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San Diego vs Grim Reap-Hers

Sat Sep 29 2012 - 05:45pm PDT(08:45pm EDT)


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Hey Windyman

Your brilliant fix for pack definition?

I just heard you describe runaway pussy as boring multiple times. This was YOUR ANSWER. 2005 called, they want their rulesset back. "Someone should fix this" isn't good enough. The most obsessed, dedicated, hardworking minds in the game have been working on a solution for a decade. One hasn't been found because it's a DIFFICULT PROBLEM. Why don't we all try to work together (maybe a democratic cooperative of leagues with voting rights?... oh wait) to find a solution rather than reinventing the (square) wheel, not vetting it or training officials, and throwing massive competitive events on the same weekends as other important competitive events? It's like parenting or something. You can tell someone not to touch something hot, but until they've been burned they won't believe you.

<3
Muffin

Maybe there is no solution

There is a good chance that there is no solution to the 'passive offense' or pack-definition problems that doesn't change the rules for jammers going to the penalty box.

Personally I think the only common sense solution is a "1 point rule", where a jammer that is sent to the box sits until 1 'lap point' is scored on them, or 1 minute elapses. Too many games have these giant point swings based solely on a jammer's penalty (be it the jammers recklessness or a ref's bad call), and they are extremely disappointing because a team can play a perfect game for multiple jams, only to have that play nullified by a power jam.

Of course some people will argue "Well maybe the jammer should be more careful!", but until derby refing is completely standardized and educated at ALL levels of derby then situations that allow HUGE point swings to happen shouldn't come down to a mistake on the part of a player OR a ref, name another sport where a referee's bad call or a players dumb mistake can lead to a 30 point swing?

Well, none.

_stryker wrote:

name another sport where a referee's bad call or a players dumb mistake can lead to a 30 point swing?

Well, most sports don't have this many points scored in a game. As a percentage of points scored (and therefore the ability to change the outcome of a game), it's no better or worse than any other sport.

sure

John_Maddening wrote:
_stryker wrote:

name another sport where a referee's bad call or a players dumb mistake can lead to a 30 point swing?

Well, most sports don't have this many points scored in a game. As a percentage of points scored (and therefore the ability to change the outcome of a game), it's no better or worse than any other sport.

Most other sports don't have two point scoring players out at the same time, its usually a trade off between teams getting a chance at scoring with penalties having much less effect on the overall outcome.

Most other

Most other points-based-scoring sports have a ball that is required to score. Almost all of those have *at least* two players who can score. If anything, derby is the rare one for having very limited players eligible to score. The analogy doesn't work.

Points wise, if you take a scoring pass as a single score (ignore points, lets talk about scoring), then you'll notice that a bad referee call can have the same relative difference on a game.
Say a jammer is boxed for a random major. The opposing jammer will take 15-20 points out of that situation, usually. That's 3-4 scoring passes. A bad ref call in a lot of sports can lead to 3-4 scores very quickly. It happens regularly in rugby, hurling, Australian rules football, etc. Just yesterday, in the All-Ireland hurling final (it's a sport, not the act of vomiting after whiskey...) a Galway player was sent off at a fairly critical point. A free was awarded to Kilkenny, and the player mismatch resulted in 4 scores in as many minutes. 4 minutes may sound like long time in derby, but in a game that doesn't stop for anything but an injured player (and even then, treatment is often given while the game plays on around them), that's no time at all. You could even equate it to a powerjam...

The point is to penalise illegal actions. If you change the rules to account for the odd bad ref call, you're really doing more damage than good.

There's at least one

_stryker wrote:

name another sport where a referee's bad call or a players dumb mistake can lead to a 30 point swing?

Snooker. Although the referees have far less to call than in derby.

Rules Change Hypothetical

I've been waiting since last week for the opportunity to put this idea up here.

Any thoughts*** on how the following would change play?

