WFTDA has released its members' update to the ruleset for 2014. Get all the details here.
login | register
Enter your Derby News Network username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.

you forgot it?!?

East Playoffs: 8E Dutchland Forfeits to 1E Gotham

In a first at a WFTDA regional tournament, 8E Dutchland has decided to forfeit their game against 1E Gotham.

Dutchland bench coach Merv the Perv stated that Dutchland chose to forfeit because they felt it was strategically better for their final placement in the tournament to not play a game that they were likely to lose to by a significant margin and to go into the consolation rounds with a fresher team.

In the place of the scheduled Dutchland / Gotham game, Gotham will scrimmage the teams that were eliminated in the opening round: a 30 minute half against Maine and a 30 minute half against Carolina.

Gotham will automatically advance to the Saturday semifinals to face the winner of Steel City / Montreal; Dutchland plays at 6pm Saturday in the consolation bracket against the winner of Carolina vs the loser of Steel City / Montreal.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

has anyone given a reason?

has anyone given a reason?

oh there it is, sorry!

oh there it is, sorry!

Pathetic

I'm sorry, but that's just pathetic, unsportswomanlike, and, did I mention pathetic?

Zero respect for that decision. I thought this was a sport! They should be DQ'd from the rest of the tournament and sent home IMHO. Let Maine play Gotham in their place.

Weak.

AGREED! +1! LIKE LIKE LIKE!

As a Maine fan, I support this 100%. Even if it means nothing in terms of ranking, let Maine skate!

Wow

I'm sorry, but wow. How embarrassing. That is some amazingly terrible sportswomanship right there. I bet Maine would have loved the opportunity to play a team as fantastic as Gotham. I know Maine was hopeful to win vs. Dutchland SPECIFICALLY so they'd have the opportunity to play Gotham. They were excited about the idea of playing against such greats as Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders. Give Maine the chance. Wow. Shame on you Dutchland.

is this real life?!?!?!

Purlgirl918 wrote:

I'm sorry, but wow. How embarrassing. That is some amazingly terrible sportswomanship right there. I bet Maine would have loved the opportunity to play a team as fantastic as Gotham. I know Maine was hopeful to win vs. Dutchland SPECIFICALLY so they'd have the opportunity to play Gotham. They were excited about the idea of playing against such greats as Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders. Give Maine the chance. Wow. Shame on you Dutchland.

a million and 1 facebook likes.

play derby. so what if you lose by a million - you learn just as much from a loss as you do from a win.

SO embarrassing and they should be ashamed.

For love of the sport

"play derby. so what if you lose by a million - you learn just as much from a loss as you do from a win."

LOVE IT! Where is the damn LIKE button on this thing? :) It's not whether you win or lose, it's for love of the sport that you play those amazing ladies!! If you don't love the sport, get the F off the track! Other teams would beg for the opportunity to be on the track with Gotham.

WHY?

WHY bother turning upto to Eastern Regionals if your not going to pit yourself against the best teams.
I agree they should be disqualified and Maine should take their place.
Guarantee Maine wouldn't have forfitted!!

Disgraceful

WFTDA is just too big...

This proves once again what I have been saying for quite awhile now. WFTDA is getting way too big and now needs to divide into at least an upper and lower division with lower division teams playing other lower division teams at the tournament and likewise for upper division. There would be a promotion and demotion process to move teams between divisions on a season by season basis.

In this move, Dutchland has only proven that they are truly a lower division team and should be placed accordingly. I feel sorry for the upper division capable teams that were left out as a result of this.

This tarnishes the reputation of roller derby especially in a time when we are trying to get the sport covered as a sport and not as a human interest story. Could you imagine if something like this took place in the MLB, the NFL or the NBA?

In order to be taken seriously, Derby needs to behave more professional. "By the skaters and for the skaters" was fine 5 years ago when there were few leagues playing in indoor roller rinks and outdoor hockey rinks.. now we have leagues playing in stadiums. Derby at both the WFTDA and league levels needs to change it's "front office" business model if it is going to succeed. It's time to think about the fans, the media and the sponsors.

3/4 correct

I agree with your last three paragraphs, but not the first -- what's the cutoff? Minnesota came in to NC Regionals ranked #7 last year and made it to Championships. Anything can and does happen in this game, and you never know how well you're going to do until you try.

And now Dutchland will never know.

I've been involved with many

I've been involved with many discussions on this topic and the Gnosis Division Plan would simply be elective. Two or three divisions are formed and every six months, each team decides which division they want to be a part of. When a team feels they are ready, they move themselves up a division. If they're not doing well and sick of getting kicked around, they declare themselves down to a lower division. Bam.

I like the idea of self

I like the idea of self identification of division..

This was proposed

elaborately in a well researched plan after studying many other professional sports' systems, in WFTDA, back in 2008. The self-selection part of the proposal was the part most people seemed to fear when it was overwhelmingly voted down. I wonder if the current membership would reject this idea, since membership has more than doubled since then?

Thanks for the confirmation, Mercy

I thought I heard back in 2008 that WFTDA had researched skill divisions and had voted them down and went with expanding the regions, but I wasn't sure.

Totally agree

Your point about it being time to think about the fans is incredibly spot on. People paid money to be in that arena to see live roller derby and they should feel cheated.

RE: WFTDA is just too big...

you could also go to a NCAA type format with Division I, Division II & Division III so that lesser teams and/or smaller markets could have their own Nat'l championship.

Bad example

SpookyMulder wrote:

you could also go to a NCAA type format with Division I, Division II & Division III so that lesser teams and/or smaller markets could have their own Nat'l championship.

Very bad example if you're arguing wftda is too big. NCAA division I has 346 members(120 in the football FBS). WFTDA has 124.

Also, as NCAA football comparison's go Dutchland/Gotham would be similar to Alabama vs a team like Florida International or Nevada (based on some computer rankings Alabama is ranked between 1st and 3rd, and FIU/Nevada are in the 38-40 range.) Safe to say any of those games have a 99% chance of not being close.

Other sports still regularly have blowouts. I'm not sure why everyone thinks a sport as young as derby should solve a problem that other sports decades/centuries older haven't solved.

Boycott

If I were an eastern region team, I'd refuse to play Dutchland next season to prove a point. You do NOT forfeit. Man...I don't know anything about this team, but I'm all worked up and shocked by this.

I agree!

I came here to post this. I hope people boycott playing Dutchland in any sanctioned games next year. Shame on them!

Seriously

London would love to have a chance to have our arses kicked by Gotham. Forfeiting for "strategy" should be grounds for losing their WFTDA accreditation. So weak.

I agree.

"Strategically" forfeiting a match at tournament play shows a severe lack of respect for this sport, the women who play it, and the men and women who support it.

I had higher hopes for Dutchland

Bummer. Terrible decision.

Afraid this would happen

I was afraid this sort of blow-up would happen if they did this. Dutchland are not cowards. I can tell you it was a very well thought out decision and was not taken lightly. Instead of risking injury and exhaustion from a game they have no chance of winning, they are saving themselves for a game they have a chance at. I agree this would have been a good learning opportunity for them, and I am disappointed they made this decision, I just hope that people can be understanding and not shun them for this decision.

I will ALWAYS be proud to have started my derby career with Dutchland!

Re: Afraid this would happen

Ditto, Scream. I have known, trained, bouted and had my girls coached by the Dutchies for the better part of Five seasons now and know them as nothing but fierce competitors and great strategists. I "get" the decision. Don't have to like it tho. My respect for them hasn't changed. I'm sure it was an extremely difficult decision and one I'd rather not have to make...yet.

I'm sure they're lovely people...

...and maybe they aren't cowards. But they made really, really, really bad decision. They'll be boo'd like crazy in their loser-bracket games and I hope they end up in 10th place despite their "strategic" decision to rest. I mean really -- who makes a point of resting up for the LOSER'S bracket?!?

So yeah...for me, I shall shun. :)

PS: Did they not learn anything from London? It would appear that getting your butts handed to you by great teams might actually be helpful.

I agree it was a very very

I agree it was a very very bad decision. I'm just sad about the hate

There's hate and then there's hate.

This is just people trying to lay down the law about their view on the decision, in the strongest terms they can. There's no real hate, only tough derbylove.

True

Maybe not hate, true, but I think there's too much anger for it to be tough derbylove. Throwing them out of WFTDA, boycotting their games, is more than tough love. I just want everyone to be happy!

In defence of my "WFTDA disaccreditation" comment

I *was* shouting-at-the-TV drunk, and that was just initial outrage.

Sad about the hate

Blue Scream of Death wrote:

I agree it was a very very bad decision. I'm just sad about the hate

Yeah...I'll admit I got a bit overly-worked-up about this. No hate here...maybe just some lingering disbelief. :)

Now on to bigger and better things -- Go Rocky Mountain! (ooh, but if somebody forfeits against THEM and cheats me out of an RMRG game, I might have to get all worked up again!) ;-)

BULLSHIT

I'm calling this what it is. 100% bull shit. If they had any PRIDE whatsoever, Dutchland would have played Gotham. I, as a derby player, am embarrassed at you (DUTCHLAND DERBY ROLLERS) and your lack of class. Really Pathetic Ladies. You should be proud. Oh. wait.....

Relax

I am no longer a Dutchland player. I did not make this decision. I agree they should have played Gotham. I agree it was an awful decision. I just want people to see their side. You don't have to agree with the decision (I don't). I'm trying to have a rational conversation. I'm aware that was a dumb idea, seeing as this is the internet.

Chill

"I can tell you it was a very

"I can tell you it was a very well thought out decision"

You are wrong.

It may have been a CAREFULLY thought out decision, but it was certainly not WELL thought out.

Look: They screwed Maine. They earned the derision of 'most every derby player everywhere in the world. They screwed Gotham. They've probably lost any hope of playing any good sanctioned bouts next year. They screwed the people who came to see that bout. And they screwed themselves out of a chance to play bloody GOTHAM CITY! One of the top ranked leagues in the WFTDA!

No, this was not a well thought out decision.

Gotham City...

Misery Lou wrote:

And they screwed themselves out of a chance to play bloody GOTHAM CITY! One of the top ranked leagues in the WFTDA!

No, this was not a well thought out decision.

Clearly. Now they've got Batman AND Aunt Harriet pissed off at them. Does Gotham City even have a roller derby team? I must have missed that episode. Please tell me it was one of the ones where Alfred dressed up as Batman.

Every other Bat-related

Every other Bat-related character got their own title at DC this month; it's not inconceivable that Gotham City also got a roller derby team. Last time i checked, Peter Parker was dating a derby skater but i don't think those teams would play in the same league.

Peter Parker's girlfriend playing derby...

revnorb wrote:

Every other Bat-related character got their own title at DC this month; it's not inconceivable that Gotham City also got a roller derby team. Last time i checked, Peter Parker was dating a derby skater but i don't think those teams would play in the same league.

I wish I'd bought that particular comic (I read a few pages of it online). The weird thing is that one of the teams in that particular NYC league shares their name with a Roc City Roller Derby home team, the Midtown Maulers. The writer obviously named it for a section of Manhattan, while ours is named for our late Midtown Mall (arguably the first indoor mall in the U.S.).

Now we're talking about malls?

Poobah wrote:

...Midtown Mall (arguably the first indoor mall in the U.S.).

Nope, that was Southdale in Edina, Minnesota (a Minneapolis suburb). We had like four indoor malls in the Twin Cities before Midtown opened in 1962.

cowards

why make the very long trip to forfeit??? cowards!!! and they should be shuned by the entire derby world!!!

Counterpoint

GrimStreeper wrote:

why make the very long trip to forfeit??? cowards!!! and they should be shuned by the entire derby world!!!

Why make the very long trip just to play in a game that they were sure to lose in by 300 points?

And Dutchland was guaranteed to play in at least three games this weekend. They wouldn't have come all the way here if they were just going to show up, forfeit a game, and then go home. There are still two more days and two more games left in this tournament that they have a chance of winning.

I realize this is not really your point

...but Lancaster, PA is about a 90 minute drive from Baltimore :)

Oh man

I love you JFM.

I get it.

While I can't imagine turning down a chance to play Gotham, you can't argue that Dutchland will be in better shape going into their consolation game with Steel City or Montreal. But it's a weird choice, definitely not fan-friendly and I bet if they lose that game on Saturday they're going to feel pretty silly.

Also, without giving *too* much away, I will say it seems to me that the proposed WFTDA rankings system changes may encourage exactly this "strategy". But you know, that's just like, my opinion, man.

A strange game.

The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

Coward

If you're not up for some friendly global thermonuclear war, maybe you should just go home hippy!

A lot of countries out there would BEG to be nuked by Gotham.

Get that checkbook ready!

I assume that Dutchland is going to compensate Gotham for a night in the hotel, extra day of rental cars, and meals, seeing as GGRD didn't really need to be here today.

Reimbursing Gotham's fans who

Reimbursing Gotham's fans who paid money to be there too may not be a bad idea.

Good point...

...and kudos to Gotham for the scrimmaging the other teams. Way to be the bigger team. Although Dutchland didn't seem to consider perhaps Gotham didn't want to be 100% fresh for their second game of the tourney. Isn't this the exact controversy the Rugby World Cup is currently facing?

What a great opportunity for Maine, though!

I don't think it makes sense to pass up an opportunity to play Gotham in the hopes of being in better shape for a consolation game, and I think it sucks for Gotham.

BUT

Maine is so lucky! What an outstanding opportunity and GOOD FOR THEM for taking it! I will be cheering my ass off for Maine.

And good on Gotham for stepping up!

That's some class right there!

I agree...

I just became a much bigger Gotham fan.

This! Dutchland's missing out

This!

Dutchland's missing out on a huge learning opportunity, and I'm sure they realize that (I even bet there are some skaters who are at least a little upset about this).
But I'm sure Maine and Carolina are excited for that opportunity and it's awesome to see that all three teams are willing to skate when they don't have to, especially Gotham!

WOW

You have to play the best to beat the best!

I was also initially shocked

I was also initially shocked and grossed by the decision to forfeit; but, that said, this underscores the fact that a low-seeded team should NOT have to play a top seed the same day as they have played another bout. Would a forfeit of this nature ever happen in the NCAA tournament? No, but a team wouldn't be scheduled to play two games a day in the NCAA tournament, either. This is a broken tournament design IMO, with regards to the 7-10 seeds.

fo' sho

revnorb wrote:

I was also initially shocked and grossed by the decision to forfeit; but, that said, this underscores the fact that a low-seeded team should NOT have to play a top seed the same day as they have played another bout. Would a forfeit of this nature ever happen in the NCAA tournament? No, but a team wouldn't be scheduled to play two games a day in the NCAA tournament, either. This is a broken tournament design IMO, with regards to the 7-10 seeds.

i do agree with this! to expect a lower seed team to play not only two games in one day but one of those games against a top seed team - that is something that needs to be looked at.

man its rough on the streets!

I love you, Nørb, but you're wrong.

Minnesota did it last year. Cinderella stories happen all the time, but they won't if you don't take chances.

I didn't say you couldn't do

I didn't say you couldn't do it...London is gonna do it in about an hour...i did say you shouldn't HAVE to do it. A tired 8 seed shouldn't have to play a fresh 1 seed. But, like they said in the "Super Chicken" cartoons, "you knew the job was dangerous when you took it." It's not like playing Gotham four hours later was a surprise to Dutchland. I'm not sure what benefit forfeiting a game in the hopes of achieving a higher tournament placement holds. Not many people remember who finished #4 thru #10 in a given tournament.

Broken tournament

I hatehateHATE the top-seed-vs.-bottom-seed games that are at every tournament. We all know why they're done, it's because there isn't the time in a weekend to have the lower ranked teams duke it out in a more even setup amongst themselves, and then have the top teams from those games go up against the top teams of the tourney as a whole.

But you know what? It's crap. Blowout games tend to be boring for the fans. We keep saying we want more fans, but then we set up the system to fail the fans by doing the aforementioned pitting first vs. not-nearly-first placed teams against each other.

Now, that doesn't necessarily get Ditchland off the hook, because they knew what they were getting into in the first place. If we're still going to trot out, "By the skater, for the skater", then the skaters gotta cop to knowing that if a tournament is going to be structured in this ridiculous way, be ready for some blowout games that no one outside of the two teams playing are going to care about. OR, how about CHANGING THE WAY THESE THINGS ARE DONE?!

Stop making excuses for ourselves. If we want a OH SO SERIOUS SPORT, then set it up so that SERIOUS SPORTSPLAY can happen, not this blowout crap that teams want to forfeit from so that they can rush to the losers bracket sooner to make a better...bad showing. By the skaters for the skaters is fine, unless it's at the absolute expense of the game, because if we're going to be totally honest with ourselves, we want an audience of people who comprise more than just our derby buddies watching us more often than not.

