New UKRDA officials policy unveiled

Photo by Jason Ruffell - www.roller-derby-on-film.co.uk

Photo by Jason Ruffell – www.roller-derby-on-film.co.uk

The UKDRA is pleased to announce its new Membership Policy on Independent/Non­-UKRDA League Officials.

This new policy allows officials to become members of the UKRDA without being affiliated to a member league. It will also create an environment for officials to come together and share information and experiences, and enhance the training and development of UK-based officials.

Director Ma Might, who has been leading the creation of the policy, said:

“The UKRDA members voted this policy in because they believe in acknowledging the contribution that so many quality officials in the UK make to the sport of roller derby.

“Additionally, the UKRDA member leagues wish to support the ongoing growth and development of those individuals, regardless of if they are affiliated to a league, UKRDA or otherwise.”

The full policy can be read here.

The first round of applications for officials membership will be opening in January, so watch this space, and get your paperwork ready now so that you can apply as soon as they are open.

As part of the publication of this policy, the UKRDA has opened applications for the 2015 Officials Admin Panel. This panel’s main job will be to assess any applications for officials membership to UKRDA.

The panel will be made up of two referees, two NSOs, and one skater. The skater must come from a UKRDA member league. The other panel members must reside primarily in the UK and for the 2015 position will be granted UKRDA Independent Official membership if they are not already UKRDA members through league affiliation.

For a full description of the role of a panel member, click here.

Nominations are open until 8pm on Tuesday, December 16, and nominees will have until 8pm on Thursday, December 18 to accept their nomination and provide any additional information. We hope to announce the appointed panel at our AGM in January.

To apply to serve on the panel, click here.

To nominate someone else as a potential panel member, click here.

Any questions about the Independent Officials Policy, or the work of the Officials Admin Panel, can be emailed to OAP@ukrda.org.uk.

UKRDA Transgender Policy

The United Kingdom Roller Derby Association (UKRDA) has today announced the appointment of their new Transgender Liaison and the ratification of their Transgender Policy.

The policy creates a uniform standard of treatment of transgender skaters, and ensures the protection and safety of transgender skaters throughout the UK, with UKRDA member leagues committing to adhere to the policy. This includes safeguarding the confidentiality of trans* skaters, and ensuring that they are supported not just by the law, but by UKRDA policies.

Mistress Malicious, chairwoman of the UKRDA, welcomed the announcement. She said: “This policy makes the UKRDA one of the most forward-thinking and inclusive sports organisations in the country.

“Skaters in our member leagues come from all walks of life and with this policy, we ensure that transgender skaters feel safe, supported and welcome within the UK roller derby community.”

To oversee the integration of the Transgender Policy, the UKRDA has appointed Glasgow Roller Derby skater Jodie Stanley as the organisation’s Transgender Liaison. Jodie is a policy manager within a national LGBT organisation.

“I hold a Senior Management position within a national LGBT organisation, and bring to the role vast experience in creating and influencing national and local policies and frameworks, ensuring that they represent lgbt people as widely as possible and reflect their differing needs.”

Jodie will be co-performing this role with fellow GRD skater Freya Gosnold, who Freya has a great personal and political investment in trans* advocacy and support, and will be a wonderful asset to this role. Jodie said:

“I’m excited that UK roller derby is creating a breakthrough arena for transgender representation in our sport. Transgender people statistically engage far less in sport, partly due to structural discrimination – and I am delighted that roller derby is the sport which is breaking the barriers of gender, making it all about the sport and not about anatomy.”

Freya added: “Roller Derby has the potential to really pave the way for trans* representation in sport, at all levels of competition, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to use my experience as a trans* person and activist to support our sport and our community on this journey.”

The full UKRDA Transgender Policy is available here.

Team Wales – Skater Selection Process

Team Wales – Skater Selection Process (Rev. 1.1 2013-11-26)

A. Introduction

The recently appointed Team Wales Coaching Committee has proposed the following selection criteria for Team Wales Squad members. UKRDA has ratified these criteria and outline selection process and will assure it is adhered to throughout trials to the best of their ability.

The UKRDA will regularly review these criteria for skater selection to ensure a fair, transparent, and professional process available to members anywhere in the United Kingdom and in line with UK sporting guidelines and any relevant sports legislation.

This document outlines the selection criteria for skaters and outlines the selection process associated with selecting the Wales National Squad. It is intended to provide guidance to applicants as well as being a formal record of UKRDA’s recruitment policy for National Squad Skaters.

