sportsmanship, please


The fun of Roller Derby for many of you is the ability to score points.  Unfortunately, I truly believe it is what leads to what many consider bad sportsmanship.

You can say all you want that this is the way the game should be played; I don’t.  The general rule in all athletics is not to humiliate the other team.  You see it in football when coaches of teams that are far out in front have their players keep the ball on the ground and even purposely will simple take a knee when they get near the goal line to not pile on.  And you see that strategy in men’s and women’s basketball, when there is no attempt to shoot a basket when they have huge leads.

I guess this is what I dislike most about the power jams; the continuous 5-point scoring against hapless opponents that have onlookers wondering where fair play has gone.

You can argue with me all you want that that is the nature of the sport; then I would say it shouldn’t be.  This is not about fixing or controlling a game;  it is simply showing you respect your opponent and will not humiliate them.  I don’t care how much the losing team says they understand and go out and party afterwards.

Please think about it.  You teach fair play to children; this aspect of Roller Derby adds nothing to the sport.

 

 

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87 comments on “sportsmanship, please

  1. While I agree with you that blow outs are never much fun to watch or skate in, I think they occur in large part because bouts are scheduled between two teams that are so unevenly matched there is no other possible outcome. If leagues with matched skill sets played against each other more often, I think this phenomenon would disappear

    • it would, except the present way rankings are set, teams that are ranked apparently want to play against teams they can beat easily……I am merely stating that when this occurs, there is no need to pile on…..that strategy is certainly in play in other sports.

      it would be ideal if teams did not have to worry about rankings and simply scheduled more games against all comers and everyone would get to play more for their dollars invested, and it would make for a much more entertaining game for the spectators…….

      • Poor assumption there on rankings.

        Teams set their schedules by when their venue is available. Then they go looking for who’s available to play them. If the opposing teams they ought to be playing are busy playing at home or away, sometimes they’ve got to pick the best team they can get.

        And then there’s the money situation. Leagues in cities that are expensive to travel to and do business in (think NYC and San Francisco) generally can’t afford to pay as much of their opponents’ expenses. They’re often depending on opponents REALLY WANTING to play them.

        My league’s got some sanctioned games arranged against teams that can’t possibly beat them. They’ve got others arranged against teams they don’t have a prayer of beating. Next year we’ll try and book more of them a bit earlier and set more of our dates on a less-popular weekend of the month (this season our venue stuck us with a particularly busy derby weekend most months).

        Most leagues begin booking their schedules in September of the year before. As such, that’s the best time to have a shot at getting the teams you want to play. You can get teams who aren’t playing at home (or committed to an all-weekend event) a lot easier then.

        Of course, key skaters get injured, pregnant, transfer, etc between now and then. Going the other way, I’m sure Arizona Roller Derby never thought when they were booking their schedule that they’d wind up having a key jammer and jammer transfer to their team from Oly Rollers.

      • Poobah, you are defending what is going on by utilizing what is going on……I think that all must change.

  2. But Jerry – since we’re definitely talking WFTDA or WFTDA rules teams here, wasn’t it established a while back that the skaters skate for themselves first and foremost? I’ve read quotes to that effect over and over again. If they are not skating for the enjoyment of the fans then they why should they care? I believe the jammers’ attitude is that they will not hold back and will score as many points as necessary.

    Also, aren’t the scores somehow tied in with standings? If so, then why would anyone want to hold back?

    I think the entire thing needs to be revamped but I’m preaching to the choir when I tell you that.

    When the day comes that WFTDA gets rid of the minors, skates within the same tier levels, calls penalties immediately, and starts skating with the fans enjoyment in mind, then you will see a vast improvement to the sport.

    It can be done. They have the numbers. Will it evolve? I surely hope so.

    • Ok I’m gonna be honest, I read to this point and gave up. Jerry, I don’t understand what you think should change to make things “better”? Stop power jams? The scoring team didn’t make the other jammer get the penalty that got her thrown in the box, so why should the team that didn’t end up in the box be punished, or not still try their hardest and their best. I personally hate it when the other team, in Any sport, takes it easy on the losing team so they don’t humiliate them.I’d rather play my hardest against a team that’s also playing their hardest. then to play against a team who’s going easy on me. That is more humiliating. And I would Never say that girls always playing their hardest is un-sportsman like. If my team is ahead and the other teams jammer gets put in the box, I am sure as hell not going to go out there and not give my all in that power jam. I’m here to play derby, and that is what I’m going to do. There will always be one team better then the rest, that is the point, otherwise we may as well just be roller skating.
      The other problem is that you cant start worrying more about the people watching the bout enjoying themselves then about playing the game. If I wanted to entertain people I would have become an actress, and if the fans didn’t want to see a game, to see who wins, they they should go to a play. I’m a Cubs fan, so my team rarely wins, and it Sucks when they loose 12-0, but I am still there, I am still rooting on my team and when it’s all over I would Never blame the other team for doing their jobs and getting 12 runs! They know going in they are playing the Cubs, its almost a guaranteed win, but you Never know what is going to happen, and maybe this is the game where they bring up the new kid from the farm and he hits like Sosa, throws like Johnson, and runs like Jr. Any game can turn on a dime so to ever not play your best and give the other team an advantage is never the way to go.Just ask the Az Diamondbacks after last season when they played the cubs with their rookies and lost the series 3-1.
      There will always be people out there who just want to humiliate others, but to blame their behavior on anything but them is stupid. I can promise you that if you made every bout evenly played and got rid of power jams, you would Still see people trying to humiliate others. Until people take responsibility for their actions this will always be a problem. Don’t blame the rules blame the people.

    • Donald, Thats the exact attitude that will hold this sport back. Im a ref a skating ref, yet i feel no inclution in this “for the skater by the skater”(personaly not a big fan of it as a slogan either). Now maybe thats just me and the league I skate with. Derby has the potential to be a very big sport, but for that to happen things will need to change.

  3. why must it be a “very big sport.” why can’t roller derby find contentment being the “unique cultural phenomenon” that was envisioned and persists in leagues like TXRD (who envisioned and ignited the derby revival)? i am but a dedicated fan and sponsor of derby, specifically TXRD and have watched little flat track, WFTDA derby, but what i have seen is by far less enjoyable than the derby style that incorporates elements of entertainment. derby as pure sport is boring from the fans perspective. and “power jams” against jammerless opponents are the most boring component of all…

    • Never said it had to. I said the potential is there. There are enough styles and factions of derby that even IF it gets a larger the option to play in the league of your choice will be there. But if the WFTDA wants to be at the forefront then things do need to change. Any way as usual just my opinion.

