Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Releases Updated Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby

November 19, 2012

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Today, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) publicly released the newest version of its Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby. All WFTDA-sanctioned games must be played under these new rules starting Jan. 1, 2013. This is the ninth edition of the WFTDA rules since 2006 and it marks the first comprehensive update in more than two years.

The overhauled rule set, which incorporates some significant changes to the current WFTDA rules, is the result of an extensive discussion, beta testing and voting process among the WFTDA’s member leagues. The 159 member leagues voted to ratify the final product earlier this month.

The most significant change is the elimination of the “minor” category of penalties, which means that only illegal actions that have significant game impact will be penalized. Another notable change is that jams will start on one whistle, instead of having the blockers and jammers released separately, as they are today.

“The new WFTDA rule set is a big step forward, improving both game play and the fan experience,” said Rules Committee Chair Lindsay Eggers. “The switch to no minors will allow for a more uninterrupted game flow. The single whistle jam starts will allow play to get started right away and render confusing jam start tactics obsolete, such as players starting on their knees.”

The updated rules are available for viewing and download at http://wftda.com/rules.

In addition to the revisions of the rules themselves, this release aims to make WFTDA rules more universally accessible to all flat track roller derby competitors. For the first time, the rules will use gender-neutral language and diagrams to be inclusive of all flat track roller derby skaters. WFTDA’s “brother” organization, the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA), will release a MRDA-branded version of the rules Nov. 23.

“The WFTDA wanted to create a more universal rule set, so switching to gender-neutral language and diagrams allows anyone to follow these rules without feeling excluded,” Eggers said.

In addition, the WFTDA will begin releasing the first official rules translations in several languages during 2013 to better serve current and future members and to help facilitate additional growth of the sport worldwide. A German translation is anticipated in January, followed by French and Spanish in mid-2013.

Media Contacts
Kali Schumitz, Public Relations Manager – press@wftda.com
Karen Kuhn, Managing Director of Games - karen@wftda.com, 914-560-6067

About the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association
Founded in 2005, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the international governing body for the sport of women’s roller derby and a membership organization for leagues to collaborate and network. The WFTDA sets standards for rules, seasons and safety, and determines guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues. There are currently 159 WFTDA member leagues and 109 leagues in the WFTDA Apprentice program globally. The WFTDA a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization is governed by a five-member, volunteer Board of Directors.

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