We are not bullies…..

Image by cobrasoft from stock.xchng.com.

You would probably be surprised at the amount of messages I get on facebook from people I don’t know that well or have never met.

I sometimes feel that they kind of look on me as the court of last resort.

Many times before there is a team split off (as there was recently in Chico, CA) I hear from a participant in The Great Sport who feels he or she is being treated unfairly.

Now you all pay to play, so it is really different from if you were trying out for a sport or team and the coaches felt you didn’t have the talent to make it.  That is not what modern Derby is all about.  You can obviously participate on some level, but still have to conform to league rules.  I understand that.  But just last week I heard from someone who was in such distress because she felt she was being ostracized, humiliated and her friends were told not to associate with her because those in charge of the league were coming down on her.

There are two sides to every issue, and that is just hers.  But almost every association and sport team has similar issues.  The question is, how to deal with it?

I am sure many of the splits are because of personality or power issues, so what is the answer.  Personally, I would like to see each small market build around 1 league, but since no one is “franchising” Roller Derby and that is not what WTFDA does, there is no obvious solution.

Roller Derby has such a huge period of growth ahead and most of the leagues have been in existence a very short time.  It often takes years to establish yourself, get your skaters properly trained, build a following, and have a chance of success.

You all must face these problems often….how do you deal with them?  And how do you protect the people who choose to play with you?

No matter what the enterprise, it is the relationship between those involved that matters.

33 comments on “We are not bullies…..

  1. It’s a struggle – I tell ya. I have been on both sides of this coin, and there is no easy solution. I often try to remain diplomatic among trash talking and rumors – but boy does it get hard not to stand up and say “that is utter bullshit” or “your crappy attitude is ruing our league”. So much of the issues surrounding derby are based in perception, and the truth hardly matters at times. I think the answer is that you build a culture of support from the beginning. You build the expectation that the league is like a chosen family, and that to the public, we support our own regardless of what may be happening behind the scenes. No league will ever operate without hurt feelings and disagreements, but its how you build the support to help skaters move past those feelings and embrace each other on the track that makes the difference. At the end of the day, we all love our teams and are passionate about derby – just because we see a different path to success for our league doesn’t mean we can’t work together to find a common ground.

    • I was hoping to get a reasoned response as I am not really part of it……and Christina you have really done that….thanks.

  2. it’s the nature of the beast. This seems to happen when you have so many different people working on a hobby they love and no professionals involved. Impossible to figure out who is right or wrong, mostly hearse. For the best most people go to another league or start a new league. Find the league that best suits you and take what ignorant people say with a grain of salt. when the bullies leave the league, they will be forgotten. I’ve seen a ton of people and drama in 6 years of derby and I’m sure it will come and go as it always does.

    • I personally think you’ve hit the nail on the head
      “many different people working on a hobby they love and no professionals involved”
      I would go further to say that because there isn’t even a large proffesional level anywhere, people join leagues with different levels of commitment, different goals and differing opinions of how to achieve things.
      If there were differing levels of leagues, pro, semi-pro, amatuer, beer league, I think people would have a better idea of what they are joining from the begining.
      Some skaters might join the amatuer level only to learn this is something they excel at and can move to higher leagues and vice versa, rather than trying to change the league they joined or the league trying to ‘reform’ the skater.

  3. If it turns out a skater is not the right fit for a league, it can be a very tough decision to ask them to separate from the league. I sit on a board of directors and we’re faced with making a decision like that. Giving a skater every chance possible to make it work and succeed within the league was our primary objective. But lack of motivation or effort has created a huge time suck for trainers and our skater rep.

    In the end, I don’t doubt that this skater will paint herself as a victim or us as “mean girls.” She already states that she feels left out–but that is mainly because she removes herself from drills and refuses to participate in our community service projects.

    We have minimum standards as a league that each skater must meet (and those were difficult to hash out and they may be subject to change). But making sure that each and every member of the league is aware of those standards (by signing a skater expectation form) can help when it comes to either reforming the skater or separating.