  4. I have never seen a score run up in OSDA or MADE. it’s understood that if you are going to win you let your newer players get more jam time, let blockers jam and play a less aggressive game. We also try to match up teams better and letting the pivot take off and jam really helps keep games closer.

    • that has nothing to do with rules set, it’s a culture and scale issue. when you’ve got a few teams playing a set of rules it’s very different than 100’s of teams finding weak points in the rules and fighting for rankings that can put them in national tournaments.

      that does NOT mean that a well managed team won’t do exactly what you’re talking about, if they’re comfortable with their position, but it IS intentionally playing down to the other team, which imho, is actually poor sportsmanship as you’re in effect toying with them.

      • Can someone PLEASE point me in the direction of what other sports there are where “playing down” and or not running up scores is considered poor sportsmanship?

        Please give me some examples, some blogs, some articles, something, anything?!?!?! Please?!?!?! Roller derby can’t be the only sport where it’s considered bad form to run up scores and play at 100% regardless of score. It just can’t be.

  5. It doesn’t feel good when the score is 503-3, no question. One of the benefits for the losing team in any sport, however, when the winning team plays its very best, is that you have a true goal for future matches, you can document your progress as a team over time and can feel proud when you see incremental change.

    • When a team outscores you by 500 points it ain’t a great learning experience because they are running through you like scissors through paper……I think this is propaganda perpetrated to make the losers somehow feel better and the winners justified that they are doing a good deed. I would prefer to see a mercy rule (as in softball and amateur baseball) that if you are a certain amount of points ahead in the last quarter of the game, it is ended.

      • Perhaps Old Capitol City was lying to everyone when they talked about how happy they were to get beaten by Minnesota by almost 300 points in their first-ever WFTDA game? They played the #2 team in the North Central and did better than they had imagined. They brought dozens of fans who cheered every single one of those points. The thirty-five hundred fans that packed the Roy Wilkins Auditorium were instant fans of these upstarts from Iowa.

        Windy City beat Minnesota by 200 points in 2008, and two years later they were #1 and #2 in the region.

        A team coming back from a double-digit deficit by capitalizing on a power jam is one of the most exciting spectacles in the sport. Why anyone would want to get rid of that in favor of one-and-dones is beyond me.

  6. Snore. This topic was hashed and rehashed to death online in the weeks following the World Cup. Most of us learned a very interesting lesson from that. This whole “don’t run up the score” mentality is mostly limited to American males. Women don’t play like that, and men outside North America don’t play like that. So your concept of “sportsMANship” doesn’t really apply to the core of athletes who play the sport today or to those who make up the next generation.

    • since the majority of the world’s leagues is in the US, it does apply to the core of athletes who play the sport, and so far the response to this post have indicated a majority agree with the principles expressed.

      • Yes, the majority of players are in the US. No, the majority of players are not males (and will not be for a long time). Here’s the discussion I referred to earlier. It was an eye-opener for me, too! It never occurred to me that there are such different perspectives of “sportsmanship” and “running up the score” between men and women, and between Americans and everyone else.

  7. I never have, and never will see going for as many points as possible, as bad sportsmanship. The goal when playing roller derby is to score as many points in every jam, whether it be a power jam or not, as possible, the only goal in football is to get to the endzone. You can take a knee once at the very end of a game, just like you can call the last jam instead of piling on an extra 10-25 points if it’s a power jam, but other than that, you play to win, anything else is disrespectful of your opponent.
    A good example of this was the Minnesota Rollergirls vs. Old Capitol City Roller Girls (Iowa City) game last month. OCCRG was literally, the newest WFTDA team, having been admitted about a month prior to the bout, and MNRG is an original WFTDA team and a power. Both teams played to the best of their ability, and the score was pretty lopsided. That said, the women from Iowa City played valiantly, and would have NEVER asked Minnesota to ease up.

    • you prove my point, Stunt…..why were these two teams even playing each other and why do the rules permit such lopsided scoring opportunities……you think the Japanese in Hiroshima had a great learning experience from having been atom bombed? Oh yes, will this make modern Derby a great spectator attraction? Football allows you to score one touchdown on a drive and not to keep going over the goal line over and over. Limit the scoring on a jam to a grand slam or cut the jam time to 60 seconds. You are defending what I and others feel is the problem!

      • ….and others DON’T see it as a problem. Who is right? Nobody is right, they’re just different opinions.

        Old Capitol City was playing MNRG because our original opponent dropped out. They filled in at the last minute, and they were happy to do it.

      • I agree that running up the score is bad sportsmanship. However, if the derby community has generally agreed that they don’t feel it’s bad sportsmanship, then who are we to argue?

        I completely disagree with your stance on power jams, though. Limiting it to one scoring pass or limiting a jam to 60 seconds maybe makes a blowout smaller, points-wise, but in reality it doesn’t change a blowout into anything else. A blowout is a blowout. A blowout is boring whether you try to artificially limit it or not. A 40 point blowout in basketball is just as boring as a 400 point blowout in derby. Does it really matter that it’s 360 points closer on the scoreboard? No.

        And, let’s be realistic. Should teams try to schedule other teams that are at the same competitive level? Absolutely. Sometimes that just isn’t possible, though. And, come on, blowouts happen in EVERY sport ALL THE TIME. Even in the NFL, the NBA, etc. Leagues that in pretty much every way form their rules in order to keep a perfectly level playing field and those leagues still have a hard time avoiding blowouts sometimes. Blowouts are going to happen, that’s the nature of sports, get over it. Unless derby starts faking it again, blowouts can’t be avoided.

      • I guess my answer is that someone took an average of all scores during a week, and the difference between the winners and losers was over 150 points.

      • One week? What a big sample size. Sorry to be sarcastic but I don’t know how else to respond to such an inconsequential statistic.

        You can’t have 700+ teams that all have completely different coaching, training methods, skating skills, etc and expect a high percentage of the games to be close. That’s really just kind of insane to think is possible, no matter what sport.

        The top WFTDA leagues might as well be pro teams. The bottom WFTDA leagues might as well be beer league softball teams. You think if an MLB team played a beer league softball team, it wouldn’t be a colossal blowout of epic proportions? Modern derby is 10 years old. Give it some time. Geez. You think football was built in a decade? It took them decades just to add the forward pass.