This policy will be reviewed by UKRDA in October 2014.

B. Skater Expectations

  • Skaters will be expected to prioritise national squad training and competitions.  (Every effort will be made to organise around UKRDA & WFTDA competition dates and other major commitments.)
  • Skaters will be expected to maintain average minimum 65% attendance at national squad training and commit to attending upcoming major competition dates. Consistent failure to do so may result in the coaches removing the player from the squad or from future rosters.
  • Skaters will be expected to participate in team discussions including providing availability for National team events such as fundraising initiatives, bouts and tournaments, as well as training sessions.
  • Skaters will be required to participate in some function of the administrative side of the team – sponsorship, merchandise, team leadership, public relations, social media, etc.
  • A skater’s inability to meet these expectations for any reason will result in the Coaching Committee’s review of their place on the Wales National Squad.

C. Nationality Criteria

  • Skaters must hold a passport issued by the country they are representing.
  • UK skaters with a Great Britain Passport will be allowed to select their country of origin within the UK based on at least one of the following:
    • Country of birth
    • Country of residence (for at least 4 years)
    • Country of birth for parent or grandparent
  • Skaters will be asked to provide documentation to prove this on the day of tryouts.
  • Skaters who meet criteria for more than one country may tryout for all squads they are eligible for although may only accept a place on one squad at a time.
  • From the day a skater accepts a place on a squad they cannot play for another UK country for 2 years.
  • Skaters who have played for any National Team prior to 2013 may apply for any of the UK National Teams during the 2013 Trials as this is the first time that the UKRDA has overseen applications.

D. Affiliation Criteria

  • In order for the national team to be officially sanctioned, all skaters must be members of a UKRDA affiliate league.
  • We realise that restricting the opportunity for selection to skaters from current UKRDA affiliate leagues means that at present a large proportion of UK skaters would be ineligible to apply. It would also make it impossible for internationally-based UK skaters whose country does not have a national governing body to apply as well. Therefore, in order to open the opportunity to all eligible skaters, UKRDA will create a new membership class for UK National Squads and each National Team that UKRDA establishes will be required to join.
  • Affiliation for National Teams will follow a different procedure as other teams due to the unique nature of the teams.  The full criteria for National Squad Membership will be made available to National Squad Management Teams when appropriate.

E. Selection Process

1. Application Form

  • Applicants must submit the application form: Team Wales Skater Application Form.
  • A fee of £20 must be submitted with the application form in order to secure a spot at a tryout day.
  • Upon completing the application skaters must confirm they meet all of the entry criteria and agree to take part in the selection process as described in this document.

2a. Round 1 Tryouts

  • Details of Round 1 tryout dates and  locations will be published via UKRDA’s website with a target minimum of 1 month’s notice.
  • Skaters attending Round 1 tryouts may not wear any league-affiliated kit or clothing.
  • Each skater will be assessed against the specified criteria outlined below. The selection panel will review and discuss the applicants performance and consolidate their feedback amongst the panel at the conclusion of the tryout.
  • In the interests of fairness, assessments against the criteria can only be made from the skaters performance during Round 1 Tryouts. Previous performance outside of the selection process specified here cannot be taken into account.

2b. Round 1 Tryouts by Video Submission

  • Skaters may submit applications via video to the selection panel if they are unable to attend Round 1 of the National Team tryouts.
  • Video applications will be subject to the same application requirements along with an application fee of £20.
  • Video applications must be received by midnight on the final Round 1 tryout day.
  • Video footage must contain annotated clips of the skater demonstrating the skills listed in the selection criteria below. Each clip must be unedited and show the skill demonstration in its entirety.
  • In the interest of fairness, assessments against the criteria can only be made from the skater’s performance during this round. Previous performance outside of the selection process specified here cannot be taken into account.

2c. Round 1 Tryouts – Outcome

  • After the conclusion of the Round 1 tryouts, applicants will be ranked using all criteria assessed at this stage.
  • The top 30 applicants will be taken forward to Round 2 tryouts.
  • If there are less than 30 applicants in total, the final squad selection will be made from the top 20 applicants from Round 1 tryouts only (see 3. Final Squad Selection below) and Round 2 tryouts will not be held.

