May Rankings and Pending Playoffs
This month sees teams, hungry for tournament action, and looking to add the final points to their ranking in order to cement placement for playoffs in the fall. The Division 2 cutoff is #60–but, as the playoff appearance last year of #65 Suburbia makes clear, there’s likely a little wiggle room at the bottom for surprise inclusions.
The May WFTDA rankings came out Tuesday, and they inch us closer to where teams will fall by the end of June. Bear City is certainly the biggest mover, jumping 52 spots, and now sit on the playoff cusp at WFTDA #57. Chicago Outfit stopped their rankings plummet with three wins at Spring Roll, and another big one over Bleeding Heartland last month. In a year, they dropped 29 places, and have sprung more than half way back. DC has escaped D2 for the time being, to WFTDA #37, but look likely return to the top of D2 by the month’s end. Brewcity has played 14 games so far this year with a 9-4 record which has payed off in 11-spot jump in May to WFTDA #51.
Brewcity journeyed to Omaha and made a pitstop in Iowa City on the way back. Their 49 point win over WFTDA #65 Omaha was a bit closer than their win against them in March at Clover Cup. WFTDA #77 Old Capitol City held them to a tighter game the next day with a score of 153-128.
DC can celebrate breaching the D1/D2 line this month, as well as a win last weekend when they took on Brandywine who briefly saw the D1 line in March at WFTDA #40. DC started slow against the feisty home team, but surged forward with solid teamwork for a 93 point win. Brandywine has dropped nine places back into D2, but have three more chances this month to bolster their ranking. Both, however, have under-ranked European teams among their final games of the ranking period that will not help their causes.
Duke City swung East with two losses on the road against Columbia QuadSquad and Blue Ridge, with near identical scores: 230-54 and 233-56 respectively. They have fallen quite a bit since their playoff qualifying WFTDA #53 spot last year, and wonâ€™t be returning to the D2 bracket this fall. Blue Ridge and Columbia have both kept a solid game this season, holding strong at the top of the D2 range.
NEO has been taking a handful of hard losses since March, while Rideau Valley has been on the rise, picking up a 159 point win over the Ohio team in Ohio. This was the last bout for both before the end of June, and it looks like Rideau edged into the playoff zone just in time just as NEO was pushed out.
St. Chux started the year at WFTDA #63 and have since then leapt towards the top of D2. Dallas Derby Devils crept into the D2 playoffs last year at WFTDA #62 and have floated up and down since then, landing now at #63. They lost to St. Chux at home over the weekend by 57 points. Both teams have one more bout this month against lower ranked teams. Dallasâ€™s performance against Northwest Arkansas would have to be truly epic in scale to see them get back up into D2 contention, while St. Chux battles equally long odds to escape from D2 and get a chance in D1.
Tri-City went into D2 playoffs last fall at the bottom and came out of it well. Since then, they have flirted with the D1 cusp and currently sit at WFTDA #42. A closer than expected victory over Roc City this weekend will affect their points, but by the end of the month a big loss to Cincinnati last year will have aged out. This combination means that it is still far too close to call whether they’ll end up a bottom seed at D1 or a top seed at D2.
Killamazoo recently jumped six places to the mid-forties after dipping into the 50s for a few months. Over the weekend they took a solid win over Ann Arbor, another rising side. Both teams did about as expected, even though Ann Arbor was without a couple of key skaters in jammer Helen Killer and blocker CourtNasty. Before the end of the month, Killamazoo will host the struggling Cincinnati.
Brew City will continue their busy streak this weekend against Hammer City WFTDA #86 and conclude June on the 21st against the Chicago Outfit. Since falling off into the 60s after playoffs, Brewcity has most likely cemented a place in D2 for playoffs. Hammer City saw an 11 place bump after April, but fell eight places after losing to Ft. Wayne.
WFTDA #102 Gainesville hosts Ft. Myers this weekend, and whereas they have dropped significantly in the past year, Ft. Myers has done very well sitting at WFTDA #53. They will likely improve on their last win over Gainesville, which was only 16 points in September, and may see tournament action in their first season as full members, assuming they have fulfilled all their WFTDA obligations and been upgraded to Class B status.
Bleeding Heartland has dropped out of playoff contention this year with only two wins and an average -204 point differential over seven losses. On Saturday WFTDA #42 Tri-City will travel to them and likely add to their deficit. Bleeding Heartland has one more game this month, against Nashville, who just took a 178 point win over them at the end of May. Tri-City will end June with this bout, and in a good position for playoffs.
Suburbia was the last team to squeeze into D2 playoffs last year and came out 10th in Kalamazoo. Since then, they had risen to the 50s, but dropped eight places last month and currently sit at WFTDA #67. They host Tiger Bay this weekend, who are on their way to ECDX next week. This may not help Suburbia much since most non-stateside teams have yet to receive their true rank. It will be the last game for Suburbia, and we will likely see them fall out the bottom of playoff range.
North Star has been hanging on and recently jumped eight places to WFTDA #69. Saturday they will travel further North to Harbor City who is nearly twice their rank. They will need to post an exceptionally high score over them, especially after losing to lower ranked Old Capitol City at BrewHaHa. They missed a D2 invite last year, and will likely be on the outskirts of it again.
Tampa hosts Franky Panky over two days this weekend, consisting mostly of D1 teams ranked #15 to #31. Columbia QuadSquad is the one D2 team competing and will take on Jacksonville, Santa Cruz and Oklahoma Victory. This will be a lot tougher than the rest of their season and a good indicator of how they will play under pressure. They currently sit high in D2 and will likely stay there unless something goes horribly wrong for their opponents at Franky.
En route to ECDX, Helsinki and Victoria will stop by Brandywine on Wednesday and Thursday respectively next week. Helsinki has had only one sanctioned game this season, so June will be a good month to really see where they stand. Victoria has had zero sanctioned games in 2014 and sit high at WFTDA #10, so it could be two interesting games for Brandywine before they also attend ECDX.