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Western Preview - Derby on the Rocks

The climax of the regional season comes this weekend in Denver, CO hosted by the Denver Roller Dolls and the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. The West is the perfect region to come last because it has all the fixings to be the most exciting region to date with the top six seeds ranked in the Top 20. Even the first round and consolation games should be fun to watch as seeds 7-9 are within twelve spots of one another.

But the top is where the action will be and top is where the action has been all season. 1-seed Oly has played two of the top six seeds this season winning by a combined eight points. However, both of those wins came at home. Could the mountains affect this speedy team that likes to put up big numbers on the scoreboard? That's what 2-seed Denver is hoping for, the Mile High Club lost one of those games to Oly by just two points. Denver has also played Rat City and Duke City thus far this season. Rose City has played four of the top six, Rat City has played three, Bay Area has played two, and Duke City has played three. These teams are clearly not strangers and clearly evenly matched as no game played this season had a margin wider than 85 and most were within twenty points (2, 6, 7, 14, 18, 47, 63, 65, 85).

Western Region (as seeded):
1: Oly Rollers (#6, 5-0)
2: Denver Roller Dolls (#4, 6-1)
3: Rose City Rollers (#11, 4-1)
4: Rat City Rollergirls (#12, 4-5)
5: B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (#14, 1-4)
6: Duke City Derby (#18, 3-6)
7: Pikes Peak Derby Dames (#36, 4-4)
8: Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (#25, 2-3)
9: Tucson Roller Derby (#37, 1-2)
10: Angel City Derby Girls (#53, 3-2)

Champion: Denver. Both Oly and Denver have continued to improve dramatically all season but the Denver Roller Dolls come into the regional ranked ahead. The mile high conditioning is the icing on the cake as Denver should get payback for their only loss of the season and win when it matters.

Ticket-punchers: Denver, Oly, Rose City. Despite the top six seeds being so evenly matched, these three teams have clearly put themselves in the top half. The only losses these teams have incurred have been to one another and that should not change after regionals.

Team most likely to play above their seed: Rocky Mountain. Not only is Rocky Mountain playing in their home city, not only is Rocky Mountain ranked ahead of all the other teams without a bye, but Rocky Mountain picked up three of the top skaters from 7-seed Pikes Peak earlier this season.

Predicted finish:
1: Denver
2: Oly
3: Rose City
4: Rat City
5: Bay Area
6: Duke City
7: Rocky Mountain
8: Pikes Peak
9: Tucson
10: Angel City


  1. Wow, I hope the All-Knowing Derbytron is right!! Go MHC!

  2. Sorry.. but Justice will be served.

  3. Didn't Rose City beat Fight club by a large margin last regionals? Yes Denver has gotten better but so has Rose City. Seems like with Bay Area's scores against Texas I'd say thay have a good chance at an upset of Oly too.

  4. I think it's a mistake to compare results from last year. Yes, Rose City is improved but I think Denver is by far the most improved team in all of roller derby. The way they've won this year, they would not have dreamed of winning that way last year. This year, Denver lost by less to Oly and beat Rat City by more than Rose City. It's not a lot to go on but it's worth more than last year's regionals.

    Bay Area has to get by Rat City first which won't be easy. Sure, the BAD Girls played tremendously well against Texas but they've also but some real stinkers on the scoreboard, losing to Rat City at home by 65 and losing to Boston by 71 at RollerCon. If the BAD team that showed up at Texas shows up here, sure, they have a chance, but there's a reason Oly is undefeated.

  5. >Sorry.. but Justice will be served.

    Believe me, I wanted WoJ to pull this off! But I have to say it.

    Yup, they got served all right...

  6. can we get a prediction update, due to recent events

  7. I don't want to put Rocky Mountain's impressive run entirely on gaining some clutch players recently, but it does demonstrate how rankings that are based on past performance lack the flexibility to deal with those kind of roster changes.

    Not that a group of subjective observers can make the right guess on the kind of impact those changes can have either, necessarily.

  8. The West is the hardest region to rank correctly. Teams don't play one another often enough, and there's geographical pockets of isolation. Teams play out of region opponents as often (or more often) than they play onie another.

    There's also differing playstyles that radically change the scale of the scores. The PNW style with its 12-8 jams, BAD Girls stingy defense punctuated by giving the other team powerjams, Rat City's amazing abiliity to capitalize on powerjams, Duke City's great jammers, big blockers and pack speed control.

    And the 300 lb pink elephant in the room. Altitude. It's entirely possible that if this tournament were not held in Denver, a different team or two might have advanced to Nationals.

    It's tough to say, of course. Like I said, it's really difficult to predict the outcome of anything out West.

  9. I think the fact that Rocky Mountain played an extra game compared to everyone else in the tournament more than mitigates any advantage they might have had from altitude...

  10. @Grand Poobah

    I think everything you said is absolutely right but in reality, the biggest thing that affected the outcomes may have been the transfer of the three skaters from Pikes Peak to Rocky Mountain. I'll get into it more in my Western Regional Analysis but all of the incorrect predictions only occurred in Rocky Mountain and Pikes Peak games.

    @Anonymous 2:18

    Absolutely. That's just an issue you run into when you're ranking teams whether you're human or not. Sure, a human ranking system could have figured that Rocky Mountain would be better with the addition of those 3 great players but there's no way of knowing how much better.