Recaps

2016 WFTDA Champs Central

The 2016 International Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Championships are being held in Portland, Oregon, November 4th-6th. Hosted by the reigning Champions, Rose City Rollers, the tournament will consist of 12 Division 1 teams and 4 Division 2 teams.

The top three teams from each Division 1 Playoff tournament- Montréal, Columbia, Vancouver, and Madison– qualified for the WFTDA Champs bracket and will play for the Hydra. The top two teams from each Division 2 Playoff tournament- Wichita and Lansing– play for the D2 Cup. Catch up on how each team has done this year with a preview of Division 2 Brandywine versus Charlottesville and Calgary versus Blue Ridge, as well as Friday’s Division 1 match ups, and Saturday’s D1 quarterfinal games.

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City repeats victory against #1 Gotham, 186-166

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City repeats victory against #1 Gotham, 186-166 Photo Credit: Danny Ngan.

PORTLAND, OR – For three years in a row the Rose City Rollers and Gotham Girls Roller Derby have met each other in the final game of WFTDA Championships. 2014 ended in heartbreak for the Wheels of Justice by losing to the Gotham giant by three points, but then they enacted revenge the next year when they took them down by 11 points. Gotham has remained at the top of the WFTDA rankings however, and Rose City came into this tournament at #3 with their only loss this season coming at the hands of this weekend’s 3rd place team, Victorian Roller Derby League.

Yesterday Gotham played a very evenly matched semifinal game against London but with a slight edge in the second half, New York took them out 189-163. Rose City finished out the tense day with a thrilling game against Victoria where the Wheels of Justice came from behind in the last jam to beat VRDL 155-152. Those games began the excitement that would carry through to the final day and Rose City didn’t disappoint their hometown fans with yet another comeback victory and second consecutive Championship win against Gotham, 186-166.

2016 D1 WFTDA Champs: #2 Victoria wins the bronze over #5 London, 198-108

2016 D1 WFTDA Champs: #2 Victoria wins the bronze over #5 London, 198-108 Photo credit Quick'N'Derby

PORTLAND, OR – Victorian Roller Derby League and London Rollergirls have a shared championship history that goes back to 2014 in Nashville, TN, where London won 173-142. That game marked the first time two international teams faced off at a WFTDA Championship. Victoria and London also met during the 2015 WFTDA Championships, where they played for 3rd place, making today’s match up the second time that these two teams have competed for the bronze.

Last season, Victoria was ranked #4 in the WFTDA and London was ranked at #3. VRDL won that game, 122-99, claiming 3rd place at Champs. Victoria experienced some penalty trouble early on in that game and garnered 7 jammer penalties by game end, earning a total of 26 penalties overall. Despite this, VRDL’s lead jammer status sat at 51.4% to London’s 48.6%.

Since these teams first played each other at champs in 2014, their rankings have changed. And this is the first time that VRDL enters this match up with a higher ranking, #2 in the WFTDA, than London, who is currently ranked #5.

Both teams have similar styles of play, defined by strong bracing powerquads and tripods that are able to rotate quickly to catch opposing jammers even as they cut from the outside to the inside line, but both teams took a few minutes before they were able to maintain their respective formations despite meddling from opposing blockers. Victoria steadily collected points thanks to earning a majority of the lead calls (66.7%) added to their defense’s ability to hold London’s jammer apart from their pivot, often delaying and sometimes successfully preventing the star pass. Victoria ultimately defended their bronze medal, with a win over London of 198-108.

2016 WFTDA D2 Champs: #48 Calgary takes 3rd over #52 Charlottesville, 252-197

2016 WFTDA D2 Champs: #48 Calgary takes 3rd over #52 Charlottesville, 252-197 Photo credit: Quick'N'Derby.

PORTLAND, OR – In the fight for third place in the WFTDA D2 Championships, the game started with Calgary being visibly determined to take the game and go home with a medal. Calgary started strong by taking lead status and adding double digit points accordingly. Charlottesville was keen to reply, and made the Canadians work for their upwards momentum, slowing the pace of scoring.

By the second game half, the differential was starting to narrow, but not rapidly enough for Charlottesville to mount an effective comeback. Calgary wasn’t prepared to accept that narrowing and took advantage of the temporarily reduced roster after two injuries for Charlottesville to push back up and clinch the game by refusing to give up. The final score of 252-197 gave Calgary the game and the third place position for D2.

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City endures against #2 Victoria, 155-152

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City endures against #2 Victoria, 155-152 Photo credit: Dave Wood Photography.

PORTLAND, OR – The last game on Saturday night of the 2016 International WFTDA Championships brought together the hosts and reigning world champions, Rose City Wheels of Justice, and The Victoria All-Stars of Melbourne, VIC for the second time this season. The two teams met at The Big O where Victoria brought home the win in a narrow 12-point game while they were both without one of their top scoring jammers; Loren Mutch for Rose City and Christy Demons for VRDL.

Both teams came into Champs with a strong season behind them. Victoria had an undefeated 4-0 season which was all played at The Big O, while Rose City had a 6-1 season with four of those wins being by more than 100 points. On Saturday, the tension continued to build until the final jam when Rose City pulled back ahead and took the win 155-152.