Not to argue but

Tara Armov wrote:

I hatehateHATE the top-seed-vs.-bottom-seed games that are at every tournament. We all know why they're done, it's because there isn't the time in a weekend to have the lower ranked teams duke it out in a more even setup amongst themselves, and then have the top teams from those games go up against the top teams of the tourney as a whole.

But you know what? It's crap. Blowout games tend to be boring for the fans. We keep saying we want more fans, but then we set up the system to fail the fans by doing the aforementioned pitting first vs. not-nearly-first placed teams against each other.

Now, that doesn't necessarily get Ditchland off the hook, because they knew what they were getting into in the first place. If we're still going to trot out, "By the skater, for the skater", then the skaters gotta cop to knowing that if a tournament is going to be structured in this ridiculous way, be ready for some blowout games that no one outside of the two teams playing are going to care about. OR, how about CHANGING THE WAY THESE THINGS ARE DONE?!

Stop making excuses for ourselves. If we want a OH SO SERIOUS SPORT, then set it up so that SERIOUS SPORTSPLAY can happen, not this blowout crap that teams want to forfeit from so that they can rush to the losers bracket sooner to make a better...bad showing. By the skaters for the skaters is fine, unless it's at the absolute expense of the game, because if we're going to be totally honest with ourselves, we want an audience of people who comprise more than just our derby buddies watching us more often than not.

I have yet to see any sport that doesn't pt higher ranked teams vs lower ranked teams, starting with best vs worst, in a playoff system. If someone out there knows of one please let me know.

Its on purpose

Every sport does this because it produces the best tournament. There is a lot of math involved, but it's true. Constantly pitting close teams against each other gives lower seeds an unfair advantage to advance to the finals. Many professional tournaments re-seed at each level to make sure the highest plays the lowest possible.

Also, blowouts happen in every sport, and people don't complain about it that much. It's part of the game.

How else can you structure a tournament?

Tara Armov wrote:

Stop making excuses for ourselves. If we want a OH SO SERIOUS SPORT, then set it up so that SERIOUS SPORTSPLAY can happen, not this blowout crap that teams want to forfeit from so that they can rush to the losers bracket sooner to make a better...bad showing. By the skaters for the skaters is fine, unless it's at the absolute expense of the game, because if we're going to be totally honest with ourselves, we want an audience of people who comprise more than just our derby buddies watching us more often than not.

As others have pointed out, this is how pretty much every playoff structure in every sport works.

The problem is that the skill difference in derby is much bigger than in most sports. Hell, even #1 vs. #2 in the east was a blowout! But you can't very well just give Gotham a free pass into championships...so you have some blowout games. In the top professional sports, the #1 team and the #8 team aren't nearly as far apart as they are in derby...seeing a #8 seed knock out a #1 seed is still surprising, but it definitely does happen from time to time.

About the only other tournament structure I've ever seen is something called the "swiss system" -- they use it in chess tournaments and it does actually help a little bit in terms of getting weaker teams (players) matched up against each other. But the problem is that it really requires larger groups of teams and more rounds to be reasonable. (and even still...there are going to be big mismatches in the early rounds).

I'm pretty sure the only "solution" to the problem of playoff blowouts is for all of the lower-ranked teams to get better...and for all of the top-ranked teams to stop getting better. :-)

PS: I think the 10-team structure with losers brackets is great. It gives the bottom 4 teams a not-so-insane first game and allows every team to play at least 3 times (with typically at most one game that should be a blowout)...that's a lot more playoff action than most pro sports teams get!

I beg to differ.

revnorb wrote:

Would a forfeit of this nature ever happen in the NCAA tournament? No, but a team wouldn't be scheduled to play two games a day in the NCAA tournament, either. This is a broken tournament design IMO, with regards to the 7-10 seeds.

Being scheduled to play two games a day in an NCAA FOOTBALL tournament might not ever happen, but I have worked NCAA (D III, admittedly, where budgets for travel and lodging are a bit more restrictive) BASKETBALL, VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER and even HOCKEY tournaments in which this *routinely* happened. Perhaps not at the Regional Playoff level, but definitely as a "Weekend Classic" and definitely impacting rankings. Maybe a lot has changed since I was in college 15+ years ago, but I highly doubt it.

I still vote poor sportswomanship.

Noted.

Noted.

WFTDA Fines

WFTDA should fines teams for "forfeiting for strategy."

It's a poor outlook on a sport: "I'm going to get better via not playing the sport."

Forfeit

I don't think it's fair to Dutchland's opponents in the next round. Their opponents will have earned that spot through competition, but Dutchland will be more well-rested and fresh... because they refused to play. That's just not fair.

If a team forfeits, I don't think they should be able to advance in a tournament. I don't think you should be rewarded for quitting. As a coach, I would NEVER want to send that message to my team.

I don't understand this decision. I think it's a shame.

Kudos to Gotham, Maine and Carolina for taking that opportunity. Classy move. One of the best displays of sportswomanship I've seen in a while.

Yes

Very well said, Quad!

Exactly.

Exactly.

Well, this sport has got a

Well, this sport has got a bit of a history of unpopular strategic exploitations of rule systems and what-not. Is this a logical progression from that? A meta-version cousin of the slow game exploit, et al?

Dutchland's "strategy"

revnorb wrote:

Well, this sport has got a bit of a history of unpopular strategic exploitations of rule systems and what-not. Is this a logical progression from that? A meta-version cousin of the slow game exploit, et al?

It is, actually.

If everyone could drop the "anything can happen" and the "they should be so lucky to play Gotham!" bullshit, you'd understand what's really happening here.

Every single person here, and every single person in the building there, knows full well that Gotham was going to beat Dutchland in a blowout. (I don't need to look at your brackets to confirm that.) Dutchland knew it, too.

Put yourself in Dutchland's skates. Here are your two options:

1) Play the game against Gotham after having just played a tough game five hours before and not being at 100% rest, lose by a huge margin, tire yourself out even more and risk possible injuries to skaters, putting you in a weaker position for tomorrow's game, or...

2) Forfeit the game, rest up your skaters tonight and come into tomorrow's game fresher and ready to go, the best possible position to put yourself in.

If I were Dutchland, and I saw I had an opportunity to put myself in the best position to win a game tomorrow, why on earth would I choose option number 1? Everyone blaming Dutchland is naive to the fact that Dutchland is putting their own interests ahead of everyone else: They want to win games (they have a realistic chance of winning) and they will use whatever strategies they deem necessary to do that.

In this case, this "strategy" of forfeiting a game will only benefit Dutchland. There's nothing Gotham, or WFTDA, or the paying fans can do to stop them or change their mind. And everyone suffers on the whole.

So as a result, everyone blames Dutchland. But why? They just did what they believed was in their best interests. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as what they did was completely within the rules that everyone uses. It's fair, right?

But if those self-serving (and completely-allowable-within-the-rulebook) actions are simultaneously in derby's worst interests, then that's a sign that there's something wrong with derby, not something wrong with the team's decision.

Why wasn't there a rule that required all teams to play all scheduled games? Why do WFTDA tournaments require that teams so obviously far apart in skill have to play each other? Why do teams have to play twice in a day? These are things that should be questioned before we question Dutchland's actions.

And ultimately, this is no different than the crap that's been happening with "slow derby" and jam-start loopholes. Teams that do them, do them because they believe using these "strategies" is in their best interest to help themselves win the game.

So if a team like Gotham decides to not move forward after a jam starts, there's nothing the other team can do to make them move forward. But there's nothing wrong with that either, because it's a "strategy" available to both teams. It's fair...right?

But Gotham does it because they want to win. Do we blame Gotham (or Philly or other notorious slow-start teams) for doing what they feel they need to do to win games? If you are, why? If you're not, who else is there to blame but the rules they play by?

"Strategy"??

Well that's like saying stopping and blocking & skating backwards is "strategy". I call it "lazy" and maybe a "lack of stamina". Eye of the beholder I guess.

There is no benefit to Dutchland.

They're forfeiting into a non-advancing position. They will not be back at Eastern Regionals next year no matter how many games they win, because nobody will vote for them to come back. Their reputation is shot. But, woohoo, they're fresh and unhurt.

There is a counter-strategy to the slow game, and strategically, the slow game is not always the right game to play. Gotham doesn't win because the play the slow game, it's just another tool in their toolbox that they can use when they need to. Which is just a long way of saying that the slow game metaphor is totally inapplicable to this situation.

Unfair advantage

Dutchland is now going up against a team that plays Saturday morning (so about six hours of rest) while Dutchland will have had 30 hours of rest.

Yeah, *real* strategic.

On the other hand

It could be a REALLY funny asskicking if their "strategy" doesn't pay off.

Just play

If you enter a tournament in any sport, you play every game. You can't forfeit a game unless you forfeit for all games.
The 'it's not forbidden so we can do it' is going to far here.

'it's not forbidden so we can do it' is going to far

we better put in the rules that dogs can not play roller derby then RIGHT NOW - because next thing you know... AIR BUD 90 - blood on the flat track.

loretta, let's teach your dog

loretta, let's teach your dog how to play roller derby during the off season, please.

done.

done. <3

SC Regions have dealt with this FOREVER!

for the longest time it was almost a given that if you played texas or Kansas City at SC regionals you'd be losing, but EVERY team still did it, they may pull some of their star jammers out of the lineup and fill it with others from their charter, but to turn down the opportunity to play the highest ranked team in your region is just stupid... i'm with the ppl wanting them to reimburse fan's/gotham for the extra day, and i also hope they get beat by someone in the consolation bout lol..... karma has a way of doing that, ya know? ;)

In a

In a derby-world-pushing-for-professional-recognition kind of way, I think this is OK. If Dutchland wants to save their energy for their next bout, I say go for it. If it helps them place higher, go for it. Like everyone's saying, Gotham would have one, pretty much without any doubt!

If derby wants to be recognized in the mainstream,

then derby needs to recognize that it is a spectator sport that needs to attract fans outside of other skaters. Sports become mainstream based on promotion of their top stars and high quality gameplay. In one move, Dutchland has denied paying customers at the arena and those who paid for the HD stream at WFTDA's website a chance to see some of the most famous names in derby play a sanctioned tournament bout. This is very very bad for those in the "we want derby to be mainstream" crowd.

Quitting is not winning

Someone posted online today, "Well, there's no rule against it." A poor, poor excuse for a BS move. I'll bet teams ranked at 11 and under would have jumped at the chance to play Gotham, even if it meant getting smoked. A terrible example and precedent has been set by Dutchland here. The only good thing about it is that in ensures that a rule will be established pronto to keep it from happening in the future - if you skip a bout, you should be out. End of story.

I don't think forfeits should be banned

I just think that anyone considering it for purely strategic reasons should take a good goddamn look at the reaction to it being vented right here.

Come to play or stay home. But if you _need_ to forfeit, I hope the option is open to you.

Hope Dutchland is ready for

a scrappy, diss-filled 2012. They might end up stronger in the end due to a "Boy Named Sue" effect, but at what cost? Should have just played and saved all these furious fingertips.

yeaaaaaah...

Herm Edwards would never stand for that...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMk5sMHj58I

To play the devil's advocate,

To play the devil's advocate, I would like to assert that you actually gain very little by losing in a huge blowout. I have played on the losing (and winning) ends of a lot of blowouts and there's little to be gained by any of the parties involved - except for the respect of your peers for a well-fought game (as in the example of Providence's huge loss against Gotham at Regionals last year).

I'm preaching to the choir and everyone else here has already made valid points about it being unfair to other teams who worked hard to try to earn that spot, to Gotham who paid travel expenses to be there, to paying spectators, and to the team that Dutchland will play tomorrow.

While Dutchland has not violated any rules, they HAVE violated a very basic rule about sportswomanship that we all try to hold dear. Even if they win their next game, they will have lost much of the respect afforded to them by those in the general derby community, and that is the saddest loss of all.

I respectfully disagree,

I respectfully disagree, Kitty. Having played with Nashville against Oly and against Kansas City....we learned a lot from those losses, despite the 100+ margin. Any loss should be a learning experience for a team with heart and drive.

I agree with Quad...a team that forfeits should not be allowed to advance in the tournament. Dutchland's action is impacting other teams as well - not just impacting Dutchland. Selfish. Unsportswomanlike.

SCARED TO PLAY is not a respectable reason.

Are there valid reasons to forfeit?

Or should a forfeit simply be a forfeit from the entire tourney? As a spectator I have little clue.

yes

The only valid reason I see to forfeit is if your skating roster goes so low it's dangerous to play. And I do remember voting for these stipulations where there even could be an official call off of the game, but I'd think that'd be in any sport and I'm not sure if it's ever happened.

As far as learning from losses, I totally disagree KT...you can pick up on strategies, what little jams worked for the losing team and how/why, you can work on penalty killing/power jams...I see very little argument in thinking it's just about respect...embarrassing? maybe if that's how you deal with things...

Go big or go home.

I guess they made their decision.

Yay!

I finally got one right in the WFTDA bracket contest!

Bad form, Dutchland

Not only is this not fair to the other team, it's also a bit arrogant on Dutchland's par to assume they will win their next game and advance the way they want.

And even if one puts all of that aside, they are selling themselves short. Dutchland has now effectively told the derby community that they don't think they have what it takes to go all the way. The mental game is just as important a factor when playing as just about anything else.

Yes, most likely Dutchland would have lost to Gotham. But maybe not. Maybe they would have played the best damn derby of their lives. Maybe they would have given Gotham a run for their money and actually kept it close. Maybe the impossible would have happened and they would have won. London went farther than expected. Last year there were several upsets that no one anticipated.

But now they'll never know. Now they'll just be known as the team that walked away from a potentially amazing experience. How will Dutchland feel going back with their "higher" ranking when they didn't really do ALL they could do to earn it?*

*this is purely my own personal opinion and in no way reflects any opinion on behalf of my league.*

Other sports rules for tournaments

I'm not familiar with other sports-football, baseball, hockey, etc rules, but would a team be able to forfeit one game in a playoff & continue playing in that same playoff? Aren't these regionals sort of like playoffs in other sports? What are their rules regarding forfeiture?

other sports

Well, most other sports don't have double elimination tournaments for their playoffs. NHL, MLB and NBA have series of games, usually best of 5 or best of 7. If you've got three losses already, and then forfeit, then you're out. NFL are all single games, not series. Derby is relatively unique in having tournaments in which a losing team can still play another losing team and keep participating.

To be a bit more precise...

mama morphine wrote:

I'm not familiar with other sports-football, baseball, hockey, etc rules, but would a team be able to forfeit one game in a playoff & continue playing in that same playoff? Aren't these regionals sort of like playoffs in other sports? What are their rules regarding forfeiture?

Actually, these "regionals" (sic) are actually "playoffs" in THIS sport. I notice that my spell-checker has flagged "regionals" (sic) because it is not a word in the English language. "Regional" is an adjective (a word that describes things), not a noun or thing. You can't pluralize it. Hence WFTDA changed the name last year to "East Region Playoffs." At the same time they turned "Nationals" into "Championships" (because WFTDA is international now).

This message brought to you by Anal-Retentive Man! "Yes, my name IS hyphenated!"

Note to the Dutchland Derby Rollers:

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." ~Zig Ziglar

this x one million

I know there are so many reasons for why Dutchland did what they did, but if they could have considered all the Davids out there who would have killed for the chance to take on the Goliath known as Gotham... argh.

Golithum? Goluthum?

Golithum? Goluthum?

IT DOESN'T WANTS TO PLAY THE

IT DOESN'T WANTS TO PLAY THE PRECIOUS!!!

Why? Why? Why?

Why, if you worked soooo hard to get to Regionals through-out the season WHY would you forfeit? So what if it's against Gotham? Those ladies have worked just as hard as you have to get there so WHY not play them???? Believe me I am a HUGH Sports nut of all kinds and I have NEVER seen this happen before! That would be like making it to the Olympics and then saying "No, I don't want to compete against another country! This decision is gonna come back and bite them in the butt somday. Very sad to see this happening.
WHY???????

Chickenshit move

Seems like a decision that was not that clearly thought out to me. They really gain very little by doing this, other than stirring up a lot of bad sentiment and making themselves look like utter imbeciles. Who does that? And like a previous poster said, this is just another rules loophole that is being exploited because it hasn't been put in the rules yet. Seems counter to the spirit of derby to me, and I think that is what makes it a smack in the face to most fans, be they league members or otherwise. Very classy of Gotham to play when they could have easily stood pat and not risked injury/fatigue... they skated for their fans, who should matter most - which is exactly what Dutchland should have realized.

3 Notes.

1. Dutchland didn't forfeit. They just found the next evolution in slow derby.

2. This is now a PR nightmare (on 95). Dutchland skaters may be the most wonderful people on Earth, but I honestly think people will solely view them now as "the team who forfeited at regionals". Its unfair - not only to any skaters who fought against this decision, but to skaters not yet on the all-star team who may be booed in the future for something they weren't even around for.

3. To quote Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game." I am very sorry that the decision-makers over in Dutchlands thought more about their standing in the brackets, than their standings with everyone who bought a video feed package, bought a ticket to Baltimore, and every skater on Gotham (and Maine).

