sports geek

Beast of the East 2010: Recap

Beast of the East 2010 Trophy

The pack-control evolution that entered the derby mainstream at last year’s WFTDA Nationals has made its way into Canadian roller derby. Starting at the Quad City Chaos in Toronto, it is becoming apparent that the team that controls the pack, controls the bout. It was obvious early on that this adage would hold true at BOE 2010 as well.

DOUBLE ELIMINATION

In terms of results, the opening bouts went as planned. One-sided victories by the three MTLRD teams and impressive performances by Thames Fatales and the Green Mountain Derby Dames were expected.  But the playing field was blown wide open with some unexpected performances. A new-look Death Row Dames, who were barely a presence in 2009, roared out of the gates in 2010 putting up 63 points against the Venus Fly Tramps, while GTA’s Derby Debutantes shocked cross-city rivals and defending ToRD champions Gore-Gore Rollergirls with a back-and-forth bout that the Gores eventually were able to rein in (43-22). And 2008 BOE champs, The Hamilton Harlots, could only put up 6 points against Les Filles du Roi in a surprisingly one-sided loss.

Eventually the Green Mountain Derby Dames and the three Montreal teams won their second bouts and advanced straight through to the quarters. The first major upset in 2010 came in an exciting (and controversial) bout between the Derby Debutantes and 2009 quarter finalists Death Track Dolls that saw the derby girls from GTA gain their first ever BOE victory 38-29.

In the third and final round of the Double Elimination bouts, Thames Fatales eliminated The Venys Fly Tramps, the Death Row Dames continued their impressive run with a 42-34 upset over the Chicks Ahoy which left the Gore-Gore Rollergirls (who eliminated the Harlots) as the sole remaining ToRD team. Tri-City’s Vicious Dishes ended the impressive run by the Derby Debutantes with a 52-14 victory.

QUARTER FINALS

La Racaille and Les Contrabanditas opened the quarter finals with victories to set up one all-Montreal semifinal, while Les Filles du Roi had their hands full against against a scrappy Thames Fatales team, who were the first team to put up a double-digit score against the defending Montreal champions. But the most thrilling bout of the quarter finals saw the Gore-Gore Rollergirls end Green Mountain’s BOE run with a 45-22 victory that seemed even closer than the final score indicated.

SEMIFINALS

La Racaille and Les Contrabanditas kicked off the semifinals with an absolutely amazing bout that featured some of the biggest hits and most controlled packs of the tournament. The traps that both these teams employed with ease early in the tournament were defended beautifully in this bout, with neither pack able to take any clear advantage.  In the end it was a late power jam taken advantage of by the Iron Wench that was the difference as La Racaille pulled away with a 69-46 victory.

The second semi-final pitted the defending champs from Montreal and Toronto (Les Filles du Roi and Gore-Gore Rollergirls respectively) against one another. The Gores’ jammers (Lunchbox, Bambi, and Dust Bunny) were the difference early on as they matched up well against FDR’s jammers, keeping things tight for the first five minutes. But it was the pack control of the Montreal team, led by pivots Jess Bandit and Lady J, that eventually was the difference, frustrating the Gores and leading to pack advantages and power jams for FDR. Les Filles made sure it would be an all Montreal final with a 65-1 victory.

Les Contrabanditas would defeat the Gore-Gore Rollergirls for the second time on the weekend to take third place (91-21).

MTLRD finishes 1,2,3

FINAL

16 teams, 2 days, 27 bouts and it came down to La Racaille and Les Filles du Roi. FDR essentially marched to the final never giving up more than 12 points or winning by less than 64, while La Racaille managed an astonishing shut out in the double elimination round, but did face a considerable challenge against the Ditas in the semifinals.

The final lived up to all expectations. These two extraordinary teams provided a highly fast-paced and hard hitting final. The Iron Wench was key again for La Racaille, even skating back-to-back jams at one point (and pulling off at least one bafflingly amazing strategic move that has to be seen to be believed), though she was admirably aided by Wrath Poutine and Lyn-dah Kicks. Smack Daddy was often used as a physical counter to the Iron Wench and Lil Mama provided some key strategic jams for FDR.

