WFTDA today released its latest rankings and detailed a significant change to the algorithm by which teams are ranked. These rankings reflect performances in games that took place between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014.
There are 12 new entries this month, with the highest being the Boulder County Bombers who come in at 66. The biggest climber is Sonoma County Roller Derby, who rose 29 places to 117. You can see the full current ranking (including details of the new entries, climbers and fallers on our WFTDA Rankings page.
The most notable rise near the top is Toronto Roller Derby who are now rated as Canada’s top-performing team over the past 12 months, rising 16 places to 13. The other big rise among the D1-playoffs-level teams is Santa Cruz, who move up 8 spots to 24–the final spot for that all-important top-six seeding at playoffs. Also of note is Brandywine, who climb 13 spots to claim the final D1 playoff qualification spot at 40 at the season’s three-quarter mark. They enter the top 40 at the expense of Cincinnati, who drop 6 to 44.
D1’s biggest declines come from 2007 WFTDA Champions Kansas City (down 10 to 29) and Wasatch (down 5 to 28).
In the D2 playoff spots, SoCal climbed 17 places from 60 to 43 to secure their place, while St Chux and Tucson both broke into the playoff zone at 53 and 56 with jumps of 10 and 21 respectively, taking spots from Grand Raggidy (now 62, down 5) and Duke City (now 67, down 12).
Elsewhere notable falls include Slaughter County (down 30 to 148), Dominion (down 28 to 143) Bellingham Roller Betties (down 27 to 138), Little Steel (down 25 to 128), ICT Rollergirls (down 22 to 134), Lowcountry Highrollers (down 20 to 107), Silicon Valley (down 19 to 83) and Tallahassee (down 18 to 110).
Other teams near the very bottom of the rankings also suffer some big slides, but these are mostly due to the 12 teams entering above them rather than large relative movement.
WFTDA also announced a significant change to the way that teams game performance will be ranked. The fundamentals of the maths hasn’t changed–but rather than a team’s position being used to calculate their strength rating, their current average rating will be used as the basis for calculation.
This should serve to remove some of the discouragement for teams at the top playing each other–the teams in the top 30 were all effectively under-ranked in the old system thanks, in part, to the accrual of bonus points for playing at playoffs and championships. These changes are not only effective immediately, they are being backdated to include all games played since December 1, 2013–the nominal official start of WFTDA’s competitive season, at which point placements for divisional gameplay requirements are set.
For playoff qualification this year, teams will have a rating that will comprise a mixture of bouts ranked under the old system and the new as playoff qualification is judged on rolling 12-month performance from July 1. While this should make the system more accurate in the long run, it will have some interesting knock-on effects this season. For Division 1 playoff teams in particular they will get more points per game than they would have been expecting for games in the second half of this season as the new calculation system not only more accurately rates teams, it also materially increases the points for each game against every team above 168.
When asked about this change, and the change in weighting for regular-season games this year, WFTDA told us that “Everyone is on the same footing, so we aren’t expecting this to cause any issues. There were other possible options, but this is was the implementation schedule selected by the majority of member leagues.”
It was also confirmed that henceforth rankings would be released as they are calculated monthly–with the exception of those for the three months after playoff seeding is announced. This means that while rankings will be calculated every month, only nine of the twelve will be released: the July, August and September rankings will be confidential.
Asked about this limitation, WFTDA said: “Playoff brackets are set by the June 30 Rankings. Releasing between the time of the brackets release and the time of the tournaments is not ideal to us. Game play between July 1 and December 1 is not considered part of the WFTDA competitive season, though any games played during that time will still contribute to a team’s overall average.”