Andi Struction

Canadian Power Rankings: November 1, 2013

Canadian Power Rankings: November 1st, 2013

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)

Montreal Roller Derby: New Skids on the Block

Despite a disappointing WFTDA playoff (a tough win over Wasatch followed by losses to Ohio and London), the Skids remain at the top of the sport in Canada. Since beginning play in 2008, the Skids have yet to lose to a Canadian team.  (1 / 15).
2. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)

CN Power Logo

+1 (3) After spending the whole 2013 season in third spot, CN Power finally makes the leap to second. They had a busy few months, crushing Brew City and Grand Raggidy, and shocking the WFTDA with playoff wins over Sacred City and Boston before hard-fought losses against Atlanta And Victorian. (2 / 32).
3. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)

Terminal City All Stars

-1 (2) Terminal City slips one spot to third, but more due to Toronto’s impressive play than anything Vancouver did. The All Stars also had an amazing showing in the WFTDA playoffs, scoring upsets over Tampa Bay and New Hampshire, coming up just short against Jacksonville, and falling to the historic Texas Rollergirls. (3 / 37)
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo The Thunder hold the fourth spot after an extraordinary run in the WFTDA D2 playoffs, where only a controversial overtime loss to Santa Cruz kept them from potentially winning the whole D2 tournament. They knocked off Paper Valley, Carolina and Burning River in their divisional tournament. They followed that run with a position-confirming win over the Rideau Valley Vixens.  (5 / 46)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)

Vixens Logo

Despite a loss to Ithaca, the Vixens hold their spot with a win over Dutchland and a strong performance in a loss to the Thunder. Consistency keeps the Vixens from climbing higher. (7 / 70)
6. Misfit Militia (Misfit Militia Roller Derby)
Misfit Militia Logo
+2 (8) Despite some near constant roster shuffling, the core of this Misfit Militia team remains extraordinary. They are 6-0 in 2013 with an average margin of victory of 325 points. They will need to start facing stiffer competition in 2014 if they want to hold their position, but the potential future looks incredibly bright. (6 / -)
7. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)

Belladonnas Logo

-1 (6) Red Deer continues its impressive season, recently scoring one-sided wins over the Kootenay Kannibelles  and Saskatoon. 13-2 on the season, the Belladonnas are on a six game winning streak since a July loss against Terminal City. (4 / -)
8. The Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls)

Hammer City Logo

+1 (9) Jumping one more spot, Hammer City continues its impressive 2013 rebirth. One of the biggest movers in the WFTDA, most recently they destroyed the Border City Brawlers then put in incredible efforts in losses to Grand Raggidy and Killamazoo, both teams ranked considerably higher than they are. (9 / 80)
9. Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)Calgary All Stars Logo -2 (7) Calgary slips not so much due to their own play as much as the play of the teams ahead of them. A one-sided loss to Denver’s B-Team was somewhat buffered by a win over Rocky Mountain’s B-Team and a great performance against Pikes Peak. (14 / -)
10. Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)

kannibelles Logo

(unranked) The Kannibelles return to the Top 10 for the first time since April, taking advantage of some other teams’ slip ups. The Kannibelles lost this spot earlier in the year due to inconsistency, and two recent, wildly different results against Red Deer show that their may still be some consistency problems. (10 / -)

kannibelles LogoA lot of movement in this month’s power ranking, with only three teams holding on to their spots. Plus, one team, the Sugar Skulls, has dropped from the rankings completely allowing the Kootenay Kannibelles to slip back in. Toronto’s CN Power moves up into second spot, knocking down Terminal City who had held that position all season. Both teams had impressive, surprising WFTDA playoffs, but it was CN Power’s performance against Atlanta (not to mention a win over Boston) that really secured the second spot. The other big movers were Misfit Militia, who has dismantled any team that has gotten in their way this season–although an inconsistent roster and lower-level of competition brings their future and ability to maintain this pace into question. Calgary drops a few spots, but were more pushed out of the way than fell themselves. They are challenging themselves by taking on teams ranked well above them, which while potentially painful now, should pay dividends in the future.

