2016 D1 WFTDA Championships

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.

WFTDA 2016 D1Champs: #1 Gotham survives #5 London, 189-163

WFTDA 2016 D1Champs: #1 Gotham survives #5 London, 189-163 Photo credit Regularman

PORTLAND, OR – In the first semi-final game of the weekend, #1 Gotham battled #5 London in what was essentially a demonstration of will. London showed up with fierce defense and risky offensive footwork to keep the game much closer than their previous match up (June 25, 149-118). Gotham, the five-time World Champions, appeared to either be demonstrating uncharacteristic chinks in their armor, or that their competitors did their homework in how to handle the perennial favorites, as London (and earlier, Angel City) took the team right to the wire.

Ultimately, the game was decided with one break-out jam by VanEssa V-DivaSites late in the game, when she posted an 18-0 over Londons Master Blaster – this not only returned the lead to Gothams favor, but put enough distance between the teams to put the win just out of reach as the clock wound down.

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City knocks out #6 Texas, 186-172

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City knocks out #6 Texas, 186-172 Photo Credit: Juan Paden

PORTLAND, OR – This was both a tense and dense game for the #3 and #6 WFTDA-ranked teams, as they traded game leads throughout play, and their strategy was marked by relentless braced walls that jammers had to press through to take passes. Both teams fielded swift-footed jammers who applied unrelenting pressure on blockers, gathering every point inch by inch. But ultimately it was Rose’s blockers and their key offensive assists that earned Rose their final score advantage, and they took the win to play into the semi-final, 186-172.

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #5 London knocks down #8 Arch Rival, 197-94

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #5 London knocks down #8 Arch Rival, 197-94 Photo credit: Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography.

PORTLAND, OR – To start off Saturday play in Portland, OR, 5th ranked London Brawling took on 8th ranked Arch Rival Roller Derby All-Stars. The two teams had yet to meet, but Arch Rival would put on an unexpected show of strength, initially belying their respective rankings, by leading for the first 12 minutes of the game and mounting a great end of game rally. But it just wasn’t enough to keep London from taking the win, 197-94.

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #6 Texas tramples #11 Rat City, 238-50

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #6 Texas tramples #11 Rat City, 238-50 Photo credit: Regularman Photography.

PORTLAND, OR – When Texas last met Rat City at the Big O in Eugene, OR earlier in 2016, Texas took the win 165-122. This weekend their meeting played out slightly differently, with Texas claiming an early lead, relying on a wide style of jamming and a smooth, consistent, unrelenting defense for a second victory against Rat City in 2016,  238-50.