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Derby News Network Power Rankings - November 2011

For more background on the methodology and reasoning behind our Power Rankings, please see this month's intro article and the original DNN Power Rankings FAQ.

DNN WFTDA W/L Next Notes
1 Gotham
 
1 E 2011 11-0
2010 12-1
11/12 @ [TBA] For the second year in a row, Gotham comes into the WFTDA Championships with an undefeated record on the year. This month marks their first appearance of 2011 at #1, though, on the strength of a more convincing win against #4 Rose City (147-79 in June) than Oly was able to muster in September at the West Playoffs (161-132). But Gotham will likely have to get past last year's champs Rocky Mountain in their first game if they want to have a chance to repeat their 2008 undefeated championship run.
2 Oly
 
1 W 2011 12-0
2010 15-2
11/12 @ [TBA] The only other undefeated team in the postseason has still never lost to a team other than Rocky Mountain -- though it's notable that their two closest games of the year were their last two against Rose City and Rocky Mountain.
2 W 2011 8-2
2010 15-1
11/11 @ Nashville Last year's champs hang at #3 after a surprising scare against Rat City and their second loss in a row to primary rivals Oly. Still, though, they're not to be underestimated, as their last loss to a team other than Oly was back in November 2009.
4 Rose City
 
4 W 2011 9-5
2010 9-6
11/11 @ Kansas City Finally punched their ticket to their first Championships appearance with a hard-fought 139-120 win over Bay Area and a solid 186-134 win over Rat City at the West playoffs. It's worth noting, too, that Rose City is responsible for giving both #1 Gotham and #2 Oly their closest games of their respective seasons.
5 Rat City
 
6 W 2011 8-9
2010 9-6
11/19 @ Victorian Rat City managed to capitalize on a pileup of Denver jammer penalties to upset them in the West Playoffs and then flummoxed Rocky Mountain with the stall start to almost land what would have been a stunner of an upset, but they came back down to Earth in the third-place game against Rose City. Still, though, the Denver win pushes them to their highest spot ever in the Power Rankings at #5.
6 Denver
 
3 W 2011 13-3
2010 9-3
TBD For the second year in a row, Denver got eliminated from Championships contention in their opening bout at the West Playoffs, though this time they were able to win the remainder of their games. They drop two spaces from #4 to #6.
7 Bay Area
 
5 W 2011 14-5
2010 12-7
TBD Couldn't find a way past a determined Rose City at the West Playoffs and drop one slot as Rat City jumps up to #5.
8 Texas
 
2 SC 2011 12-8
2010 7-8
11/12 @ [TBA] For the second year in a row, Texas and Kansas City played a classic battle in the championship game of the South Central tournament -- and for the second year in a row, the underdog outlasted the defending champion. Texas jumps up from #10 to #8 with the 132-92 victory.
1 SC 2011 10-2
2010 8-5
11/11 @ Rose City Kansas City takes a minor slide on the results of the SC championship game, falling from #7 to #9, but stays ahead of Windy City on the strength of a close 111-92 win in September.
10 Windy City
 
1 NC 2011 16-2
2010 7-6
11/12 @ [TBA] Chicago's WCR drops one spot as Texas passes them on the way up, but hangs on at the edge of the top ten after repelling tough challenges from steadily improving Naptown and Minnesota at the North Central playoffs.
11 Philly
 
2 E 2011 11-8
2010 15-6
11/11 @ Naptown The Liberty Belles continue to be a tough team to figure, as they were able to mostly solve Charm City at Easterns but had a slightly tougher time with Minnesota than Windy City did, keeping Philly still just a hair out of the top ten.
12 Charm City
 
3 E 2011 9-7
2010 10-8
11/11 @ Minnesota Some had expected 2011 to finally be the year that Charm City managed to dislodge Philly from their perch of #2 in the East, but it wasn't to be; still, Charm holds steady at #12 by solidly defeating Steel City in the 3rd place match of Easterns.
13 Minnesota
 
3 NC 2011 10-3
2010 9-3
11/11 @ Charm City It's a 3 slot jump for Minnesota, who scored a ranking upset on Detroit at the North Central playoffs for the second year in a row before losing to Windy City in the final for the second year in a row. However, this year's 123-100 final was much closer than last year's 132-83, and suggests that Minnesota's upwards surge is still not done after a year.
14 Naptown
 
4 NC 2011 12-3
2010 13-5
11/11 @ Philly After a year of promising results, Naptown made good on them with a ranking upset on Detroit to take third place at their regional tournament. Like Minnesota, Naptown jumps up 3 slots with their performance.
15 Detroit
 
2 NC 2011 8-13
2010 11-3
TBD Detroit stayed alive deeper into the playoffs than they did in 2010, but the end result was the same: a disappointing close upset loss that eliminated them from Championships. Detroit drops two slots on the tournament.
16 Steel City
 
4 E 2011 11-7
2010 12-4
TBD It wasn't yet Steel City's year, as they were steamrolled by Gotham in the biggest WFTDA playoff blowout ever (404-30) and were unable to get anything much going against Charm City in the 3rd place game of East Playoffs, losing 189-94. Though they did notch a Power Rankings upset with their first-round defeat of Montreal, they lose ground to both Minnesota and Naptown and fall one slot.
17 London
 
10 E 2011 3-6
2010 3-2
11/12 vs Sioux Falls After over a year in the Power Rankings with very few actual bout results - and no WFTDA wins - London finally definitively made their top-25 case with wins over Carolina, Boston and Montreal at East Playoffs. They tie with Boston for biggest jump since last ranking, going up 5 slots to #17.
18 Montreal
 
5 E 2011 17-7
2010 13-5
TBD The neon army from Canada ended up spinning their wheels against Steel City and having a very tough time in a win against Carolina before barely losing an all-time classic against London to finish their run in the East Playoffs. However, the two upset losses drop them 4 slots from #14 to #18.
19 Nashville
 
3 SC 2011 7-5
2010 11-5
11/11 @ Rocky Mountain Although Nashville cruised through their South Central 3rd place game against a stymied Atlanta for a completely dominant 213-38 victory, they had a much tougher battle with currently unranked Tampa Bay just two days previous, fighting hard for a 122-102 win. Pulled in different directions by those results, Nashville ends up standing pat at #19.
20 Boston
 
6 E 2011 7-10
2010 5-9
TBD While Boston appeared to be in danger of dropping off the radar after increasingly dire bout results this year, they acquitted themselves decently at East Playoffs, doing somewhat better than the lopsided final implied in a 191-88 loss to Charm City and giving London a tougher fight than Carolina was able to muster. Boston goes up 5 slots from the outer edge to land at #20.
21 Carolina
 
7 E 2011 16-3
2010 8-10
11/19 vs Cape Fear Carolina was solidly defeated by London at East Playoffs but they bounced back to give Montreal a good run for their money, losing by just 9. They shared Maine as an opponent with Boston, but Boston's better performances there (+108 against Carolina's +71 win) and against London (-47 for Boston, -93 for Carolina) keeps Carolina below their longtime regional rivals. Still, they go up two slots on the Montreal game.
8 NC 2011 12-6
2010 7-5
TBD The Outfit got the last word in on their year-long battle with Arch Rival when they beat them 153-113 in the 5th place game of the North Central Playoffs, but that still leaves them with a 2-2 record in 2011 against their regional rivals, keeping them closely pinned to them. They end up one slot below Carolina based on their shared opponent Madison -- the Outfit won by 29 at NC Playoffs while Carolina took a 68 point victory over Madison in August.
23 Arch Rival
 
9 NC 2011 10-6
2010 4-12
TBD Arch Rival had an up-and-down experience at NC Regionals, scoring an upset over Cincinnati and beating the Chicago Outfit in the advancement rounds before losing to them in the consolation rounds. With London, Carolina and Boston all going up, though, they drop two slots.
24 Brewcity
 
7 NC 2011 6-9
2010 8-6
TBD Milwaukee's crew spent all of 2011 hovering just outside of the top 25, and finally breaks in with the help of a playoff win over previous #18 Cincinnati. A 129-103 loss to current #22 Chicago Outfit keeps them below the Outfit / Arch Rival clump, though.
25 Cincinnati
 
5 NC 2011 5-12
2010 10-5
TBD Cincy takes the biggest drop of this ranking, falling 7 places to the edge of the top 25. While they came into the NC playoffs looking to put the brakes on a slide, the opposite happened and they came out of it 1-3 with upset losses to both Brewcity and Arch Rival; the only bright spot was managing to get revenge for a shock loss to Ohio in September, as Cincy convincingly won the rematch 168-86.
Key:
E WFTDA East region
W WFTDA West region
NC WFTDA North Central region
SC WFTDA South Central region

Comments

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Really, no comments yet?

