FAQ’s on National Team Selection

These FAQs have been compiled to answer the most common queries the UKRDA has received since the publication of their intent to formalise the structure of National Teams and Support staff in then UK. This list is not exhaustive and should your question not be answered here please contact the UKRDA at directors@ukrda.org.uk who will reply to your query.

For the purpose of this document, the word “team” refers to any national team including, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and any GB team that may be formed from members of the other national teams put together.

UKRDA

Will the UKRDA be opening up membership to individual skaters?
This is currently being discussed by the UKRDA. Prior to any decisions being made there will be a period of consultation with member leagues. As you can imagine this is a huge decision for the UKRDA and one that cannot be rushed. As with all decisions that will affect current and future member leagues the final decision will be made by member vote.

Can an individual skater who is an official for a UKRDA league apply to be a skater for a national team?
Yes if you are a member of a UKRDA league then you are eligible to apply to skate for a national team. As with all applicants, you must meet the membership requirements for your individual league (officials does not include volunteers).

Can individuals apply to be both a skater and coach for a National Team?
Individuals can either apply to skate or coach/bench for a national team and can not do both with one exception. A male applicant may apply to skate for a male team and coach a female team and a female applicant can apply to skate for a female team and coach a men’s.

I am not a member of a UKRDA league but a member of a MRDA/WFTDA league. Can I still apply?
Whilst the UKRDA are keen to continue our positive relationship with WFTDA and MRDA we can only endorse a UK league that is a member of the UKRDA. International applicants who hold a UK passport may apply in writing and must be willing to attend UK try outs.

Why you can’t endorse a non-UKRDA league or skater?
In order for the UKRDA to endorse a league or individual member we need to ensure that they hold themselves to the same standards of practice and policy as the UKRDA. We are unable to verify whether those practices are in line with the UKRDA Code of Conduct unless they are a member league. The BRSF have given instruction as the governing body for roller sports in Britain that only members of UKRDA, a member of BRSF, can be selected to represent the UK in any International Competitions.

What is to prevent me forming my own version of Team England/Northern Ireland /Scotland/ Wales from leagues who are not members of UKRDA?
There is nothing to stop you from forming a unit of skaters, which can be attributed the name ‘Team Nationality’ of non-UKRDA members. However, these teams will not be recognised by the national governing body of roller sports, the BRSF. This in turn means they will not be recognised by international governing bodies and may be restricted in participating in future events as a result. The UKRDA aims to make this process as fair as possible by guiding the national selection process via our regulations, which are also monitored by the BRSF.

Could a group of skaters form a national team and then go to the UKRDA for affiliation?
No. As part of the verification that we place on member leagues we also need to place this onto national teams. Therefore we need to ensure that the process of assembling a national team is in line with our Code of Conduct and coaching practices.

Can you explain how the decision to formalise National Teams reached and by what process?
The UKRDA is recognised as the governing body of roller derby in the UK by BRSF who in turn are recognised as the governing body for roller sport disciplines in Britain by FIRS (Federation Internationale De Roller Sports). FIRS are recognised as the governing body of all roller sports by the International Olympic Committee. It was brought to the directors by a member, that the UKRDA would be best placed to take steps to compile a national team selection process so that the national teams would then be recognised by the international sporting world. National teams in the past (e.g. Blood & Thunder World Cup) had no official recognition, so in anticipation of more international tournaments, the UKRDA wanted to make sure roller derby would be recognised and the teams legitimised by the sporting community. This is a step towards roller derby being involved in competing at sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympics in the future. UKRDA member leagues are all grassroots run and all UKRDA directors and representatives are democratically voted by the skaters. UKRDA follow the ethos of by the skaters for the skaters but ultimately strive to further promote the sport of roller derby and have it recognised and taken seriously outside the derby community. The suggestion of formalising the structure for international teams was brought to all member leagues who voted in favour of it. It is important to remember that in order for a national team to compete at an international level they must be recognised by their governing body.

What will the process for team selections be and who will run them?
The support staff, coaches and bench staff will be selected by the UKRDA in line with Rules, Regulations, policies and procedures that are transparent and fair. UKRDA member leagues will be involved in the selection process, voting on the coaches and supporting staff. The coaches and bench staff, while maintaining these procedures will ensure a team is fairly picked and a representative from the UKRDA may also be present. At this time we are awaiting further clarification from the BRSF as to the details of how this process will run so that we ensure that it is in line with BRSF procedures. More information will be released as soon as we have received that clarification.

Will the coaches have to have the BRSF coaching qualification?
Having the BRSF coaching qualification is not compulsory but evidence of suitable coaching experience and qualifications will be taken in to account. The UKRDA would recommend completing the qualification should individuals be able to but do not consider this a necessity to be a national coach.

Will those running the try outs also be able to apply to skate for a national team?
Those running the try outs will not be able to apply to skate. This is to ensure that the process is impartial and fair. As previously stated, further information on the try outs for skaters will be released once the coaching staff have been decided on.

If I have previously tried out for team England does that mean that now I am unable to try out for team Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland?
As this is the first time that the UKRDA has run applications, having tried out for a team previously will not effect your ability to try out for a national team through the UKRDA process. However should you be picked for a national team you will then be unable to try out for a different team as a skater in the future.

Will there be a fast tracking of applications for UKRDA membership to allow teams to become eligible?
There will be no fast tracking of applicants at this stage, the UKRDA does not anticipate any delays with processing new applications. Please remember that national team selection may take some time. If the UKRDA has received your references and your application is being processed you will be considered suitable for try outs pending your league’s acceptance into the UKRDA.

What will the UKRDA will do to support the National Teams?
By being endorsed by the UKRDA all the National Teams will be recognised by the British Roller Sports Federation (BRSF). This will give the teams access to funding, support and advice that will aid team development and growth. The relationship between the UKRDA and the National Teams is in its infancy. This will grow as we learn what we can give to each other and how we can work in partnership to further the sport of Roller Derby.

What has UKRDA done for the sport so far?
• The UKRDA enabled Roller Derby to be recognised as a sport and gained membership to the BRSF.
• The UKRDA has hosted three successful annual UK roller derby tournaments and aim to continue these into the future.
• Currently the UKRDA is working towards a UK rankings system for member leagues and more tournaments and events to promote the sport in the future.
• The UKRDA is motivated to supporting the sport of roller derby and all member leagues are encouraged to approach the directors with suggestions for how we can further help our members.
• The UKRDA is currently researching insurance solutions for member leagues.
• The UKRDA are currently working with the BRSF to create a roller derby specific coaching qualification, which will allow for consistent and high quality coaching across the UK that is endorsed by a national governing body.
• The UKRDA supports and encourages discussion and exchange of information between member leagues.
• The UKRDA continues to work to increase the profile of the sport of roller derby in the UK and to enable it to gain legitimacy as a competitive, athletic sport.

This announcement marks exciting times for both UK and international roller derby. Any roller derby league in the UK is able to join the UKRDA if they match the membership criteria. The UKRDA are happy to offer advice and answer the questions of any league considering joining and have financial strategies in place to help leagues pay their membership fee if required. We are also looking into Individual UKRDA membership for skaters who come from leagues who may not wish to join UKRDA. The UKRDA is a not for profit organisation run by the skaters for the skaters and this marks another step towards further promoting the sport of roller derby, the sport we love.

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