While neither pack could control the bout quite as it had throughout the weekend, pack control was once again the key. For FDR, Jess Bandit and Lady J continued to wear the stripe almost exclusively, and controlled their packs exceptionally well. K-Dawg, Striking Viking and Bone Machine countered for La Racaille, and the battles led by the pivots was extraordinary. In what could have been the turning point in the bout, Lady J led a brilliant pack defense on a power jam being skated by Lyn-dah Kicks, holding off the La Racaille jammer until Smack Daddy could reenter and force the call. After that Smack picked up 4 on a jam in which Wrath Poutine took a penalty. Jess Bandit slow-skated 4 points on the following power jam to strategically take a ton of time off the clock. La Racaille could only  chip away from that point on, with FDR holding on for a 36-20 victory and their first ever Beast of the East championship.

THE NERD’S PICKS

Jess Bandit: BOE 2010 MVP

MVP: Jess Bandit (FDR)

This was a tough call, with the Iron Wench continuing to be one of the best jammers in the game, and Ewan Wotarmy emerging as one of the best two-way players in Canada (though she got a lot of help on the Ditas from her triple-threat teammates Georgia W. Tush and Cheese Grater). But in a tournament all about pack control, FDR’s master pivot Jess Bandit led the way. She ran her pack with precision and ease throughout the weekend, all the while remaining calm and level headed. In the final, it was her ability to contain the Iron Wench that was a key component in holding La Racaille to only twenty points, while her ability to evade or break-up La Racaille’s formidable pack traps allowed her team to stay ahead of things after they established the lead.

Breakout Player: That’s What She Said (FDR)

Again, this one was tough to call. There were so many amazing performances this weekend by players who may not have yet drawn the attention of the derby masses. Killson proved to be an explosive jammer and was a key in Thames Fatales’ run to the quarterfinals, while Gore-Gore Rollergirls’ rookie Santa Muerte was a huge physical presence, and did her best to stymie Les Contrabanditas’ pack traps in their two bouts. K-Dawg was a standout wearing the stripe for La Racaille as well, and Ninja Simone looked comfortable up front for the Ditas. But it all came down to looking at the role  That’s What She Said played on the champion FDR. This rookie was one of the key jammers all weekend and didn’t flinch at being played in key moments against much more experienced jammers in the final against La Racaille. Look out for this jammer in 2010.

Death Row Dames: Breakout team at BOE 2010

Breakout Team: Hammer City’s Death Row Dames

GTA’s Derby Debutantes were the front runners for this early on; Thames Fatales and Green Mountain Derby Dames had amazing performances too, but in the end I thought Hammer City’s Dames were clearly deserving of this designation. After forming in the shadows of the great Hamilton Harlots (and in the wake of the Steel City Tank Girls), the Death Row Dames were completely overwhelmed in their debut at the 2009 Beast of the East. But after an off season shake-up (and picking up former ToRD standout Lock N Roll) the Dames entered this year’s tournament revitalized and refocused, and with a strong core of veteran players (including Bitchslap Barbie, Eduskating Rita, Mean Little Mama, Hozone Slayer, and Ivy Rupted just to name a few) this is a team that looks poised to continue their breakout throughout 2010.

A special thanks once again to MTLRD for putting on another extraordinary tournament (and one that ran completely on time!). All the footage was live boutcasted and has been archived here. For a high-def track-side seat, check out layer 9’s footage.

For a different perspective on the tournament, read Derby Luv’s excellent recap.


The Jammer Quotient: A Look Back at 2008 (1)

Mach Wheels vs. Bambi

ToRD‘s second full season saw the continued dominance of the Chicks Ahoy! (4-1) and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls (4-1). Needless to say, the jammers from these two teams enjoyed successful seasons as well, and the JQs reflect the differing offensive philosophies of the two teams. ToRD continued to be a six-team league, but by 2008 the disparity among the teams was becoming obvious.  It would be the final season for the DVAS (1-4) and the Bay Street Bruisers (0-5), although not for the skaters on the teams. In the end,  the Chicks took The Boot away from the Gores in an exciting, high scoring final(114-97). (*as with the 2007 calculation of the JQ, the plus/minus stats are unavailable, for 2008 meaning the highest possible JQ is 40, but I’ve added an adjusted score based on percentage for the top 5)

