June 11, 2013
To better meet the needs of the organization and support further development of the sport of flat track roller derby, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is undertaking the first major restructuring of its Rules Committee since the organization was founded.
The new Rules Committee will have two primary branches – the Theory Panel and Application Panel – as well as specialized support positions to help accommodate the committee’s workload.
“The WFTDA has experienced significant growth since its founding, but our Rules Committee had not grown or evolved alongside the organization,” said WFTDA Managing Director of Games Karen Kuhn. “Creating specialized positions also will allow the committee to take a more responsive approach as our sport continues to develop.”
In addition, the committee will, for the first time, include non-voting members representing the interests of other users of WFTDA rules, the Men’s Roller Derby Association and junior roller derby.
“We recognize that our rules are widely used outside of our member leagues, as the most-used flat track roller derby rule set. That is why we began using gender-neutral pronouns in the Jan. 1, 2013 rules, for example. We are extending that to bring in representation from men’s and junior roller derby to our panel,” Kuhn said.
"This is yet another positive step forward in the relationship between the WFTDA and MRDA. We are happy to have an active voice in the evolution of the rules that govern flat track roller derby and truly appreciate this opportunity,” said Miss Trial, MRDA Director of Officiating.
The Theory Panel is charged with managing the Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby from a big picture, theoretical perspective. The panel’s duties include gathering information from the sport’s stakeholders, observing game play and officiating, and conducting formal testing of proposed rules changes.
The Application Panel is responsible for translating the rules theory into consistent, clear rules language. Their additional tasks will include drafting language for ballots and developing official responses to rules questions and clarifications. Language Leads, under the oversight of the Application Panel, will be appointed to provide an international and non-native-English speaker perspective to rules language.
The Rules Committee Chairperson will oversee both panels to manage goals, timelines and deadlines, and to delegate tasks to committee support staff as needed.
In addition, the Rules Committee will continue to use and build on the rules feedback data at timeout.wftda.com, which allows all users of the Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby a way to formally submit input about the rules.
During the 2013 WFTDA Annual Meeting, May 24-26, Ivanna Destroya, a skater with NEO Roller Derby, was elected as the Rules Committee Chairperson.
Whacks Poetic, a skater with Hammer City Roller Girls, and Matthew Mantsch, a referee affiliated with Gotham Girls Roller Derby, were elected to terms on the Theory Panel, ending October 2014. While she is already serving on the committee in an appointed role, Whacks Poetic is the first elected member of the Rules Committee from a league outside of the United States.
Judge Knot, an official; Vicious Van Gogo, a skater with Gotham Girls Roller Derby; and Betsy Wrecksie, a skater with the Minnesota RollerGirls, were elected to serve out their current Rules Committee terms as members of the Theory Panel. Their current terms end in October 2013.
The Men’s Roller Derby Association has selected their Head of Officiating, Miss Trial, to serve as the first MRDA representative on the Theory Panel. The non-voting junior and WFTDA Officials Committee representatives of the Theory Panel will be selected at a later date. The Application Panel members also will be appointed at a future date.
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