Tournament Time in Tampa

Most people flock to Florida for rest and relaxation, but not the Cincinnati Rollergirls. The Black Sheep, Cincinnati’s all-star team, will travel to Tampa this weekend for some serious competition at Tampa Bay Derby Darlins’ Franky Panky Tournament. Currently ranked 4th in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s North Central Region and 16th nationally by Derby News Network, the Black Sheep will take on three teams from WFTDA’s South Central region at Franky Panky. Here’s a look at the match-ups, which you can watch live online at Derby News Network:
10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 10: Cincinnati vs. Dallas Derby Devils (#4 SC, #20 DNN)
Dallas has remained solidly ranked in Derby News Network’s #20-25 range for the past several years. The team’s only recent loss came from Atlanta (123-96), whom Cincinnati soundly defeated at the 2009 East Coast Derby Extravaganza, 121-64. All signs points to this being the toughest game of the weekend for the Black Sheep. Judging by their March 27 loss to San Diego, Cincinnati will have to play a clean and smart game and avoid jammer penalty box trips to defeat Dallas.
3:45 p.m. Saturday, April 10: Cincinnati vs. Tallahassee Rollergirls (#14 SC)
Tallahassee is relatively new to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association and has yet to break into the national derby spotlight. This will be a good middle game for the Black Sheep in the three-game weekend, as it should allow top players to rest while giving others more track time than they usually get. Of course, it’s always possible that a largely unknown team like Tallahassee will surprise a higher-ranked opponent that underestimates them.
12:15 p.m. Sunday, April 11: Cincinnati vs. Tampa Bay Derby Darlins (#7 SC)
Tampa boasts some talented skaters, but they’re somewhat lacking in experience, as they haven’t faced many top WFTDA teams until recently. The team gave Madison, WI’s Mad Rollin’ Dolls a good scare at last year’s East Coast Derby Extravaganza but ultimately lost, 167-116. Tampa’s two losses to Dallas at the Clover Cup Tournament in March (124-71 and 137-79) further point to Dallas as Cincinnati’s toughest competition of the weekend.