Is slow play no play?

WFTDA posted on Twitter an interview with a member of the Rat City Rollers on what was the strategy of having 9 or ten jams in a row of slow play, especially with the team behind RMRG.

And you know what, she gave exactly the right answer:  they thought it was their best chance of beating the current champions.

And then the announcer asked a very telling question:  in essence wasn’t she concerned with the fact that the crowd was booing and angry at the lack of action.

And again she give the correct answer; as a player she is only concerned with winning the game.

So what can be done when the game becomes an agonizing slow and boring travesty?  And to further add to it, when jammers can fly around and seemingly pass the stalled pack over and over again, doesn’t that just make the blockers look inept?

Photo by Daino_16 ( from

I have been told that no rule changes can be made in WFTDA until May, and the majority would have to want the change (the pack keeps moving or skaters are penalized).  And the new USARS rules which are being currently beta tested don’t affect WFTDA at all.

First of all, as Michelle Bradley pointed out, at least one WFTDA rule can be interpreted that the pack must keep moving…that would be a big help.  One important thing is that not only do blockers look like they have no function, but there is a danger when a skater come flying at you at top speed and you are not moving; I wouldn’t get in the way either.

Can there be some kind of interim rule updates in the future?  When Pro basketball was too slow, they put in the 24 second clock, and if you just hold the ball for 5 seconds, it is given to the other team; when Dean Smith at North Carolina put in the 4 corner offense that kept the ball out until someone came to get it (and sometimes it took forever), college ball put in timed play also,both college and pro football have added that rule.

And remember, the WFTDA Championships are more likely to have nationwide attention than at any other skating games.  Do we really want first time viewers at the games or in the stands (and remember, the home league of that arena is not in the tournament) saying “What is the fuss about this game?”  Of course the fans, friends, and other skaters won’t say that (maybe), but then that is the only potential audience that WFTDA is trying to appeal to…..I think not.

OK, I know it can’t be changed for the just for this tournament, but can you just all promise the Commissioner that you will give the fans action?

I knew that kindness would get results.

63 comments on “Is slow play no play?

  1. The “No play” tactic did nothing to help. All it did was upset the crowd that Derby has been fighting tooth and nail to get. From the looks of the seats online there were several empty ones. I don’t know if that was a result of the play but from the boo’s I heard it wouldn’t have helped it. I really hope this gets resolved soon.

    • As other posters have mentioned, tournament audiences are primarily made up of skaters, referees, and a few superfans (plus local fans who stop in for just a game or two).

      The average derby fan can manage to sit through a two game doubleheader tops. There’s one or two leagues doing tripleheaders, but those are a rarity (and I’d imagine by game three there’s a rapid drop-off).

      A tournament tends to run about 13 hours for the first two days, and a good seven or eight on the third. The first several games on Friday are when most folks are at work.

      If my league were hosting a tournament, fans would probably be one of our lowest priorities. Aside from setting up one game during prime time for the host league (with special “this game only” pricing), casual derby fans will not turn up for a tournament.

  2. In Spectator supported Sports, we just may find that just winning will not be enough to keep fans coming back for more. Many fans come to see the fast paced action, and the superior athleticism of the Skaters, and the score is secondary. I’m one of those people. I seldom even look at the scoreboard til it is over and done.

    • You are right, skateguy… a football fan I like the 49ers and Raiders, and although they both won yesterday, the 9ers won so ugly that it wasn’t enjoyable.

      One solution to this problem may be in essence to have two Derbys, both fully legitimate, one with rules to make the game more open and fun for the spectators, the other with increasingly complex and technical ones that the skaters who skate for only their amusement and don’t care about what fans think can continue to pursue.

  3. “For the skaters, by the skaters” is fantastic, but when the scales tip too far in that direction without having any consideration of how this looks to idle spectators, future television plans, or even other skaters, you have a hot mess that proves that modern derby is not ready to be taken as seriously as it takes itself.