It's an OUTRAGE.

woohoo!

woohoo!

I can find no outrage in this...

I think you (almost) nailed it. I agree that RMRG should be at #3. IF Gotham beats RMRG then they will have earned this #1 ranking. If not then they should be number two, behind Oly, who played a more competitive schedule this year than Gotham did. I expect to see an Oly/Gotham championship bout next weekend in Denver, and I cannot wait!

Ditto

What he/she said.

Might as well light the fuse on this

Interesting how 6 of the top 10 teams are in the West. More interesting is the fact 3 of those teams aren't going to Championships. I'm just saying....

A Time-Honored Classic

Ah, Yes. "The Fourth Best Team In My Region Is Better Than The Third Best Team In Your Region."

I cannot tell you how excited I am to read that debate again.

6 of the top 7, actually

The 6th best team in the West here is ranked above every team from every other region not that's named Gotham.

"For the second year in a

"For the second year in a row, Gotham comes into the WFTDA Championships with an undefeated record on the year. This month marks their first appearance of 2011 at #1, though, on the strength of a more convincing win against #4 Rose City (147-79 in June) than Oly was able to muster in September at the West Playoffs (161-132). But Gotham will have to get past #3 Rocky Mountain in their first game if they want to have a chance to repeat their 2008 undefeated championship run."

Should read: "...Gotham will have to get past #3 Rocky Mountain OR #19 NASHVILLE in their first game..."

Tsk-tsk-tsk...

Your typo is forgiven (but an Elephant never forgets). See you in Denver. And don't forget a nice sweater.

xoxo,

Dad

Damnit!

We're usually pretty good about not doing that sort of thing. *hangs head in shame*

Small Correction Requested

Montreal comment reads:
"However, the two upset losses drop them 4 slots from #15 to #19."

Actually, Montreal fell from #14 to #18

OK, one minor point of outrage...

Like Vicorp just pointed out.... Rat (#5), Denver (#6) and Bay Area (#7) are not even in the Championship tournament. We need a new system of rankings in the WFTDA. One that allows for truly thee best teams in the world to compete for the Hydra. Can I has that starting next year?

If the 4, 5 and 6 teams in

If the 4, 5 and 6 teams in the region have already lost to the 1, 2 and 3 teams in the region at region playoffs, then, apart from bragging rights and a general sense of fair play, what is the real point in pitting the 4, 5 and 6 teams in the region against the 1, 2 and 3 teams in the region for a second time a month later at Championships? As a fan of derby, it has been established to my satisfaction that BAD and Rat City and Denver are unlikely to beat Rocky Mountain or Oly this year. One would tend to suspect the Naptowns and Minnesotas and Nashvilles of the world are also unlikely to beat the Rockies and the Olys this year, but it hasn't really happened yet, so i'm interested in seeing it. Sure, it sucks to be BAD or Rat City or Denver and be highly ranked and miss the tournament; it sucks to be the Orioles and the Rays and the Blue Jays and be in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox, too, but that's just the way the world works sometimes. If someone felt like organizing an annual tournament for the top 8 or top 10 teams as ranked by DNN, where the teams competed for the Super-Ultra-Mega-Uber-Hydra trophy or something, that would be a cool thing as well.

I would pay to see that

revnorb wrote:

If the 4, 5 and 6 teams in the region have already lost to the 1, 2 and 3 teams in the region at region playoffs, then, apart from bragging rights and a general sense of fair play, what is the real point in pitting the 4, 5 and 6 teams in the region against the 1, 2 and 3 teams in the region for a second time a month later at Championships? As a fan of derby, it has been established to my satisfaction that BAD and Rat City and Denver are unlikely to beat Rocky Mountain or Oly this year. One would tend to suspect the Naptowns and Minnesotas and Nashvilles of the world are also unlikely to beat the Rockies and the Olys this year, but it hasn't really happened yet, so i'm interested in seeing it. Sure, it sucks to be BAD or Rat City or Denver and be highly ranked and miss the tournament; it sucks to be the Orioles and the Rays and the Blue Jays and be in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox, too, but that's just the way the world works sometimes. If someone felt like organizing an annual tournament for the top 8 or top 10 teams as ranked by DNN, where the teams competed for the Super-Ultra-Mega-Uber-Hydra trophy or something, that would be a cool thing as well.

Honestly, if you could manage to get the top DNN ranked team together for a tournament I think it would be amazing. It might be tough given the way schedules are made way in advance and all. Also I would like to say that no I don't think that Rat, Bay & Denver deserve another shot at the Hydra. They all had their chance to get to play for it and came up short. What I was pointing out was that even though they didn't make it DNN still considers them better than any of the other team from a different region that isn't Gotham even though they are sitting home this year. The NC, SC & East all have terrific leagues. Isn't it about time that they break the West Region's stranglehold on the top of the power rankings?

Derby NIT

revnorb wrote:

As a fan of derby, it has been established to my satisfaction that BAD and Rat City and Denver are unlikely to beat Rocky Mountain or Oly this year. One would tend to suspect the Naptowns and Minnesotas and Nashvilles of the world are also unlikely to beat the Rockies and the Olys this year, but it hasn't really happened yet, so i'm interested in seeing it. Sure, it sucks to be BAD or Rat City or Denver and be highly ranked and miss the tournament; it sucks to be the Orioles and the Rays and the Blue Jays and be in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox, too, but that's just the way the world works sometimes.

Well, the Rays were in the playoffs this year and the Red Sox were out, thanks to a crazy last day of the season. -But the Blue Jays are the perfect example of good team not making the cut because they're surrounded by other, better teams.

I would be in favor of seeing WFTDA eventually create a sub-championship tourney akin to the NIT in college basketball. [For those not familiar with college basketball, the NIT is a tourney for the next 64 teams that don't make the NCAA tournament in March. -Like a consolation championship.] My idea: Teams finishing #4 and #5 from each region would play an 8-team, 2-day tourney the weekend before the WFTDA Championships. Such a tournament this year would have strong teams like Detroit and Rat City not to mention regional cinderellas like London.

"Divisions" is NOT a dirty word.

revnorb wrote:

If the 4, 5 and 6 teams in the region have already lost to the 1, 2 and 3 teams in the region at region playoffs, then, apart from bragging rights and a general sense of fair play, what is the real point in pitting the 4, 5 and 6 teams in the region against the 1, 2 and 3 teams in the region for a second time a month later at Championships? As a fan of derby, it has been established to my satisfaction that BAD and Rat City and Denver are unlikely to beat Rocky Mountain or Oly this year. One would tend to suspect the Naptowns and Minnesotas and Nashvilles of the world are also unlikely to beat the Rockies and the Olys this year, but it hasn't really happened yet, so i'm interested in seeing it.

Well, your reasoning above just naturally assumes that the West will dominate Championships, which MAY not be true. However, I personally WOULD rather see a team like Rat City in the Championships; a team that lost to Rocky Mtn. by only 10 points six weeks ago, as opposed to a team like, say Nashville; a team that lost to Oly by 161 points at Championships last year. No offense to Nashville. They are a very good team, at their level of play, which in the future might be better defined as "Division II". But watching blow outs at Championships just isn't much fun.

My whole point is that as the rest of the world (i.e. Non-USA teams) begin to enter into top level competition, and as the level of play in the US continues to get better and better, the WFTDA should consider restructuring into different divisions, not regions. Clearly this concept is nothing new, but my comment here certainly got a lot of derby undies in a twist.

Derby love to everyone...even those of you I do not agree with.

And designating 2nd and 3rd is ridiculous as well.

Looks like revnorb beat me to it. The best teams in the world started competing for the Hydra back in September. Forty of the best teams in the world competing for the Hydra isn't enough? We've already decided that 5, 6 and 7 do not deserve a second shot at the Hydra. Heck, I think it's generous to even allow the 3rd place regional teams a second try at winning everything.

Champs is not about being the best 12 teams. It never has been, and I don't understand why people keep insisting it should be. It's about finding out who the single best team is. Just like the World Series isn't about being the best 2 teams, it's about pairing the best AL team with the best NL team, to find out who is the best team.

Seriously... why do people bring this up every time. Everybody knew this is what was going to happen some day. There are FAR worse issues in derby that we need to get together as a community and fix.

Let's be efficient

N8 wrote:

And designating 2nd and 3rd is ridiculous as well.

I'm going to agree with N8 about this. I've slowly and only recently come to the opinion that there's no need to send 2nd and 3rd place teams to championships. Since 2008 when the WFTDA championship schedule was really defined a regional champion has always won the championship. I'd be in favor of just sending on only the regional champions, sort of like a “Final Four”, and get the event over with in one or two days.

