March kicked off the 2017 Roller Derby season with multiple tournaments giving us a glimpse at the trajectory for a handful of teams. The majority of major movement in the March WFTDA rankings were from teams outside of Division 1, however, there was one slight, but major rankings change at the top.
Here’s a look at how last month’s games affected WFTDA rankings and a brief look at what’s to come in April.
Since WFTDA moved from a regional rankings and tournament system to a Divisional system with a linear list of rankings, Gotham Girls Roller Derby (New York, NY USA) has reigned supreme at #1. On the track, the ‘Hive Mind’ was queen bee until the Rose City Rollers (Portland, OR, USA) finally took Gotham down at the 2015 WFTDA Championships by 11 points. Gotham spent the ensuing year undefeated until Rose City beat them again by 20 points for their second consecutive Championship title.
According to the most recent WFTDA rankings, Gotham has finally been kicked off the top of the mountain, but it isn’t Rose City who has taken their spot. Instead, it’s the Victorian Roller Derby League (Melbourne, VIC, Australia), who came as close as 3 points to Gotham in 2015 and went 1-1 against Rose City last season. With the shuffling of rankings points and the effects of the decay factor, VRDL bumped above Gotham by 7.92 rankings points. While there was no big event or actual derby played to cause this monumental change, it does foreshadow the rest of the year and the likely mix up of rankings with numerous transfers and the altered tournament system. With a non-U.S. team at the top of the heap, it also gives credit to the hard working Aussies and hopefully continues to motivate leagues around the world.
We’ll get a look at the new #1 team this weekend when VRDL takes on Team Australian Men’s Roller Derby. Then we’ll get to see #2 Gotham on the track on the 15th when they host #7 Denver Roller Derby (Colorado, USA).
There were also a few other small movements from the algorithm doing its thing: London Rollergirls (UK) took #4 and swapping spots with Angel City Derby Girls (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Team United Roller Derby (Des Moines, IA, USA) moved up to their highest spot at #12, and Bay Area Derby (Oakland, CA, USA) went down three spots to #23. BAD may have struggled a bit last season with some turnover the past few years, but with notable transfers to the black and gold by Cassie Beck (Rat City), Stef Mainey (London), and The 4Closer (Sacred City), it’ll be interesting to see how 2017 pans out for them.
In Division 1, Ann Arbor Roller Derby (Michigan, USA) had big gains in March with two victories so far this season. With a 180-154 win against the Mad Rollin’ Dolls (Madison, WI, USA), and a win over Steel City Roller Derby (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) by 253 points, Ann Arbor moved up six spots to #26. Steel City has lost a few long-time players since last year, including Hurricane Heather, so their season opening match-up sent them down 12 spots to #53. Madison was bumped two spots to #38, but we will get a more rounded look at their squad coming up in April at Southern Discomfort.
Columbia QuadSquad (South Carolina, USA) fell nine spots to #39 due to a combination of games falling off their yearly average and losing to Charlottesville Derby Dames (Virginia, USA) in March by 12 points.
Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (Denver, CO, USA) hold strong at #44 after beating the Boulder County Bombers (Colorado, USA) 255-88, in turn sending them down 10 spots to #64. Kansas City Roller Warriors (Missouri, USA) gained seven spots to #57 while Chicago Outfit Roller Derby (Illinois, USA) dropped to #74 with a 273-165 match up in KC’s favor.
Grand Raggidy Roller Derby (Grand Rapids, MI, USA) already has a record of 3-1 so far in 2017, and after their Canadian March match-ups- wins against Tri-City Roller Derby (Kitchener, ON, Canada) and Royal City Roller Girls (Guelph, ON, Canada)- they moved up 5 spots to #69. From Ottawa, ON, Canada, the Capital City Derby Dolls had two victories in March which gave them a +34 boost to #81. Having only been a WFTDA member league for a little over a year wins against Muddy River and Quebec have already set the Capital City Dolly Rogers on a successful path in 2017. Also from Canadaland, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) may finally be rebounding from a rough 2016 with a 380-138 win against Roc City Roller Derby (Rochester, NY, USA), bumping them up 10 spots to #89.
