SLA Member Submission
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is the international governing body of women’s flat track roller derby representing more than 450 member leagues on 6 continents. The member leagues are independently run amateur sports leagues. The WFTDA has sought to revolutionize the role of women in sports through the collective voice of its member leagues around the world. As with the rest of the sports world, the WFTDA has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and has had to tackle the plans for returning to play. The central concern of the WFTDA has been, and continues to be, the safety of its skaters, their families and their communities. For those not familiar with the roller derby world, it has a deeply dedicated community to our sport. For the WFTDA, the athletes, the officials, the support staff, the volunteers, and the fans, refraining from roller derby was not an easy ask. While event income is heavily relied on for continuing operations of our member leagues and the WFTDA itself, the WFTDA committed to putting the lives of our community above our desire to continue playing our sport. The regional differences of the member leagues being in different cities, states, and countries, made strategizing how we can safely return to play, while keeping our skaters and their communities safe, immensely complex. Considerations for regional virus spread with travel, and cross-border play added the complexity that we as sports lawyers already have to deal with for those who work in sports with international play. To handle this issue, the WFTDA formed a Coronavirus taskforce of staff and volunteers who worked closely with epidemiologists, to put together its return-to-play plan. This was then presented to the member leagues for their feedback in order to make sure the athletes and their communities were able to voice their own concerns before finalizing. The WFTDA has agreed to release this plan to the public because of the belief that we all benefit from the collective knowledge of the sports community in these times to return to the sports we love. As General Counsel to the WFTDA, I welcome any feedback from the Sports Lawyers Association members who have comments or questions in regards to working on their own return-to-play plans at email@example.com
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