Hello! Welcome to an upgrade several months in the making. What you see before you is RollerDerbyNotes.com, an evolution of WindyMan’s Roller Derby Notes, the roller derby analysis and commentary blog that started in April 2011. If you have been a long-time reader and supporter of WRDN, thank you! You were the motivation that got this project started and (mostly) finished.
If you’re new to the world of Derby Notes, thank you! We hope you’ll stick around to see all the cool things we have planned for the future.
There are many roller derby websites and blogs on the Internet, but RollerDerbyNotes.com plans to do things a little differently. We are not a website that will deliver blow-by-blow recaps of big matches or tournaments—we recommend Derby Central for that. Nor will you find a regular schedule and scores of games. Flat Track Stats has that market cornered. Nor do we intend to be a Derby News Network replacement—may it rest in peace.
Instead, RDN strives to be a supplement to the community’s knowledge pool, offering derby news, major event previews (with occasional live coverage), statistical and strategical analysis, and reflective commentary from a perspective that can only come from someone well-vested in the multiple derby disciplines that exist in the modern era of the sport, as well as those throughout the 80-year history of the game itself.
We will operate under the mantra that all types of roller derby should be given fair exposure from an independent source. Whether it be of the multiple organizations that are fostering variations of the modern game, or of those that hold the old-school styles of derby true to their hearts, if someone out there is playing roller derby in the way they want to play it, we want to know about it so we can help share it with the world.
To show what we mean, here are some of the sections and articles from the all-new RollerDerbyNotes.com that you can look forward to seeing:
The Newspaper – Extra! Extra! Read all about what’s been happening in the world of roller derby. If it’s news you need to know, or news that you didn’t realize you needed to know, you’ll find it on RDN. While you may already know of today’s release of the 2015 WFTDA rules update and the announcement of the 2016 Men’s World Cup venue, you may not know that roller derby is being streamed by a broadcast television network—sort of and that Japan may be hosting a very different kind of World Cup in 2015:
A lot of cool stuff happens in the roller derby expanded universe, and we aim to let you know about it—all of it—as soon as we do, here and @derbynotes on Twitter.
The Journal – Our analysis section. Specials of the house include a comprehensive review of The Rules updates of every major derby organization; and statistical analyses of derby data. Our extra-special White Papers, which have already amassed tens of thousands of views collectively, dig deep into concepts that go far beyond the scope of any one way of playing roller derby. Check out our most recent analysis pieces on official review abuse during the WFTDA playoffs and the “default” difficulty level of every roller derby rule set.
The Diary – Viewpoints on hot topics, trends, and the overall state of roller derby as we know it. This is a broad section on the site, which includes the Recycle Bin, a second look at happenings in the news or on derby social media; and Not Derby, a different look at roller derby through the lens of non-derby sports. Nowhere else can you read commentary about the big problems and big opportunities facing USARS Roller Derby and then get to see that wheelchair derby for disabled athletes could (and should) be a reality.
Roller Derby Rules Center – Are you not sure if that derby rule book you have is current? Want to know where to go to look up official information on game rules? Are you curious about trying out a new way of playing roller derby? Look no further than the Roller Derby Rules Center, as seen on the left side of every page. We’ve compiled links for the PDF downloads and official rules pages for the five most notable modern roller derby organizations for easy access from a single source. If we have a recent rules analysis for it, you’ll have link for that, too. Get reading!
The Magazine – Occasionally, RDN will feature special articles that can include everything from player profiles to longform-style pieces on community experiences. We’re also starting to experiment with Video storytelling, such as the the shorts we did from RollerCon last year. These won’t come as often as our regular articles do, but when they do come, they’ll be awesome.
See there? Awesome.
The Scratchpad – Our new Tumblr blog. There are things in roller derby that aren’t quite newsworthy or relevant enough to go on a big, fancy website, but still need to be shared. (Exhibit A: Video evidence on why today’s modern skating referees are pansies. Exhibit B: Why the rules of a real sport can be just as relevant as the rules of a made-up fake sport.) We’ll also ‘Blr for minor updates, random musings, and quick previews of articles-in-progress. Lots of fun to be had over there, and on the (W)RDN Facebook page, so do pop over!
The Another Derby Project – Long-time readers of WRDN will remember the “Another Derby” series of blogposts, a legacy project that aimed to shine light on historical roller derby and the very real, very literal connections the old game has to the modern sport. The six-part series had to be put on the backburner for a few years, and there it will remain for a little while longer.
But soon, Another Derby will be making a comeback. It had always meant to be a living project, constantly updated with better information about past events and revelations that further the advanced concepts that make up the Universal Theory of Roller Derby. Some light reformatting has been done to the existing chapters to better-fit the new website1, but there’s still much that needs fixing.
But what we’ve got is still good reading. If you don’t know much (or you think you know everything) about the history of roller derby or where the origins of the game’s most basic concepts originate from—why does the pivot position exist in the first place?—then you need to enter the world of Another Derby. For a sampler, check out our RollerCon 2013 seminar, which is guaranteed to teach you more about roller derby in an hour than you have learned in a decade.
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Whew! Now that the website is up and running, we’ll be spending the next several weeks making tweaks and filling out missing sections. The entire WRDN archive has been transferred over to RollerDerbyNotes.com, and a few old/new articles yet to be completed will be back-dated and also stuffed in the archives. Feel free to click around and see where we came from, and where we’re heading, using the menu across the top of the page. (Let us know if something is really broken, won’t you?)
On a personal note, I would like to again thank you all for reading. I wouldn’t be doubling-down on derby writing were it not for the overwhelming support I’ve received from all corners from the derby world.
I feel as if I’ve accomplished a lot, but I know that there is a long way yet to go—for everyone. Too many do not yet know the Derby Notes way of looking at our game. For me, it all becomes worth it when the light-bulb moment hits someone, and it changes them, and their roller derby outlook, for the better.
I hope you’ll join me in my continuing mission of shedding a brand-new light on roller derby, the greatest goddamn game in the history of the world.
From your author,
~ Steven “WindyMan” Rodriguez