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[Wrapup] Live from the 2007 WFTDA National Championships

2007 WFTDA National Champions:
The Kansas City Roller Warriors

The tournament is over, and holy sweet goddamn what a tournament it was. The home town Texas Rollergirls landed in third place after a tough loss to the Rat City Rollergirls and a relatively relaxed victory over the Carolina Rollergirls. In the final bout, the Kansas City Roller Warriors delivered a STUNNING victory, defeating the formidable Rat City Rollergirls by just four points in one of the most exciting derby bouts in the history of the universe.

MVP Awards
One MVP was chosen from each team in the final bout. The MVPs were Kansas City's Xcelerator (who's a rookie, by the way) and Rat City's Miss Fortune.

We'll have the full bout play by play archive up here on the site within a couple of days. Until then, you can view the special liveblog section here. It will no longer auto-update, obviously, since there's no new info.

Stuff to check out:

Special thanks to Apocalippz and SlaughterMelon for inviting me down and taking good care of me during the tournament. There's no way we could provide the live coverage without their blessing and help, so cheers to the Shootout crew!

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Day 1: Almost a Western Sweep

So the sharksuit stays in KC (vs GGRD), and Windy City and Detroit get whalloped. It's amazing that Carolina beat Tucson today....

Personally, I don't like the two period format-- don't know why any of the Eastern teams went with it; that's not how the Heartland Havoc matches went, and I think the last 10 minutes of each period not being in a separate period destroyed GGRD's chances (Snot Rocket's grand slam + jam and 10-1 jam were in the last 5 minutes of BOTH periods when I have a feeling GGRD was dead tired and unable to defend any more....) What do you folks think about the format switch???

Shawn S Fahrer

Odd you should mention that

Odd you should mention that -- I expected that Gotham would benefit from the two 30 minute period format, as that's how their home games are structured and to the best of my knowledge only Rat City does the same. Didn't seem to work that way, though.

I was a little surprised to find out that we were switching the structure from the regionals.
I think the 30 minute periods are better for the audience, but it's clearly rough on the players. Not to mention the poor, put-upon jam refs...

Justice Feelgood Marshall - America's Referee
derbynewsnetwork.com

re: Day 1: Almost a Western Sweep

I also prefer the 20 minute format, but it's just a personal preference since I'm not actually out there doing anything. It's more exciting when the bouts are close because you get another intermission to wonder what'll happen next. But some prefer the 30 minute format. I suspect they did it this way to keep the schedule tighter; the extra break in each bout leads to more fucking around time and overall probably adds an hour or more to each day's timeline.

re: Day 1: Almost a Western Sweep

I suspect you're onto something there re the event timing thing.

-Barely even speaking for myself...
*~[;-p
Grand Poobah
Stats Geek
Sin City Rollergirls

Carolina's performance at regionals vs nationals

After playing excellent against Providence and then basically coming out sluggish against Windy City, Carolina had a gut-check moment.

The Texas game two weeks ago was enough of a confidence boost and a chance to play a western team.

The real test wasn't Tuscon - I know that sounds odd but they wanted to play hard, do their best ... win or lose. They knew they could hang and maybe win. The real test will be Kansas City ... the second game. The Providence game at regionals was the most important game Carolina had on their schedule in 2007 - but that was before this one. Unlike regionals, they expect to be able to get some sleep, refocus and prepare.

We've only played 20 minute periods previously - this is Carolina's first 30-minute-periods bout. Practice though, has been running 30+ periods pretty consistently since regionals. I'm sure it's a factor for some teams.

Home bouts are also not quite as tough as this level of interleague bouting; it can give you a false sense of endurance and readiness.

As for the 2 30 minute

As for the 2 30 minute periods, I don't tend to like them much as well. At the ECE, I played 1, 30 minute period game with Team Awesome and thought that shit lasted forEVER.
In a normal game, you can organize line-ups for a 20 minute period. Giving each girl on the bench a good time in the game as well as rest time. Using your stronger players just enough to exhaust them right before the intermission.
Now, you have all your players tired and trying to find subs for them gets a little tricky. As for your jammers (usually a team relies on 2-3 jammers during interleague games) they get the crap beat out of them and need to have more than 1 jam off to rest (especially if that jam is only 30 or so seconds). Not to mention, this format doesn't allow your jammers any blocking time. And speaking from experience, I learn a lot when I'm blocking against the team I jam against. Finding their weaknesses and using that to better my movements through them in a later jam.

So.. who knows why they did what they did, but this sport is trying all formats to find the most perfect tournament structure and in order to find that structure, you have to try a lot of different things to eliminate, or praise, their outcome.

It's now time to read the game.

Roxy Rockett

PS- We don't need no MAV-TV, we got Lead jammer and the twitter feed! Keep it grassroots bitches!!!!