    • Stunt,

      Dude, you have no idea how immature and wrong such a vision is, for a few reasons…

      You and others who feel this way have NO idea how damaging such an attitude is to the perception of derby by those outside the immediate derby world. The perception of derby by television and sports entertainment professionals is that it is worthy of nothing more than sideshow interest (and yes, I have been and am working with people in the industry on the airing and promotion of roller derby). When I started looking into this, I had a producer tell me flat out that 200 point spreads in a single point scoring sport means the sport is “stupid.” Thankfully, I don’t have to overcome thier perception of 500 point blowouts, only because it’s taken the better part of the year to convince her and other professionals that this style of game isn’t the only one played out there, and actually, thanks to so many blowouts, we’re actively working on deals that will hopefully make alternative styles nationally presented.

      Second, the idea that one has to run up scores in order to be “playing hard” is just stupid. There’s no reason a superior team can’t get thier 5 points and call the jam regardless of where the bout is time-wise. A team that’s up by a hundred or so at half time doesn’t need to pile on lap after lap of powerjam points to be “playing hard.” In fact, the idea that a jammer running endless laps around a stopped pack is “hard” derby is stupid. “Hard” derby involves blocking and skating and jammers having to earn thier points. “Hard” derby is not figure skating your way around a goated blocker as many times as you can in 2 minutes.

      Your notion that the goal of roller derby is to “..score as many points in every jam, … as possible..” speaks to an amazing immaturity in understanding what competitive sports are all about. Perhaps one day you and others will understand, but believe it or not the intent of a competitive sport is to just simply score MORE points that your opponent, not as many as you can. If you and others can’t understand that difference then that’s fine as I have no intention of trying to convince you otherwise, as trying to do so would be like trying to talk to a 5-year old who has done something wrong by reading to them the musings on ethics by Socrates…

      Finally, it is so damn dissapointing to read opinions such as your and talk to people that feel the same way who insist blowouts are a good thing. Go ahead a run a simple Google search on “coach fired for blowout” or something like that and you’ll see story after story of the negative perception of blowouts. Go do some academic research on the psychology of blowouts, and you’ll see that there is a negative effect on both the winners and losers.

      In fact, the ONLY reason I honestly think people defend blowouts is that by doing so they feel they defend their particular style of playing the game. Blowouts suck. Constant blowouts point to inherent flaws in the way the game is played. 500 point blowouts point to a dysfunctional style of game. The supporters of blowouts – those that say “Hey, it was a great learning experience for the losers!” – are nothing more then naive Cool-Aide drinkers who would say anything is ok so long as it didn’t tarnish thier game’s image.

      Get real.

      • thank you, no one……everyone thinks I want old Roller Derby because of my family and background, but I keep saying I just want to see a better more competitive game, and whatever it takes to make that happen is better (not worse!) for the players and spectators……please contact me on my profile page to talk further!

      • I agree with everything you say except the point about being a dysfunctional game because of the points spreads. It’s not the rules that are dysfunctional, it’s the spread of talent. Team USA could be considered the dream team of derby. Guess what? Do you think if Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, etc. played teams who had only been playing basketball for a year, the score wouldn’t be like 1,000-2? But, basketball seems to have its rules pretty well figured out, right? It’s not stupid, is it?

        There is just too wide of a disparity between the top of the derby world and even the middle of the derby world (not to mention the bottom). This just needs time to work itself out and for ideas and fundamentals to spread to everyone and even out the talent.

      • The shot clock speeds the game up and increases the likelihood of a blowout. So, I guess I don’t get what you’re trying to say?

  8. I have to say that as a player – I would be humiliated if the other team didn’t do their best to kick my ass to the best of their ability. Having them “go easy” or a mercy end to the game tells me that no matter how hard I try, there is no point in trying to win against them. Having a mercy rule and ending the game early denies me skate time against people I can learn from.

    Now, if they want to put their less experienced players on the roster so it’s a more even bout – sure. Or, what I have seen a few times: on the last jam – the winning team will throw in a blocker that has always wanted to jam but never had the chance and it makes a super fun end to the game.

    Jerry, I respect you greatly, but I take offense to your Atom Bomb reference. There is a huge difference between a sport that is for fun (no matter how seriously we take it) and people being killed.

    • Daz, many people take offense at things I bring up and say and yes, the atom bomb was over the top.(Remember, I was alive at that time and you have no idea how our world was changed).

      But I don’t think you being humiliated at not being crushed is the right expression either

      I love you all, and I hope you realize what I feel my function is in Roller Derby.

  9. Agree. Many times we have been on the losing end of a blowout. I understand that teams want to win, but when there is five or ten minutes left in the second half an you’re winning by 300 points maybe you could at least put in your second string players.

    A few years ago we held a small tournament where our team ended up in the final versus Team Unicorn of the Mad Rollin Dolls. In the second half they were beating us by 200 points. They put in their newer girls (who were still much better than us), and the rest of the game actually ended up more like a learning scrimmage with a lot of talking and giving tips while still playing. At that point most of the crowd was gone, but the ones who stayed didn’t even realize what was going on. It still seemed like regular game play to them only less depressing because we weren’t being killed as badly.

    • Beefy, I like and respect that team…..by the way, any leagues out there want to schedule a game or scrimmage with the Jerry Seltzer modern rules?

  10. I agree completely. If you are winning by 300 points you make your blockers jam, use your weakest or newest players and let them enjoy the time on the track and get the experience like they do in soccer, you try out new strategies, you make your players play 100% clean: no penalties. Or opposite, you intentionally take some penalties to try out different strategies when you are outnumbered. I don’t agree that you should go easy, just do something different that will challenge you and make the game fun to watch and fun to play.

  11. Personally.. I hate blow outs. I don’t find it unsportsmanlike. I just find it boring as F&^K. I love derby.. LOVE DERBY.. I hate blow outs. I will turn off the computer or go do something else if the bout is a blow out.

  12. I’m not sure you understand how difficult it can be to book bouts for a season. My league is about to play a team that is ranked 10 spots below us in our region. They were definitely not our first choice, but we couldn’t get any other leagues to come play us on the date we had scheduled, and couldn’t change the date. Even though the team we’re playing is probably not expecting to win, they’re playing us anyway so they can get the experience (and a sanctioned bout) under their belt, and also to help us out because we really needed an opponent.

    WFTDA leagues have to play a certain number of sanctioned bouts within their own region to count toward rankings. Not every league has the funds to travel very far, so sometimes you’re limited to the leagues within driving distance, who may or may not be evenly matched with your team. That’s just the way it works right now because everyone is paying to play.

    I agree that blowouts aren’t fun to watch, I’m just trying to help explain why they’re so common right now. As our sport and WFTDA grow and evolve, they will become less common. I’m sure of it!