Hammer City’s revival keeps them on an upward trajectory and a run to the WFTDA’s Divsion 2 next season does not seem out of the question at all. Finally, in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, the Tri-City Thunder held off the Rideau Valley Vixens 199-156 to secure their spot. As with Hammer City, the Vixens are poised to jump to WFTDA’s Division 2 as well and just need to bring a little more consistency to their play. Although supposedly in the midst of a rebuild, The Thunder could very easily become Canada’s fourth Division 1 team next year.

ON THE BUBBLETimber Rollers Logo

Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)

Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls)

Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls)

While the Top 9 teams are fairly secure, the Bubble Teams are all close and potentially interchangeable. One thing is keeping all of these teams on the bubble: inconsistency. The Sugar Skulls drop out mostly from lack of recent play, while the Dolly Rogers and Timber Rollers have yet to put together a run of games that would get them on to the list. For example, the Timber Rollers were shocked by Kingston’s Disloyalists in September, only to turn around and put in a strong performance in their first ever WFTDA sanctioned bout (a loss to Lansing) in October.

winnipeg logoTEAMS TO WATCH

The Mindfox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)

Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)

Redneck Betties (South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association)

Anarchy Angels (Mainland Misfits)

All Stars (Winnipeg Roller Derby League)

Not much change here as the Rankings Crew continues to keep a close eye on these teams. Two, the Lumbersmacks and Redneck Betties are on the rise, while two others, The Mindfox and the Anarchy Angels, are looking to crawl back into the upper echelons of Canadian flat track roller derby (The Mindfox were in the Top 10 as recently as June, and were ranked 6th in the April Power Rankings). One addition to the watch list, was just named a WFTDA Apprentice league: Winnipeg Roller Derby. After a shaky start to 2013, the All Stars have turned it around late in the year winning four in a row, including making up for an early season loss to the Pile O Bones B-Team with a dominant (255-131) win in the rematch.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder, and Dr. Jenny Fever.

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

*Missed the August 1st Power Rankings post? Get caught up here.

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Canadian Power Rankings: August 1, 2013

Canadian Power Rankings: August 1st, 2013

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)NewSkidsLogo2012 For once, Montreal seems to be peaking at the right time! Winners of three in a row, featuring a 400+ point victory over plunging Carolina and a two-game sweep of Charm and Houston at ECDX, the Skids have entered the Top 10 of the WFTDA rankings for the first time. (1 / 8).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars Terminal City holds on to second spot after dominating the West Coast Dust Up, allowing them to slip back into  WFTDA’s Division 1 just in time for the playoffs. Their massive victories over Red Deer and Mainland Misfits were especially impressive. (3 / 38).
3. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)CN Power Logo CN Power has put together their most consistent and impressive streak of the season that culminated in an upset victory over Bleeding Heartland in Indiana that essentially launched them into the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs. They jumped 10 spots in the current WFTDA ranking and are securely in second in the rollergirl.ca Canadian rankings. (2 / 39).
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo A rough but tough loss to Cincinnati  was followed by a big victory over Windy City’s Second Wind. On the strength of their increasingly strong play, they have qualified for the WFTDA Division 2 playoffs. All of this despite being in the midst of a fairly significant rebuild. (4 / 60)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)Vixens Logo The Vixens fell to Maine before taking both games at ECDX (over Low Country and Dominion), but the wins weren’t quite enough to get them into the Division 2 playoffs (although after some teams pulled out of the tournament, they ended up missing out by only two spots). (5 / 67)
6. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)Belladonnas Logo After debuting in the rankings, The Belladonnas hold on to sixth spot for the second straight rankings. They followed up their Flat Track Fever tournament win with a 4-1 run (their only loss coming to Terminal City) including a dominant victory over the rising Mainland Misfits. (9 / -)
7. Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)

