Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remaining tournament brackets

There are only two more regional tournaments to decide who heads to Chicago for the WFTDA championship tournament, dubbed Uproar on the Lakeshore. Rollin' on the River takes place this weekend, Oct. 1-3, 2010, while Amber Waves of Pain is Oct. 8-10.

Rollin' on the River 2010
WFTDA Western Regional Tournament
The regional tournament bracket can be found here:

Amber Waves of Pain
WFTDA South Central Regional Tournament
The regional tournament bracket can be found here:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west

The third Women's Flat Track Derby Association's 2010 regional tournament gets under way this weekend, October 1-3, in Sacremento, California. The Western Regional Tournament, dubbed Rollin' on the River 2010, begins Friday and features the top 10 teams in the western region.

The defending WFTDA champions, Oly Rollers, stand at the top of the Western rankings, and hope to repeat their bid to be the best in the U.S.

The top three finishers earn an automatic bid into the WFTDA Championship tournament, dubbed Uproar on the Lakeshore, and to play for the coveted Hydra Trophy in Chicago on Nov. 5-7.

Oly Rollers, ranked first in the WFTDA Western Region and No. 2 nationally in Derby News Network's September 2010 power rankings, and Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, WFTDA W2 and DNN3, get byes in the regional tournament. Oly will face the winner of Duke City (W8) versus Tucson (W9), and Rocky Mountain will face the winner of Jet City  (W7) versus Sacred City  (W10).

Other participating leagues include: Denver Roller Dolls (W3), Rose City Rollers (W4), Rat City (W5) and Bay Area Derby Dolls (W6).

Oly, Rocky Mountain and Denver all played for in the final two games of the 2009 national tournament, Declaration of Derby 2009. Denver placed third in nationals last year, while Oly took home the championships, beating Texas (No. 1, currently, in the South Central regional currently, and 10th in DNN's power rankings) 179-100 in the 2009 championship game.

Teams from the Western Regionals occupy seven of the top 25 teams nationally ranked teams according to Derby News Network's power rankings as of September 2010. Besides Oly's DNN2 ranking and Rocky Mountain No. 3 ranking, Denver (DNN5), Rat City (DNN6), Rose City (DNN7), Bay Area (DNN8) and Jet City (DNN23) are all looking at an opportunity to represent the west region in Chicago. That's more representation on DNN's list from any other region.

In comparison, the Eastern region has six DNN top 25 teams, and South Central and North Central regions each have five.

Windy City, Minnesota and Madison's Dairyland Dolls all advanced from the 2010 North Central Regional Tournament to the championship tournament hosted in Chicago, Illinoin. Gotham (NYC), Philly and Charm City (Baltimore) advanced from the Eastern Regional Tournament to the championships.

So far both regional number one seeds, Gotham and Windy City, have advanced to the championship tournament with decisive 3-0 records.

Gotham won The Hydra Trophy as national champions in 2008. Kansas City and Texas won WFTDA national championships in 2007 and 2006, respectively, before the introduction of the trophy which was first awarded to Gotham in the Northwest Knockdown in Portland, Oregon, in 2008.

One week after Western Regionals, the South Central Regionals, Amber Waves of Pain, will take place in Lincoln, Nebraska, on October 8-10.


10 a.m. - Game 1 Duke City Derby vs. Tucson Roller Derby
noon  - Game 2 Jet City Rollergirls vs. Sacred City Derby Girls
2 p.m. - Game 3 Rose City Rollers vs. Rat City Rollergirls
4 p.m. - Game 4 Denver Roller Dolls vs. B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls
6 p.m. - Game 5 Oly Rollers vs. Winner Duke City Derby vs. Tucson Roller Derby
8 p.m. - Game 6 Rocky Mountain Rollergirls vs. Winner Jet City Rollergirls vs. Sacred City Derby Girls

Saturday10 a.m. - Game 7 Loser (Jet City Rollergirls vs. Sacred City Derby Girls) vs. Loser (Rose City Rollers vs. Rat City Rollergirls)
noon  - Game 8 Loser (Duke City Derby vs. Tucson Roller Derby) vs. Loser (Denver Roller Dolls vs. B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls)
2 p.m. - Game 9 Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 3
4 p.m. - Game 10 Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 6
6 p.m. - Game 11 Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 5
8 p.m. - Game 12 Loser Game 6 vs. Winner Game 8

10 a.m. - Game 13 Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8
noon - Game 14 Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12
2 p.m. - Game 15 Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12
4 p.m. - Game 16 Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10
6 p.m. - Game 17 Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halfway home

WFTDA Eastern Regionals are over, the top three finishers -- Gotham, Philly and Charm City -- will head to Chicago for the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Championships.

