The weight given to tournament victories can depend on how competitive a tournament is, and what your team’s/league’s strengths are. We use the following outline as our general guide in ranking teams starting from highest to lowest in regards to swaying a team’s rank.
A. Tournament Performance
- Tournament championships / Strength of tournament competition
- Tournament finals appearances
- Tournament semi-finals appearances
- Head to Head tournament match-ups/record
- Tournament appearances
- League championships / Strength of local league competition
- Years active, Talent, Depth, Roster Size
NWFF Final Top 10 Analysis
1. Spokane Outlaws:
The Spokane Outlaws finally arrived in the top spot. Two years ago they kicked off our inaugural ranking in the #2 spot, but struggled to earn a trophy, even in tournaments in their backyard. They continued to fight, working through a couple roster variations, sometimes playing with a different QB from season to season or tournament to tournament. The main constant on this team though has been their O and D line. The D line seems to be the strength of the team, the D-Line has height, strength and speed, making it difficult for all types of QB’s. Most of those players play on the other side of the ball too, and with that athleticism, it creates match-up problems for opponents. While the Spokane Outlaws have proven that they are a top team in the NW, they were struggling early in the year and were on their way out of the top 5. They got the ship going the right way and closed out the year with an exclamation point, winning the Seattle Flag Football Frenzy tournament in August and the NW Champions Tournament in Eugene Oregon in December. Both tournaments against Elite level talent, outside of the backyard, and with smaller rosters than many other teams.
Congrats on the bringing home the trophies in 2016 and the Top Spot to close out the 2016 year!
2. Seattle Baddogs
The Baddogs have an impressive resume in 2016: four 1st place finishes, three 2nd place finishes, and a few top four placements. The most traveled team in the NW finished 2016 the same way they did in 2015, with a slide into 2nd place. The year started off hot, winning 3 of 4 tournaments, but as the late summer and fall came, the team only made it to 2 championship games out of 4, coming away with no hardware. (Granted, one tournament was in Portland, which failed to crown a champion due to field use issues). While they have beaten the Outlaws, both on neutral ground and in the Outlaws backyard, both victories came early in the year, and the team failed to beat the Outlaws late in the year. The team went through a few roster combinations and played under the Beast banner for a few tournaments. While there might appear to be cracks in the armor, the Baddogs have a resume that still rivals any team in the NW. The team just needs to learn how to close out the year the same way they start.
3. Seattle Chiefs
Could it be argued that the Chiefs deserve a 2nd place finish? Sure, they beat the Baddogs head to head on neutral ground in overtime. Using that logic you could make the same argument about the Baddogs and the Outlaws. On the flip side, you could argue that the Chiefs should be #5 on the list, having competed and/or placed in less tournaments than some other teams in the top 10. They made it to one tournament championship and were able to bring home the trophy. They have a 9v9 league championship and a 4th place finish in one tournament. They failed to place in the two other tournaments they played in, and failed to show up for Flag Football Frenzy and defend their title from 2015. Relative to other teams, the body of work is similar to many teams in the top 10, with the exception of their first place finish in Spokane. The team is capable of winning almost any tournament they enter, when the Chiefs are rolling they can blow the doors open on most teams. But they are their own worst enemy, when the wheels fall off, the team starts to fall apart. Across the board, athlete for athlete, the team can go toe to toe with any team in the NW, their ability to do that consistently will help shape what 2017 looks like for the Chiefs.
The WMD’s have a long history of success! They took a hiatus for a few years and after a year of playing again, they are just now getting back to the comforts of what a tournament championship feels like. They play in a deep league in Spokane and over the last year have gotten a lot better and found new pieces to continue and rebuild. They closed out the year with a Turkey Bowl championship and are on the rise. While they didn’t travel to a tournament outside their region this last year, they have shown that they can win locally, which is still no easy task. As the only other team in the top 5 to have an Elite Tournament championship trophy, they get the nod over some other teams that might travel more consistently but haven’t found pay dirt yet. Expect great things from the WMD’s over the next year, especially if they can take the show on the road!
5. Salem Skally Wags
The Skally Wags are what the Spokane Outlaws were last year, a VERY strong team that can’t quite close out a championship game. No team below them has more tournament appearances or top 4 finishes and the the Skally Wags have shown that they are willing to travel to put in work. The team even got official looking jerseys and now look like a baddass team. A trophy or two and this team is in the top 3, maybe even the top spot to close out the year. They don’t always have a dynamic offense, but when their QB is on point they can move the ball on almost anybody. Their D-Line is strong, probably the strength of the team, and they can match-up with almost all teams on the edges. For the Skally Wags thought, like the Chiefs, it's themselves that often trips them up. The team seems to play down for some games or they don’t get off to a good start and struggle to make the corrections before running out of time. Their play calling can be a bit predictable but they have the athletes to overcome that. We think that the Salem Skally Wags have the best shot to finish 2017 in the top spot.
