Sunday, April 19, 2009

HH v. Guns Open Post Mortem

This Pic from George:

A few initial obs from last night:

- Very saddened by Sump Pump's injuries. Cadavers will help her in every known way.

- Surreal night from the first jam. An evening of confusion. Is this how the game is evolving? Packs driving backwards? Refs losing control? All praise to our excellent refs, but last night was beyond nuts. What de faw?

- G'n'R: a formidable team, with stunning players like November Pain, Blood Clottia, Viva Vendetta, name your favorite. They were soundly beaten.

- Heathers outsmarted and outlasted their opponents, flying elbows notwithstanding. Izabell Ringer had a 32-point jam.

Izabell Ringer had a 32-point jam.

George snapped this photo at the outset of that roll:


the_mad_nader said...

Wow, well that was a CRAZY bout wasn't it?

I made many of the same observations as the Coroner:

+Sump's injury was horrible to watch; it happened pretty much right in front of me and she looked to be in serious pain. I know the team and the Cadavers will pull together to help in any and every way possible

+We ARE witnessing an evolution of the sport. I could go on and on about this (perhaps in a later blog post?) - but what I'll say is the refs called the game to the letter of the current iteration of WFTDA rules. They Heathers have learned to exploit the rules to their advantage...but this isn't the first time we've seen this. GnR foreshadowed the "split pack" exploit in their victory over the High Rollers earlier this season; on a number of occasions WoJ came to a complete stop on the track in their victory over Rat City. So, while the Heathers may have taken this rule exploit about as far as it can be taken (skating in reverse), the principle behind the strategy has been hinted at before.

+I was a little...confused by some of the lineups implemented by both teams, especially in the second half. Armchair quarterbacking and all, I would have loved (and expected) to see a little more of the seasoned defensive skaters for the Heathers on the track to protect a lead. Did you notice Vominatrix was skating with the team? If you blinked you might have missed it. Likewise, GnR seemed to have some strange combos on the floor - when you have a jammer that needs help attacking the back of the pack that's not the best time to put your solid frontline blockers in there.

Overall though, I think we are seeing a resurgent GnR team; every bit as good (if not better) than their 2006 squad.

But, of course the Heathers are the Heathers - you gotta skate your A+ game, and hope they make mistakes, to even get yourself in a position to beat them. No doubt in my mind they'll be returning to the Championship bout for the fourth consecutive season.

As of right now GnR has got to be the favorite to challenge them there, but I want to see next weeks bout to get a better read on the proud Betties and dangerous High Rollers.

Unknown said...

First I'd like to say I am super sad about Sump. Thanks Swag for your help getting up a paypal (soon) for donations to her medical bills. Sump had a great game and it just sucks that she got hurt. It is a contact sport, it's just unfortunate.

I'd like to give a shoutout to Scratcher who played an amazing game last night. She got lead 100% of the time and put something like 50pts (jpd) on the board in 9 jams. She also rocked it as a blocker.

The heathers played well as a team and executed a great game. No rules were broken, bent or manipulated. We played the game per the rules and yeah it got crazy at times ... lots of people in the box on both teams.

Back in the day being up by 30pts was a comfortable margin, now... that can go away in a single jam.

The rules have changed and evolved over the past 4 years and we have to continue to evolve with them.


The Coroner said...

Scratcher killed last night! I was a douchebag not to mention her in the topline post!

Noz said...

And I was a douchebag for not telling you you were a douchebag for pulling such a douche bag move.


the_mad_nader said...

I'll join the chorus singing the praises of Scratcher last night. No doubt about it, one of the smartest jammers in the league. Getting lead = great; getting it 100% of the time = phenomenal. Every time she entered the pack on her initial pass, I could see her methodically (and cleanly) working her way through, and she knew exactly when to skate defensively (as a jammer) and become the 6th blocker. Magnificent!

I agree with Ringer: no rules were broken/bent by the team when they implemented their pack control, stopping, reversing, etc. Again, other teams have done it (perhaps not as effectively), and everybody is playing by the same set of rules - rather than whine about it people should appreciate the fact that the skaters are actually paying attention to the nuances of the rules. It's really no different than passing the cap, or the rolling start - under certain circumstances it can be effective.

Besides, it's not like there aren't risks involved with this strategy. Players who stop or reverse quickly become out of play, thus can't engage opponents without picking up a penalty.

It's true that the rules change, strategies evolve, and derby constantly is being refined...just like with any sport (2-pt conversions in the NFL, penalty shootouts in the NHL, an extra free throw for fouls on three-pointers in the NBA).

A smart team adapts, and as the Coroner has noted elsewhere on this blog, the Heathers are nothing if not smart.

JeLLyPiG said...

The Heathers were a Roller Derby machine out there!

It was clear from the first jam, that the Heathers jammer knew where the holes were going to open up. This is the result of those first set of positioning blocks after the double whistle and the Heathers executed that plan flawless all night. Okay not flawless, there are still struggles when they were on the short end of a power jam but despite that and being brutally wailed on by the GnR, the Heathers ran the plan. And that plan worked.

The blocking strategy was just so effective.I'd be interested in knowing how many jams they had the Lead Jammer status versus the number of jams.

Which leads me to missing not getting an Elwood Bruise recap for this one. Elwood's blog helps make sense of the derby chaos, fill in gaps and this bout was rife with shit I just didn't understand. Jam 27 standing out as a WTF moment amongst many.

Though they were great jams by many of the Heathers, obviously Ringers BIG JAM, Scratcher did shine like no other. She embodied the irony of the whole Heartless thing.

Keep us posted on how we can lend a hand to Sump Pump. Having seen that shot from across the track it looked serious...

George said...

