Documents to Play and Officiate Roller Derby

Documents and resources related to WFTDA-Sanctioned Games and Rankings, including Officiating Resources, Risk Management Guidelines, Track Setup, and Tournament Policies are available to download in PDF format below.

NOTE: Leagues located in the United States must carry insurance that covers roller derby activities to protect your league and participants from lawsuits in the event of an injury. Leagues with WFTDA Insurance MUST follow the WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines for all roller derby activities. Learn more about insurance requirements and purchase coverage from WFTDA Insurance (a for-profit subsidiary of the WFTDA) at wftdi.com.

In order for a game to be sanctioned by the WFTDA, a game must follow the policies outlined in any document on this page marked with an S. WFTDA Regional and Championships tournaments follow the policies outlined in documents marked with an S as well as a T. In order for games to count as regulation on an official's Certification and/or tournament application game counts, the game must follow the policies marked with an R.

S = Required for Sanctioned Games
R = Required for Regulation Games
T = Required for WFTDA Regional and Global Championships


The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby
WFTDA Competition and Rankings
WFTDA-Sanctioned Game Application and Policies
WFTDA Member and Certified Official Logo/Patch FAQ
Officiating Documents
WFTDA StatsBook
Risk Management and Participant Safety
WFTDA Track Setup
Return to Roller Derby Documents & Infection Guides

WFTDA Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby

The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby, including translations and reference documents are available at https://community.wftda.org/rules/.
(R, S, T)

WFTDA Competition and Rankings

Overview

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) competitive system and rankings are regionally based.  Every two years, each region has a Regional Championship of the size and structure that best supports the needs of the region, and the WFTDA will designate a number of seats per Region to seed teams to compete for the Hydra in the Global Championship.

In order to promote more roller derby for more members, the WFTDA Charter Roster Policy allows leagues to enter more than one charter team into the competitive season, and skaters may play on a maximum of two charter teams. A skater’s two charter teams can be based in the same league or two different leagues. Two WFTDA teams of any league can have a maximum crossover of 8 skaters in the regular season and 3 skaters in the Championship events. Leagues with more than one team competing may not sanction games between their own teams.

The competitive season has been extended from the single year that was the prior standard, allowing teams more time to schedule and play the games they wish to play, and to give teams at the top of the regional rankings more time to plan and fundraise for Championships.

The rankings algorithm is capped to allow for more choice in opponents – teams can be more widely spread out in rankings and can still play a viable game for their rankings. Ranking points are set up so that if Team A has double the ranking points of Team B, they are predicted to win a game between the teams with double the score.

Rankings are published monthly on the WFTDA Rankings page.


Regions

The WFTDA has divided its global membership into six regions for the 2023-2024 season:

  • Europe (EUR)
  • Latin America (LATAM)
  • North America Northeast (NAE)
  • North America South (NAS)
  • North America West (NAW)
  • Oceania (OC)

The WFTDA Competitive Play Committee may split or combine regions in the future, based on the competitive needs of leagues and the organization.

Leagues are assigned to regions at the start of each season, but may also request region changes. A team may play for regional rankings in one region only, with the exception of the Geographically Unrestricted Region (GUR). If they choose to switch geographic regions mid-season, they will lose any game points accumulated in their old region and will need to start over in the new region. (Note: Teams they played do get to retain the points they earned from those matchups.)

Rankings are regional, meaning only games between teams in the same region count for regional rankings. Ranking points and rankings can not be compared from one region to another as there is no relative strength comparison possible from a purely algorithmic perspective.

Geographically Unrestricted Region (GUR)

In addition to the regional Hydra pathway, the WFTDA has created a   Geographically Unrestricted Region, or “GUR”, which rhymes with the English word “spur.” It was created as an optional way to recognize, support, and rank teams without regards to their geographic location.