Slow derby

Sean P Hale wrote:

1. Dutchland didn't forfeit. They just found the next evolution in slow derby.

Ha! This is the slowest derby EVER.

No Derby Sucks

No Derby Sucks

Feeling sorry for...

...so many people.
Gotham, the fans (who paid and who are watching from home hoping to learn and be inspired by what they see), and mainly all the Dutchies who WANTED to play.
I can't imagine the entire team voting to forfeit.
I'd hate to have the weight of that on me!
Many of us are (obviously) bummed to not see this challenge...but still have mad love for Dutchland.

I wonder if the decision was

I wonder if the decision was unanimous between all of the Dutchland skaters or if there was some dissent.

I definitely feel bad for the

I definitely feel bad for the Dutchland players who weren't involved in the decision. I've been seeing a lot of non-TT Dutchland skaters and orange-shirt-wearing fans getting the hairy eyeball at the venue. Not only does this decision hurt those who ditched, it hurts everyone wearing Dutchland colors this weekend. It's like being back in Jr. High and getting teased for being friends with the dude who just got caught peeping in the girls locker room. Shame sticks to the people you hang with too.

A setback for derby

As a fan whose first live exposure to modern derby was a Dutchland-Harrisburg bout at Dutchland's home venue in 2009, I have to say this forfeiture is bogus and a black eye for the sport. You're picked for the playoffs, you either decline to go or you go and play all the scheduled games. You don't pick and choose.

I P/Oed a few people here in 2010 when, in commenting about the result of a Philly-Dutchland closed game, I compared the outcome to what one might expect when a major league baseball team goes up against a AAA team. I have nothing but praise for the way Dutchland has steadily climbed the rankings in the region since then, and so it seems all the more a shame that they pass up the opportunity to measure themselves against a team from the upper echelon of derby's major league.

What about V-Diva?

What a loss for our Team USA girl! This could have been her chance to skate against some of her Team USA teammates. I know I've been looking forward to watching her play with Dutchland to see some of the moves that got her onto Team USA. This is disappointing all around, for sure.

GREAT POINT!

I'm on Team Australia and I would LOVE to play my amazing teammates who aren't leaguemates.

recalls a certain conversation about london

pretty sure london would have something to say about choosing to play teams that school you.

Speaking of Team USA...

I don't think that any of the teams from all over the planet (composed of skaters from 1-2 year old start-up teams, in some cases) are going to forfeit to Team USA, just to have the opportunity to compete for 5th-10th place in the world.

They all seem pretty darn excited to play the favorite, no matter what.

That's the derby I know and love.

Team Australia

...are doing everthing we can to play Team USA. I'm the only skater from my league and I'm a founding members/skater/captain/coach only a year and a half ago and all I want to do is play some rad roller derby. We understand the value of learning from the biggest & the best. (And then next time WE can be the team to cause the biggest upset...mwahahaha)

Hey Derby Stats nerds!!!!!

Is there anything beyond anecdotal evidence for the argument that lower ranked teams suffer an abnormally high injury rate when they play higher ranked teams?

I just don't see that as a good argument for bailing on tournament play.

Stats

Octopushy wrote:

Is there anything beyond anecdotal evidence for the argument that lower ranked teams suffer an abnormally high injury rate when they play higher ranked teams?

I just don't see that as a good argument for bailing on tournament play.

Chance of getting injured during a game you don't play in: 0%.

Chance of getting injured during a game you play in: Greater than 0%.

Then why come to Baltimore at all?

By that logic, they shouldn't have come to the tournament at all. Someone could have been injured in the Dutchland/Maine game, after all.

Chance of winning a game you don't play in: 0%
Chance of winning a game you play in: Greater than 0%.

redamndiculous

"Good" strategy argument aside (forfeiting to be rested for a the losing bracket?! Where does that get you? ranked #6 in you region for next year? If anybody will play you, you'll be in the same scenario at next years tournament?) I feel sorry for any bubble team that would have given their right arm and leg to have gotten their A$$es handed to them by Gothem.

You learn waaaay more from a big loss than a big win...take it from Detroit, we've been handed quite a few from Gothem and it only makes any team stronger....

Guess who would've made it if Dutchland hadn't taken the invite?

BlackEyedSkeez wrote:

"Good" strategy argument aside (forfeiting to be rested for a the losing bracket?! Where does that get you? ranked #6 in you region for next year? If anybody will play you, you'll be in the same scenario at next years tournament?) I feel sorry for any bubble team that would have given their right arm and leg to have gotten their A$$es handed to them by Gothem.

You learn waaaay more from a big loss than a big win...take it from Detroit, we've been handed quite a few from Gothem and it only makes any team stronger....

That bubble team that would have made it in if Dutchland had decided to just stay home and not skate in the tournament is....

Tourney co-hosts, the D.C. Rollergirls (ouch)

For those of you who say that

For those of you who say that Dutchland has given the sport a black eye, i'll point out that the girl on Dutchland's logo already had a black eye so you should have seen this coming.

Got me!

Ha, Rev, good one! I'm the only one (so far) who has used the phrase "black eye". As someone well familiar with the Dutchland logo, I should have used some other body part. "Thigh bruise", perhaps?

:(

I would be so upset if my team decided to forfeit a game because they thought we would lose. First, it speaks volumes of what the team thinks of itself. Second, if the team doesn't understand, you would think the coach would understand, that when you get your tush handed to you, you tend to come back with a vengeance because now you have something to prove. And I think that type of energy is WAY better than being "fresh". Third, I can't even begin to explain how much you learn when you play against amazing skaters. I can't speak for others, but when someone like Suzy Hotrod sneaks pass me, I wanna try and figure out what I did wrong and how the hell can I fix it.
This is a sad day for derby competition.
All I have left to say, maybe they should forfeit the afterparty too.

Don't blame the girls

Everyone needs to stop saying Dutchland and the girls. You can start to place all your blame on there coach. I made that decision, and will take the full brunt of your criticism. The comments, boos, the hatred should be toward me. I made the decision that having a chance to moving up a rank or two was worth missing one blow out game. You all keep comparing this sport to others but it is not like other sports. For the skater, by the skater. That is what I am told. A professional sport team would not forfeit because it would cost the owners money. Sports teams often pull starters from a game that has no meaning to them. It, too, is not a fan favorite, but they do it to protect there players. I was thinking, what would be best for this team, during this tournament. I did not consider what "your" feeling would be. I am a roller derby lover but above all, a Dutchland lover. For people to comment that they would not vote us in the top 10, regardless of our merit, is even more disrespectful to WFTDA, and the way it is set up. If forfeiting isn't an option, why is it in the rules. The final official score should be 100-0. This decision was discussed with the heads of tournament before the final decision was made. There was no disrespect meant towards Gothom. I am amazed with there play, but we didn't come to regionals to learn from a trouncing, or please everyone else. We came to try to better our position. If playing Gothom could have benefited us, we would have played. Did anyone really think we were going to pull the upset. I believe not.

Boo!

But man, watching London taking a Philly-style beating right now I can almost kinda see your point... but, no. I say again, sir: "boo".

Thank you London

For making my point for me with a beautiful second-half comeback (albeit not a win) against the #2 seed. F**K YEAH!

I agree, you learned nothing

Merv the Perv wrote:

I am amazed with there play, but we didn't come to regionals to learn from a trouncing, or please everyone else. We came to try to better our position. If playing Gothom could have benefited us, we would have played. Did anyone really think we were going to pull the upset. I believe not.

I don't understand this argument. You better your position by playing and winning games. If you don't think you can better your team by playing a team and losing, then you don't understand roller derby, sports, or frankly, life in general. I think you'll find your team, and people's perception of them, poorer for this decision.

Man, I'd hate to hear the locker room pep talks.

"Are we going to go in there and show them what we've got??? No. No, we won't!"

For the skater, by the skater

But you told them not to play. How did that fly?

"Real. Strong. Athletic. Shameful."

"Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary."

says that on nearly every page of the WFTDA site. your decision to forfeit was none of those things. It was the exact opposite of those things.

"WFTDA promotes and fosters the sport of women's flat track roller derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues. "

that's the WFTDA Mission Statement on their page. Your decision to forfeit defies all of those things.

you can try and rationalize your decision, but it's an irrational one that goes against any sort of sports ethics. It's a poor poor decision, and one that will likely haunt your team for years. You can't see the forest for the trees.

it's called loopholes my friend

it all started with "slow derby" (trapping, stopping & blocking and skating backwards), now it's forfeiting in a major tourney. Get ready, more to come......

Slow derby vs forfeit

Equally interesting to watch...

You're right Merv

Merv the Perv wrote:

If playing Gotham could have benefited us, we would have played. Did anyone really think we were going to pull the upset. I believe not.

You're right Merv. If YOU don't believe in your team enough to let them at least TRY to have a good showing against Gotham (which doesn't always mean a "W") and/or learn something, then why should the rest of us believe in them?

Regardless of the "strategic" reasoning that you made on behalf of your organization, it was the wrong decision to make for derby as a whole.

NOTE to Dutchland Coaching Staff: "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." ~Zig Ziglar

"For the skater, by the skater, screw the fans."

Merv the Perv wrote:

For the skater, by the skater. That is what I am told. A professional sport team would not forfeit because it would cost the owners money.

If anyone ordering the HD webcast of this tournament or attending live demanded their money back, they would have a case. You could have potentially cost a few different people money.

"For the skater, by the skater" should not mean "at the expense of the fans."

Definitely at the expense of the fans...

DrAwkward wrote:
Merv the Perv wrote:

For the skater, by the skater. That is what I am told. A professional sport team would not forfeit because it would cost the owners money.

If anyone ordering the HD webcast of this tournament or attending live demanded their money back, they would have a case. You could have potentially cost a few different people money.

"For the skater, by the skater" should not mean "at the expense of the fans."

Ackward is precisely right here. As a fan, a journalist, league consultant and an overall derby lover who has seen my share of derby (and derby drama) from both the inside and outside, I am personally sick of this "by the skater and for the skater" bullshit.

Sure, it was great back in the mid 2000s when the leagues were bending over backwards to do everything to disassociate themselves from "Roller Jam", "Roller Games" with the alligators as well as the classic roller derby of years gone by. This was back when leagues were these small clubs (sometimes mistaken for bar room fight clubs) and they were not taken seriously in the media for nothing other than a something at the level of a punk rock concert. At the time the media associated the sport with the WWE style hijinks that took place on TV when I was growing up watching the T-birds (yes, I am old).

Derby has come a long way. For some leagues, we have gone away from bouting at the Rolly-Rama and at outdoor parking lots and are now in venues like the Key Arena in Seattle and Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Derby is trying to go big-time but we continue to stick to some of our old ways. We continue to use the fake names (especially those of the R and X rated varieties), we continue to dress in fishnet stockings, garters and skimpy uniforms, we continue to hold our only special events at 21+ bars and similar shows and we continue to exclude qualified people who don't or can't skate from holding operations positions in leagues because of the supposed golden rule of derby that leagues have to be "by the skaters and for the skaters". Let's not forget the drinking, the drinking and the drinking.

If you are trying to attract the Viagra generation (male 21~34) in adult oriented locations, then fine.. stick with what you have got. But then we hear people complain when they hear the media say that "derby is not a sport" or it's just a "sex show on wheels"... well guess what, many (but not all) of the leagues are continuing to insist on creating this environment.

From everything from public involvement, mismatched teams and an extreme complexity of the rules, derby, even at the WFTDA level continues to put the fans way in the back seat and some might say, under the bus.

If you look at WFTDA's website or even DNN, it is more geared towards "skater fans" (even though DNN has been vastly improving their content lately). The WFTDA front end website should be 100% fan focused with a link to take the user to a skater/league focused site for league operations. Could you imagine if nfl.com, nba.com or nascar.com were focused on the league operations and team support and had little outreach to the fans? This is where derby is falling extremely short.

Of course, I realize that this is mainly a volunteer effort on everyone's part but at the same time, we are wanting to be taken seriously as a sport. To be taken seriously as a public spectator sport that is competing with other sports and things to do on a Saturday night, you have to shift your focus on the fans. They are your bread and butter. They are also your best advertising.

I really think that WFTDA should consider starting a volunteer fan advisory board made up solely of those who do not have a connection to a WFTDA league (e.g. no skaters, no NSOs, no refs, no announcers, etc.) but who represent the fan base and the media. This is a group that should meet frequently by conference call along with WFTDA leadership and brainstorm ideas from a fan perspective on how to improve the fan experience. The little fill in the dot fan surveys just don't cut it. You need something more like a focus group.

Derby is starting to evolve from a physical game to a brain game between the use of various strategy that makes the game less desirable to watch (today's forfeit has sunk the brain game theory to a whole new low) as well as complex rules that require a rocket scientist or a well versed paralegal to decipher.

But yes, derby is still "by the skater and for the skater, at the expense of the fans." and it's up to derby to improve the experience for ALL fans.

Let's first declare "by the skaters and for the skaters" as something that went out with button shoes and let's move forward. Are you ready? I am.

this is a great, great post,

this is a great, great post, and it's too bad it's likely to get lost in the shuffle.

there definitely needs to be more done to appeal to fans - and not just the fans that are friends and family - but the fans that enjoy derby, and the fans who don't know derby as a legitimate sport.

not too mention the exclusion of "qualified people who don't or can't skate from holding operations positions in leagues because of the supposed golden rule of derby that leagues have to be "by the skaters and for the skaters".

There are lots of folks with sales, marketing, event management, PR, and writing experience that could help - but, because they're not skaters, they're not given the opportunity, even if their input could boost an individual league, and derby altogether.

This is a business.. take it seriously.

Treesham wrote:

not too mention the exclusion of "qualified people who don't or can't skate from holding operations positions in leagues because of the supposed golden rule of derby that leagues have to be "by the skaters and for the skaters".

There are lots of folks with sales, marketing, event management, PR, and writing experience that could help - but, because they're not skaters, they're not given the opportunity, even if their input could boost an individual league, and derby altogether.

The problem is the "private club" attitude of many leagues. There are opportunities for "non-skaters" as long as you are married or a significant other of a skater. Most leagues have been resistant of outsiders, because they feel that they will "creep them out" (I have personally experienced this with my dealing with leagues).

I was associated for a short time with one league where I was promised at the time when the league was founded that I would be doing their bout production/floor director work. When they finally launched, they gave it to a skater with zero experience. This poor girl was doing floor directing during jams she was not in the rotation. What a joke. All because of "by the skaters, for the skaters"...

The leagues have a choice.. either behave like a professional sport club or go back to the fight club days and shut up about the media taking the sport seriously.

Like I told someone tonight, if NRDA or OSDAPRO comes out with a professional product that is pure sport without the WWE bullshit (sort of like Arena Football), watch the WFTDA and banked track leagues all come in line. The party days are over, it's time to get serious about this. If you can't be serious about this, step out of the way and let someone who knows how to be serious do it.

Not much I can add...

... except to say that I fully agree. This may be an 'amateur' sport, but there are enough 'professionals' interested in it, and interested in helping out.

Great post

michichan wrote:

Ackward is precisely right here. As a fan, a journalist, league consultant and an overall derby lover who has seen my share of derby (and derby drama) from both the inside and outside, I am personally sick of this "by the skater and for the skater" bullshit.

Sure, it was great back in the mid 2000s when the leagues were bending over backwards to do everything to disassociate themselves from "Roller Jam", "Roller Games" with the alligators as well as the classic roller derby of years gone by. This was back when leagues were these small clubs (sometimes mistaken for bar room fight clubs) and they were not taken seriously in the media for nothing other than a something at the level of a punk rock concert. At the time the media associated the sport with the WWE style hijinks that took place on TV when I was growing up watching the T-birds (yes, I am old).

First off, excellent post, and obviously i agree 100% that WFTDA and its leagues have to become more aware of what their fans want and become more sensitive to it if they ever hope to attract enough of them to take roller derby into the mainstream (and i understand that whether or not derby *should* go mainstream is still up for debate--if one good thing comes out of this debacle, it's that the discussion is probably going to be more fired up than ever). To look at the NFL as an example, that league tweaks its rulebook on a yearly basis, with the #1 objective in most years to make the game as entertaining for the fans as possible. This year was an exception as their big rule changes (the biggest example being the changing of the kickoff to the 35 yard line) were to promote player safety, but ultimately whether those rule changes appeal to the fans and make the game better for the fans will be decided after the season and will determine whether or not the rules stay in place. Roller derby isn't the NFL, but if (IF) it wants to eventually take the leap into the mainstream it will eventually need to realize that it needs to set up its rules and gameplay to maximize fan entertainment (by way of solid athletic play, not just the fun "WWE bullshit" extracurriculars.)