    • what if you could book any team regardless of their affiliation or lack thereof? still be part of the grand WFTDA picture, but have a regional league of teams nearby so that your games would have meaning, a league standing, and the skaters would get to skate more? and you might make more money…

      right, none of this is possible, correct? bad matchups so they can get sanctioned? Rankings? what about the skaters who don’t skate often enough and the audience who has to endure and you wonder why there is no growth…..

      do you see the circle jerk this is: we can’t because we can’t……LA Derby Dolls have not been ranked the past years and they are probably the most successful league out there, skating quite a few games. Oh well, I will keep beating my head against the wall.

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that we could only choose a WFTDA team to play. We contacted all kinds of nearby leagues to play our A or B team (home team season is the second half of the year so having the home teams play was not an option), it was just a very hard date to fill for some reason. The team that was able to come play us just happened to be another WFTDA league. We do our best to book bouts with teams that are at or around our same level, but that’s just not always possible.

        There’s also the fact that leagues usually book their bouts like a year in advance (we’re already preparing to do our 2013 schedule), so you book your travel team bouts based on the team you have now. But then you might lose or gain some great players, and now the bouts you booked a year ago might not be as evenly matched as they were when they were booked. That has also happened to my league.

        I love you Jerry, I just think that sometimes your experiences from when roller derby was a professional sport cause you to have a lack of understanding about what we’re currently capable of as a DIY sport. I don’t think anyone thinks that it’s perfect how it is right now, but it’s going to take time to get it to where we all want it to be. And trust me when I say we (WFTDA) are working on it!

  13. are rankings also based on how many points you score on beating up a team? I really hope not….did I misinterpret that?

    • Well, I can only speak on WFTDA rankings, but currently they are done by membership vote. Each league ranks the eligible leagues in their own region, and the votes are compiled to form the rankings. Leagues take many factors into consideration when deciding how to rank the leagues in their region, such as who they played and how well they did compared to other teams.

    • thank you,Wonderpance…..the problem is I have been there and seen it, but I never compare that game with the truly competitive game your are skating today. just maybe all the discussion that is generated in these posts will make people think and help things go faster (hell, I won’t be 80 till June)…..Remember, I have no affiliation and watch the game as a spectator…

      • I definitely understand wanting things to change faster, it’s just not that easy, unfortunately. With WFTDA, first you have to propose something, and then all the leagues have to talk about it amongst themselves and voice their concerns, and then the proposal might be tweaked and proposed again, then the whole process repeats until we have a final proposal that we can actually vote on, and then it may or may not pass. With some issues, this process might only take a few months (or less, in rare cases), but larger issues can be in discussion for a year or two before a decision is ever made. When we’re talking about a major change like revising our regional/rankings structure, it’s not something that can be taken lightly, and it has to be what everyone wants before it can become a reality, and that can take a lot of time to achieve. This is how it works when you have the people who are running the organization all over the country (and now the world, since we have leagues in Europe now), and can mostly only communicate over the internet.

        But I do think discussions like this are important, so that members know how people feel when they decide how to vote.

  14. Hello Everyone….

    I have read all of the above posts and comments. There are relative points, good points and some that are not too good.

    I KNOW, that there can be a difference made in any game where one team is vastly superior to another team. The difference is in smart and creative coaching and strategy.

    I have viewed so many games and almost all of them ‘ copy-cat’ someone else. There are many strategies available for teams to use. A successful..new strategy will take any superior team ….off their game….Yes, they may adjust to it…but..until they do…it will provide better competetive feelings to the outclassed team. Most IMPORTANT..it will keep the FANS from leaving as they will appreciate seeing it. COACHING and strategy will help alleviate hugh blowouts. I am not taking sides. I state a proven fact that….it can be done….John Hall

  15. This argument is aggravating. I find it disrespectful to expect players not to do their best at all times. Or penalize them because they do. It’s foolishness.
    Do blowouts suck? Yes. Is it unsportsmanlike to play your position to the best of your ability? NO!

    I do not support a mercy rule in any fashion. If you can’t play with the big dogs, don’t play them. Or if you are the team getting slaughtered.. Forfeit! Just because the losing team is losing badly, is no reason to penalize the winning team for kicking ass.
    Most leagues around are what 2-3 yeas old. When they get better, the matchups will as well. So the point spreads won’t be so bad. The issue (if you wanna focus only on US WFTDA) is that there are half a dozen killer teams, then the rest are just trying to learn, and advance..which they will, Everyone wants everything to be perfect RIGHT NOW!! it’s going to take a bit of time to get most teams up to high competition levels. It’s the matchups that need to be done better, not trying to guilt trip the winners into backing off.

    Although from a training perspective, i think i good coach will change up the lines, to allow skaters to try different positions that they are not used to. But if your shittiest jammer is still better than the other teams best players..O_o . not much to be done about it. they should get their chance to be their best in that position.

    If the jammer keep lapping a goat, well the rest of the team should help the goat. “stop trying so hard, you are already winning” really.. foolishness

    • no better trainer than John Hall…..no arguments to be won today and the best part of dealing with Derby is it does not get personal.

      And I would only say,Dilmented, is that you shouldn’t be playing those teams anyway. Part of the problem is the inequality of skilled players……your better leagues are the ones who can field about 4 teams of equal ability which makes for better matches and the fans can appreciate the play and league standings…then if a travel team comes in they beat up on, it isn’t so bad because they know the other teams in the league.

      Just cutting jam time to 75 seconds would help, honestly.

      • The thing is there are a few issues with derby the way it currently is. Not vary many people disagree with that. The differences comes with how to handle those issues.
        For me the mercy rule is an extension of the participation ribbon in schools.
        Everyone is soo hung up on feelings. That a lot of schools give a participation ribbon to all kids that play a game or sport or field day events. No on wins, yet everyone is a winner. And of course i get why it was started. No one likes to be the loser. No parent likes to deal with an upset kid who didn’t win. But how does this teach kids to give it their all. It sends a message of “it’s ok to half ass it, you’ll get the same reward as someone who gives it all they have”. The real world doesn’t work like that, you have to fight for everything you want. It’s setting them up fail, and adding to this issue kids have with unrealistic sense of entitlement that i see everywhere. Survival of the fittest, until someone’s feelings get hurt.
        There are soo many things that needs to change to make it better to play and to watch. But forcing ppl to not try their best, shouldn’t be one of them.

  16. Jerry, keep the discussion and debate coming. I think the only way we will keep our sport growing and thriving is to be evaluating it, arguing about it and so on. Discussion isn’t negative – it forces folks to think about their opinions. Sometimes they differ, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep talking!

    • Where is the like button on this 😉
      i agree, learning everyone’s point of view, good or bad. forces people to look at a bigger picture and generally eventually sparks the beginnings of a solution.
      People can argue, debate, have differing points of view. And as long as people don’t get their panties in a twist and start taking/ making things personal. Tis ALL GOOD.