ToRD’s 2008 JAMMER QUOTIENT

Jammer Total Points Points Per Jam Plus/ Minus Jam % Lead % JQ
Bambi (GGR) 10 8 N/A 7 9 34 (43)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 9 4 N/A 7 8 28 (35)
Sista Fista (DTD) 8 1 N/A 10 6 25 (32)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 5 10 N/A 0 3 18 (23)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 7 0 N/A 3 7 17 (21)
Mach Wheels (CA!) 0 7 N/A 0 10 17
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 4 5 N/A 1 5 15
Aimee Zing (CA!) 6 9 N/A 0 0 15
Ce Four (BSB) 2 0 N/A 9 0 11
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 0 6 N/A 0 2 8
Shell B Felt (DVAS) 0 0 N/A 8 0 8

Bambi (who skated as Alicia Arsenic in 2007) had an amazing year, scoring a JQ of  34. Dust Bunny built on her success from the 2007 season by putting up strong numbers once again. But it was the Chicks Ahoy, led by Mach Wheels and another impressive year by Candy Crossbones, who put four skaters in the top ten. This reflects the strategies of the two teams that remain today. The Gores had a set line up of jammers (Desmond Deck Her and the emerging Lunchbox were the other two) while the Chicks were more democratic in their use of jammers, choosing to spread the workload over more skaters (a total of six Chicks’ jammers were eligible for JQ points). But it wasn’t all Chicks all the time as all four other teams had jammers in the top ten as well, led by the Death Track Dolls’ amazing west-coast import, Sista Fista. Sista  finished the season with the 3rd highest JQ and helped lead the Dolls to an impressive 4-1 record.

Below is the breakdown by category for rankings of each of the four stats used to determine the 2008 JQ.

TOTAL POINTS

Jammer Total Points
Bambi (GGR) 286 (10)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 227 (9)
Sista Fista (DTD) 218 (8)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 160 (7)
Aimee Zing (CA!) 157 (6)
Desmond Deck-Her (GGR) 152 (5)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 142 (4)
Lunchbox (GGR) 128 (3)
Ce Four (BSB) 125 (2)
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 124 (1)

The top five in total points featured skaters from four different teams, with Bambi and Dust Bunny leading the way for the high scoring Gores followed by Sista and the consistent Jewel Kicker of the Smoke City Betties. Aimee Zing rounds out the top five, having completed her transition from blocker to jammer during the 2008 season. This would be the only category that Bambi, the jammer with the highest JQ, would lead. No skater would lead in more than one category.

Points Per Jam

Jammer Points Per Jam
Desmond Deck-Her (GGR) 4.9 (10)
Aimee Zing (CA!) 4.24 (9)
Bambi (GGR) 3.92 (8)
Mach Wheels (CA!) 3.70 (7)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 3.52 (6)
Candy Crossbones (DVAS) 3.16 (5)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 3.11 (4)
Lunchbox (GGR) 2.844 (3)
Mala Justed (CA!) 2.84 (2)
Sista Fista (DTD) 2.79 (1)

The points-per-jam numbers came down slightly from their stratospheric highs in 2007 with no one averaging more than 5 points per jam (three jammers averaged more than that in ’07). Desmond Deck-Her’s overall average may have dropped (from 5.24 in ’07), but her ranking jumped from third to first. She also had the biggest jam of the season (a monstrous 25 points) which undoubtedly helped her numbers. The Chicks more score-by-committee approach landed three skaters in the top five including Mach Wheels who jammed much more than usual in 2008 with very consistent results.