"Did you notice Vominatrix was skating with the team? If you blinked you might have missed it."No Nader, I did not miss that. I snapped this close-up shot for photographic proof! I hope to see more of Vominatrix out there in the future. Maybe filling in for some of our injured players, when her schedule permits. Go Vominatrix!

Noz said...

I'm really glade to see so many Cadavers "get it". Smartest fans in Derby-doom.

Jam 27, JellyPig? What was that one?

AND, since we are shouting out, big shouts to Viagrrr who had easily the best bout of her career. She was so calm and collected out there, she actually was having a conversation with me each time she skated by. Amazing.


Richard said...

I certainly wouldn't say that HH broke any rules - what they've done is reveal weaknesses in those rules.

I say weaknesses because these strategies slooooow the game down and frankly make it less fun to watch.

So: points to the Heathers for winning and smarts, but hello WFTDA? Time to catch up to the evolution of the sport and fix the rules.

JeLLyPiG said...

Okay, I gotz more crap to spew...

Subject Vominatrix: It was cool to see her suited up and get in the odd jam or so. No secret I am a huge fan. I hope to see more of her but I also understand that this Roller Derby “thing” not only requires these skaters to pay to participate, but it also requires giving up the time...both those things are precise commodities. Hence the need for the devoted fans to step it up in the case of Sump Pump’s injury, all of us together can help.

As for “Jam 27”, well that was one of many and had every one looking over the penalty board. The fans in the stands have no idea where skaters are in terms of penalties so understanding some of what happens out there is hard. I hear tell those Rats have a projector screen board for all to see…that must be nice.

And thanks Noz…Vagrrr’s efforts should not go unnoticed. She skated one hell of a bout and I’m glad to hear the stats reflect that. I have a very clear memory of her flying into the first turn on the outside and cutting to the inside line as a perfectly executed block creates the hole for her, right as she gets there…after that, it’s all Lead Jammer baby!

And then of course there is Richard’s comments, be careful what you wish for. Woof Duh is equal parts good and evil and rule evolutions tend to create as many holes as they fix. Then everyone starts talking about the “SthPirit of the rule”. Gak!

I would say what is not fun is watching all the teams in the league skating the same style of game. We are way past "Skate Fast, Hit Hard" here. What I love about the Rose City league is the vast difference in the teams.

The Heathers are not the biggest and “in my opinion” not the fastest either…but they skate a smart game. This group of fans is riding a winning wave right BUT (There’s JP’s BIG But) they have lost and probably will again…it’s not science. As long as they skate to their strengths they stand the best chance of winning.

If you look across the Derby Nation every weekend you see many bouts with huge lopsided point spreads. That to me is boring. This is not league of blow outs and a team like GnR can make up 30 some points in their 5 point plus, quick jam style…just ask the High Rollers. That to me makes it all fun. That and the beers...oh the sweet, sweet Derby Beers.

Noz said...

Derby kisses JellyPig, derby kisses.

Actually, a "slow game" is harder to pull off. Juking at a high rate of speed is beginner stuff. Tagging a fast moving player when slow is damn hard, and produces much more deadly hits (ie Sump's jaw).

And remember, it takes two to go slow. GnR was just as slow, just not as good at it.

ps. Ringer has a wall of quad speed metals that should help your "fastest" opinion

Noz said...

Oh, and the penalty weirdness in jam27, you may be talking about the time they didnt leave when their time was up. I'm not sure if it was the penalty box guys error or theirs.

Or, it could be the jammerless jam with Killya standing in the box.

See rule, since killya was standing (3seconds left), the spot in the box for the jammer wasn't blocked.

JeLLyPiG said...

Hey now, I did word my comment about "fastest" carefully Noz. I know of Ringer's creds and she is bonafide, no question.

And I will add to my list of rules to review. I'm pretty sure "someone" gotta away with a 6.2.8 violation and am still trying to find all the various references to skating "clockwise"..., 6.2.6, 6.4.2, Ad nauseam.




The Coroner said...

To JeLLyPiG, the biggest of snaps for rare correct use of accusative case "ad nauseam" among English speakers.

the_mad_nader said...

The WFTDA Rules committee has pretty much definitively answered the question about skating clockwise.

"Skaters may skate clockwise without being penalized except under these three circumstances: - a player cannot skate clockwise to retrieve a fallen helmet cover

6.2.6 - a player cannot skate clockwise when executing a block

6.4.2- a player cannot skate clockwise when going to the penalty box
see this link and scroll down a bit

Hence, if none of the above 3 circumstances apply, skaters can go clockwise as much as they want and incur no penalty.

Noz said...

Um... well, wrt 6.2.8, yes Mobi did get a minor for trying to call off the jam when she wasn't lead.

Ringer fessed up to yelling at her to do it. I, being the calm and collected and always aware gent I am, knew she wasn't lead and was screaming me ass off to get her to SKATE! Happens.

Biggest issue wrt illegal procedures (which fans, is what 6.2.8 refers to) was GnR and their failure to put a player on the field in 30sec. They would field no one. If they fielded one, Cupples could have started the jams with GnR short. But no one on the floor? He made the decision on the spot to pull a time-out if they did it again, and if they ran out of time-outs, major on pivot or captain. He is submitting the ruling for official review (in other words, it will be in the Q/A rules section of the WFTDA website so all will know what to do if it happens again).

BTW, Sump is out of surgery. Three plates, jaw NOT wired shut. Fund raising activities are in the works, your patients is appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I'm havng a hard time donating to Sump. Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

turns out it was just me being stupid

Richard said...

@JeLLyPiG: You're right that we oughtta be careful what we wish for in terms of rule changes - but what I have in mind is the century+ year old history of major league baseball, where constant tinkering (including some unholy mistakes, eventually corrected) have led to a gorgeously balanced and nearly perfect game. IMO! :)