2d. Round 2 Tryouts

  • Details of Round 2 tryouts will be published via UKRDA’s website with a target minimum of 1 month’s notice.
  • All skaters invited to attend Round 2 tryouts are required to attend to be assessed for the final squad selection.
  • Skaters attending Round 2 tryouts may not wear any league-affiliated kit or clothing.
  • Each skater will be assessed in further detail against the specified criteria outlined below. The selection panel will review and discuss the applicants performance and consolidate their feedback amongst the panel at the conclusion of the tryout.
  • In the interests of fairness, assessments against the criteria can only be made from the skaters performance during Round 2 Tryouts. Previous performance outside of the selection process specified here cannot be taken into account.

2e. Round 2 Tryouts – Outcome

  • After the conclusion of the Round 2 tryouts, applicants will be ranked using all criteria assessed at this stage, and the top 20 applicants will be taken forward to the final squad selection.

3. Final Squad Selection

  • The final Team Wales National Squad will be selected from the top 20 applicants.
  • Working from the top ranking downwards, a minimum of 15 skaters and a maximum of 20 skaters will be selected. This will help to balance the skills across the team and ensure that all the various player attributes and abilities are represented by the squad without weighting the team with too much of a single skill.

F. Selection Criteria

  • The Round 1 and Round 2 Tryouts will consist of drills and a scrimmage at the end of the session to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each applicant.
  • Each skater will be assessed against the criteria specified below.  The selection panel will discuss the applicant’s performance and collectively award a mark of 1-5 for each criteria. Marks will be awarded in accordance with the following scale:
1 Lacking Skill area is not demonstrated or is lacking
2 Inconsistent Skater shows inconsistent skill in this area
3 Consistent Skater is consistent & competent in this area
4 Skilled Skater shows notable skill / stands out in this area
5 Exceptional Area is exemplary, skater is a role model in this area

Essential criteria:

A. Strong individual skills

  • Exceptional Skating Skills  (must be able to provide WFTDA 2013 Minimum Skills Certification reference if requested)
  • Blocking form

B. Ability to work well in a team

  • Ability to work with team mates on the track.
  • Good communication skills
  • At least one obvious strength which will be an asset to the team

C. High level of gameplay ability

  • Good understanding of Roller Derby tactics and gameplay
  • Good on track positional sense and situational awareness

D. Attitude

  • Positive Attitude
  • Coach-ability
  • Adaptability
  • Psychological Toughness and Perseverance

 

Criteria

Description

Assessed by

A  Strong individual skating skills
1 Exceptional Skating Skills Illustrates good balance, agility, power and form while skating both forwards and backwards. Can perform plow/derby/hockey stops quickly and cleanly. Specifically designed drills
2 Blocking Form Uses good form and generates power when blocking both skating forwards and backwards. Specifically designed drills
B Ability to work well in a team
3 Ability to work with team mates on the track. Capable of working with people during walls, defensive formations, and offensive plays. Specifically designed drills and scrimmage Observation
4 Good communication skills Able to communicate clearly, concisely, and accurately with other players on the track, as well as being able to repeat or relay communication. Specifically designed drills and scrimmage Observation
5 At least one obvious strength which will be an asset to the team Display at least one ability that will be of an asset to the team. For example, jammer skills, pack communicator, or positional blocking. Observations during scrimmages
C High level of gameplay ability
6 Good understanding of Roller Derby tactics and gameplay Makes informed decisions on track when selecting gameplay options. Responds well to gameplay communication. Observations during scrimmages
7 Good on track positional sense and situational awareness Understands the best place to be on track at all times and is cognisant of other activity on the track, even while engaged in physically distracting tasks. Acts quickly when out of position in order to remain an effective on track element of their team. Specifically designed drills and scrimmage Observation
D Attitude
8 Positive Attitude Displays drive and determination as well as remaining positive even under duress. Desire to improve not just themselves, but their team-mates as well. Drills & scrimmage & throughout day
9 Coachability Responds well to instruction. Able to execute accurately based on instruction. Capable of taking responsibility for their own development. Drills & scrimmage & throughout day
10 Adaptability Able to adjust their actions on the fly based on situations either on the track or over the course of the game. Drills & scrimmage & throughout day
11 Psychological Toughness and Perseverance Capable of performing at a high level when undergoing extreme physical and mental challenges. Drills & scrimmage & throughout day

 

Skater Selection Objective Criteria

This list of criteria is for self-evaluation. It will not be assessed on the tryout day.