  17. I’ve seen my fair share of blowouts, in fact in the last year I haen’t seen a game that is a blowout.
    I’m getting bored with watching the same jammers kicking butt over and over again. You’ve got a 200 point lead, why not give your blockers a go at jamming, you never know who will shine through if given a shot.
    If your losing by 200 points why not try new stratergies that may not work but you’ve never really tested, it could suprise everyone and change your game forever.
    I know its repeating what people have said above, but it’s the only way to evolve the sport.

    • Hi Preacher,
      I sympathize with you in regards to the boring aspects of a blowout. I read your words ‘ the only way’, etc…. I also believe that there are many other ways to salvage the interest in a one sided event and to give the outclassed team a possible chance of changing things…For example….a team can’t score…if their jammer can’t complete the initial pass ( get out of the pack ). this is known as ‘ hanging up the jammer’. It is basically a defensive tactic. However, it doesn’t appear to be known to any of the teams. There are many other ways to ‘ change’ the status of blowout games. However, training in defense is a key factor in doing so.

      I admire all that comment on the subject. As long as everyone keeps an ‘ open mind’ to posts, comments , etc, perhaps we can all effect some changes. take care and Thanks for your opinion….John Hall

  18. I know this isn’t going to be popular with everyone, but I don’t care, I think we need to differentiate between blowouts and farces.

    I was listening to the radio the other day, and they were talking about the NJ Nets getting blown out in a 30 point loss. Others above have talked about 12-0 baseball scores being blow outs. A football team that’s outscored 10-to-1 (say, 70 to 10) is a blown out. A soccer game that ends 5-0 is a blowout. A 7-0 hockey game is a blowout. Notice a trend here? All these blow outs are scores of 5X or 10X, maybe even 12 X or 15X. A blow out in derby should be a 130-70 score, maybe 150-100, 140-60 etc etc. These are indeed blow out games, and while they are sorta’ boring, it’s going to happen. The way to minimize these are simply to match teams up better. Unfortunately, with relatively few teams to play mismatches are going to happen, and blowouts will happen.

    When teams are outscored by 100 points (ack), 200 points (yikes), 300 points (crap!), 400 points (good lord), and even 500 friggen’ points (holy hell!) we’re not talking blow out anymore, we’re talking a friggen’ farce! To think anything else is lying to yourself, and the sad, and I do mean sad, part about lying to yourself is that when you do it enough, you start to believe your own lies.

    Fans were thrilled with a 300 point win? Think of how thrilled they would have been with a 10 point spread. 1 week of 52 isn’t a good sample size? Take statistics 101 and you’ll find that to be ten-fold an acceptable sample size. Love those double digit last minute come-back wins on power jams? By all means, please enlighten us on that plethora of bouts that’s been happening in. Think it’s not disrespectful to go all out regardless of the score? Tell that to a baseball player that steals a base when their team is up by a bunch and the next guy up gets drilled with a fastball. Tell that to the football player that gets his legs taken out when his team runs one in instead of kicking the field goal on 4th down when they’re up a ton. Tell that to the high school and college coaches who get fired and the schools that get ridiculed when scores are run up. REAL sports put on the brakes when the game is won and in control, farces think it’s good to have 500 point “learning experiences”. Think a basketball dream team would crush woeful opponents by 1,000 points? Look up the scores of the 92’ original Olympic basketball dream team that played pathetic teams. They only won by an average margin of 1.3-1 or so.

    The good news is there’s such an amazingly simple solution to farce bouts – have two jammers out there to start every jam and make your pivots able to break without a panty pass. When you do this, guess what happens? You always have teams COMPETING for points on every jam, not running up scores on endless power jam after power jam. This doesn’t allow lesser teams to become “better”, it just allows the bout to become one of COMPETING for points all the time, which is what a sport is supposed to be about.

    Obviously, there’s a lot of people out there that love these farce bouts, and will justify their position no matter how delusional their reasoning. Again, lie to yourself enough and it becomes truth. Lie enough and the meek sheep that follow believe it as well. Strong words? Yes. But I believe that these endless farce bouts will do more damage to this game that we love more so than any alligator pits ever could.

    They need to stop.

      • As I understand it (and if I’ve been misinformed on this, please feel free to correct me), the great folks that started this revival didn’t have much to go on regarding formal rules for the game and so relied in great part on old film clips. In the days of the legitimate game, the jammers were so good that while it did happen, it was the exception when the pivot broke and became the active jammer. When the game evolved into fixed jams, the action and story lines revolved around the jammers, so having pivots able to break didn’t really factor into the story lines so it was a rare event if at all (and I think this is when the “panty pass” came into play. As such, it was perfectly reasonable to these folks to consider the jammer to be the be all and end all as far as scoring.

        Over the years, the game has denigrated into one of penalty after penalty, and it is not uncommon to see games where there seems to be more people out on penalties than on the track. Couple that with the position of jammer being in the box and a pivot that’s essentially just another blocker with a fancy helmet cover, and you have a style of game that’s ripe for better teams exploiting their advantage resulting in farces.

        The very simple solution is indeed a return to the rules as you mention. USARS recognized this when developing rules that would allow for a style of game that wouldn’t be mocked and ridiculed, other organizations have been skating this way for years with the result being no farces, exciting jams as teams compete for points, skaters that love being able to play in competitive games, and PAYING fans that get to enjoy teams competing for points throughout a game and not walking out at halftime out of boredom.

        Unfortunately, it seems that so many with a voice in such matters are perfectly content to act like a mother duck walking her chicks across a sewer grate, and so many that are forced to follow do so blindly nodding their heads in agreement. No one cares if everyone that follows falls into the abyss of farce and ridicule so long as the lies are believed – skaters don’t mind farces, real fans appreciate power jams, it’s wrong to put on the brakes during blowouts, having pivots break makes bad teams better, for the skaters by the skaters when you’re charging people money to come see you, 20 point last minute comebacks happen all the time and are great, if you don’t like power jams then jammers simply need to avoid penalties better etc etc etc.

      • “it is not uncommon to see games where there seems to be more people out on penalties than on the track.” Considering that’s only possible for a max 10 seconds and rarely happens, that’s completely untrue. At least keep your criticisms factual.

        Again, how is USARS the solution? What USARS leagues are getting better attendance than WFTDA leagues?

    • Wait, so a blowout in other sports can be 15:1 but a blowout in derby can’t even be 2:1? Excuse me? A 15:1 blowout in derby would be 450-30. Something you consider a farce, but that’s okay in baseball? That’s not really fair, is it? Not to mention that MLB is 30 teams compiled of the best players in the world whereas derby is like 1,000 leagues with the best players spread out among hundreds of them.