    Part of the name roller derby includes the word “roll” in it. WFTDA best take that into consideration on maintaining its hard line on no rule changes until May 2012.

    • Amen…..we are not trying to destroy the game by criticizing, but as Tara says so eloquently above, but merely trying to get it back on a path that got it to its present status.

  4. If you look at the basketball game that “Hoosiers” made famous, it’s not nearly as exciting – Milan held on the basketball for several minutes, even though they were down. Yeah, the shot clock is a good thing. It’s my understanding, Jerry, that Leo kept modifying the rules of Roller Derby based on fan feedback?

    This has been something really, really discouraging for me – that modern Roller Derby wants to be treated as a sport, but doesn’t at like a sport, and definitely doesn’t act like a spectator sport. There’s almost contempt for the fans….and fewer fans. We have to find a way to get better, and soon. I hope a rules change to kill slow derby dead Dead DEAD will help.

  5. Sorry, Jerry. Nobody can or would make that kind of promise to you. The 12 teams that make it to the Championships can be counted on to do only one thing: whatever they can to win. They’re not there for your personal satisfaction. They’re not even there to make the one or two thousand people in the audience happy. They’re there to win the Hydra and bragging rights for the next year.

    • Todd, you don’t think I really know that? As I stated, it is because of the rules loophole. But as more fans get angry and fewer fans show up in the long run, something should be done about it. Wouldn’t it be great if sometime in the future there was enough revenue to pay for teams to get to the tournaments and pay for rooms, etc? That can only comes with fans in stands and high TV ratings.

      • My fear for the Sport is that if the attitude of “It’s all for the Players gratification”—then they may find them selves playing to empty houses, which I feel would do the sport a disservice. .

    • Todd,
      I am a skater that will be skating at Championships this year and I absolutely care about what the fans think. I do it for the cheers and the oooohhs and ahhhhsss. I also do want to win and that is what we train so hard for all year. I don’t like slow derby but I do like the mix of all speeds to be strategic. I absolutely hope we can find a way to make everyone happy but to say we don’t care about anything but ourselves is harsh.

  6. I don’t like this talk of the WFTDA changing rules just because a few people don’t like something and have started stamping their feet! Just because there are loop holes doesn’t mean teams have to exploit them, and the loop holes have loop holes that cancel them out, so why should they change their rules?

    I don’t like the “non start” Derby either but just because people are throwing a tantrum doesn’t mean a whole organisation should bow down to them!

  7. As the rat city skater interviewed I would like to point out a few things:
    1: we had exactly 3 jams not start, 6 mins of no play
    2: other sports have similar tactics, taking a knee in football…slow and boring however done all the time and people, lots of people still watch football.
    3: initially the fans booed rat city for going slow, or not going but by 5 mins into the second half with rmrg experiencing the 1st of 4 ejecetions the crowd understood our reasoning and the entire crowd of 1000 was chanting rat city! Rat city!
    4: I am not opposed to action at the first whistle, i love how the action starts in banked track right away everytime…I did start team legit so I could play on a banked track as playing roller Derby is what I love to do.
    5: we play to win…very few people tune into championships as their first exposure to roller Derby….in fact I have only been to two tournaments in the 6 years I have played Derby that had more than 200 paid fans at any given time watching a bout. Playoffs and championships are for us, the skaters to go out on the track and show what they have…sorry fans its not always about your experience, and a good Derby fan loves smart Derby play….when was the last time 4 top tiered skaters from one team got ejected while their opponent had zero ejections? And if you have an answer to that when was the last time a number 6 regional seed was within 10 points of the reigning national champions?

    I have had more emails, pm’s, and text messages saying that it is great to see such smart play in the last two days than I have had saying people were upset……I think slow play intrigues the real sports fans while it turns off the “pervy guys who want to see girls in short skirts hit each other”.

