Great article. Thanks.
Miss you already, Vroom.
Vroom, it was an honor reffing with you!
And hitting is more fun to watch then nudging.
If the lead jammer gets a penalty , strip her of lead status.
Determine a number of points for each jammer getting a penalty and subtract them from the scores at the end.
As a former player, a fan, and a donator I absolutely loathe the passive offense 'strategy'. Or for anything passive. I'm tired of seeing jammers being sweetly nudged out of bounds instead hitting her. Hitting is the fun part and I would bet 80% of the audience would rather see that, too. You've got 4 blockers holding back one jammer trying to nudge (yawn) her out of bounds. What would be wrong with one of those 4 blockers slowing down and knocking the shit out of that jammer? She gets pissed, tired more easily, and sometimes just can't score any points. Or she gets pissed and tried harder. AND THE FANS LOVE IT. That's why people who've never seen derby want to go see it. Nobody goes for passive offense and nudges.
And while I'm at it, whatever happened to helping your jammer?
It's all very boring to watch. You may play and think its great, but I assure you it's not.
Power jams, lame, of course. Power jams aren't exciting in the least. Isn't derby the only sport with this kind of bs going on? You wanna be a sport? HIT PEOPLE. HELP YOUR JAMMER.
Instead of power jams, strip lead jammer status from the lead if she has a penalty. Determine number of points to be subtracted at the end of the game based on the number of penalties the jammers got.
Pretty pictures that help explain some of your points (1 and 5): http://flattrackstats.com/blog/33624-wftda-rankings-and-fts-expectations
"If you want a clear understanding of why the jammer penalty/power jam/passive offense combo so permeates the sport at present, this is it. Pressing for jammer penalties and scoring easy laps will give you huge gains with this formula."
Oh, thank goodness. I was hoping we wouldn't lose the most thrilling part of modern roller derby, people sausaging.
Yep, you got it.
Thanks for the clarification. Using the February rankings for the Arch Rival bout then, would mean
C = ((149- 36) * 2) / 149 = 1.517
300 * .875 * 1.517 * 1 = 398 points. Ouch.
If you want a concrete example of a bout on the other side of the spectrum, look at Rocky Mountain's recent 6-point win over Denver, which likely made *both* teams rating go down (they would have got 300ish points each). They would have both been much better off beating up on lower-ranked teams.
Interesting example. Mind you, we've not seen a near-tie with Gotham for a year or so, but the math looks right.
According to the nice folks who answer at firstname.lastname@example.org, the math is done at the time of the bout. The ranking calculation is done monthly, so that is the ranking that is applied for Power.
From what I can discern, the total number of teams is essentially all teams that are part of the previous month's ranking. If I recall (away from my notes), new teams are given a .5 Power for the initial month of eligibility.
I'm usually pretty hesitant to beat up on WFTDA, which is a volunteer-run organization filled with awesome people that do some incredible work. That said, this ranking system has some *serious* problems. Let's work through an example, picked arbitrarily after a glance at today's tournament rankings.
Arch Rival over Omaha, 392-56, in March. Good bout for Arch Rival. *Great* bout for their WFTDA ranking.
As Garrison explains above, Arch Rival's points for this bout are A * B * C * D
A = 300
B = 392 / (392+56) = .875 (Point Share)
C = ((160 - 57) * 2) / 160 = 1.2875 (Opponent Power)
D = 1 (Regular Season Game)
300 * .875 * 1.2875 * 1 = 338 Points.
Now, as a hypothetical, lets say Arch Rival instead got a Tie Game against Gotham, the current #1 WFTDA team. I'm going to round Gotham's power rating up to the theoretical max to simplify the calculation:
300 * .5 * 2 * 1 = 300 Points
So you get more points for beating up on Omaha then you get for a tie game against Gotham (Or hey, even narrowly *beating* Gotham!). Note that the Arch/Omaha result isn't particularly unusual - look through the results of many of the WFTDA top 30 and you'll see lots of similar bouts. This is a problem.
NOTE: A couple questions about the Opponent Power Calculation
1. I'm not sure if I got the parentheses right based on the prose explanation above. Could you check me on that Garrison?
2. I used Omaha's current rank of 56, but from what I can tell their ranking was 36 when the bout was held, which would have meant even more points
3. Not sure whether to use "Total teams in WFTDA" or "Total ranked teams in WFTDA" but again I used the more conservative number
Math is hard, let's watch some roller derby!
8 month too late to comment, but i think i can offer a quite unusual perspective, because:
- i'm just a roller derby fan
- i don't live in the US
- i don't like WFTA-style rulesets
- i prefer banked tracks (not a must, but well, preferable)
- i like tracks that are visually easy to recognize
The above combined means that:
- there aren't many bouts interesting to me, because most bouts will either be WFTA-style rulesets, or have visually hard to identify tracks
- Any bout that matches, will be far from my timezone anyways
That in turn means:
I just would like access to ANY footage of such a bout at all, afterwards (non-live). I also don't demand 4 cameras, smart commentators (or any commentators at all). The most i'd wish for just is an archived vid which's quality isn't complete garbage (recent "derby ink invitational" - i'm happy i didn't pay for THAT VID COVERAGE. A single goddamn cellphone cam, would have been of higher quality). So, i'd be fine with "amateur quality" coverage as long as i can see anything at more than 2 frames per second, at all. Any yeah, a scoreboard and jam-timer would be nice. That is all.
Problem is: I have a hard time to find just this, at all. So, while the article complains about amateur-style video coverage, i'm still waiting to even get just this, for my prefered kinds of bouts.
