The Windy City Rollers are a member league of WFTDA - The Women's Flat Track Derby Association.
Founded in 2004, the WFTDA promotes and fosters the sport of women's flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues. The governing philosophy is "by the skaters, for the skaters." Women skaters are primary owners, managers, and 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 member leagues have a voice in the decision-making process, and agree to comply with the governing body's policies.
History of the WFTDA
The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) began as the United Leagues Coalition (ULC) 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.
In 2005, 30 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. The most significant early accomplishments of the ULC were the production of the first standardized rule set for flat track roller derby, and the first flat track roller derby tournament, the “Dust Devil,” held in February 2006 in Tucson, AZ.
In November 2005, the ULC voted to change its name to the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), and to reform as a non-profit sports organization overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors, and managed by representatives from each of the organization's member leagues.
In late 2006, the WFTDA established East and West regions, and developed an opinion poll ranking system to determine play schedules and tournament seeding. WFTDA leagues have historically opted not to create a set season for flat track roller derby, preserving their home league preferences and advantages, so currently only the tournament season has been standardized, with a set schedule of September through November.
As the WFTDA grew, so did the iconic image of the “derby girl.” The WFTDA's membership guidelines are meant to insure that competitive flat track roller derby leagues adhere to the founding tenets of the sport: by the skaters for the skaters, with democratic representation, skater-owners, and a strong commitment to our local communities.
In 2008, the WFTDA instituted an insurance program for member leagues, establishing itself as a self-sufficient governing body for flat track roller derby.
In 2009, the WFTDA employed its first paid staff (an Executive Director and an Insurance Administrator), created an apprentice program to help prepare aspiring leagues for WFTDA membership, and divided into four regions—doubling the number of regional tournaments.
In 2013, all WFTDA teams were restructured into three divisions based on rankings as opposed to geography. What used to be four Regional Playoffs will now be four Division 1 Playoffs to qualify for the Championship tournament. There will also be a Division 2 Playoffs to garner less-ranked teams more national game play.
The Women's Flat Track Derby Association maintains the WFTDA flat track roller derby rule set, holds annual tournaments and membership meetings, sanctions teams and bouts, ranks all member leagues, conducts referee training and certification, establishes standards for skater safety and training, and molds the future of roller derby.
All information provided from WFTDA.com