It’s here! Everyone’s favorite roller derby organization has updated its most important document, the WFTDA Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby, for the 2015 rules season.
This is the eighth official rules release since WFTDA became the ubiquitous rules standard 2005, and the first in 4½ years where the updates made were relatively lightweight—and released on time1—focusing on “routine revisions” and the inclusion of previously published rules clarifications from the 2014 WFTDA rule set.
Among the significant changes for the new year: Hand and forearm penalties have been tweaked to put them in better alignment with the standard of impact seen in other blocking fouls. Non-skating officials have also been granted limited authority to call and enforce penalties that may occur in the penalty box, an area of the track where a skating referee is not in a position to oversee. Teams may also use an official review to stop the clock without actually requesting the officials review anything, effectively granting them one additional team timeout per period, if desired.2
As the MRDA also abides by the standardized WFTDA rulebook, it too will be adopting it for use in sanctioned play in 2015. In its news release, the WFTDA made a point to note that the new changes were approved by MRDA member leagues along with WFTDA member leagues, perhaps signalling the individual player-members of the men’s organization had its best-ever say in the rules revision process. (Maybe the collaborative agreement between the WFTDA and MRDA is working well?)
Since WFTDA rules are available on multiple platforms, like smartphones and paperback, it will be another month until they can be updated and ready to go. The copy is also available in multiple languages, but the WFTDA did not give a timeframe for updates to the French and German versions of the rules, which are still showing as the 2014 versions.
The new rules are available to download (PDF) and read online right now, as well as the general and line-by-line (PDF) summary of changes. (You can also find the info on WFTDA to the left in our Roller Derby Rules Center area.) They do not officially go into affect for sanctioned play until the official publication date of January 1, 2015, but anyone can start using them now.
RollerDerbyNotes.com will have an analysis of the WFTDA 2015 Rules later this month.