In European single games, Dock City Rollers (Gothenburg, Sweden) went up 17 spots to #111 after beating Copenhagen Roller Derby (Denmark) by 336 points, but they have played few sanctioned games since last May to give us a full picture of where they’re at. From the same city, Gothenburg Roller Derby also beat Copenhagen, as well as the Brussels Derby Pixies (Belgium) and Dirty River Roller Derby (Turku, Finland), pushing them up 17 spots to #156. Despite that loss, Brussels also defeated Dirty River and moved up 38 spots to #189.
Over March 25th and 26th, Newcastle Roller Girls hosted EuroClash in the UK. They invited eight other teams to come play. Dublin Roller Derby (Ireland), Central City Roller Girls (Birmingham, UK) and Auld Reekie Roller Girls (Edinburgh, UK) got the most of the weekend. Dublin went 1-1 to gain 17 spots to #73 while Central City picked up two wins giving them a +11 boost up to #75. Check out footage from Day 1 of EuroClash here, and Day 2 here.
Now #56, Bear City Roller Derby (Berlin, Germany) had entered the Invitational as the highest ranked team at #53, but the Auld Reekie came out of the weekend ranked #47 with an increase of 13 spots. The two matched up on Saturday evening with Bear City taking the game by one point in the last jam. Auld Reekie had to pass up a WFTDA tournament experience last year, but so far they are in the running to get another invite this year.
This tournament brought together a handful of teams ranked in the 300’s to Okinawa and all five of them improved their ranking. Devil Dog Derby Dames (Okinawa, Japan) got the most out of the tournament with an increase of 72 spots to #249, with Tokyo Roller Girls (Japan) not far behind at #261 after an improvement of +58. Fairbanks Rollergirls (Alaska, USA) had no ranking prior and got on the list at #287. Okinawa Roller Derby (Japan) moved up to #286 (+32) while Pacific Roller Derby (Honolulu, HI, USA) got just above 300 at #298. Okinawa is going to Germany in June for another tournament to hopefully continue their upward momentum.
The annual Clover Cup tournament was hosted by the Dallas Derby Devils (Texas, USA) but they only fielded their B team for the weekend. In sanctioned play, the Appalachian Rollergirls (Banner Elk, NC, USA) may have gained the most at 21 spots to #149, but an increase of 14 got Dub City Roller Derby (Palm Beach, FL, USA) close to D2 Playoff zone at #65. Check out archived game footage on the Dallas Derby Devils YouTube page.
Skate To Thrill
St. Chux Derby Chix (St. Charles, MO, USA) also held their annual invitational in March, Skate to Thrill. With a wide range of teams ranked from #34 to #100 attending, the lowest ranked Happy Valley Derby Darlins (Salem, UT, USA) showed up strong, and after two wins and one loss, they gained 23 spots in March to end up at #77. The one team to take Happy Valley down was E-Ville Roller Derby (Edmonton, AB, Canada), and they inched closer to the Division 2 line with an increase of 10 to #68 with three wins.
Houston Roller Derby (Texas, USA) also took charge of their games and after three straight wins, including victories against No Coast and Ohio, they moved up 15 spots to #34. This starts the year out strong for them after they entered D2 Playoffs last year as the #2 seed and finished 6th. If they hold onto this momentum they could find their way back in Division 1.
Ahead in April
WFTDA teams stay busy in April with more tournaments and additional teams starting up their regular season. Boardwalk Empire will take place this weekend in Santa Cruz, CA, USA hosted by the #21 Santa Cruz Derby Girls. Joining them will be #26 Ann Arbor, #29 Kallio Rolling Rainbow (Helsinki, Finland), #30 Arizona Roller Derby (Phoenix, AZ, USA), and #37 Charm City Roller Girls (Baltimore, MD, USA). It looks like Arizona will be live streaming their own games on Facebook.