Calgary All Stars Logo

+1 (8th) Calgary continues their impressive rise in the power rankings. Coming from seemingly nowhere at the start of the season, Calgary moves up yet another spot after big victories over St. Albert (Heavenly Rollers) and Regina (Sugar Skulls). They also, impressively, defeated Team Saskatchewan. (13 / -)
8. Misfit Militia (Misfit Militia Roller Derby)
Misfit Militia Logo
(unranked) After separating from their previous league, the Misfit Militia slipped out of the Top 10. A thoroughly dominant performance at the RDAC Easterns was somewhat hard to read given their roster contained borrowed players, but the incredibly impressive victory over Royal City’s all stars confirmed Misfit Militia’s spot. (6 / -)
9. The Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls)Hammer City Logo (unranked) After years in the wilderness, the Hammer City Roller Girls are back. After going 2-6 to start the WFTDA season, Hammer City has roared back and has won their past three games in dominant fashion (over Glass City, Little Steel Derby Girls, and Hudson Valley). One of the fastest rising teams in the WFTDA rankings this season, they have leaped 40 spots (!) since the beginning of 2013. (11 / 93)
10. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO -3 (7th)  Regina’s Sugar Skulls slip due mainly to inactivity, but also because of a fairly one-sided loss to Calgary (their only action since the last ranking). (18 / -)

Hammer City LogoWhile the top six remains unchanged, this was, nonetheless, the most contentious power rankings yet! The bottom four got completely shifted around, seeing two teams dropped from the rankings all together. Terminal City just barely held on to their spot ahead of ToRD’s CN Power. Calgary’s fast and furious rise has them pushing up against and fighting for entry into one of those top six spots. E-Ville slips out of the Top 10 due to inactivity and Saskatoon slips out due to slowed activity as well, but also due to a surprising loss to Swift Current’s Redneck Betties (Swift Current wasn’t even on the Power Rankings radar, but we’ve certainly taken notice now).  Thunder and Vixens hold their respective spots as we near a highly anticipated fall showdown between these two WFTDA Division 2 teams.

But change has come once again to the Power Rankings. After years of rebuilding and relative obscurity, the Hammer City Roller Girls are back and doing well at all levels (from their B-team to their farm team to their WFTDA team). Since joining the WFTDA in 2009, the Eh! Team had compiled an overall record of 4-27 before coming in to the 2013 season. This year, they’ve gone 5-6 against tougher competition and seem to show no signs of slowing.  Reentering the Top 10 are the Misfit Militia, who had briefly slipped out of the Power Rankings after some organizational shifting and a split from their original league. Reborn as an independent team, they have looked dominant ever since, going 4-0 and outscoring their opposition by an astonishing 1831-195 over that span.

ON THE BUBBLE

Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls)

Anarchy Angels (Mainland Misfits Roller Derby)

The Mindfox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)

E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)

Saskatoon and E-Ville remain on the bubble after slipping out of the Top 10, for E-Ville it may just be a matter of getting back into action and showing that they haven’t lost a step, while Saskatoon, since winning RDAC Nationals early in 2013, has seen the rest of its region catch up and in some cases surpass them. The Dolly Rogers started as a team to watch and remains strongly on the bubble as impressive performances keep piling up, and the Anarchy Angels also follow the Dolly Rogers to the bubble and are one big upset away from making the leap.

TEAMS TO WATCHMuddy River Logo

Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)

Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls)

Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)

Redneck Betties (South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association)

We’ve been watching the rebuilding Kootenay Kannibelles all season, but their relative lack of activity keeps them from advancing. Similarly, Forest City’s all stars have been on the radar all season, but their early season success hasn’t quite translated into late season dominance yet.  The first new team to the Rankings Crew’s watchlist is Muddy River’s Lumbersmacks (Moncton, New Brunswick) who remain the premier team on Canada’s East Coast (staying just a bit ahead of Saint John’s Fog City Rollers); since an impressively narrow loss to Montreal’s Sexpos in April, the Lumbersmacks have put together a string of five straight victories concluding with a surprisingly one-sided win over Quebec’s Les Duchesses (422-161) just a few weeks ago. Finally, Swift Current’s Redneck Betties jump into our sights after an upset over previously ranked Mindfox (Saskatooon) followed by a dismantling of Billings (Montana) and a tight loss to a very talented Calgary house league team.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, and Dick Pounder. Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to original Crew Member Andi Struction. Stay tuned in the coming months for a big announcement about a potential new member of the Power Rankings Crew!

