You Should Be Analyzing More Derby :: Angel City v Rat City {2015 WFTDA Champs}

By July 26, 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 fifth installment in my “You Should be Analyzing More Derby” series.

This month’s bout is:

Angel City v Rat City at The 2015 WFTDA Champs

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

**FUN FACT: Suchy-Dicey of Rat City and Chica Go Lightning of Angel City are sisters!

Jam #1 –> I can’t even write anything right now. Just let me soak this in and we’ll start next jam.

Jam #2 –> Second jam in a row that sees the Rat City jammer sent to the box. The Rat City blockers are all over the place and easily get swept aside by Angel City’s offense. However, on the next go-round Rat City has pulled it together. Watch the time in between passes, how did they get back on track?

Jam #3 –> Rat City & Angel City both give mini-clinics on rotating your blocking wall effectively. Rat uses it to hold the opposing jammer and Angel uses it to grab a goat.

Jam #4 –> Rat City lines up with a tripod and one blocker off to the side. Why did they set up this way? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Jam #6 –> Some sneaky jammer-on-jammer action initiated by the Rat City jammer. Her awareness saves lead jam from getting taken by the other team. Keep your head in a swivel!

Jam #7 –> Rat City takes off at the whistle. Is that a good move given the number of blockers they have?

OFFICIAL TIMEOUT –> The Rat City jammer is given a skating out of bounds penalty. Why?

Jam #10 –> Angel City’s jammer comes skipping out of the box. What was distracting the Rat City blockers?

Jam #13 –> Wait for it…gorgeous screen from Rat City to get their jammer out for the points. Great awareness from both offense and defense.

Jam #13 –> Rat City had an opportunity to call it and keep Angel City from scoring any points. Why didn’t they use it? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Jam #16 –> Triple sneaky cuts. Rat City grabs one and Angel City grabs the ones and then Rat City forces a third.

TEAM TIMEOUT –> What are both teams talking about in their timeout circles? What does each team need to do to lock down momentum going into the half?

Jam #17 –> Great positioning by the Rat City blockers as their jammer comes through on the scoring pass.

Jam #18 –> Again quick transition by Rat City to offense after the Angel City jammer gets called on a cut. Angel City manages to worm out of it, though.

Jam #19 –> It’s tough to see from this angle, but Rat City stretches a bridge back when the Angel City jammer is released from the box. What are the pros and cons of this move?

Jam #20 –> The defense in that jam was insane, but there were a few times when it fell apart. Watch carefully to see what happens as the tight walls break up and let the jammer through.

HALFTIME SCORE = Angel City 83 Rat City 73

The Second Half

Here’s the deal: with all the moving stuff, I didn’t have a chance to write up questions for the second half. So I have a challenge for you. I want YOU to watch through the 2nd half and practice your observation skills.

Before you start, pick 1 or 2 specific strategies or skills you want to watch for and go to town. Head on  over to Facebook and share your second half observations and questions. Let’s discuss!!

FINAL SCORE = Angel City ?? Rat City ??

Want more?

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About IronOctopusFitness

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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