    There is never an easy way to do it. And hurt feelings are inevitable. As a board, we would never sever ties with a skater over simple personality issues. If someone isn’t the most likable person, as long as they are meeting their expectations, the rest of the league must include them. However, you can’t dictate feelings.

    Even if it must be done, making sure that the league is aware of WHY the skater was asked to leave–without going into excruciating detail is important. And NOT airing dirty laundry or personal matters via gossip is encouraged.

    • While this might be excruciating… I believe there needs to be a mediator/mediation before the league can ask skaters to leave. After the fact the league should SHUT UP about it, personally all that I feel should be said is so and so has been kicked off the league. I was kicked off my league last summer and concerned parties are still telling me that I am Psycho and that if they talk to me they will not be allowed to join.


      • I know that Donna “thehotflash”kay has set up a program and protocol for these situations…….maybe we can get her to post it here or on her site. and I am sorry for you, Concerned Skater. Don’t lose your love for Derby…..try elsewhere.

  4. I know FIRST hand about splitting and it came at with the worst possible end for me…I no longer am able to participate in my city’s roller derby league even though I’m the reason it exists today.

    We had our initial meeting several years ago and many of us were excited to start roller derby. The girl who called the first meeting to see if there WAS an interest, decided after that she didn’t want to do it anymore…after ONE meeting. So it was about to end there…NOBODY was stepping up…I felt if my dream of being a roller girl were to come true, I had no choice but to take over.

    I started up the league and dedicated the next 2 years of my life to roller derby. My personal life suffered, but I didn’t care because this was the first time in years that I was doing something I could be proud of. After being picked on in high school for being different and the years following, I never fit in anywhere…I never had many female friends because I was a tomboy and preferred to work on cars/motorcycles and lift weights instead of shopping and checking out boys. For the FIRST TIME in my life I fit in somewhere and it was SOOOO much fun! The hours were long, but the results were rewarding. We were moving forward, finding a practice facility and even got money together to have a Boot Camp run by Sheriff (a personal hero of mine).

    We had a coach, who was AMAZING and I had put together a business plan and were fast moving towards having our OWN facility (thanks to sponsors) and were going to be the first Canadian League with a banked track! My dreams were coming true….until girls, being girls, started to gossip & backstab and soon everything I had worked so hard for had been taken away from me before I even knew what happened.

    I was instilling benchmark standards, and some girls weren’t happy about this, mostly because for some of the girls, they cared only about the image and NOT physical ability. Benchmark standards meant they wouldn’t be able to play if they didn’t pass. Also, I was SOOO busy working behind the scenes that I had enlisted a couple of girls who worked right along beside me and whose trust I gave 100% to. I gave them access to EVERYTHING including bank accounts & email passwords. One girl was very close with the league and acted as a liaison for me. I didn’t have time to “hang out” with the girls on a social level because things were happening so fast I needed to focus on the league. My most trusted assistant reported back to me “the girls want this or that” and I, wanting to please the league, would comply with EVERYTHING she asked.

    We were preparing for a big meeting and I had been making ALL preparations based on the information she was relaying to me. At the meeting EVERYTHING fell apart…what she had been doing was lying to me and telling me the OPPOSITE of what the girls wanted so that when I showed up, they would be against everything I suggested, even though I THOUGHT it was what they wanted. Suddenly everyone was against me and I did not see what was coming. Scrambling to figure out what was going on the girls said “You HAVE to sign the league over”…YAH RIGHT! Like I’m gonna walk away from 2 years of my life..and why should I? I THOUGHT I was moving the league in a direction THEY wanted..now I find out I had been lied to for months!!

