Ohio Roller Girls

Word on the Track (Rankings Update Part 1: WFTDA)

WFTDA UPDATE

The first quarter WFTDA rankings have now been released, and already the playoff races are starting to take shape.  While a lot of the top teams in each region are just starting to play, the fight to reach the top 10 is well under way. For complete rankings, visit the WFTDA Rankings.

North Central:

1.  Windy City Rollers (1)

2. Minnesota RollerGirls (2)

3. Naptown Roller Girls (3)

4. Detroit Derby Girls (4)

5. The Chicago Outfit (5)

6. Brewcity Bruisers (7)

7. Ohio Roller Girls (9)

8. Arch Rival Roller Girls (6)

9. Cincinnati Rollergirls (8)

10. Mad Rollin’ Dolls (10)

**15. Toronto Roller Derby (17)

**17. Tri-City Roller Girls (16)

While the teams in the North Central’s Top 10 stay the same, the order has been shaken up. 1-5 remain unchanged with the two Chicago teams sandwiching Minnesota (who are 5-0 on the season including a huge 155 point victory over 9th ranked Cincinnati), Naptown (5-2, whose only losses this season have come to the two teams ahead of them in the North Central), and Detroit  (yet to play in 2012). After this, things get interesting.

One of the busiest teams in the WFTDA (9-1), Ohio has made the biggest  jump moving from 9th to 7th based, especially, on a 53-point victory over Arch Rival (4-1) who has the biggest drop from 6th to 8th. For Canadian derby fans, Toronto’s CN Power, on the strength of their 5-0 record, leaps two spots to 15th just behind Fort Wayne (1-3) despite defeating that team in their season opener. The Tri-City Thunder  (2-1) drop one spot after losing to CN Power at this year’s Quad City Chaos. The playoffs are still in reach for these two teams, but they will both need to pull off major upsets over Ohio this month (May 19th, and 20th) and hope for 10th ranked Mad Rollin Dolls (0-2) to continue their losing streak if either hopes to sneak in.

East:

1. Gotham Girls Roller Derby (1)

2. Philly Roller Girls (2)

3. Charm City Roller Girls (3)

4. Steel City Derby Demons (4)

5. London Rollergirls (5)

6. Montreal Roller Derby (6)

7. Boston Derby Dames (7)

8. Carolina Rollergirls (8)

9. Dutchland Derby Rollers (9)

10. DC Rollergirls (11)

Remarkably, only one change so far in the Eastern Region: DC Rollergirls spent all of last season on the fringe unable to break into the top 10. Determined to do so, they have embarked on an ambitious 2012 schedule so far, travelling coast to coast and compiling a 6-3 record.  But their biggest victory came just last month when they defeated Maine (3-3), the formerly 10th ranked team in the region, 197-131, as part of their current four game winning streak that has vaulted them into the top 10. For the most part, things are just getting underway in the East with Gotham recently getting rolling (they’ve outscored their opposition 1135-84 in only two games) and Charm City winning a banked track tournament. Montreal has been the busiest of the top 6 teams so far, but has stumbled to a 4-4 record (with those losses coming against stiff competition from Naptown, Minnesota, Kansas City and Philly), and have unable to make up any ground on the teams ahead of them.

South Central:

1. Texas Rollergirls (1)

2. Kansas City Roller Warriors (2)

3. Nashville Rollergirls (3)

4. Houston Roller Derby (5)

5. Atlanta Rollergirls (4)

6. Tampa Roller Derby (8)

7. Omaha Rollergirls (10)

8. No Coast Derby Girls (6)

9. Jacksonville Rollergirls (11)

10. Tallahassee Rollergirls (15)

Things start to get interesting in the South Central with some massive changes from last year’s final quarterly rankings.  Out of the top 10 are Green Country (who had occupied 7th spot but are 1-6 in 2012 including 5 losses to teams ranked below them) and Gold Coast (9th with a very similar 1-5 record in 2012) who represent some big swings in placement in this region. Even the top 5 saw a switch up between Atlanta (now 5th) and Houston (4th). Houston had been, and still is, one of the hotter teams in the Region and kicked off the year on a 6-0 run including a dominant tournament win at the 2012 Clover Cup. That streak came to an end last week with a 139 point loss to North Central powerhouse Windy City.

This shake up at the bottom of the top 10 has allowed Omaha to jump three spots to 7th. Omaha has worked hard for the placement, compiling an 8-3 record  that includes a 3rd place finish at the Clover Cup. Jacksonville at 9th (from 11th after a 5th place finish at the Clover Cup and wins over Green Country and Gold Coast) and Tallahassee 10th (who makes one of the biggest jumps of the quarter from 15th) now have a spot to hold for Regionals. Since 2009, Tallahassee has never been ranked higher than 13th, so this represents a big step for the team.

West:

1. Oly Rollers (1)

2. Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (2)

3. Rose City Rollers (3)

4. Denver Roller Dolls (5)

5. Rat City Rollergirls (4)

6. B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (6)

7. Sacred City Derby Girls (7)

8. Angel City Derby Girls (9)

9. Jet City Rollergirls (8)

10. Arizona Roller Derby (13)

**16. Terminal City Roller Girls (23)

The West is about to get wild.