      In what world is 1 an acceptable sample size? Is 1 game an acceptable sample size? Okay, I choose the Madison/Arch Rival game from last weekend. I guess every derby game is a 10-point thriller.

      Wait a minute? So MADE/OSDA rules will bring the fans through the doors in droves, right? Because, fans just want close games. Why is it that all the attendance records are being set under WFTDA/WORD rules then? If it’s so much better to have both teams scoring at all times, why hasn’t the free market taken over yet and put WFTDA in the wastebasket and allowed MADE to take over the derby world?

      Sport is about competing for points “all the time”? How is it that the terms offense and defense even exist then? The point of defense is about stopping the other team from scoring points not scoring points for your team. Derby is really the only sport that I know of where teams can score points at the same time. So, saying that is necessary 100% of the time is completely illogical when there’s no other sport (that I know of) that even does it 1% of the time.

      I agree with you that farce bouts need to stop. I thought the World Cup was very premature and I only watched maybe 20 minutes of it. However, the problem is not with the rules or anything else you’re arguing, the problem is with the spread of team quality from top to bottom and that will only be solved with time and the money to allow teams to travel whenever they want so matchups can be better controlled.

      • No, Chuck, MADE/OSDA rules won’t guarantee a full house. What it will do is provide the fans (WHO ARE PAYING TO GET IN) a great game (which I prefer over the term bout)! I’ve seen nail-biters that went back and forth and ended up tied with overtime required or games that ended up see-sawing back and forth with the victors winning by 1 or 2 pts. The biggest blowouts I’ve seen in OSDA or MADE games were 25-35 point spreads.

        In OSDA/MADE – the emphasis is on all parts of the game. All skaters start on one whistle. The jammers don’t have to be 10 feet or so behind the pack. Penalties are called and the skaters goes in to the box, immediately. Two max in the box at one time. Jams are 90 seconds, not 2 minutes. You don’t see ridiculous power-jams with 20-30 points scored because, one – the jams are shorter and two – the blockers are blocking!

        I have seen WFTDA rules “bouts” and wasn’t impressed and that was with a nationally high ranked team.

        Give me a legit, defensive game based closely on Derby of old ANYTIME over WFTDA.

        These are my opinions. You don’t have to agree with any of them.

        Jersey Joe

      • Oh Chuck, Chuck, Chuck…

        I appreciate your enthusiasm, I really do, and I honestly debated whether or not to even reply to you as doing so is sort of like trying to debate the existence of God between atheists and people of faith. The problem from my perspective is folks like yourself have made up your mind that the most common rule set is the best, and you become absolutely closed to any other option. But for shits and giggles, I figured what the heck…

        I’ll keep my criticisms as factual as I can, and when I express an opinion, I’ll be sure to say so. I’ve seen many games where the penalty box is a revolving door of skaters. Numerous power jams with 5 skating against 2 or 3 for seemingly the whole game. You want stats on games like these? There are people out there who have em’, and a lot of other derby blogs talk about the constant penalties. Go check out Windyman.net for one.

        How is USARS the solution? Well, USARS looked at the style of game offered by WFTDA and put forth an alternative that’s based on decades of game play prior to the flat track era and a half dozen years or so of flat track bouts played by leagues other than WFTDA. This style has a proven track record of presenting bouts that provide a competitive, entertaining style of game throughout the entire 60 minutes. Basing the “quality” of a style on attendance is nothing more than spurious correlation. In fact, if I was involved with one of those WFTDA teams pulling in a couple of thousand people per game (which kudos to them!) I’d be asking myself why I’m not drawing 10,000 or 15,000 per game like derby used to! The answer is because that many people are not going to regularly go to see a farce! I’d be willing to bet an amazing thing would happen if everyone played more competitive games, and that would be attendance would INCREASE! But no, continue to believe your own lies and propaganda that nothing needs to change cause’ we’re the biggest right now.

        Wanna talk comparative scores and competing some more? Why the heck not. Show me another sport accepted as a “real” sport where scores that are 100X and 500X are “accepted” as ok. Baseball is a low scoring sport where a 5X score would be considered a blowout (10-2, 14-7). The other day in spring training the Red sox played a college team. Woeful mismatch even in spring training, and the Sox won by 30, and that’s as bad as baseball gets. Basketball is probably the closest analogy to derby as far as expected points go, as teams accumulate points throughout the competition. A 1.5-to-1 spread in basketball is considered a lopsided blowout, and you’re arguing that anything above that in derby is ok is a perfect example of how the small-minded will keep derby from being anything more than a niche curiosity. If that’s what you want, fine.

        As to competition, lordy are you naïve. The only major sport where both teams can’t score at any given time is baseball. In all other sports, the team “on defense” can indeed score at any time by taking control of the ball or puck. If I really need to explain interceptions / fumbles / steals / shorthanded goals / turnovers etc etc then you’re really not worth my time. Derby seems to think it’s baseball, and when we throw a jammer in the box only one team can score

        You ask why hasn’t the free market taken over yet and … allowed MADE to take over the world? Well, I’m betting the MADE folks would like to kiss you and then cut this out and save it. Let’s see if you can figure out why.

        1 week is an acceptable sample size when one would be making a high-level analysis of 52 weeks of competition. 1 of 52 if one was analyzing 52 individual data points would indeed not be good. However, the “1” represent not “1” sample, but rather 1 group of samples – i.e. the games played that week. If the games played that week were a representative sample of games, one could draw a reasonable (perhaps not statistically confident to the normal 95-ish confidence range) conclusion.

        The problem is with the rules – period. Rules that allow speed skating jammers to rack up 20 and 30 point jams is NOT exciting, competitive roller derby. Rules that allow for 500 point wins is NOT exciting, competitive roller derby. You can call it exciting and competitive roller derby, but it’s not, and all the lies you tell yourself won’t change that fact.

        Have a nice day, brother, and enjoy that fantasy world you live in.

      • Jersey Joe, what’s aesthetically pleasing to you isn’t the same for me. I don’t like MADE bouts as much as WFTDA bouts and apparently the majority of people agree since the majority of people play by WFTDA rules and go watch WFTDA bouts.

        If fans truly had that big of an issue with all these blowouts that people in here are trying to say are always happening, then why isn’t MADE or OSDA more popular than it is?

        I don’t like blowouts either but I think keeping the game artificially close makes every game more boring than a standard WFTDA game.

      • Chuck – give them time. I think MADE is up to nearly 40 leagues now. They’ve been around for less than 2 full years.

        Some people don’t even know there’s anything other than WFTDA out there. They have everyone covering them.