    The next day I find out my mom has breast cancer!! It’s a rare form and she’s not expected to survive….I am BEYOND crushed. Worst possible timing as I am preparing for a meeting to “fix” the league. I am not sure who I can trust at this point so start digging and find out that the same girl who misled me to help take over the league had also emailed all of my contacts AS ME, saying I was stepping down AND had NOT paid our current practice facility so we were behind like 3 months fee’s! I soon realized things were soo out of control I didn’t know what to do. We had a huge order of pads/helmets that not everyone had paid for and now it had to come out of MY pocket. Everything was in such disarray that I knew I was backed into a corner I couldn’t get out of.

    My biggest mistake was not trying harder to rectify everything and prove myself in the right. But it was ME against EVERYONE else and I felt like I was the loser in high school all over again. I decided to focus on my mom and reluctantly missed the last meeting and signed everything to them.

    I have been out of roller derby for 5 years now and went through such severe depression over it that I attempted suicide a couple of times but failed. I was bullied out of something that I had put EVERYTHING into. I was left with nothing…rumors were spreading about me and I wished I was dead.

    The league still exists but recently split. Unfortunately they got rid of the coach and my business proposal with ALL of my financial contacts & media support was all thrown away. They let everything go. They are successful, but all I can see is where we would be by now had this not gone so sour.

    I’ve been left with serious trust issues, especially where girls are concerned. I’ve been in touch with the only girl from the old league who would listen to my side who happens to be involved in the new league and I want SOOOO bad to skate..that’s all I ever wanted. I didn’t want to RUN the league but if I hadn’t, it would have died years ago. All I wanted to do was skate and that’s the thing that I didn’t get to do in the end. I am TERRIFIED to go back..but the need to skate is so strong.

    I wish I didn’t give up, but I was put in a position where I had no choice. I was bullied and ganged up on and was told by a skater “everyone gets cancer, your mom will be fine…this league is more important than your mom right now.”

    That’s when I knew I had been supporting girls who didn’t give a damn about me…how do you get over that? I am not bitter anymore although I was angry for years…now I’m just reduced to tears every time I recall the events leading up to the day that my right to be a skater was taken from me along with everything else that mattered to me in my life at that point.

    I am STILL working on my self esteem & confidence after that..they literally destroyed me from the inside out. The most hurtful part of all of it was to have girls that were my friends believe that I had betrayed them or to hurt a league I had put 2 years of my life into…all based on another girls LIES. It’s terrible, but girls are the worst when it comes to backstabbing….so now I am friendless because after 5 years I still can’t trust people.

    I am hoping to observe a practice of the new league soon…as long as I can get my nerve up. My skates still fit and are calling to me……..

  5. OH and as a followup…I’ve been saving for years to go ahead and build a banked track here. I figure “if I build it, they will come”. I can avoid all of the issues with running a league…can practice whenever I want to get my skills back up to par and finish the dream I started 7 years ago…. My facility won’t be ready for another 1 – 2 years, but when it is EVERYONE is welcome regardless of what happened in the past. I don’t have to have a lot of friends to finish my dream and I feel this is the only way I’ll ever get past it.

      • Thanks Jerry,

        When we started leagues were still fairly new and we didn’t have committee’s and such like they do these days. We had some leagues to follow on the internet, but not as easily as it is nowadays with Facebook, Twitter, etc… There wasn’t enough information out there for us to learn from or help deal with certain situations, like the one I found myself in.

        It’s a LOT easier now to start a league and have the resources to implement proper committee’s, rights, regulations, etc.. that would protect EVERYONE. I hope everyone out there takes advantage of this and TALK to other leagues more to find out what you are doing wrong AND right!!

        I WILL persevere and having the chance to tell my story here is more therapeutic than you could ever imagine. I’ve been following behind the scenes for many years just hoping that some day I would have the chance to skate again. I’ve almost uprooted my family to move to a new city JUST so I could skate, but then realized I was not going to allow them to take my home away from me too.

        Some day, hopefully soon, I will put my skates back on and skate hard, filled with passion, strength & desire to be the best person I can be. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to welcome new friends into my life & finally get past the trsust issues that have plagued me for the past 5 years.