Although the first quarterly rankings show very little change, the small changes show hints of things to come. Starting at the top: the Oly Rollers, who have had a firm grip on this Region since 2009, have suffered some major losses to the lineup and with only one game played in 2012 (a victory over the so-far inconsistent Jet City), it remains to be seen the impact that this will have. Rocky Mountain has also suffered a shake up at the core, but looked like they were weathering those losses after winning the Dust Devil 2012 until losing to 6th ranked B.A.D. Girls last week 160-113. Denver, slipping up to 4th, also looks to be gearing up for a big 2012 as well, as they kicked off their season with a convincing 235-97 victory over the B.A.D. Girls.

Historic Tucson Roller Derby wasn’t able to hold its spot against another historic team that is surging: Arizona. Arizona’s Tent City Terrors are back in the mix with a new-look lineup featuring game-changing transfers in Joy Collision from Charm City along with Hockey Honey and Atomatrix from Oly.  While Arizona is one of the original WFTDA leagues, it has never had much success, winning only five of its first 18 games between 2005 and 2009. Since 2009, the team has never climbed higher than 12th in the region. But the team is off to a 3-1 start so far in 2012, with its only loss coming in an 11-point game against Rocky Mountain at the Dust Devil.

For Canadian fans, Terminal City is the talk of the West, leaping an amazing seven places in the standing from 23rd to 16th. They have been extremely busy as well, tearing through the Western Region and gong 9-2 in WFTDA action this year already (not to mention another 2-1 record in unsanctioned games). Their only losses were to playoff team Jet City and Santa Cruz, whom they turned around and beat in a rematch ensuring their 16th place spot. An upcoming showdown with 5th ranked Rat City could have a lot to say about their chances of making the West Region playoffs.

WORD on the Track: Columbia set to take WFTDA by storm

Even at this early stage in the year, teams are pushing for an all-important playoff spot.

Despite being so early in the season, there has been no shortage of thrilling WFTDA action. While most of the top seeds have yet to see any substantial flat track action this year (Oly took to the track this weekend, only the second top ranked team to appear in sanctioned action after Texas), the battle for the playoffs has begun in earnest. The amount of play of mid-range seeds (12-18) has been astonishing so far and has made for some exciting derby as teams jockey for that all-important top-ten ranking.

On March 1st, the WFTDA admitted its latest round of member leagues (bringing the total to 147 across five countries). The list included another UK team (Central City Roller Girls from Birmingham) and the first German league (Berlin’s Bear City Rollers). While new teams often take time to work their way up the competitive ladder, every once in a while the graduate list includes a team that is worth watching (think Montreal circa 2009/2010). This quarter’s graduating class features one such team: South Carolina’s Columbia Quad Squad.

EASTERN REGION

Columbia may be new to the WFTDA, but they are not a new league. Founded in 2007, the Quad Squad has seen a lot of success outside of the WFTDA including a 2009 South Carolina state championship and an undefeated 2010 season. During the 2011 season, it began to become clear that Columbia belonged in the WFTDA facing off against the top competition in flat track roller derby.  In the midst of a five-game winning streak to kick off the season, they hosted the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers, the famous Texas Rollergirls home team, who had travelled to Columbia to run a camp for the league and play the travel team. Columbia proved to be quick learners, crushing the Heartbreakers by a resounding score of 207-97. They went on to complete another perfect season, winning another state championship.

Despite just graduating from the Apprenticeship program, Columbia has already knocked off two WFTDA teams this year.

With their WFTDA Apprenticeship nearing an end, the Quad Squad has kicked off 2012 in grad fashion.  They opened the season with a crushing victory over (then) 15th ranked Dominion Derby Girls 223-88, before shocking the Eastern Region by heading into Raleigh last month and defeating the 8th ranked Carolina Rollergirls 99-88 (who were also ranked 21st in the sport by DNN). All eyes will be on their first sanctioned bout coming up on March 31st against the South Central’s 15th ranked Tallahassee Rollergirls.

Another league that has showed a lot of promise in the East got put in their place this weekend, as the 15th ranked Queen City Roller Girls fell to 11th ranked DC Rollergirls 175-77 (an important win for playoff aspirants DC) and were crushed by 3rd ranked Charm City 440-62. It was Charm’s second 400 point output in a WFTDA bout (409 vs. River City in 2010) and second largest margin of victory (after that River City bout as well). In another matchup with potential playoff implications, 10th ranked Maine came back from a loss to Atlanta by holding off 14th (and climbing) CT Rollergirls 200-75.

With Charm the only top team having seen action (in flat track action), the top 10 remains unchanged.

WFTDA Champion Gotham has yet to play a sanctioned bout this season.