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

*Missed the June 1st Power Rankings post? Get caught up here.

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Canadian Power Rankings: June 1, 2013 (Second Quarter)

Canadian Power Rankings: June 1st, 2013 (Second Quarter)

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)NewSkidsLogo2012 Still the best until someone can knock them off, and while CN Power pushed them to the limit in Montreal, the Skids put in strong performances in losses to Bay Area and Philly, and managed a big win over Santa Cruz. They also climbed two spots in the latest WFTDA rankings. (1 / 15).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars Terminal City clings to second spot despite slipping down into  WFTDA’s Division 2. Strong showings in losses to higher ranked Victorian and Sacred City allow them to hold their spot, despite the big loss to London and a so-so win over Silicon Valley. (3 / 43).
3. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)CN Power Logo CN Power is starting to play with a lot more consistency, but their impressive performances in losses to higher ranked Montreal and Cincinnati were not enough to pull them into second. (2 / 49).
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo The Thunder finally started rolling at Spring Roll, losing to CT Roller Girls before pulling out a big, surprising victory over the Chicago Outfit. That victory allows them to hold on to their position. They still cling to a WFTDA Division 2 playoff spot as well. (4 / 56)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)Vixens Logo The Vixens have not been able to build on their early season success and stalled somewhat in the second quarter losing to New Hampshire and narrowly defeating River City, which more than likely ended their chances at a WFTDA playoff spot this season. (5 / 73)
6. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)Belladonnas Logo (unranked) The Belladonnas finally got on the track in 2013 and they lived up to preseason expectations, surging into the rankings with an impressive tournament victory at Flat Track Fever (defeating Calgary, The Sugar Skulls and The Mindfox in the process). (8 / -)
7. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO The Regina skaters hold their spot after a solid performance at Flat Track Fever. They did manage a win over the Belladonnas in the preliminary round of the tournament, but Red Deer defeated the Sugar Skulls later in the tournament. (12 / -)
8. Calgary All Stars: Calgary Roller Derby AssociationCalgary All Stars Logo (unranked) After years of rolling under the radar, Calgary has  stepped things up in 2013 and is one of the more exciting teams in Canada right now. They had a strong showing at Flat Track Fever and traveled to Saskatoon and defeated The Mind Fox despite missing key players. A team on rise. (13 / -)
9. The Mind Fox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)mindfoxlogo -3 (6th) The Mind Fox exploded out of the gates in 2013, but as the season has progressed, the rest of the west has started to catch up and even pass them. They defeated E-Ville, but suffered losses to the Belladonnas and Calgary that have dropped them. (14 / -)
10. E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)

E-Ville Logo

 Despite rosters losses, this team keeps rolling along. They had a solid performance at Flat Track Fever (including trading wins with the Mind Fox) that has allowed them to cling to their Top 10 spot. (10 / -)

Belladonnas LogoThe main story may be that there wasn’t too much change in the Power Rankings this quarter (the Top 5 remains completely unchanged), despite the fact that two teams dropped out of the Top 10. The West Kootenay Kannibelles have been slipping since their peak at RDAC Westerns in 2012. The had a strong showing at Spokarnage, but against untested teams, and still are sitting on that loss to current #10 E-Ville. And due to some upheaval in Alliston (and a lack of action), the Misfit Militia have also slipped out of the Top 10. The recently separated from their league (the Renegade Derby Dames) to go it alone, and it remains to be seen how they will respond to this change. They did recently score a large victory over unranked Les Duchesses (Quebec), but their lack of action against top-level competition drops them.

