While the Fountain City Roller Derby Zombie and Coed Leagues still have plenty of games left this season, the Ladies’ Division wraps up its 2016 season this weekend at B&D Skate Center. It’s been a crazy, unpredictable year so far, and it’s going to get a lot better before it’s all over Saturday night. In 2016, the championship game will be between the Shotgun Sheilas and the Lovely Lethals.
We mentioned in March that these Lethals were back on their way up, and lo and behold, here they are playing for the championship trophy for the first time since 2012. There’s a lot to discuss on that front, so let’s get to this year’s championship preview.
How It All Shakes Out
Fans who have been watching closely are probably wondering how the league figured out which teams were playing for the trophy this weekend. After all, the Sheilas, Lethals, and Pains all have identical records of 2-1. Only the Sirens differ in that respect with a record of 0-3.
Of course, we got with a couple of well-placed sources within the league, and we got to the bottom of it.
In the event that multiple teams have identical win-loss records, like this year, the league first uses the point differential as a tiebreaker to determine who plays for the trophy.
The point differential is simply the difference between a team’s total points scored and their total points allowed. In short, if you’ve scored more points than you’ve allowed, your differential will be a positive number — and bigger is better. If your differential is negative, it means you’ve allowed more points than you’ve scored.
Dig so far?
It’s not that bad.
So here are the point differentials for the four teams this season:
1st place – Shotgun Sheilas, +33
2nd place – Lovely Lethals, +20
3rd place – Royal Pains, +19
4th place – Deadly Sirens, -68
It turns out that the Sheilas are the clear-cut winners here — their differential is well above everyone else’s.
But look at the Lethals vs. Pains. Only one point separates the two, and since the Pink has the higher number, they go to the big dance. If the Pains had scored just two more points — or allowed two fewer points — they’d be playing for the trophy instead.
So who’s going to win?
Unfortunately — or fortunately, if you like nailbiting, lip-chewing excitement on the flat track — this one isn’t as simple as calculating a differential. Here are some more numbers to obsess over.
The Sheilas have only outscored the Ladies in Pink this season 218-210, and that’s well within any kind of margin of error. To further muddy the waters, the Sheilas only beat the Lethals in points allowed 185-190, an even narrower margin.
Yes, that means the Sheilas have now beaten the Lethals in all three categories — points scored, points allowed, and the point differential — but keep your pants on, because here’s where it gets weird.
Here we really go.
Don’t forget that the Lovely Lethals beat the Shotgun Sheilas in their only head-to-head game this season 81-72 — also a maddeningly narrow margin.
Consider too that that was Game 1 of the season, which sometimes lends itself to anomalies and one-offs you might not see later in the year… and certainly can’t quantify when you’re picking winners ahead of the big bout.
The Sheilas’ defensive powerhouse Foxxi Brown has been in and out of the picture all year as well; first she was gone, then she was back, and now she’s gone again. She officially transferred to KCRW full-time in the middle of the season, and as we’ve said before, she always makes an immediate impact, both with her presence and with her absence.
This one… may just come down to whichever team is having the better night.
Despite the headache this one has produced — but we’re loving it, don’t kid yourself — we’re predicting a Shotgun Sheilas win by no more than 8 points.
When and Where
The Fountain City Roller Derby Ladies Division championship is tomorrow night, April 30th, at B&D Skate Center in Independence.
Click for the Facebook event page.
Doors open at 5:30, and the first game between the Royal Pains and the Deadly Sirens begins at 6:30. Get there early.
Adults are $12 at the door, and children ages 12 and under are admitted free.
We’ll be tweeting scores all night as this year’s championship unfolds. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, and check out our Instagram page for a behind-the-scenes look at Kansas City roller derby that you won’t find anywhere else.
We can’t wait to see what these Fountain City ladies have up their sleeves this Saturday night. Don’t you dare miss this one!