Derby’s Money Problem: Is Roller Derby Entertaining? – Part 2.3

With no WFTDA sanctioned bouts this past weekend the weekly rankings had no need to change.  So instead I’m going to present my data findings from Champs as part of my “Is Roller Derby Entertaining” series.  With a much smaller sample size, only 12 bouts, it could be very interesting to see how this all turns out.  So here is the data.

Last Lead Change:
Mean – 17.67
Median – 18
Standard Deviation – 14.19

Last Jam with Lead below 25 Points:
Mean – 24.83
Median – 27
Standard Deviation – 15.17

Last Jam with Lead below 50 Points:
Mean – 32.42
Median – 37.5
Standard Deviation – 13.69

Total Jams:
Mean – 41.42
Median – 41
Standard Deviation – 3.73

The first thing I’d like to point out is that Champs actually had the lowest average of jams per bout of any of the samples I had used by over 2 jams per bout with the exception of the 8 bout sample I used for teams ranked more than 20 spots apart.  That may not seem like a major point, and maybe its not, but it was definitely something that caught my eye.  The next points to focus on is that these bouts as a whole were more competitive (under my guidelines for competitiveness) than any of the other samples.  That is easily explained by the fact that all these teams were ranked very close to each other, the largest gap was only 7 spots.

So what does this all mean?  Well it can mean as much as you want it to.  To me it leads me to believe that WFTDA is putting on 7 tournament weekends in which the majority of bouts are uncompetitive and not entertaining.  As part of this series I have always had the intention of focusing on the entertainment of bouts and finding a way to make things more entertaining for the casual fan.  Bringing in the casual fan is a necessity in order for anything to thrive financially.  Over the next couple weeks (with Thanksgiving I am unsure how much time I will have this weekend) I will present what I think is a possible solution to the entertainment factor from not only a playoff perspective but also a bout length perspective.

As I have mentioned before I come a bit from a soccer background and I believe I have come up with an idea that not only will allow for teams to move up and down in divisions (I will suggest WFTDA expanding to 7 divisions), but also allow some teams to not have to worry about their WFTDA score for a year.  That may sound crazy, but think about it.  Detroit was punished by playing an incredibly tough schedule this year.  Ultimately it relegated them to D2 for the year, but over the long term is it going to be worth it playing such good teams?  That has yet to be determined, but it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Ok, Im going to go on a bit of a tangent.  Just a little one I promise.  But as a team think about how differently you could schedule teams if you didnt have to worry about your WFTDA rank for one year.  A team currently ranked in the 40’s but has dreams to get to the 20’s could afford to schedule really tough teams so they themselves can get better and grow.  And do it all while not having to worry about their rank falling too much.  Or on the flip side you want to help that regional start up team get going a bit, but before you couldn’t play them because it would hurt your rank just walking in the door.  Imagine doing that with no consequences.  I think there is definitely a way to do it and I hope you all will enjoy it when I present my suggestion.


One comment

  1. There’s more than how close the games are to fandom though.

    Football has a huge fan turn out for close games as well as for blow outs. A team can be stomping on everyone they play and their fans just get more excited even though the game is never close.

    Clearly there is more than is the game close to building and expanding a fan base,

    I’m concerned that people spend a lot of time looking for ways to make scores closer but blowouts don’t seem to be an issue for more established sports. Take a look at the NCAA basketball tournament. They have a mix of close games and blow outs, but you never hear people complain about the blowouts.


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