JAM %

Jammer Jam %
Sista Fista (DTD) 38.42 (10)
Ce Four (BSB) 33.16 (9)
Shell B Felt (DVAS) 32.78 (8)
Bambi (GGR) 32.3 (7)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 32.3 (7)
Sue Saint Marie (BSB) 28.5 (5)
Land Shark (DVAS) 26.67(4)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 25.75 (3)
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 25.12 (2)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 22.17 (1)

For the second straight year a Doll led this category, as Sista Fista jammed an astonishing 38.42% of her teams jams. This was the most wide open category with members of all six teams in the top ten. Land Shark, another rookie stand out with a bright future, picks up her first JQ points. The Dolls, Bruisers, Gores, and D-VAS all had multiple skaters in this category. It is interesting to note that aside from Sista’s huge percentage, the average jam % was down from 2007 as more and more skaters become comfortable jamming.

Lead %

Sista Fista gets help scoring against the DVAS

 

Jammer Lead %
Mach Wheels (CA!) 61 (10)
Bambi (GGR) 59 (9)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 58 (8)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 57 (7)
Sista Fista (DTD) 55 (6)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 53 (5)
Dyna Hurtcha (SCB) 52.17 (4)
Desmond Deck-Her (GGR) 51.61 (3)
Dolly Destructo (DVAS) 49 (2)
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 47 (1)

Despite being better known now for her amazing assists and her nearly flawless positional blocking, in 2008 Mach Wheels was one of the most efficient jammers in ToRD ranking fourth in points per jam and first in lead %. Dyna Hurtcha, who would go on to win ToRD’s 2009 Triple Threat, was already putting up triple-threat-style numbers in 2008.  Dust Bunny continued to pad her career stats with yet another top three rank.

2008 Blocker stats are coming up tomorrow; next week a two part preview of The Beast of the East.

Word on the track

Ewan Wotarmy lines up Lady Gagya; Rebel Rock-It attempts to cut through the pack (New Skids on the Block vs. CN Power 03/27/10)

MONTREAL HOTTEST TEAM IN  WFTDA?

In a Quad City Chaos preview I’d speculated that Montreal’s New Skids on the Block may have been the hottest WFTDA team in 2010. I was basing my statement on the fact that after opening 2010 with 2 tough losses to highly ranked WFTDA teams, the Skids have won their final five bouts by huge margins (not to mention a couple of one-sided victories against non-WFTDA teams). So, with all that in mind, are the Skids really the hottest WFTDA skaters in 2010?

According to the numbers on  flattrackstats.com (WFTDA points and 0verall rankings), there are four teams in the running, but I’m not going to count the Oly Rollers because their biggest leap in points actually occurred at the 2009 WFTDA Nationals (even if only reflected in the opening standings of 2010). So that leaves Montreal against the Bellingham Roller Betties and the Slaughter County Roller Vixens. In terms of point differential (flattrack stats uses a very precise, complicated and fascinating algorithm to determine its points; you can read all about it here), Slaughter County has made the greatest leap in 2010 (75.55 points). This is only slightly higher than Bellingham’s 65.89 point leap and Montreal’s 62.88 point leap. What is important to note though, is how each team’s ranking has changed. Bellingham has only moved 3 spots from 72nd to 69th overall (and upon further inspection, did so based not on their own victories, but on the losses of others). Similarly, while Slaughter County had the biggest points increase, they only  jumped 13 spots (70th -57th), and they too relied upon the losses of others (and their own losses to highly ranked teams), and one big victory over Central Coast. In terms of rankings, Montreal is the clear winner in this category, jumping a remarkable 24 spots so for in 2010 (from 58th to 34th, and 13th to 8th in the Eastern Region). More importantly, they did so based not on the misfortunes of other teams, but on the strength of their own victories. So what had begun as simple hyperbole, has turned out to be true: Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are indeed the hottest team in WFTDA.

(Check here for a recap of the Skids’ recent 3 game, east coast road trip).

OLY ROLLERS APPROACH ANOTHER LANDMARK

Speaking of hot teams! With their 170-119 victory over 11th ranked Madison, the top ranked defending WFTDA champion Oly Rollers took one more step toward a big record with their 14th consecutive WFTDA sanctioned victory. They are now only 4 wins away from Gotham‘s record of 18 strait victories; a two-year streak that ended last year. (The DNN roundup of Oly’s victory also includes a very good recap of the Hammer City-hosted WFTDA sanctioned bout between the Eh! Team and the New Skids on the Block prior to The Quad City Chaos.)

MEN’S ROLLER DERBY???