Which, of course, means that we can say hello to two new teams. First off, Calgary enters the Top 10 in the 8th position. Formerly considered a “bubble” team, Calgary is the fastest climbing team in Canada right now and it seemed to just be a matter of time before they cracked this list. After years of relative competitive obscurity, it’s been fascinating to watch the rise. Also surging into the Top 10 are Red Deer’s Belladonnas. Despite a late start to 2013, they haven’t seemed to have lost a step from their strong 2012 and handily won Flat Track Fever. They followed that up with a thoroughly dominant performance against an overmatched St. Albert.Hammer City Logo

ON THE BUBBLE

Not too much shift here either. Forest City’s loss to Capital City, despite the fact that they were very shorthanded, means that the Timber Rollers fail to progress here, but their strong performances this season (including a recent win over Border City) keep them hanging out on the bubble. The West Kootenay Roller Derby’s Kannibelles fall from the Top 10 but remain on the bubble after their impressive performance at Spokarnage. Finally, the Hammer City Roller Girls continue their top season ever in the WFTDA (their three WFTDA victories this season represents a massive jump from the one they’d won in the last three years). Also quite tellingly, their B-team and Fresh Meat team have been putting in strong performances, speaking to an ever-strengthening base.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Word out of the west is that that Mainland Misfits’ Anarchy Angels (Cloverdale, BC) remain a team to watch: they went 2-2 at Spokarnage and soundly defeated The Raggedy Rollers. Out of the east, Capital City’s Dolly Rogers (Ottawa) have been slowly putting together a string of solid results and most recently defeated Forest City’s Timber Rollers to catch the attention of the rankings crew.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder and Andi Struction.

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

*Missed the first quarter Power Rankings post? Get caught up here.

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Canadian Power Rankings: April 1, 2013

Canadian Power Rankings: April 1st, 2013 (First Quarter)

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)NewSkidsLogo2012 They’ve unquestionably been the best team in the country since 2010, and they have yet to be challenged; strong wins to kick off 2013 (they are 4-1) and a well-played loss to Windy City mean that they remain the cream of the crop in Canadian roller derby (1 / 17).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars Off to a solid 3-1 start to 2013, consistency allows this team to hold on to second spot (their only loss so far was a two-pointer to Santa Cruz). The fastest rising team in WFTDA throughout 2012, they are currently the only Canadian team other than Montreal in WFTDA’s Division 1 (2 / 39).
3. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)CN Power Logo A lack of consistency (losses to beatable teams in Grand Rapids and Rideau Valley, yet a fantastic performance against Ohio) has CNP trapped at third. Firmly in a Division 2 playoff spot, they will need more consistent performances to move into Division 1 and climb up these rankings (3 / 49).
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo Only one game in 2013 so far (a loss to Montreal), the team holds their fourth spot for now, but will have to prove themselves to keep it. Massive roster changes mean that Thunder will need solid performances against upcoming opponents (including Killamazoo and Cincinnati) to hold onto this position. (4 / 50)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)Vixens Logo A recent huge upset over CN Power was somewhat balanced out by a surprising collapse against Ohio, but they are definitely a team trending upward, and wins against scheduled opponents like New Hampshire and Tri-City will certainly propel them higher. (5 / 71)
6. The Mind Fox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)mindfoxlogo A fantastic performance at RDAC Nationals has this team leaping up the rankings. Clearly the dominant team of the tournament, they will have a chance to hold this spot at the upcoming Flat Track Fever. While the Top 5 is locked in pretty solidly, right now, The Mind Fox seems to have the best chance to make a run for it (11 / -).
7. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO Another team trending upward; impressive second place finish at RDAC Nationals including a big win over E-Ville solidified this spot. However, there are a lot of teams gunning for them, and a strong performance at Flat Track Fever would help them solidify their ranking.(13 / -)
8. Misfit Militia (Renegade Derby Dames)

Renegade Derby Dames' Misfit Militia, could be the dark horse pick of the tournament.

