Here we are now 20 weeks into the 2015 WFTDA Season, just think, only 32 weeks left. How crazy is that when you think about it. We just ended the 2014 Playoffs and 2015 is already over a third complete. This week we saw great action from not only WET, but Dallas continued their huge turnaround, Ann Arbor used a very nice weekend to move closer to a Top 60 spot, and Ft. Myers continues a huge free fall.
But we have to begin by talking about all that was WET. As usual I will recommend checking out Derby Central as they had a great write up of all things WET. We have 5 new European teams enter our Top 100 this week, led by Stockholm who comes in all the way up at #42. Bear City, despite all their success at the 2014 Playoffs would actually miss the 2015 Playoffs if they started today as their rough weekend dropped them all the way to #61. There has been a lot of talk about the European teams being greatly under-ranked, I’m not going to disagree that there are some European teams that are under-ranked but you can say the same about teams from all over the world (including North America). Looking at the Top 100 you will see 20 of the teams ranked from #51-100 are 20 or more spots off of their current WFTDA Ranking. These will sort themselves out as we get closer to next June, but this is always going to be the product of a 12 month ranking system. And in a sport with relatively high turnover of athletes there is always going to be huge fluctuations in the rankings (maybe not as much at the top, but as we move outside the top 30 or 40 there is such little room that it can change so much, i.e. Cincinnati).
But WET and how it was nice to see teams playing each other like this got me thinking. What if WFTDA expanded their tournaments? I like the current fall championship season, a few tweaks could make it awesome, so I wouldn’t want to interfere with that, but what if WFTDA held annual regional tournaments in the February-April months. Using the Post-Champs WFTDA rankings, ten teams could be invited to a special ten team regional tournament. There already is Europe, but lets add a Central/South America tourney, Canada, Asia/Pacific, NE USA, South USA, MW USA, West USA, and Mountains USA. For the USA they would just break the country into regions by state and invite the top ten teams. If a team declines, no harm and the next team is invited. And then run the tournament just like the WFTDA Playoffs. This way teams will truly be battling for their annual rank in their region. Here is how the West USA tournament could look.
1. Rose City
2. Bay Area
3. Angel City
4. Rat City
6. Santa Cruz
8. Jet City
10. Sin City
Now sure some of the top teams may not participate, but with each team getting a minimum 3 bouts against very good talent I believe this would work. Also, by using the Post Champs rankings to then have tournaments in Feb-April would allow teams enough time to make travel arrangements. Plus by keeping things regional, costs should be kept at a minimum. Teams also would have a good chance to use this for marketing purposes. Stating you are the 6th team in the West USA is going to go a lot further than stating you finished 8th in your D1 Playoff, which really means you are just tied for 29th in the World. Just thinking outside the box and I think this could be a cool wrinkle on the current format. But even if WFTDA were to do something like this, it would be up to the teams to participate. I get London and Victoria especially may not want to take part in their regions, but for the majority of teams this could be a very cool thing. As WFTDA continues to go global, sometimes it really works to go back and shrink things down again.
That was a bit off topic, so here are the rankings as of today.
|Rank||Team||Score||Weekly Change||Change From WFTDA|
Things are starting to shape up nicely as from #35-#47 is only separated by 40 points. The D1 cutoff is going to be fun to watch again this year. Likewise, #51-#70 are also only 40 points apart. None of those teams are really a sure thing at this point. It sure will be a very interesting last 32 weeks of this season.