        I’ve sent in OSDA news to some of the well known websites that cover derby and they didn’t print it.

        But the word is getting out there and the skaters are loving the game.

        Jersey Joe

      • Mr. Happy,

        You don’t know me (obviously) if you think I’m closed to anything but WFTDA derby. I’ve been to MADE bouts and MRDA bouts and I’ll go to banked track bouts as soon as the banked track league in my city starts holding events. I haven’t been to OSDA but that’s only because there isn’t a league anywhere near me. I prefer WFTDA and that’s why I defend it. I also criticize the hell out of the organization and get bashed on DNN all the time for it. So, don’t assume I’m some brain-washed lemming because I’m not and automatically assuming that just undercuts your argument.

        The penalty box is often a revolving door. And, can easily be 3-2, however stating, it’s common that the majority of skaters are in the box and not on the track, is completely and totally false. They are doing a study of penalties on Queen of the Rink right now (they’ve only released 2 of the articles) but they actually have how often blockers are in the box on there, you should check it out. Six or more blockers are on the track the majority of the time (do you want to know the stats for 3?). I won’t argue that there are too many penalties under WFTDA rules (that’s why I’m dying for the no minors ruleset which will revolutionize the game), however, you’re mischaracterizing the game.

        I love how, on one hand, it’s unfair to compare attendance among leagues that are currently playing but it’s totally fair to compare attendance between the current incarnation of roller derby and the derby of decades ago. Makes total sense. Oh, except the derby of yesteryear was played in a COMPLETELY different environment. I’m definitely not an expert on the history of derby so Jerry should probably chime in here. But, there were very few teams, they were on television, people had to go outside of their homes for entertainment for the most part, and it took like 30 years before they got 19,000 through the doors. We’re 10 years into this thing, people can entertain themselves at home with all sorts of things, there are 500 cable channels, the internet, home theaters, etc.. Derby also had a professional organization behind it with marketing and everything else you need to get butts in seats. You can’t compare WFTDA to what roller derby used to be. It just doesn’t make sense. Comparing WFTDA’s success to MADE’s, yeah, that’s pretty fair. And, what other measure is there to determine fan enjoyment than by measuring attendance?

        There has NEVER been a roller derby game that was a 500x difference in scores. You need to stop exaggerating. Again. The worst I know about is 435x (Team USA over Scotland) and that is BY FAR AND AWAY NOT EVEN CLOSE the worst that I’ve ever seen. There’s no other game I know of that even approaches 435x. Remember, I was not a supporter of the World Cup. And, again that was the dream team playing a beer league basketball team who learned the game of basketball 2 years ago.

        A game like that has never happened in WFTDA sanctioned play. The biggest point spread I know of was Texas/Oklahoma in 2009. Texas won by 56x Oklahoma’s score.

        You want to compare the Red Sox playing a college team to derby? That’s a more even matchup than some of the games that get set up. Should those games get set up? No. But, that’s not the point if you’re saying the problem is with the rules.

        I’m naive about sports? Hahahahaha. I’ve worked professionally in the sports media for 10 years now. I know sports. The only sport that a team can truly score on defense is football. Defense switches to offense as soon as the possession is changed. Do you think that the defense scores a touchdown on more than 1% of plays? No. So, again, less than 1%. How often does a basketball team score without crossing midcourt? How often does a hockey team score from behind the red line? How often does a soccer team score from midfield? That’s scoring on defense and it very very very rarely happens.

        1 week is not a good sample size. Do I get to choose the week or do you? I bet I can choose a week that will make derby look pretty competitive and you can choose a week that can make it look really lopsided. I don’t even get the point of doing one week. It would take less than an hour to calculate the average over a month or two.

        I’ll be nice and won’t mention who lives in a fantasy world. It’s pretty clear who can’t write a single paragraph without any false information in it.

      • Jersey Joe, WFTDA absolutely has an advantage over MADE when it comes to time. However, OSDA has been around for quite awhile. If those games were truly better, people would have noticed by now.

        Also, DNN and the rest of the derby media does not affect attendance AT ALL. You really think more than a handful of non-skaters walking through the door at a derby event have any clue what Derby News Network is? No. Marketing and entertainment value is what gets butts in seats at this point in derby’s evolution. DNN has no effect.

      • Since I already have a database full of scores, this only took me a few minutes to set up.

        The average scoring margin in WFTDA sanctioned games since the beginning of 2010 has been 87.78. So far in 2012, the average margin is 86.1. Not great by any means but not even close to 150.

  19. I have posted a 1970 rules rules video on my page on facebook….at least look at it. This obviously is a game for the spectators……jams 1 minute, jammers from the rear, 2 jammers, pivot could jam after jammers go out, penalties simplified…..All spectators and I want is continuous action wherever possible….these rules may not be the answer for today’s game, but note, there is not an excess of showmanship here, just skating.

  20. Over 27 years of competitive sports team activity speaking here: Beating the crap out of someone just because you can is in poor taste and shows you don’t understand a damn thing about sportsmanship. The End.

    • Absolutely. I think it will come down, though, whether WFTDA changes anything with the rules or not. Right now, there just isn’t a good base of fundamentals for new/bad leagues to draw from to at least field a competitive team. As knowledge and information spreads, the lower floor of WFTDA will rise and the really bad scoring margins will lessen.

      It also seems in the past year that the teams in the #4-15 range have really caught up to the top 3. The margin at championships in 2011 was 60.58 whereas in 2010 it was 76.67. Also, the number of triple digit blowouts dropped from 5 to 2. That’s a pretty large drop which could point to the top teams hitting a plateau in terms of team development and everyone else catching up.

      If there really is a plateau in terms of how good an amateur team drawing talent from one city can be (which makes sense) then it shouldn’t be too long before the top 40 catches up to the top 15 and then the top 60 catches up to the top 40, etc.

  21. Jerry (and others),

    I can’t stand NASCAR and I hate soccer even more. However, there’s tens of millions of people that live love and breath NASCAR and billions that adore soccer. I won’t ever say those people are wrong, it’s just not my thing. Same holds true how i think of roller derby. I don’t prefer the WFTDA style of game but obviously thousands of others do, so to them I say have fun and enjoy.

    If you find 100+ wins exciting then stop reading now. I don’t want to change your mind anymore than I would ever tell someone to stop watching NASCAR. If more competitive games are your thing or you want to know how to make derby games more competitive for everyone, then read on.

    I love skating MADE for a bunch of reasons, but one of them is that the style of game makes for very exciting games throughout the whole night in part by simply having a couple of things in the rules that WFTDA does not have.