As I was watching the BAD vs DRD bout last week I was seeing* a whole lot of what I considered great action-packed pack play. I was contemplating ways to avoid the passive offense and attempt to force the simultaneous offense/defense I was seeing while allowing for minimal passive offense, which is enjoyable to me when the jammer is still on the track. To this end I was thinking there might be some value in never removing the jammer from the track. This is how it would work:

1) Jammer infraction.
2) Jammer resets to back of pack
OR
2')Instead of resetting, the jammer with the infraction has to break out of the current pack, and make one additional pass after the infraction to be eligible to score.**

Could it happen?

Tom

*The camera angle certainly helped the particular aesthetic I was enjoying.
**I like this second better because it could make for some really interesting jammer on jammer defensive scenarios.
***Mad-Lib analogy practice: A forum without thoughts is like a...

I can assure you...

... that this same message was ground in, face to face, during the event. I'm not saying it was *received*, but I surely did make the case :)

Hi muffin!

muffin wrote:

Your brilliant fix for pack definition?

I just heard you describe runaway pussy as boring multiple times. This was YOUR ANSWER. 2005 called, they want their rulesset back. "Someone should fix this" isn't good enough. The most obsessed, dedicated, hardworking minds in the game have been working on a solution for a decade. One hasn't been found because it's a DIFFICULT PROBLEM.

My "brilliant" pack definition came with strings attached, as I made perfectly clear in the original Pack Solution post on my blog. I said that runaway pussy and the pack lapping itself was completely possible, and solution to that possibility needed to be found. I said it would be difficult to pass on the inside while at speed on the flat track, as this type of rule is really meant for the banked track. I said that I did not claim it as the perfect solution, only a different way to look at the problem. And I knew there were going to be issues with it if and when it was eventually put into practice. So there were, but not for the reasons you might think.

I'm not one to sugarcoat anything, and even though I tried to keep it neutral on the webcast, I'm not going to try and hide the fact that when two teams of vastly different skill levels play against each other, it's not going to be a fun game to watch no matter the rule set being played. It's just the USARS rules make this skill discrepancy much more blatant and obvious.

No set of rules will make games between poor teams and great teams watchable, and it's unfair to say "it doesn't work!" when one of the teams is not or cannot physically compete with their opponents. Because when you have two teams that can, like Port City and Resurrection, it kind of does work, doesn't it?

Quote:

Why don't we all try to work together (maybe a democratic cooperative of leagues with voting rights?... oh wait) to find a solution rather than reinventing the (square) wheel, not vetting it or training officials, and throwing massive competitive events on the same weekends as other important competitive events? It's like parenting or something. You can tell someone not to touch something hot, but until they've been burned they won't believe you.

Tell this to the WFTDA. They turned down USARS' request to work together, you might remember. And now for the second time, I've heard a rumor that the WFTDA will blackball any full member or apprentice league that even thinks about playing a game under a non-WFTDA ruleset. If I hear that rumor again, it's probably not a rumor.

Also realize, a "democratic cooperative of leagues" would have to include all 1200+ leagues currently playing the sport of roller derby. Unfortunately, only 159 of those leagues have a vote in the WFTDA system (with another 89 on the way), so I don't see how a minority of skaters can be a "democratic cooperative" representing all of roller derby. Alternative rulesets like USARS allow these non-affiliated leagues a choice they didn't have before, and enough have made that choice to make it an alternative worth keeping an eye on.

Granted, USARS may not be one of the best organizations out there to offer that alternative. But on the other hand, for about two dozen leagues to effectively blindly jump into USARS derby, despite them being USARS, may be an indication about how some leagues feel about the WFTDA at the moment.

Wait...WTF?

WindyMan wrote:

this type of rule is really meant for the banked track.

Since when???

You picked apart the WFTDA rulebook in order to support your "solution". WFTDA is flat track, right?

The revisionist history is already starting, I guess.

Oh, for the luvva-

WindyMan wrote:

And now for the second time, I've heard a rumor that the WFTDA will blackball any full member or apprentice league that even thinks about playing a game under a non-WFTDA ruleset.

Well, I guess we'll find out after Oly plays in the USARS regional in three weeks.

Quote:

If I hear that rumor again, it's probably not a rumor.

By the way, did you hear the rumor that Hurt Reynolds and a talking dog are going on a tour of the thirteen northernmost derby leagues in the world in Dumptruck's private plane?

