The All-Knowing Derbytron is now on

This site will no longer be updated. Go to for all the fresh Derbytron content.


Nationals Preview - Declaration of Derby


What has to be the most anticipated roller derby event in modern history is finally happening this weekend. The wait is over. It's time. Lace up those skates and get awesome.

This tournament has everything you could want. Gotham, the defending national champs coming off their first loss in 19 games. Philly, the team that caused that loss and the hosts. Oly, the undefeated unknown. Denver and Rocky Mountain, the underdogs with a chance. What more could you possibly want?

Nationals (as seeded):

Windy City Bracket
1: Windy City Rollers (#3, 10-1)
2: Kansas City Roller Warriors (#8, 8-3)
3: Denver Roller Dolls (#5, 8-2)

Oly Bracket
1: Oly Rollers (#7, 8-0)
2: Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1, 6-1)
3: Detroit Derby Girls (#9, 8-4)

Texas Bracket
1: Texas Rollergirls (#4, 9-1)
2: Mad Rollin' Dolls (#12, 7-3)
3: Boston Derby Dames (#10, 9-8)

Philly Bracket
1: Philly Roller Girls (#2, 9-1)
2: Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (#13, 5-4)
3: Houston Roller Derby (#18, 5-2)

Champion: Gotham. Maybe this should be Philly. Philly's numbers are being skewed by the loss to Charm City in which they sat most of their stars. Philly is playing in their hometown but these games count as neutral so no home track advantage, at least in the numbers. Maybe not. The close game with Philly in 2008 regionals may have been the precise thing to set Gotham's 18-game winning streak in motion. Could the loss in 2009 regionals do the exact same thing yet again? The Derbytron seems to think so. It's never easy to beat a team twice in the same year and especially when that team is Gotham.

Runner-up: Philly. The beasts from the East may not have separated themselves too much from the pack, you know, 1 point here, 8 points there, but Gotham and Philly seem to be on a collision course. Whether you're looking back at the ridiculous game that was the Eastern Regionals Championship. Whether you're looking back at the late controversy that sprang from that game. Or, maybe you're just looking for a rematch of the World Series.

3rd Place: Windy City. The Chicago crew should get a rematch of last year's championship game in the semis with Gotham.That game may be closer than last year but Gotham is still the superior team.

4th Place: Texas. Yes, the Derbytron is predicting the same teams that represented 2008's final four. Yes, the Derbytron is predicting the third straight third place game for Texas. Get over it.

Quarterfinal Dropouts: Denver, Oly, Boston, Rocky Mountain.

First Round Dropouts: Kansas City, Detroit, Madison, Houston.


  1. Texas isn't looking for their first championship… they won the first WFTDA tournament back in 2006.

  2. What Andrew said. They won the first Dust Devil.

  3. Here is the problem with using the rankings to determine who'll win and lose.

    While your system seems to do better than FTS, it has problems dealing with new/unknown teams. It also has problems with adjusting to sudden changes in a team's capabilities.

    In other words, your system still thinks that Denver is better than Oly and Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. In fact, it still thinks that they're a LOT better than RMRG. And for that matter it still thinks that Pikes Peak could beat ACDG.

    And like FTS misranked teams like them spread the problem around. Every time Oly steamrollers another team, they get adjusted upwards (correcting the problem somewhat).

    However, they also give a similar downward momentum to whomever they've beaten. When the teams that lose those bouts were probably performing as well as could be expected. Meaning Denver is perhaps a bit better than you've been seeing them?

    Likewise, a bunch of teams at Western Regionals that lost to RMRG probably look a fair bit worse than they actually were.

    I'm not saying Oly can beat Gotham (I'm also not saying they can't). What I'm saying is that I have some serious doubt that they have the seventh best travel team in the country.

  4. @Andrew Ross and Grand Poobah

    For some reason, I was always under the impression that 2006 Dust Devil was very unofficial but I guess I should have checked Wikipedia.

  5. @Grand Poobah

    It's a problem that's unfixable in computerized rankings, in my opinion. Anytime, I see a team playing better or worse than previously in the seasson, should I delete all their previous games? Obviously, that can't be a solution, it brings in a human element and takes away data. I could weight more recent games but I also think that is a mistake. After Charm City beat Philly, if that game was weighted higher than the rest, Charm probably would have been ranked #1 and Philly would have been out of the Top 10. Obviously, that's a bigger impact and more of an egregious error than where we currently sit.

    In reality, this is a very small problem that rarely occurs and it's currently only affecting two teams. Yes, Rocky Mountain is probably ranked too low and Pikes Peak too high, but we also have to remember that we're basing this completely on one weekend. It could be argued that Rocky Mountain had a great advantage with having new players that no one had seen play with RM before, and thus they implemented different strategies that no one could have prepared for. You could also argue that Pikes Peak was still getting their feet under them and hadn't found the best uses for the players that would have to step up in the absence of the three players that left. If Westerns were played again today, it could be a completely different outcome.

    Teams don't necessarily move down when they're beat. If a team is expected to lose to Oly by 100 points (based on where each team is ranked) and they lose by 50, Oly would move down and the other team would move up.

    Maybe Oly doesn't have the 7th best travel team in the country but the one game against Rocky Mountain where RM should have maybe had a higher rating, maybe .04ish higher, really wouldn't affect Oly's rating that much. Remember, it was only 1 game out of 8.

  6. @Grand Poobah

    I just ran a test, rating Rocky Mountain .04 higher for Oly's game with them. Oly's rating got bigger but they were still ranked 7th behind Charm City.