    I am not saying I don’t want to play fast ever as I actually enjoy and fast game also, I just think there is a time and a place for a slow game and that is that.

    • some good points, others not so good……one why assume that anyone who doesn’t like slow play is a perv? most of the comments that have opposed it have been from women (not here, yet).

      taking a knee in football is to stall at end of game or half almost always….not used as a tactic during the he game.

      could the fans have been cheering rat city because Portland is much closer to Seattle ( and therefore more RC fans would be on hand) the Rocky Mountain?

      My point: slow play is boring in a fast paced sport….otherwise why haven’t they tried it in ice hockey? It just isn’t fun to watch, and we are all entitled to our own opinions…..the Nationals last year were great fun to watch….I hope the same this year.

      • You are right not everyone that dislikes the slow game is a perv.

        I know it wasn’t exciting to watch that six mins of Derby….but the rest of the game was actioned packed. And the no game tactic is breakable, all you have to do is skate forward….Portland did it to us the very next day. I think the longest delay of the jammer whistle was 10 seconds the entire game….they just went forward. There are so many ways yo make the jam start it takes two very stubborn teams to not have a jam.

    • 2009…When RMRG was the 10th seed and Finished 2nd! I guess you don’t rely on the “Fan’s” money to get to the Championships. I do agree that winning is what every team should do. Playing within the rules is the only way to play. But when it does show poorly to “your” fans, the subject needs to be addressed. I’m pretty sure the negative reactions are way more than the possitive ones…Just sayin!

    • Amen. The mix of play and the “full contact chess on wheels” is what brings me to the game and makes me want to watch it when all those other “action all the time” (snorts into hand at the thought of baseball and football actual game play time) bore the crap out of me.

      If you want to watch derby that “keeps moving” there’s plenty of it. Let WFTDA alone. This direction of super smart strategy keeps me coming back!

  8. I agree that the jams where no teams move and the Jammers never get released aren’t good for the sport.

    I disagree with making knee jerk changes based on 1 bout. I agree with what the WFTDA are doing by slowing down the changes to the Rules and Beta testing those changes to get the feedback. Given that top teams such as Gotham and Philly are continuously working out new ways to make the rules work to their benefit, Its perfectly feasible to imagine that any changes that are made without being thought out and tested properly would lead to unforeseen loopholes, requiring yet more changes and so on and son on. Someone who has put a lot of thought into possible rule changes is read it, It makes interesting reading

    By changing the rules purely to give the the fans action could end up with modern roller derby turning into the old school fake hits and fakes fights of yesteryear, and to be honest I would rather have the occasional slow jam than go back to that

    • If it were only one game, that would be understandable… was just that the rat city/rmrg game was almost the culmination of the
      continuation of the strategy…..I believe several months ago a video of Gotham and an opponent doing the same thing was circulated, and it this tape of play has become more and more used. No one wants the legitimate game more than I do and there is no logic in saying that the only alternative is going backed to the fake game…..OSDApro and others skate the original rules in a competitive game. The only reason we are even stressing the “slow game” is that it is something that is really affecting the speed, action, and thrill of the game that is already there.

  9. The “first time fan” argument is a bit of a straw man. I can’t see Championships (not Nationals any more) being the first time someone watches roller derby.

    To watch it, they’d have to browse to WFTDA’s web site. A “first time fan” doesn’t know WFTDA exists, so they aren’t likely to browse to their web site to watch it.

    • True…But I do know that long time fans do bring first time fans. I myself did it last year here in Denver. This isn’t something that is a dire situation that needs to be totally removed. There can be happy mediums and I do think that the skaters and the WFTDA do want to hear about it. The crowds were HUGE in Denver for the Western Finals. It was that way all 3 days. The fast paced action was incedable and their attendance has grown leaps and bounds because of it. The only reason I post it because this isn’t the first time I have heard that the “first time fan” doesn’t go to the Championships. Or that it’s “Just” for the skaters. If your teams think that way then you are missing out.