Rumors and truth.

John_Maddening wrote:
WindyMan wrote:

And now for the second time, I've heard a rumor that the WFTDA will blackball any full member or apprentice league that even thinks about playing a game under a non-WFTDA ruleset.

Well, I guess we'll find out after Oly plays in the USARS regional in three weeks.

Apples != oranges. When we're talking about social norms enforcement (rather than written policy), very different standards come into play at different levels. Sure, Oly won't get kicked out for (another) sisterhood violation. If you're the East Jesus Roller Vixens, you tend to take even the vague suggestion that one action or another might impact your chances of getting into the organization.

If you spend a little time outside the top-50 bubble, these stories become rampant.

John_Maddening wrote:

By the way, did you hear the rumor that Hurt Reynolds and a talking dog are going on a tour of the thirteen northernmost derby leagues in the world in Dumptruck's private plane?

Man, if I had a talking dog, I could *definitely* afford a private-plane tour of the thirteen northernmost derby leagues.

The point about gossip and rumors is solid, of course. It's also a catch-22. If we publicly attribute reports like this to their specific sources, it exposes the sources to additional bullying because they're being a "troublemaker" (read: whistleblower). People wouldn't tell their stories if it meant making the problems worse.

Our solution, as we're becoming a little more truth-telly, is what more formal journalistic outputs adopted ages ago: confirm with multiple sources, indicate in our reporting that our sources spoke on condition of anonymity, and accept that our choice not to name sources will open our statements to additional skepticism.

We've taken care to establish a reputation for fairness, honesty, and accuracy; when we attribute to unnamed sources, we recognize that we're putting that reputation on the line. We do not do so lightly.

Apples

Hurt Reynolds wrote:

Apples != oranges. When we're talking about social norms enforcement (rather than written policy), very different standards come into play at different levels. Sure, Oly won't get kicked out for (another) sisterhood violation. If you're the East Jesus Roller Vixens, you tend to take even the vague suggestion that one action or another might impact your chances of getting into the organization.

This will be less of an issue when...

1. Teams in WFTDA advance based solely on performance, and not on a vote.
2. People back up the hard talk about community, sisterhood, and so on in the derby community.

If you can't be held back based on politics, teams will never have to worry about who they decide to play or work with outside of their sanctioned season bouts. People should be able to skate with or against anyone they damn well please without fear of being ostracized, or not voted into a higher level of competition.

How anyone can report this rumor anymore...

When Charm, GOTHAM, Windy City, Rat City and Rocky Mountain have all sent their chartered squads or some iteration of them to play in banked bouts over the last couple of years is beyond me. I mean, really, how can anyone even say that with a straight face?

"But We're Young"

I just kinda wanna point out that, if anyone is planning on shitting in their hand and throwing it at USARS...

1. USARS as a ruleset and, for lack of a better term, governance over a style of derby, is an infant. So since we've all used the "derby is so young" excuse for the bumps along the road in the WFTDA, everyone should kinda keep that in mind for USARS as well.

2. You'll have shit on your hands.

As far as any points regarding the over all voice or representing of roller derby, there are more skaters who are not a part of WFTDA and USARS than there are skaters who are a part of both organizations, combined. As much as it might be a great "branding" point for organizations to try to market themselves as the end all be all of roller derby, the fact remains that there are skaters who not only aren't members of these organizations, but who don't even play by their rulesets. I'm not a USARS or WFTDA member, so I shouldn't, nor do I care to have, a say in what USARS or WFTDA does. Thanks to DNN, I can lip off all the live long day about what I think could make the game better, just cause I love derby so much regardless of acronym, but in the end since those difficulties don't cause a mandatory problem with how I play, I have no place voting on anything internal. So I guess what I'm saying is, if you're not wearing a patch with an organization's name on it, you're not obligated to use whatever crap you dislike about their gameplay. No patch, no vote. However, those organizations need to remember that they aren't "roller derby", they just govern a certain style of it.

Throwing the baby...

out with the cliche...