  • Passed the WFTDA 2013  minimum skills
  • Perform an acceleration lap within 10 seconds and come to a stop at the end of it within 10 feet using any stop
  • Can skate backwards weaving through moving skaters, using crossovers, Weaves comfortably and briskly through a moderately moving line of skaters without focusing on their own feet
  • Can perform apex jump of three cones
  • Can toe stop run on the  inside and outside of the track up to 10ft
  • Can perform both forwards and backwards blocking

Skater Selection Timetable

  1. Arrive group warm up, assess A1, D8, D9, D11 (20 minutes)
    1. Skate at variant speeds around the track calling different stops (10 minutes)
    2. Split people on inside/outside line shout different commands to travel to the opposite side of the track, lateral, hop, crossover, shuffle (10 minutes)
  2. Test Agility skills A1, D8, D9, D11 (10 minutes)
    1. Tag, people who are already on the inside skate freely on the track ready to tag(touch skater with hands on their body)  the skaters who are on the outside line who will also skate freely avoiding the tags.  This drill is to assess skaters agility and juking skills.  Swap positions (5 minutes each)
  3. Backwards skating assess A1, D8, D9, D11 (estimate 20 minutes)
    1. Assess backwards skating, skaters weaving in and out of skaters who are in a pace line positioned in the middle of the track  (Allow each person to do this three times)
  4. Jammer Agility/toe stops A1, B5, D8, D9, D11 (15 minutes) (10 ft)
    1. Cones on inside and outside line cones measuring a foot apart 10 feet in total 2 inches approximately from the line. Skater skates forward at full speed towards the cones comes to a stop using a preferred stop and toe stop run/hop/ sideways between the cones. The cones are acting as skaters being close to the inside line which the participant are wishing to avoid.
  5. Positional blocking and getting through a pack assess A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A11 (estimate 20 minutes)
    1. Jammer skate through a pack of 10 skaters from different leagues, call two skaters at a time to skate through the pack, blockers positional blocking and communicating where the jammer is, blockers do not  chase the jammer once passed they let go. Every person have two goes skating through (estimate 20  minutes)
  6. Backwards blocking drill assess A1, A2, B3, B4,B5, C6, C7,  D8, D9, D10, D11 (15 minutes)
    1. Group together in groups of 5 with members from different leagues, one person being a jammer at different times try and stop the jammer using the  three wall, with fourth person going backwards, directing the three wall.  On whistle rotate who is the jammer and person going backwards make sure every person gets a chance at all positions, whistle changes every 2.5 minutes (15 minutes)
  7. Offensive/Defensive Drill  A1, A2, B3, B4,B5, C6, C7,  D8, D9, D10, D11(20 minutes)
    1. In groups of 6, 4 blockers working together a jammer and an offensive player.  Offensive players trying to get their jammer through each group of blockers, jammer only at 80% relying only on their offensive blocker, each person have a go at each position. Whistle changes every 2.5 minutes (20 minutes)
  8. Offensive/Defensive Drill2 A1, A2, B3, B4,B5, C6, C7,  D8, D9, D10, D11(15 minutes)
    1. Pack of equal amount of team players, black and white; two jammers being sent in at different times to see show the pack adapt from offensive and defensive play.
  9. 20 minute break
  10. Scrimmage, mix people from different leagues, both sides have two managers, to assess how they communicate with coaching staff. assess A1, A2, B3, B4,B5, C6, C7.

G. Related Procedures

Definition of the Selection Panel
The selection panel will be formed of the members of the coaching committee – Head Coach, Line-up Manager, and Assistant Coach. In order to gain a broader range of opinion on players, the coaching committee may appoint selectors to assist in the squad selection. These selectors will be able to provide opinion on skaters. However should anything require a vote, the coaching committee will be the only members of the selection panel able to do so.

UKRDA may decide to appoint a representative to sit on the selection panel. UKRDA representatives will not be permitted to express opinions or vote on skater selection and would be there in an oversight capacity with the sole objective of assuring the selection process as detailed in this document has taken place fairly.

End of Term
Each skater is selected for a period of 2 years.

A vacancy can arise for the following reasons:

  • A skater retires / leaves the squad
  • The current incumbent is unable to fulfil the requirements of the role effectively and is asked to leave by the Coaching Committee

In the event of vacancies on the skating squad, the coaching committee may choose to either carry the vacancy, or fill the spot/s by holding open tryouts. No skaters will be appointed without going through this selection procedure. All vacancies which the coaching committee seek to fill must be advertised widely through the UKRDA and open to all interested parties to apply.  Potential applicants will be given as much notice as possible, ideally at least one month. This may be activated should the coaches deem the size of the squad has dropped below a critical number. The above process is then designed to ensure that the Team Wales squad remains strong, both in numbers and ability.