The GUR is not a “global” ranking, because much of the globe is not represented: Many WFTDA teams will not compete outside their own region and even historically, having world-wide rankings while only a small number of teams played international games led to poor “calibration,” especially between teams of Australia and Europe outside the top 10.

All teams sanctioning inter-regional games are automatically added to the GUR, and achieve a GUR ranking in addition to their regional ranking. A GUR ranking does not provide a pathway to the Hydra, but we hope it will provide additional gameplay opportunities for teams who want to travel for competitions outside of their region.


The Competitive Season

The 2023-2024 season runs from January 2023 to June 30, 2024. Regional Championships for each region take place at the end of the season, with the cutoff for qualifying rankings play on April 2. Regional Championships count towards the current season.

The 2024-2026 season will run from July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2026.

Global Championships take place at the end of 2024 (2026, etc.) and games played there count towards the following season.

The WFTDA takes a two-month off-season in all regions where no games are sanctioned. For the 2023-2024 competitive season, the off-season months are December 2023 and January 2024.


Rankings

The WFTDA produces and publishes an official ranking for each region monthly, based on the games played up until the end of each calendar month. Teams are ranked by their Average Ranking Points (the Ranking Points calculated for a team based on all games they played in a season), in descending order. Detailed information on the algorithm and how game and monthly rankings are calculated is available in the 2023 Rankings Algorithm document. (Also available en français, en español, and auf Deutsch.)

The WFTDA may produce additional rankings, e.g. a live ranking that includes games played since the last official ranking. These rankings, if produced, are only for information purposes and do not affect any calculations.

Seasons and Seeding

Rankings are seasonal - only games played within a rankings season count towards a team’s ranking for that season. For 2023, teams were assigned a seeding based on the December 1, 2022 results in Flat Track Stats. After this first year, teams start the season with a seeding based on their ranking in the previous season. This seeding is for reference for teams to schedule games against appropriate opponents and will not affect their official ranking after the month in which the team plays their first sanctioned game.

So if a team with an existing seeding plays their first sanctioned game of the new season in September, their October 1st ranking will only be computed from their game(s) played in September. (If they play multiple games in September, the ranking points from these games will all be calculated based on the seeding from the previous season, as that is their most recent official ranking until the new ranking is assigned on October 1.)

Teams who do not have past results start unseeded, and their first game against a seeded or ranked opponent is a “seeding game” which determines their initial ranking. Seeding games must be played before any sanctioned games for ranking but there is no waiting period for the initial ranking to become effective. A team may even play a seeding game and then a regular sanctioned game later the same day.

Teams who feel their seeding is not representative of their true strength may also opt to discard their seeding and start unseeded instead.

Eligibility for Regional Championships

In order to be eligible for Regional Championships each season, a team will have to play at least 5 sanctioned games against teams that are reasonably “close” to them. This includes “seeding” games for the unseeded team.

A game is considered “close” if it has ANY of the following qualities:

  • The actual score ratio of the game is between 0.25 and 4, or
  • The predicted score ratio of the game, at the time of the game, is between 0.25 and 4, or
  • The predicted score ratio of the game, at the time of the sanctioning application, is between 0.25 and 4, or
  • The difference of the teams’ ranks, at the time of the sanctioning application, is less than 15.

Here is a video that explains the new competitive system and rankings. 

The Competition Q&A document explains specifics about the competitive system.

Rankings/Seedings Lists

The WFTDA posts rankings and seedings at the start of each month. Rankings and sanctioned game stats can be found at https://stats.wftda.com.


Charter Rosters

Requirements

The WFTDA Charter Roster Policy has been updated to reflect important changes to allow for more people to play more roller derby.

  • Member leagues may have more than one charter team (for an additional fee per team), or no team at all.
  • Skaters may be on up to two active charter rosters at a time, and these rosters may be on any WFTDA team.
  • Teams may have no more than 8 crossover skaters on any active rosters in the season and no more than 3 in the postseason.

Charter Roster Submission

WFTDA-member leagues may submit their charter rosters using the instructions provided here.

