TWENTY OF THE MOST “bold, confident, united” roller derby teams around will soon travel to Loveland, Colorado, to compete for the 2019 Junior Roller Derby Association Championships, July 26 through July 28.
Athletes at the 2019 JRDA Championships will once again participate in a full 10-team, 17-game bracket in their respective division. It is a single-elimination structure for those continuing to rally for first place, but also allows competitive play to continue for all teams, until all ten possible places are decided.
With both Open and Female division titles to be contested, this totals 34 games on two tracks, over a three-day weekend, to enjoy. And for fans and their favorite teams, nothing is “final” until the Sunday matchups play out. With this in mind, if you’re looking for predictions, forget it! Junior derby develops, evolves, and yes, turns over, rapidly and out of necessity: by rule, any skater turning 18 years of age must depart at the end of the competitive season. Also, junior derby often has games contested weeks apart with different outcomes. This happened in parallel in the Female Division, where victories were traded over the last year between the Duval All-Stars (#2 seed from Jacksonville) and Los Anarchists (#3 seed from Los Angeles), as well as in the Open Division between Philly (#2 seed) and Tampa (#3 seed), at March Badness and Spring Break Swarm.
This on-track volatility naturally extends to tournament seeding, as the 2019 event will involve five teams making their JRDA Championships debut; and only 60% of the teams returning from 2018. However, both 2018 Champions (Gromshells of Santa Cruz and Diamond City Minors of Bakersfield) are returning as their respective #1 seed this year.
Now is the time to watch, if you have never witnessed championship-level junior derby, or haven’t followed the JRDA in a few years. This is especially true for any adult skaters in proximity to a junior league, or in a college town. Many former JRDA athletes, especially at this skill level and with multiple years of experience playing the same game as the adults, immediately make their mark with nearby adult programs. No longer do those “in the know” say that JRDA is the future of roller derby. It is the present.
The First National Bank Exhibition Building in Loveland, also host to the 2017 tournament, is part of the Larimer County-owned Ranch Events Complex, about 20 minutes south of Fort Collins, and an hour north of Denver. Both the FoCo Spartans (#7 Female seed from Fort Collins) and Rocky Mountain Rollerpunks’ Might Club (#10 Female seed from Denver) will compete this year.
For the third year, WFTDA.tv will produce the JRDA Championships live streams. Viewers can #Talk2JRDA on social media all Championships weekend, and follow the JRDA for score and bracket updates throughout.
Following is the 2019 JRDA Championships seeding as of press time.
#1. Santa Cruz Derby Groms (Santa Cruz, California) The Gromshells are the defending 2018 Female Division Champions, competing in their fifth Championships.
#2. Jacksonville Junior Roller Derby (Jacksonville, Florida) The Duval All-Stars will compete in their fourth Championships. This is their second consecutive appearance in the Female Division, with a previous team best of third place in 2014 in the Open Division.
#3. Los Anarchists Junior Derby (Los Angeles, California) This is Los Anarchists’ second Championships. They finished third place last year.
#4. Seattle Derby Brats (Seattle, Washington) The Galaxy Girls are threetime JRDA Female Division Champions (2015-2017). They finished second place last year. This is their fifth Championships.
#5. Rose City Rollers Juniors (Portland, Oregon) This will be the Rosebuds’ second Championships, after finishing sixth place last year.
#6. Pile O’Bones Junior Derby (Regina, Saskatchewan) The Miss Demeanors, in their first Championships appearance, will be the second team from Canada to compete at JRDA Championships, all-time.
#7. FoCo Junior Roller Derby (Fort Collins, Colorado) This is the Spartans’ fourth Championships, and their second appearance in the Female Division. Their team best was second place in 2017 in the Open Division.
#8. Kalamazoo Killer Beez Junior Roller Derby (Kalamazoo, Michigan) The Beez will skate at their first Championships in 2019.
#9. Queen City Junior Roller Girls (Buffalo, New York) Queen City also makes its Championships debut this year.
#10. Rocky Mountain Rollerpunks (Denver, Colorado) The Might Club competes in its third Championships, after most recently finishing ninth place in 2017.
#1. Diamond City Minors (Bakersfield, California) DCM will defend its second consecutive Open Division title (2017-2018). This is the team’s fifth Championships appearance.
#2. Philly Roller Derby Juniors (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) This is Philly’s third Championships. They finished sixth place last year.
#3. Tampa Bay Junior Derby (Tampa, Florida) Tampa is one of only three teams who will have competed at all six JRDA Championships. They finished seventh place last year, and sixth place the two years prior.
#4. The Attack Pack (St. Petersburg, Florida) TAP has also appeared at all JRDA Championships. They finished fourth place last year, with a team best second place in 2015.
#5. Des Moines Derby Brats (Des Moines, Iowa) The DMDB All Stars finished second place last year, and are 2014 and 2016 Open Division Champions. This is their fifth Championships appearance.
#6. Mob City Junior Roller Derby (Everett, Washington) The Mob City Misfits finished third place last year. They have appeared at all prior JRDA Championships.
#7. Capital City Derby (Columbia, South Carolina) Cap City will skate in their first Championships.
#8. Raleigh Junior Rollers (Raleigh, North Carolina) The Raleigh Junior Rollers All-Stars will also compete in their first Championships.
#9. Cherry Bomb Brawlers (Spokane, Washington) This will be the Brawlers’ second Championships—their first appearance since 2015.
#10. Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) The SoDak Attack makes its JRDA Championships debut this year.