In the spirit of the Holiday

Photo by saavem from

I guess I am a little late, but I just got caught up with the USARS posting of their rules that they are testing, as put on facebook by Roxi Tucker today.  I guess actually it was posted in October.

I like some of the changes, thought others unnecessary but really didn’t dwell because I have nothing to do with them except give my opinions.

But then I read the comments under the post;  “how dare they do that……The flat track rules represent 6 years……sue them….etc, etc”

This ownership thing makes me crazy……do you think Leo invented everything that was in the original game?  He took some from the Walkathon, some from six-day bike races which were popular in the 30’s (“jam”), and added other elements suggested by Damon Runyon.  And of course I changed some of the rules to make the helmet game in the 60’s.  The name Roller Derby has long become generic, and we certainly didn’t try to copyright or patent it after my father had done so.  The only copyright still remaining belongs to the Roller Derby Skate Company.

Not every wants to or certainly has to skate the WFTDA, OSDA, MADE, TXRD, MRDA, WORD, Renegade or any other rules.  It is a simple game, 5 players on a team, timed jam, lap the field and pass for points.

Why the need for possession and ownership?  Is it about control?  Let it go everyone.

It would be a great Christmas present for all.

Will the real Roller Derby please stand up!

I seem to get in the middle of everything…..maybe if I would just shut up.

So there are some 1125 leagues out there:  women, men, junior, coed, flat track, banked track and I think that pretty much covers it.

I started this commentary just so I could talk, give my history and opinions and whatever…..I really didn’t care who reads it, if anyone, but quite a few people have found it:  110,000 to date.  And I don’t even make a dime off of it.

Because the game has been with me most of my life obviously I have strong opinions of what I like about it… I give them.

Now realize I am just like any other spectator who loves the game, but not certain aspects.  So I don’t mind creating controversy, but please do not misinterpret me.  I am not trying to take control of the game (just how would I do that?) or have some nefarious purpose in mind.

First of all let me get clear with the WFTDA game:  this is the first and only rules I have seen to date, with the exception of my trip to Philadelphia to see what OSDApro was all about and talk to my old Derby friends.  I have not seen TXRD, MADE, MRDA, USARS, Renegades, etc.  Without WFTDA there is no way that Roller Derby would have achieved the connection worldwide that it has.  And of course, the majority of my friends on facebook, twitter, here and elsewhere are those that I know from this game.

So if I say I don’t like slow play, stopping, going backwards, the Hall for world cup etc I am certain most of you know that is my opinion.

WFTDA is for the skaters by the skaters.  Even the all-powerful Commissioner cannot influence them one inch.  But I can certainly express what I feel might make the game better, in my opinion only.  And I won’t stop.

I hate to see all of the organizations fighting and sniping at each other.  I think there will be just what there is:  different groups with different rule sets depending on what the participants want.  No one body or rules or skating surface will work for everyone, but there is no reason you cannot accept that and work together for the sport and learn from each other.

Hey guys, it’s all Roller Derby to me…..and thank you!