But i'd caution michichan and others who want to completely do away with the derby extracurriculars (the names, the fishnets, etc. etc.) from immediately assuming that these things are what's keeping the sport from attaining new fans. After all, i was a fan before an announcer, and what attracted me was the hybrid of legit sport and campy fun. I personally think a lot of fans come for the same thing--at least they do in Milwaukee. Does it prevent others from taking the sport seriously? Perhaps, perhaps not. Does Chad Ochocinco detract from the NFL's legitimacy? I dunno, i think he's hilarious. I don't like athletes that take themselves too seriously (but then, i'm a Milwaukee Brewer and Tony Plush fan).

Anyway, that's all a discussion that should probably be had elsewhere; i just wanted to point out that "for the fans" doesn't necessarily mean "all sport, no camp." Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I honestly don't know and i'm thrilled to see where the sport goes in the next few decades (and make no mistake, it's going to take decades before this nascent, amazing sport comes of age). But until the WFTDA and its teams start really trying to figure out what will appeal to the most FANS instead of just the skaters, none of us will *really* know.

All that said, to bring it back to the issue at hand, i'm going to go out on a limb and say that the fans likely prefer games that are actually played to games that are forfeited.

amen

DrAwkward wrote:

But i'd caution michichan and others who want to completely do away with the derby extracurriculars (the names, the fishnets, etc. etc.) from immediately assuming that these things are what's keeping the sport from attaining new fans. After all, i was a fan before an announcer, and what attracted me was the hybrid of legit sport and campy fun. I personally think a lot of fans come for the same thing--at least they do in Milwaukee. Does it prevent others from taking the sport seriously? Perhaps, perhaps not. Does Chad Ochocinco detract from the NFL's legitimacy? I dunno, i think he's hilarious. I don't like athletes that take themselves too seriously (but then, i'm a Milwaukee Brewer and Tony Plush fan).

Anyway, that's all a discussion that should probably be had elsewhere; i just wanted to point out that "for the fans" doesn't necessarily mean "all sport, no camp."

this. the fishnets, the crazy socks that say "bad" on one leg and "ass" on the other, the facepaint, the DIY feel of some of the uniforms, the names, are part of what make derby uniquely derby. i don't want to see Alysha or Kristen skate. i want to see Jackie Lation or Bad Mo Flo skate.

once you start removing these elements, you take away the elements that make derby something special, and you turn it into just another sport that tried to make it big-time, but failed, because it subtracted the elements that attracted fans in the first place.

the most important piece to turn derby into a "legitimate" sport has already happened - and that's making it real, and not a work (scripted) like professional wrestling (and this is coming from someone with deep ties in the pro wrestling industry), as much of derby was in the 60s and 70s.

now it's a matter of the national organizations, and the member organizations, getting serious about leveling the playing field and tightening the ship, but that's only going to happen when Derby allows professional people with a knowledge of the sport who may not have direct ties to a league or skater, to get involved in positions of need.

Looking at the global big picture...

DrAwkward wrote:

But i'd caution michichan and others who want to completely do away with the derby extracurriculars (the names, the fishnets, etc. etc.) from immediately assuming that these things are what's keeping the sport from attaining new fans. After all, i was a fan before an announcer, and what attracted me was the hybrid of legit sport and campy fun.

Anyway, that's all a discussion that should probably be had elsewhere; i just wanted to point out that "for the fans" doesn't necessarily mean "all sport, no camp."

I agree that there is nothing wrong with some campyness in the sport and please do not take my original comments as recommending that we eliminate all of the fun skate names (just the R and X rated ones) or a lot of the extracurricular elements of the sport. The problem is that while these elements are the reason that some of us are into this sport (including myself), the mainstream media has a much larger area of accountability than the local derby league. They are accountable to all of their advertisers who buy time/space on their media outlet. If they are a radio or television outlet, they are also accountable to the FCC. They are also accountable to their viewers/listeners/readers who span a wide variety of demographics and for many of them, the events they promote must be of interest to a considerable portion of their demographic, which in most cases, means family friendly. For national television (even cable), there's even a much higher standard (remember "Nipplegate", Janet Jackson Superbowl incident from a few years ago?).

Now with the potential that this sport will be in the world arena (e.g. Olympics), there needs to be a more positive impression of the sport and especially that of the USA.

Earlier this week, I was in Tokyo, Japan and I had the privilege of having a nice 3-hour sit down meeting with Hiroshi Koizumi. Hiroshi is someone you could call the king of Japanese rollersports. Although WFTDA rules derby is being played on a couple of military bases in Japan, rollersports in Japan is mainly centered around speed skating. Hiroshi used to be a skater for the Tokyo Bombers "Roller Game" team (Roller Game (ローラーゲームー) is a banked track game like classic derby but with some structural differences) and he organized Roller Game bouts in the 1990s including the infamous "USA vs Japan" games of the time. Hiroshi has also been helping out the Yokosuka Sushi Rollers, a military base league playing WFTDA rules and he maintains strong ties with the OSDA.

I discussed the potential that some form of roller derby may be eventually an Olympic sport. He gave me the impression that there would be a Team Japan who would be ready to play whatever rule-set the international community agrees on.

Read more about my visit with Hiroshi at: http://michichan.com/node/43

This is the direction of derby. This is the direction that the mainstream media is going to be looking at. With the potential of internationalization of the sport as well as the potential of a new professional start-up in the United States, there will be an increased awareness of the sport. Is DIY derby going to be ready for the new potential fan base?

So yes, when you look at the big picture, you can see why the sport's image in the eyes of the media is so important.

Awesome

Awesome info, michichan! I'll be checking out your writeup of the visit as soon as i can. You're right,of course, about having to factor in all these different variables. I'm excited to see where derby progresses over the next several years, no matter how it happens.

Mainstream?

I'd also point out (thorugh my own association with 'pro'-wrestling) that regional tastes play a large part in how any given sport goes over with the general public - look at NHRA and NASCAR events, and tell me where their biggest fan bases are? Then look at the NHL, the NBA, etc.

And even 'pro' wrestling had it's regional issues - WCW once ruled the south, and ECW ruled the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area, all despite WWF(E)'s alleged supremecy.

Okay, I'm a complete outsider on this one (I'm English), but we have similar issues here with Rugby (League or Union, take your pick).

For roller derby to cross over there are a great many things that need to align... citing skate names/fishnets doesn't even come close.

(T-birds? Are you refering to The Freebirds, who never worked for WWWF (as it was then) as they were deemed too Southern (they were, however, AWA mainstays as I recall)...)

T-Birds

The Los Angeles Thunderbirds roller derby circa 1970's. I grew up watching roller derby as a kid.

T-Birds/Freebirds

El Toupée wrote:

(T-birds? Are you refering to The Freebirds, who never worked for WWWF (as it was then) as they were deemed too Southern (they were, however, AWA mainstays as I recall)...)

good to know there are other folks in this world with a pro wrestling pedigree. i've got a friend who skates in the midwest (US) who used to be a former pro wrestler.

as pointed out, the T-birds are the Thunderbirds, one of the classic roller derby teams from the older days, back when derby was a work much like pro wrestling. (as for the Freebirds, they did work for the WWF for a few weeks - but Vince McMahon wanted to split the team up, so they quit)

Free as a bird...

Treesham wrote:
El Toupée wrote:

(T-birds? Are you refering to The Freebirds, who never worked for WWWF (as it was then) as they were deemed too Southern (they were, however, AWA mainstays as I recall)...)

good to know there are other folks in this world with a pro wrestling pedigree. i've got a friend who skates in the midwest (US) who used to be a former pro wrestler.

as pointed out, the T-birds are the Thunderbirds, one of the classic roller derby teams from the older days, back when derby was a work much like pro wrestling. (as for the Freebirds, they did work for the WWF for a few weeks - but Vince McMahon wanted to split the team up, so they quit)

Completely off-topic: Indeed, although individual members of the team did work for Vince in the late WWF/early WWE days under different gimmkicks - Michael Hayes is/was part of the production side of things (if he ever recovered from the 'N' word incident).

Additionally, there's the footage of The Freebirds wrestling at MSG used in Highlander, which is actually an AWA bout filmed at a different arena...

To Merv

Merv, im a lil confused on your statement about For the Skater by the Skaters....if that is the case why are you making that decision? You are not a skater you are a Coach, you should offer your advice but the decision should come from the team.

I will not complain about Dutchland or Boo them as i have respect for anyone who plays this sport., but if you forfeit a game you should forfeit the tournament and Maine should have moved into that spot.

Good luck to you and Dutchland i hope your decision pans out for your teams sake!

Like he says

This just about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

EDT: Except one. It would have been much more enjoyable for your team to take a beating on the track than to watch you take one here. Sad.

Ding Ding Ding!!!

My thoughts EXACTLY!

Wait a minute

Merv the Perv wrote:

You can start to place all your blame on there coach. I made that decision, and will take the full brunt of your criticism. The comments, boos, the hatred should be toward me. I made the decision that having a chance to moving up a rank or two was worth missing one blow out game.

So the skaters had no say? I sure am glad I was never part of a team where the coach had so much power. I would really like to hear from one of the skaters. I feel bad for them because it sounds like they do not get to fight their own battles.

61*

Merv the Perv wrote:

I made the decision that having a chance to moving up a rank or two was worth missing one blow out game.

But...but...what does that do? It does nothing. Even if Dutchland does win against Carolina or Montreal tomorrow, what does it accomplish? There's no cash prize for 5th place, it has no effect on future rankings...how is it worth anything other than the minuscule bragging rights you would get for finishing 5th or 6th as opposed to 7th or 8th.

And that's all this is. For some reason, you think that bringing the wrath of the derby community on your team in exchange for finishing 5th or 6th is better for your team than playing all your scheduled games and finishing 7th or 8th. I just don't get it.

Especially because that 5th or 6th place would forever have a big invisible Roger Maris-sized asterisk next to it.

Agreed. All this bedlam and

Agreed. All this bedlam and tumult over improving one's odds to finish in 5th place, from a team who can already finish no worse than 8th? I'm sure *somebody* remembers who finished 5th thru 8th in past tournaments, but i sure the hell don't.

Don't hate the player

revnorb wrote:

Agreed. All this bedlam and tumult over improving one's odds to finish in 5th place, from a team who can already finish no worse than 8th? I'm sure *somebody* remembers who finished 5th thru 8th in past tournaments, but i sure the hell don't.

The teams who finished 5th through 8th remember.

It matters to them. So let them do what they want. If you don't like it, then don't hate the player, hate the game.

Refresh my memory but wasn't

Refresh my memory but wasn't a similar decision made by you for Harrisburg a couple of years ago, forfeiting an invite to eastern regionals 2009?

DOWN WITH MERV THE PERV

YES HOLLY!!! Remember when Harrisburg had such greats as Holden Grudges? Nashvillian?? Skate Edge??? Dosa Badazz?? They pretty much had an entire team of all-stars who work their ASSES off and climbed the rankings only to be told by Merv the Perv that they weren't accepting the invite. LAME!! A lot of skaters left after that and for some CRAZY reason Dutchland let them come on over and make stupid decisions for them too. Merv, I've seen you royally screw things up for TWO amazing teams now, I've seen you disrespect refs. I hope your team wises up and sees what a waste of space you are in this community and boots you the hell out.

The best part of being a retired skater? Saying whatever the hell you want...

Declining Invite >>> Strategic Forfeiture

Honestly, I don't really have much of a problem with declining an invite. In fact, I would consider it the preferable option. Sometimes leagues can't afford the expense of the weekend or simply don't feel they are ready to play at that level. If you're not going to try to win, then let someone else have your shot. Wasn't it Dominion who was ranked like 14th in Q2 2009 and still skated in the regional tournament because of declined invites? I had no problem with that situation.

It feels wasteful to forfeit a chance to play Gotham in the quarterfinals of a regional tourney. There are hundreds and hundreds of leagues who work really hard to improve and dream of possibly, maybe getting a chance to one day be in that position. To just go and throw that away... It's sad.

If this was decided prior to the tournament (which I have to think it was), then I would have much preferred that the invite be declined in favor of letting the D.C. Rollergirls get a chance to skate in their own co-hosted tournament.

Suburbia woulda played

Given the opportunity, Suburbia Roller Derby would've been honored to get our asses handed to us...& maybe score a few!

no forfeit rules...yet

I don't agree with Dutchland's decision to forfeit. Yes this does rob Maine of an opportunity to play against one of the best teams in the nation. Do you think London flew across the pond to quit if they were given a chance to play Gotham? I think not. WFTDA needs to address this, and I'm thinking they will. My suggestion is Dutchland should not be allowed to play in tomorrow's game. From here on out, they should not be allowed to play in regionals for a year or two and be put on a probation period where they cannot be ranked. Forfeit is a serious offense and it shouldn't be a part of any teams "strategy". Being fresher for tomorrow's game is unfair, especially to the team that did play 2 games in one day. By the way, I've watched Dallas play 3 games in one day, and they didn't complain one bit. It's about endurance.

forfeit

Merv,
You did not make that decision in a vacuum, so for you to try to take all the blame makes no sense and is absolutely wrong. Dutchland is a strong team, yet you and them have set them up for a beating...You are better off to admit what you did was unsportswoman like and not for the good of your team or the sport.

Forfeit? Only if we CAN'T continue...

Thanks to Dutchland for perpetuating the stereotype that Derby isn't a serious sport.

I sincerely hope that Dutchland gains NOTHING from any increase in rankings next season, and will be sorely upset if WFTDA doesn't have some serious discussion about sanctions in the future if another league pulls this. Perhaps stating that a team who forfeits a bout during the Regional Play-Offs/Championships forfeit ALL games in that tournament. There is a huge difference in HAVING to forfeit because you don't have enough skaters to continue to play, and trying to game the system for the 'hopes' of a gain. If I told my skaters that they were going to forfeit their game even though they are very likely to lose, for the hopes of a future rankings increase, I can bet there would be a quick team meeting where I would be removed as coach.

rhymes with 'Ooooo'

I believe the official hand signal for this is the open palm smacking one's own forehead...
Dude actually forfeited an Eastern Regional bout versus Gotham...
Wow...

You can still win, even if the score doesn't say so.

Any team, with the right attitude and spirit, can take on any opponent, learn something, have fun and play the game we all love. The threats of exhaustion and injury are ridiculous, a good team can stay focused, composed and calm against any opponent! And more importantly, there is NOTHING better for a team's morale than playing your heroes and having (even the smallest) successes! Any good 3-wall can stop the world's best jammers every once in a while!

Arguing about the way the rankings and regional tournaments are structured is, at this point, a total waste of time! Every team in the tournament knew about all possible match ups and should have prepared accordingly.

This decision was said to have been well thought out and in the best interest of the team in order to finish the tournament in the best position. Unfortunately, the obviously very short term definition of success certainly won't help this team next season! Way to blow it, Dutchland!

We can't all be the Skatesaphrenics ...

Melons

Rankings increase?

I'm surprised that there's so much talk about this being a strategic decision for next year. In order for a team to maintain their ranking, or to have the ability to move up in ranking those teams will need to have bouts against similarly competitive teams. While it will remain to be seen, I have a hard time imagining that teams will want to give Dutchland the opportunity to maintain or better their position through bout opportunity. I feel like this short-term action is going to equate to a self-imposed death penalty in terms of league influence and competition.

It's all academic until we see what happens next year, but I don't see how this in any way benefits the ranking, opportunity, or reputation of a league which up to this point appears to have done an excellent job this year. Sad to see what appears to be an extremely short-sighted and poor decision by one individual that's going to affect a bunch of women who sweat, bleed, and pay for the opportunity to compete as derby athletes.

My rage has subsided...here's what I think

I still don't agree with Dutchland's decision and I would very much like to see WFTDA amend tournament regulations to ensure that a team that forfeits any bout in a tournament is banned from further tournament participation.

But...having calmed down a bit I can defend Dutchland's decision. I don't agree with it, mind you, but I can defend it on the following grounds....

Gotham would have beaten Dutchland stoopid. Let's be realistic here - it would have been a very one-sided bout. And among all the posters only Kitty Twister seems to have raised the point that a team that is hugely outclassed by their opponent isn't really going to learn anything from the ensuing bout.

The way any team or athlete improves is to compete against opposition that is superior - but NOT excessively so. That's a thesis that has held up for centuries whether we are talking about soccer matches, or boxing, or tennis. The way you win is to get better; not hope for a miracle.

And it seems to hold up for derby, too. Whether by plan or by accident that seems to be what Montreal and London have done and both are now capable of mounting a serious competitive challenge to teams in the East. (Mind you, I'm not implying that either of those two teams would ever have made the same decision as Dutchland).

Dutchland would benefit, however, from having the opportunity to play a much more competitive bout against the likes of a Montreal or a Boston. That would give them the opportunity to play a superior team in a realistically competitive situation. I don't think Dutchland is trying to flatter their finishing position in the tournament; I think that they are trying to position themselves to play a more meaningful bout against a better team.

