D2P Kalamazoo Preview

The Furies are heading to Kalamazoo, Michigan to play in the second WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs this weekend.  That’s awesome, exciting, amazing and you can’t wait to hear how they do.   Maybe you’re considering hopping in a car with some derby folks and road tripping to Kalamazoo to cheer the team on, or maybe you’ll catch the games on WFTDA.TV, or follow them on Twitter (@qcrg).  But what does it all mean?  What does it mean for the Furies to compete in Division 2 and who the heck are they going to be playing?

In the beginning WFTDA divided the country into geographical regions: Eastern, North Central, South Central and Western.  The top ten teams in each region played each other in a tournament and the top 3 teams in each region went to Champs to play for the Hydra Trophy.

It kind of made sense; for a while.  And then, it didn’t.

Photo by Jim Bush
Photo by Jim Bush
This year WFTDA changed the ranking system to a Division system.  Every team is ranked internationally.  Gotham Girls are #1. Chicago’s Windy City is #10. The Furies are ranked #54. Toronto’s CN Power is #39.  The top 40 teams are in Division 1. Division 2 consists of 60 teams and Division 3 included 72 teams at the time the Divisions were created.  This number might different now because of the addition of new teams in WFTDA.

Every Division 1 team that qualified was invited to the Division 1 Playoffs.  Teams invited to Division 2 Playoffs are those ranked between 41-61.  Each Playoff consists of 10 teams vying for the opportunity to go to Milwaukee in November for the Championships.  The top 4 teams (1 and 2 from both Division 2 Playoff tournaments) will head to Milwaukee to compete for Division 2 Championships

This past weekend the first Division 2 Playoffs were held in Des Moines, Iowa.  Jet City Rollergirls, ranked #54, won first place in a convincing win over Blue Ridge Rollergirls, ranked #48. Both teams head to Milwaukee. Next weekend, in Kalamazoo, ten more teams will show up and compete for a trip to Milwaukee.

A few of the teams going to Kalamazoo might be familiar; the Furies have played them before.  However, the first game for the Furies, who are heading into the tournament as the sixth seed, will be against the hometown Killamazoo Derby Darlins (ranked 46, seeded 3).

Photo by Jim Bush
Photo by Jim Bush
Killamazoo has the exact same record from this season that the Furies have: 6 wins, 5 losses.  This season they played two teams the Furies also played: Tri City and Toronto’s CN Power.  Killamazoo beat Tri City 240-126.  The Furies played Tri City last October and lost to them in a close game (179-163).  Both Killamazoo and the Furies have lost to CN Power (who will be heading to Division 1 Playoffs in Salem, Oregon).  Killamazoo fell to Toronto 263-169.  The Furies lost 230-178.

If the Furies win their first game they will go on to play either Suburbia (ranked 65, seeded 10), Paper Valley (ranked 55, seeded 7) or Sac City (ranked 45, seeded 2).   The winner of the Paper Valley vs. Suburbia game goes on to play Sac City.  The winner of that bout meets the winner of the Furies vs. Kalamazoo.

The Furies beat Suburbia (out of Westchester, NY) in March 2012 in a close game: 142-136.  However, that doesn’t necessarily give an indication of who will win, or how close the game will be.  A year and a half is a long time in derbyland.

Suburbia’s record this year is 5-2. Paper Valley, a team out of Appleton, Wisconsin, has a 4-3 record. Paper Valley and the Furies both played Grand Raggidy this year.  The Furies beat them 208-149 and Paper Valley fell to them 230-119.

Sac City is a west coast team from Sacramento, California. Their record is also similar to the Furies’ (6-5).  They played Jet City (the team that won D2P Des Moines) in a very close game.  The final score was 149-143 in Jet City’s favor.

Let’s say the Furies win their second game.  That puts them in the Championship game and guaranteed a spot in Milwaukee in November for a chance to play for the Division 2 championship title.

Who might they play in that final game in Kalamazoo? Tri City (ranked 60, seeded 8, 2103 record: 2-4), Burning River (ranked 61, seeded 9,, 2013 record 6-6), Carolina (ranked 50, seeded 4, 2013 record 0-6), NEO (ranked 51, seeded 5, 2013 record 6-4) or Santa Cruz (ranked 42, seeded 1, 2013 record 7-4) are the possibilities.  (If you’re curious how Carolina, with a record of 0 wins and 6 losses makes it all the way to playoffs, read Guy O. Tine’s article on how a team can lose on the scoreboard but win in the rankings. )

D2P Des Moines was filled with upsets.  The 5th seeded team ended up winning it all.  The DC Rollergirls, who went in as the 4th seed came out barely clinging to 9th place.

The action will be fast and furious in Kalamazoo.  It will be broadcast for free on WFTDA.TV.  They will also cover all of the games on Twitter (@wftdalive).  The play by play of the Furies games will be tweeted live on the QCRG feed (@qcrg).