So the fact that USARS is young justifies them in ignoring the lessons learned in the early WFTDA and modern banked years (ie, don't vet rulessets during tournaments, "pack in front is legal pack" is a bad idea, train your officials)? Because that's the point I was trying to make.

I play all kinds of roller derby. Banked, flat, deathball (hi, KC!), renegade, you name it. I do think that there's room for everyone. Revisit the Thai vs. Ramen analogy above for my REAL problem with these tournaments.

And as for shit in hands, if someone starts a persistent, public, screeching shitstorm calling out the WFTDA and their rules and presents their competing model (complete with flaws (presented as solutions!) that everyone tried for months to point out to them were eliminated from early WFTDA rules *for a reason*) in tournaments which take place on the same days as our most important yearly events, then yeah, I'm going to get a little dirty to point all of that out.

in addition...

Any conclusions drawn from watching these USARS tournaments with respect to ruleset quality can't be taken seriously without doing a hefty amount of imagination extrapolation.

The east playoff 3/4 and 1/2 games were brilliant. Fast, physical, and forward-skating. Four great teams who kept their jammers out of the box. Not a single "slow derby sucks" moment.

Everyone, get better. Then stop bitching about blowouts. As Lex posted on derbylife.com, the game is not broken. The game is, however, HARD AND BRUTAL AND UNFORGIVING. Which is how sports should be at the premiere level.

Justify

No, nothing justifies it. My point was that every time someone makes the slightest complaint about the current WFTDA rule set, everyone jumps to the excuse of the youth of the organization and it's incarnation of the game. How about, instead of excuses, and instead of spending energy throwing shit, we fix some things?

Well matched teams playing a game fans enjoy shouldn't be quite so difficult, regardless of organization or rule set. Well, one would think.

These USARS games should be

These USARS games should be viewed by WFTDA skaters and officials, all the way up the chain, so they can get a bit of historical perspective on the game (it's pretty much the way the game was everywhere circa 2004-2005), the deliberate choices that were made, and why they were made. It's historical re-enactment.

BTW, the reason the WFTDA ignores the suggestions and comments from fans, is a little remembered Yahoo group called Roller Derby Fighting Babes, from circa 2004-2007. The response of the leagues of the time was that the moment you start listening to fans, it's a slippery slope to fighting and less clothes.

I think one of the

Busta Armov wrote:

These USARS games should be viewed by WFTDA skaters and officials, all the way up the chain, so they can get a bit of historical perspective on the game (it's pretty much the way the game was everywhere circa 2004-2005), the deliberate choices that were made, and why they were made. It's historical re-enactment.

BTW, the reason the WFTDA ignores the suggestions and comments from fans, is a little remembered Yahoo group called Roller Derby Fighting Babes, from circa 2004-2007. The response of the leagues of the time was that the moment you start listening to fans, it's a slippery slope to fighting and less clothes.

I think one of the USARS rules strongest points is that it's so reminiscent of the timeframe you described. As for the WFTDA/suggestions bit, you absolutely can't give everyone everything, but the outpouring against the gameplay of the past year to two years has been more than just a little buzzing of a few pissed people. Looking forward to how it plays out in the coming year.

Actually...

Busta Armov wrote:

BTW, the reason the WFTDA ignores the suggestions and comments from fans, is a little remembered Yahoo group called Roller Derby Fighting Babes, from circa 2004-2007. The response of the leagues of the time was that the moment you start listening to fans, it's a slippery slope to fighting and less clothes.

Ah, thanks for the reminder of that awful mess of a group. Remember the dire predictions of how attendance would plummet once fighting earned an expulsion instead of a major?

But to your point, WFTDA actually polled fans (and skaters) this year about what changes they might like to see made to the rules. Surprising even to me was the fact that by and large the fans didn't seem to want the rules changed at all. I seem to recall skaters being more positive about changes in the rules than fans were. Doesn't exactly match up to fan feedback I got at our last bout, but ya know...

So I guess if WFTDA followed their fans' feedback on the survey, no minors might be out the window too?

My take on it was that the fans responding to the poll hadn't considered what differences some of the proposed changes might make and were simply resistant to any change at all.