The three beasts from the East will meet the top three finishers of the Western Regionals and the South Central Regionals. The top three finishers of the North Central -- Windy City, Madison and Minnesota -- wait and watch as the rest of the regionals unfold, already besting their respective competition in the North Central Regionals tournament. Windy City, a regional and overall favorite will have home court advantage win the championship tournament begins in November.

Gotham, ranked DNN's No. 1 in the country in September 2010 and WFDTA's No.1 in the East, ran straight through its competition this weekend starting with a 300-point margin of victory against Providence on Day 1, 14-314. Charm City managed 86 points against Gotham City, but lost: 66-223, Gotham pulling away in the second half with a 14-4 lead jammer differential. Philly (DNN No. 4) proved their hardest matchup, including going on a 64-4 run in the bout's last 10 minutes to narrow the point spread to 30 points, but ultimately Gotham was able to hold on 133-103.

The trend of teams killing clock by stalling the jammer starts continues. Several teams in the North Central tournament used this effectively to slow the action, delay the opposing jammer, kill penalty clock on players in the penalty box and otherwise disrupt the flow of the game. North Star used the strategy almost extensively to eat up game clock after earning enough points for a win. Listening to Derby News Network's bout casts,stalling jammer starts continues to irk and intrigue derby fans alike.

Windy City (DNN No. 11, WFTDA NC No. 1) will have it's hands full. Gotham and Philly both proved getting to the championship will be a hard road if the bracket goes through them. Oly and Denver will certainly be a tough matchup if the seeding in the East works out the same way for the West, with the top seeds advancing into the finals. Denver, Oly, Rocky Mountain are all viable contenders to return to the Championship tournament after making it to Day 3 and playing for the top four spots in the U.S. The Western Regionals Rollin' on the River will be Oct. 1-3. The South Central's Texas and Kansas City were both in the National tournament last year, Texas advancing to play against Oly in the championship game, but losing 100-178. The No Coast Derby Dames of Lincoln, Nebraska, will host the South Central regional dubbed Amber Waves of Pain on Oct. 8-10.

The North Central Regionals proved that upsets can and do happen on any battle tested track. Minnesota masterminded two huge upsets to get into the NC tournament finals against Windy City, upsetting DNN ranked No. 13, Detroit, in a 118-99 victory. Minnesota then turned it's sites on No. 14 Madison in a bout that featured a couple of lead changes, including the last in which Minnesota dispatched Madison 119-107, and forcing the Dairyland Dolls to play for the last Championship qualifying spot. Madison would beat Cincinati 165-143 after Cinci jammer K Lethal fouled out upon recieving her seventh trip to the box.

Windy City, a clear favorite, dispatched Naptown on Day 1 of the North Central Regionals 177-85, Cinncinati on Day 2 172-147 and then ending Minnesota's run to the top on Day 3 132-83. Windy City's disadvantage heading home for the championship tournament will be the level of competition in the North Central regional as opposed to the depth in the East and West. Chicago rode their No. 1 status in the North Central all the way to Uproar on the Lakeshore, but the competition will be exponentially more fierce come November 5-7.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Getting the hang of things

Since I started blogging oh-so many years ago, several new social-networking gems have been created and utilized.

I've become a bit of a Twitter fiend. The microblogging Web site and mobile app have become something of a crutch if I need to quickly dispatch some information or if I find an article I think will be useful later.

Google Docs ... in a word, OMFG. Some amazing derby stats people have been live updating scores and jamming stats during the WFTDA 2010 Eastern Regionals at Derby in the Burbs. These Google Docs will be an amazing tool to use when I head to Lincoln for South Central Regionals and then to Chicago for the WFTDA Campionships in November.

Live stat tracking and micro-blogging -- what will they think of next?

It's our birthday!

Welcome to Five Point Grand Slam, a brand new blog focusing on covering derby with a traditional sports journalism slant. We hope to cover games in the MidWest as the dates become available, but also work in conjunction with others in the roller derby community to forge ahead and create our own brand of derby journalism.

Another goal is to help aspiring writers and journalists cover roller derby without falling into the typical pitfalls of focusing on the spectacle and violence. As more and more coverage of roller derby springs up, we'll continue growing or list of links to Web blogs and other sites useful to derby enthusiasts.

Stay tuned. We plan on being at Amber Waves of Pain, WFTDA's South Central Regionals, and also we'll be in Chicago for the championships.