    • I brought three newbies this weekend with me, since Seattle was close enough for them to visit for the day. Two of the three left thinking it was fun but not convinced that they should become “fans” and one was bored out of his mind. I think that says something. Honestly, I was bored several times this weekend (I have been involved in and a fan of roller derby since Rat City’s exhibition season years ago), and I know several people (skaters who came as fans from other NW leagues) who actually walked out. Sometimes it’s the draw of top level play that brings new people to a championship, rather than a home game. But there’s also the hard core fans who lose interest when the game changes SO much that it is no longer fun to watch. Yes, the sport is evolving. That’s fine. I remember when we added outside pack refs because of how fast the sport had become. Now, we rarely need so many because they don’t have to move fast to keep an eye on the outside line. Going back to what Tara said above, this is supposed to be “Roll”er Derby. Not “Stop”per Derby. I just want to love watching it as much as I loved playing and love coaching. Slow derby is fine, but a lot of people think this has gone too far.

  10. There’s something wrong with the game if the only way you can tell if something is supposed to be happening is to look up at the jam clock and notice if the jam clock is counting down or counting up.

  11. No matter how you slice it, when you have a stadium mostly dominated by other WFTDA skaters booing, the ones who weren’t in the vendor area, socializing because they were bored, there’s a problem.

    It wasn’t first time fans. It wasn’t non-skating fans. It wasn’t banked track skaters or fans (except the small number of us who spent the $ to travel there). It wasn’t old school fans.

    It was other WFTDA skaters who were booing. Both teams. It was Trish The Dish (an amazing flat track skater in her own right) holding up a whiteboard that said something like “Slower than Golf”.

    A bit of slow action gives the fans eyes a chance to rest from constant back and forth movement. You get numb from that. It treats them to watching teams give it everything to accelerate when the tactic is finally broken. The jam is already in progress when that happens. But the non-start? That’s just an abomination. It doesn’t serve any higher purpose, than to try to handicap a high powered athletic team.

    I don’t want to see WFTDA flat track become WORD banked track. I like both for different reasons. But I do want to see the WFTDA do whatever it takes to make every game as competitive and exciting as Rocky/Oly games, and I look forward to Rocky/Oly/Gotham games at the Championship. I like watching a game and saying, “THIS IS JUST INSANE!” as opposed to “BOOOORRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNG!”

    • Holy shit, Busta, I agree! It’s funny what you say about sometimes slow is a great contrast when there is great speed……I even equate that to announcing….I used to tell the announcers “don’t scream all the time, use modulation”, and it works in a game also……it’s really the friggin’ non starts that drive most people nuts and cannot be understood by just fans, who we all better get more of.

      • I got that from a long time animation director I worked for in the 90s. He said, “You need the slow to appreciate the fast.”

    • When I was watching the Rocky/Oly game, I couldn’t help but think, “why aren’t all games this much fun?” Everyone wanted to skate forward. People were engaging, not staying back. *Things were happening all the time.*

      I’m very happy that so many people (about one person every five minutes!) have seen my idea for a possible fix to something that is clearly broken. And really, around 60% of the Rocky/Oly game was pretty much what my idea was in action.

      If the skaters liked playing that way, and the fans LOVED watching the game being played that game, what’s the problem with changing the rules in such a way so that the game is naturally played more like that, instead of played in a way that skaters are frustrated with and crowds boo that?

    • Busta, as you said, “It (non-start jams) doesn’t serve any higher purpose, than to try to handicap a high powered athletic team.”

      Let me say first off that I didn’t “enjoy” watching 6 minutes (3 jams) of no skating. As a fan it drives me nuts. However, as someone that has watched derby since 2004, and after much reflection over the last couple of days, I think I “get it”.