I agree with revnorb and N8

It's not a new concept that sports tournaments aren't exactly equitable, one only has to look to revnorb's baseball example or at the Bowl Championship Series for college football, and we see the same thing happening. The Big 10, SEC, Big 12, PAC 12, Big East and ACC can each send a max of 2 teams to the series. But, even if the ACC and Big East teams are ranked #20 & 22, have 3-4 losses, but win their conference, they still go on to compete. It doesn't matter what the other non competing teams are ranked; even if they are ranked in the top 15 they don't get to compete.

Just read their ridiculous selection process! http://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4819597 Notre Dame even gets their own rule! The fact is that life isn't entirely fair, sports aren't entirely fair, and we have to work within the tournament structure to make sure that we are doing what we can to get the best teams from every region to compete.

I know I personally really would look forward to a series of tournaments where the results were meaningless so we could see only the same teams play each other over and over until we got to the championship series, where I could watch those same teams compete against each other again.
Wait, no, I wouldn't.

We do? No, we don't.

Do you have any idea just how annoying this is, year after year? If you really want to see who is best in the West Region, you could just have a tourname...oh, wait -- you already did, and the top three teams made it through.

This sort of thing happens in all major sports:

Super Bowl: Top team in the AFC vs. top team in the NFC
World Series: Top team in the American League vs. top team in the National League
Stanley Cup: Top team in the Eastern Conference vs. top team in Western Conference
NBA Finals: Top team in the Eastern Conference vs. top team in Western Conference
WNBA Finals: Top team in the Eastern Conference vs. top team in Western Conference

Of the five WFTDA champions thus far, two are from the West, one from the East, and two from the (current) South Central. Pretty well spread out so far.

Just because DNN has decided to rank those three teams higher than others doesn't mean that those three teams are actually better -- all it means is that a small group of derby nerds talked about who is better and decided on to rank them there.

Who's the best in the region is not the topic of debate.

As you say, there are tournaments for that.

The debate centers around the disparity among "other teams" in the regions. When we're talking about high caliber teams that are obviously a cut above the rest in the derby world, it becomes painfully clear that if the point of regional tournaments is to set up a good Championships, it has spectacularly failed. The East has Gotham and Philly, NC has Chicago, SC has Texas and KC, and the West has Oly, Rocky, Denver, Rat, Rose and BAD. Without meaning disrespect to teams not mentioned, that list would make a good Championship tournament. To paraphrase one comment above, "Gotham plays either Rocky or Nashville in the second round." Are you serious? Nashville doesn't stand a chance. Rocky's going to walk out of that with a 150 point victory! I wouldn't mind seeing Rocky/Denver, or Rocky/Rat; at least that game would be competitive.

If Denver, BAD or Rat were in any other region, they would be going to Championships. If Nashville, Minnesota, Charm or Naptown were in the West, they would be sitting out November.

This is the attitude I was referring to.

Quote:

If Denver, BAD or Rat were in any other region, they would be going to Championships. If Nashville, Minnesota, Charm or Naptown were in the West, they would be sitting out November.

Well, guess what? They're not in "any other region". They're in the West. Besides, you don't know what the outcome would be, you're just speculating like anyone else (myself included).

When was the last time Nashville, Minnesota, Charm, and Naptown played Denver, Rat, and BAD? What were the results? Then again, the way those teams played a year (or more) ago has absolutely no bearing on how they're playing now.

Naptown lost to Windy by ELEVEN POINTS. And that categorically means that Windy belongs in Championships but Naptown does not?

And seriously, you think those three teams would have dominated any other region? Wow, that's the height of arrogance.

You do your favorite teams no favors with all these sour grapes. Want Denver, BAD, and Rat to be in Championships next year? Have them come in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. That's the way it's set up, and all the whining about "West is Best" does nothing to change that. It just annoys the shit out of every other league in every other region.

To answer your questions:

Charm played BAD on 6/18 and lost by 17. Charm played Denver on 7/9 and lost by 107. Therefore, Charm < BAD < Denver. Therefore, West #5 and 6 > East #3. Minnesota has only played Tucson from the West this year, and won handily. Which doesn't tell us much of anything, because Tucson didn't get very far at Westerns. Naptown hasn't played anyone from the West. Nashville also hasn't played anyone from the West. So we consider comparable performances. Nashville got whalloped by Texas, who lost to Rose, Oly, Rat, Denver, and got crushed by BAD. Therefore, Nashville < Texas < Rose, Rat, Denver, Oly, BAD. Therefore, it is more reasonable than speculative to say that West's #4, 5 and 6 are better than SC's #1.

Let's look at Windy. The only Western team they played this year was BAD, who beat them by 67. Therefore, West #6 > NC #1. Windy's on a slide; they were truly a powerhouse a couple years ago, but their margin of victory has been narrowing for a while when they win, and they're losing to teams they would have ran away from in the past. Minnesota and Naptown have stepped up for sure, but neither team is a Denver.

It seems to me that you're only getting flustered about the "West is best" thing because you know it's true. DNN's power rankings go a long way toward bearing out my point. Want your team to get into the top 7? Beat one of the West's #4, 5 or 6 (or Gotham ;^)).

I come across as picking on Nashville; sorry, I don't mean to take anything away from those ladies who no doubt worked very hard to get where they got. Also, notice that I did not ever state or even imply that "team such-and-so does not deserve to go to Championships." I'm just sayin' that there are three teams whose presence at Championships would make that tournament a real barn-burner, and that regional play is not the best way to pick the best teams in the Association. Next year will probably be different, and I'll have a whole new set of things to complain about.

Parity and the Championship Structure

-And early this year Montreal beat Rat City. So the #6 from the East > #4 from the West, right?

Personally, I think there's a lot of parity right now. What's more, I want there to be. I don't want to trumpet, "This region is the best and all others are irrelevant." How boring. We see upsets in the tournaments all the time. If there's one thing I've learned by all of this, it's that things change in derby quickly and you can't count on what you think to end up being true. I'd think that anyone who filled out brackets this year would have proof of that.

Saying that a #6 from the West deserves to be in Championships over the #3 from the South Central is beyond pointless. The purpose of this tournament structure is not to rearrange the seeds to generate more predictably close bouts. The point is to determine a damn champion. To win a WFTDA Championship, you need to be the best. You prove you're the best by beating everyone. The #4-#6 teams from all 4 regions failed to do that.

Debating restructuring the regional tournament system because teams you'd like to see skating in Denver failed to qualify is beyond ridiculous. You can't change the rules so that teams you like get a second chance. You just can't. There is no debate about this as far as I'm concerned.

Flustered?

Lotta Boom Boom wrote:

It seems to me that you're only getting flustered about the "West is best" thing because you know it's true. DNN's power rankings go a long way toward bearing out my point. Want your team to get into the top 7? Beat one of the West's #4, 5 or 6 (or Gotham ;^)).

Except being #1 on DNN's power rankings doesn't get you the Hydra. Coming in first at the WFTDA Championships does.

Flustered? More like bored to death with the same whining argument, over and over again.

MM-BWAH-HA-HA

John_Maddening wrote:

the whining about "West is Best" does nothing to change that. It just annoys the shit out of every other league in every other region.

Maddening for the win.

Greetings from non-competitive oblivion, I mean Nashville.

Good thing Nashville is not in the West then.
See you Friday world. And maybe, just maybe Saturday.

Also did you watch Minnesota and Naptown play Windy at North Centrals? Not sure they deserve to be a tier below IMHO.

Not the point

Lotta Boom Boom wrote:

if the point of regional tournaments is to set up a good Championships

It isn't. The point of Regionals is to allow the 40-team tournament called Playoffs to be conveniently spread out over several weekends and several more convenient locations. It's all designed to find out who the best team is, by allowing the top 3 teams from each region to fight it out for one singular prize.

In a growing sport, these

In a growing sport, these tournaments are the key to increasing competitiveness among regions. It's a process. Our community learns from it and the teams that are fortunate enough to compete become more competitive with that exposure and (ideally) transfer that skill to lower ranked teams they compete against within their region.

Good derby is good derby. I feel as though the spatial distribution and longevity of good derby is more important at this point of time in our sport than knowing who from the West should be in attendance at Champs.

Sigh...

I lurve you Olive Turd-m0yl.

Even more now than when you used to suck fish sperm. And damn wifey that's hard to beat.

For me the problem with

For me the problem with references to "other" sports is that they dont hand out a 2nd place super bowl ring, or a mini stanley cup and take pictures of all the kids with their trophies together. I can get behind looking for the #1 team, but i'd have to say; can the consolation brackets and all the "4th place" and "5th place" games.

