Spoiler Warning: Playoffs Projections


Now all the relevant games are done and the scores are in, we have a very good idea who’s going to be invited to WFTDA playoffs as the mathematical ranking system lets us work out exactly who will be where, as games happen.

DISCLAIMER: These are our projections, not the official WFTDA rankings, and could change if errors haven’t been spotted or changes are made to the system. That having been said, the numbers have been triple-checked with multiple independent sources and we are confident in their accuracy.

Unlike in 2013, everyone inside the top 60 has completed their gameplay requirements this year. However, there is one league in there who won’t be getting an invite for other procedural reasons: Florida’s Fort Myers Derby Girls. They would have been invited to D2 playoffs based on their ranking, but did not manage to get themselves upgraded from Class C in time after they failed to fulfil the minimum administrative requirements to move up.

Also, the teams in our projected top 12 are the same as those in FTS’s current top 12 (though the order differs); the same is also true of the top 16. There are no first-round match-ups between teams in that range, which means no contenders should knock each other out prematurely and, in theory, the top 12 WFTDA teams should be at Champs in November. The one complication is Oly; they could (in theory) put out Denver or Minnesota if they get close to their previous heights–but that would only be in a third-place game, and is something of a stretch on recent form.

The bigger question with Oly is whether they will go at all. They look certain to be in the same playoff as Wasatch by our numbers–and the Salt Lake City playoff is the same weekend as USARS Nationals. Oly has the numbers to field a team at both tournaments, but only one could be close to full strength and decisions will shortly need to be made.

Arguably the biggest single piece of news is that those watching WFTDA playoffs in 2014 may have another anthem to enjoy: Deutschlandlied. By our reckoning, Bear City Roller Derby’s Berlin Bombshells will be invited to D2 playoffs having secured the final automatic qualification spot. Ironically enough, it was another European league who secured the chance of playoff derby for Berlin: Suburbia’s narrow win over Wales’ Tiger Bay Brawlers dropped the Yonkers, NY, team underneath Berlin in the rankings.

The final D1 spot also goes to an international team: Kitchener, Ontario’s Tri-City Roller Derby will place at 40 in the final table, and so won’t get the chance to participate in the D2 tournament they’re hosting.

Those two are among eight non-US leagues who will get the chance to represent their countries. Ottawa’s Rideau Valley should be the other international debutantes–they’ll be in the top half of the seeds for D2.

International teams are over-represented in the top six seeds too; 21% of the teams inside the top 24 (those who avoid a play-in game) are from outside the US, courtesy of Toronto, Montreal, Terminal, London and Victoria. Inside the top few it goes up again: London will be #3 and a top seed while Victoria will be #5 and a second seed.

There is likely to only be one playoff debutante at D1 playoffs this year: So Cal. They go straight into D1 after debuting in the WFTDA rankings after playoffs last year. Three teams move up from D2 playoffs last year to D1 this year: last year’s finalists Jet City and Santa Cruz (more on them in the Weekend Review) and Tri-City. Arizona also get the chance to return to the top playoff level after a year out, as do the Oly Rollers.

D2 playoffs sees more debuts: Boulder County, St Chux, Rideau Valley and Demolition City. Gold Coast will get the chance to return to playoffs for the first time since 2011 when they went 1-3 at the South Central regional tournament Show Me Der-B-Q.

Finally, we have the three teams from D1 playoffs last year who slip into D2 playoffs: Detroit, Sacred City and the Chicago Outfit. Cincinnati and Bleeding Heartland drop out of the playoff picture altogether, while Grand Raggidy will require several teams to decline invites if they want playoff derby again this year.


Division 1 Playoffs

This is how the D1 seedings will look if all the teams accept their invites. No-one has declined an invite to regionals or D1 playoffs in recent times, but it is still possible. The numbers in brackets are teams’ current ranking on FTS, for comparison and to give an indication of current strength of teams whose WFTDA ranking reflects their performances across the whole year, rather than current form.

#1 Seeds Gotham Girls (1) B.ay A.rea (2) London (3) Rose City (5)
#2 Seeds Minnesota (8) Angel City (7) Texas (4) Victoria (9)
#3 Seeds Denver (6) Rocky Mountain (11) Windy City (12) Philly (10)
#4 Seeds Rat City (18) Charm City (14) Jacksonville (15) Atlanta (13)
#5 Seeds Oly (16) Terminal City (17) Montreal (23) Ohio (20)
#6 Seeds Wasatch (30) Toronto (19 Boston (27) Naptown (25)
#7 Seeds Santa Cruz (22) Tampa (26) Arch Rival (21) Steel City (24)
#8 Seeds Oklahoma (28) Nashville (31) Jet City (52) Mad Rollin’ Dolls (32)
#9 Seeds Kansas City (29) New Hampshire (44) No Coast (39) Houston (36)
#10 Seeds Tri-City (55) Arizona (40) SoCal (38) Columbia (33)

Blue Ridge, DC, St Chux and Detroit are set to be the next four eligible teams and so would be in line for invites if teams in D1 do decline.

While it is possible to speculate on locations of those hypothetical playoffs and the likely brackets, those calculations would be significantly swayed by a single team declining an invite; we will have to wait for another two weeks to see the official list of teams who have accepted invites and the resulting brackets and locations.

Guidelines suggest that the playoff in which Wasatch compete will be in Salt Lake City, and it seems very likely that Bay Area’s would be in Sacramento. Distances for teams as they stand suggest Rose’s would be in Charleston, WV thanks to two teams in their bracket being within 200 miles of the playoff site, and that London’s playoff would be in Evansville, IN. Again, that information is unconfirmed and subject to significant change if teams decline playoff invites or the relevant WFTDA committees take a different view; it is provided for information only.

You can see the hypothetical brackets in this spreadsheet, which you can also copy to make your own adjustments should you wish.

Division 2 Playoffs

Last year two teams did decline their invites to D2 playoffs in Des Moines, IA, and Kalamazoo, MI, so the final list of teams here is a little less certain. Tucson declined last year year and have been invited again this year; both of this year’s playoffs are more distant from Tucson than either of last year’s were.

Teams eligible for D2 playoff invites at the first time of asking will, we think, be: Blue Ridge, DC, St. Chux, Detroit, Sacred City, Queen City, Rideau Valley, Big Easy, Brewcity, Killamazoo, Chicago Outfit, Sin City, Tucson, Boulder County, Gold Coast, Omaha, Sac City, Treasure Valley, Demolition City and Bear City.

Just outside and very close behind are Suburbia, Brandywine, Grand Raggidy, Old Capitol City and Dallas, waiting to see if teams above them decline their invitations.

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