Founded in 2004, the WFTDA promotes and fosters the sport of women’s flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues. The governing philosophy is “by the skaters, for the skaters.” Women skaters are primary owners, managers, and operators of each member league and of the association. Operational tasks include setting standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determining guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues. All member leagues have a voice in the decision-making process, and agree to comply with the governing body’s policies.
History of the WFTDA:
The WFTDA was formerly and informally known as the United Leagues Committee (ULC). The ULC was a group of actively bouting flat track derby leagues that joined together in April 2004 to discuss standardizing rules to enable and promote competitions between the leagues. At the time of formation, the ULC was open to any existing flat track derby league interested in interleague play and was comprised of 30 leagues. The members of the ULC converged on Chicago, IL, in July 2005 for their first annual meeting where the basic principles and goals of the organization were developed. During that meeting, it was decided to close membership in the ULC until standard policies and procedures could be developed and implemented that would ensure adherence to the ULC’s basic membership requirements (http://www.wftda.com/membership.html). The most significant early accomplishments of the ULC were the release of standard flat track derby rules and the Dust Devil tournament held in February 2006 in Tucson, AZ.
In November 2005, the ULC voted to change its name to the Women’s’ Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), a title that better describes the organization. The WFTDA had its second annual meeting in St. Paul, MN, in July 2006 where the membership application process, membership requirements and policies, rules, rankings, tournaments, and more were finalized. The WFTDA opened its doors to new members in September 2006 and now has over 70 member leagues in the association and approximately 30 more apprentice leagues.