Preview: Great Southern Slam
The Great Southern Slam takes place at the Adelaide Showgrounds on June 12 and 13, 2010. It's the Asia Pacific region's first derby tournament and is on track to be the largest derby event anywhere, ever. Fifteen teams of skaters will compete in round-robin mini-pools to establish seeding, with eight teams progressing into a single elimination tournament on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
DNN's live coverage of this historic tournament begins at 10am Adelaide time on Saturday June 12 (8:30pm Eastern, 5:30pm Pacific on Friday, June 11 in the States.). Live coverage of The Great Southern Slam is presented by Riedell Skates and Fast Girl Skates, and is also made possible by generous support from DNN viewers like you!
The Slam is designed to be an inclusive experience; with the exception of safety-based minimum skill standards (based on the WFTDA Minimum Skills Assessment), no requirements were levied on teams wishing to participate. Any league wishing to field a competitive team could do so. As a result, the experience levels within the tournament range from the four-year-old Pirate City Rollers to teams which have not played even a single home bout. With Geelong and Ballarat, and Western Australia and Wellington uniting in combined teams, as well as Team Pot Luck, sixteen leagues are represented in the competitive section of the Slam.
In addition, pick-up and themed challenge games are open to any skater who has passed their league's minimum skills and registered with the Great Southern Slam. Skaters from twenty leagues around Australia and New Zealand will be participating in the various events at the tournament.
Tournament structure follows the precedent set by Roll Britannia in seeking to establish seeding amongst a group of teams with widely disparate skill levels and little previous play. This also had the advantage of guaranteeing all participating teams a minimum of two games. Bouts will be played under the WFTDA ruleset dated December 1, 2009, with the exception that games within the round-robin mini-pools will consist of two 20-minute periods.
Each mini-pool of three teams contains an 'established team', which typically has a moderate amount of interleague experience and between two and four seasons of home play behind them,an 'intermediate team' - likely to have played one or two home seasons, and little if any interleague experience - and a 'new team'. It's these third teams which have the greatest variability and can be expected to throw up some surprises - some of the newest leagues represented at TGSS haven't played a single public game and the Slam is their first opportunity to show what they can do.
The winners of each of the five pools get an automatic pass into the quarter-finals; they'll be joined by three runner-up teams, selected based on point differentials in their preliminary rounds. The pools have been set up to ensure that leagues who have previously competed against each other will not meet in the preliminary rounds of the tournament, with a view to ensuring a new variety of interleague play.