        Thanks again Jerry…I really needed this and to any girl out there dealing with a similar problem…TALK TALK TALK…don’t give up…use the resources you have to protect yourself and yes, as long as you are giving 100% and committing to the rules of your league, you SHOULD be safe. And if people are talking shit about you..don’t let it bother you. Easier said than done I know…I almost ended my life over the same stuff. When you are in that situation, it’s easy for someone on the outside to say “get over it, who cares” because it feels like the end of the world…but it really isn’t. Stand up for yourself and be proud…you have a right to skate…fight for that right.

      • Betty, please get in touch with Donna (see below)….she is in Seattle and her mission is to help the women in Derby.

      • Betty~

        I too share your trust issues and heartbreak… Although I might be able to help you get a SWEET banked track for a greatly reduced rate, my husband has ‘reinvented’ the wheel so to speak. Please stay strong… I will email Jerry privately so you can get my email from him if you would like to talk about making your banked track dream a reality or just talk to someone else in your shoes.
        Derby Love!

      • I would LOVE to talk to you. Jerry you have my permission to pass along my email address to Concerned Skater. Thank you 🙂

  6. There are a lot of great responses, and it’s true that when you get so many people together that heads will butt. This is why there is a hierarchy, club officials and committees that should be running an organization. That way, no one person has the final say on anything. This works in theory, and it’s supposed to be how our league runs. Truth of the matter is that the coach feels that she still has the final say, even if every skater’s opinion is different than hers. How to deal with it? Suck it up, it may not be the way I would run the organization, but I’m not running it. Does it suck that her attitude takes away from my skating experience? Sure, but it’s not forever. What do I do? I make attendance, skate my heart out, learn what I can and practice what I want in my spare time. Once my children are grown, I’ll move to a city where there isn’t just one choice in league. Until then, I do what I’m told so I can skate.

  7. This is a toughie and one of the reasons I started my leagues. I have an anonymous form on my site that people can voice their concerns. Besides this one I have another anonymous skater feedback form. I want their issues to be heard and really try to address it as soon as possible.

    Thank you for this blog too Jerry. I realized long ago that I was much more interested in how skaters impacted one another than I was who was “winning”. I conducted a survey (a modified Rosenberg self-esteem scale) and had about 125 responses. I will give you the results of the survey because it is fascinating. Questions were about whether or not skaters viewed themselves as “one of the stronge skaters” on their league or “one of the weaker” or “somewhere in the middle” and their attitudes on whether they offered help withing being asked, or if they were too intimidated to ask for help etc. The intention was to follow the same group over one year to track how derby impacted their self esteem. The most empowering of sports can be as equally devastating when someone feels like an outcast in their league.

    It is amazing how the positive energy swoops in to override the negative when these concerns are brought out into the open:


  8. I skated with a league that is self-coached. It turned out to be dominated by a cliquish group of people. People on the traveling team voted each other on, which meant that if you weren’t in the “in” group your odds of making the traveling team were basically nil. They had requirements for committee participation and service to the league, but one or two people who didn’t meet the requirements were still voted onto the traveling team, while people who had added a lot to the league, and who were very solid skaters, were passed over. In my first season, I was named an alternate and I was excited about it! But they didn’t really communicate with us much or let us train with them. We always had to skate against them with the B team at our weekly scrimmages, and they mostly paired up with each other at practices. When I asked how we were going to be able to help them if we never trained with them, they said that they probably wouldn’t need us anyway, and that they would include us once a spot opened up and they voted one of us on. When I explained that training alternates was part of developing a league that could be competitive in the long term, they told me I was just bitter I wasn’t on the traveling team.