If a team is willing to face widespread ridicule, and forego the gratification of getting to bout Gotham in the interest of becoming a better team in the long run - then I don't think that they deserve to be called cowards.

That being said - WFTDA needs to close this loophole for the sake of its fans. This isn't the time or place for this sort of manuvering even if there's a method to the madness.

Don't agree with ya.

nuisance of purpose wrote:

And among all the posters only Kitty Twister seems to have raised the point that a team that is hugely outclassed by their opponent isn't really going to learn anything from the ensuing bout.

I completely disagree with this. I would argue (both from experiencing it firsthand and seeing it close up) that you learn more from a complete and total ass-beating than you do from a close game, win or lose. Nothing makes your weaknesses more apparent than having them exploited effectively and repeatedly.

Quote:

The way any team or athlete improves is to compete against opposition that is superior - but NOT excessively so. Whether by plan or by accident that seems to be what Montreal and London have done and both are now capable of mounting a serious competitive challenge to teams in the East.

You're undercutting your own argument here. London's last game before Regionals was against last year's WFTDA champions Rocky Mountain. Montreal played Gotham (and Oly) earlier this year. You really think those games didn't have anything to do with them getting better?

True that, Justice

Justice Feelgood Marshall wrote:
nuisance of purpose wrote:

And among all the posters only Kitty Twister seems to have raised the point that a team that is hugely outclassed by their opponent isn't really going to learn anything from the ensuing bout.

I completely disagree with this. I would argue (both from experiencing it firsthand and seeing it close up) that you learn more from a complete and total ass-beating than you do from a close game, win or lose. Nothing makes your weaknesses more apparent than having them exploited effectively and repeatedly.

Quote:

The way any team or athlete improves is to compete against opposition that is superior - but NOT excessively so. Whether by plan or by accident that seems to be what Montreal and London have done and both are now capable of mounting a serious competitive challenge to teams in the East.

You're undercutting your own argument here. London's last game before Regionals was against last year's WFTDA champions Rocky Mountain. Montreal played Gotham (and Oly) earlier this year. You really think those games didn't have anything to do with them getting better?

I know the ass-kicking my old team (Denver) took from Gotham at ECE in 2008 (by around 200 something) had a huge positive impact on the team in the following season. You can learn from playing players that are better than you and more importantly, a team starts to see the level they need to reach to be near the top. While it's not fun while it's happening (it's embarrassing actually), reflecting back on the bout later and watching the footage can really help some teams get to the next level. The best part about that ass-kicking is that as the head coach then, I firmly believed we were going to beat Gotham going in. I never expect to lose; I expect tough bouts and that's it. Why train for a whole year to end your season like this? Hell if I know. And make no mistake, their season is over and they didn't even fight for it. They rolled over and gave it up.

My competitive streak would never allow me to lay down and let someone just have it. You damn well have to take it from me forcefully. And I personally wouldn't want to be with a team that doesn't want to play to win either.

Angus

-------------------------------------------
Derby Goatspeak
http://derbyunpopularity.blogspot.com

You make a well-reasoned argument...

Justice Feelgood Marshall wrote:
nuisance of purpose wrote:

And among all the posters only Kitty Twister seems to have raised the point that a team that is hugely outclassed by their opponent isn't really going to learn anything from the ensuing bout.

I completely disagree with this. I would argue (both from experiencing it firsthand and seeing it close up) that you learn more from a complete and total ass-beating than you do from a close game, win or lose. Nothing makes your weaknesses more apparent than having them exploited effectively and repeatedly.

Quote:

The way any team or athlete improves is to compete against opposition that is superior - but NOT excessively so. Whether by plan or by accident that seems to be what Montreal and London have done and both are now capable of mounting a serious competitive challenge to teams in the East.

You're undercutting your own argument here. London's last game before Regionals was against last year's WFTDA champions Rocky Mountain. Montreal played Gotham (and Oly) earlier this year. You really think those games didn't have anything to do with them getting better?

Actually, I absolutely *do* think that Montreal & London did learn something from those bouts against Gotham/Oly/Rocky Mountain, etc. and contributed to their on-going improvement. If they were to entertain any hope of getting to Nationals it would imply being able to take down a Charm City or a Philly. And with those sorts of aspirations it absolutely made sense for these teams to stretch themselves - even if the end results were to prove one-sided. And they did.

If I remember correctly Montreal & London had already established themselves in the DNN Top-25 at the time of those bouts. I don't think it could be said that Dutchland is at the level of either. I'd stop short of saying the gap between Montreal/London and Dutchland is as large as that between, say Gotham and Montreal/London - but the gap is a pretty substantial one.

I think that there would be a sufficiently large gap between a Boston, Montreal, Steel City and Dutchland. I'm sure that those teams could find plenty of relative weaknesses in Dutchland bout play to exploit. At a certain point I have to believe based on my own experience in sports (which doesn't include derby, admittedly) that a ridiculously large gap in team performance can cause confusion in determining what a team needs to prioritize in its training to improve most efficiently.

As I think you'd agree, Derby tends to breed one-sided scores. You could pit the 4E team and 8E team against 1E and both could well lose by the same 250 point margin. And yet the 4E team could dish a similar beatdown on the 8E team the next night - despite not being able to play a competitive bout against the 1E. My position is that the 4E team may be sufficiently well-matched against the 1E as to be able to identify the areas in which they need to improve, whereas the 8E would simply be overwhelmed in all areas of bout play.

Drawing the line here as to what is an excessively superior opponent is probably not an easy thing to do. But until WFTDA changes the tournament rules - it's a call that Merv the Perv, the Dutchland Captains, or whomever...can make.

Still I'd like to think that a team's acceptance of an invitation to a tournament should imply a willingness to play any of the invited teams - without exception. Even if Dutchland's motivation to forfeit was somehow related to my argument - it isn't fair to the fans or their fellow competitors and I think WFTDA should step in to close this loophole.

this!

Justice Feelgood Marshall wrote:
nuisance of purpose wrote:

And among all the posters only Kitty Twister seems to have raised the point that a team that is hugely outclassed by their opponent isn't really going to learn anything from the ensuing bout.

I completely disagree with this. I would argue (both from experiencing it firsthand and seeing it close up) that you learn more from a complete and total ass-beating than you do from a close game, win or lose. Nothing makes your weaknesses more apparent than having them exploited effectively and repeatedly.

Right on! If you took an ass beating and learned nothing from it then you're doing it wrong. AND I'll add that some of the most fun I've had was getting schooled by likes of Montreal and Detroit.

wise man

“So any time you make a mistake, before you get upset with it, look at it. Sometimes those mistakes turn into the best learning devices we have ...” --Bob Ross, 1989

pretty much

this is exactly right. just being in the game and feeling how fast another teams skates, how hard they hit, feeling why a first class team is so good improves you. it shows firsthand and in your face how you have to play to be sweet. you have something to compare yourself with.

2 more cents

Justice Feelgood Marshall wrote:
nuisance of purpose wrote:

And among all the posters only Kitty Twister seems to have raised the point that a team that is hugely outclassed by their opponent isn't really going to learn anything from the ensuing bout.

I completely disagree with this. I would argue (both from experiencing it firsthand and seeing it close up) that you learn more from a complete and total ass-beating than you do from a close game, win or lose. Nothing makes your weaknesses more apparent than having them exploited effectively and repeatedly.

Quote:

The way any team or athlete improves is to compete against opposition that is superior - but NOT excessively so. Whether by plan or by accident that seems to be what Montreal and London have done and both are now capable of mounting a serious competitive challenge to teams in the East.

You're undercutting your own argument here. London's last game before Regionals was against last year's WFTDA champions Rocky Mountain. Montreal played Gotham (and Oly) earlier this year. You really think those games didn't have anything to do with them getting better?

Couldn't agree more with you Justice. You will learn as much as you want to from every game you play, win, lose, or blowout....all you need is the right attitude!
I play for Montreal and we wouldn't be where we are today if we didn't take something from every game. We've played a lot, lost a lot, and many by blowout margins. For example, in our earlier days when we played Boston for the first time in a scrimmage the score was 18-198! and that game was a huge lightbulb moment for us, we saw real positional blocking for the first time...('Wow they weren't even hitting us, we just couldn't get around them!') Cut to this year when we played Gotham (lost by 230) we saw them doing things in their WARMUP that we wanted to try out! In their WARMUP people!
Also if you are on the loosing end of a blowout, chances are with the right attitude and if you ask nicely enough, the other team will be happy to give you some pointers and feedback! Probably moreso during regular season than at tournaments but still. And if you are lucky enough you might even develop a great relationship with one of these leagues and they will help and support the growth of your league over the years to come, giving you a benchmark to shoot for and a great way to measure your improvement. (As was the case of Boston for us) So in no way do I think blowout games are total losses, all depends how you approach them!

Also I don't get the whole 'don't want to risk injury' argument....I think the games that are more high risk are games against newer leagues/teams where you are on the winning side of the blowout. Those games/skaters tend to be more penatly prone, have less skilled and fit skaters that are less stable on their skates and more likely to fall big and take out half the pack, also can be more prone to desperate and dangerous moves if they are not on top of their head game as well. And this is just due to less experience, not done intentionally of course. (I realize that may come off as a big generalization but no disrespect to anyone, is just my opinion and my experience) Playing against Gotham I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about a skater falling huge and tripping half the pack causing a pile up, or Bonnie Thunders slamming into the back of you full speed cause she can't stop before the pack. AND if your team is not fit enough or ready to play 4 games at a regional tournament then maybe you are not ready to be there. Because that's the requirement, many other teams are playing 4 games, 2 in one day...if that what it takes to get to the top and be competitive you should be up for the challenge!

Yup.

Lady J wrote:

Also I don't get the whole 'don't want to risk injury' argument....I think the games that are more high risk are games against newer leagues/teams where you are on the winning side of the blowout. Those games/skaters tend to be more penatly prone, have less skilled and fit skaters that are less stable on their skates and more likely to fall big and take out half the pack, also can be more prone to desperate and dangerous moves if they are not on top of their head game as well. And this is just due to less experience, not done intentionally of course. (I realize that may come off as a big generalization but no disrespect to anyone, is just my opinion and my experience) Playing against Gotham I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about a skater falling huge and tripping half the pack causing a pile up, or Bonnie Thunders slamming into the back of you full speed cause she can't stop before the pack. AND if your team is not fit enough or ready to play 4 games at a regional tournament then maybe you are not ready to be there. Because that's the requirement, many other teams are playing 4 games, 2 in one day...if that what it takes to get to the top and be competitive you should be up for the challenge!

I very much agree with this assessment.

Can't we all move on from

Can't we all move on from slating the minority who chose not to play derby and focus on the amazing derby being played by the majority? It would be a shame for this excellent tournament to be reduced to a single bout that never happened.

hazaar :)

Hate the decision don't hate the league, Im more embarrassed by the hazing going on, than the decision to forfeit. I would love to have my ass kicked by Gotham and Im not a fan of the forfeit by any means but I feel for the league and their supporters who will have to wear the public wrath of this.

Just saying!

and yeah what a great tournament how fabulous was it to see London step up and Joy collision is ticking so many boxes for me right now :)

Back to the bigger picture I love derby when we get it right AND when we get it wrong :)

This Isn't Hazing.

This isn't hazing. This is a very negative reaction to a very irresponsible and reprehensible decision by a team which discredits this sport.

put away the torches and calm the villagers..

What Dutchland did in my opinion was not the smartest decision. I am sure that it was a decision made by a coach and possibly a captain. After reading all these messages, tweets and facebook posts, we need to calm the villagers and put away the torches. This was a strategic decision.. right or wrong and WFTDA does not need to get involved with yet another rule. Let sanity work it out but remember.. these girls are your derby sisters. Dumb decision or not.. don't be haters.

Don't hate em

I don't hate Dutchland. (Still like 'em in fact.) I hate ... OK, strongly dislike -- and disagree with -- the decision.

WFTDA does need to get involved ... but after this weekend. Let the strategy play out and Dutchland can live with the results and ramifications, positive or negative.

WFTDA needs to close the loophole, like nuisance and others have said. This kind of strategic decision has no place in a Big5 tournament.

Well, this whole thing seems natural to me

I don't get what all the fuss is about really, we've gone from slow derby to stop derby so what's the problem taking it to "no derby"? Seems just like a natural progression to me.

Also, the 100-0 forfeit score is probably one of the closest games we're gonna see all weekend!!!

Really, you would think that as a community that loves loopholes and boring games, we would be adoring this!!!

I would like to declare

I would like to declare Shenanigans! Grab a broom everybody!

Violated the 1st Rule of Derby

I would have to say to voluntarily forfeit a game at a major tournament is a violation of the 1st Rule of Derby--"Don't Be A Douchebag." In fact, this is almost gross douchebaggery (144 times worse than ordinary douchebaggery)! It's because of moves like this that WFTDA will have to expand the rulebook, issue more directives, etc. One could almost say that moves like this suck the fun out of derby.

If one team feels like it is way overmatched by an opponent in a WFTDA tourney, perhaps they should have never been invited to that tourney. Yes, I agree that WFTDA should go to a system like English soccer or the NCAA and have different levels of play. Obviously, teams that need to forfeit at a certain level must be dropped down into a level at which they feel they can compete since they shouldn't be at the level they're currently at!

I remember when Detroit got into the WFTDA East Regional tourney in 2007. After Detroit squeaked out an overtime win vs Boston, they upset Minnesota, who, if I recall correctly, was ranked #2 at the time. (Of course, Minnesota returned the favor by upsetting Detroit at a later tourney when Detroit was the favored team.) Then Detroit had to play Gotham, and Gotham won the game by 157-56. Everyone in Detroit was in total awe of Gotham then (who weren't even the favorites at that tourney--the favorite then was Philadelphia), but they skated their butts off to give their best showing. Also, in that same tourney a very inexperienced team from Grand Raggidy (Grand Rapids, MI) also played Gotham and lost by about 150 points--but they played!

I have played a lot of sports in the past (mostly hockey and baseball/softball) and most of my life I played on bad teams. Some softball teams I played on would usually lose badly by the "mercy rule," but that didn't stop us from going out there and getting beaten--we still played as hard as we could.

I can see forfeiting because the team didn't have enough players to skate due to say, food poisoning or some illness, but as long as you can suit up 5 skaters you should play the game! I played in some hockey and broomball games where we only had 6 players and we all played every minute of the game (minus time spent sitting in the penalty box). It can be done! It's for the pride of playing the game, and representing the sport in its best light.

I do believe that WFTDA should expel a team that practices a "strategic forfeit" from the rest of the tournament, and promote another more deserving team in their place. Not to mention that forfeiting team should not be invited back to tournaments for at least a couple of years, just so they can meditate on the amount of douchebaggery they have perpetrated on the sport in general.

Rusty Wheeler
Detroit Derby Girls

Granted the rules say foreit.....

but what it should have said was a "no contest".

"No Contest
When a team fails to fulfill its contract to play and does not appear, a forfeit
is not recorded. This is not a forfeit as there can be no forfeit of a contest
until the official has assumed jurisdiction of the contest in accordance with
the applicable playing rules."

So Dutchland you didn't play, so how can you be rewarded with a consolidation spot in the tournament like you did play and lost. So essentially the team you beat would have advanced in your place.

The rule above is from the NCAA pubs...

oh and by the way the coach would receive a possible 3 game suspension for having his team not take the field/court/track.

Food for thought.

Oh man! How about this?

Ok, I have strategy for ya!
What if Gotham forfeited their game against Steel city tomorrow? Steel would automatically go to WFTDA champs and play in the championship bout. Gotham would play in the 3rd and 4th place bout and most likely snag that 3rd place spot and advance as well.

That is forfeiting with strategy as well, right?

I am no means at all saying they would do such a thing!

Forfeiting for reasons of "strategy" alone should not be allowed. I'm bummed because I do like the Dutchland ladies. I only wish that they knew what greatness can come out of playing the best. You can't be the best until you have faced it head on! Gotham has taught us so much and they bust their butts preparing to perform the way they do. Philly lost to Gotham at ECE(I'm sure you all know) and it was a huge eye opener but we took it and embraced it and learned from it!

That's all I got to say about that.

Shenita

Too Right!

You are right on.

Thank you Dutchland

I want to thank Dutchland. Because of the opportunity from their decision, we were able to take the time when we discovered our track was disintegrating. Nightmare on 95 could have become rapidly unsafe or horribly delayed, but we were able to scrap the last scrimmage (really sorry about that though) in order to fix our unforeseen difficulties.

The worst part of this decision for Dutchland

I understand WHY they chose to forfeit. I do. People react badly because it damages the sport of roller derby. -And that's their right. The derby community is very protective of the legitimacy of this growing sport.

Still, that's not the biggest problem I have with this decision. The worst thing about this for Dutchland is that it probably hurts their team for years to come. They are being, and will be ostracized for this decision. It's unavoidable now. I'm not talking about just being booed the rest of the weekend; it will have long-reaching implications for their team's improvement.