1.Gotham Girls Roller Derby

2. Philly Roller Girls

3. Charm City Roller Girls

4. Steel City Derby Demons

5. London Rollergirls

6. Montréal Roller Derby

7. Boston Derby Dames

8. Carolina Rollergirls

9. Dutchland Derby Rollers

10. Maine Roller Derby

NORTH CENTRAL REGION

The competitively open North Central has been busier early in 2012, with a number of teams legitimately jockeying for a playoff position. With the top five holding steady, the bottom five playoff positions don’t seem nearly as secure.  Arch Rival (6th)was able to hold off Cincinnati (8th) last Saturday before falling to  Ohio (9th) 168-115, in the biggest upset so far this season. Ohio has been one of the busiest teams the WFTDA in 2012, and have stormed off to a 6-0 record. They’ve get a busy schedule planned ahead as well, with 13 bouts scheduled until August, the end of the playoff run. Included in that run will be a Canadian road swing to face off against the Tri-City Thunder (16th) and ToRD’s CN Power (17th).  Tri City had an impressive 2011, finishing 7-5 and setting themselves up as legitimate playoff contenders. They’ve only played one bout so far, but will get back in action at the end of the month with bouts against Hammer City and ToRD.

The Ohio Roller Girls don't seem content with simply qualifying for the playoffs.

Although the top ten didn’t change in the first quarter, expect Ohio’s sensational play to see them pick up a bump in the rankings. Chicago Outfit (5th) and Grand Raggidy (11th) face off this weekend in a big showdown that could affect the rankings.

1. Windy City Rollers

2. Minnesota RollerGirls

3. Naptown Roller Girls

4. Detroit Derby Girls

5. The Chicago Outfit

6. Arch Rival Roller Girls

7. Brewcity Bruisers

8. Cincinnati Rollergirls

9. Ohio Roller Girls

10. Mad Rollin’ Dolls

The Dallas Derby Devils will host the 2012 Clover Cup, which will feature key teams in the South Central Region's playoff battle.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION

Things in the South Central have already been shaken up. No Coast  (6th) started the season with nailbiting loss to 10th ranked Omaha 154-151 before crushing Green Country (7th) 220-80. Green Country’s hold on a playoff spot looks shaky though, losing to 15th ranked Tallahassee 215-178 in their season opener. Green Country has a lot of tough bouts against top competition lined up (including at this weekend’s Clover Cup), so they have a chance to turn things around, but they will need to do it quickly with teams like Jackonsville, Hard Knox and Tallahassee pressing for a playoff spot.

Top ranked Texas has cruised so far in 2012 with three one-sided victories over lower ranked teams, while 2nd ranked Kansas City won’t kick off 2012 until April. 3rd and 4th ranked Nasville and Atlanta will kick things off this weekend when they face off in Nashville. But in Dallas this weekend at the 2012 Clover Cup, the South Central will really get going(Read DNN‘s preview here). The knockout bracket will feature 5th ranked Houston and a who’s who of teams on the cusp of leaping into or falling out of the playoffs: Green Country (7th), Tampa (8th), Gold Coast (9th), Omaho (10th), and  Jacksonville (11th). The Oklahoma Victory Dolls, ranked 17th in the region, have a whole lot to gain and not too much to lose, while the host Dallas Derby Devils will look for home-track advantage to help them rise from their 14th spot.

The South Central rankings look ripe for change.

1. Texas Rollergirls

2. Kansas City Roller Warriors

3. Nashville Rollergirls

4. Atlanta Rollergirls

5. Houston Roller Derby

6. No Coast Derby Girls

7. Green Country Roller Girls

8. Tampa Roller Derby

9. Gold Coast Derby Grrls

10. Omaha Rollergirls

WESTERN REGION

Along with Terminal City, Treasure Valley is another deceptively low-ranked Western Region team to watch in 2012.

While the top six seeds in the Western Region haven’t seen that much action so far in 2012, it seems like those six teams (in varying orders) have held the top six spots for an eternity. The bottom four positions though, seem less secure, and with 8th ranked Jet City (the busiest so far at 3-3) looking inconsistent so far in 2012, there is room for change. The West has been dominated by two tournaments so far in 2012, the Big O and the Wild West Showdown; two tournaments that have featured lower seeds in the Western Region. But it has been an eye opener and teams like 12th ranked Emerald City, Silicon Valley (14th) and Santa Cruz (15th) look ready to compete, while Vancouver’s Terminal City (23rd) and unranked Treasure Valley have proven to be teams on the rise (and look to be doing so quickly).

First to sixth looks solid, but there is room for change in the bottom half of the playoff positions.

1. Oly Rollers

2. Rocky Mountain Rollergirls

3. Rose City Rollers

4. Rat City Rollergirls

5. Denver Roller Dolls

6. B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls

7. Sacred City Derby Girls

8. Jet City Rollergirls

9. Angel City Derby Girls

10. Tucson Roller Derby

Stay tuned to DNN for live coverage.

There are upwards of 40 roller derby events going on globally this Saturday night (many with WFTDA connections) and another 10 or so on Sunday. Welcome to spring 2012 derby fans!

KEEP AN EYE ON: 2012 Clover Cup, Atlanta vs. Nasvhille (South Central), Chicago Outfit vs. Grand Raggidy (North Central), and Santa Cruz vs. Silicon Valley (West).