The last weekend of March saw the beginning of a slew of spring tournaments and invitationals, as well as the beginning of the greater 2015 WFTDA season. A majority of games played so far have been more in Division 2, but this past weekend saw a hint of Division 1 too. The upper echelon of D1 games is also on the horizon, with Texas, Gotham, and Bay Area releasing their updated charters.
This season may end up being the year of change, and the Clover Cup was a perfect example of that. The Dallas Derby Devils have played host to the tournament since 2010, and pulled a complete 180 from last year, going from losing all their games, to winning them all this time around. As of February 28th, Dallas was ranked #50, and while on their path to 1st place, they took out #45 Houston, #48 Kansas and #56 Blue Ridge.
It was a telling weekend for those three teams, who had a harder 2014 season. Houston went from #27 in February a year ago, to #42 by the end of June, and came out 10th place at Division 1 playoffs in Evansville. Kansas City started 2014 at #19, and has continually dropped in large chunks since then, but did maintain their #8 position in and out of Sacramento playoffs. Blue Ridge squeaked into D1s last year at #41, but with a bit of turnover have fallen back into D2 so far this year.
Dallas made it to the inaugural D2 playoffs at #62, but were two spots away from qualifying this past year. In place of tournaments, they apparently have been putting in hard work on the track, because out of their three games, Houston only came as close as 95 points.
Blue Ridge and #32 Oklahoma Victory Dolls had the closest game of the tournament, but Blue Ridge provided another upset, with a 30-point win.
Despite getting taken out by Dallas, Kansas also won against Oklahoma Victory by 99 points. Also of note was a strong 124-point win by #68 Big Easy over #65 Gold Coast, which got them closer to the 3rd place game, but then was eliminated by Houston. (Speaking of the Big Easy Rollergirls, the music video Big Freedia filmed at their bout called “Dangerous” has already been released.)
Dallas was the biggest mover of the weekend according to Flat Track Stats, and FTS now puts them at #25 in WFTDA. Whether they make that big of a jump in the actual WFTDA rankings is yet to be seen, but they will likely rise significantly.
It’s still early enough in the season though, and this massive rankings push could fizzle out by the time tournament season comes around.
Brandywine reached for Division 1 last year, getting as high as #40 last March, but landed in D2 at #63 by June. The rankings can be very fickle, especially hovering around the Division 1 cut off in the 30-60 range.
Check out videos from the tournament on Dallas’s Youtube.
2015 Clover Cup Results:
- Dallas (#50)
- Blue Ridge (#56)
- Houston (#45)
- Kansas (#48)
Two invitationals happened over the weekend on separate sides of the U.S.
In the West was Dust Devil, hosted by Tucson Roller Derby, and attended by six other leagues, ranked from #53 – #115. Dust Devil is part of the greater derby history, and beginning in 2006 it was the first multi-league WFTDA tournament, and served as the National Championships for 20 teams. This year each team got three games (except Crossroads, who only played two), and #70 Treasure Valley and #63 Boulder County both went 3-0 for the weekend.
Boulder County, who placed 9th at last year’s D2 playoff in Kitchener-Waterloo, had both the closest and largest wins out of the invitational. #67-ranked Tucson kept them close, with a 161-155 game, while Boulder racked up 390 points over #115 Duke City.
After Treasure Valley placed 3rd at playoffs as the tournament sweethearts of D2 in 2013, they had a solid performance at last year’s playoffs in Duluth, finishing 5th. They have fallen in the rankings a bit recently, but after Dust Devil, Flat Track Stats ranks them as #31 in WFTDA. They had three-digit wins over #94 Junction City and #108 Crossroads, while just beating Tucson by 39 points. They didn’t take on Sac or Boulder this time around, but will meet them on their home turf at the end of April at Spudtown Knockdown.
Despite placing 4th at Division 2 Championships in 2013, #83 Sac City missed out on tournaments last season, despite being eligible. At the start of 2014, they held the #40 place, but by October swung as low as #84. After this weekend, they might be on their way back up, taking 2 of their 3 games, only losing to Boulder by 12 points. Flat Track Stats puts them now at #66 in WFTDA, and we’ll have to wait and see how far Spudtown will take them.
Tucson was the second-highest ranked team going into the weekend, and was part of two of the closest games, but both were losses. Their one win was over Crossroads by 199 points. Coming out of D2 playoffs in Duluth last year in 10th place, and now sitting just on the edge of the D2 bubble, they still have some time to try and cement a return to post-season play.
