Rat City All-Stars ranked 14 worldwide, aiming for 12 or better

by Jim Almy

Photo by Danny Ngan
Photo by Danny Ngan

The Rat City Rollergirls All Star Team (AST) has been jamming and slamming for a couple months now against sanctioned Womens Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) teams from around the country and world. When the May 31 rankings came out a couple days ago WFTDA had Rat City at number 14, up four spots from the April 30 list.

That ranking reflects wins over previously twelfth ranked Montreal 202-124 and a 386 point humbling of the Sacred City Sacrificers from Sacramento (444-58). Sacred City moved down four spots to space 39.

Ophelia Melons, scheduling administrator for RCRG, said that the goal for the AST was to be in the top 12 before the playoffs begin. “That would guarantee us a top 3 seeding at the playoff tournament,” she said.

Three games AST has scheduled at the end of June in Los Angeles will decide that rankings goal. They will also define a team that’s waiting to be tested and surely will be when they take on teams ranked 6, 10 and 23, the Angel City Derby Girls on June 28, the Victorian Roller Derby League from Australia on June 29 and the Santa Cruz Derby Girls later that same day. The next rankings calculation will include bouts through the end of June, giving the three Los Angeles bouts additional force in determining how successful the 2014 season will be for Rat City.

Rat City, at spot 14 with a rankings total of 337.00, is just behind the Atlanta Rollergirls, with a 337.93 rankings score. At number 12 is the Philly Roller Girls at 340.56.

The formula WFTDA uses to separate the best from the rest involves assigning relative credit for each team based on their bout score, multiplying that by each team’s relative strength and multiplying that by something called the “game weight”. Get you pencils out because we’re going to have a little more detailed run through of that algorithm in a bit.

Photo by Danny Ngan
Photo by Danny Ngan

What the rankings also reflect is that you better bring your best game when you visit the Pacific Northwest, or the west coast. Portland’s Rose City Roller Girls are ranked fourth (it’s fair to go ‘huh?’ if you remember that the Sockit Wenches, who lost all four of their inter-league RCRG bouts, thumped Portland’s Rose City Rollers Guns ‘N’ Rollers,  205 – 137  on Saturday, March 28, at the Rat’s Nest); The Oly Rollers from Olympia are at 19; Everett’s Jet City is 35 and the Tri City Roller Derby is ranked at 42. Montreal found out how tough it is to play in this area when, after losing to the AST, they were handled by Rose City’s Wheels of Justice in Portland the next day, 306-109, and dropped a bout in Olympia to the Oly Rollers Cosa Nostra Donnas 230-174 the day after that.

Other west coast teams on the list of 202 ranked teams include the Emerald City Roller Girls, who jumped 14 spots to rank 87 and the Bellingham Roller Betties at 138.

Gotham Girls Roller Derby, the NYC monsters, held spot number one with a ranking total of 526.74. San Francisco’s B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls were second at 460.74. The July 12 KeyArena opponent for AST is 33rd ranked Houston Roller Derby. Their ranking score is 247.15.

Three elements make up the formula that WFTDA uses to assign first, last and in between for its  teams world wide. After each of the three elements is calculated they are multiplied out and then multiplied by 100.

The first is called the won/lost factor. A sanctioned game is worth three points with each team getting a percentage of that three points based on the bout score. If team A scores 100 and team B scores 50 then team A gets two-thirds of the three points and team B one-third. The won/lost factor for team A is 2.

Next the strength of each team is evaluated against their bout opponent. That number comes from dividing the team’s average ranking over the past twelve months by the most current ranking of the team in the middle of the rankings list. Let’s say team A has an average ranking of 150 and the middle team this month is team Z with a ranking number of 75. Seventy five goes into one hundred fifty 2times.

Finally, the game itself is given a game weight number with regular season games weighted at 1.0 and post season bouts weighted between 1.25 and 1.5.

So team A’s ranking is its won/lost factor 2 times its opponent’s strength factor 2 times game weight 1 or 2x2x1, all times 100. Team A = 400 ranking score.

In the June 7 bout between AST and the Jet City Bombers, won by AST 258-119, the numbers work out this way: AST gets 68.44% of the won/lost factor or 2.0532 points. The opponents strength factor, based on current rankings scores, for Jet City is 1.8337. The game weight is 1.

So AST’s ranking for that bout is 2.0532 x 1.8337 x 1 x 100 = 376.495.

If you’re still reading congratulations and math degrees will be given out at the next bout which is 7/12 at KeyArena.

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