For a WFTDA D1 level team, planning the competitive season starts way before off season. Attending/watching international tournaments is one of the best ways of scouting future opponents and hence making sure that your team can keep their long-term competitive goals alive. If your goal is to reach a certain ranking, you have to choose your opponents according to a possible rankings points outcome. This is not particularly a fun (or easy) part of the roller derby but it’s inevitable and necessary for all Playoffs level teams, and this season we decided to take a little more relaxed outlook on this.
After qualifying for the D1 Playoffs twice and not having any major changes to our charter, we felt confident about booking tournaments and opponents according to what kind of game play styles we wanted to play against this season instead of just staring at the math. This Spring, we got to play against a top 10 team (London Rollergirls) without losing ranking points, and we finally had the chance to sanction a game against our local fellow team Kallio Rolling Rainbow. We had a pretty intense Spring season with 12 games in total in three different countries but at least you can’t blame us for not using our Spring season efficiently.
I have the main responsibility of choosing opponents to us, with the help of the whole team of course. This includes color-coordinated Excel sheets and mathematical formulas but mostly just way too much social media scouting for transfers, injuries, pre-season game results and even possible player-player relationship rumors. Some call it “gossip”, I call it “semi-empirical studies for the science of roller derby”. This season, one of the best things was to implement a new element to the process: which teams would be the most fun to play against. It turned out that we had a very fun Spring season – thank you to all our opponents!
Planning our season 2018 is already under way. Next Spring, we are again looking at trying something new but for now, our full roller derby scientific focus is concentrated on our Malmö opponents.
Joanna Koskinen #455