BUT thats why it's called "WOMENS flat track derby association" not "Lucky Eddie's flat track derby association" THEY vote on what THEY want...?

Actually, the NFL does indeed

Actually, the NFL does indeed hand out a second place Super Bowl ring. They also "hand out" the George Halas trophy for the NFC winner and the Lamar Hunt trophy for the AFC winner so whichever team loses the Super Bowl does indeed have a trophy, and a ring, and their picture taken, and probably some complimentary Turtle Wax and St. John's towels as well.

I actually didn't follow your point at all, but i thought i'd helpfully point out the inaccuracies.

Consolation Experience

I think and some teams have treated them this way, which ties in somewhat to what Olive said, that the consolation bouts are an excellent opportunity to give a lot of minutes to the back end of the all-star roster--skaters with minimal derby experience, minimal tournament experience, just off the B team--so that they can improve their game, get the experience of playing under tournament conditions, and give a team an idea of what they've got in their stable talent wise.

If I were a coach and I'm out of the hunt for the Hydra, 3rd, 4th, or 5th place wouldn't matter all that much, so why not give the inexperienced gals a big bite of the apple to grow their game.

Now Mr. Maddening...

You live close enough to the border to add the NHL to your list...:)

Sure I did.

Derby Nerd wrote:

You live close enough to the border to add the NHL to your list...:)

That's who plays for the Stanley Cup.

Mm. Yes. Let's talk about

Mm. Yes. Let's talk about this again. This conversation always gets us somewhere.

You ain't seen nothin' yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s the big dance kids and chainsaw in hand I’m two-steppin’ from Texas to Colorado with a team that is ready to whip your ass!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t get all upset when your team is out and Texas is in the Championship bout!!!! Call me crazy!? Why yes I am thank you very much and take that as a compliment…and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

Be afraid…be very afraid…this team is aligned and electric like a silver chair in Texas!

And for the record: TEXAS IS THE REASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!UOY LLET I EGARTUO NA S'TI

!!!UOY LLET I EGARTUO NA S'TI ?TAHW

...dammit, that's the last time i let Zatanna post comments under my account!

BIZARRO OUTRAGE

˙sʎɐp ǝsǝɥʇ ǝbɐɹ ǝɥʇ ןןɐ sı pǝbɐɹʇno buıǝq

Psh.

Man, I was all excited to possibly see some World Cup team Power Rankings.

RMRG

"Last year's champs drop one spot to hang at #3..."

...actually, you had them at #3 last time too, so they didn't actually drop.

Not that it really matters, of course. They'll be back at #1 nine days from now anyway.

The NC, I see, has some admirers on the DNN staff.

I would simply like to point out that there are a lot of NC leagues on this chart, tied with the perennially strong East.

NC: 1-5, 7-9 (only Ohio and MRD are missing from the list)
E: 1-7, 10
W: 1-6
SC: 1-3

Now, I feel like I should going to call foul just a little bit on this, despite the fact I love my region. The NC tournament was the last of the four, and it was probably the single-most exciting tournament to watch end-to-end. I was working the entire thing for the WFTDA blog, and was cursing the close scores (little known fact: it's far easier to write a blowout than a close game). I don't know if the NC should get so much love just because we have a ton of leagues that play at a high enough level that any given weekend, a tournament between the top ten will create a different outcome.

Come to think of it, maybe I should call foul...but I won't. The NC has a fantastic top ten (indeed, top twenty), and any accolades from any source are well-deserved.

But put another way, one that won't get me smacked by players from my region:
Want some surprises and close games? Come to Northerns next year. We had eight ranking upsets in 2011. And if you follow the region, you'll find that the voting on our region was pretty damn good as of what we knew in June. Tired of blowouts? Get up here. The biggest win/loss divide in the entire NC 2011 tournament was MNRG/Madison by 137 points. 11 of the 17 games were decided by 40 points or less. The semis- and final two bouts were all won by less than 25.

Speaking of which, where is NC 2012? Should look into that after Championals.

If a team is ranked, it's

If a team is ranked, it's because we think they'd beat the teams below them and lose to the teams above them. That's it. WFTDA regions are entirely irrelevant in these rankings.

We're all fans of some teams from each region, sure. I was sad when Madison started to fall; I was happy when MN started to rise. But we've gotten pretty good at putting our own derby love aside when it comes time to put on our DNN journalist hats. As a frequent contributor to DNN, I think you know the drill ;).

Hard On

DNN has such a hard on for Gotham.

It amazes me how frequently you find your rational to put Gotham ahead of Oly in your power rankings: 2009, 2010, and now the sudden switch before Nationals.
... Even though Oly is also undefeated in 2011, played more bouts than Gotham against a more competitive schedule.

The bottom line is that OLY deserves the #1 spot going into Nationals. A spot you gave them in September after which they racked up several more wins and a Regional Championship.

They've consistently either beat or led Gotham for the last 3 years... But whatev's.

It will all be made clear next weekend.

No, Gotham is #1...for now

Personally, I would put Gotham over Oly, too. The most direct argument that can be made for this is their common opponent, Rose City. Gotham beat them by 68 (Gotham's closest win this season) and Oly only beat them by 29. I can't see why anyone who is counting wins and losses can argue against that.

But for me, I only look at wins and losses, or points spreads, or common opponents, or triangulation as tools, not absolute measurements of a team's performance. The deciding factor in my book is that Gotham can beat people with "slow derby" or "go derby," whereas Oly has only proven themselves this year against "go derby." I don't know how well they'll fare against teams that may stand around and do nothing against them, like Rat did to Rocky.

Gotham is #1 because they have readily demonstrated they are a complete team. Oly could be, but we won't know that until the end of Championships. So given the information available to me at this moment in time, they're #2 to me.

If we are lucky enough to see a Gotham-Oly final, it'll make the rankings pretty easy to figure out after a winner is declared on the track. But it should be that way.

The more things change

So Gotham is number one because they beat Rose by 68 but Oly only beat Rose by 29. Last year Gotham beat Rose by 127 and Oly only beat them by 39, and by the end of the Championship it was clear that Gotham had a solid lock. . . on third place. Oly and Rose have met four times: the score is always close, the bouts always go to the last jam or two, and Oly always wins. Oly has never been a team that dominates other high performing teams, they are simply the team that knows how to win.

To use your faith in triangulation, consider this year's Denver bouts. Oly beats them, on Denver's own turf, at altitude, the morning after a punishing bout against Rocky, by 90. Gotham, rested, on their own ground, at sea level, "only" beats them by 71.

You say Gotham has demonstrated that they are a complete team? Against who? Their toughest opponent this year was the West's #3.

If history is a guide, it's a good thing that DNN has Oly ranked in second place. DNN has a 0% accuracy rate of predicting Oly's achievements in their pre Nationals/Championship ranking. In 2009 they predicted Oly would finish #5, they finished #1. In 2010 DNN predicted Oly would finish third, they actually finished second, by a single point. Had DNN put Oly at number 1 this year, I would have been worried.

Quibble

Aitchbee wrote:

If history is a guide, it's a good thing that DNN has Oly ranked in second place. DNN has a 0% accuracy rate of predicting Oly's achievements in their pre Nationals/Championship ranking. In 2009 they predicted Oly would finish #5, they finished #1. In 2010 DNN predicted Oly would finish third, they actually finished second, by a single point. Had DNN put Oly at number 1 this year, I would have been worried.

Going into the Championships tournament, having a certain team ranked in a certain place isn't necessarily the same thing as predicting they'll finish in that place (except for #1). For example, this year Gotham is our #1 and Rocky Mountain is our #3, but it's impossible for them to finish first and third due to when they meet in the tournament. Same issue last year, where Rocky was ranked #1 and Gotham was ranked #2 but they met before the championship game.

Quibble with Quibble

When I wrote about the positions the teams ended up in after the tournament I was referring to DDN's post tournament Power Rankings, not the WFTDA ordering. At the end of this tournament, I bet most folks will think of Gotham or Rocky as second or third in the nation, not at whatever numbered tournament slot they end up in.

P.S.: When I wrote what you quoted, my tongue, while not firmly planted in my cheek, was wandering around in that area.

Ensure the quibbles are kept

Ensure the quibbles are kept away from the quadrotriticale, or you'll have quoubles.

That's okay

You can give them to the Quingons.

I Really Wanted. . .

. . .to entitle the entry "The Trouble with Quibbles" but thought that was going too far. Thanks for providing cover!

My thought process

Aitchbee wrote:

Last year Gotham beat Rose by 127 and Oly only beat them by 39, and by the end of the Championship it was clear that Gotham had a solid lock. . . on third place.