    First, every jam starts with two jammers. If a jammer gets a penalty, he or she goes to the penalty chairs, but on the next jam his or her team starts with a jammer out there and the penalized skater comes out as a blocker when the penalty is up.

    Second, pivots can break as active jammer without a panty pass if the other team’s jammer breaks the pack and the pivot’s jammer is hung up.

    Every jam therefore has skaters fighting for points, and the jams wind up being 2-0, 3-2, 4-0 jams. Some people hate this style and if you’re one of the people who hate 90-second jams that are 3-3, 4-2, 2-1 etc you will indeed hate this style of play.

    If you think you might like skating in games where it’s a constant fight for points then I’d suggest you check out MADE. It’s not for everyone, and for those it’s not for that is not wrong. It’s just different.

    Those of us that have been playing this style of game love it, love the constant action, love playing in front of fans that are pumped about the action each and every jam. I love that we have to skate hard each and every jam, that we have to constantly fight to control the pack, that I’ve never played in a game where fans are leaving at half-time because the game is long decided, or never boo us because we’re standing around on the track.

    This style of game is NOT for everyone, and if it’s not for you, I don’t consider you wrong. For those of us that do skate MADE, we’re VERY happy doing so and would have it no other way – in part because we know every game is going to be exciting for the full 60 minutes.

      • I’ve heard the argument for 60-second jams, and remember watching them a lot on TV played that way (yeah, I’m that old and yeah, I’m already on Derby Over 40 on Facebook so don’t ask! lol). The flat track is a slower game than banked track owing to simple physics, and it does take longer than 60 seconds for a good jam in flat track to play out.

        90-seconds or 120-seconds doesn’t seem like it would make a difference to me so long as the two teams were fighting for points the whole time. MADE plays on a larger track than WFTDA, so the 90-seconds has seemed to work really good in allowing jams to set up and play to one scoring pass, sometimes two. The 2 minute jams lose thier luster to me when there’s only one jammer out there and he or she is skating around in circles virtually uncontested. Like I said though, some people love that type of game. I don’t, so play another style.

  22. The “problem” is not either with the disparity between teams in a young sport or flaws in the rules. It is both.

    The skill disparities will fix themselves naturally and the competitive levels of WFTDA teams have been equalizing quickly. Just look at the top 10-30 ranked teams over the last 2-3 years to see how much back and forth is starting to occur.

    The rules are a different matter. Not only does the 1 minute power jam allow for huge point swings that dramatically magnify even slight differences in the skill levels of competing teams, but it does two things that are even worse from a spectators perspective. I say spectators instead of fans because I have seen many instances of VERY loud booing and mass exodus’ from venues where big 5 games were being played with no starting/no skating strategies. The booers and leavers were nearly all other tournament skaters, support staff, friends and families.

    1) During power jams the pack is usually at a dead stop. There is no indication of “..women of attitude, athleticism and passion to play a hard-hitting sport of speed and skill.” or whatever your local league’s mission statement is. In what other sport do you win by standing still? Why would you want to?

    2) The biggest power jams point swings happen when the team with the jammer in the box also has 2 blockers in the box. This is often as much a matter of random timing (4th minors) as it is having anything directly to do with skills, strategy and athleticism. Why would anyone want to watch a sport where the biggest point swings sometimes have more to do with random timing than they have to do with the competitive abilities of the teams involved?

    I myself have had far too many disappointments watching closely matched teams at the highest levels get down to the last several minutes and then have a series of penalties, sometimes caused by penalties from opponents pushing them down or into their other teammates, take any real possibility of a close finish evaporate.

    the disappointment is that large because the number of games that make it to the last several minutes and are still close enough to be up in the air is so few.

  23. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. There’s what appears to be a very simple, elegant solution that would solve the power jam imbalances without requiring any other rule changes nor otherwise impacting the game, as far as I can foresee. This is not my idea, but that of a randomly brilliant friend of mine:

    When a jammer is sent to the box she remains there for 1 minute or less, according to the current WFTDA rules
    -or-
    she is released back into play immediately upon having a jammer lap NOTT (ghost) point score on her by the other jammer.

    Think about it. Stopped packs go away, for the most part. Huge point swings go away if the teams aren’t hugely mismatched. Random timing of penalties no longer means you’ll automatically be down by 20-50 points from where you were 3-4 minutes ago.

    Is there anyone out there who DOESN’T like this idea? I’m not trying to be challenging or argumentative. Is there something I may be missing that would have other impact(s) on the game that might not be wanted?

  24. humiliating a team by running up scores etc is considered bad form in football and basketball, to just name two. In both sports, coaches often substitute players or have players play out of position. In football, since the coaches call the plays, they will purposely stay on the ground and not throw passes and if it is near the end of the game and they are near the goal line, they will have the quarterback “take a Knee’ to end the play rather than try and score. In basketball, the coach will have the players hold the ball as long as possible and will usually not have them take a shot at the end of the game.

    Humiliating the other team is bad form, whether you think they are ok with it or not!

  25. I just heard that a Gotham team beat a Long Island team 600 plus points to about 60, but because of the current deranged rating system, they would lose stature because they should have beaten them worse….I am sure the audience was totally enthralled…..maybe this is the time to let the newer skaters skate, and cut back on 70 point power jams or whatever…..this is such an example of bad sportsmanship (“oh, Long Island learned a lot and loved it”) and a perversion of the game. what the hell is going on?

    • As a fan of Roller Derby, I would have walked out of the game and never went back. Period. These fans don’t know any different. That has to be the case because, otherwise, there would be a mass exodus. Something I’ve been praying for!

      Jersey Joe

    • I agree that Gotham should have held back at some point (maybe they did?).

      BUT they certainly aren’t going to drop in the WFTDA rankings because of this game. They aren’t going to drop in the WFTDA rankings until they lose and those are the only rankings Gotham should care about.

      AND I’m pretty sure it was a private game so there weren’t any fans to walk out to begin with. They had the foresight to see that it would be an unwatchable blowout. Why they couldn’t just do that in a scrimmage, I don’t know, since they’re both playing enough games to make playoffs. Maybe the drive from Long Island to Brooklyn was too long to make if it wasn’t going to be sanctioned?

      • i go right back to “play the game to the best of your ability.. always”
        Doing that does not make you a bad sportsperson
        The blame for these types of blowouts are in the hands of people booking these games. If dominant teams would refrain from booking games with undeniably inferior teams, and newbie/ less experienced teams would stop seeking out games with titan teams.. this would not be such an issues. Players should not have the added pressure of “am i a horrible person because i got a grand slam.. yada yada, they should only have to worry about playing their hardest and keepin it legal

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