    In addition, the dominant people in the league (who were also all on the traveling team) were so committed to promoting the traveling team and being a “competitive” league, that when they did create a B team they only planned on half bout and one demo day with a new league for the entire season. They would say that we all had equal chances to skate at off-season scrimmages, but at the scrimmages I went to, they prioritized skating time for people on their traveling team. I was elected the captain of the B team, and when I brought questions from the team to the board meeting, I was told, “We don’t have time for this shit” and that maybe I should work on my communication skills and not speak out as an “outsider.” The dominant people in my league told me I just had issues because I was on the B team. I told them I didn’t care which team I was on, I just wanted chances to skate!

    After having a concussion from another sport and having to deal with post-concussive syndrome, I quit skating and became a ref. At that time, the new party line from the dominant people in the league (including the former head ref who had become a skater) was that skaters should be allowed to “discuss” any call a ref gave. Unfortunately, there were a few skaters who would argue every call. This led to a loss of scrimmage time for everyone and created a stressful situation for the refs. I had to quit reffing for about 3.5 months because of my PCS and then a foot surgery. But during this time, I continued to support the league by doing their secretarial work, and helping stage bouts and NSOing while I was off my skates. I helped do tickets at a bout 24 hours after my foot surgery. The people organizing the bout acted like l was being a pain in the ass because I wasn’t 100% sure whether I’d be able to be there the whole time or what I’d be able to do. Most people in the league didn’t notice I was there.

    When I was ready to try skating again, I communicated with our league president and head refs about where I was at — I hadn’t reffed in several months and wanted to return to skating for the next season. I asked what would be most helpful thing for me to do for the league as we finished out our season. The head ref asked me to help ref at a scrimmage. On my third call, a player who questioned every ref call questioned my out of play call. She said that she hadn’t done an out of play block because the jammer had hit her when she’d moved in front of the jammer! Even though skaters were supposed to bring questions to captains, who were supposed to bring the question to the head ref, I had the player, the captain, and my head ref questioning my call but then arguing with me before I could fully answer any of their questions. The head ref said she hadn’t seen the call and didn’t know. But then, in front of everyone, she said that maybe I wasn’t ready to ref yet. I said I didn’t see why I was there if I wasn’t going to do anything, and went home. This all happened on an evening when another skater — who had joined the league when I did — returned from a pregnancy and was welcomed back with open arms.

    I explained the call in more detail on our league site on facebook. People in the league rationalized the skater’s behavior by saying that she was “just trying to understand the rules.” Some criticized me for “calling her out,” even though I didn’t use her name and expressed the issue as a general concern, and even though it had apparently been OK for her to do that to me during the scrimmage. Only one person, who hadn’t even been there that evening, really truly apologized, and that was about a week later. Lacking any other people to work with in the league, I brought the issue to the captains of the traveling team, questioning whether it was appropriate for a skater with a lot of penalties at bouts to argue with a ref. The captain said she thought this was only a personal issue I was having with the skater. When I poured my heart out to that captain and explained why I was so upset, she emailed back that she thought I was a difficult person to work with, using as evidence incidents from over a year ago (I hadn’t been able to hang out with the team as much that season because of my injuries).

    I resigned from the league. I miss skating, but I think it’s best that I quit considering my PCS issues. So maybe this happened for a reason. I’m not saying my actions were all perfect, but I was able to walk away feeling like I had mostly kept my integrity. I had done everything the league asked me to do, and had supported them even though (for health reasons) I only got to skate or ref in one league half-bout myself. I had tried to discuss issues in a rational way, I had thought about the good of the league over individuals, and I had spoken up for people who were being ignored by the dominant group/board/traveling team. I had tried to support everyone in the league. I had stuck with it for another year to give the league a chance to overcome its growing pains, and I had tried to serve on the board and bring some change from within.

    For what it’s worth, here are my take-aways from my experiences with this league:

    Some leagues can become dominated by a clique of people who are more interested in maintaining and validating their clique than in improving the league. It may not be worthwhile to continue in a league once they get like this.

