Roller derby is the fastest growing sport in the world.
There are more than a thousand amateur teams, from America to Egypt, Switzerland and Mexico.
But the sport has a tough decision to make:
Going mainstream or staying true to its punk rock roots.
It’s a choice between getting national media coverage and entering the Olympics or keeping the fun outfits and alter egos that fans love.
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association governs the sport, but the International Federation of Roller Sports in the only body recognized by the Olympic Committee.
That means that the Federation is the only one allowed to sanction international roller derby competitions that want to be considered for the Olympics.
The problem lies in the rules.
The Federation’s ruleset plays a much faster game. It will be used during the first World Roller Games in China this September.
There is one issue.
Most roller derby players are not used to playing this way.
Since the sport resurged in 2001, the has mostly been played under the Women’s Association rule set.
Which means that the Federation has nine months to train players and referees before the world stage.
Regional clinics, online seminar and tests will be rolled out over the next few months.
Will they receive the turnout of teams they need? That remains to be seen.
What’s clear now is the Federation intends to shape the sport on the Olympic stage differently.
Fans: get ready. International roller derby is happening.