So tonight is a good opportunity to take a look back at the first half of 2015 and see how my beginning of the year predictions are playing out. Below I will re-post my predictions from January and follow them up with little updates.
1. WFTDA’s 2015 Playoffs will be the last in this current format. This is one that I have felt for a long time. After watching all Top 12 seeds advance to Championships this year and seeing that the Non-US presence of top teams is leading to some teams having to make 2 Trans-Atlantic/Trans-Pacific trips in such a short period is eventually going to make this format incredibly difficult and costly. With costs becoming more and more of an issue (some would argue it has always been an issue and is just getting more publicity now) I just do not see a system that requires teams to make multiple playoff trips in short order lasting very long. — It looks like I will be wrong on this one, but to my knowledge they havent announced the 2016 Playoffs yet so there may be time for a change. At least I know that WFTDA is taking a close look at the travel costs.
2. There will be a lot of suggesting/complaining that WFTDA should hold a part of their 2016 Playoffs outside of North America, but it wont happen. I thought WFTDA did a very good job with WET this year and there is definitely a very good place for non-North American teams. But as I mentioned a little above, financially it makes more sense to have one or two teams make the trip to North America vs having 8-9 teams traveling overseas. Out of my current Top 62 (my rankings, not WFTDA’s) only 6 are based outside of North America. If WFTDA did something where they broke things down and rankings used in January or something were used I could see it as a possibility, but right now I feel many teams would decline such an invitation due to the costs. — Again still not announced, but I completely stand by my early statement. The only change is that now there are more than 6 non-North America teams in the Top 60, but this will all come down to do make more teams travel across the ponds.
3. WFTDA is going to make a major announcement regarding safety. This one is really nothing more than a gut reaction. Right now I would lean towards something related to concussions and standardizing some things around them, but again this is nothing more than a gut feeling. — This one is a kind of correct. You could view the Officials not equipment checking as being safety related, but I still feel there is something bigger coming.
4. Gotham will lose a bout, and the world won’t end. Not knowing Gotham’s schedule makes this a bit harder to predict, but I think between some retirements and teams getting closer to them this is the year it happens. They are still one of the top teams, see #5, but I believe that as we saw last year there are teams right there with them. — Yeah I could be very wrong on this one. But Rose City is looking incredibly good.
5. The four #1 seeds will be Gotham, Bay Area, Rose City, and Denver. Not going out on a huge limb here, but I do believe there are at least 3 teams that will vie for that 4th #1 seed. Denver, Texas and Victoria will all have a good say in who it is and it will really come down to the teams the schedule, but I just think Denver will get the spot. — Only got half right here. Bay Area fell a bit more than I thought and London really performed a lot better.
6. Three teams will get to play at home during the 2015 WFTDA Playoffs. I actually feel pretty comfortable with this one. I dont think Burning River makes the playoffs this year so they are out. Detroit will be D1 so they wont play at home either. Tucson and Omaha may make D2 playoffs, but I just dont see them getting all the way up to D1. That leads Jacksonville, which is pretty easy, and Dallas for D1 playoffs. I fully expect Dallas to not only make it back to playoffs this year, but skip D2 and go directly to D1. And finally Minnesota will make Champs and play in front of their home crowd. So there are the three teams. — Looks like I will be safe for the first part, then it is just up to Minnesota if they can make it to Champs.
7. At least 10 of the 12 D1 Champs teams will return this year. I may be going out on a limb a bit, but I think we will see at most 2 new teams. If I had to pick them, Im going with Jacksonville and Montreal as the 2 new teams. — This one is still yet to be seen but Jacksonville looks like a very good bet, but it might be Arch Rival sneaking in instead of Montreal.
8. After seeing 6 teams score 600 or more points in a WFTDA sanctioned bout in 2014, no teams will reach that number in a single bout in 2015. This is almost just as much a wish as it is a prediction. There are no winners in a score like this and the WFTDA points awarded to each team is almost never worth it to either team. As teams get better and knowing competition level this will hopefully be a thing of the past. — I was so close on this one. Only 1 bout so far saw a team score 600 points, that was the June 13th bout with Leeds (669) vs. Vette City (79)
9. More teams will drive to D2 Playoffs than fly this year. D2 has been dominated by teams in the Midwest as of late and I dont see that changing much this year. Plus WFTDA did a great job of picking 2 cities that are very centrally located based on the likely teams to participate in these playoffs. — This is still looking like a decent prediction as about half the teams are from the Midwest US. I will be judging this if a team is located with a 10hr drive of their playoff location.
10. Brewcity Home Season – The Crazy 8’s will lose a bout this year. With a 9-bout win streak, over 2 seasons, currently going I am going out on a limb and saying they lose one this year. Last year most of the bouts were not very close, but as Maiden Milwaukee showed in the championship bout (it went into OT for those not familiar with BCB) they can be beat. The season starts January 17th and if you are in the area please come and check it out. — This happened in the semi-finals as the Crazy 8’s were upset by the Rushin’ Rollettes, who then went on to win their first championship in 5 years.