Like the Thunder, the Misfit Militia are given the benefit of the doubt due to a lack of activity so far in 2013. After a breakout 2012, this spot is the Militia’s to lose, and with games only scheduled against Les Duchesses (Quebec) and Royal City, they will need to make a big impression in those games. (8 / -)
9. E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)E-Ville A team trending downward right now on the backs of some transfers and roster changes, they hold this spot based on a strong third place performance at RDAC Nationals including last-jam victory over the Kannibelles; the upcoming Flat Track Fever should say a lot about the direction they are heading in (10 / -).
10. Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)kannibelles Logo Another western team that seems to be trending downward  after a huge roster shakeup following a very successful 2012 season. The depth of this league will be tested in 2013 as the Kannibelles rebuild. A tough loss to E-Ville at RDAC knocks them to the bottom of the Top 10. (7 / -)

ON THE BUBBLE

Timber Rollers LogoWhile there are a number of teams that came up in the discussion of this opening power ranking, a few teams that we feel could have a very real impact on these rankings in 2013 are the CRDA All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association), The Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association), and the Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls).

Calgary and Forest City are both WFTDA apprentice leagues who have refocused their leagues recently and committed to producing top-level travel team rosters.  Recent transfers to Calgary have provided bench depth and leadership, while Forest City has restructured their league so that the travel team has a unique roster, and they’ve internally developed some strong new skaters who have helped push this team to a 3-0 start in 2013.

Red Deer is another team to watch that has a deep bench. The Belladonnas feature three skaters who were members of Team crdaallstars_logoCanada at the inaugural World Cup, and are on the bubble because of a lack of activity this year, and also inconsistency last year: a thrilling performance a Flat Track Fever followed by a disappointing RDAC Westerns. Nonetheless, they are a team that has the depth to work its way back up the rankings. They, along with with Calgary, have a huge opportunity to make an impression in the upcoming Flat Track Fever.

The Canadian Power Rankings will be updated on July 1st.

These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder and Andi Struction.

Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!

Introducing: The Canadian Power Ranking

On Monday, April 1st, the first ever truly national Canadian Power Ranking will be released on the Derby Nerd.

Captain Lou brings years of coaching and announcing to the Power Rankings.

Captain Lou brings years of coaching and announcing experience to the Power Rankings.

For the past two years, Rollergirl.ca, most recently in conjunction with flattrackstats.com, has been doing a fantastic job in providing a consistent numbers-based ranking system for Canadian teams, which has provided an excellent source of comparative information about the burgeoning Canadian roller derby community and has led to some great cross-country discussion. In much the same way that the Derby News Network’s Power Rankings complement flattrackstats.com, the Canadian Power Ranking will be working to complement this great endeavor by adding a slightly more subjective look at things—although through objective lenses, of course.

Power rankings simply add value to the comparative discussion of teams; unlike purely statistical ranking systems, power rankings are a human (some would say opinion)-based system able to take a much wider range of variables into play. Power rankings can account for circumstances beyond the control of numbers, like changes in rosters (through injury, transfer etc.) and winning streaks—things that stats-based systems need time to account for. The best, most reliable power rankings, therefore, require more than one brain to be truly representational.

So, the Nerd is not going about this alone: to ensure broad, regional, unbiased decision making, some of our country’s finest derby nerds will be working together equally on the power rankings.

Captain Lou El Bammo comes to the team armed with an overwhelming amount of knowledge gleaned from days as a coach and bench manager with the Tri-City Roller Girls, where he worked with house league team the Venus Fly Tramps and the WFTDA travel team, the Thunder. Currently he’s on the coaching staff of the Royal City Roller Girls’ travel team, the Brute-Leggers. Along with watching the game from that side of the bench, he’s also been active on the mic, acting as a play-by-play and colour commentator for Rogers TV, Canuck Derby TV, and WFTDA.TV.