That was last year. What does that have to do with the teams' performances over recent months? We're talking about here and now, not last year. Past results cannot directly predict future successes, especially since skater rosters can change quite a bit throughout the year. Not only that, the knee-start game was nowhere near as prolific then as it is right now. The teams have changed, and the game has changed very rapidly, so last year's results (or even results from the beginning of the year) are next to worthless. To me, at least.

Aitchbee wrote:

To use your faith in triangulation

I don't put "faith" in triangulation. As I said, something like that is useful as a tool, but it can't tell the whole story. Most of my opinions come from how I see teams play the game on the track.

I watch how individual skaters block. I think about which tactics they use to slow the pack down. Which penalties they commit and when they commit them is important. I (in my head) normalize deceptive margins of victory/defeat by ignoring inflated power jam points, or points scored in "garbage time." Most importantly, I get a feel for how bad a team fucking wants it.

After that, with the help of some raw numbers, I can make an educated and unbiased guess at who might be a better team at that moment in time, when comparing two or more teams in my head.

Aitchbee wrote:

You say Gotham has demonstrated that they are a complete team? Against who? Their toughest opponent this year was the West's #3.

There are only two teams in the same class as Gotham: Rocky and Oly. Gotham obliterated every other team they faced, and even in the "close" games against tougher teams outside their region, Gotham was in full control of the situation and was never in any real danger of losing. That they haven't played Oly or Rocky this year isn't their fault, but I don't need a heads-up game to see how well one team can play roller derby. Or, to form an opinion.

The team Gotham is fielding right now is, in my opinion, one fucking scary team to play against. Oly is amazing, but I can't say the same thing about them at the moment. It's for this reason I'd peg Gotham as the favorite to win it all this year.

But frankly, I don't care if they do or don't, nor do I really care if Oly, or Rocky, or any particular team wins the Hydra. All I care about is to see a competitive and entertaining series of games at Champs next weekend, hopefully resulting in (another) The Game of the Century in the finals. If every single jam starts on a knee or goes half a minute or more before the pack skates forward (if they do it all), it's going to be a net loss for me.

And I'm going to note which teams want to play the backaway pussy card instead of play roller derby.

Backaway Pussy Card

We shouldn't see that because Rat City won't be there.

HERE! HERE!

So DNN, explain why you chose Gotham's higher margin over Rose instead of Oly's higher margin over Denver? If you went by the Denver match ups, using your logic, you'd have to put Oly at number #1.

As pointed out above, and I agree totally after watching your rankings for some time now, you CLEARLY have a hard on for Gotham (and being from the East Coast originally, I love hearing that old expression that never made it out west).

seconded

Aitchbee wrote:

Oly and Rose have met four times: the score is always close, the bouts always go to the last jam or two, and Oly always wins. Oly has never been a team that dominates other high performing teams, they are simply the team that knows how to win.

I know this is getting lost in a sea of comments but is worth pointing out again: Rose has the best record against Oly other than Rocky. Perhaps because of geographic closeness or rivalry but Rose really seems to understand Oly's playing style. In the last 2 regionals Rose was extremely close at the half (1 point in 2011, 13 points in 2010) only to have Oly pull away slowly in the 2nd half.

So using Rose/Oly and Rose/Gotham is a weak point for triangulation. Denver is probably a more accurate choice but since that would favor Oly I can see why it was ignored...

And I agree that Gotham is the best at walloping their opponents but that's been true for the last 2 years and it hasn't gotten them past Oly or Rocky yet.

Aitchbee wrote:

Had DNN put Oly at number 1 this year, I would have been worried.

Same here; though credit where due, DNN did pick 2010 #1 correctly.

Kool Aid

WindyMan wrote:
"The deciding factor in my book is that Gotham can beat people with "slow derby" or "go derby," whereas Oly has only proven themselves this year against "go derby."
I don't know how well they'll fare against teams that may stand around and do nothing against them, like Rat did to Rocky."

What brand of kool aid are you drinking? 'go derby/slow derby'- Oly has beat every match up they've had (including Rat)- 12 in all. This year Gotham has too (but by a far less demanding line-up)

Gotham is a 'more complete team'?
How'd that work out for them in 2009?
Oly beat Gotham in 2009 to go on to win Nationals... while Gotham came in 5th.
In 2010- Gotham came in 3rd to Oly's 2nd.

We clearly have different definitions of what make's a more complete team... Your definition doesn't seem to include the colors silver and gold.

I'd compare Gotham's phenomenal 2008 performance... but we can't because they turned down the opportunity to skate against Oly that year and therefore the 2 teams went unmatched. Oly wasn't skating nationals that year as they were still fulfilling their WFTDA requirements as a new league and hadn't cleared all the hurdles in time for ranking.

A lot has changed in the last 4 years.

I don't know about why other

I don't know about why other people are picking Gotham, but I'll tell you why I would pick Gotham.

I've seen Gotham in person this year, at ECDX and at Eastern Regionals. I haven't seen Oly or Rocky in person this year, but I did see all three at Champs last year. This year's Gotham would have no problem beating last year's Gotham, Oly or Rocky.

Gotham displayed athleticism that goes deep into the bench like none of those teams did before. They also showed a sort of hive-mind level of teamwork that blew me away. And most importantly, they showed a top to bottom complete understanding and execution of the current highest levels of strategy and an ability to change gears at a moment's notice.

However, I haven't watched Oly or Rocky play in person this year. So I am completely willing to be wrong.

Here's why I am not picking Gotham...

N8 wrote:

I don't know about why other people are picking Gotham, but I'll tell you why I would pick Gotham.

I've seen Gotham in person this year, at ECDX and at Eastern Regionals. I haven't seen Oly or Rocky in person this year, but I did see all three at Champs last year. This year's Gotham would have no problem beating last year's Gotham, Oly or Rocky.

However, I haven't watched Oly or Rocky play in person this year. So I am completely willing to be wrong.

Allow me to tell you why I would pick Oly this year. I HAVE seen Oly and Rocky Mtn. play this year, twice (first in Denver, then at Besterns). Frankly, I wouldn't pick Rocky Mtn. to win, place or show this year, based on what I've seen in person to date. I do think that Gotham in the only team that can beat Oly this year, but I am still picking Oly, by a very slim margin.

We can all meet back here in a week and trade "I told ya so's"...

The Derby Time/Space Continuum

N8 wrote:

I've seen Gotham in person this year, at ECDX and at Eastern Regionals. I haven't seen Oly or Rocky in person this year, but I did see all three at Champs last year. This year's Gotham would have no problem beating last year's Gotham, Oly or Rocky.

As we ALL know, "last year" might as well be ten years ago in derby time. 2010 matters not. This coming weekend is really the only thing that matters now.

analysis am lacking

95% of derby "analysis" consists of "who beat who, when, by how many points."
And in these Power Rankings comments, that's all we get to justify #1 vs #2.

Thank you Windyman for trying to introduce *actual analysis* to these rankings.

Any other major sport spends about 10% of their "who's gonna win" predictions dwelling on analysis of mutual foes (e.g., the Bills beat the Patriots, the Jets didn't beat the Patriots, therefore the Jets won't beat the Bills).

And the rest of mainstream sports analysis is ... actual analysis. Football-wise, whose defense will give the other offense fits? Who's got the advantage in the trenches? How do the receivers and defensive backfields match up? Who's in the infirmary?

Derby version: who's got the more effective jammer rotation? Which team's got a more intimidating style? Who stays out of the box? Who's got more experience? Who's got tested bench management? Whose style beats whose style?

And hey maybe I should give DNN a pass on that kind of analysis at this moment, since this is just Power Rankings, not a championship prediction. Oh, but wait, DNN's own criteria for the rankings is who-would-beat-who-if-they-played-right-now. So... yeah.

Analyze This

Calvin Ball wrote:

Derby version: who's got the more effective jammer rotation? Which team's got a more intimidating style? Who stays out of the box? Who's got more experience? Who's got tested bench management? Whose style beats whose style?

Until derby announcers or journalists can start dishing out honest criticism like they do in actual sports, there can be no neutral and honest commentary or analysis. Because to analyze a team or individual effectively, you need to point out what they're doing wrong just as much as what they're doing right.

Basically, if someone's "negative" analysis starts with "I love this team, but," I can't take their opinion seriously.

A lack of distance

WindyMan wrote:

Until derby announcers or journalists can start dishing out honest criticism like they do in actual sports, there can be no neutral and honest commentary or analysis. Because to analyze a team or individual effectively, you need to point out what they're doing wrong just as much as what they're doing right.

