On June 15, WFTDA released the tournament seeding for the 2014 Division 1 and 2 playoffs. While the June rankings are always highly anticipated, this year something unprecedented happened. Three member leagues declined their invitation giving four teams that normally wouldn’t have made it a chance to compete in a higher bracket. Oddly enough, two of the teams to decline, the Sacred City Derby Girls and the Sac City Rollers, are both based in Sacramento, CA and Sacred is actually hosting the Division 1 playoffs at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium.
Surely when Sacred signed up to host Divisionals at Memorial Auditorium they hoped to be playing there as well, as they did at Regionals 2010. But, Sacred has reached its zenith and has been in a rankings free fall since a league split in mid 2012. As of the Feb 27, 2013 rankings, Sacred was at 27. The loss of three coaches, several of their A team skaters, their marketing division and training program has left them floundering. While the league claims to be in a rebuilding phase their game play on the track has failed to impress. Sacred was in Division 1 as of the May 31, 2014 rankings but fell six spots landing at 45 and into the Division 2 playoffs. Now that they have declined to defend their D2 ranking, their numbers can only continue to fall. Sacred was unavailable for comment.
Sac City, who ended last season in the top of Division 2 (Dec 31, 2013 rankings 40) has fallen to 58 but has remained a contender throughout the season. According to Sac City league spokeswoman Annie Reksic, “Sac City Rollers has worked very hard over the last two seasons with the intent of bringing our fighting spirit to playoffs again this year. Unfortunately, we are facing some untimely injuries and family obligations. We elected to decline rather than bring a short roster. You can look forward to seeing us back on the track and ready to roll at 2015 playoffs.”
Regardless of the reasons for declining invitations, with the Oly Rollers declining a D1 invitation because of a conflict with their USARS National tournament, withdrawal from the tournament is a lot like leaving the party early. All of the work throughout the season was to build rankings and complete requirements for the privilege of competing on an international scale. On the other hand, four teams chomping at the bit for an opportunity now have one. The Blue Ridge Roller Girls will get to compete in D1 at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium no less and Suburbia Roller Derby, Brandywine Rollergirls and Grand Raggidy Roller Girls will be skating in the D2 brackets.