They have a process to fix things

spookyam180 wrote:

No, nothing justifies it. My point was that every time someone makes the slightest complaint about the current WFTDA rule set, everyone jumps to the excuse of the youth of the organization and it's incarnation of the game. How about, instead of excuses, and instead of spending energy throwing shit, we fix some things?

Well matched teams playing a game fans enjoy shouldn't be quite so difficult, regardless of organization or rule set. Well, one would think.

I have found that year after year, the games just get more enjoyable to watch. People should be more patient. As a fan of the NBA, it's fun to look at how they were able to change the game over the years to make it more fun to watch, but it took years and years.

Also, it's not people making slight complaints. It's people screeching how the system is broken and people don't skate at all and all kinds of hyperbolic statements. The USARS rules borrowed a lot of things from rulesets that have been around for years, but don't have the same amount of teams skating them as skate the WFTDA ruleset. Just because you say a ruleset is more exciting doesn't mean watching a bout by it will be.

Year after year

Year after year, across the spectrum of all forms of derby, the game is in general more enjoyable to watch as the skaters get better and new ideas are brought into the game. USARS has the potential to be great, it just needs the time and devotion from passionate teams to grow. It's already been shown to produce solid bouts.

...No dude, it's slight complaints. While some remarks are chock full o' exaggeration, the fact remains that there needs to be open dialogue on the serious issues that have effected game-play over the past couple seasons without people chalking it up to anti-WFTDA banter or, and here's the best one, the people complaining "not understanding the strategy." You can set up a ruleset to be the best feckin' game ever played, but if you don't have staff and athletes who will run and play it that way, you've got nothing. That not only means the skill and experience, but also the mindset to be open to improving game-play in the future. If anything, it's a pro-WFTDA argument because it's a pro derby argument. If we all want the game to be the best it can be, regardless of ruleset, then everyone needs to be open to scrutiny.

Roller derby is "a" sport

John_Maddening][quote=WindyMan wrote:

Well, I guess we'll find out after Oly plays in the USARS regional in three weeks.

From my perspective, it seems as if the greater WFTDA community has already blackballed Oly, and in fact has been doing so for a couple of years now. From what I picked up at Westerns, some of the "Oly hate" wasn't always being exercised with the lightheartedness you'd normally expect from derbyfolk, if you know what I mean. It had nothing to do with them entering the USARS tournament, but I think Oly was already on enough shitlists that it wasn't going to change much anyway.

spookyam180 wrote:

However, those organizations need to remember that they aren't "roller derby", they just govern a certain style of it.

This, this, a MILLION times this. When someone in derby says they "want what's best for our sport," what actually mean and should be saying is they "want what's best for our organization." Roller derby is not "your sport." Roller derby is just "a sport," one that's been around in various incarnations for almost 80 years. The sport is not young, it's the modern derby organizations that are young.

Drivers in NASCAR say this all the time ("it's best for our sport") and it drives me f'ing insane. NASCAR does not represent the best interests for motor racing on the whole, because that sport also includes Formula 1, Indycar, motocross, etc. In that same vein, the WFTDA is not the be-all end-all of roller derby. The WFTDA is merely one governing body within the current history of the sport of roller derby, as is MADE, OSDA, USARS, OWRD, etc. While there are some things where it's okay to say it's good for the sport on the whole, like in the realm of player safety, what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.

If people want to say "our sport is young, we'll figure it out," that's fine. But I say, the sport is decades old, it's the WFTDA that's young as is still trying to figure things out. Even if people don't agree with what alternative derby rule sets bring to the table, there's a reason why they do what they do; maybe some of the stuff that the WFTDA is trying to figure out has already been figured out in communities outside of the WFTDA bubble.

Even if the WFTDA and its players don't want to adopt what other rulesets are doing, at the minimum they've got to understand why they do things that way. Turning a blind eye to that insight is probably a bad idea. If we all want to truly work together to improve the modern game for everyone, the attitude should be: "You want to do it differently than us? Okay, cool. I get what you're doing (or I don't get it but I'll try to understand it) but we'll do it our own way. Have fun playing derby!"

Own it.