Andi Struction brings both a skater and an announcer's perspective to the sport. (Photo by Stephen Giang for SeattleWeekly.com)

Andi Struction brings both a skater and an announcer’s perspective. (Photo by Stephen Giang for SeattleWeekly.com)

The Nerd and Capt. Lou will be joined by a few representatives from western Canada. Dick Pounder was recently appointed Head Announcer for the Roller Derby Association of Canada (RDAC) and has been announcing games in Alberta and for the emerging Calgary Roller Derby Association for years. On top of that, he’s been known to lace up the skates and get out there on the track as well (skating previously for the Glenmore Reservoir Dogs and currently with the Red Deer Dreadnauts), so knows the game from inside and out.

And finally, Vancouver’s Andi Struction also brings that inside/out perspective to the proceedings. A skater with Terminal City Roller Girls since 2006 and currently an assistant captain with the house league team, Faster Pussycats, Andi is also a noted commentator and announcer. A former co-host of the Derby Deeds podcast, she’s been honing her chops on the mic at such major events as the Big O, Flat Track Fever and the RDAC regionals over the past few years

Announcer Dick Pounder has also played the game so knows the game from the inside as well. (Photo by Steve Recsky)

Announcer Dick Pounder has also played the game, so knows the game from the inside as well. (Photo by Steve Recsky)

Captain Lou also sees the Canadian Power Rankings as being an important part of the Canadian roller derby discussion: “Canada is really big and teams are really far apart…which makes it harder for the math to be properly predictive. There just isn’t enough correlative games to make a truly accurate list (based purely on stats),” he says, discussing the importance of this endeavor, and “since we don’t have a proper cross-pollination of games, creating a Power Rankings crew filled with people who have a lot of derby knowledge and are able to sift through disparate datasets to filter out the best of the best is the optimal solution.”

Andi Struction thinks the timing is right and is excited about the future of the sport in this country. ” ‘Canadian’ roller derby didn’t really exist because the east and west teams didn’t really have a chance to play each other,” she said. Dick Pounder agrees that this will be a big year for Canadian derby: “The WFTDA factor should prove to be interesting in Canada this year.”

Andi is also optimistic about the top leagues joining the WFTDA, which would encourage more top-level play. “With Calgary and Kootenay joining the ranks (soon), the eastern teams could potentially do western Canadian tours and hit three WFTDA birds with one stone.”

As alluded to, the Power Rankings Team will be limited by some of the challenges of living in a massive country like Canada with very little cross-region play. Some things to keep in mind about the Canadian Power Rankings:

  • The rankings will be a consensus-based: much like the system used by the DNN (and consistent across many sports). All four voters will present their personal choices to each other and then engage in debate until a consensus is reached.
  • The rankings will be quarterly: at least to start. Due to the lack of inter-region play, allowing time for a wider number of games seems advantageous right now.
  • The rankings will only consider A-level travel teams. It’s just simpler that way, and as more and more Canadian leagues follow the WFTDA model, the opportunity for A-level interleague play has been increasing as well, and it is becoming much easier to speculate how these teams would fare against one another.

    The Derby Nerd rounds out the Power Rankings team. (Photo by Todd Burgess)

    The Derby Nerd rounds out the Power Rankings team. (Photo by Todd Burgess)

We’re only a few weeks away from the inaugural ranking on April 1st, but there is a lot going down in those few weeks that will affect that premier ranking: The RDAC Championship is this weekend in Edmonton featuring A-level travel teams from the West, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes, while ToRD’s fourth annual Quad City Chaos (March 23rd, 24th) will feature two of Canada’s top teams, ToRD’s CN Power and the Rideau Valley Vixens, facing off against top level WFTDA competition. Both tournaments will be boutcast on Canuck Derby TV.

It’s going to be an exciting year for Canadian roller derby, all involved in putting together this Canadian Power Ranking are proud to be bringing another angle to the exciting discussion that will take place. Captain Lou also hopes that these rankings will inspire more than just healthy debate: “I’m hoping that new leagues just starting out will be able to look at the Power Rankings list and use it as inspiration to keep going through the hard times (and) I really hope that a Canadian Roller Derby Power Rankings list will inspire more cross-Canada roller derby bouts, so that east will meet west more often than they have in the past.”

Check back in on April 1st for the first Canadian Power Ranking.