For the first time since the WFTDA rankings system implemented the mathematical formula, the Gotham Girls Roller Derby All Stars (New York, N.Y., U.S.) are not sitting in the No. 1 spot. After holding the top spot on the WFTDA rankings since the organization moved out of regions (of which Gotham held the #1 spot consistently in the East Region since 2010), the New Yorkers have been bumped to No. 2 by the Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) All Stars from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
“Number one comes from an endless passion for roller derby. To love to train. To love your team,” says VRDL. “To acknowledge this achievement is to acknowledge the hard work, innovation and vision that has been part of this team since our beginning.”
2017 is a big year for developments in the international WFTDA community beyond North America. The first-ever Roller Derby World Summit is being hosted by Rainy City Roller Derby in Manchester, U.K. April 21-23, 2017, the first of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs is being hosted by the Crime City Rollers in Malmö, Sweden September 8 – 10, and now the Victorian Roller Derby League All Stars have become the first non-US team to be ranked No. 1 in the world.
“Together we can do anything, and today this has come to fruition. We are absolutely honored to be ranked No. 1 — what an incredible way to start the season! A massive thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters. We are focused, determined and ready to put in the hard work to keep us there for an epic 2017.”
What pushed VRDL into No. 1 this month? They benefitted from the rankings decay factor dropping off their game against the Texas Rollergirls (Austin, Texas, U.S.) from the 2016 WFTDA-Recognized Tournament, The Big O, in which the results were about 200 points below their ranking average (or 100 with the decay.) That, along with their win over the London Rollergirls London Brawling from London, England in the 2016 International WFTDA Championships earning them a whopping 1254.68 rankings points edged them into the top spot.
For Gotham, this looks to be a rebuilding year as they fight to maintain a top ranking under new leadership and in the absence of key players like OMG WTF, Vicious van GoGo, and of course, Bonnie Thunders.
“I joined the Gotham All-Stars for the 2011 season,” says 2017 captain Sexy Slaydie. “We were fresh off of two consecutive seasons of losing at the WFTDA Championships. The work we put in that season was some of the hardest and most inspiring. That energy was the genesis of four undefeated seasons. I know this 2017 team will work just as hard to reclaim the No. 1 spot.” She adds, “It’s easier to fight for the top when you’re not already there.”
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