    It’s not enough to have a grievance process on the books. Skaters and refs should know who to go to and how to activate it. When I needed to use it, I didn’t know what to do, and I was the Rules & Regs chair. A friend in another league says their grievance committee members can’t chair any other committees or be on the board so that they stay separate and objective — I think this is a good idea.

    Basic communication, consideration, and respect are NEVER too much to ask for. Ever. From anyone. No matter what team you are on or what your position in your league is. If your league ever tells you otherwise, there’s something wrong.

    There is a problem when a league is unsupportive of committed skaters (or refs) who are at most practices, at every event, and doing extra work for the league, even while excusing and rationalizing the behavior of people who are not.

    Denial, rationalization, and deflection are all ways of NOT solving problems. If dominant people in a league are dealing with any issue you bring up by saying it’s no big deal and you’re overreacting, saying that what happened is OK because _______, or saying that it’s all really just YOUR fault or YOUR problem, then it tells you that your league is not really interested in resolving issues or improving itself.

    League members who are rude or unsupportive of a person who tries to come back to skating/reffing after supporting them through a head injury and a foot surgery are douches. There really is no other, more polite or appropriate way to put it. It is probably not worth continuing to stay in a league that is dominated by people like that. The stress and lack of safety will undo any health benefits derby might be bringing you.

  9. I don’t know about long term answers to this but I do know that some successful organizations/groups engage in team building exercises that help them to work cooperatively. I have taught groups of 45 students all from diverse, sometimes hardcore backgrounds to work efficiently and cooperatively by using listening skills. It is amazing how many disagreements occur because of misperception. Some people get mad about something that isn’t even being said or get defensive about something when what should be happening is open-mindedness, collaboration and brainstorming. I believe it is possible to build these skills in people who are willing to learn them and to break out of their comfort zone.

  10. Because derby is so unique it attracts many who have never participated in any other sport. It all boils down to people skating for different reasons, each with their own agenda.

    I led a seminar on this at Rollercon because I’m fascinated by how skaters impact one another. I shared results from a study I did and almost half (115 participants from around the world) had never skated before.

    Derby is a sport with an identity crisis. Athletes think and treat it differently. A small percentage are truly competitive and others are finding social connection, image, gaining strength or whatever.

    I think the answer lies in mainstreaming the sport. Once a weekers can experience friends and exercise, people who work to pass skills should get to play on a team on a roster at a less serious level of game play , and the truly athletic competitors are together skating, cross training and being athletes.

    If less competitive skaters have their own venue they can learn that athletes work their asses off and they shouldn’t resent them. And the top of the top skaters should remember what it was like to learn and toss out acknowledgment liberally. Pay it forward.

    • Please follow Donna “the hotflash”Kay on facebook….Her one world Derby concept will help you all….DERBY LOVE to this wonderful participant in the sport we love.

    • I agree with this 100%. From my own experience playing various sports on both recreational and competitive levels, I’ve found competitive players to not only have different goals, but also different expectations of their teammates as well.
      Without some sort of structural recognition of this dichotomy in derby organizations, there will necessarily be friction at some point when those expectations and goals diverge. Unfortunately, as you say the sport is still young and most leagues probably don’t have the numbers to really separate training/competition in that way.

  11. Wow, Betty…*hugs* You’ve just said everything I felt when I was involved with adult derby. I run a jr league now, and I love it. We try to teach the girls how to be good and well-rounded. I hope to succeed ❤

  12. If you look on FaceBook, there is a group called “Blockers, not Bullies.” May pay for those who feel pushed around to see what they’re about. I plan to do an interview with them on Roller Derby Radio (www.rollerderbyradio.com) in early 2013. BUT, if you look in our show index, we’ve had someone from the UK address this topic whose profession is to deal with these issues.

