October 16, 2012
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) announced today that it will launch a new structure for Playoffs eligibility in 2013.
Geography-based Regional Playoffs will be replaced with four Division I Playoffs, to occur each fall. The overall bracket structure for the WFTDA Playoffs and Championships will remain the same as past years, but teams will be seeded into Playoffs based strictly on their competitive ranking rather than their geographic region.
“Our member leagues voted to adopt this change because it means the most competitive teams will qualify for Playoffs and, ultimately, Championships, regardless of what part of the world they call home,” said Bonnie Thunders, WFTDA Game Play Manager. "Our current tournament qualification system pigeonholes us into equal representation across geographic regions. As the WFTDA expands and competition fluctuates, it's important for us to be nimble. A skill-based Division structure also better addresses our international membership, rather than trying to fit European and Australian teams into a structure originally designed for North America.”
Teams will be placed into divisions starting in January 2013. The top 40 teams will comprise Division I for that year. However, teams in the lower divisions can still advance their ranking throughout the season to qualify for Playoffs.
At the time of tournament seeding, the top 40 teams will be divided between the four Division I Playoffs using “S-curve” seeding, similar to what is used to seed the NCAA basketball playoffs. Seed number 1 will be in a playoff with seeds number 8, 9, 16, 17, etc; Seed number 2 will compete in a playoff against seeds number 7, 10, 15, 18, etc.; and so forth. The top three finishers from each Playoff will advance to Championships.
The WFTDA will also be adding Division II tournaments in 2013, to offer additional competitive opportunities for 20 member leagues. Additional details about the 2013 tournaments will be announced following the 2012 WFTDA Championships in November.
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