6. Spokane Not Fast or Furious
This team is starting to find their groove, but have struggled to get a trophy to show for the positive momentum. They battled toe to toe with the Chiefs in the Spring Mayhem Tournament and lost in the finals to the WMD’s in the Turkey Bowl. They have a ton of athletes and, like the Chiefs, can match up with almost anybody on the field. They lack the innate ability to finish a team off, mortal combat style. We think that traveling and facing more teams that play different styles would give them more experience and better fortitude when facing strong teams. Here is to hoping that we see NFOF make the trek into uncharted territories in 2017!
7. Medford Dynasty
Dynasty had a remarkable run last year, finishing 2015 at the top of the standings. But 2016 has been an exhausting year for the team. They have played under a few different banners and started venturing down to California to try to get some different competition. They pulled a team together for the Portland invite only tournament but the tournament was a bust and the team failed to get into the championship game. While the team might be down this year, we wouldn’t count them out. They, like many teams in the Top 10, are often a play or two away from winning a tournament. They are only going to get better facing strong competition in California and learning concepts that NW Teams might not be ready for. 2017 could see another strong run by Dynasty as they start to get more energy and players start to come back from injuries.
8. Eugene Dirty Birds
The Dirty Birds crack the top 10 to close out the year. The team plays tackle in the spring so they miss a couple flag tournaments and season each year but they tend to close out the year with a strong finish. This year was no different as they went the distance in their fall league and was a finalist at the NW Champions Tournament in Eugene. They are very athletic and took the Spokane Outlaws to overtime before losing on a failed extra point. Could they be a Top 5 team? Probably. They have similar issues that teams that don’t travel do; lack of experience playing teams from outside their area. They have the athletes to compete with most if not all teams and the lineman to hold their own. It’s only a matter of time before they find a championship trophy in their hands.
9. Vancouver Cobras
The Cobras started the year with bang, sending a message in the F|H WCFFC tournament with a 2nd place finish. It looked like their year to climb into the top spot, maybe get a few tournament W’s under their belt and run through the Top Flight League in Vancouver. But the momentum died before it really started. They failed to win the league championship and failed to place in the Show up or Shut up tournament in Seattle. They need to play more outside of their league, the downfield blocking rules of U.S. leagues seem to throw them for a loop. They have a lot of great pieces, stout line, big strong armed QB and great athletes on the edge. They just struggled to adjust to other styles of play.
10. Grants Pass Venom
We had high hopes for the Venom, they were our dark-horse team to sneak into the Top 5 this year but they leveled out as the year went on. They have a Comp championship under their belt and semi final appearance and finals appearance at a few Elite level tournaments. But they failed to rise to the occasion in Eugene where they had a great opportunity to rise up into the top 5. We still think they have a great RB and effective QB to make moves the next year. They also have a stout rotation of O and D line and all the components to be a well balanced Elite Level team.
Who surprised us?
They moved up 4 spots from last ranking, they are slowly climbing the rankings and starting to show up at more and more tournaments. They won the local Dog Days of summer tournament in early August before coming up to Seattle for Flag Football Frenzy. They have a lot of great pieces and some momentum to travel. We think they sneak into the top 10 before the to long in 2017
(13) Vancouver ‘Cons & (15)Vancouver Villains
The ‘Cons & Villains have surprised us, but not in a good way. They are slowly sliding down the rankings. While the Top Flight Flag Football league in Vancouver has historically been a strong league, its started to crumble in recent years and while both teams are formidable in their backyard with the Canadian styles of play, both struggled to travel outside of one tournament and failed to impress in that appearance. Do we think that each of these teams could beat teams ahead of them in the ranking? Most likely! They are both deep teams with great QB’s, but the teams don’t have the resume to support it.
(17) Eugene No Mercy Ballerz
They have won the Rec and Competitive divisions of the last two Snow Bowls, 2015 and 2016, and won the Competitive division of the 2016 Salem Liberty Bowl. They have placed in the competitive division for a few other tournaments over the last two years and have some players in place to compete consistently at the Competitive level. They need a few more dynamic players and stronger D-rush to start competing at the Elite Level. If they land a couple of those pieces and make a run, we think they have a potential shot at a top 10 finish next year.
(18) Seattle RNS
Runner up of the Show Up or Shut up tournament, a short field 7v7 format. The field was pretty deep this year and they knocked of some good teams on their way to the championship game. They didn’t win the tournament but followed it up with a fall league championship in Seattle. They have the athletes to compete with most teams, but lack experience against top level teams in tournament play to crack the top 10. Still, from unranked to top 25 is pretty solid in a year.
(22) Tri Cities Bruins
(23) Seattle Ave House
(24) Spokane Savages
(25) Portland PED All-Stars
All four above teams were unranked going into the fall, granted a few of them had graced our rankings before, but they had not shown up at tournaments consistently. All 4 teams made a significant move this year, especially in the last 4 months of the year, either competing with top teams, placing in Elite tournaments, or winning league championships. Look forward to seeing these teams at tournaments around the NW.
- Faoro Hicks West Coast Championship - Everett - March 11th & 12th
- Spring Mayhem - Spokane - April 28th, 29th & 30th
- Spring Leagues (Check your local region)
If you are an 8v8 team on the margins or are not even featured at all and you think you deserve some recognition, let us know who you are and why we need to take notice and your squad may just be featured in our next ranking.