It's a solution to "standing still" when the teams take advantage of what the rules allow. Sadly, too few BT leagues are playing more than a couple of interleague games against challenging competitors any other time than BotB. You only saw a few games during the recent Battle on the Bank, where the team used the "slinky pack" technique overtly (mostly LADD and AZDD).
To get the same thing as RDCL in the WFTDA game, all the WFTDA has to do is issue a clarification that says that clockwise skating is never required for pack reformation. Clockwise skating is allowed, but the rules didn't state that it was mandatory. The "mandatory" clockwise skate to reform comes completely from past clarifications, NOT THE ACTUAL RULES. Also
In the hands of WFTDA leagues that focus on strategy, it would be an end to stopped packs in the WFTDA game forever. They could also issue a clarification that when a team gets a goat, as soon as they come to a complete stop, they no longer control the pack speed. If written properly, there could never be a zero or clockwise pack speed.
I've seen bouts with that ruleset. The pack is no longer standing, but still skating so slow, that it might as well just be standing. Blockers still don't engage each other, but instead seperate into split-pack, one trying to speed up, the other trying to slow down. There is no "engagements can and should happen anytime", at all. Yeah, it may be a minor improvement, but a far shot from a solution.
Completely agree with this. Penalize the skater, not the helmet. There might (under completely different rules), still be special situations similiar to a powerjam, but NOT because the jammer got a penality. Instead, it could happen because of the overall situation - like a special mode of play, that happens in special circumstances.
I'm not sure if targeting powerjams only, is perhaps just attacking the symptoms. For example, even if you pick a banked bout, with the top teams, and the new experimental pack rules... what still often happens - even outside a powerjam.... is that the pack doesn't really have much interest in "skating". The blockers of both teams will usually seperate instead of engaging - one team's blockers trying to accelerate the pack, the other slowing it down. Then the lead jammer tries to get through the pack, with no support from her/his blockers (aren't your blockers supposed to assist you, and engage opposing blockers?)
It's slow, and not much engagement happens, except of jammer vs. the wall: No blockers vs. blockers. No chasing the jammer. Just a "pass the wall" game.
And no powerjam is needed for this to happen often, for teams that have adapted well to the current rules.
That's not to say that i do not agree that powerjams are undesirable *in their current form*. I do agree with this. I just am not sure, if powerjams could perhaps be interesting, in a different form, with different rules. But they certainly aren't under current rules.
I do think that the main issue lies with the "pack". But, unlike the current tweaks, which artificially try to change the pace of the pack, i think the problem lies more with the definition of "what is a pack" itself. Take for example OSDA or MADE rules, where the pivots have much more freedom in leaving the pack, and i.e. chasing and engaging an opposing jammer. This isn't "runaway pussy", but it offers more tactics and opportunities for engagement, than "jammer meet near-standstill wall, repeat ad infinitum".
As a long time derby spectator and fan, I have been really disappointed in this new one whistle rule, i've even stopped attending because the game has slowed down so much it has become almost boring to watch. The jammers become lead almost by chance now and then dominate for a minute then the jam is over, everyone plays much slower, may times the pack is even skating backwards for much of the jam, this may be great for players but I can't see it making the sport more popular with new people.
Just define the largest group of skaters most forward on the track as the pack when there would normally be a no-pack. Now the opposing blockers can chase the jammer around the track. Problem solved.
Im liking the idea of a 30 second penalty. Staying on the track. would that allow the jammer to work defence againt the opposing teams jammer even though she is not allowed to score?
30 seconds is about 3 laps and thats alot of missed potential points if you consider it takes 8 to 10 seconds to round the track. I am pretty new to the game and an "old timer" speed skater and to me, it seems like it would be alot more fun to play as well as watch at a faster pace with penalizing the jammer while still on the track.
Simply by being the WOMENS Flat Track Derby Association it is discriminatory by nature... if one wants to be completely fair and eliminate all sexual discrimination they should open it up to men and become a co-ed organization.
Definitely a better idea than what's going on right now.
good points, Busta.....and think of this, the fans would have been the ones who stayed in spite of slow play.
ah, the pullaway! great idea!
Many spectators are tiring of elements of the WFTDA and frankly, at this time in history, USARS bouts are far more exciting. I think that it is time to drop the "...by and for the skaters..." we no longer feel that it is a privilege just to watch. Many of us have considerable investment in this sport and it is time we get a vote.
At least there are others which have become as equally frustrated with this new rule set as I have. Something hopefully will change by 2014 or the game's attendance and viewership will wither and die as will roller derby....
It's funny, but I don't know anyone who was born a man (or a woman for that matter). In my hospital we generally help women give birth to babies.
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Beautiful suggestion. I play this sport because I like to skate, not because I like to stand. I want to play defense while people are trying to get me off their jammer, not when they are standing behind me like a bunch of dufuses waiting for my pack to go out of play. I like to get a hit out and set back too, but any good jammer will just push from the middle of the track to avoid getting hit out until the pack is out of play, and considering the opposing pack doesn't pick up their feet at all- it doesn't take too long for a strong jammer. I'm all about "let's play better defense to shut this down," but the point remains- it is a boring and effective offensive strategy. I don't want to play it. It's not because I'm not a fan of "strategy," but strategy and slow derby are not synonymous. I want my team strategy to be based on switching between offense and defense- prioritizing based on which jammer is coming up. When we started controlling pack speed to monopolize on power jam situations, it became a slippery slope. I was always a fan of goating, but now we have gone too far. If both jammers were always on the track we could play real roller derby. I had the opportunity to play the MADE rules set last weekend at the derby ink invitational and it was wonderful playing fast derby. I can't stand this slow pack shit! Let's play fuck you get past me roller derby again!
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