Basically, if someone's "negative" analysis starts with "I love this team, but," I can't take their opinion seriously.

In this sport, we find that so many of the announcers and journalists are friends with the skaters, so I can imagine that it complicates the ability to conduct open and honest criticism. And the fact that derby is not a serious profit making enterprise but a generally well run amateur sports happening where athletes, journalists and announcers are not hauling down salaries but actively working to help the sport grow, improve and evolve has in my opinion made for broad public democratic relationships between those elements resulting in broad public democratic (tactful?) reticence to make individual criticism lest that person is not only faulted for tearing down people that are on the mission to improve the sport, but put at risk of being ostracized from mingling with its participants. With professional sports media, they're generally getting paid to say what needs to be said about a team or its individual athletes, so they've got the freedom.

There is a little honest derby journalism out there that calls a rose a rose and I'm sure will see more in the coming years.

Thicker skin required

CynicalGuy wrote:

In this sport, we find that so many of the announcers and journalists are friends with the skaters, so I can imagine that it complicates the ability to conduct open and honest criticism.

Not an excuse. Announcers and journos exist to primarily serve the audience. Everything outside of that is secondary. If an announcer is afraid to call it like he sees it because it might require saying something negative about one of their "friends," they're doing a disservice to the sport. House announcers may get a pass because they need to be public cheerleaders for their league to the fans in attendance, but everyone else needs to grow a pair.

Besides, I would expect my friends to criticize me if I do something they don't like. I've recently had to call out two of my best (female) friends for doing something I didn't appreciate. They both came to terms when they realized they were at fault, and they wouldn't have had I not talked to them about it frankly.

If you can't be honest about a friend, to a friend, you're not a real friend. Likewise, if you can't accept honest criticism from friend, the problem is with you, not them.

CynicalGuy wrote:

And the fact that derby is not a serious profit making enterprise but a generally well run amateur sports happening where athletes, journalists and announcers are not hauling down salaries but actively working to help the sport grow, improve and evolve has in my opinion made for broad public democratic relationships between those elements resulting in broad public democratic (tactful?) reticence to make individual criticism lest that person is not only faulted for tearing down people that are on the mission to improve the sport, but put at risk of being ostracized from mingling with its participants.

This all comes down to the skaters, and how they choose to react to honest and constructive criticism. If someone points out someone else's shortcomings with no basis or reason, then yeah, that's fucked up. But it's a necessary thing to do in sports, because if someone doesn't know they're doing something wrong, those deficiencies need to be pointed out to them so they can correct them, so a team doesn't lose in part due to those weaknesses.

As tough as derby girls claim to be, it's amazing to me how words can hurt them more than hits and falls do on the track, even when those words are meant to be delivered for their best intentions.

Agreed...

So true, WindyMan. As announcers, we owe it to the players and the fans to be fair and call it as we see it.

I have had the pleasure of being the St. Louis GateKeepers' announcer since day one and I skate with them when able to. I have gotten to know all the guys and consider them my brothers, but when I had to announce for them at the MRDA Championships and then do the write-up for our site, I pulled no punches. Many of them probably didn't like what I said, but I was fair and played it straight. They appreciate it in in the long-run as it gives the sport more legitimacy.

The trick is to be honest without being nasty and just tell it like you saw it.

I object

Announcers are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

If we offer criticism, then we often get told that we are coaching from the microphone and we are told not to do so (on house calls... I take a far more analytical approach when I do stream announcing). I have been told at bouts a couple of times to stop analyzing strategies on house calls because the head referee considered it coaching from the microphone (note: this was in tournament settings, not bouts for my home league). But if we don't offer criticism on the broadcast or house call, we're accused of cronyism. So what's worse, the head ref potentially removes us from the microphone or we get told that we're not impartial because we're friends with the skaters? My job is to relay information to the fans... if I'm told to stop analyzing or I get pulled from the bout, then I stop analyzing and offer information in a different form.

Furthermore, we DO offer constructive criticism. Post-game for every single bout I call, I always offer little pointers as best I can to skaters or coaches. But because I don't do so on the microphone, I guess that doesn't count.

I don't disagree with you, but...

Sashion Victim wrote:

Announcers are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
...
My job is to relay information to the fans... if I'm told to stop analyzing or I get pulled from the bout, then I stop analyzing and offer information in a different form.

House announcers doing live play-by-play is kind of weird, as your situation confirming. They don't do it in other established sports, at any level (like high school football) because as you said, all an announcer should be doing is relaying information. Time, score, lead jammer status, penalties, timeouts, sponsor announcements, upcoming games, promotions, raffle, etc. Normally, the fans can follow the action on their own without needing their hand held the entire way through.

But doing things like explaining roller derby to new fans during the action, something P.A. announcers don't do in other sports (for obvious reasons) is the tricky thing. On the one hand, house announcers need to make sense of the game for people that may not have that much of a clue what's going on. But that's necessary at this stage in the game. I get that.

On the other hand, some of the things that don't make sense at all, like extended jam starts or non-jams, are very difficult if not impossible to properly explain to new fans. At that point, a house announcer still has an obligation to remain neutral and faithful to their audience, although that doesn't mean the house call should start lambasting the skaters for not playing derby. (Note to self: Decline all invitations to do house calls, if asked.)

However, they shouldn't try to justify the non-actions of the skaters, either. If the house play-by-play devolves to "these teams are employing many different strategies," or, "this is harder than it looks, folks" (these are actual things house announcers have said while teams are standing around during delayed jam starts) they're going to make the situation worse for the audience, not better.

They should instead offer a basic analysis of the situation. Though, in doing so they'd have no choice but to offer at least some criticism: "The rules the skaters made for themselves aren't perfect and have loopholes in them that allows this to happen sometimes." Slightly critical, but completely true and way more informative to an audience than the sugarcoated crap some announcers may sometimes try to push on people.

Sashion Victim wrote:

Furthermore, we DO offer constructive criticism. Post-game for every single bout I call, I always offer little pointers as best I can to skaters or coaches. But because I don't do so on the microphone, I guess that doesn't count.

That's good, but here's the other part of the problem, as I see it. Announcers/hosts relay facts to the public, but analysts relay an informed opinion to the public. There's a reason the two classes of broadcasters are separated. As it stands now, most if not all announcers are both announcers AND analysts at the same time--never mind the fact that they're also cheerleaders for their skaters, their league, and for the game in general.

It's hard for an announcer to be clear, concise, and straightforward to an audience when they're wearing that many hats at once. But that's not really anyone's fault at the moment. It's just the nature of the do-it-yourself-derby beast, something that will, in time, work itself out.

I think we're on the same

I think we're on the same page here, Windy, and I apologize if I came off as brusque in my previous comment. I agree with a lot of what you've said now that you've explained it more in-depth. If you're advocating constructive criticism as a part of analysis of the game, then I agree with you 100%. I'm a big proponent of helping the fans understand the action on the track during house announcing via analysis and rules explanation. I'd recommend checking out the AFTDA handbook if you haven't done so already because a lot of what you're discussing is covered.

on the nose

WindyMan wrote:

Until derby announcers or journalists can start dishing out honest criticism like they do in actual sports, there can be no neutral and honest commentary or analysis.

This "until" is probably very similar to the timeframe "until participation in derby doesn't come at substantial personal expense to its participants." It's a lot easier to accept constructive criticism when it's your professional responsibility to succeed.

Thank you

I feel exactly the same way as you do. When DNN first announced that they were going to do their rankings, I thought they were going to rank based on their interpretations of teams' abilities. I was hoping it was going to include detailed observations of teams' lineups and play styles and strategies and so forth. Unfortunately, they can't be in enough places at once, and as a result I feel like they've had to drop most of their analysis in place of differentials and triangulation*. I long for the day when there are enough resources to be able to have those actual analytic details in matchups.

*I know they say that they discuss a lot more than that when doing the rankings, but it never comes through into their actual writeups so for me as a reader it does me no good.

Right on

Kudos to WindyMan and N8 for the above comments. Year after year I search in vain for more detailed analysis of derby. When you watch a 3 hour football game that contains 11 minutes of actual action, most broadcasters are great at filling that non action time with replays and step by step analysis of what just happened and their thoughts about what team X needs to change to do better against team Y. Tuesdays through Saturdays these discussions continue. I think that a big reason why they can do this is that, in these more mature sports, the commentators have reams of stats to back up their opinions.

I don't think we'll ever be able to move past triangulation and differentials until this younger sport gathers and makes public stats and archived video for every sanctioned bout. Whether it's DNN or Derby Deeds or WindyMan's blog, without those resources none of these folks can do much more than they currently do.

