the United States, they went from #146 in April to #68 by the end of June.
#60 Auld Reekie came close to playing at D2 playoffs last year, rising into the 40s last Spring, but will have to battle a little bit further up from their current spot if they want to make the 52 team cutoff for 2017 tournaments. They’ve already got two unsanctioned games in so far this year, a win versus Dundee 406-124, and a loss against #21 Rainy City 329-81. #63 Paris has three wins so far this year, also unsanctioned, and will be seeking out three sanctioned ones this weekend. Their trip to Beach Brawl last May yielded them four big wins and bumped them up 55 spots to #78.
Last year’s Mayday Mayhem helped Leeds climb 22 spots to #63 by the end of June and now sit at #65. In February they took on Tiger Bay as part of British Champs and lost 294-44. #75 Tiger Bay shot up in the rankings in 2015 after visiting the States for Skate to Thrill, but have ping-ponged up and down since then.
#76 Newcastle, #86 Central City, and #90 Dublin all attended Beach Brawl in 2016 and each made advances in the rankings because of it. Newcastle had a steady rise all year, with an additional 15 spots in May last year to #78. Central City jumped 47 spots to #104 and the last sanctioned game they played was a 222-138 loss to Paris last November. Dublin rose 60 spots to #75 after Beach Brawl, and have already played two sanctioned games this season, both losses to Rainy City and Toulouse.
|Day 1||Day 2|
|9 AM||#86 Central City vs #75 Tiger Bay 167-161||#63 Paris vs #90 Dublin 192-85|
|11 AM||#53 Bear City vs #76 Newcastle 228-94||#60 Auld Reekie vs #65 Leeds 301-93|
|1 PM||#60 Auld Reekie vs #55 Middlesbrough 194-99||#63 Paris vs #75 Tiger Bay 203-117|
|3 PM||#90 Dublin vs #65 Leeds 312-94||#86 Central City vs #76 Newcastle 177-135|
|5 PM||#63 Paris vs #76 Newcastle 238-76||#55 Middlesbrough vs #53 Bear City 238-89|
|7 PM||#53 Bear City vs #60 Auld Reekie 177-176||Scotland vs Ireland 209-128|
Skate to Thrill
In the United States over the same two days, St. Chux Derby Chix will be hosting their annual Skate to Thrill invitational in St. Charles, Missouri. Joining #69 St. Chux will be #34 No Coast, #35 Ohio,#49 Houston, #89 Killamazoo, #72 Twin City, #78 E-Ville, and #100 Happy Valley. Games begin at 8 am Central time on Saturday, 1 pm in London, or 10 pm in Japan.
Both #34 No Coast and #35 Ohio both played at the Division 1 Playoff in Madison, placing 10th and 9th respectively. The two last played at the Playoff tournament where Ohio won 227-188, and they will play each other again on Friday. With an impressive junior program in Lincoln, four of the rostered skaters this weekend are former Juniors. Ohio is 1-1 so far this year, both games against Naptown with the sanctioned matchup being a 162-149 loss. Ohio’s biggest scorer, The Smacktivist, isn’t playing competitively this season, but the rest of the roster consists of many long time All-Stars.
#49 Houston seeded 2nd into D2 Playoffs in Wichita placed 6th. They’ll get rematches against their Skate to Thrill opponents from last year, No Coast who they lost to 215-186, and Ohio who beat them by just one point. Their third opponent is event host St. Chux, who missed out on Playoffs last year by a few ranking spots, and now sits at #69. St. Chux took on #73 Omaha earlier this month and lost by 28 points. They were without one of their major point scorers, however, but Jedi Knight-N-Gale will be on the track with them this weekend.
#72 Twin City bounced around the rankings last year, rising as high as #68 and falling as low as #101. Their last sanctioned game was against Demolition City last July, and their 320-85 win helped them with one last boost at the end of their season. From Edmonton, Alberta, #78 E-Ville Roller Derby who just entered the rankings last September. The Canadians have one game in already this season, a 306-73 win against #155 Mainland Misfits.
Rounding out the weekend is #89 Killamazoo and #100 Happy Valley. Killamazoo took on #74 Grand Raggidy in February and lost 152-127. Happy Valley has also squeezed one game in already in 2017, a one-point win against #71 Treasure Valley.
|8 AM||#49 Houston vs #35 Ohio 259-203||9 AM||#34 No Coast vs #72 Twin City 259-40|
|10 AM||#78 E-Ville vs #89 Killamazoo 254-207||11 AM||#78 E-Ville vs #100 Happy Valley 226-163|
|12 PM||#100 Happy Valley vs #72 Twin City 250-97||1 PM||#35 Ohio vs #89 Killamazoo 375-83|
|2 PM||#49 Houston vs #69 St. Chux 376-43||3 PM||#69 St. Chux vs #72 Twin City 203-177|
|4 PM||#35 Ohio vs #34 No Coast 199-169||5 PM||#49 Houston vs #34 No Coast 187-171|
|6 PM||#100 Happy Valley vs #89 Killamazoo 296-126|
|8 PM||#78 E-Ville vs #69 St. Chux 302-166|
There are a few other games this weekend that will give us a good sense at where a couple different teams are in 2017. #26 Queen City was seeded #9 into D1 Playoffs last year and finished 6th in Vancouver. This weekend they are hosting #17 Montreal who snagged 3rd place at D1 Playoffs last year and made their first trip to WFTDA Championships. Both had great 2016 seasons so this game will be the first sanctioned impression for each this season. Queen City gained more scoring power this year with Crazy Squirrel transferring from Tri-City.
#41 Steel City lost a few main players from their roster this season, including Hurricane Heather, and this weekend they’ll be hosting #32 Ann Arbor. For Steel City, Ann Arbor was their last match up at WFTDA Playoffs and Steel won 258-205. Ann Arbor already posted one win this season with an 180-154 victory against #36 Mad Rollin’ Dolls.
#44 Rocky Mountain suffered major turnover last season but was able to pull off a strong performance at D1 Playoffs by finishing 7th after being seeded 10th in Montreal. They lost another veteran in Winona Fighter, but last year proved that they can push through a changing roster and find new cohesion. We’ll get a look at the 2017 version of Rocky with a game against #54 Boulder County. Boulder was their season-opening opponent last year and Rocky won by 35 points then.