First up, if you havenâ€™t already seen, DNNâ€™s new dedicated Division 2 correspondent Left 4 Deadwards has put together this excellent write up of Skate to Thrill, hosted by WFTDA #53 St. Chux from April 11/12. Elsewhere, last weekend was jam packed with double headers: out of the 18 WFTDA sanctioned games held on Saturday and Sunday, 14 were double headers — and one was a triple header with MRDA action attached.
Charm vs Boston and New Hampshire
The A and B teams for Charm City (WFTDA #22) traveled to Boston (WFTDA #16) for a double header on Saturday. Both these teams had a shaky end to 2013 â€“ Boston went into Salem playoffs 6th seed and left 7th, while 5th seed Charm struggled throughout the tournament, barely scraping in at 9th place.
Just last month, Charm climbed from #26 in February to #22 in March thanks to a bigger-than-expected boost from their crushing win over Steel City courtesy of WFTDA’s ranking changes. After Bostonâ€™s B Party beat Charmâ€™s Female Trouble 174-121, the A teams took the track to battle it out. While the game was close for the entire first half, Charm came out fighting in the second half and came away with a 209-170 win.
The following day, Charm City racked up a 332-77 win in a hangover bout against WFTDA #31 New Hampshire.
Cincinnatiâ€™s Triple Header
WFTDA #44 Cincinnati have been hard at work this season, not only playing a lot of games, but also playing host for visiting teams. Cinci hosted St. Louis on Saturday for a triple-header â€“ the Arch Rival A and B womenâ€™s teams took on the Cincinnati Rollergirls, while in MRDA action, the local menâ€™s team played the St. Louise Gatekeepers. St. Louis came away with the hat trick â€“ Arch Rivalâ€™s B Team beat Cinci 238-106, the A team won by 300-118, and the Gatekeepers had a strong showing, winning 432-33.
You can read about these bouts in more detail over on local St Louis site Arch City Sports, where Muckety Muck provides a full recap.
Best of the Rest
WFTDA #111 Hard Knox traveled to #38 Nashville for a double header. Both Nashvilleâ€™s A and B teams were victorious â€“ the B team 374-78, and the A team 343-58.
WFTDA #52 Killamazoo hosted #63 Burning River for an A-B double header. While Burning Riverâ€™s B Team was able to squeak out a 199-184 win, the A team was stampeded by Killamazoo, who beat the visiting side 301-168.
WFTDA #27 No Coast hosted the Oklahoma Victory Dollsâ€™ A and B Teams. OK had a clean sweep â€“ the B team won 201-124, and the A team took a convincing 198-133 win.
The Dim and Distant Past
Well, the weekend of April 12/13. Anarchy in the UK (see recaps passim) and Tinseltown Showdown (recaps incoming, we promise…) saw the first serious bout of concentrated Division 1 action of the year several thousand miles apart.
London went 3-0 at their home tournament, with Rocky second going 2-1. The ranking scores achieved for their three games were well ahead of their current average and even further ahead of their playoff-qualification games from their West Coast tour last year, and make it very likely that the Londoners will be a #2 seed for playoffs this year, with an outside chance of securing top seeding once other teams have games under the 2014 scoring system under their belts. We think that London’s crushing 477-41 win over Toronto is the biggest single-game ranking-point haul ever achieved thanks to the new system.
Rocky will have lifted their average a little too, thanks to sizeable wins over Toronto and Detroit; however, CN Power and Detroit’s All-Stars will be feeling the pain of their results for some time to come. Detroit’s 1-3 weekend (they played London twice) could see them slip towards the very bottom of Division 1 and potentially face a struggle to qualify for D1 playoffs this year.
Bay Area went 3-0 in Los Angeles and pushed the hosting Angel City into second at 2-1. Bay Area were significant rankings winners that weekend, although Angel City and Rocky didn’t do too badly either; Angel’s win over Denver in particular will help them out and ensure they keep their WFTDA ranking above their Flat Track Stats one as they continue to (intentionally or not) play the ranking game well. Angel 219-point loss to Bay Area didn’t do them any favours, though.
Elsewhere Madison announced their intent to fight tooth and nail this season to climb back up the D1 ladder with a 165-142 win over Naptown in a hangover bout in St. Louis on Sunday after they narrowly lost to a rebuilding Arch Rival team, 171-142 the day before.
A 182-116 win by SoCal over Sac City should ensure that SoCal continue their charge up the WFTDA rankings as we head towards the playoff cut-off date.
Finals Forfeit at Spokarnage – Editorial
Spokane, Washington was the destination for 24 teams this past weekend, who attended Spokarnage to battle it out for three top spots and a cash prize. While most of the participants were made up of travel or house teams, a number of the participating sides were pickup teams, including winners Outrageous Pussy Power (OPP), which included Team USA skater Onda Sligh and a number of Rat City all-stars.
Spokarnage was set up as a double elimination tournament â€“ teams that lost one game found themselves in the loser bracket, while teams that lost twice were eliminated. Rat City home team Sockit Wenches lost to Fraser Valley, British Columbia, team Anarchy Angels, but after winning all other games, found themselves with three full-length bouts back-to-back–two loser bracket games and a full-length final against OPP.
During their penultimate match-up against Regina, Saskatchewan, team Pile Oâ€™ Bones, the Sockit Wenches suffered two major injuries, likely from having to play back-to-back games. As a result, when the time came to play the final against Outrageous Pussy Power, the Wenches forfeited, citing too many injuries.
While tournament weekends can be hard on any athleteâ€™s body, having to play multiple consecutive games can be dangerous, as proven by the Sockit Wenches this past weekend–we hope that tournament organizers can keep the safety of participants in mind when choosing structures in future.*
This Weekend â€“ April 25-27
WFTDA #41 Columbia QuadSquad Rollergirls are hosting Southern Discomfort, a ten-team tournament featuring Brandywine, Cape Fear, Charlotte Roller Girls, Charlottesville Derby Dame, DC Rollergirls, Garden State, Killamazoo, Nashville and Roc City. Look out for a full preview of this event coming soon.
WFTDA #14 Montreal Roller Derby is hosting #13 Toronto this Friday, on the eve of its seventh annual Beast of the East competition. Beast of the East is a home team only tournament for teams from Eastern Canada, and features teams from both Montreal and Toronto.
Outside of WFTDA #25 Jacksonville hosting #26 Tampa, itâ€™s a little quiet on D1 play this weekend. D1 fans will have to wait until The Big O next weekend to see 2014â€™s first sanctioned games for #3 Texas, #6 Rose, #12 Oly and #19 Philly.
(*Jennings was a participant at Spokarnage, skating for Overbeaters Anonymous and line calling for Guns â€˜nâ€™ Rollers.)
Additional reporting for this article came from Alex Sassoon Coby.