You Should Be Analyzing More Derby :: Brandywine v. Jet City {2016 WFTDA D2 Playoffs}

By September 20, 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 next installment in my “You Should be Analyzing More Derby” series.

The 2016 Wichita Playoffs bout is:

Brandywine v Jet City at 2016 WFTDA D2 Playoffs 

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 –> Already an unusual start to the bout. Neither team backs up against the jammer even though both teams have the opportunity. This should clue you into wondering what strategy the blockers from both teams are planning.

Jam #2 –> Jet City sets up in a very clear 3-1 at the pivot line. What’s the strategic downside to setting up a 3-wall here as opposed to on the jammer line?

Jam #6 –> Brandywine’s jammer plays a little D to start off the jam. What makes this a solid (and effective) strategy?

Jam #6 –> What about the star pass from Jet City made it ineffective?

Jam #7 –> Brandywine has impeccable timing when it comes to playing offense in the power jam. Brandywine blockers also have awareness of when a Jet City blocker comes out of the box. Why does this matter for their strategy?

Jam #8 –> Brandywine’s jammer: “Uh…little help?” Brandywine’s blockers: “Yea. Duh. Sorry. Here you go.”

Jam #8 –> Seriously, Brandywine really knows how to play proper offense during power jams.

Jam #9 –> Not sure what the plan is when Brandywine’s pivot-turned-jammer removes the star again. Any pros? What’s the strategy?

Jam #10 –> Jet City has a beautiful trap running in the back off the line to break their jammer free. What move ends up negating the trap?

Jam #10 –> What other options does Brandywine have with Jet City effectively trapping one of their blockers? It looks like one Brandywine blocker thinks about it…

TIMEOUT –> What do you think Jet City’s coach is telling them during this timeout? Try to pinpoint 2 things each team could tighten up on for the rest of the half to be more successful.

Jams #12-17 –> This series of jams is a textbook example of a team pulling away. Brandywine is able to pick apart Jet City’s walls, call off the jams before they can gain momentum, and re-start the next jam before they have a chance to reform (mentally). Brandywine is clearly in control of almost every aspect of this game. Even when Jet City puts together a killer jam, they stick with their game plan.

Jam #18 –> Jet City plays a different version of offense during their power jam. How does it contrast to Brandywine’s style? Down in points, what strategy would be most beneficial to them?

TIMEOUT –> Literally everything the announcers are saying. Listen to it. All of it.

Jam #19 –> Great timing on the sweep from Jet City. Great counter by Brandywine. Both worth rewatching!

HALFTIME SCORE = Brandywine 106 Jet 66

The Second Half

Jam #2 –> Jet City’s ability to reform is the difference in jams here. Last jam they stayed tight and close and were able to reform pretty quickly. This jam, not so much.

Jam #3 –> Check out the power jam start strategy from Brandywine. Interesting set up, but it does the trick!

Jam #3 –> Brandywine manages to reform after their divide and conquer tactic. Reformation and reaction time seem to be the story of this bout.

Jam #3 –> Jet City’s bridge 1 does a great job maintaining the distance between her and the Brandywine blockers. Why is that valuable?

Pre-Jam #4 –> Jet City isn’t afraid to mix up their starts. If they feel like something isn’t working, they’ll try something else. Great strategy!

Jam #4 –> Straightaway 1 is hella fascinating.

OFFICIAL TIMEOUT –> Both teams use this time to talk to each other and get on the same page. YUUSSS!

Jam #6 –> Watch Jet City’s reaction to the offensive strike from Brandywine. Perfect!

OFFICIAL REVIEW –> Hmmm…wondering if the officials missed that Jet City’s jammer had already made her initial pass before heading to the box.

Jam #8 –> Brandywine’s penalty kill!?!

Jam #9 –> Jet City offense tries to break up the pack and release their jammer. Offense blockers on both sides would be more effective if they targeted the blocker ON their jammer, not the brace. Hitting the brace is easier, but not as effective.

Jams #10&11 –> PLAY TO THE LINE!!

Jam #12 –> Brandywine’s waterfalling, tho. Also watch their blockers using “active waterfalling”. They don’t just skate up and continue blocking, but they try to make holes as they do it.

Jam #12 –> Jet City is super effective when they stay together and slow the game down!

Jam #13 –> Ineffective star pass from Brandywine. Why?

OFFICIAL REVIEWS –> It will be interesting to see how this LOOOOOONG stretch of no-play will affect the last 8 minutes of the game.

Jam #16 –> Jet City inexplicably pulls the pack closer to the opposing jammer during that mini-power jam.

Jam #18 –> Brandywine might have been better served by playing the whole 2 minutes. Their blockers are on fire and they don’t want to give Jet City too many opportunities to turn it up.

TIMEOUT –> Is this timeout a chance for Jet City to disrupt Brandywine’s momentum?

Jam #21 –> Jet City seems to like it when the heat is on…need to harness this urgency the whole game.

FINAL SCORE = Brandywine 198 Jet City 170

Want more?

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