UKRDA’s role in British Championships

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Sorry for the delay, but we didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag about the men’s element!

There have been recent questions about what UKRDA’s involvement in the British Championship will be, and the potential implications of this. We would like to set the record straight so as to save any further speculation or misunderstanding.

The UKRDA was approached by the developers of the British Champs concept to be involved with the organisation of the tournament as it was felt that the national expansion of the event should be in consultation with the national governing body of the sport. The UKRDA’s involvement was discussed on our forum at length with our member leagues – including those already involved with Heartlands 2014, those who have signed up for the British Championships, and those who declined to take part – who voted overwhelmingly in favour of involvement.

The 2015 British Championships tournament is structured so that UKRDA can have direct oversight of the top two tiers, which will be wholly made up of our members.

All tiers and divisions will be run by the representatives of the teams therein. As with everything in roller derby this tournament is to be run by the leagues, for the leagues, with support from democratically appointed individuals, as per the structure diagram prepared by the British Championships team. This tournament has UKRDA’s approval as it has been put together for the benefit of the UK roller derby community, with support from UKRDA’s directors and some guidance from WFTDA.

The tiers will be governed by the Divisional Heads, who will in turn be supported in their role by the overall governance structure of the tournament.

We have also been working with MRDA to ensure that the men’s side of the tournament is compatible with the women’s side, and to ensure a high standard of oversight throughout.

What we’ve done so far includes developing a support structure for the tier and divisional management, including the formation of a panel to oversee the appointment of key tournament staff and volunteers.

UKRDA has had direct involvement in the development of a comprehensive support network for officials taking on management roles within the 2015 tournament structure and expect the structure to be one that enables officials at higher levels, but also one that nurtures and promotes development for officials early in their derby lives.

No financial support from UKRDA has been agreed at this time and the tournament is planned to run on the teams’ entry fees. There are a number of options being investigated, but these are ongoing and will be announced if and when they are confirmed.

As this is the first time a UK tournament of this type as taken place, there may be teething problems as we go along. However, we are confident that any potential issues can be resolved through proper skater representation and fair, flexible management. This structure is one that will greatly benefit the UK roller derby community, from the grassroots to the top tiers of the game in our country.

We hope that we can build on the work done putting the 2015 British Champs together, as well as the hard work going into creating a British men’s championships, and can create the biggest and best UK-based roller derby tournaments.

The UKRDA directors are happy to answer any questions about our role in the British Championships.

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 meets with WFTDA

UKRDA are extremely pleased to have taken part in their first virtual meeting with the full board of directors at the WFTDA, chaired by Bloody Mary.  The discussion was positive, productive and promising for the continued progression of UK roller derby for both WFTDA and non WFTDA leagues. Topics covered included sanctioned bouts, rankings, specific coaching qualifications, men’s and junior derby, insurance, tournaments and certification for refs and NSO’s.

President Nancy Spinatra (Sallyann Wright) said “We really look forward to working with the WFTDA to the benefit of derby not just in the UK, but worldwide.  We  also hope to be able to forge strong relationships with not only WFTDA, but other derby associations as well and, as always, we welcome comments and suggestions that encourage this.”

UKRDA member league reps, we look forward to your continued and active participation in our on-going discussions and activities for UKRDA.

Derby Milestone: WFTDA Tournament held in UK

UKRDA is celebrating another milestone in UK rollerderby – the first international Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (www.wftda.com) tournament in Europe.

On the 9th and 10th April, derby fans and skaters from the UK’s 80+ leagues descended on London for ‘Anarchy in the UK’ – 2 days of bouts between teams from Canada, America and England.

There was a high level of gameplay and athleticism on show from visiting teams – The New Skids on the Block from Montreal, the Steel City Derby Demons from Pittsburgh and Charm City from Baltimore – giving hosts London Rollergirls a well-needed challenge.

UKRDA Secretary Germaine Leer said, “This is the highest level of gameplay we’ve seen in the UK thus far, and it’s great to see how excited UK leagues now are to take the local game to the next level.”

This tournament is a turning point for UK derby. Alongside over a thousand spectators at the Excel centre, people from across the world logged on to Derby News Network to watch live footage, and facebook and twitter have been awash with updates from leagues – sharing links of ‘awesome jams’ and being inspired to push their teams even harder to match the standard of play shown at Anarchy.

2011 has been as exciting year for UK roller derby so far, and whilst our leagues work hard on track, UKRDA is working just as hard off it – to raise the profile of the sport in the UK, and internationally.