Although men’s bouts have been happening since the start of derby’s modern revival, and random teams having been popping up all over the place (including Western Canada), for the first time an organized league has been formed. The Men’s Derby Coalition (MDC) (featuring teams in Baltimore, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts) kicked off play on March 27th, 2010. (The Derby News Network provides a great season preview.)

DERBY SISTERS KICK OFF REGULAR SEASON EARLY

While most eastern Canadian leagues kick off their home leagues in May, the Tri-City Roller Girls are starting their season pre Beast of the East this year, on April 10th, with a bout between defending champs The Vicious Dishes and their Tri-City rivals The Venus Fly Tramps. Both teams will be looking to get some important game-practice in leading up to BOE 2010.

COMING SOON:

Look for a look back at Beast of the East ’09, a preview of BOE ’10, and team previews for the upcoming ToRD season.

Quad City Chaos Preview: The Eh! Team

This should be a huge year for Hammer City. The Eh! Team is currently ranked 17th in WFTDA‘s North Central division, and look to move forward from there. The experience they will gain and the quality of competition they will face will undoubtedly expedite their growth.  They opened 2010 with a tough loss against The Fort Wayne Derby Girls Bomb Squad, but will only get stronger as the year progresses. Like the Skids, their roadtrip featured a fairly lean roster, so they’ll have a lot of skaters eager for action at the Quad City Chaos.

THE EH! TEAM

Games: Vs. ToRD’s CN Power (4:30pm ont he 27th); Vs. Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars (3:30pm on the 28th).

Up front , The Eh! Team is going to need to make sure that they keep their packs tight and quick. Look for the solid Perky Set and Judge Jodie to be leading the way pivoting, but it will be imperative that the big hitters in the pack like Ivy Rupted, Haykeye Pierce, Eduskating Rita, and Dicey keep things together and make sure that they stay unified in their defense.  Expect Bitchslap Barbie to throw more than her fair share of shoulders and hips around the track. Also watch for the return to The Hangar of former ToRD standout Lock N Roll, who will certainly be relied upon for her blocking abilities and could potentially run a few jams as pivot.

The workhorse Carla Coma and the speedy Vicadoom twill take the jam line as the Eh! Team’s 1-2 punch, but you can expect scrappy jams from the tough-as-nails Mean Little Momma and the fearless Dicey too. It will be key for Hammer City’s jammers to hold their own against the opposing jammers, including stepping up defensively when necessary.

THE DERBY NERD THINKS

The Eh! Team will need to keep an active pack if they want to succeed at Quad City, and that means keeping things tight and maintaining a physical level of play. They’ll also have to follow the lead of their pivots and help their jammer when needed. While the Hammer City girls can hold a mean line, they’ll also need to be sure that they aren’t getting beaten to the outside. Their jammers will be relied upon defensively too and will need to take an active role in neutralizing the opposing jammers.

THE DERBY NERD PREDICTS

1-2 and third place in the tournament. Things could get tough for Hammer City; they have to contend with a fired-up CN Power in front of their home crowd, and Montreal has far more bouts under their belts at this point in 2010 and could be a step or two in front of everyone because of this. The Eh! Team will be hungry for a victory by the end though, and are bound to take out their frustrations against the Terminal City All Stars.

THE ROSTER

(Jersey numbers and club teams in parentheses)

Bitchslap Barbie (98 Hamilton Harlots), Boom Boom Betty (31 HamiltonHarlots), Carla Coma (621 Hamilton Harlots), Chainsaw Mary (NC17 Hamilton Harlots), Cut Off (706 Death Row Dames), Dicey (905 Hamilton Harlots), Eduskating Rita (2009), Hawkeye Fierce (4077 Hamilton Harlots), Hozone Slayer (Death Row Dames HO3), Ivy Rupted (4 Death Row Dames), Jett Girl (15 Hamilton Harlots), Judge Jodie (67 Hamilton Harlots), Little Red Rollerhood (7 Death Row Dames), Lock N Roll (00), Mean Little Mama (0 Death Row Dames), Miss Carriage (33 Death Row Dames), Perky Set (3 Hamilton Harlots), Snuffette (822 Hamilton Harlots), Tori Nado (8 Death Row Dames), Vicadoom (420 Hamilton Harlots)