Also this weekend on the other coast of the United States, #39 Columbia QuadSquad has invited five other WFTDA teams to play at Southern Discomfort in South Carolina. The #9 Jacksonville Rollergirls (Florida, USA), #11 Atlanta Rollergirls (Georgia, USA), #24 Detroit Roller Derby (Michigan, USA), the #38 Mad Rollin’ Dolls (Madison, WI, USA), and #44 Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (Denver, CO, USA) will be there along with some juniors and B teams. Columbia will also be utilizing Facebook live within the FB event.
On Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, the #143 Nantes Derby Girls (France) will be hosting the 5th West Track Story invitational. With them will be #119 Glasgow Roller Derby (UK), #151 Go-Go Gent (Belgium), #157 One Love Roller Dolls (Antwerp, Belgium), and #172 Dirty River Derby (Turku, Finland). This WFTDA recognized tournament will be streamed on WFTDA.tv.
April 13th-16th, #43 2×4 Roller Derby (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is hosting another WFTDA recognized tournament, Violentango5. This will be the first time 2×4 will be playing sanctioned games in their own country, which could possibly put a ding on their ranking while giving a step up to the teams around them. Brand new member league Metropolitan Roller Derby (Santiago, Chile) will be there, along with the Ladies of Hell Town (São Paulo, Brazil), #177 Rock N Roller Queens (Bogotá, Colombia), Gray City Rebels (São Paulo, Brazil), Sailor City Rollers (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and the Bogotá Bone Breakers (Bogotá, Colombia). They will all be playing some sanctioned and some Strength Factor Challenge games, with the newer Liga Buenos Aires Roller Derby (Argentina) getting some games in as well. For the first time in South America, there will be a WFTDA Officiating Clinic on Saturday of the event as well. Check out the schedule for the weekend here.
April 15th and 16th the #4 London Rollergirls (UK) will be hosting the sixth annual Anarchy in the UK consisting of the top European WFTDA teams. #16 Crime City Rollers (Malmö, Sweden), #20 Rainy City Roller Derby (Manchester, UK), #22 Helsinki Roller Derby (Finland), and #31 Stockholm Roller Derby (Sweden) will join them to compete and unfortunately, there will be no livestream. London has had some roster changes in 2017 with Stef Mainey transferring to Bay Area, Olivia Coupe gone, and DieDie out for the year due to injury. However, they did gain Polygamy Winehouse (Stockholm), Abi Crowe (Royal Windsor), and Beth Lord (Hot Wheel).
Over April 28th-30th, #100 Killamazoo Derby Darlins will host another WFTDA Recognized tournament, K-Town Shakedown. Participating with them will be #60 Nashville Rollergirls (Tennessee, USA), #62 Tri-City, #69 Grand Raggidy, #78 Rideau Valley Roller Girls (Ottawa, ON, Canada), #74 Chicago Outfit, #86 St. Chux, #87 Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, New Zealand), #107 DuPage Derby Dames (Roselle, IL, USA) #111 Dock City, #113 Lehigh Valley Roller Girls (Allentown, PA, USA) and #67 Oklahoma Victory Dolls (Oklahoma City, OK, USA). They will be joined on two tracks by MRDA teams and B Teams, and you can see the full schedule here.
Later in the month #169 Central NY Roller Derby (Utica, NY, USA) will be hosting the Seige of CNY which will consist of an “A” sanctioned bracket and a “B” regulation bracket of games. Sanctioned games will be played between #145 Hammer City Roller Derby (Hamilton, ON, Canada), #176 Central Ohio Roller Dolls (Mount Vernon, OH, USA), and the #198 Birmingham Blitz Dames (UK), Check out the weekend schedule. At their latest update, CNY said there would not be a video stream, but possibly a free audio stream.
Check out our Calendar and let us know if there are events we are missing.