About those splits


Tonight I heard from a very beautiful lady from one of the leagues in the South.  She was frustrated because just before she joined a league, it had split into two leagues because of some disagreement or another.  I am not saying either group was wrong.

She felt that after two years and the leaving of many of the original skaters, the situation should be resolved so they could compete against each other.  It seems that the bad feelings for the split but not the original reasons still exist.

Naptown Roller Derby (Indianapolis, IN). Photo by Mary LaVenture

Roller Derby faces some very difficult problems in just continuing to exist.  To manage the leagues, collect enough dues, get enough volunteers and very importantly, get enough support in your market is not easy.   Generally one league will do better than the other;  some cities have up to 5 leagues.

So what is wrong with that?  Well, first of all, as I have stated before, skaters and teams can’t develop unless there are a certain amount of games in which they compete….so availability and distance become a problem and often this requires a travel team.  (There will usually  have to be a travel team when leagues are now playing others across America and Canada).  But what if you could take all the leagues say within 50 miles and form a regional league that would give you the advantage of not just playing the other few teams in your home league.  You create a genuine rival, league standings of more than a half dozen games and more players being able to compete against leagues of equal ability.  There are certain natural city rivalries in Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, etc that could be cross promoted.  It would be more comparable to other sports with each game having a meaning.

You would really make your games mean something more than just trying to go higher in the rankings for regional and national competition.  And each game would contribute to league standings which would give impetus to fans to attend as well as to a regional playoff that has nothing to do with the national championships.

You have two of the top-ranked leagues in Denver, who rarely play each other at home.  And there are many more examples.  To quote Rodney King “can’t we all  just get along?” and make our sport more powerful  and more popular.

Don’t all  scream at me at once.-