At the the Western Playoffs I loved seeing the center NSO with the netbook updating the Rinkster stats in real time that I could watch on my phone via DNN's Second Screen. That's an inportant first step. Even with those fairly basic stats we fans in the stands were able to talk about scoring and penalty trends during half time, something that couldn't have happened just a few months earlier.

Rinxter at Champs!

There will be Rinxter coverage at Champs! You can follow real time stats at www.rinxter.net/wftda during the games. Rinxter stats are also archived here-- Westerns stats can be found in the interleague>2011 folder.

Where are these expanded ranks?

Can you show me a sport whose Power Rankings have all this detail and extra effort you crave? I mean, clearly, DNN doesn't have the budget to do the video portion of this, but this month's DNN Power Ranks has more content than this:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/powerrankings

or this, postseason-wise:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/powerRankings

or this:

http://espn.go.com/nhl/powerrankings

I am failing to see where our power ranks format falls short of how these are generally done in sports. Previews are generally where our analysis is done, since we aren't a sport covered in highlights shows and daily newspaper reports. Given the lack of anything resembling any other sports reporting outlet's budget, personnel and favorable working conditions (derby skaters and organizations can be extremely hostile and unforgiving of any coverage they don't like, and have no uniform policy for dealing with press that affords us access whether folks like our work or not...), I think your expectations are a bit lofty and unrealistic, N8, Windyman, et al. Furthermore, we've always been upfront on this site about DNN's reporting being advocacy journalism, while the sport is still growing.

And, like we've always done here ourselves, if you're not getting what you want out of existing media, why not write it/ do it/ make it better yourself? The field is wide open in this very young sport...

format

Mercy Less wrote:

I am failing to see where our power ranks format falls short of how these are generally done in sports.

With all due respect, it's because of what we find in the FAQ for the Power Rankings:

Quote:

Through it all, our guiding principle is simply this: If two given teams meet today, which one do we think is more likely to win?

This sets up an expectation that the analysis will go beyond recitations of past records and triangulation.

At the end of the day, I'm not trying to knock DNN -- I'm trying to inspire a thread where people continue to elevate the level of derby analysis going on -- where derby cogniscenti move beyond months-separated triangulations and beyond "hotness levels". I hope we're getting there.

Seriously?

Cross-referencing the overlapping past histories of 30+ teams as part of an ongoing effort to predict their future performance -- an effort that has been objectively and transparently demonstrated to a) be more accurate than any other current ranking system, and b) still be increasing in accuracy -- is a level of analysis comparable to ranking teams by their hotness levels? OK.

Like Mercy said above, if you feel that this site is failing to provide you with the level of analysis that you are worthy of, you really should start one that reflects what you'd like to see. That's what I did back in 2007. That's what Derbytron did in 2009. That's what RDIT did last year. WindyMan himself did it this year.

Seriously, the more sites providing a wider variety of coverage, the better for everybody. I promise to read yours and tell you you're doing it wrong in your comment threads :p

Great Derby Sites

Great post Justice. I'd love to see other derby web sites that I haven't heard of before. One of my favorites is South Central Derby News by King James . It covers leagues I never knew existed in possibly WFTDA's least glamorous region.

Rant Time

Speaking of South Central, I was reminded over the weekend that Iowa is in the South Central Region. Iowa!? In South Central? When I think of Iowa it's part of the great frozen North. When does the snow melt in Iowa? June? It's an outrage that Nebraska is in South Central. South Central is the geographical largest region in WFTDA and seems to be growing. Here in the West to play another league in the region already requires plane fare, hotel accommodations and rental cars. I shudder to think what inter-league play is like for South Central leagues. Week long road trips? And what state is next for the ever growing South Central? South Dakota? Well it does have the word “South” in it's name. And after South Dakota, Montana? Why not? No one knows where Montana is anyway.

I ask WFTDA to take this opportunity, the off season, to “Please take time to reorganize your regions.”

South Central

First off, thanks for the love!

Secondly, the regions are huge; however, the South Central does not yet lay claim to Iowa (or even Kansas, as strange as that seems) since as of right now the North Central has "claim" to it. There are no full member leagues in Iowa, but when there are, they would most likely be in the North Central. States I consider odd members? Nebraska and New Mexico. Imagine how far Duke City has to travel to play anyone in region besides Texas based teams?

I started my regional news page because I wanted to bring a sharper focus, but even in one region it is so huge I have difficulty providing anything more than general overviews of teams. We have 29 full WFTDA members, 13ish Apprentice leagues, and at a very minimum 70 other serious but non-affiliated leagues. That doesn't even get into home teams or B-teams.

Source: http://wftda.com/leagues/regions/north-central
"North Central leagues are located in South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Ontario, Canada. Future growth in North Dakota and Iowa would be incorporated into this region."

It's an outrage I tell you.

kingjames wrote:

South Central does not yet lay claim to Iowa

Just where are the Des Moines Derby Dames located?

Hm.

He's got a point there.

What tha

Apparently WFTDA's own webpage apparently provides false information. Also, I somehow missed them adding new member leagues. I'm a terrible person.

I'm a terrible person

kingjames wrote:

I'm a terrible person.

Phewy!

I've been following your recent burst of articles this year. When did you have time to notice that WFTDA was adding new leagues? Every QUARTER WFTDA adds new leagues. 21 new leagues this year alone! And in the darndest places you've ever heard of, some of them unpronounceable, with more leagues on the way. You've got to pay close attention to those WFTDA announcements their always slipping in more leagues. It's like high school geography class and memorizing all the states and capitals, only it's worse, the list just keeps getting longer.

Am I surprised that there's out of date information on WFTDA's web site? NO! I'm surprised there's not more of it! How can any organization keep up? It's just not possible! There needs to be a regional reorganization. Please help.

Kansas represented in SC.

kingjames wrote:

Secondly, the regions are huge; however, the South Central does not yet lay claim to Iowa (or even Kansas, as strange as that seems)

South Central DOES claim Kansas. ICT rollergirls are from Wichita.

There oughta be a region

There oughta be a region; you can call it "The Corn Belt" region. Motto: "Hey, we feed you crazy people on the coasts."

What tha (continued)

No excuse from me for missing this, sorry all.

Believe me, we'd love to run

Believe me, we'd love to run a full analytic article on each of these teams every month. That would be awesome and valuable. We all know why that can't currently happen. Expecting the same coverage and analysis that you see for the NFL on ESPN is just ridiculous. They spend millions; we're lucky when we can spend hundreds.

I must say, though, we must be doing something right. Just a couple of years ago, people were really happy and thought DNN was doing fabulous coverage. Now they're demanding that we hire an army of paid journalists to fly all over the country to provide in-depth analysis of defensive lineups and the star jammer's penalty history. If that's not a sign of growth in the sport, the fanbase, and the media, I don't know what is. I hope someday to provide.

Seconded

I often wonder how amazing the information would be if every person who complained about a lack of coverage and analysis started collecting data from their home teams and making it publicly available. That's all, just one team. As it currently is, those of us who attempt to publish solid rankings and match-ups are often feeling in the dark without available stat-books or video footage and are instead forced to rely on simple triangulation and feeling.

OLY is #1, DNN is out of your mind!

Consider this:

1) In the last two years, Oly has been in the Championship bout, first year they won handily, second year they lost by ONE POINT!!

Gotham has gotten knocked out of the tournament two years in a row and hasn't made it to the Championship bout since 2008.

2) Oly, barring an major upset, will make it to their 3rd Championship bout in a row.

Gotham has to get past Rocky IN DENVER, and Rocky beat Gotham in their last match up, so there's a good chance that for the third year in row, Gotham will NOT make it to the Championship bout.

Save some face, DNN, put down your bias and put Oly back to #1!!!!!

Oly is just so easy to HATE

It's not that everyone loves Gotham, it's that Oly is just so easy to hate. Those stringy blonde ponytails, those poo colored uniforms, the look of incredulous irritation they all have. C'mon guys...compared to Gotham and the undeniable hotness of Suzy Hotrod, Fisti Cuffs and Bonnie Thunders, Oly just doesn't compare. TROLLS.

So now HOTNESS gets you ranked higher?

Sounds a little sexist to me. I'll be the first to admit that Oly arguably has the worst uniforms in Roller Derby. In fact, I would probably put up the money to buy all new uniforms for them if I could pick them out!!! Then you 'd see OLY HOTNESS! :-)

I think Susan made an

I think Susan made an unfortunate choice of words--I think by "hotness" she's referring to ferocity, clear love of the game (because it is indeed a game), and exuberant skill exhibited by Gotham, as opposed to the joyless, uptight, whitebread-ness Oly exhibits all the time.

