The first stop on the way to Hydra Glory is Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The Hoosier state welcomes 10 teams from around the world for roller derby battles on the flat track - all in hopes of hoisting the Hydra to the sky showing the world that they are the best at what they do.
The Ft. Wayne Playoffs begin this Friday, September 6, and the excitement is mounting. The Ft.Wayne playoffs will be the first Division 1 Playoff under the new system where teams gather from all over the world in hopes of advancing to the Championships. In the past the playoff structure was constrained to pre-defined regions. This gives players and fans alike the opportunity to see teams they may have not had the chance to in the past.
Check out the Ft. Wayne bracket and make your picks
The Ft. Wayne tournament gets not one, but two teams from outside the U.S. to compete: #8 Montreal Rollergirls (best uniforms in WFTDA, lime green and pink) and the #16 London Rollergirls whose viral video has made its way around the social network scene, Ft. Wayne’s World. Two leagues who I have never seen prior, is enough to make the trip worth it… oh, but there is so much more.
The first game of the Ft. Wayne tournament is #32 Cincinnati and #35 Bleeding Heartland in what will be the third meeting of these two leagues this season. On March 2, Cincinnati traveled to Bloomington, Indiana home of Bleeding Heartland and lost a heartbreaker by 3 points 221-218; less than a month later Bleeding Heartland drove east to Cincinnati for a re-match. The game was not as close as the previous meeting, Cincinnati went over Bleeding Heartland 358-173. That leads us to the collision course these two are headed towards on for Friday, September 6 in Ft. Wayne.
Since their last meeting Bleeding Heartland is 2-3 with their last bout being a 2 point loss to Toronto. For Cincinnati, the ladies from the Queen City are 8-2 which includes a 29 point victory over the same Toronto team. That triangulates to a 31-point differential, which can be one Power Jam’s worth of points, so Cincinnati needs to keep their blockers, and more importantly their jammers out of the box and on the track. This game is going to be close - Cincinnati needs to forget about the blowout victory from April and take it to Bleeding Heartland hard from the first jam, and announce their presence with authority. To the victor goes the spoils, which in this case is a date later that afternoon with #2 Denver, and that game will be a challenge like no other.
Next on the menu for your derby consumption is #27 Wasatch of Salt Lake City, locking horns with #40 Grand Raggidy of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wasatch took on two flat track juggernauts on June 8 and 9 losing to Denver and Rocky Mountain respectively by 196 and 121 points. For Grand Raggidy they also played their last game in early June losing to Madison by 75 points on June 5th. These teams have not seen action for awhile, but this is the playoffs and everyone steps up their game when the bright lights are on.
Montreal gets the winner of Grand Raggidy and Wasatch at 6 p.m. Montreal is fresh off of a 376-53 shellacking by Gotham on August 25. Honestly almost anyone would have suffered the same fate, Gotham is just stupid good. Montreal is heavily favored to advance to the WFTDA finals which means that Wasatch or Grand Raggidy will need to be firing on all cylinders if they want to get past the ladies of La métropole.
The aforementioned London Rollergirls take on #19 Rose City in a rematch from June 5 where London took it on the chin 198-150. London will be racking up 3,800 more airline miles to join the fun in Ft. Wayne, and to look for redemption against Rose.
In another old rivalry from the North Central days, #20 Ohio meets up with #13 Arch Rival for Friday’s Main Event. The last gathering of these two teams had Arch beating Ohio 179-108 on May 4 in St. Louis. The record between these two teams stands at 2-2 in WFTDA sanctioned action, if you are in Ft. Wayne this game is a CAN'T MISS.
And that is just Friday. There remains two days of derby after that. Oh Ft. Wayne, my heart yearns for thee.