Founded in April 2004 as the United Leagues Coalition (ULC) and renamed in November 2005, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is an association of women's flat track roller derby leagues in the United States. The organization is registered in Raleigh, North Carolina as a 501(c)(6) business league organization, which is a type of non-profit organization. According to its mission statement, the organization "promotes and fosters the sport of women's flat track roller derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportsmanship, and goodwill among member leagues" and its governing philosophy is "by the skaters, for the skaters" — the primary owners, managers, and operators of each member league and of the association are women skaters, although this does not preclude any particular business structure (leagues don't have to be legally incorporated or internally egalitarian). The mission statement also says WFTDA sets "standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determining guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues" and says "all member leagues have a voice in the decision-making process, and agree to comply with WFTDA policies."
In its first year, the ULC was an informal electronic message board
through which established leagues compared notes in order to prepare for interleague play, and it was also used to exchange information to help new leagues that were just getting started.
The ULC evolved into a more formal organization in July 2005, when representatives of 20 leagues met in Chicago
to discuss establishing a governing body for women's flat-track roller derby. At the meeting, a voting system was established, as was a set of goals and a timeline was established for facilitating interleague play. Among these goals was the production of a standard track design and standard game rules. The design and rules which were settled upon and distributed later that year.
In November 2005, the ULC voted to change its name to the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.
In early 2006, a track design and rules were published on the organization's fledgling web site. By that time, the organization had grown to 30 leagues, a cap decided upon at the July 2005 meeting.
Induction of new member leagues was postponed until revised membership requirements could be discussed at the next face-to-face meeting, scheduled for the end of May. However, in February 2006, soon after the initial requirements were published and following the fragmentation of several leagues, a "multi-league per city" clause was added to the membership requirements. Although throughout early and mid-2006 the clause was listed as a requirement for membership, WFTDA's web site was later updated to state that the policy is "unofficial". WFTDA also claims the policy is intended to uphold goodwill between members — by excluding leagues not likely to find favor with established members — as well as to prevent rival leagues in the same city from being privy to each other's "proprietary information.
Following the May 2006 meeting, a press release was issued to promote the organization and publicize the meeting. The June statement covered the following points:
- Representatives of the "30 founding leagues" met to discuss rules, business structure, skill standards, rankings and future tournaments.
- 30 more leagues were slated to be inducted in late summer 2006, bringing the total membership to 60.
- Version Two of the WFTDA Flat Track Derby Standardized Rules for Interleague Play was announced as forthcoming in late summer, 2006.
- Changes to the member league divisions were announced (see table below).
- A 2007 tournament schedule was announced.
In addition, Eastern and Western divisions, delineated by the Mississippi River, were announced. Thus, each member league is either Eastern or Western, and Division 1, 2 or 3.
In September 2006, new membership was reopened.
By late August 2007, WFTDA membership was up to forty-three leagues. On August 15
, WFTDA announced it had struck a deal with the MavTV
network to record, edit and broadcast the 2007 Eastern Regional Tournament as a weekly series of 12 one-hour episodes (one episode per bout).
In mid-2007, WFTDA's Web site was updated to reflect changes in the requirements for placement in the three divisions: it is now based on seniority, as measured by readiness for inter-league play and the number of seasons completed while a WFTDA member (see table below).
In September 2007, WFTDA was admitted to USA Roller Sports (USARS) as a Class V member — a national amateur roller skating organization — and a WFTDA delegate joined the USARS Board of Directors.
In February 2008, WFTDA announced that leagues from Canada
would be eligible for membership.
In June 2008, the WFTDA Rules Committee created a Question and Answer forum to "provide definitive and final answers about the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Standard Rules. Anyone with a question about the WFTDA Rules is encouraged to submit questions to the Rules Committee through this forum." Rules Committee Question and Answer Forum
In September 2008, WFTDA had grown to 60 teams. fiveonfive (official WFTDA magazine) began publication.
WFTDA league divisions
WFTDA League Divisions
|| Definition to mid-2006
|| Definition to mid-2007
|| Current definition |
|| Finished one season (season minimum: five games, including exhibition games), and "is ready to travel by being in compliance with interleague standards of play".
|| Finished three seasons including inter-league play.
|| Finished two seasons as a WFTDA member and is engaged in inter-league play. |
|| Actively bouting and has completed at least one public game, including one or more exhibition games.
|| Finished at least one season "including inter-league play"
|| Finished one season as a WFTDA member and is engaged in or ready for inter-league play. |
|| Still forming / has not completed any public games (including exhibition games), but is in compliance with WFTDA membership standards.
|| In training / has not completed one season.
