On Monday, July 16, 2012, the Cornfed Derby Dames of Muncie, Indiana learned that they were accepted into the Apprentice Program for the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The league turned in their application around the start of the year and had been waiting in anticipation for months. So what exactly does this mean for the Cornfed Derby Dames? I asked retired skater and current league President, SLAMbot, a few questions about the Apprentice Program and what this means for CFDD’s future.
TailHer: The WFTDA Apprentice Program is a steppingstone to full WFTDA membership; what are some of the benefits of being a WFTDA league?
SLAMbot: Becoming a WFTDA member will create opportunities for CFDD to grow. We are eligible for more competitive game play but we also will have access to resources that are invaluable. With nearly 80 member leagues, we would be able to reach out to any of them for guidance on bout venues, sponsors, media, equipment and so much more! We will also be able to participate in rankings and not only help CFDD grow, but the entire sport of roller derby.
TailHer: Since the team’s inception in 2010, did the Dames always strive to become associated with WFTDA? When did you know it was the right time to apply?
SLAMbot: Early on it was decided that we would build our league around WFTDA rules and guidelines to better benefit the team. We would be able to play teams that follow the same rule set and use NSOs (Non-skating officials) and referees in our area that follow these standards. About half way through our first bouting season, we started a discussion with the team about moving forward and taking the next step. With nearly a unanimous vote, it was decided to put in the paperwork to be considered for the WFTDA apprentice program.
TailHer: What are some of the requirements when applying to become a WFTDA apprentice league?
SLAMbot: Some of the requirements for eligibility:
- Competitors are women only, and skate on quad skates only
- 51% owned by league skaters
- Governed by democratic principles and practices
- Managed by at least 67% league skaters
- At least fourteen skaters who are skating at least two hours a week
TailHer: With acceptance into the Apprentice Program, will the spectators notice anything different from the Derby Dames?
SLAMbot: The changes that will happen while in the apprentice program will be subtle. What most will notice are the green WFTDA apprentice patch that skaters can wear on their jerseys and our team referees can wear on their striped shirts. We will also be able to play more competitive teams and be eligible to take part in tournaments throughout the area.
TailHer: With the Derby Dames currently being 4 – 1 in their second season, do you have any last comments for skaters and fans for the rest of the season?
SLAMbot: With 5 bouts left this season we’re hoping to continue our winning streak and working hard to improve every skater on our team!
For more information about the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, visit WFTDA.com. For more information about the Cornfed Derby Dames and the rest of their season, visit cornfeddd.com or check them out on Facebook, facebook.com/muncierollerderby.