END HATE IN ROLLER DERBY

Malice Munro wrote:

...as opposed to the joyless, uptight, whitebread-ness Oly exhibits all the time.

HATERS ALWAYS GONNA HATE.

If THIS is how you view Oly then clearly you have never spent any time with any of them. Hating one team won't make your team any better on (or off) the track.

vice versa

Malice Munro wrote:

I think Susan made an unfortunate choice of words--I think by "hotness" she's referring to ferocity, clear love of the game (because it is indeed a game), and exuberant skill exhibited by Gotham, as opposed to the joyless, uptight, whitebread-ness Oly exhibits all the time.

This comment made me lol at how this can be viewed vice versa.

ha ha ha

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Comes down to the 'hotness' factor?
I guess that's what Oly gets for putting athleticism before 'show'....
Pretty/enticing uniforms are low on their list of priorities....
Perhaps they are 'poo colored' (as you described them), because Oly is THE SHIT.

Just for the record

One might assume that since I announce for Denver, I'd be in the camp advocating for a wild card or some other way for more Western leagues to get to Champs. Actually, I've come to terms with the way things are. Sure, it sucks that we're not skating at the tournament we're hosting, but knowing that all 6 of the top teams in our region are duking it out for 3 spots keeps us sharp -- we know that if we slack off, the other teams will eat us for lunch. (And, arguably, they have, although losses of 4 and 11 points in 2010 and 2011 are not particularly shameful.)

I'm proud of what the Roller Dolls accomplished this year. Going into tournament season, we'd already beaten the #2 seeds from each of the other regions (though those seedings didn't always survive the playoffs). So, in some sense, yes, we are a championship-caliber team. But the way to prove it is to place in the top three in *our* playoff, and we didn't manage. Let's see what next year brings.

(I can't agree with the idea of sending only regional champions to the championship tournament, though, since I feel that placing second, third, or fourth at Champs is still worthwhile, even if the whole enchilada has only been taken by regional champions in recent years.)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Y’all talkin’ all this sh*t about who be the best, yet you refuse to show true intelligence and give us respect! So I’ll spit it now without any regret! West side be trippin’ like they all that, and the East coast believes that their sh*t don’t stank. Up North they got noses high in the air, but Down south we fightin’ hard and gonna bring it back here this year!!! I’ll speak up and say it ‘cause you know who I be! Now first but not least you will respect Big T!!!! Before I lay you down like a doo rag in some grease! You must be crazy, tryin to play T?! I’ve been dedicated to this since 2004 baby! The notorious derby minister, diminished your team into a bloody mixture, set you straight with real knowledge but just for a bit, Then will continue to KILL KILL KILL shit just for the f*ck of it! I see y'all all writin, but just bitin, still lookin lame, all you geeks just sound the same! Texas excitin’ when we live on bout day, been skating in lightenin’ but they more frightenin’ under the lightning in your arena rolling like thunder in draggin’ chains! When they first came they gave birth to a million skaters in the game, who should all respect our name!!! But I'm Gonna Get You Sucka like Damon Wayans, Bring the pain but then care for you with Novocain, okay so y'all lil ladies really wanna play? My team brings the art of this thing the correct way!!!! Who do you skate for??????? Better scream TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anything less is a joke against us. I’ll finish you now like a game of mortal combat, because at the fatality when your eyes roll back, all you will see is the Hyrda in the air and my big TexASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Big Tom-As long as I’m alive I’m sending out that TEXAS TEXAS KILL KILL KILL vibe, twenty-four-seven, three-sixty-five! See Y’all this Saturday morning…

I got BIG LOVE for BIG TOM

I got BIG LOVE for BIG TOM

Is it possible to be a fan of a fan?

can't say I'm surprised, but not outraged

Selective triangulation to put Gotham over Oly but no triangulation to put Rose over Rocky... exactly what I expected.

Despite Rose triangulating better than Rocky (better performance against Oly and Rat at Westerns) I would still rank them below Rocky because they have yet to beat Rocky.

For the same reason despite any (selective) triangulation of Gotham vs Oly or Rocky I would place Gotham below both of them at #3 because they have yet to beat either team.

Yes, I know DNN is trying to predict who is most likely to win, but I think, especially in this case, past record is indicative of current performance. Most teams are so fucking intimidated by Gotham (not without reason of course) that they fall apart and Gotham takes advantage of that. Rocky is going in knowing they can win, will have home field advantage, and fan support. I will agree with those that say Rocky has looked weaker, but only to the degree they lost some steam mid-season. They still are playing better than last year, as are most of the teams at championships. If Gotham loses to Rocky (again) picking them as #1 will look awfully sheepish. If Gotham does beat Rocky I don't see them taking Oly, who is just playing phenomenally well this year.

fact quibble

derbynerd wrote:

I would place Gotham below both of them at #3 because they have yet to beat either team.

Fact check: Gotham beat Rocky 113-48 on Dec 1, 2007, at Bladium. ANCIENT IRRELEVANT HISTORY but a fact-check nonetheless.

Rocky/Rose

derbynerd wrote:

no triangulation to put Rose over Rocky...

It would be silly to apply triangulation when you have a head-to-head score to use instead. Rocky Mountain beat Rose 161-63 in May of this year.

At the end of the day, I'm surprised to see so much discussion about the top spots. This particular round of rankings is the most temporary of them all -- we'll have an undisputed #1 in less than a week.

Of course, if Rocky beats Gotham and Oly, we can still argue about which of those two should be #2 and how far a team that doesn't make the semi-finals should fall. :-)

exactly

I completely agree, which is why I would use the head-to-head score for Rocky vs Gotham as well.

O.M.G. Dave said "if"!

Dave Wood wrote:
derbynerd wrote:

no triangulation to put Rose over Rocky...

Of course, if Rocky beats Gotham and Oly, ....... :-)

I guess we'll have our answer now in just 3 days, WHEN Gotham beats Rocky Mtn.

#sh*teatinggrinemoticon

I was just trying to show some respect...

...I mean, they've been out here training at high altitude all week, it would be rude to just write them off completely, wouldn't it?

I do feel bad for the rest of the regions knowing that the final gold-silver-bronze photo will look just like the Westerns gold-silver-bronze team photo (but in a different order, of course).

:-D

wait, what now?

KCRW over Rose. Hmmm, I guess that photo is a little busted now. You know what they say about pride . . . it goeth before something.

why I don't make predictions

yep, that's why

opinions are like...

The DNN power rankings are opinions. It's just silly to criticize DNN for ranking team X over team Y.

I'm so glad we have this handy forum to express our own opinions. Don't forget to donate a buck or two to DNN. Do it now, you cheapskates.

Some of the derbynerds here on this forum picked their favorites based on scores from this season, "triangulation", and personal bias. That won't work. The top teams play their regular season bouts like scrimmages. They try out different players and stuff, and junk, and things. Aside from a few grudge matches, there is no incentive to play very hard in the regular season. Why risk an injury? Why tip your hand and show off your new strategies before regionals? It is true that some skaters can't or won't play at less than 100%. Hence the regular season blow-outs. For the most part, regular season scores don't mean jack-squat.

My favorite team is out, so I filled out my bracket based on three things--talent, experience and, heart.

There is no evidence that any of the top-tier teams have changed much from last year, and no evidence that the second-tier teams have improved enough to move up significantly.

Look for Charm to do quite well, they have the skills and determination to make it to the semi-finals. Texas has a chance to beat Charm, but my money is on the Baltimore.

Rose has all kinds of drive, they have talent, they have a good spot on the bracket. I see them in the semi's.

The other two semi-final teams are Oly and Rocky. Period. There is no match for the sheer talent here. Or the experience that both of these teams have. The only question is how much heart shows up.

As for the rest, just wait till next year! Oh, and please prove me wrong.

but wait...

What does it mean if we have the same opinion...

Oly, Rocky, Rose, and Charm are my picks for semis as well.

But you can't count any team out, especially not Gotham and Texas. And I wouldn't mind seeing something totally surprising. Anyone going to predict a champion that has not been one before?

I want a ranking

Isn't time for a new DNN Power Ranking?

Still coming.

We've got sort of a data-heavy edition planned for the year's last Power Rankings release, and between the Chicago Invitational, Thanksgiving week and the World Cup we have been running at about 250% of maximum capacity since Championships, plus we've pulling together the end-of-year Reader's Poll. We'd rather be a little late with the Power Rankings article and get it as right as possible than rush it and not fully think it through. But trust us, we have not forgotten - expect it early next week.

Can you throw in a World Cup

Can you throw in a World Cup wrap-up article as well? Puh-lease?

Still waiting.

Yo!