You Should Be Analyzing More Derby :: Nashville v Sacred {2015 D2 Playoffs}

By April 12, 2016Analysis, Blog

We all hear that watching derby is the single best way (off-skates) to get better at playing it. And derby is hecka fun to watch, right? But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you mostly don’t do it.


High level derby can be hard to watch if you’re not used to it. Plus watching derby and analyzing derby are two different things.

  • How do you know what to pay attention to?
  • How do you think about what’s happening on the track and apply it to what you might do on the track?
  • It’s all moving so fast. HAAALLPP!

Here’s my contribution. The second installment in my “You Should be Analyzing More Derby” series.

This month’s bout is:

Nashville v Sacred at WFTDA D2 Playoffs 2015

The questions (and comments) below are to help you hone in on specific parts of the game and get you thinking like a derby analyst. These questions are by no means ALL OF THE THINGS that you could glean from this bout, but it’s a good place to start. You can download them in PDF version HERE.

The First Half

Jam #1 –> OMG! An honest-to-goodness 4 wall. Sacred braces for impact as the Nashville jammer comes around for her scoring pass. Why is this important?

Jam #2 –> POWER JAM: When Sacred sees their jammer trapped, they attempt a free-for-all, man-on-man but immediately switch to a different strategy. What is it? Why did they use it?

Jam #2 –> Sacred is down to 2 blockers vs. Nashville’s 4. What are they trying to do? Do you think it’s working? What are other options in this situation?

Jam #5 –> Sacred has started the last two jams with only 2 blockers, but are relatively successful at holding back the jammer. What do you see them doing that is working in their favor?

Jam #7 –> Nashville’s wall, off the start, is set-up a little differently than the traditional “cube”. How do they use this wall set-up to effectively stop the jammer and avoid O?

Jam #7 –> Sacred is down to 1 blocker on the track in a power jam situation. Is there anything she can do in this situation to decrease her chances of being scored on?

Jam #7 –> OUCH! Why does Sacred City’s 3rd blocker immediately get sent back to the penalty box?

Jam #8 –> Sacred does a great job of holding the Nashville jammer and opens up a chance for one of their blockers to go play offense. Notice the quick, one-hit O and then look back to see how the other blockers are doing against the Nashville jammer. {Multiple times!}

Jam #9 –>Sacred sets up a great screen for their jammer coming out of the penalty box.

Jam #9 –> A few laps later, Nashville sets a screen from the front (which can be hard to do) to get their jammer out.

Jam #9 –> With only about 15 seconds left in the jam, Sacred delivers another great example of O while maintaining tight D. And their jammer goes to the friendly side. Good awareness!

Between Jams #11 & #12 –> I would hate to be the person whose job it is to wipe the floor dry.

Jam #12 –> Sacred shows how to block around opposing blockers successfully. They manage to hold that jammer for the entire 30s.

Jam #13 –> Nashville’s beautiful power jam offense!

Jam #15 –> Watch the Sacred front bridge just as their jammer comes out of the box. What could they have done to make it more successful?

Jam #19 –>Both teams are showing great flexibility with their walls. There’s a lot of moving and morphing around.

HALFTIME SCORE = Nashville 99 Sacred 97

The Second Half

Jam #1-3 –> Nashville’s jammers are starting way back from the jammer line, while Sacred’s are starting much closer. What are the pros and cons of both of those positions?

Jam # 6 –> Both teams have been losing battles against jammers on the outside line. With 24:25 left on the jam clock, what would Sacred have done to finish the hit on that jammer?

Jam #6 –> On the next pass, Sacred’s blockers do a great morph through the Nashville blockers as they continue to block the jammer.

Jam #7 –>Good example of positional offense. Sacred isn’t “actively” playing offensive, but manage to keep Nashville spread out enough to get their jammer through easily.

Jam #7 –> OUCH! That floor looks slippery AF.

Jam #8 –> Sacred’s blockers make good use of speeding up the pack and then throwing on the breaks to get their jammer out on her first scoring pass.

Jam #9 –> After Sacred’s jammer gets sent to the box, what does their wall do? Would there be a better place to set up for defense against the opposing jammer?

Jam #9 –> Watch the back and forth by both teams as they transition from defense to offense for their jammers: Are they being successful? Are they breaking themselves up? Are they reforming too slowly? What do you notice?

Jam #13 –> Scared is down a blocker as they set-up for this jam. What do you think about the spot they’ve set-up in?

Jam #14 –> Both teams (for several jams) have been showing off some solid lateral movement in their walls. Great couple of jams to watch for some good examples!

Jam #17 –> Nashville shows off some nice waterfalling as they leap frog around the Sacred jammer.

Official Review –> Man, I wish there was a replay!

Post-21 Team Timeout –> What are you talking about during your team timeout if you’re on Nashville? What situation are you hoping for in these last jams if you’re on Nashville? What about for Sacred?

Post-22 Team Timeout –>The announcer’s discuss it, but why is Nashville calling another timeout?

Jam #23 –> What do you think about Sacred’s decision to call off the jam?

Jam #24 –> Holy shit.

FINAL SCORE = Nashville 194 Sacred 189

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Online athletic training and nutrition coach, full-time mom, okay skater, and connoisseur of all things tea, chocolate, and roller derby. I'll help you unleash your inner athlete by building a strong, capable body that can withstand whatever life throws at you.

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