      If you are Rat City going up against Rocky Mtn., you have to try to do what you can in order to try to win. While the fans hated it, it was very effective as a way to disrupt Rocky’s game play. As Carmen Getsome pointed out, 4 Rocky Mtn. players got ejected in that game. Now, Rocky Mtn. often plays pretty hot headed, but this tactic of Rat City’s really got under their skin.

      In the end Rat City, the number 6 seed, lost to Rocky Mtn., the reigning WFTDA champion, by only ten points. If that isn’t a moral victory I don’t know what is.

      Same situation with the first time this non-start jam happened earlier this year with Gotham VS Philly. Philly was down to Gotham, as they usually are. It’s just a tactic. It’s strategy. I think it worked better for Rat than for Philly, although both teams lost to their higher-seeded rival.

      The other thing I don’t understand is why Rocky Mtn. was pissing and moaning on the track endlessly as it was happening. If you don’t like it then take a knee and start the jam! It takes two stubborn teams to NOT skate.

      While I CERTAINLY hope that this type of play doesn’t become something we as fans are forced to sit through on a regular basis, I can put up with it once in a while, when it is just a small piece of a smart team’s overall strategy.

      • “The other thing I don’t understand is why Rocky Mtn. was pissing and moaning on the track endlessly as it was happening. If you don’t like it then take a knee and start the jam! It takes two stubborn teams to NOT skate.” Yea, RMRG were frustrated by the non-start. But when they are ahead, there’s no reason for them to fight it or take a knee, since in the long run it helps them out. If neither team is scoring, then the team who is ahead is still ahead at the end of the jam. It isn’t in their best interest. It reminds me of in football when the winning team is just trying to run down the clock and make sure the other team doesn’t get another chance to score. In that respect, I can understand RMRG’s point of view better than Rat. I understand why Rat did it, they got under Rocky’s skin better than most teams can. But really, what did they get out of it?

  12. Whenever anyone talks about making the game exciting for fans, people love to conflate that with “well – so we’ll put on a circus act like the old derby????”

    No. We mean a fast-paced sport, not roller-chess.

    And as far as WFTDA not making rules changes until whenever, or not making interim changes?

    If the organization were dynamic – and it should be, given the responsiveness possible with the leadership structure – we’d have rules changes out immediately to cover for these silly loopholes. Would there be more? Yep. But keep making little changes until it speeds up again.

    It’s all good and well for skaters to focus on winning, etc, but until Bobby Fischer or Milton Bradley decide to pay skater salaries, they’d better think about selling goddamn tickets before they think they can dedicate their efforts to playing 100% strategy.

  13. I believe Rocky and Oly agreed before their final that they would abstain from Noller Derby shenanigans…Hey, at least there were no forfeits!

  14. What to say, what to say..
    I am a fan of the faster paced game, but am also a fan of tricky strategy. Quite honestly i’m too new to Derby to really understand what the point of the non starting jams are. I would get it at the end of a game if you were just running out the clock on a jammer that is likely to come flying out and take your lead. But other than that.. *shrug* . As for slow play moves. I think it really depends, if entire games are nothing but tiptoeing around, then yeah *yawn* . But i think there are times where it is good strategy. All things have their place. and not all fans are equal.
    I don’t know very many people that end up being first time derby fans, that haven’t gone with someone who has already been to a game. First time fans generally have no idea what is going on anyway regardless of slow/fast play. and most of the game is spent asking what they are doing and why and what just happened. Seasoned fans start to understand the plays, what the teams are trying to accomplish and i doubt are going to bail on the sport all together b/c there were a few boring ass games.

    As for the rules, it’s smart to wait to make any changes. they can’t just start changing stuff mid season b/c someone whined about something. All options have to be weighed out before doing anything that could have that big of an impact.

  15. It’s not about someone whining, it’s about being able to promote and market and sell a sport to fans and attract sponsors so you can pay the bills. And if you can make a change with that in mind, then you should.

    If you think fans are okay with the slow, “strategic” stuff, talk to any other sports marketer out there, do a study, or just keep things boring. Fans will vote with their dollars.

