Saturday, January 31, 2009

New WFTDA Rankings

As you've undoubtedly heard, the WFTDA released their latest rankings (Fourth Quarter 2008) this week. In the North Central Region where Ohio is now included, the Cincinnati Rollergirls were ranked #3. Congratulations to CRG for the ranking that reflects their hard work and effort leading to the Derby in Dairyland tournament last fall.

With that being said, I must say I have never been thrilled with the WFTDA ranking process. There are two main reasons. First, I don't like the fact that the rankings come out quarterly. The system should aspire to be more like the college football poll rankings that come weekly during the season. Second, I don't like the voting aspect to the ranking. According to DNN, rankings are based on votes from member leagues in that region. What is even worse is that leagues that have not kept up on their WFTDA membership requirements are excluded from the rankings. For example, Detroit (who beat CRG last September) isn't in the ranking.

Maybe it is the scientist in me, but an objective ranking system is much more appealing. One attempt at that is the ranking provided by Flat Track Stats. If you look at the North Central Ranking there, CRG is #5 (still very good). Why the difference? Flat Track Stats uses an algorithm to make the ranking a bit more objective. You can read about the their approach and what goes in their ranking system here. Is that perfect? I say no. My main concern with the FTS algorithm is that they are still using bout results from 2007 to calculate a team's final rank. Clearly that makes it harder for teams on the rise to move up in the ranking. Eventually FTS will need to toss the old data out.

Is there a better system out there? Please leave a comment or send me a note if there is. In the meantime, we'll just have to keep up on bout results and watch teams in the region to see who is improving and who is struggling -- and also decide how non-WFTDA teams fit in the picture.

Right or wrong, sports fans keep up on scores and stats. Flat track derby needs a better system to suck more fans in to the fun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Surprise From CRG

CRG PosterI was pleasantly surprised at work last week by a visit from Bex Pistol, one of the Cincinnati Rollergirls. We work for the same company, but at different sites. She was in the building for a meeting and stopped by to say hello. Although I recognized her, it did take a bit since I usually see her on skates and not in her "civilian clothes."

Bex also gave me a poster that shows the CRG home bout schedule for 2009. If you missed my post from last week with the schedule, here it is again. The cool thing about the poster was that quite a few folks from the CRG group took the time to sign it for Dianne and me. That was very nice of all of you to sign the poster. You can see the back of the poster with the signatures below. Thanks much to all!

I did note that Polly Rocket was one of the skaters who signed the poster. Polly was a long time Gem City skater -- doing her share of jamming. I mentioned her in several of my old posts on Earl World. You can read a post about the Holiday Havoc bout (which did include a lot of havoc), and two Gem City and CRG bouts here and here. It's good to know that she has joined the CRG group.

CRG Poster

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Derby Woodworking Project

A couple weeks ago I stumbled across this Boing Boing post that shows a lazy susan type table made out of old skateboard trucks. That would be a good use of old roller skates too! Here is a link to the designer's page.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BBRG 2009 Schedule

We're fortunate to have not just one but two women's flat-track roller derby leagues in the area. The Black-n-Bluegrass Roller Girls league in Northern Kentucky is getting ready for their upcoming season. There are a lot of talented skaters with BBRG and I expect this season they will be stiff competition for their opponents.

Check out their website for the schedule. The first home bout is scheduled for May 23rd at the Florence Fundome. Their site has a link to Brown Paper Tickets. I also noticed on the same page that they have an event calendar that you can subscribe to and stay current on all their upcoming events. A nice feature!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CRG 2009 Schedule

The Cincinnati Rollergirls (CRG) have announced their 2009 bout schedule. The first home bout is on March 21st against the Hard Knox Rollergirls from Knoxville, TN. I don't know anything about the Hard Knox Rollergirls except what they have on their website. According to the site they are an aspiring WFTDA league, so my guess is they are travelling to battle some WFTDA groups (like CRG) to get support for their effort.

The CRG site also describes several different package options for tickets. We enjoyed our season tickets on the floor last year. This year they offer a couple different options for reserved seating, including "The Flock" seating area on the floor. It'll be interesting to see how that works out.

The CRG group had quite a season last year and moved up the rankings. Can they continue their climb this season? I certainly hope so and I hope to see you there at the bouts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quad State Terrors Rollergirls

If there is one thing you learn quickly about roller derby skaters it is that they are passionate about the sport. I guess that's true of any athlete. But the time commitment derby participation requires, that is above and beyond the other pressures of work and family, makes it seem that much more impressive to me when they pay to play.

So what do derby girls like to do when they have some "spare time?" For the Quad State Terror Rollergirls the answer is skate some more. The Quad State Terrors are a group of skaters from teams in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio that put together a traveling team that skates against other leagues. We saw them for the first time at the tourney in Evansville just before the holidays.

The Terrors have quite a few skaters from the Cincinnati area. I think their challenge is to gel as a group since they aren't practicing a couple times a week together. If they can anticipate each others' actions and communicate effectively, they will be a very successful team and will be a lot of fun to watch.

If you are on MySpace, you can check out their team page here. Their first bout of the season is in Knoxville on February 21st. On February 28th they'll be skating against the Killamazoo Derby Darlins at Skatetown in Cincinnati. The Killamazoo site mentions they finished their 2008 season undefeated. Should be an interesting event -- and it is right in our backyard. Be there to cheer on the Quad State Terrors!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaugural Post

This is the inaugural post to my new blog. Many thanks to Dianne for her graphics help to customize the blog template.

Since August of 2006, I've been including roller derby posts on Earl World. My first post about the first Cincinnati Rollergirl bout was pretty rough and a bit harsh. They've come a long way and, I hope, my derby posts have improved as well.

Dianne and I have been to many of the local flat track derby bouts and we've traveled to a few in cities around the area. I always post my takes on the match along with some photos. Following derby bouts there is always a spike in blog traffic. But I know not all the regular Earl World readers are interested in roller derby posts and most derby fans aren't regular readers of other topics I post about.

So I've decided to split out my derby blogging and keep things together in this blog. I'll still blog about bouts I attend and upcoming events I know about. Comments are always welcome. Leave your thoughts, complaints and criticisms (but not spam). You can also check out derby links in the right sidebar. You'll find links to area teams, blogs, and derby news sites I find interesting.

Most of all, go to a bout in your area and catch the derby fever!