Last weekend was an incredibly busy one in the WFTDA world, with two large tournaments happening on opposite ends of the country. Both Beach Brawl in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the Big O in Eugene, OR brought together a big spread of skill levels and teams from all over the USA and world with top-notch derby action in both locations.
Both Beach Brawl and the Big O featured Division 2 teams in addition to the epic Division 1 games. Beach Brawl, hosted by Gold Coast, featured 36 competitive games among 6 groups of teams, groups by skill and ranking level — with teams from overseas being given a significant bump to their group level compared to their ranking to account for perceived under-ranking by the WFTDA system.
Notable in the D2 games were DCâ€™s (#46) wins over Berlin’s Bear City (#109) — to whom they lost just before their last top-level playoff visit — and Suburbia (#59), and their very close loss to Gold Coast (#48). DC jumped 5 spots in the most recent WFTDA ranks, and if they continue their current momentum may break back into the D1 ranks this season.
Also noteworthy at Beach Brawl were Fort Myersâ€™ (#55) unexpected upset over Nashville (#33) with a final score of 146-144; Nashville dominated throughout that game, but let a large lead slip in the closing minutes. Fort Myers was defeated later in the weekend by Tri-City (#40) who recently broke into D1 for the first time at the end of last week.
Gold Coast took a surprising loss to Bear City with a score of 174 to 168. This will likely hurt Gold Coastâ€™s rank and boost Bear Cityâ€™s — our maths says that Bear City should jump over 50 spots and make it into the D2 playoff spots in the next rankings off the back of this weekend’s games.
Suburbia (#59) and Gold Coast (#48) had a very close game with Gold Coast taking the win 197 to 194.
International teams had an impressive showing at Beach Brawl as well, with Stockholm (#124) barely losing to Houston (#27) with a 210 to 207 final score. Stockholm also had a closer than expected game against Steel City (#19), losing in the end 204 to 145. Stockholm also had a good showing against Tampa, and we can expect to see the Swedish team make a big jump in the next WFTDA rankings — but they will not, alas, come close to making it into the top 60, despite the evidence they’re on a level with teams in the top 30.
The Big O
Meanwhile, in Oregon, we saw a 44-game invitational series with fewer D2 teams competing than at Beach Brawl, but still with some notable games. Hosted by Emerald City (#101), the Big Oâ€™s biggest upsets included Treasure Valley (#58) over Sac City (#39) with a score of 195-161.
Pikeâ€™s Peak (#98) overtook Silicon Valley (#92) 185-174. Humboldt (#102) had a surprisingly close point spread against Tucson (#42), losing only 172 to 131.
Auld Reekie (#100) overtook Sac City (#39) 169-151 and Tucson 177-141 in the two biggest D2 upsets of the weekend. However, their losses to Arizona and Emerald City will combine with a couple of European games to keep them outside the top 60 for now.
WFTDA Rankings Release
With the release of new WFTDA ranks this week, we also saw some interesting changes in the D2 realm. Tri City has moved up to the #40 spot and SoCal has jumped 5 spots, both breaking through the D2 cusp and into D1. Detroit saw quite a fall in rank, falling 7 spots and now sitting on the D2 bubble at number 41. Tucson jumped 14 spots to 42, and one of the other biggest jumps was by Arizona, who moved 28 spots to establish a solid D2 rank of 54. Remember, you can see the latest rankings with all the movement clearly marked on the our WFTDA Rankings page; though if you’d rather go straight to the horse’s mouth, WFTDA has started including rankings movement on its lists this month too.
This weekend, there is a bit less D2 action than last, but there are some exciting match ups nonetheless. We look forward to Omaha (#67) versus Fargo Moorhead (#73). With the recent transfer of Flash Gloria (known briefly on-track as Megan Harrington at playoffs last year) to Omaha, they may be climbing back up the D2 ladder, and this weekendâ€™s game should be a good gauge of that
Killamazoo (#52) will take on Cincinnati (#56). K-zoo has been steadily climbing in ranking while Cincinnati has been tumbling after off-season retirements then wider early-season personnel changes decimated their roster. This should make for a good game between these closely ranked teams; while K-zoo are favourites, it will be a good chance for Cinci to break their losing streak and arrest their slide before they are out of the playoff spots entirely.