Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Heartless Heathers, Your Feedback

Apparently, in the wake of the Heathers' well-deserved victory over GnR on April 18, some feel that employing rule-based strategies in that game may have adversely affected the fan base and the game, and even the future of roller derby.

If you've got any feedback to give RCR about the Heathers, the game on April 18th, or bouts in general, please click the comment link*and express yourself.

Be respectful to all within RCR, if you would be so kind. Respectful people are generally more persuasive, and all deserve respect. But by all means, let RCR know of your regard for this Heartless Heathers team that we revere.

*http://rosecityrollers.com/contactrosecityrollers.php From there, select "Comments" on the "To" drop down menu. If you're writing a novel, hit return twice in between paragraphs, otherwise it is hard to read.


the_mad_nader said...

This is just my $0.02 to any Cadavers who are inclined to submit comments to the RCR website.

First off, you are fans and by all means should feel free to express your feelings, comments, etc with the league that YOU support with your $$$.

But, I have a sneaking suspicion (cynic alert) that OTHER teams may have...solicited...encouraged...whatever their "fans" to complain about game play that some may have felt was bending the rules, if not completely against the rules.

It is clear to me, to all the fans I've spoken with who understand the game, to the Heathers, and to the refs I've chatted with since that bout, that there was absolutely NO bending of the rules. The game was called to the letter of the current WFTDA rules, and strategies were rationally employed (by BOTH teams) intended to give their team an advantage...the Heathers just did a better job of it.

My concern though, is that this NOT be reduced to a case of who has the most fans, or which team can rally the most support.

The RULES are the RULES. If both teams played within the rules, that SHOULD be the end of discussion. If either team did not then they should (and were) penalized.

Alright, that's about it. By all means, if you enjoyed the bout, if you were impressed by the intelligent game play and hard fought chess match that you see when two good teams battle it out on the track, then go ahead and submit a comment to RCR.

If you DO submit a comment, I think it would be instructive to note that, despite the strategic slowing of the pack speed (employed by BOTH teams) the total combined score of the HH-GnR bout was 33 points higher than that of the BB-HR bout. The score was also closer, resulting in a much more competitive bout than what we saw last week.

JeLLyPiG said...

Ironically, I was thinking today how well the GnR began to adapt and change up their game, based on how the competition was playing. This will be the cornerstone of my GnR/BB pre bout diatribe in May.

As usual Naders comments are right on. Until WoofDuh changes the rules, the rule are the rules.

If it's about rallying people over sh!t you don't like...I'm not a fan of Smack's skating backwards, facing the pack. Should I start a hate group? NO! It's legal which means I live with it...

George said...

Maybe I'm missing something here, or maybe I'm not reading between the lines well enough (lord knows that I can be slow on the uptake at times). But what in the world are you talking about? Please be more demonstrative, if for nobody else's sake than mine. Can you be more specific as to what on earth you're talking about?

The Coroner said...

See Nader and JeLLyPiG's comments, George.

DancingScott said...

Here's $0.02 of opinion from DancingScott. This post brings up an interesting discussion, although I sense the possibility of discussions getting touchy.

Here's my suggestion: Rather than think of things in terms of teams, think in terms of specific strategies - and by extension, the rules that allow or disallow those strategies.

We have seen some examples (by more than one team) of the strategies of slowing and stopping play, and even skating in reverse direction. We can ask ourselves, do such a strategies effect the sport in a positive or negative way?

So I think to myself: "Self...what are the qualities you like about derby?" And I come up with things like: Excitement, Skill, Sportsmanship (SportsWOMANship?), Camraderie, Teamwork, Fun (don't forget the fun!), etc. Then I ask, do the strategies in question contribute or detract from those qualities.

In other words, what's best in the long-term for this incredible and rapidly-evolving sport.

Thus concludes $0.02 of opinion from DancingScott.

JeLLyPiG said...

Dancing Scott...you Boogie machine.

I agree with your thought process. In my little note to the RCR, I centered my comments on the rule set and players challenging the status quo, not teams.

The Rose City Rollers skate WFTDA rules, so if no rules are broken? No rules are broken.

If we as fans or they as skaters have issues with rules...that would be a WFTDA matter. Talk to them about rule changes but don't bitch to the league for some sort of "local" change. Let the governing body govern or start you own rogue league.

Renegade Roller Derby leagues seem to have very few rules...we could align with them. LOL!

Frankly, the strategy could be used by others, against WoJ, come tourny time. A strategy that works and is legal, is bound to be used by someone.

This all may in fact, be much ado about nothing with WoofDuh 4.0.

Released quietly overnight. They do not seem to address clockwise skating but they do address breaking the pack. This will change strategies.

So rules can and do change. Now we have some new loop holes to worry about, LOL!

intendeduse said...

Well, I was sitting on the floor right by the starting pivot position, so I saw a lot of nonsense going on.

I think that the refs did a great job calling minor fouls. That being said, however, they missed a gajillion major fouls and what not.

I saw GNR throw elbow after elbow (sloppily and accidentally, I think - I don't wanna name names here) right after the double whistle was blown.

Worst of all, I saw girls on both GNR and the HH call the jam THREE times without ref recognition. The most egregious of these was with November pain, who as lead jammer landed in my friend's lap hitting her hips... when the refs didn't call it, she got back up and scored another fifteen or so points. Totally bogus.

the_mad_nader said...

Intendeduse, you're certainly not the first to get frustrated by fouls the refs don't see. I think that due to the speed of the game, and the fact that BOTH teams are playing Offense and Defense at the SAME time makes officiating a particularly challenging task.

What that means for me is that I bite back my displeasure if it seems like both teams are getting away with stuff equally. To help that the jam refs alternate which team they call from period to period (e.g. if Ref A is calling it tight, he'll be calling both teams at some point in the game).

As to the specific point you mentioned about jams being called off - the rules are explicit in that a jam has NOT been called off until the ref whistles it dead, regardless of whether or not the jammer has signaled that she wants to call it off. Therefore, if jammers are making the signal and the refs don't whistle it dead, they can just keep skating (and scoring).

Now, obviously that sucks that if the refs were failing to recognize the lead jammer calling off the jam, but if as you say both teams got away with it I guess it was just an unintentional error by the refs, and both teams had to deal with it.

I'll admit though that I didn't notice this happening either in person or on the video (which I've watched in it's entirety just once). Not saying it didn't happen, but just that I never noticed it (and obviously neither did the refs).