  13. I have had more drama in my life since I started derby than ANY time, ever in the history of me. I began playing because skating is the only exercise I get that I love so much that doesn’t feel like work, and I needed to get moving with all the cardiac risk factors in my family. I am on my 4th league. They all split or had issues at roughly the same time since their creation. One of the leagues I am an owner of. We started it, because we felt there was unfair treatment of another skater. Turned out that it was that skater that was the issue, not the league as a whole. And not just with this league, she had followed me from the prior league was well, where she was also seen as the issue. It was no sooner that the league was started that this skater started becoming an issue for us, too, only because I hadn’t expected it, she turned the league from me, by spreading lies and similar to the story above, she would tell me things that weren’t true about what was wanted as far as the league was concerned. If she saw me starting a friendship with another skater, she would try to intervene and turn them against me, too. Luckily, all the girls didn’t fall for it and told me. She even went as far as to bad mouth me, for being a grieving parent. I finally gave up and left the league. Even with leaving the lies still continue. Last I heard, we left because the league didn’t want to join a group my husband had started, (which is untrue), and that they “kicked me out”, when in reality, I didn’t come back because life is just too short to try to work it out with people who are threatened by you. I even went as far as to have a meeting with the person to call a truce and try to find a way to work together, but within an hour of the meeting, I was already getting texts that she was still doing the same thing….I decided to walk away. I took 4 months off from skating, and went back to skating with another group because like Betty said, my skates called to me. It was where I wanted to be and what I needed to do. For many reasons.

    I have been skating with them for months now. I feel like I found my place. They share my heart and my desire and drive to improve. I speak out when I hear people people bad mouthing anyone else. I admit, I am guilty of a few succinct choice words against the people that did this to me, but generally, I work hard to stay positive and keep people and myself focused on the game. I have lost friendships from people I really loved because of gossip and it just isn’t worth losing anymore. It was the best move for me. I used to skate every game with this huge anxious feeling on my shoulders and now…it’s gone. Such an odd feeling being able to focus on the game, and not trying to control the anxiety. The good part about so many league popping up is that you CAN find a group that works for you. NO ONE should stop skating if they don’t want to. There is a place here for everyone. XOXO

  14. I have started an alternative called OneWorld Roller Derby. We offer resources to help leagues form and we are using USARS rules as the common link.

    Our interest is not to be an “association” , create any rules or tell any league how to run their business. We want to find 25-30 leagues to participate in an alternative regional / worldwide circuit of competition.

    We are here to help leagues come together, not to be a governing body. It is not exactly a “franchise” yet but we are licensing the logo and branding for practically free, in fact it IS free for the first year, no obligation.

    We are bringing derby to cities, colleges, high schools and middle schools. Our beginners “learn” , our intermediates play on a team that their friends and families can watch and our all stars and travel team have competitive rosters for skaters who want to take their sport to the next level.

    I just made a free website for our Webster Texas League and will do the same for any one who would like to bring this to the world.

  15. Pingback: Inspiration for this blog | Flat Track Fink

  16. I tried out for a team and I felt bullied or overly corrected for a mistake. I didn’t go back. And I guess I am glad. I thing it is a cool sport

  17. My daughter skated 8 years as a junior, surrounded by quality coaches with strong values and high expectations… Around her 6th year, after her team won the national championship, there was coup to force her coach out. Adult skaters ganging up in her, spreading rumors, manipulating information and scenarios in order to have her kicked out. They went so far as to take pictures of her at the adult’s after party holding a box of wine up for another adult to drink from… They then used this photo to get the board to fire her as a volunteer (she’d retired from the league shortly before) claiming that as a volunteer she was not allowed to serve alcohol to anyone. The program has never been the same.
    My kid finished her junior career doing what she loves and making the best of a terrible situation. When she aged up to the ‘adults’ she could not tolerate the mean girl behavior, the bullying, the general bullshit…the exact behavior her junior coach refused to allow from her skaters.
    Mean Girls, insecurity, lack of respect for the strong female…. These are the weaknesses in women’s derby that lead to bullying, isolation, and quality skaters leaving a sport they love rather than subject themselves to grown women acting like junior high cheerleaders.

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