Re: As for the 2 30 minute periods

My suspicion is that they did two periods to ensure that each team got equal team with each jammer referee, as opposed to two periods with one and only one with another. The two period approach removes one more variable that could potentially sway the outcome. Just a guess.

Equal jammer ref time...

can also be accomplished with four 15 minute periods-- with one jammer ref doing periods 1 and 3, and the other one doing periods 2 & 4. Extend the halftime between periods 2 and 3 to 15 or 20 minutes or whatever), and shorten the break between periods 1 and 2, and periods 3 & 4 for time purposes (to, say 5 or 10 minutes or whatever)if you wish. But 30 minute periods are simply too long-- it's almost like watching soccer!

I'm a roller derby fan from WAY back (late 1960s!), and even the professional skaters only skated 10 minute periods and one minute long jams back then. Personally, I don't know what's keeping the current skaters horizontal after one THIRTY minute period even with skaters being rotated, much less two such long periods in a row.

Remember, these are AMATEURS, not professional roller skaters, so they can't be held to as high a standard as those of the IRDL or even Rollerjam. But with the extra amount of players on each WFTDA team (vs way back when), 15 or 20 minute periods should be OK. And if you're really concerned about the jammer ref factor (is it REALLY that important?), then try the four period concept I've proposed. It still adds up to 60 minutes of elapsed time no matter how you slice it....

Shawn S Fahrer
"We must get the Sharksuit back from KCRW in 2008"-- for Lil Miss Stuffit and GGRD....

Texas v. Rat City Semi

It seemed, just following the live blog, that the huge turning point was early in the second period. Texas was up 60-56. Only minutes later, Rat City was up 77-60 and the Texas manager had been ejected. So, Rat City ran off 21 straight points!? What happened there???
Texas clawed back after that, but never completely recovered.

Everything I've read

Everything I've read indicates that Rat City played very physically (and sometimes paying for it at the wrong times) and has a jammer or two for whom grand slams come fairly regularly. Add the two up...

-Barely even speaking for myself...
*~[;-p
Grand Poobah
Stats Geek
Sin City Rollergirls

Championship bout...

Kansas City and Rat City seem to be more alike than different. Both fairly physical teams with exceptional jammers that seem to get grand slams with shocking regularity. It'll be interesting to see how this works against a similar styled team.

It seems like a terrifically exciting bout thusfar and should prove to be even moreso as the minors add up to four and players move to the box. Rat City seems to have an uncanny talent for not giving up too many points even when they're short-handed or jammerless.

Thusfar it seems like Kansas City's bout. Though as was said elsewhere on the board, Rat City is USED TO 30 minute periods, and has had a history of making incredible scoring efforts in the late running. Perhaps their stamina will put them back on top?

-Barely even speaking for myself...
*~[;-p
Grand Poobah
Stats Geek
Sin City Rollergirls

Well....

The general consensus is that Rat City was, in fact, playing a very...physical game that somehow went overlooked by one of the refs. I think that the TXRG were feeling their team morale bottom out, especially when Lady X got injured and had to sit out for the rest of the championship (why didn't all the rollergirls immediately take a knee after that happened again?). Rat City is a very talented team that didn't need to resort to shady tactics to win. But, in the opinion of this fan (and most of the other derby fans at the bout - except, of course, for the ones supporting the Rats), we would have seen a different outcome if the refs had been more...aware.

Is the RCRG/DDG score on the live blog correct?

I've seen it mentioned elsewhere (Phil Arnold in RollerDerbyIsSport, saying he has the stat sheets) that the final score for the bout was actually 160-50.

-Barely even speaking for myself...
*~[;-p
Grand Poobah
Stats Geek
Sin City Rollergirls

Laptop Safety

HEY THERE YOU!!!

Don't eat my laptop!

-S

I agree one hundred percent.

I agree one hundred percent. I think the optimum would be four 15 minute periods; with the first and second intermissions being fairly short; no more than 5 minutes; enough time for teams to chat a little and fans to take a break or get a beer, but not disrupt the game flow substantially. So, yeah, put me in the four periods crowd.

The rules only allow 2 or 3 periods. Given those choices, 2 makes sense for the reason I gave. There's certainly still a downside to the lesser-conditioned teams.

I never thought about that

I never thought about that possibility, but it does seem like a good one. Even better, no break at all between the 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th periods. Just a timeout to switch the refs around and set the clock back up to 15. That's how NFL football works (plus three minutes for commercials...)

On the whole though, I still think that 3 20 minute periods is better for the athletes. I saw many of the girls this weekend falter at the end of the second period from pure exhaustion.

Or, if you're gonna make them play for 30 minutes, maybe let them have an extra 3 girls on the bench.