    It’s terrific that roller derby has created an awesome place for women to prove themselves as athletes, grow as people, and create a sport that can be accessed and respected by a large audience.

    But if we tip over too much to “for the skater,” then we’d better hope the skaters are independently wealthy. When they start gluing the toilet seats down and hawking Kotex in the stands, they’d better have some spondilucks handy.

    • Fans I know don’t mind the slow game as long as there’s action (actual physical contact, and forward movement even if it’s only 3 mph), and the game goes into a speed mode when the teams break the bottleneck (someone in the goat pen).

      Watching on video is very different from being there live. Video hasn’t quite gotten to the point yet when they know to go in tight where the action is likely to break out. When the camera is in tight, things don’t look as slow anymore.

      It’s very hard to stay in tight when the camera is reversing direction every 6 seconds or so and track the action, and the director has to know the game inside and out to instruct the camera people and know exactly which one to ready in what way. The Derby Dolls have the best video coverage of any league, but they have a laundry list of things they want to improve, including better use of instant replay. They’re still figuring out the best way to shoot derby.

      If you don’t go to games live now, any input is kind of invalid. Live is the only place the game is at now. The video coverage is not yet professional enough to capture the real feel of the real life, wide screen, super high “real life resolution” of a video game, and what looks slow on TV now, doesn’t look slow in real life. Stopped doesn’t look the same either, because you don’t have the full context of the game visible to you. And it isn’t just point a camera and you get it.

      This is not like other sports, because it has simultaneous offense and defense and the equivalent of two balls in play. The start line holding the clock in flat track is an abomination that must be eliminated or more strategies to defeat it than taking a knee must be reliably allowed so it’s a non-factor.

      In the modern derby banked track game, there’s a rear pack line and 3 second default whistle for the jammers, so any start line strategies have 3 seconds maximum to manifest themselves, and the blockers can’t go back from the “pivot line” more than 6 feet. The slow game is allowed, but under no circumstances can a player come to a complete stop of go in a clockwise path on the track.

  16. All this hubbub from the past weekend made me want to take a time machine back to the first time there was an intentional walk in baseball. I bet the players and fans were bewildered by it. Maybe they even booed. And they probably predicted how such an unsportsmanlike strategy will ruin the game.

    • If you wanna compare it you should do it apples to apples…..It would be like the pitcher just tossing it up and down (to himself) because he’s afraid the hitter will hit a homerun!!!!!

    • The intentional walk gives the other team an advantage: A free base-runner. The risk of using this strategy is that should the next batter get a hit or a home run, then the team using the intentional walk strategy just gave a free run to the other team. So there’s a risk involved in doing it.

      An intentional walk is not unsportsmanlike, because it’s in the rules and the batting team has a fair opportunity to make the other team pay for their strategy by executing in a superior manner.

      Choosing to stop or stall or delay at the jammer line DOES NOT give the other team an advantage of any kind whatsoever. In fact, it actually puts the other team at a positional disadvantage. Rat City would have not been able to hang with Rocky Mountain that long had they not done what they did. And it was a zero-risk strategy.

      What Rat City did is not unsportsmanlike, either, because it’s in the rules. But the other team does NOT have a fair and equal opportunity to make the other team pay for their strategy, because there’s no way for the other team (Rocky in this case) can execute in a superior manner. How can you out-slow an opponent if they’re stopped on the track?

      So yeah, Rat City’s strategy was the correct one to do and was completely allowable by the rules. But it’s an unfair strategy to the other team. That means the rules are broken, because rules to any legitimate sport should be fair to both teams, at all times, in any circumstances.

  17. I can only speak for myself, but as a fan, I want to see action. And while I can only speak for myself, I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of fans want to see action. I understand that the skaters are out there to win, but they have to win by skating within the rules. The WFTDA needs to realize that if they don’t care about the fans, the fans will stop caring about them. They need to change the rules to give the fans the entertainment experience the fans feel they deserve for their money. Otherwise, the fans will stop being fans.