A team’s first charter for 2023 is effective immediately. Any future charter updates (adding a skater) have a 30-day waiting period to become effective with the submission day being Day 0. (So if you submit January 1, the charter is effective January 31.)

Starting June 1, 2023, all charters must be submitted 30 days prior to the game, no exceptions.

Publicly Viewable Charter Rosters

The public may view all the most recent, active rosters here.

Previous rosters, some of which may still be active, are available here.


Fair Play Principle

The rankings system is based on an assumption of faithful and honest gameplay, in which both teams are trying to get the best result possible, and the only intentional determinator of rank is the strength of the teams. Deliberate attempts to alter rankings directly in a way that does not reflect the true strength of the teams is considered deceptive and could be a violation of the WFTDA Code of Conduct.

This not only includes a team attempting to boost their strength through unsporting means (such as rostering “guest skaters” to get into Regional Championships, who will not be skating with the team during Regional Championships), but also attempts to lower their own ranking, or boost an opponent’s, by intentionally holding back (outside of slowing down to prevent injury or in a game past a 4:1 scoring ratio). It can also include attempts to get or maintain an inaccurate ranking by being overly picky with which games a team is willing to sanction.

For the 2023-2024 season, the WFTDA will be monitoring these requirements and may choose to remove or relax certain restrictions overall or selectively, if the ecosystem or a small number of teams face unexpected circumstances.


Regional and Global Championships

The WFTDA will support host-run championship tournaments in each Region and will work with member leagues in each region to determine the size and structure of the events.

For the first competitive cycle, Regional Championships will take place in either May or June 2024

  • North American and European Regionals will be 12-team, 3-day events.
  • The Latin American tournament will include as many teams who have played one sanctioned game that can participate.
  • Oceania will be determined via The Great Southern Slam (TGSS) first-division bracket.
  • Global Championships will be a 12-16 team, 3-day event in November 2024

WFTDA-Sanctioned Game Application and Policies

Sanctioning Application Submission

Sanctioning applications for games and tournaments are due 30 days prior to the game date or leagues may be assessed a late fee. The host league is responsible for submitting the application and obtaining the online signature of all visiting leagues.

Instructions for submitting games and tournaments



Sanctioned Game Policy Documents

WFTDA Sanctioning Policy (English) (S, T) 

This document outlines the requirements for WFTDA-sanctioned games and tournaments to count towards WFTDA Rankings points, including: Application Requirements and Submission Deadlines; Insurance Requirements; Uniform Requirements; Score Reporting and Games Data Requirements; and more. Failure to meet the requirements outlined in this document could result in sanctioning being rescinded from a game and loss of game eligibility for WFTDA Rankings points. (Updated January 2024)


WFTDA Expulsion and Suspension Policy (S, T)
This document outlines the requirements for managing foul-outs and expulsions for violations of The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby in WFTDA-sanctioned games. (Updated June 2023)


WFTDA Cancellation and Forfeit Policy (S, T)
This document outlines the definition and process for cancellations and forfeits of WFTDA sanctioned games. (Updated October 2023)


WFTDA Charter Roster Policy (S, T)

This document outlines the requirements for WFTDA Charter Rosters. Failure to meet the requirements outlined in this document could result in sanctioning being rescinded from a game and loss of game eligibility for WFTDA Rankings points (updated October 2023).

WFTDA Member and Certified Official Patch FAQ

Are WFTDA patches required?
Officials working the WFTDA Regional and Global Championships are required to follow the WFTDA Officiating Uniform Policy. (Note: this will be updated in early 2024.) There is no requirement to wear them otherwise, but officials should note that some leagues follow this same policy.

Displaying the WFTDA patch on charter team uniforms is no longer required for sanctioned games, but WFTDA Member Leagues may display the WFTDA logo/patch on their uniforms as a benefit of membership.

