I am personally thankful for the WFTDA organization for resurrecting roller derby. I love and respect all of the wonderful and dedicated people I’ve met or seen who continue to work and make it grow.
The majority of derby ( fact – On April 1st 2013, out of 1451 known leagues, 176 were WFTDA), is a fractured derby community. Now as it is beginning to come together using USARS (USA Roller Sports) rules as a common link there is a ton of buzz. This makes me a very happy camper since I’ve been shouting that there has to be more initiative to have random leagues come together for over three years now. But it is not all a dream world; Choices must be made that will make or break it.
USARS is the current rule set of (my) choice mainly because not just the no stopping on the track part, or pivot breaking, but because it is the most likely one to take hold and bring random leagues together for competition. For many leagues there’s NO chance of ever being in any type of regional tournament and together we can change this.
USARS is a fast and defensive game. A drawback is that it seems to be the opposite of a stopped pack; it is pretty much only a race of speed and endurance. This is THE best option in my opinion but there must be a middle ground found here soon in order for the majority of leagues to be willing to support it. That is thing number 1.
Thing number two: As of today, USARS must seriously work very quickly to create a presence in this sport and need all of the help they can get. Time will tell if it will continue to emerge and those of us with big mouths have to take it from here, we need it to happen. We need to do it regardless of the tweaking that needs to, and will take place.
A critical aspect in favor of USARS rules is that in the eyes of the world, USARS is mainstream, it isn’t about a roller derby stereotype, and using it can help break that stereotype for the people who we need to have see it in a different light. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with the stereotypical derby, it is ALL good. All skaters are equally important regardless of why they skate, but we need for some of the world to see the light.
Here is who I’d like to see viewing roller derby as a mainstream sport:
- City parks departments
- Community centers
- Sport enthusiasts
- Mainstream media.
Let’s use it anyway and support this forward movement.
Let’s get loud and vocal. Let’s share resources and get this going, everyone should have an option to play in a system that means something to more than a select few.