Quad City Chaos Preview: New Skids on the Block

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block have certainly been the busiest team in Canada in 2010, and just may be the hottest team in WFTDA! Having played in a number of games south of the border this year, the skaters are coming to Toronto in game shape. They’ve just returned from an east coast road trip that saw them go 3-0 making some pretty good competition look pretty bad. According to flattrackstats.com, their current winning streak has them sitting in 8th place in WFTDA’s Eastern Region, a huge leap from 13th where they started the year. Needless to say, this is a very good team with very few weaknesses. To make matters worse for the competition at Quad City, the Skids only carried an 11 person roster on their road trip, meaning they’ll have plenty of fresh faces for the tournament.

NEW SKIDS ON THE BLOCK

Games: Vs. Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars (6:30pm on the 27th); Vs. ToRD’s CN Power (1pm on the 28th).

The New Skids on the Block are making quite a name for themselves by their ability to handle a pack, and who’s going to argue with players like Smack Daddy, Trash ‘N Smash, Nameless Whorror, Bone Machine, Wrath Poutine, Jess Bandit…well you get the idea. This is not a pack to take lightly. There is power, skill and depth up front and it will take a huge effort by an opposing pivot to wrestle control away from them. Word on the track is that key veteran Beater Pan Tease has been nursing a knee injury that caused her to sit out the recent round trip. Although her name is penciled into the roster, it remains to be seen how much of a role she will have at Quad City. For the fan’s sake, let’s hope she’s healed up and ready to go.

There is no less depth at jammer on this team. Led by the phenomenal Iron Wench, the Skids will undoubtedly rotate Georgia W. Tush, Izzy Skellington,  Ewan Wotarmy, and Romeo at the jam line, but don’t be surprised to see some of the blockers mentioned above (and even some who haven’t been!) get a shot with a star. This is a diverse, well-organized team that can mix it up positionally based on the situation.

THE DERBY NERD THINKS

Their jammer’s ability to neutralize the other team’s jammer will be key.These are jammers who can mix it up with other jammers and even blockers if needs be, but they also have the endurance to out pace a pack. But despite the unbelievable depth at jammer, victory in this tournament will be based on the Skids’ pack control. Their ability to trap blockers and pace packs will be what separates them from the competition.

THE DERBY NERD PREDICTS

The Skids will go undefeated in the tournament and take first over all, but it won’t be easy. While I don’t think the Skids are invincible (and The Eh! Team was within spitting distance in a bout against them last year, losing by only 4 points), they are simply too hot right now. They have burst out of the gates in 2010 and have been playing a lot of games against some solid competition, so I think they are ahead of the other teams in terms of game-readiness.

THE ROSTER

(Jersey number and club team in parentheses)

Beater Pan-Tease (1976 Les Filles du Roi),  Bone Machine (1111 La Racaille), Cheese Grater (289 Contrabanditas), Ewan Wotarmy (7734 Les Contrabanditas), Georgia W Tush (Contrabanditas), Iron Wench (516 La Racaille), Izzy Skellington (182, La Racaille), Jess Bandit (8 Les Filles du Roi), Lady J (86), Lyn-dah Kicks (75 La Racaille), No Holds Bard (2X4 La Racaille), Romeo (222 Les Filles du Roi), Smack Daddy (3X Les Filles du Roi), Trash N’ Smash (1.18 Contrabanditas), Karla Shnikov (AK 47 Contrabanditas), Lil Mama (2 Les Filles du Roi), Nameless Whorror (202 Les Filles du Roi), Rae Volver (38 Les Filles du Roi), Wrath Poutine (30 La Racaille)

Beater Pan-Tease (1976 Les Filles du Roi),  Bone Machine   (1111  ), Cheese Grater (289), (Ewan Wotarmy 7734 Les Contrabanditas), Georgia W Tush (Contrabanditas), Iron Wench (516 La Racaille), Izzy Skellington (182, La Racaille), Jess Bandit (8), Lady J (86), Lyn-dah Kicks (75), No Holds Bard (2X4), Romeo (222 Les Filles du Roi), Smack Daddy (3X Les Filles du Roi), Trash N’ Smash (Contrabanditas), Karla Shnikov (AK 47), Lil Mama (2), Nameless Whorror  (202), Rae Volver (38), Wrath Poutine (30 La Racaille)

The Jammer Quotient

The JQ is a statistical comparison of jammers based on their rankings in five categories. The maximum JQ a jammer can receive is 50. The table below illustrates the evaluation of a JQ for the February 27th bout between ToRD’s CN Power and the Rideau Valley Vixens (only the top 5 are shown)*.