Where should the Member Patch be located?
Officials working the WFTDA Regional and Global Championships are required to follow the WFTDA Officiating Uniform Policy that states it must be on the left chest. There is no requirement to put it in a specific place outside these events, but as some leagues follow this policy, it is recommended to put it there. 

There are no placement requirements for teams, but it is recommended that they are in the same place on the uniform for all skaters.

Where should the Certified Official Patch be located?
On jerseys with sleeves, the certification patch is meant to be on the right sleeve. Alternative placement of the certification patch is acceptable on sleeveless jerseys.

How can I get the WFTDA logo/patch or Certified Official logo/patch printed on my uniform?
WFTDA-Certified Officials and WFTDA Member Leagues may display the WFTDA logo or Certified Official logo on their uniforms as either a patch or sublimation through one of our licensing partners listed on wftda.com/shop.

This licensing program is open to any manufacturer, and we hope to partner with companies across the globe to make a variety of WFTDA products more accessible to our community. Please contact sponsorship@wftda.com for more information on becoming a partner.

A limited amount of patches is available for purchase by contacting merch@wftda.com.

Officiating Documents

Procedures for Regulation and Sanctioned Games

WFTDA Officiating Procedures (R, S, T)

Establishes required practices for Officiating during WFTDA-sanctioned and regulation play. (Updated December 2017)


WFTDA Officiating Clarification: How to Handle Issues Around Skater Colors and Numbers (S, T)

This WFTDA Officiating clarification describes the expected and appropriate conduct when handling miscommunications, intentional or otherwise, around Skater colors and numbers when officiating roller derby.



WFTDA Officiating Cues, Codes, and Signals (R, S, T)

Standardized verbal communication, whistle cues, hand signals between officials and skaters during gameplay and penalty codes. Replaces “WFTDA Official Hand Signals” and “WFTDA Officiating Verbal Cues” documents. Also includes penalty codes and whistle definitions. (Updated December 2018)


Penalty Quick Reference Guide (8.5"x11")

Penalty Quick Reference Guide (11"x17" Poster)

Reference guide to Penalties and the associated Rules section, Hand Signal, and Verbal Cue.



Uniform Standards

WFTDA Officiating Uniform Policy (T)

Required for all WFTDA Regional and Global Championships Officials, and advised for all play under The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby. Member leagues are invited to tailor the requirements to suit the needs of their games and tournaments.


WFTDA NSO Shirt Printing Instructions

Use this document to print your own NSO shirts.

If you would like to purchase an NSO shirt, please visit the WFTDA Store.


Officiating History

WFTDA provides a standardized Officiating History document for use for WFTDA Certification and postseason events. Other organizations may choose to use this document for officiating applications.

The new Officiating History Document has been reviewed for GDPR compliance and is now available at https://wftda.org/officiating/ohd/register.

The form will request the information needed to:

  • create the new Officiating History Document
  • import user profile data
  • import all of the games listed in the user’s existing history document
  • send the user an email with a link to the new document

For first time creation, simply leave the existing history document field blank and a new, blank document will be created for you.

The WFTDA Officiating History document is linked to a master WFTDA template so that users will automatically receive future template updates.

The expanded help document will change over time and form living documentation and a FAQ repository for the new WFTDA Officiating History document. There is a dedicated migration document to help users convert from an existing history document.

If you have any questions, please email offtech@wftda.com.

WFTDA StatsBook

WFTDA StatsBook Workbook (updated January 2019) is available for public use in both US Letter and A4 formats, and is required for use by WFTDA-sanctioned games and tournaments. The workbook is formatted for use with Excel 2010 or higher, or LibreOffice 4.3.x or higher.

Please note: The WFTDA StatsBook and StatsBook Manual are updated independently and at times may have different revision dates listed.

