The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the international governing body for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby and a membership organization for leagues to collaborate and network. The WFTDA sets standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determines guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues.
WFTDA is governed by a five-member, volunteer Board of Directors. It began as the United Leagues Coalition in 2004, consisting of a handful of flat track roller derby leagues, each owned and operated by skaters sharing the singular, driving compulsion to re-imagine roller derby as a modern sport. It promotes and fosters the sport of women’s flat track roller derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues.
The governing philosophy of the WFTDA is “by the skaters, for the skaters.” Female skaters are primary owners, managers, and/or 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 WFTDA member leagues have a voice in the decision-making process, and agree to comply with the governing body’s policies.
In 2005, twenty flat track roller derby leagues were represented at the historic first meeting of the ULC, with the goal of developing the guiding principles and aspirations of the organization. Following that meeting, the ULC voted to change its name to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) to reflect the organization’s goals.
The WFTDA opened its doors to new members in September 2006 and has since welcomed dozens of new member leagues into the association. Official competitive regions were created and a quarterly ranking system was developed, used for tournament qualification and seeding. WFTDA began offering liability and excess medical insurance to its member leagues.
The WFTDA sets standards for rules. The latest revision of the WFTDA Standardized Flat Track Roller Derby Rules was released on May 26, 2010. This is the fifth full revision of the WFTDA rules since the organization developed the first shared rules for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby in 2005.