Changes to the Role Descriptions, Person Specifications, or Selection Procedure
Changes to the procedures detailed in the document may be recommended by anyone and must be approved by a majority vote of UKRDA members. Should there be current team members, they must also be consulted when considering any changes to the process.

Appeals
Should any applicant feel they have been treated unfairly at any stage of the process they may lodge a query or appeal with the UKRDA National Squads Oversight Board by emailing ukrdanationalsquads@ukrda.org.uk.  All complaints will be investigated and formally responded to within 14 days. Should the applicant be unsatisfied with the outcome of the investigation they may escalate the issue to the UKRDA Board of Directors who will work with the applicant to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Skater Eligibility for National Squads Updated

UKRDA are pleased to announce details on the skater selection process for national teams. Over the past several months we have worked to the best of our ability to put together a process that is clear, transparent and fair. We’ve listened to input and concerns from the UK Roller Derby community and also balanced the requirements of the British Roller Sports Federation (BRSF) to ensure we comply with their rules.

UKRDA Membership
The BRSF requires all skaters to be a member of a UKRDA league in order to be on a national team. We have listened to feedback from the UK Roller Derby community and addressed this issue by affiliating each national team individually to the UKRDA, removing the requirement for individual leagues to be UKRDA members. We hope that this will encourage skaters from all leagues to try out for the teams and allow each squad to select the very best players from across the UK.

Nationality
Skaters will be required to hold a British passport and can select the country of representation based on any of the following: country of birth; residence (minimum of four years); or the country of birth of a Parent or Grandparent. Skaters are welcome to try out for all of the countries they are eligible for, but once a place is accepted on a national team their country of representation must remain unchanged for two years.

Application and Tryouts
To apply for a National Team skaters will need to fill in an on-line application form and then attend a tryout or submit video evidence. A small application fee will apply in either case. Team England tryouts will be in November 2013, and the Team Wales and Team Scotland tryouts will be held early in the New Year.

Notification
Please join our mailing list for further announcements and advance notice of all tryout dates. We’ll aim to let you know at least a month in advance of tryouts. We will also be publishing further details and information on the selection criteria so that skaters can review what the coaching staff will be assessing on the tryout dates.

Our goal from the start has been to facilitate a skater selection process that ensures we can select the strongest national teams from across the whole of the UK Roller Derby community. We welcome your continued feedback and communication to aid us in evolving this process so we can look forward to seeing the very best of UK Roller Derby talent being showcased to the world.

WFTDA Minimum Skills

The UKRDA recognise the WFTDA new minimum skills requirements released this weekend and reminds leagues that this is only actually ‘required’ for top A Team charter skaters for UKRDA or WFTDA sanctioned games.

Leagues will need to check their bout contract for how the new skills requirements may impact all other games, particularly B Team and scrimmages.
Within the new skills document the WFTDA advises that:

Each WFTDA Member League that enters into a WFTDA-sanctioned game must designate a league member who is responsible for verifying that every skater in the game meets all of the skill requirements listed below. Passing the WFTDA Skater Rules Test is also part of the minimum skills requirement. Member leagues are responsible for determining frequency of re-assessment based on league skaters’ experience and skill level.

These minimum skills are:

– Required for charter team skaters playing WFTDA sanctioned games.
– Strongly recommended for skaters playing in interleague scrimmage or games.
– Strongly recommended for skaters playing in intraleague (home) scrimmages or games.
– Recommended for new skaters to graduate to contact drills and intraleague (home league) scrimmages. 

All currently passed skaters should be re-tested and skaters will be expected to meet the new skills requirements for any sanctioned UKRDA game played after 1st July 2013.
WFTDA leagues should check with WFTDA for their relevant skills requirement deadline.

UKRDA and Sanctioning Update

The UKRDA is delighted to announce that we are now launching a rankings system for members. The commencement of this will be the implementation of a sanctioning process for games between member leagues’ teams.  Sanctioned games will help us to develop this official rankings system, but will also enable us to develop our officials and ensure all sanctioned games adhere to UKRDA game play regulations.