  18. I dunno, maybe i don’t watch as many games as i should. but it seems that people are going on about this ruining derby as if every single jam, for every single game, by every single team, is being played that way. Maybe someone who wants the WFTDA to change rules based on this should rustle up some stats as to how often fan crushing slow plays happen. A few games out of an entire tournament, doesn’t represent the sport as a whole. I get that it’s the best teams doing it, so it’s more likely to get more exposure during finals at this point, but still. A few boring games is not going drive fans away in droves. If they were all like that, well yeah maybe.

  19. I wonder if the problem is where we escalate from major penalties to expulsion and suspension? If blocking out of play were merely a major penalty, it might be worth knocking the hell out of a jammer to stop a slow derby run – yeah, one blocker would eat a major, but you’d stop a jammer – and if you could force her to do a track cut, a blocker-for-jammer trade on penalties is well worth it, especially if it gets your jammer OUT of the box.

    BUT, since the conscious, intentional blocking out of play is an expulsion, you can’t do that. Maybe the standard for expulsion needs to be set higher – not only intentional, but also egregious – reserving expulsion only for fighting, and the stuff that’s going to hurt people.

    Alternately, the standard for expulsion could be lowered. If consciously and intentionally committing an illegal block is grounds for expulsion, why isn’t consciously and intentionally destroying the pack? Consistency in penalties = goodbye, slow derby.

  20. Something to think about.. i hope that prior discussion to the RMRG vs OLY they didnt “decide” to play fast.. or start the jams.. because to me you may as well discuss who will win and who will lose.. Rat showed up and played our game. RMRG beat us by only ten points.. we then played RCR whom we did not Discuss prior who would take a knee.. they just decided that there would be no no-jams… as RMRG could have if it was so upsetting.

    Maybe i can talk to the next team i play and ask them to only hit to the outside, and we will only hit in.. and see what happens..

  21. Look, I love derby. I’ve only played for a year, and with a brand spanking new league in SW Florida.

    As a fellow skater, I do not appreciate slow derby. Yes, I understand the basic strategy and how it helped Rat City, but, as an athlete who plays to be challenged and grow as a skater, who has a great love for the sport (and to see the growth of that in others!), slow derby sucks. It’s detrimental to all of those things.

    Roller derby is a fairly “new” sport to many people. I feel like a jackass when I invite people to come watch a bout with me, or watch me play, give them a crash course in the rules and how the game is played… then, to have a team go out there and play slow derby consistently is disheartening, frustrating, and most of all confusing to fans. Then I have to explain the loophole that allows that to occur. Post explanation, I have never had anyone tell me, “oh, my bad, it actually is a brilliant idea. I should have enjoyed it more.”

    So rat city closed the score gap a little, dare I say it, they didn’t do that by playing roller derby!
    (I certainly don’t mean to offend RC, because many leagues do the same thing, but since it’s their bout we’re discussing…. )

    Occupy WFTDA.

  22. One point I think needs making: there is no “loophole” in the rules.

    The rules are structured in a way that makes slow and stopped play frequently advantageous during a bout.

    I know it was inadvertent, but the current WFTDA rules are designed to create a slow and stopped game. There are several pieces to this design. Yes, the rules should be changed to make faster play more advantageous and keep the game a viable, fan-funded enterprise. Keep in mind that it’s hard to anticipate what strategies will develop from rule changes and “mistakes” are bound to happen before a balance is found. This is what makes the 2-year hard timeline on rule changes from WFTDA so inexplicable.

  23. Here is my idea of slow play that enhances the game: when skilled pack players (like Gotham, RMRG, Oly, etc) are able to keep the jammers in (while all are moving) and suddenly a jammer breaks out (or doesn’t)… get your action, slow play and fast play as the game was intended!

  24. I will immediately seize your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me understand in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

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