WFTDA StatsBook Workbook (Jan. 2019) US Letter (R, S)
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WFTDA Statsbook - Printable Paperwork US Letter

WFTDA StatsBook Workbook (Jan. 2019) A4 (R, S)
- WFTDA Statsbook - Printable Paperwork A4

WFTDA StatsBook Manual (Jan. 2019) (R, S)
The StatsBook Manual provides detailed instructions on how to complete the WFTDA StatsBook.

The Public StatsBook Repository includes all games submitted in 2023 and forward.

Risk Management and Participant Safety

WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines

The WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines apply to all WFTDA-sanctioned games, regardless of insurance coverage. For WFTDA insurance holders these guidelines also apply to all practices and other covered activities. (Updated November 2020)

WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines (S, T)



Participant Safety

WFTDA Guide for Equipment Check

This guide illustrates the proper fit of skating equipment. All participants are responsible for the safety of their own equipment and the WFTDA recommends that leagues make equipment safety and maintenance a part of their league training curriculum.


Concussion Awareness and Return to Play Protocol

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Proper treatment of concussion is imperative, so we have compiled some resources to help roller derby leagues raise awareness around the importance of recognizing and treating concussion, and following return to play protocol. Visit our web site at the link above for more information.


WFTDA 2019 Participant Safety Survey Findings

In 2019 the WFTDA conducted a survey of roller derby participants in order to assess the probability of injury across participants in roller derby historically; the use, awareness, and satisfaction with existing insurance products; and demographics of the research participants. The results of the survey are summarized in this document.


WFTDA Infection Control Guide

This document provides guidance to leagues and participants on best practices to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases and skin infections when participating in roller derby. (Updated May 2020)

WFTDA Track Setup and Safety

WFTDA-Regulation Track Layout Guide (R, S)

Provides step-by-step instructions and diagrams with both imperial and metric measurements to assist leagues with the setup of a WFTDA-regulation track. (Updated January 2018)


WFTDA Tournament Track Setup Requirements (T)

Provides detailed instructions for track setup for WFTDA Playoff and Championship tournaments in addition to the requirements set forth in The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby and the WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines. May be used as a guide for best practices in setting up a tournament track. (Updated June 2017)

Return to Roller Derby Documents and Infection Guides

Updated June 2022

The WFTDA takes the health and safety of its members and the general roller derby community seriously. WFTDA Leadership has collaborated with our team of COVID-19 medical experts, National Governing Bodies of roller derby, and other roller derby organizations worldwide to create and adjust our guidelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support league management in returning to play based on science and data-driven factors.

As COVID-19 has become largely endemic, with localities and regions around the world providing different reporting and mitigation strategies, these guidelines have been adjusted to provide recommendations for returning to play during any future pandemic or period of high rates of infectious disease infections.

It is strongly recommended that WFTDA Member Leagues adhere to these guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 or any future virus or pandemic in your leagues and communities.

WFTDA Member Leagues must stay up-to-date with and adhere to their national, regional, and local government warnings and guidelines in regards to managing the spread of any virus in their localities. This may include limiting the number or scope of gatherings and events, should the infection rate require it. It’s also strongly recommended that all eligible members get vaccinated, if accessible.

The current recommendations, as well as Audience Return Guidelines, Infection Control Guide, and Recommendations for Returning to Full Contact are available to download in PDF format, below.



WFTDA Return to Roller Derby Ladder

The WFTDA Return to Roller Derby Ladder provides guidance for when leagues should re-start roller derby activities, with step-by-step recommendations for doing so safely during periods of high infectious disease rates in your area. (Updated June 2022)


WFTDA Audience Return Guidelines

These guidelines have been created for leagues to follow when they've reached minimum requirements for having audiences return to public games in later tiers of the roller derby ladder. (Updated May 2022)


WFTDA Infection Control Guide

This document provides guidance to leagues and participants on best practices to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases and skin infections when participating in roller derby. (Updated May 2020)


WFTDA Recommendations for Return to Full-Contact Skating

This document includes recommendations on how to safely return to roller derby after a break as well as mental health recommendations. (Updated May 2020)