|| Has not yet completed one season as a WFTDA member. |
As of September 2008, the following 60 leagues are WFTDA members:
Class A Teams
- Angel City Derby Girls - Los Angeles, CA
- Arizona Roller Derby - Phoenix, AZ
- Atlanta Rollergirls - Atlanta, GA
- B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls - San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA
- Big Easy Rollergirls - New Orleans, LA
- Boston Derby Dames - Boston, MA
- Brew City Bruisers - Milwaukee, WI
- Carolina Rollergirls - Raleigh, NC
- Charm City Roller Girls - Baltimore, MD
- CT RollerGirls - Waterbury, CT
- Dallas Derby Devils - Dallas, TX
- Denver Roller Dolls - Denver, CO
- Detroit Derby Girls - Detroit, MI
- Dixie Derby Girls - Huntsville, AL
- Dominion Derby Girls - Norfolk, VA
- Duke City Derby - Albuquerque, NM
- Fort Wayne Derby Girls - Ft. Wayne, IN
- Gotham Girls Roller Derby - New York City, NY
- Grand Raggidy Roller Girls - Grand Rapids, MI
- Houston Roller Derby - Houston, TX
- Kansas City Roller Warriors - Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO
- Mad Rollin' Dolls - Madison, WI
- Minnesota RollerGirls - Minneapolis, MN and Saint Paul, MN
- Ohio Roller Girls - Columbus, OH
- Philly Roller Girls - Philadelphia, PA
- Pikes Peak Derby Dames - Colorado Springs, CO
- Providence Roller Derby - Providence, RI
- Rat City Rollergirls - Seattle, WA
- Rocky Mountain Rollergirls - Denver, CO
- Rose City Rollers - Portland, OR
- Sin City Rollergirls - Las Vegas, NV
- Texas Rollergirls - Austin, TX
- Tucson Roller Derby - Tucson, AZ
- Windy City Rollers - Chicago, IL
Class B Teams
- Alamo City Rollergirls - San Antonio, TX
- Arch Rival Rollergirls - St. Louis, MO
- Assassination City Derby - Dallas, TX
- Burning River Roller Girls - Cleveland, OH
- Cincinnati Rollergirls - Cincinnati, OH
- DC Rollergirls - Washington, DC
- East Texas Bombers - Tyler, TX
- Gem City Rollergirls - Dayton, OH
- Green Country Roller Girls - Tulsa, OK
- Harrisburg Area Roller Derby - Harrisburg, PA
- Long Island Roller Rebels - Long Island, NY
- Maine Roller Derby - Portland, ME
- Naptown Roller Girls - Indianapolis, IN
- No Coast Derby Girls - Lincoln, NE
- Northwest Arkansas Rollergirls – Fayetteville, AR
- OC Rollergirls - Orange County, CA
- Oklahoma Victory Dolls - Oklahoma City, OK
- Oly ROllers - Olympia, WA
- Sacred City Derby Girls - Sacramento, CA
- Salt City Derby Girls - Salt Lake City, UT
- Sioux Falls Roller Dollz - Sioux Falls, SD
- Slaughter County Roller Vixens - Port Orchard, WA
- Steel City Derby Demons - Pittsburgh, PA
- Tampa Bay Derby Darlins - Tampa, FL
- West Texas Roller Dollz - Lubbock, TX
- See also: the category Women's Flat Track Derby Association leagues.
While not member leagues, many roller derby leagues use the WFTDA rules.
Official WFTDA Rankings (last updated July 2008)
- Kansas City Roller Warriors (KCRW Travel Team)
- Gotham Girls Roller Derby (GGRD Travel Team)
- Rat City Rollergirls (Rat City All-Stars)
- Carolina Rollergirls (CRG All Stars)
- Texas Rollergirls (Texecutioners)
- B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (The B.A.D. Girls)
- Windy City Rollers (WCR Travel Team)
- Philly Rollergirls (Liberty Belles)
- Detroit Derby Girls
- Rose City Rollers (Rose City All-Stars)
- Charm City Roller Girls (Charm City All Stars)
- Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (5280 Fight Club)
- Tucson Roller Derby, (TRD Saddletramps)
- Boston Derby Dames
- Mad Rollin' Dolls (Dairyland Dolls)
- Pikes Peak Derby Dames
- Duke City Derby Girls (Muñecas Muertas)
- Minnesota RollerGirls (MNRG Travel Team)
- Grand Raggidy Rollergirls
- Cincinnati Roller Girls (Cincinnati All Stars)
- Dallas Derby Devils (DDD Travel Team)
- Dominion Derby Girls
- Providence Roller Derby (Riveters)
- Houston Rollergirls (HaRD Knocks)
- Denver Roller Dolls (Mile High Club)
- Atlanta Rollergirls (ARG Travel Team)
- Arizona Roller Derby (Tent City Terrors)
- Sacred City Derby Girls (All Stars)
- Naptown Roller Girls (Tornado Sirens)
- Maine Roller Derby (Port Authorities)
- Brew City Bruisers
- Ohio Rollergirls
- No Coast Derby Girls
- Connecticut RollerGirls (Stepford Sabotage)
- Northwest Arkansas Rollergirls (Arkansas Killbillies)
- Angel City Derby Girls
- Fort Wayne Derby Girls
- Tampa Bay Derby Darlins (Tantrums)
- Sin City Rollergirls (Neander Dolls)
- Orange County Roller Girls (Orange Crushers)
- Steel City Derby Demons
- Assassination City Derby (ACD Special OPS)
- Burning River Roller Girls (BRRD All Stars)
- Arch Rival Roller Girls (All Stars)
- Big Easy Rollergirls
- Dixie Derby Girls
- Alamo City Rollergirls
- Green Country Roller Girls (All Stars)
- Gem City Rollergirls (GCRG All Stars)
- Long Island Roller Rebels (All Stars)
Inactive teams (unranked)
Unranked teams (have not completed two bouts against ranked teams yet)
2006 "Dust Devil" National WFTDA Championship Tournament
In Tucson, Arizona, over the weekend of February 24–26, 2006, Tucson Roller Derby hosted 20 WFTDA leagues from around the United States in a tournament to determine the nation's first-ever WFTDA national champion team.
