FEASTERVILLE, PA — In a high-profile beta test of the WFTDA’s no-minors ruleset, Chicago’s Windy City (#9 DNN, #1NC WFTDA) managed to hold off a sustained challenge from Baltimore’s Charm City (#11 DNN, #3E WFTDA). Although Charm City never led in the game, the margin was within 20 or fewer points for the entirety of the second half, during which Charm tied it with only 5 minutes to play. In the end, though, Windy City outscored Charm 19-1 over the last four jams to escape with a 144-126 win. Windy City remained undefeated on the year with a 4-0 record while Charm City dropped their 4th in a row and moved to 5-5 for 2011.
Windy City started quite strong as they picked up lead jammer on 7 of the game’s first 9 jams. The first jammer penalty went to Charm City’s Clitty Clitty Bang Bang on jam 5, which Windy City’s jammer Zoe Trocious converted to a 9-0 win and a 15-3 Windy City lead; on jam 9, CC again went to the box and this time it was Varla Vendetta sweeping through for a big Windy jam, 20-0. At that point in the game, Windy City held a 27 point lead at 36-9.
Varla was boxed at the end of her big run on a track cut at the front of the pack, and CC came out of the box in the next to make up a lot of the lost ground with a 13-0. A 4-2 pack advantage for Charm on the following jam allowed I.M. Pain to drop a 3-0 on Jackie Daniels, and Charm was back within 11 at 36-25.
Windy City gave themselves a little daylight over the next 3 jams, though, going 9-0, 7-0 and 5-0 to go up by 32 points (the largest margin of the game), 57-25. With Charm City’s Just Carol in the penalty box to begin jam 14, WCR pulled a bit of a trick play when all of their blockers intentionally false-started by lining up behind their unopposed jammer Zoe Trocious, giving her a very easy opening pass through the out-of-play Charm City blockers. However, Zoe only got one scoring pass out of it before going to the box herself, and the jam was a wash at 5-5.
It was 62-30 Windy City there, but Joy Collision had a jammer dream pack for the next powerjam, with just one Windy City blocker facing the full 4 for Charm. Joy pulled a 15-0, and the Charm City rally continued with a 3-1 jam for I.M. Pain over Varla Vendetta and a 2-0 for Just Carol over Athena DeCrime. With about 5 minutes to play in the half, it was a 13 point game at 63-50. WCR’s Wreck N Shrew landed a 13-0 next to open it up a bit, but Charm City ended the half with a 4-0 and a 3-0 to close the first 30 minutes down just 19 points, 76-57.
Neither team was able to establish an advantage over the first five jams of the second half, with Windy City adding just 1 point to their lead at 83-63. However, WCR got in serious jammer penalty trouble starting on the half’s 6th jam, though it ended up not being as damaging as it might have been. First off, WCR’s Wreck N Shrew was boxed on her opening pass, but opposing jammer Just Carol didn’t realize it before being called lead jammer — Carol called it immediately for a 0-0. On the next jam, I.M. Pain had a full two minutes unopposed when Wreck came out of the box but was instantly sent back in on illegal re-entry; that went 15-0. It looked like Charm City might take the lead on the next jam as Joy Collision had some unopposed time, but it ended up being a 14-9 frame with a penalty swap as Joy was boxed on her opening pass. When it was all over, Windy City was up by just 5, 97-92.
Once again, Windy City increased their lead in small-margin jams, making it 125-106 with about 8 minutes to play. However, Charm City erased the entire advantage in just two jams — a 9-0 powerjam to I.M. Pain followed by a 10-0 to Joy Collision. That got an already engaged crowd to a fever pitch, as the score was 125-125 with 5 minutes to play; Windy City called timeout there.
The final four jams of the game, though, were all Windy, as they picked up 4 consecutive lead jam calls while punishing the Charm City jammers. Zoe Trocious and Varla Vendetta went back to back for WCR, getting three consecutive 4-0 calls to put Windy up 137-125 with just under two minutes to play. Charm jammed Lady Quebeaum for the first time on the last jam of the game, but Varla pulled lead and picked up 7-0 before time expired. The second half was almost perfectly even at 69-68 Charm, but Windy City’s early advantage was enough for a 18-point victory, 144-126.