WindyMan wrote:

If we all want to truly work together to improve the modern game for everyone, the attitude should be: "You want to do it differently than us? Okay, cool. I get what you're doing (or I don't get it but I'll try to understand it) but we'll do it our own way. Have fun playing derby!"

Absolutely correct. However, more often than not, people tend not to take that attitude. The all inclusive "derbylove" tends to work a little better for people if they already agree on most things and come from the same background. It's a shame, because differing rule sets, organizations, and styles of derby could all learn a lot from one another if they'd take the rulers away from their peckers. The less we try to own derby, the easier it will grow.

SPK

Roller derby was NEVER a

Roller derby was NEVER a sport in the 20th century. It was a game. Generally one with a pre-determined outcome. A sport by modern standards includes open competition between competing teams actually competing for a win without knowing who will win before the game.

The rules and the game were put to the test in the "open games" around 1958, when Leo Seltzer tried to conduct the game legitimately, and they failed so utterly it was never tried again by anybody until a bunch of women from Austin tried it. Because faking the game and making it look legit, was harder than trying to play legit.

It wasn't until the game was played as an interleague sport, where it's just impossible to play with an oral "code" of things you would do, and things that you wouldn't do, that roller derby became a sport. And that starts with the ULC/WFTDA and no where else. I have my criticisms of the WFTDA, but I fully credit them with inventing roller derby as a sport, because I was active in a non-WFTDA league at the time and know what was going on and where everything came from.

So yes, the sport of roller derby is young. Very young by sports standards. It didn't start as a sport in 2001, it started as a sport with the release of WFTDA 1.0. You can't compare a show masquerading as a game, to a real sport, so you can and should disregard everything that ever happened from Roller Derby to Roller Jam when looking for historical guidance. If you liked that game, you liked a something that was fake. Pure and simple. Nothing you can do with a legitimate roller derby will ever look like that, because if the boss said "don't do that", he didn't write a new rule, the skaters just didn't do it. And the skaters fought legitimizing the game, because if it was legitimate, the stars wouldn't have been stars at all.

stopping on the track?

i thought this was taboo in usars rules, however i saw multiple instances of skaters stopping on the track with no adverse effects, and no penalties. also, no one seems to understand how the active scorer rules work.

Stopping on the track

masterbates wrote:

i thought this was taboo in usars rules, however i saw multiple instances of skaters stopping on the track with no adverse effects, and no penalties. also, no one seems to understand how the active scorer rules work.

Here is what the USARS rules set says on the subject:

RD40.02
Stopping or standing on the Track during a jam is not permitted unless the player is only momentarily stopped while
(i) changing skating direction, or
(ii) recovering from a block or fall; or
(iii) waiting for the Pack after skating out of play, in order to rejoin the Pack, or
(iv) to avoid collision or unwanted contact with another player.

so...

hitting a pivot out and stopping so she would have to come in behind you while the whole pack passes you is against the rules and warrants a penalty? 'cause that is one example of the stopping i saw during these usars games.

Stopping, yes. But...

Coming to a dead stop on the track after pinning a player out of bounds is illegal. I saw this was correctly called as a direction of gameplay penalty just about every instance I saw it happening, but I don't know if there were other missed calls. But that doesn't mean you can't trap people out of bounds and retreat in a ruleset that requires continual forward motion by all players.

Because the pack is naturally moving forward at speed, a blocker need only slow their pace relative to the other players on the track to execute this strategy play. So if the pack is going 15mph, a blocker can slow to 3mph after hitting a jammer out of bounds, at which point the pack will zip by and the jammer will have to recycle behind the retreated blocker, all without anyone coming to a stop (or skating backwards) within the bounds of the track.

Something like this only works if the pack is moving forward at a significant pace. Banked track rules make stopping/backwards skating illegal as well, but their problem (one they're trying to resolve) is teams don't have a real motivation to move forward in the pack in the first place. A lot of times when a blocker knocks a jammer out of bounds, if they and the pack were already moving at a snail's pace to begin with the rest of the pack isn't going to pass them by without that blocker stopping or skating backwards, which would be a penalty.