It was a huge weekend on the flat track, with more than 150 games recorded over at the DNN scores page. Most of this was at tournament play, but there were many high stakes division 1 games also played in isolation. Here we take a look at one of the big tournaments over the weekend, and also break down some of the standout division 1 games that happened over the weekend.
You can read all about the implications of The Big O in our editorial on the subject; in summary, though, Texas are looking great, Rose are looking good, Philly are looking interesting, Arizona and Terminal are coming up, KCRW and Oly are going down, Treasure Valley’s ambition seems to know no limits, and there are going to be a bunch of teams who are good enough to compete at playoffs this year who won’t be there.
You can see the final placements for Beach Brawl’s six groups over on our Facebook page.
Overall, the implications for playoffs are hard to tease out as the rankings teams started the weekend on are yet to be released, and the rankings they had in the year-ago period for games aging out this month are confidential.
While the fine details is impossible, we can work out some big-picture stuff. Stockholm won’t be going to WFTDA playoffs this year. Despite a pretty strong showing well in advance of what might have been expected from either their WFTDA or FTS ranking–they were FTS’ biggest climbers of the weekend, and are now 48th in their WFTDA chart–they won’t be troubling the top 40. In fact, the weight of games against other European teams means they’re unlikely to make many inroads even into the top 80 for some time to come. One cruel irony is that one of those games is against Edinburgh’s Auld Reekie, who will also climb the rankings after this weekend; if both teams played at the start of next month, when these games have been counted, to the same result, it would probably lift them both towards playoffs rather than dragging them both down.
Elsewhere, Detroit, despite three strong showings including a come-from-behind win against Nashville are likely to still be flirting with disaster around the very bottom of Division 1. Nashville’s results pin the champs-hosting team below Detroit; as well as losing to the Motor City team, their results against Tri-City and Fort Myers were also worse. What this means for playoffs is less clear thanks to their schedule.
Tri-City’s results by themselves may look likely to slow their D1 playoff charge–but these results coming in will be offset by games aging out in the April and May rankings from 2013 including losses to Connecticut and Killamazoo, as well as a win over Hammer City. They also outperformed their FTS expectation for every game in Florida, a strong indicator that they are indeed heading in the right direction.
Further down we don’t think anyone had the buster weekend they would have required to help a serious charge towards Division 1 playoffs. Even Blue Ridge’s 3-0, +504 weekend probably won’t have that much of an impact thanks to the lowliness of their opposition who are all around the boundary zone where the recent change to the ranking system provides bonus points for games played in the second half of the season(see the graph in this article for more information on that).
However, our back-of-envelope maths suggests that there is a good chance of good news for the Berlin Bombshells. The ladies from Bear City Roller Derby might have gone 1-2 for the weekend, but adding in their pre-tournament loss to Tampa and taking into account the fact they only have one European game dragging them down we think they have a very good shot of finding themselves in the D2 playoff positions in June. Whether they can hang on until July is another matter, but we think they have done enough for now. DC, Gold Coast, Blue Ridge and Dallas also look to be bolstering their D2 playoff cases. Suburbia one is less clear about; they just squeaked into D2 playoffs last year and did creditably. The playoff bonus points will help their ranking through this year, but we just can’t tell yet if it’ll be enough.
Carolina in the next group down looked to be making something of a surge back up the rankings–but their 1-2 weekend with heavy losses to both Dallas and Blue Ridge and only a relatively narrow win over Windsor means that their charge looks very likely to be curtailed–in fact, they now find themselves at 119th in FTS’ WFTDA table.
Bogotá’s Rock n Roller Queens notched up their first sanctioned win on their first attempt against Tallahassee, becoming the first South American team to beat one from the USA. They lost their other two games, though, and won’t be troubling the playoff places. Maine’s 3-0 record in the same group, with an impressive +475 differential, will boost their ranking position; come qualification time they will be in the unusual position of only having games from 2014 counting towards 2014 playoff qualification, so their placement will be entirely based on this year’s performance by this year’s squad–but they do face an uphill battle to qualify from 81 in the most recently published rankings.
Naptown Outlasts Ohio
WFTDA #20 Ohio traveled to Indianapolis on the weekend to take on #11 Naptown. This game was Naptown’s eighth game (and sixth sanctioned game) of the season, making them one of the most active teams in the top 20 so far this season. In sanctioned play, Naptown have already beaten #47 Bleeding Heartland, #44 Cincinnati, #31 New Hampshire, #42 Tri-City, and have lost one game – to #33 Mad Rollin’ Dolls. Ohio, has also played six sanctioned bouts this year, and outside of a 227-point loss to #14 Montreal, they have beaten out #38 Nashville, Bleeding Heartland and Tri-City, and even squeaked out a 13-point win against #13 Toronto. Having only played lower end teams, it could have been a risk for Naptown to go into a game against Ohio and come out victorious, but after a hard, close-fought bought, Naptown came out on top with a 163-140 win at home.
Montreal Slides Past Boston
WFTDA #14 Montreal had a disappointing end to its 2013 season. The New Skids on the Block came into Fort Wayne playoffs as second seed, but ambled through the competition with a close win against #7 seed Wasatch, before losing to both Ohio and London and coming out of the competition fourth. Despite a rankings setback that put them below #13 Toronto in the latest rankings release, Montreal has had a great start to the 2014 season, championing over Ohio, Bleeding Heartland and Toronto (twice). This weekend Montreal hosted WFTDA #16 Boston, who had a similar end to 2013, being knocked out of Salem playoffs and dropping from 6th to 7th seed. Boston’s first game of the year was just three weeks ago against a strengthened Charm City, who they lost to by just 39 points. This weekend, Montreal looked revitalized and was able to take the home win 239-162.
Team United Lays Arch Rival
United has been on our radar since they formed in 2013 – under the tutelage of Your Mom Roller Derby’s Mark Muse, Team United was able to go from complete obscurity in mid-2013 to beating Minnesota in December. While Minnesota was able to exact revenge two months later with a 200+ point win, Team United has become arguably the most interesting apprentice league in the WFTDA. This weekend, Team United took on WFTDA #21 Arch Rival. With a track record of taking out top level teams, Team United did not disappoint, dominating from start to finish and taking the win 181-81. While this team has not graduated to full membership yet, we’re sure the world of flat track is likely to see a lot more of this promising Iowa team.
Want to know what to look out for this coming weekend? Look out for the weekend preview soon!