The immediate development loss is not having an ass-kicking at the hands of Gotham that would help them improve going forward. What's probably bigger is the fact that a lot of teams will not want to play them anytime soon. In roller derby, reputation matters because teams choose who they play outside of the Big 5. Not only are they losing out on the chance to play Gotham this weekend, but they are likely losing out on chances to play other decent teams in the future. This can handicap their development and could ultimately end up costing them a lot more in the rankings over the next couple of years. Is that really worth slightly better odds of moving up 1 or 2 ranks in your region for Q3 2011?

If you ask me, this was a high risk/low reward decision, and thus a terrible move for the Dutchland Derby Rollers and their future in the Eastern Region of WFTDA.

Hate to disagree with a leaguemate here...

I sincerely doubt that today's choice will impact Dutchland's ability to compete in the future. There are enough leagues who empathize with their decision that they will not suffer as a result of it.

Dutchland is still a strong team in the region - this choice doesn't alter that. This whole nontroversy is on target to be as relevant as TootieGate in as much time.

Maybe, maybe not

It's all speculative at this point. We'll have to wait and see how they do in 2012. I still think this has at least some negative impact on developing a competitive team for the future, though. It's just a question of how great the negative impact will be.

I also wouldn't want to be the shunned team that everyone roots against. That kind of thing could reduce morale and contribute to possible future turnover on their roster, which could also hurt the team going forward.

Roller derby as a whole is constantly improving and advancing. Teams struggle to keep up, and even small setbacks can be a big deal for a team that might find itself on the bubble of qualifying or not qualifying for a regional tournament.

My main point is that I think the risk to the team's future here outweighs the potential rest advantage gained this weekend. As such, the decision is strategically unsound.

damn your infernal vulcan logic

This all reminds me of that episode where Picard has to explain to Data that sometimes the move which optimizes the odds of victory is not, 53 television minutes later, the optimal move after all.

Then Whoopie Goldberg gets them all drunk.

And then and then

Ted Danson shows up in blackface and then we have more things to talk about.

And then again...

Apron wrote:

Ted Danson shows up in blackface and then we have more things to talk about.

Yeah, but Ted claims he was just doing the inverse of Geordi's "Dead Presidents" face paint job. Though Geordi claims that Chief Obrien painted that on him while his VISOR was on the recharger base.

Thank You Maine and Carolina

Many thanks to Maine and Carolina for stepping in to take an extra half hour each. They are the heroes of the day, the two teams who were ready to step in when Gotham was looking for a game. They helped Gotham when Gotham wanted to play. To both teams, thank you for being great neighbors. Long after I've forgotten why there was a gap in the schedule I will continue to remember that Maine and Carolina were there to help.

I take great pride in being one of the loudest voices in roller derby. You can both count on me cheering for you whenever I see you. To Maine. To Carolina. To Roller Derby.

Abe Drinkin
Gotham Girls Roller Derby

Here Here

abraham wrote:

Many thanks to Maine and Carolina for stepping in to take an extra half hour each. They are the heroes of the day, the two teams who were ready to step in when Gotham was looking for a game. They helped Gotham when Gotham wanted to play. To both teams, thank you for being great neighbors. Long after I've forgotten why there was a gap in the schedule I will continue to remember that Maine and Carolina were there to help.

I take great pride in being one of the loudest voices in roller derby. You can both count on me cheering for you whenever I see you. To Maine. To Carolina. To Roller Derby.

Abe Drinkin
Gotham Girls Roller Derby

Well Said

I'll debate that!

I think London might give Maine and Carolina a run for the heroes of the day prize. Not that we don't admire the hell out of what they (Maine & Carolina -- and Gotham) did, but London! London showed how to properly strategize at a WFTDA tournament.

Just sayin'

Only my opinion

Well it would appear that this decision has surly ruffled some feathers but in my opinion I see it in several different ways.

1. If you know Dutchland as a team, then you know that they are truly a group of classy ladies that are trying to improve and learning with each season they play.

2. Forfeiting has clearly presented itself as not being the most popular decision but it is a decision that a team reserves the right to exercise. It is within the WFTDA rules set and WFTDA tournaments are played by the WFTDA rules.

3. Each team in every season they play determines how their team will best benefit and to Dutchland this has been their decision whether the derby nation agrees with it or not. Instead of shunning them help them learn that there can be other alternatives to forfeiting a match.

4. I do not agree that heart is in question here because Dutchland just played Philly in a back to back match last weekend (one on Saturday evening and a follow up on Sunday morning) and I am sure that they not only learned a lot but it helped in their first game of this tournament.

5. Also this is not a No Contest, or a loop hole. In the rules a forfeit is considered a loss whether you played or not and technically they did play their first game in the tournament.

6. Dutchland thought of their teams needs first in the way they thought their team would most benefit.

7. What this also proves is that just because some of us only look at the top 3, there are others that think of seeds 4-10.

8. Although some may have wanted to see it, maybe Dutchland did not feel ready to play Gotham and that is ok. Every year I have listened to and read comments of derby fans complaining about why seeds 7-10 have to play seed 1 and 2 anyway. We cannot have it both ways.

Moving away from the list and just summing it up....what this also proves is that there is another mind set that teams seeded 7-10 may have when it comes to trying to improve and move up in rank. Maybe it isn't always playing the best. Maybe it is just having small tangible goals they set for themselves rather then the ones we set for them...and maybe this year it had nothing to do with playing Gotham???

Additionally, I agree with Apron, this is not going to ostracize Dutchland because like it or not they are still ranked pretty high on the East and to not play them or Boycott them would be the douchiest thing to do. Dutchland does not have to play the 1st through 3rd ranked teams in their region to be ranked where they are. Nor should they have to, to move up slightly from their current ranking. However, when they are ready, I am sure that they will come for the opportunity to play the highest seed(s) again.

My one disappointment is that in derby we all work so hard to legitimize our sport and some can look at this decision as a way to negate our sport as illegitimate. However, that is where we come in. Using the rules to be strategic is where we are heading so either embrace it or not it is what it is. Derby will be legitimized because we make it so not because of a forfeit executed within the rules at a tournament.

Just my thoughts. I heart Dutchland and I hope they do well tomorrow.

Nina

Thanks Nina

Thanks, Nina, for sticking up for my girls. You've expressed some of the same things that I've been feeling after reading this thread. I'm arriving to this party late and am not really interested in debating. All I'm here to say is that this Gotham Girl loves Dutchland no matter what.

xo,
Bunny McBones
formerly of the Dutchland Rollers

Well put, Knockout

I love love love Dutchland- on the track and off. They're some of the most inviting, genuine and lovely skaters that I've had the chance to practice with and skate against. I refuse to judge or ostracize a team based on one decision.

I'll be voting for Philly to play Dutchland often in 2012.

dara licks

Elwood writes a good piece

Elwood Bruise has coached and written about derby as long if not longer than most today have been in the sport.

He lets himself be a fan for a bit in this most recent piece. I think that's what makes worth reading even more, and his works are always worth a read.

http://www.examiner.com/roller-derby-in-seattle/re-animateher-dutchland-...

Great Article

Herr Triggore wrote:

Elwood Bruise has coached and written about derby as long if not longer than most today have been in the sport.

He lets himself be a fan for a bit in this most recent piece. I think that's what makes worth reading even more, and his works are always worth a read.

http://www.examiner.com/roller-derby-in-seattle/re-animateher-dutchland-and-roller-derby-s-quest-for-acceptance

But at the end of the day it is just another opinion. Plus, I have an MO for being an under dog defender! :D

Ok not going to say anymore. UGH, DNN so addicting.

Stop, just stop.

Quitting is disgusting, it is shameful and no matter how pretty of a dress you put on it, it is still disgusting. The only thing worse in the whole situation is what Merv the Perv said at the end of this post. "Did anyone really think we were going to pull the upset. I believe not"
Really? A coach said that about his team? That is unbelieveable, and nauseating. I have played a few sports myself and if I had ever heard that from a coach I would lose all respect for them. How can you play for someone who has no confidence in you? Was this a "strategy" weeks in the making? When did seeds come out? 3 weeks ago or more? Dutchland knew who they would play if they won, I really doubt this was a decision made the day of.

has the dust settled ?

I read the above link to Mr. George's writing in the Seattle paper and I take away this sentence:

"In the end, it's about the integrity of the sport. "

I'm a fan and a derby mom, and the forfeit episode surprised me, I had no idea it was an option.

I enjoyed the exchange of opinions above since it enabled me to gain a lot of knowledge on Derby rules.
I paid for my HD coverage, btw.

I was thinking...

I was lucky enough to be on the roster of 14 for my team when we attended Regionals last year. We got schooled in our first bout. I didn't play. I still learned, as did the rest of our team. I was more of a second string player for our Allstars. Our second bout was against Tampa. It remains one of the biggest and best ass whippings our team has ever taken. When our Coach knew we had no chance of winning, he declared that every one of the 14 would play. I played 3 jams against Tampa and I will remember that forever. We also developed a great friendship with the Tampa team. I can't speak for all teams, but I believe there are skaters that may not get to play as much when it's a close game. That makes sense. So whenever it's a blowout in your favor or not, you let everyone get some track time and amazing experience. Dutchland's entire team was denied of that. If what their Coach says is true, then I do feel horrible for Dutchland. You have allowed your team's voice to be taken away. I feel if Dutchland wants to regain the respect of the derby community, they should fire their Coach and make a formal apology to the other teams in the Eastern play-offs.

The plot thickens

From Dutchland's Facebook page posted at 5:30 AM

[ The Dutchland Rollers would like to release the following statement regarding our forfeit to Gotham at the East Region Playoffs:

Our decision to forfeit was made in the interest of performing well in our remaining tournament games and improving our overall ranking. It was a difficult decision to make, but it was a team decision. Dutchland holds WFTDA roller derby in the highest regard, and we went through the proper channels to verify that it was within the scope of tournament rules. We realize this is controversial, but we stand behind our decision.

Dutchland would like to thank the hosts, officials, skaters, and staff that made this tournament possible].

"It was a difficult decision to make, but it was a team decision." So, now it was a team decision and not Merv the Perv's as he said it was.

Mad Props

Now that some time has passed, I don't have much to say about Dutchland's decision to forfeit their bout against Gotham other than that I disagree with the decision and am disappointed that a WFTDA team would make such a decision.

Instead, I'd like to give mad props to Gotham and especially to Maine and Carolina for showing the derbyverse what true sportswomanship is. Maine and Carolina had just come off hard fought defeats against Dutchland and London respectfully. Neither team had rested, and neither team was scheduled to play again until Saturday. BUT when Gotham was stranded without a bout, both Maine and Carolina stood up and said "Hell Yeah we'll play!" And for that, I am immensely proud. Bold moves like that make derby amazing.

So Kudos to Gotham, Maine, and Carolina! Way to be!

This could also apply to women's sports...

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

As a Gotham Girl...

As a Gotham girl looking forward to her 1st Eastern Regionals all I can say is: :(

Two things

One...
The coolest thing about Gotham vs Maine/Carolina was when the opposing team to Gotham would break through the pack! The whole arena roared! This would happen even when Gotham had lead too. It was so exciting. Everyone cheered for EVERY awesome hit, juke, and jump those teams had.

Two....
Let's talk about the previous controversy from weeks prior! London! They proved it and I am so proud.

Shenita Stretcher

I would give my left leg.....

to be hip checked by Beyonslay, and my league isn't even apprentice yet. Bad move guys, bad move.

Hope they enjoyed their rest....

...because the rested skaters of Dutchland are going to be playing against some fiercely fired up Canadians this evening!

GO MONTREAL!!!!

Respectfully disagree with Michi, Tara A & fans

... that if we want to be taken seriously we should pay more attention to fans. I think *as a sport* WE (the skaters, not the hardcore fans like the ones that people these messageboards) need to stop trying to skip the hard work that thousands of other athletes in other sports do WITHOUT GLORY to learn to play better for NO AUDIENCE in amateur games in parks and facilities. We need to quit thinking we can be Michael Jordan without the hard work of playing, working out, and practicing practicing, practicing.

I think only the best teams should play for audiences. My team - new, not the best (yet, but look out fuckers) is angling to convince our city to let us play in park with the rest of the amateur sports that play there - rugby, soccer, softball, basketball, handball, skateboarding, etc. We don't have any illusions about being worthy of a big arena - we want to learn to be a great team together and live in our city and raise awareness of derby at that level. When we're ready to take on the best - which is a serious proposition in West region, we know we'll have our shot at the top teams - we're already arranging games with their home teams for this year. To me, that's a logical progression and reasonable goals. When East has as many sickeningly awesome teams as West, you won't have so many gaps in skill level... which is a bummer in its own way, but to think tourneys shouldn't have blowouts is to make the same mistake. You guys think you're normal fans BUT YOU AREN'T. I just don't believe anything but the most fanatical fan wants to see more than a couple hours of derby in a day. You people are either US or you are SPECIAL fans.

Regular fans just want to see either the hot chicks losing their clothes in cat fights OR the very best of the sport, Rocky vs Oly, BAD vs Rose. The bottom seeds have to fight their way up like practically every team in the top did over time, but if they're lucky to be in a region with weaker seeds at the bottom, they get a potential shortcut - the possible Cinderella story.

You eliminate the bottom seeds at the beginning so that the best teams meet at the end and play for titles. If you have competitive seed games at the beginning, its possible that your #2 team will get eliminated by #1 (or 3 by 2, whatever) at the beginning, and someone they might have BEATEN gets the 2 slot. THAT is way more unfair than suffering a few blowouts while you earn your chops and learn how to kick ass to the top.

Juniors will do it, though

Those skaters coming out of junior leagues are the Atomatrixes of the future. That is a skater that works hard - even as awesome as she is - to keep being an incredible athlete. Ask her about her off skates regimen if you don't believe me. Its just too bad Juniors are being taught that an audience is important now, because IMO they should be playing for their parents while they learn the value of teamwork, the importance of playing well, how competition can make everyone reach for the best in them - all those things your team teaches you that I am trying to learn as an adult that only played individual sports (swimming, gymnastics). I just erased about a dozen snarky comments about booty shorts. But you can probably see where I was headed next.

I am so thrilled to see the next generation of players coming out of the junior leagues. I still hope audiences tire of the spectacle of derby and start demanding that public games be the very best, the top skill levels. Go see amateur derby in a park. Pay to see the BEST.

Entry point for adult derby

Some of the leagues are lowering the entry age to 18. Would this be ok since in all likelihood, the skater has had an opportunity to learn the skills and obtain the proper conditioning to adequately compete or would there be additional physical and emotional maturation needed prior competing with 20, 30 and 40 somethings? Or am I being too alarmist?

That being said, from what little I've seen of Junior, even if only a minority of them go on to the adult game, I suspect derby will be in very good hands going forward.

UK is and has always been 18+

hasn't done us any harm. (that said, my league have never had a skater under 20 stick around that I can think of)

Drinking age

That's because you have a reasonable drinking age over there. Most leagues in the US are 21+ due to afterparties and/or liquor sponsors. It was sad when Tuscon came up to play MNRG and one of their players (Lindsey Loblow, I think?) couldn't come to the afterparty.

And, lest the youngsters

And, lest the youngsters forget, the culprit behind the 21+ drinking age in the U.S. is Ronald Wilson Reagan, who decided in 1984 he would hold the federal interstate funds hostage for any heathen state like Wisconsin ((where it was 18)) or Minnesota ((19)) who didn't raise their drinking age to 21.

Actually...

John_Maddening wrote:

That's because you have a reasonable drinking age over there. Most leagues in the US are 21+ due to afterparties and/or liquor sponsors. It was sad when Tuscon came up to play MNRG and one of their players (Lindsey Loblow, I think?) couldn't come to the afterparty.

Actually more and more leagues are converting to 18+ and simply having those skaters skip the afterparty. It's about the sport, not the drinking. I'm sure that Lindsay Lowblow, Luce Bandit are well accustomed to not being allowed to drink or go to bars.

Are you disagreeing with anything I wrote?

As I said, "due to afterparties *and/or liquor sponsors*".

Part of sponsorship is often doing events and appearances for your sponsors. Underage skaters also can't do those.

I wonder what the percentage is right now and what it was the past few years. Sounds like a job for Gnosis! :)

actually... part II

Luce is 48 years old. it's true

18+

RMRG has been 18+ for several years and hasn't had any problems.

Lack of class

As a fan, I don't care if one person made the decision or if it was a team decision. I also don't care if the Dutchland skaters are actually classy ladies. As far as I'm concerned, if a team accepts an invitation to participate in a tournament then they have an obligation to play every game unless there are circumstances beyond their control. What they did was disgraceful and was very disrespectful to the fans and every other team in the tournament.

I have absolutely no respect for anyone associated with Dutchland and it will probably be a long time before they will be able to earn it back.

And also, all those who lost respect for dutchland...

did you have it in the first place? Did you even know who they were before the tourney? Jeez.