Round robin bouts
bouts were instituted to determine seeding for a single-elimination tournament]]. Four pools were created (Scorpion, Tarantula, Black Widow and Rattlesnake), with each pool consisting of 5 teams. On Friday, February 24
, each team played four ten-minute bouts in each pool. Point differential was used to determine the ranking and placement of each team within its pool. With this information in hand, tournament officials selected the top three teams of each pool and seeded them according to the point differential of each team for the single-elimination tournament.
The single-elimination tournament started on Saturday, February 25
with 12 of the previous day's 20 teams. Scheduling of the bouts allowed for the top four seeded teams to receive a bye in the first round of play. Teams seeded 5 through 12 played in the first round. The winners of the first round of the single elimination tournament played the top four seeds in the second round. Bout winners advanced to the semi-finals and bout losers were eliminated.
Semi-finals and finals
On Sunday February 26
, four teams (TXRG Texecutioners, Tucson Saddletramps, Minnesota Rollergirls and AZRD Tent City Terrors) played in the semi-final bouts. In the first bout, the Texecutioners defeated the Tent City Terrors in a full three-period bout, 114 to 81, sending the TXRG to the championship bout and AZRD to the 3rd-place bout. A second full three-period semi-final bout was played between the Tucson Saddletramps and the Minnesota Rollergirls. Tucson defeated Minnesota 136 to 75. This pitted the Tent City Terrors against the Minnesota Rollergirls for the 3rd-place bout, and set the WFTDA National Championship Bout to be between Texas and Tucson. The 3rd-place bout was played out with the Tent City Terrors upsetting 3rd-seeded Minnesota 115 to 88. The Championship bout was finalized later in the evening, with the Texecutioners defeating the Saddletramps 129 to 96.
2006 Bumberbout Flat Track Invitational
The 2006 Roller Derby "Bumberbout" Flat Track Invitational was played in Seattle on Saturday, September 2, 2006. Eight teams competed. The Texas Rollergirls
beat the Rat City Rollergirls
74 to 69 in the invitational championship bout.
2007 Dust Devil Tournament
The Rat City Rollergirls
beat the Tucson Saddletramps
in the finals of the Western Regional Tournament, the Dust Devil, held in Tucson, Arizona.
2007 Heartland Havoc Tournament
During August, the Eastern Regional Tournament was held in Columbus, Ohio. It was a 12-team single-elimination tournament with the same structure as February's Dust Devil Western Regional. There were numerous upsets on the second day: the Windy City Rollers, ranked #14 in the nation at the time, defeated the Mad Rollin' Dolls, ranked #1 at the time. Additionally, the #19 Detroit Derby Girls defeated the #6 Minnesota Rollergirls, and #10 Gotham defeated #9 Philly. In the championship bout, Gotham Girls Roller Derby beat the Windy City Rollers, 134-71.
2007 Texas Shootout, National Championships
On September 30
, the Kansas City Roller Warriors
beat the Rat City Rollergirls
in the final match of the Texas Shootout, becoming the 2007 national champion roller derby team. The Texas Rollergirls
placed third. Eight teams went to Austin to compete in the 2007 Texas Shootout National Championships, four from the eastern regional division and four from the western regional division, these notable teams included: the Carolina Rollergirls
(fourth place), the Gotham Girls Roller Derby
, the Tucson Roller Derby
, the Detroit Derby Girls
, and the Windy City Rollers
Notes and references