#94 Junction City went 1-2 over the weekend, while out of their two games, #108 Crossroads lost both. Duke, who has a spotty history of attending WFTDA playoff tournaments, fell 18 spots in February to #115, and may fall a bit more yet after going 0-3.
Find video of the games on Tucson’s Youtube.
Siege of CNY
On the East coast, Central New York hosted the Siege of CNY, their first tournament which included two round robin groups of four teams. One group was of sanctioned WFTDA teams, and the other was made up of regulation games.
#101 Burning River came out on top, sweeping all three of their games, scoring an impressive average of 307 points per game.
Burning River inherited some skaters from NEO, such as Professor Booty and Ivanna Destroya. Photo by Sean Childs.
The Burning River All-Stars placed 8th in Kalamazoo back in 2013, but missed out on tournaments last year after they went from #61 to #99 over the course of 2014. In New York, #104 Connecticut was the key team to come the closest to them with the score of 191-70. After the weekend Flat Track Stats puts Burning River at #85, but they may yet continue rising with their recent influx of NEO skaters.
Connecticut won 2 of their games, and one was a +251 point win over #198 Mason-Dixon, but against Central NY, they only won by one point. The home team, #164 Central NY, had a 220-point win over Mason-Dixon but lost their other two games. and as the lowest ranked team of the weekend, #198 Mason-Dixon lost all 3 of their games. Despite that, one of their skaters came out of the weekend as blocker MVP – Thee Mighty Isis achieved that award, while oooh SHINEE from Burning River took jammer MVP.
You can find video from this event on Youtube as well.
Over the weekend there were a few other especially interesting match-ups.
#22 Ohio hosted #14 Charm City, and beat them for the first time ever by 20 points on Saturday. Ohio has already played four games this year (all in this month), winning all but one which was to #30 Detroit. While Charm City recently lost Just Carol to Austin, and despite losing to Ohio, they still claimed a solid win over #27 Naptown, 350-113 on Sunday.
As yet unranked Team United is continuing on their path to becoming WFTDA-ranked. After reportedly playing a strength factor challenge game against Rocky Mountain last month, they played their second game against #38 No Coast over the weekend.
The two have played each other three times before, with No Coast taking the first two, and TU winning last time by 11 points. This time the Iowans took it again in another close match up, winning this time by just 9 points. With this consistency in performance, Team United will likely enter the rankings as a Division 1 level team.
#74 Charlottesville provided a huge upset over the weekend against #31 Nashville, beating them by 61 points. Nashville also took a hard 309-point loss from Arch Rival the weekend before, so both may be interesting to watch as the season progresses.
#47 Chicago Outfit played their first game of 2015, winning by 58 points against #58 Grand Raggidy (who recently changed their “G” to a “D”, and revamped their logo and website).
Brewcity hosted Omaha, and after the Bruisers had an 8-point win against them at D2 playoffs last fall, they beat them by 76 points this time around.
Over in Europe, #64 Suburbia is on tour, and took on #57 Bear City and #66 Auld Reekie, losing to both of them by triple digits. #82 Crime City took on #97 Kallio in an unscantioned game, winning 187-114.
This weekend, #2 Rose City is hitting the track for their first interleague game of the season against #12 Rocky. As previously mentioned Rocky has played once this season, but due to timing it wasn’t with their full 2015 charter. We’ll see how they do with their newer skaters, and see if powerhouse Rose City can maintain their success from last year with their own new roster.
Notoriously busy Ohio is at it again, this time against Naptown in Indianapolis, which is in the middle of political drama between lawmakers and the state (and just about everyone else). The Men’s NCAA Football Final Four Championship is being played there this weekend as well, as now the NCAA President says he is pleased with revisions to the Indiana “Religious Freedom law”, while the Mayor is requesting that next year’s Women’s Final Four be moved from Indianapolis to Tampa.
#84 Ann Arbor will be taking on #96 Cincinnati in Ohio this weekend too, and it will be interesting to see the outcome after Ann Arbor beat #72 Ft. Wayne last weekend by 132 points.
Rainy City, from Manchester, UK, will be looking to improve their #112 WFTDA rank this weekend with an East Coast US tour starting with the Gotham Girls Wall Street Traitors. They will also have four sanctioned games with the highest ranked being #76 Green Mountain.
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