I saw my first tournament games of the season! Bay Area Derby girls beat Rose City (my old home town!) for the 3rd spot in the region (qualifying for the championships), and Oly edged Denver for the championship……so the Westerns will be sending these teams to Atlanta. Two great games, packed house on edge, and great, great skating from start to finish. And I love Craneway, the beautiful on the Bay Pavilion in Richmond that the BAD girls use as home court. (OK, so it needs shades in the daytime, but what a great place)
I have such great personal feelings for the Dolls, as Chuck Morris brought me to Denver to do interviews and TV for the first game at First Bank Center in May 2010. I also met the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls that trip and have many friends on the squad (Hi, PJ). And at the First Bank trip I met Robin Bond and David Wruck and they told me they were making a documentary about Roller Derby and would I talk to them. Gee, I think so, and of course that is why “Derby Baby” is such a great film. And the Dolls invited me to a before party and I still often think about it.
Now the Oly squad I met at the Western Regionals in Sacramento and got to know my soul mate Brandy Rettig (she makes such faces!), and I loved their speed and tactics, which I thought were the best in Modern Derby. And RMRG went with them skate for skate and lost that night but won the Championship in Chicago (and I was there, of course). And of course BAD is one of my home teams in the Bay Area. They will all do well in Atlanta.
So I was torn, but I was impartial. And I know they both will be in Atlanta, where I will be also through the kindness of Doug Martin at Roll Models uniforms and Brown Paper Tickets (more about them at another time, my new employers!).
These are the times that all of WFTDA leagues shoot for. And when there are playoffs in any sport, the skaters, families and friends, and most importantly, fans, feel the tension in every game.
And I know that the leagues that have made it this far feel their season is a success, even if the regionals are all that there is. Of course, the Commissioner has another one of his famous ideas.
What if the regionals were restricted to 8 teams each (with possibility two different invited teams in each from outside the US), and teams ranked lower go to a Division 1 regional and championship, similar to what football does and English soccer, with their premier leagues and other leagues.
The Division 1 tournament would increase interest in the lower teams who are demolished at the Regionals and give more access to more leagues. And perhaps the first and second place teams qualify for entry into next years A League tournament. And 40 additional teams get to qualify!
Just an idea, but it is sure spreading the wealth and brings glory to more leagues. good idea?