Thursday, January 24, 2013

An exciting time for derby

What an exciting time.  The sport is growing by leaps and bounds, we all knew that.  But they just announced a Men's international tournament--nation against nation.  How cool is that??

Let's cast our minds back to the derby world cup.  Who hosted it?  One league in Toronto.  Who organised and sanctioned it?  A magazine.

This is the beauty of derby--it's all self-run.  The reason the world cup was official is because the skaters considered it official.  That's all.

Same goes for each of the national teams.  Why are they official?  Because their skaters agree that they are represented by the team.

So, who's planning this Men's Cup of Nations (my suggestion, not the official name)?  Well, the people who brought you MERDC.  Their credentials?  They've run a tournament before, and it was brilliant.

This is derby, folks.  The most self-made sport in the world.  It's a sport run by the faithful for the faithful, not run by top-down organisations for the benefit of their bottom lines.

What makes this tournament official is that we, the derby faithful, consider it official.  Same for the teams.

This, too, is the beauty of derby.  We're still laying the groundwork!  The game is young, the international game even more so.  This our chance to make an indelible mark for future derby.

To those forming the teams, put Derby 1st.  Put all the skaters of your nation 2nd, and relegate petty politics to the last thing you consider.

This is your time.  The time to shape the derby of your nation.  You, who have been charged by a group of skaters with determining the future of England, Scotland, Wales, France, and others, this is a first.  Like so many things in derby right now, it's a first.

So read what others have done, and ask for advice.  But always remember that your first duty is to the game and your nation.  Always do what will honour that duty above all else.

Good luck and Godspeed.  I'm already booking my ticket to the tournament.


  1. There is the flipside to this that you haven't mentioned. A European Cup was shot down at EROC because skaters didn't recognise the organiser as having any valid claim to run one, even though he was willing to fully fund it himself. Some teams didn't enter MERDC because they were unsure of its legitimacy. Concerns about national teams and selection criteria were voiced about the World Cup.

    Just because it's in the hands of skaters doesn't mean every person/group has the right to set something up 'freelance' and call it a national team or world cup. Skaters still need to work together with other skaters for support, credibility and leverage. Governing bodies now exist in lots of countries, yet leagues don't sign up to them and simultaneously proclaim 'what are they doing about X, Y or Z?' Join in, and make those conerns part of the nation's derby agenda. Working together is more powerful than working alone.

    1. I agree 100%, skaters need to work together. Always.

      However, at this point in derby history, official is what skaters recognise it to be. MERDC passed through that crucible, the European Cup did not. Thus, only one is official.

  2. "This is your time."

    Yes. Yes it is.


  3. From this post and all your comments on Facebook it is clear to me that you have no idea how sports work. Asking what gives UKRDA the right to govern is ignorant. There is a structure in sports. The mentality of DIY, grassroots, "I do my own thing" is dead; it worked for a while but it no longer applies. Roller Derby grew up and you stayed like a melancholic parent thinking that their kid is three years old. If you think Roller Derby is a sport, it needs to follow the protocols and established processes of sports. If you think Roller Derby is simply a passtime or a hobby, then I understand your point of view, but I think many many people will disagree and even be offended by that.