WFTDA announces locations for 2010 regionals, Texies plan for boot camp
By Richard Whittaker,
4:30PM, Wed. Dec. 2, 2009
The Women's Flat Track Derby Association 2009 nationals are still a fresh memory but, as noted in last week's flat-track Roller Derby feature, the WFTDA has confirmed that next year's finals, the Uproar on the Lakeshore, will be held in Chicago, Nov. 12-14, 2010. Now the locations for the four regionals have been confirmed.
East Region: Suburbia Roller Derby, White Plains, N.Y.
North Central Region: Brewcity Bruisers, Green Bay, Wis.
South Central Region: No Coast Derby Girls, Lincoln, Neb.
West Region: Sacred City Derby Girls, Sacramento, Calif.
These will presumably all take place under the freshly minted WFTDA Standardized Flat Track Roller Derby Rules, which replace the 4.0 rule set (and which many skaters hope will stay in place for a good long time).
What's interesting about the regionals is that none of the power-player leagues are hosting, and instead it's up-and-comers stepping up to the plate. WFTDA's decision earlier this year to shift from two regions to four will arguably allow more of these burgeoning teams to become more deeply involved in spreading the sport.
Talking to WFTDA executive director Juliana Gonzales, aka Texas Rollergirl Bloody Mary, she recalled the logic to that decision, and how it represented a pivotal moment for the future of the sport and the association. She said, "The way the board presented [to the leagues] was, would you like to be a shade tree, well-tended and expansive in its reach, or would you like to be a bonsai – compact, careful, deliberate and small. The membership resoundingly responded, 'shade tree.'"
The Texas Rollergirls are still taking their role in spreading the sport seriously, and hold their annual boot camp Dec. 11-13. According to Bloody, boot camps are "an expression of values." Obviously, training to make local rookies and skaters from other leagues better players is a major motivator ("I would like some competition in my region," Bloody said), but this is another opportunity for the "by the skaters, for the skaters" ethos to prove itself. She explained, "I have a hundred skaters here who are probably pretty influential in their home league, and I can teach them the values that are important to the modern flat track derby movement: Democracy, cross-training, grass-roots decision making, defense over offense, whatever you want to spread the message on."