I'm not defending their decision. I would lift buildings and eat nails to play in a regional tournament... quit a team I love with all my heart and start from scratch, even, just for hope of a shot at regionals. But the bombastic comments here are pretty silly. You will have forgotten your anger for dutchland next weekend.

Dutchland did have my respect

Dutchland did have my respect originally. I have a basic amount of respect for all teams, even those I know little about. But Dutchland lost it once they made their decision.

And yes, I did know who they were before the tourney. I saw them play in person once and I generally follow most of the teams in the East.

And no, I will not have forgotten my anger for Dutchland by next weekend. Or even next year.

preaching to the choir, maybe

ivanna_s_pankin wrote:

Did you even know who they were before the tourney?

I could see you asking this question on another website, but... this is DNN.*

Speaking for myself: after watching Dutchland's bouts during this year's ECDX, I got even more excited about Easterns and the potential for exciting gameplay, strategy and upsets.

*yes, I did hear James Earl Jones in my head as I typed this.

Searing an image in your brain in 5..4...

chrome molly wrote:

I could see you asking this question on another website, but... this is DNN.*
[...]
*yes, I did hear James Earl Jones in my head as I typed this.

More appropriately Dumptruck wearing Vader's helmet and assless chaps, and nothing else.

AND re: by the skater, for the skater etc

if you think "by the skaters, for the skaters" is a tired old idea, are you saying we should have more knowing daddies to tell us what to do? Because it sounds to me like that might be what happened in Dutchland. Their coach decided - or so he says, without saying if they agreed or voted or argued the point, just says it was his decision - that they were defaulting. Thanks, Daddy.

I can tell you right now if my team decided to default, there might be circumstances (like getting outvoted after a lengthy discussion where I used all my powers of persuasion and reason to convince them otherwise) that I might acquiesce and go with them, kicking my heels in shame and wishing I could have found the words to change their minds. But if my coach decided and me and my team had no say? I would walk off that team and never come back. Trish would probably beat him up then come with me. I didn't sign up to have Daddy make my decisions. I think what you have here is a possible case of NOT ENOUGH by the skater, for the skater. But we won't know til Dutchland skaters weigh in, if ever.

EDITED to add: I wrote this before I saw the repost of the Dutchland facebook thing... its endlessly confusing to me when I do get interested in a controversy here and the replies pop into the middle forcing a bitch to read the whole thing through again to see what interesting point people have made. Is it possible to set it so you see comments consecutively rather than organized by (i guess) who prompted them to hit reply? Sorry for being tech-dumb.

I am sorry, about that preaching, I'm a regular DNN reader, but don't know much about many of the bottom seed teams in regions outside my own. Not because I don't care, but I just don't get a chance to read up on all of them. So that was my perspective and I was just wondering if there were a lot of people up in arms that wouldn't have had a thought at all about Dutchland before that.

Offended

I am totally offended by what Dutchland did. People came from all over the country to see derby. Dutchland took the derby away from them. Totally thoughtless and selfish. I would like to see then banned. The little presentation that they just gave just shows why they are not champions. They don't care about the game, they only care about improving their standing.

Whatever

Dutchland would've lost by 300 points. Seriously. Honestly. I have lost by 200 points before and I did not learn anything. I think that this decision makes a point about the glaring skill differentials that occur in a region based system. I understand that there can be upsets but this would not have been one.

If that was their reason I wonder if everyone would be as upset. If instead of bettering their position in tournament they just said "I don't want to play a pointless game"

Tournaments are used to see who is going to win right? So what if you already know?

Just because I got out of bed this morning doesn't mean I can climb a mountain. Just because I can climb a mountain doesn't mean I can climb Everest. I would die and not learn anything.

The system is flawed.

Just because you live within 400 miles of another league doesn't mean you should play each other.

So who should play Gotham? Should it be their neighbor? Or a worthy adversary?

I'm watching Steel play Gotham now. Wonder who is gonna win?

as a former coach

I am amazed that you find it difficult to learn anything from a blow-out loss. Over the past few years as a coach for The Steel Hurtin' and bench managing for the past 4 or so, I have learned so much that I've forgotten half and made it all part and parcel to every drill and skill.

Every team should have to face-up to the realities of their region/division and be measured and weighed by their peers. If you want to compete at ANY level, you need to learn or figure a way to raise your performance even if in the smallest of increments.

The system may be flawed in some aspects as all systemic approaches are. However, it has and will evolve with/for/by the sport as definitions and delineations are made.

Lastly, I am watching The Steel Hurtin' play with all their heart and am seeing a great many positive things.

Go climb a mountain.

So what, you think Dutchland

So what, you think Dutchland (and everyone else who can't beat Gotham, so the whole tournament) should just not have shown up because all the games are "pointless"?

If a game against Gotham is pointless, was the Dutchland/Maine bout pointless too, since all it did was determine who gets to lose to Gotham? Is the whole tournament pointless? What about the season that leads to you getting ranked regionally? After all, that's all just leading up to losing to Gotham, right?

How good does a team have to be to get the "pointless" designation and have people just give up and hand them the trophy? If Gotham wasn't around would you say the same thing about Philly?

Oh Carson...

I love you ... you KNOW I love you ... but it makes me sad and confused that you say this, since I seem to recall you being one of Duke City's bench coaches during The Biggest Upset Ever.

2007/2008 was a different time...

I feel that Dutchland absolutely should have played Gotham - because they were implicitly obliged to do so by simply being invited to this tournament. That obligation should remain intact regardless of whether or not Dutchland had any hope of victory.

I just don't think the sort of upset that you cited is possible any longer. And I don't think that Dutchland should have had that oligation.

WFTDA Roller Derby has matured as a sport a lot since 2007/2008. That means when you play it at the elite level (such as this tournament) - the relative gap in the natural abilities of the athletes begins to assert more influence than competitive "know-how" or "determination" in determining the final results of competitive team play. This happens in all team sports played at the elite level.

So I just don't think you can expect (or should ask) that a league with a metrolpolitan area the size of Lancaster, PA to compete with a league drawing from a metro area that is 40 times its size (i.e. NYC) - the available talent pool just won't have the same depth.

To put this in a bit more perspective....

The Manhattan Mayhem - a GGRG home league team that hasn't beaten any other GGRG home league team this season (according to the GGRG website) beat 5th-finishing London on Tuesday. Basically, they can produce bout play that is at the level of a DNN Top-20 WFTDA team.

A winless home league team.

I don't think that shifting to a playoff system based on both regions & divisions will be easy to implement - but I think we've reached the point where WFTDA needs to plan for it.

To be clear

I agree with you that the chances of a Dutchland upset over Gotham were somewhere around 0.00001 percent or lower. That said, at the time of Kansas City / Duke City, people thought the exact same thing about that bout. Hell, at the beginning of this year, most people would have said the same thing about Montreal / Rat City.

All other considerations aside, you never know until you try.

That's all fine and good... [re: Whatever]

...but when you accept an invitation to the tournament, you're doing it in good faith that you will show up and play the games you're scheduled to play. When Dutchland accepted their invitation, they knew what it would mean.

If you decide to forfeit a game, you should be done for the rest of the tournament. Come to play or don't accept the bid.

Long comment is loooong

(This is pretty much a lot of what other people have already said, so skip it if you feel like it.)

Even the games that had pretty big spreads have been awesome, and I love watching teams learn and adapt on the track, even if the big dog wins.

The forfeit thing bums me out, and I think it was a seriously bad decision. I don't think I'm ever gonna know who actually MADE it. That's one of those things- as fans, we get what we're told, and who the hell knows how the talk that led up to the decision went. I don't know if someone was manipulated or not, if there was a vote, blah blah blah, and have no way to know, but you gotta take responsibility for what you allow to happen on your watch. One of the reasons I wanted to watch that game wasn't just to see any derby game in that time slot, but because I love seeing what underdog teams come up with to deal with the powerhouses, even if they don't win. I wanted to see what Dutchland would come up with, because even though, no, I don't think they were gonna win? I still bet they would've come up with some smart moves. I just wish they'd tried.

There's nothing I can think of that could excuse it from a spirit of the game stand point. Whether it violated any WFTDA rules, no idea (the statement from Dutchland seems to say not). But as an ex-player, current fan, I can't help but remember that I had nothing but good experiences as an opponent of Dutchland, and so I hope they come back from this. It may be naive, but I really want this to have been a huge mistake that doesn't ruin them in the long run. I guess we won't know what the fallout will be till next year and after.

Big, big ups to Maine and North Carolina for stepping up and filling that time slot, not just because of the balls it takes to go up against Gotham, but because it was a really good training opportunity that both might not have gotten otherwise. Some of my best lessons came from ass kickings- maybe not while they were happening, but always from watching the footage of my team getting our asses kicked after the fact. No pain, no gain, right? You're not gonna beat Gotham/Oly/Philly/whoever unless, maybe, today's the day you do. Probably not = realism. Never = pessimism.

Hell yes to London, because I'm not sure, but I don't think I ever saw a London person come on the boards and say a thing, and I think that's probably the best thing they could've done for themselves. I thought the hugs between Philly and London after their game were awesome, but I'm a creampuff like that. Way to bring your game and like the t-shirt says, "Shut up and skate."

You can be a crappy winner, and you can be a good, smart loser, and if one of these leagues who came from being on the bottom to being a serious contender wrote a book on how to learn to learn from losing? I'd read it. It's probably one of the hardest things to learn and one of the most valuable things you can take from derby after (if) you move on.

Just my opinion

Take it for what its worth..

"For the skater, by the skater" IMO is meant that its run by the league members. Not by 4 BOD "She-eos" who make all decisions for the skaters, not by some arrogant dude in a bar who wants to turn it into a three ring circus. The skaters make the decision, which to some leagues includes the coaches, refs, etc. Those who put on skates and are involved in the day to day work as well.

This however isn't an issue about FTSBTS, its an issue about breaking rule#1 for the sake of 'standings'. Does anyone expect Dutchland to BEAT Gotham? No.
However, do we expect them to do BETTER than others who've gotten trounced by Gotham? Maybe, but now we'll never know.

Did I know Dutchland before this weekend? I'd heard of them yes, they were good enough to be invited to the Eastern Playoffs( My heart still says Regionals).

Will I remember them After the next round of playoffs? Yes, Yes I will.

"The cowards never started, and the weak died along the way"-Unknown

What's the theoretical

What's the theoretical maximum number of points that can be earned in a game?

If Gotham beat #4 East by 374 points, what would they have done to #8? There's a point where putting a low ranked team up against #1 and #2 on the first day is just institutionalized bullying.

That game on the second day is an honor you earned. On the first day it's a punishment that to an outsider looks like it's designed to put the low ranked upstarts in their place after winning their first game.

Whoever came up w4ith the current system must have been pretty optimistic about the competitive gradient in the top 40 being a lot less steep than it is today.

We all like close games

And I think it's pretty clear the massive difference in score that a (relatively) small difference in skill level can work is really a downside of the regional system.

That said, a divisional system would have it's own downsides, such as all teams having to travel further in order to compete. That's going to really hurt when the European region is formed!

Similarly, while it's obvious that having to play your second game of the day against a rested team - especially when it's a much higher seed - sucks, it's probably better than having to split the tourney over two weekends.

Even if you mess with the order or bouts, and accept that more people will have to miss seeing a "more important" game live so that lower seeds are the ones that are rested in that 2nd game, you risk the outcome being that you end up not sending your very best 3 teams to the Championships.

Trade-offs, as far as the eye can see! I strongly disagree that any of it looks like bullying or punishment, though.

Good points and I'll add...

A system that would promote the highest-ranked teams in a division to the next-higher division and demote bottom-ranked teams in a division to the next-lower division is going to lead to all sorts of manuvering by teams. I think WFTDA would nead to exercise a heavy-hand in the schedule-making.

I don't think WFTDA is ready to administer/enforce such a system yet and I'm worried that it will breed the sorts of controversies that will make the Dutchland forfeit resemble a fluffy little Easter bunny by comparison.

You make it so they have one

You make it so they have one shot a year. Same regional playoffs as now for the lower division, winner(s) of that playoff go to challenge the upper level teams at the upper division Championships. The lowest ranked upper division team would be a jeopardy position. If the lower division challenger (assuming one for simplicity) picks off the lowest of the upper division, they go into upper division, the loser goes back to the lower division.

With the upper division mostly playing each other, I'd expect them to pull even further away from the lower division, so a challenger would have to be really really good to challenge the upper ranks.

The idea of the divisions pulling away from each other

is what worries me most. A lot of inter-division "friendlies" could help but there would still be an impact.

That's the best way...

I like your playoff system and I think it's the most fair way. But given that I think the number of Division 2 & Division 3 teams will be a heck of a lot greater than the number of Division 1 teams a limit of one promotion/demotion will be harsh. I guess we'll see.

But I think it will be a difficult day for WFTDA when they give the fans of the Boston Massacre or the Steel Hurtin' or - god-forbid-but-don't-rule-it-out - the Texecutioners the news that their team isn't elibile to compete for top honors before the season starts.

That is really going to suck all colors of a rainbow.

What about the English soccer system?

Split into divisions. The bottom 3 teams in Division 1 at the end season (however that is determined) get sent down one division. The top 2 teams in Division 2 get automatically moved up and the next 4 teams play a tournament and the winner get promoted also. The bottom 3 in Division 2 would move down, rinse, repeat for Division 3. I always thought this would be a fair way to do things. That way teams on the rise would get moved up to play tougher teams and teams that have faltered would have to move down and fight their way back in to the higher ranks.

The genius Ana Bollocks

made an elegant and detailed proposal based on the English soccer clubs system to WFTDA back in 2007, if I remember correctly. It was such a great idea. I remember being so impressed by it. It just didn't take hold.

I don't mean to keep bringing this up, it's just that I want everyone who's newer to derby to know that the WFTDA isn't a bunch of dummies who don't know anything about sports. Almost everything anyone ever proposes about divisioning in these threads is something some really smart girl already proposed to WFTDA years go, and it just wasn't voted in by membership.

When you're a veteran skater, and a veteran of the organization as well, it starts to read like a bunch of dudes who like sports think the women who created the system never did their homework or thought this through. They did, but the era of strict democracy eliminated a lot of great ideas. Try to remember that great ideas are often eliminated when an all-volunteer organization realistically assesses it's ability to do the work involved in a huge system overhaul...they know their own capabilities to carry out a plan better than the average fan, who seems to have a really hard time imagining why they can't just "fix it".

It's on Urban Dictionary

Mercy Less wrote:

When you're a veteran skater, and a veteran of the organization as well, it starts to read like a bunch of dudes who like sports think the women who created the system never did their homework or thought this through.

I'd never heard the term before this year, but there's actually a word for this. "Mansplaining" and I'd agree it happens a lot in derby. Especially on the Internet.

It's a shame this wonderful

It's a shame this wonderful post is buried deep in a heavy thread like this. I think it needs to be brought up more often.

Seriously, can this be bolded

Seriously, can this be bolded and put as its own article pls thx.

I didn't mean to slight anyone

Especially Ana Bollocks! I was just throwing out what I thought would be a good way of doing it. Now having been around derby back in 2007, I didn't know she has done such a proposal. However, with all the smart creative minds involved in the sport I wouldn't doubt it was brought up before I did.

Wasn't picking on you

specifically, but the thread and many before it in general. Sorry if you thought I was, since it was tagged to your suggestion. And I am aware that 90% of the dudes who post suggestions mean to be helpful, and most of us derby lifers are frustrated with every iteration of tourney seeding and ranking systems and lack of divisioning, and, and, and...

I just want to continue to make it known that the many sometimes-helpful, sometimes-frustrated suggestions aren't anything that wasn't considered at some point in the first few years of the organization. It's a peeve of mine because the tone often reads like "let me tell you how NCAA sports work, little ladies, because you're handling this so poorly you must not know..." here on DNN and on other sites as well. (@ Apron - Mansplaining! So good!)

That group of ladies has been talking those ideas to death for years now, since before there was a DNN to complain on, it's just not their job to report those discussions to the masses. Whether anything fans like gets done with all that research and discussion is another story - but it is not a WFTDA lack of research, analysis and discussion of how other sports handle these issues that is to blame when current solutions aren't ones we, as fans, like.

i can feel it

i can totally understand your frustration here. as one of the dudes however, trite little comments like "mansplaining" arent very helpful either. in fairness it must be noted that modern derby has seemed to have spurned mainstream athletics from the jump. and i will reiterate something that has been stuck in my craw for some years now: i have never seen a wftda fan survey THAT WAS NOT DEMOGRAPHIC IN NATURE (i.e. info to sell to advertisers). maybe there would be more volunteer support to fix this seemingly broken system if loyal fans felt as though they are truly being considered instead of fielding derisive comments to the effect of "you're not a skater so no one cares". i have seen comments like this on these boards more times than ive cared to.