Following close work with WFTDA and consultation with members, UKRDA will adopt the WFTDA sanctioning process and use an adapted version of their paperwork. This means our new sanctioning process will easily tie in with leagues that are members of both UKRDA and WFTDA.

Alongside sanctioning, we are planning to have a series of regional tournaments for our members which will result in a UK Championship, something the UKRDA has been working towards from the outset.

Karen Kuhn (Bones), WFTDA Managing Director of Games, is very excited about working closely with the UKRDA to help launch this new process and said; “The WFTDA is very excited about the establishment of national flat track roller derby associations like the UKRDA and what this means for the growth of the sport of flat track roller derby. We are happy to share best practices, standards and to make our materials available to UKRDA for their use, in the course of achieving and executing their mission. We look forward to a collaborative relationship for the benefit of all our members.”

The UKRDA Board Director responsible for Sanctioning and Games, Mistress Malicious, is keen to push the project forward and has been developing the process for many months. She explained how it had evolved, “Last year we asked our members what they wanted from sanctioning games and rankings and the overall feeling was to mirror the WFTDA process. Our WFTDA members particularly wanted the process to be similar to simplify submissions to both organisations. We were very pleased when WFTDA agreed to share their paperwork and process with us and we are very appreciative to Bones for all the time and work she has spent helping us implement it”.

As with all key decisions on the future of roller derby in the UK the UKRDA reports back to member leagues, relying upon and welcoming their input and any member league is welcome to join the sanctioning committee. To help leagues with the paperwork and understand the process we have an extensive FAQ document that is constantly updated.

UKRDA Sanctioning Processor Mona Rampage said, “Developing our own sanctioning process really shows the growth of roller derby in the UK. It is a really exciting time for our organisation and for all UK roller derby leagues – male and female”.

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.

National Teams and Selection

The United Kingdom Roller Derby Association is delighted to announce that it has now formalised the selection process for national team selection for both skaters and coaches and is beginning the process to select UKRDA endorsed mens and women’s teams for all GB countries, ready for action later this year.

As a result of guidelines set out by Sport England, Sport Scotland and the BRSF the UKRDA is now responsible for designing and implementing the criteria and process involved with creation of GB national teams. We do this under strict guidance and with a view to ensuring that the most fair and transparent process for selection is being applied.

We are hugely excited to begin this process of team selection and in the next two weeks we will be opening up applications for the roles of Head Coach, Assistant Coach and Line Up Manager for Team England, Scotland and Wales.

We will also be looking for support staff for the teams, which will include vital roles such as Sponsorship and Team Manager.

We are aware that for non-UKRDA leagues our criteria for skater and coach selection may cause application problems and we are writing to them all to discuss how they can continue to be a part of this very exciting time.

We are proud to have reached this historic moment in UK Roller Derby history and look forward to celebrating the success of our undoubtedly excellent national teams.

Please contact the UKRDA on info@ukrda.org.uk

 

For information the agreement details:

We have agreed that the UKRDA will ensure that Team GB (which can be further broken down as separate Teams England, N Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) are overseen by coaches who have been selected using a fair application process run by the UKRDA.

In adherence to UK Guidelines, skaters and coaches must be members of the BRSF (via the UKRDA) in order to qualify for National Team selection.

The UKRDA will oversee and facilitate try-outs or league visits for skater selection to ensure this is run fairly.

The UKRDA will set and regularly review the criteria for skater selection to ensure a fair and balanced process available to members anywhere in the United Kingdom and in line with UK sporting guidelines and any relevant sports legislation.

The criteria for skater selection is as follows:
Skaters must hold a full UK passport, or have parents or Grandparents who were born in the UK.

UK based skaters must be members of UKRDA leagues. The UKRDA can only endorse skaters from UKRDA leagues as those leagues have been assessed for the correct policies, procedures and training, have references and have been inspected. The UKRDA cannot endorse skaters from non-UKRDA leagues and therefore could not endorse a team containing those skaters. It is also essential that the UK has only one sanctioned representative team (per individual country).

Internationally based UK skaters may try-out for GB teams and this will be considered on a case by case basis.

We will continue to allow skaters to select their country of origin within the UK. Skaters will need to show evidence of their choice, based on location, birth, birth heritage or previous residence.

The criteria for coach selection is as follows:

Coaches must belong to a UKRDA member league and be able to complete the application form in full. Coaches do not have to be UK passport holders.