Jammer Total Points Points Per Jam Plus/ Minus Jam % Lead % JQ
Lunchbox (CNP) 48 (9) 4.36 (9) +36 (9) 23.4 (8) 72.7 (9) 44
Land Shark CNP) 53 (10) 3.78 (7) +45 (10) 29.7 (9) 57.1 (7) 43
Defecaitlin (CNP) 45 (8) 4.5 (10) +29 (8) 21.2 (6) 70 (8) 40
Marvel S. Maven (CNP) 25 (7) 4.16 (8) +20 (7) 12.7 (3) 100 (10) 35
Soul Rekker (RVV) 19 (6) 1.18 (4) -35 (5) 34 (10) 50 (6) 31

CN Power’s Lunchbox received the highest JQ. Interestingly, she didn’t actually lead in any of the five categories but placed second in four and third in the fifth (the numbers in brackets designate the ranking points, 10 for first place, etc). So for this bout, consistency was rewarded, as I imagine it always will be. Overall, all of the CN Power jammers had their way with the Vixens; despite a huge effort by Soul Rekker, the difference was in the jammers. The game was essentially over after the fourth jam when Defecaitlin (that’s Dust Bunny to all you Gore Gore fans) skated to a double grand slam and more than doubled the lead to 19-2.

This particular example doesn’t provide ideal data for a number of reasons. For one, it’s just one game, and there were only eight skaters who jammed a statically significant amount of times (I cut it off at 6 jams). The more data available, the more accurate the JQ, so during ToRD’s regular season, the teams will play enough games and get in enough jams to make a much more accurate judge of the statistical significance a jammer has to her team.

The data in this example are also skewed heavily in CN Power’s favour given the one-sided nature of the bout (199-49). I wouldn’t expect such high JQs over an extended period of time or among a much more even playing field. .

In the next post I’ll look at each category in more detail and justify the decision to include it.

* These stats are unofficial and are based on post bout analysis of video shot by Layer9.

Introducing The Derby Nerd

Lady Gagya makes some space for Land Shark.

Like any other sport, you need to watch a lot of roller derby to really understand it. But it doesn’t take too long for all of that violent frenzy to turn into something a lot more coherent. For me it happened in Montreal during a La Racaille game. I know that because I clearly remember the moment, seeing the extraordinary Iron Wench cutting her way through a pack, grabbing jerseys, accepting assists, dodging shoulders. It was at that moment when I realized that all of the chaos was actually quite orchestrated.

It’s been a few years now since a sudden surge of roller derby in Canada saw teams emerge in Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton, and other cities very soon after. We’ve gotten to the point now where the sport in Canada (at its very best) has developed to nearly the highest levels. It’s an exciting time to be a derby fan, and things just seem to keep looking up.

Almost as soon as I had my moment of derby clarity, my sports brain took over and I started to think of different ways to statistically compare the jammers. After a few false starts, I eventually developed something that I’ve been calling “The Jammer Quotient” or JQ. Its inspiration is varied, but basically it gives points to jammers based on their rankings in five different categories (total points, points per jam, plus/minus, jam %, and lead %). The top jammer in each category gets 10 points, the second 9, the third 8, etc (some fantasy sports players may recognize this points system). It might sound complicated, but it all adds up to one simple number between 10 and 50.

I’m working on a practice JQ comparison based on CN Power’s resounding 199-49 victory over the Rideau Valley Vixens on February 27th. A one game analysis isn’t ideal, especially a bout so one sided, but it’ll make for a good practice run.

I’ll post it shortly.