I promise you

I am not here to defend WFTDA's fan relations at all. I agree with you 100% about the level of respect fan feedback has been given in some online discussions. I haven't been active in the org since the end of 2008, but I have heard that they *are* making some efforts to pay attention to what fans want via websites like this.

I am excited so many fans are so excited about the sport that they debate the finer points here on DNN. I just wanted to remind people that what to be frustrated about is implementation, not lack of knowledge. I wasn't going for a sassy battle of the sexes, and the person who brought Mansplaining to my attention is a dude. No harm intended.

http://memegenerator.net/inst

*sigh*

this thread is really startin' to get this "and i aint listenin" to no man, neither" vibe and i dont think anybody here is going for that. there is no need to feel sensitive. there are only HARDCORE fans on this board. with the utmost respect for what you ladies have created. im not gonna post on this topic again but its kinda annoying that it went this direction.

Jokes. You don't get them.

Jokes. You don't get them.

We're spoiled by "mainstream" sports

I think a lot of the "mansplaining" has to do with the fact that we as sports fans have been spoiled by the amount of information and access provided by the major pro and college sports organizations.

I suspect there are people at WFTDA who understand this, but the organization is not blessed with the human and/or financial resources to bring to bear on these issues.

thank you, mercy less.

thank you, mercy less.

I took a walk just now and

I took a walk just now and tried to figure out what the "ideal" tournament structure, in my fantastic amazing fantasy world, should be. I came to the conclusion that the existing tournament structure really isn't all that bad. It does at least two important, practical things: 1) It ensures that all teams play ((at least)) one game per day ((unless, of course, somebody forfeits)); 2) It assigns a definite finish position to all ten teams -- first place thru tenth place, and these positions are earned in a logical manner ((as opposed to the goofy mess that was 2009 regionals)). The first tournament i ever attended was 2007 Nationals; it was a two-day, eight-team, eight-game affair. If you lost your game on Saturday, you were done for the weekend. The remaining four teams met in the first two Sunday games; the losers of those two games met for 3rd place in the third Sunday game, and the championship was the fourth game that day. There is, admittedly, a certain functional elegance to that structure, but i would imagine it sucked quite a bit to be Gotham, Detroit, Tuscon and Windy City, traveling all the way to Austin and booking hotels for the entire weekend for purposes of playing what turned out to be a single game. Further, all four teams who played on Sunday played twice -- the team who lost Sunday game 2 had to play immediately after that in Sunday game 3! Thus, as much as i bitch about what i perceive as flaws in the tournament structure, i've got to admit that, all things considered, it's really actually pretty decent.

I'll throw out an idea for

I'll throw out an idea for divisions i affectionately call "The NWA System" ((although i'm sure it was called something else when a smart girl first proposed it ten years ago)), based on the old territorial championship structure of the National Wrestling Alliance. The NWA was, for most of its lifespan, a loose affiliation of regional wrestling promotions, and the promoter for each territory under the NWA umbrella had their own version of a championship belt -- Jack Adkisson had a championship that was solely defended in his Texas-based promotion, Jim Crockett had his own championship that was defended throughout his North Carolina-based promotion, Bob Geigel had a belt for his Kansas City promotion, etc. However, in addition to all these regional championships, there was one NWA World Title, theoretically beholden to no single promotion or promoter, that was recognized as THE one, true championship ((unless you were the AWA or WWF, but never mind such gratuitous smart-assery)). My suggestion is this: Take the top sixteen or so teams, independent of geography, and put them in what would essentially be the WFTDA Premier League. Right now, i guess that'd be the top six or so teams in the West plus Gotham, Philly, Windy, KC, Texas and a few other teams ((imagine these teams to be whomever you feel worthy, in order to mitigate outrage)). The remaining divisions -- WFTDA East, WFTDA West, WFTDA North Central, WFTDA South Central -- would be composed of all the remaining teams -- the teams who AREN'T in WFTDA Premier ((or whatever you wanna call it)). The Premier League teams would have a requirement to play a certain number of games against other Premier League teams per year or per quarter, and maybe ((or maybe not)) a requirement to play other non-Premier League WFTDA teams. Region Playoffs, then, would become the championship tournaments for the four subordinate regional leagues -- they'd play to be WFTDA West Champion, WFTDA East Champion, etc. That regional championship would be the highest goal attainable to a non-Premier League WFTDA team. The Premier League would play one tournament -- the equivalent of today's Championships. The bottom four teams at the Premier League Championship Tournament are relegated to the appropriate regional leagues; the four regional winners are promoted to the Premier League ((now that i think about this more deeply, this switching of leagues might cause significant scheduling headaches. Well whatever)). I figure the tournaments will need 15 games to get a winner out of the field of 16, a 3rd/4th place game, and four games in the relegation bracket, for a total of 20 games, which might require a four-game tournament, but, then again, no team will need to travel to more than one tournament per year, so maybe that's ok. All teams would play at least two games; 1st thru 4th place would be assigned, as well as a collective "bottom four." These are the things i think about when i take a walk to go buy deodorant.

As to your original question

There isn't a way to work out a theoretical maximum without specifying a maximum speed for the jammer. "c", perhaps? :)

Tournament Structures

Funny thing is that Gotham already gets a bye because there aren't 16 teams competing. Under a normal structure they would have played.... Dominion.

No disrespect to any of the teams in Baltimore this weekend, and there's still games yet to be played; but it might have been more useful to see how 4-13 would have done this weekend rather than 1-10.

x != y

Busta Armov wrote:

If Gotham beat #4 East by 374 points, what would they have done to #8?

That's assuming #8 would have done worse than #4. What did #10 London do to Carolina and Boston, again?

You never know what you're going to do until you try.

London is a very special

London is a very special case. Obviously (in hindsight), the #10 rank was 5 points too low, and a whole lot of people said #10 wasn't justified since they didn't win a sanctioned bout.

Carolina and Boston aren't on the competitive mesa Gotham, Philly and even Charm appear to be sitting on. I don't know how the Charm/Steel game turns out, bit with 15 minutes remaining, Charm is dominating Steel 154-84. If Steel closes the gap, Gotham still beat them by 374 points, which tells you where Charm and Steel are relative to Gotham.

Here's how we can assume #8 would have done worse than #4:
Steel beats Montreal 134-88 +46 Total 46
Montreal beats Dutchland 225-124 +101 Total 147

Gotham beats Steel City 404-30 +374 Total hypothetical differential Gotham->Dutchland: +521 points

While triangulation has been known to be wrong, that "wrong" is between teams that are relatively close. There was a lack of data to directly triangulate London, but both the WFTDA voters and DNN knew by their game play that they at least fit in the top 10 for the East. They just couldn't tell you exactly how high in the top 10 they were. There was no such lack of data for Dutchland.

max points

Busta Armov wrote:

What's the theoretical maximum number of points that can be earned in a game?

Assuming the max number of point scored in a jam to be 35 (I think this is the record?) and the opposing team never getting lead or getting their jammer out a the pack and forcing a call off; with 30 perfect 2 minute jams you could theoretically have a 750-0 game.

The single-jam record

The single jam record in WFTDA tournament play is 39-0, set by Rat City's Primp Daddy against Sacred City.

In men's play there was a 45-0 jam scored by Pioneer Valley's Jurasskick Park. (Yes, that actually happened; I didn't believe it either till I saw the video.)

30 perfect jams?!

Wrecks wrote:
Busta Armov wrote:

What's the theoretical maximum number of points that can be earned in a game?

Assuming the max number of point scored in a jam to be 35 (I think this is the record?) and the opposing team never getting lead or getting their jammer out a the pack and forcing a call off; with 30 perfect 2 minute jams you could theoretically have a 750-0 game.

You would never get 30 2min jams in a bout (you're forgetting the 30sec interval) - my math has it at 24 full-length jams, so you'd actually still be looking at 840 (accepting a 35-0 jam as being the norm). 720 would be more likely (30-0 jam as the norm). I've seen quite a few 250+ points spreads in my two years in the sport, and heard of one bout that was almost double that.

I believe the official

I believe the official scoresheets provide for scoring up to 40...after that it's like Columbus sailing off the edge of the Earth.

True

Actually, it's 8 passes, but only 7 scoring passes (1st pass can't be scored on), so the most you can get without breaking the scoresheets is 35. And of course, you can sail off the earth sooner than that as well. In fact, the very last jam of the Philly-Gotham bout was a 33 point jam, but it was 9 total passes. On of those passes was even a 0 point jam (I don't know the details but one possibility is a monstrous no-pass-no-penalty that includes an entire pack, especially with skaters in the box).

Scoring past 35 points in a jam...

revnorb wrote:

I believe the official scoresheets provide for scoring up to 40...after that it's like Columbus sailing off the edge of the Earth.

Taking off my Anal-Retentive Man mask and putting on my WFTDA Stats Revisioning fez for a sec:
This will be fixed in the next release of the WFTDA StatsBook. We'll likely gain a bit of real estate on the page due to Best Practices relieving Scorekeepers from tracking ghost points. How many passes should be in there is tough to gauge. I like to have enough pass boxes in there for one more pass than the current record jam allows for. Room for 46-50 points seems a bit like overkill, and that's a helluva lot of boxes. Perhaps the format of the last box needs to change a bit...

As to how to handle higher-scored jams on the current score sheets, one can simply put the extra points in the last pass, and Insert Comment with a note about how many were scored in each pass. The current official StatsBook (June 2010 version) does not care how many points were scored in any given pass. In the future, that may change for the earlier passes but the last one is likely to remain more forgiving as a failsafe.

Flat Track Stats

Flat Track Stats reported it as 100-0 bout...which I think is going REALLY easy on Dutchland, considering they beat teams this weekend by more than that, and those teams skated.
http://flattrackstats.com/teams/3457/rankings

wftda policy

the wftda scored it at 100 - 0 based on their forfeit policy.

http://wftda.com/tournaments/blog/2011-east-day-1

flat track stats has talked about forfeits before.

http://flattrackstats.com/blog/4696-behind-scenes-forfeits

Nah

FTS run their stats as a ratio, not score difference, which is why their overall rating is still reduced by that score.

Just let it go...

Just like many of you, I was angered by Dutchland's decision to not play Gotham. My instant reaction was, as many, to scream about all the teams that would kill to be there. I was angered that I had explain the forfeit to a home viewing audience and had no idea what to tell them. I was all set to spit in the eye of the 1st Dutchland person I saw....

After a little time, I settled down, went on to continue all the tasks that were needed from me & let it go. The playoffs were crazy, much to do & it's easy to forget about anything for a bit...

That night I saw a few of the Dutchland girls outside the Hotel, I was prepared to speak my peace, that was until I saw there faces. There girls had most likely been bashed all day, by the fans, by the reports and by each other. I sat & listened to what a difficult descision it was, how not everyone agreed but watched as the entire team stood together when the final descision was made. I saw the defeat in their eyes.

I was disgusted with myself for my previose thoughts. This is an amatuer sport. These ladies pay to play, dedicate countless hours to be the best they can, dedicate countless more hours to ensure league survival and here I was, ready to rip them a new one...

Why I still dont agree with the reason for the forfeit, I have the utmost respect for Dutchland for standing together when most leagues I know would be ripped apart. I watched them come out the next day to the chorus of boos from the crowd that are from the same community that cheered them the day before. I was embarrassed by the reaction, emarrassed to be in the crowd. I'm sure that everyone of us has made bad descions at one time or another. We are lucky that our bad descisions were not made so publicly. I've seen much worse & will see worse in the future. Nobody died, Dutchland themselves has to live with this descision.....so for me, I'lll just let it go....

I'm aplogizing to Dutchland for my initial reaction. I wish your entire league the best & truly hope you all come through this a stronger team & league...

Your Friend,
The Reverend Al Mighty.

good advice

I often feel that the US has become a nation of drama queens, where everything we disagree with is "the worst thing ever". This is really not a big deal. Maybe it's not the decision I would have made, or you would have made, but I do cherish people having the freedom to make their own choices. And I respect people who make an unpopular choice and still stick up for one another. But sports fans are known for their hyperbole and emotion that fades much more quickly than they believe (seriously, there are many psychology studies on this). So this outrage will fade. At that point maybe a calmer, more nuanced discussion can take place around the relevant rules.

"I'm aplogizing to Dutchland

"I'm aplogizing to Dutchland for my initial reaction. I wish your entire league the best & truly hope you all come through this a stronger team & league... "

Ditto.

Now that this whole thing is

Now that this whole thing is in the rear-view mirror a bit and some of the OUTRAGE has subsided, looking at the whole topic of strategic forfeiture from a purely analytical standpoint, the team that could have really made the best case for a strategic forfeit was Steel City on Saturday. Steel City didn't have much of a chance of beating Gotham ((as evinced by their being on the wrong end of a 404-30 final score)), but they DID have a fighting chance of beating Charm City for third place and the final Championships berth on Sunday. Could a fresh and rested Steel City team have beaten a Charm City team that had to go bang around all afternoon with Philly the day before? Now THAT would have been a strategic forfeit where the risk/reward factor began to make more sense.

Assuming that the strategic forfeiture loophole will be closed quickly, and Dutchland's forfeit was a once-in-a-lifetime historical event, i, in a way, am somewhat bummed that the one and only strategic forfeit i am ever likely to see in my lifetime was used so...unstrategically.

hear hear

hear hear

Forfeit

It is allowed in the rules to do that. For those who don't like that. Get the rule changed. It was not unsportwomanlike!!

rugby / derby parallel

An eerily relevant story just popped up in the New York Times sports section:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/sports/2011-rugby-world-cup-let-the-ro...

Excerpts:

---
It is the biggest stage in the sport: the Rugby World Cup, held every four years, matching up the best teams in the world and captivating millions of fans. It is sometimes called the third most popular sports event in the world, after only the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup.

And here are some of the scores from this year’s event in New Zealand: England 67, Romania 3; New Zealand 83, Japan 7; South Africa 87, Namibia 0.

The sport of rugby, venerable in its own bone-crushing way with its rucks, mauls and scrums and sometimes inscrutable code of laws, can seem puzzling to a non-aficionado. But any hopes that it will move its appeal much beyond the old British Empire seem oddly undercut at what is supposed to be the sport’s best moment.

...

Despite the organizers’ aspirations for the cosmopolitan reach of soccer, the truth is there are only a few countries where rugby is played at any kind of high level: the nations of the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France and, in recent years, Argentina. With a field of 20 at the World Cup, that leaves half the spots for teams that not only have no chance to win, but little chance to be competitive with the top teams.

Organizers say these countries, often called the minnows, are admitted to the Cup to try to increase the popularity of rugby worldwide.

The dominance of the elite teams at the Rugby World Cup is not a new phenomenon. In six previous World Cups, only five different teams have made the final, and only eight have made a semifinal. And some of the scores from earlier Cups were even more lopsided: New Zealand 108, Portugal 13 in 2007; Australia 142, Namibia 0 in 2003; England 101, Tonga 10 in 1999.
...

There is some impatience with these early-round games in the countries that are rugby powers. “Mismatches Undermine the World Cup,” read a headline in The Independent Online of South Africa. “Do World Cup Thrashings Benefit the Sport?” The Guardian asked its readers. (They were split.)

...

Still, there are no signs that the weaker teams are sorry to be at the Cup.

“Exposure like this you just never get,” said Colin Hawley of the American team after a game against mighty Australia. “That game tonight has taught me so much.”

Final score: Australia 67, United States 5.

Interesting to see that the

Interesting to see that the NYT article focusses in on the benefits for the sport, not so much the discussion that's going on here about fandom and the sport's obligations to its consumers, rather than / in addition to its obligations to its participants.

Actually, this analogy makes me wish we had viewing figures for our derby blowouts and has made me curious about the numbers for these rugby blowouts. I've been watching them, too, but probably not with as rapt attention.

Parallel, except for...

While rugby teams have a lot of the same disparity of talent between the top and the bottom, like roller derby, rugby tournaments give teams three or four days of rest between matches.

The USA lost to Ireland, a game against a better opponent they had a relatively decent chance of beating. Three days later they beat Russia, a game they were a favorite to win. A few days after that they got destroyed by Australia, a game no one expected the USA to stay close in.

But here's what happened with Dutchland, if you want to make a comparison to rugby:

Four hours after a tough game against Russia, the USA plays Australia. 30 hours after that, they play Ireland.

So if the USA decided to forfeit against Australia to have the best chance of beating Ireland, could you blame them? Is it their fault that they would have had to play that much rugby in so short of a time frame, or is it the organizers' fault for cramming an uncompetitive contest between two games the USA could have a chance of winning?

windy mang

i love your contrarian take on all this and honestly you may have the most objective lens that ive seen on these boards. really. i might even check out your blog sometime. allowing a team to forfeit a tournament game and continue on through the event is a joke. it is a failure of language. it seems time for wftda to slash some their own red tape and find a way to QUICKLY fix these glaring problems within their game.

girls- i love this sport and want to see it succeed! please dont let years go by without action; get it done!