Grievance against Oly Rollers and The WFTDA
We the undersigned leagues are filing a grievance against the Oly Rollers and the WFTDA for the practice of flying in skaters from around the country to increase the competitive value of the Oly Rollers and the WFTDA for allowing the practice. The practice effectively diminishes the value of the WFTDA championship and violates the core value of the sportswomanship of our national organization. Women’s flat track roller derby, at least in its current incarnation, is an amateur sport. Leagues from around the country and the world have for years fielded the best from among their league skaters to compete for the championship. The practice of luring “ringers” who are talented enough to represent our country for the World Cup denigrates the sport’s overall evolution as a legitimate competitive sport and, worse, will disenfranchise skaters and leagues without the means (celebrity, financial etc.) to enter into draft negotiations with the nation's and world’s top derby talent. While the actions of the Oly Rollers are not illegal according to current WFTDA policy, they are abusive. Additionally, this is not the first time the WFTDA has encountered member confusion and dissent regarding the issue of satellite skaters. This issue was brought to light by the WFTDA itself in November 2011 when an interview was published on their official website with a skater who ‘made the jump’ to Oly from the Midwest to address the issue of being a member of two WFTDA rosters while neglecting to resolve the issue of the impact bringing in satellite skaters may have on the community and how such a loophole is ripe for future abuse. The WFTDA should carefully consider a number of potential solutions to this problem and take proposals to membership for a debate and a vote. Solutions may include a residency requirement or a charter lock earlier than 30 days prior to tournaments. Additionally, the WFTDA may consider locking charters for the championship tournament to those that were used for regional seeding purposes. The undersigned leagues are in no way questioning the integrity of individual skaters or leagues, but believe that a practice that was used this year by the Oly Rollers exposed a weakness in the WFTDA’s organizational rule set. By filing this grievance we seek only to correct the oversight to preserve the competitive integrity of the sport to show due respect to all leagues and their skaters.