Junior roller derby
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Junior roller derby is the sport of roller derby, modified for children and adolescents.
The first junior league, The Tucson Derby Brats, was established in Tucson, Arizona in 2006 by 3 young fans of the Tucson Roller Derby adult league: Tristan Hasman, Arlee Garcia-Thwing and Zoe Reeves.
Growth of the Sport
At the 2007 Women's Flat Track Derby Association Texas Shootout Nationals Tournament in Austin, Texas, the two existing junior leagues, the Tucson Derby Brats and the Seattle Derby Brats, held a demonstration bout between rounds in the tournament. Following this national exposure, leagues began forming in other towns across the United States. In order to support the growth of new leagues and standardize rule sets, the Junior Flat Track Derby Association (JFTDA) was formed. This informal association developed into the Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA) in 2009.
In of February 2010, there were over 40 junior roller derby programs across four countries at various stages in development. In 2013 Junior Roller Derby grew its international presence including 38 international leagues located in Canada, Belgium, Japan and Australia. A global map of all Junior Leagues worldwide is maintained by the Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA).
Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA)
On October 1, 2009 The Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA) was formally established. Continuing to grow and thrive, JRDA implemented a formal Membership program providing junior leagues with resources such as:
- New League start-up and expansion for existing League
- Creating modification to the current track derby rules that allowed for participation at all skill levels
- Creating a training program for advancing skater skills
- Partnering with roller derby organizations to provide insurance
- Plan skater development
- Match skaters for safe and fair inter-league play
In the last three months of 2009 the Board of Directors with assistance from dedicated committee volunteers drafted policies and mission statements needed to begin local grass roots junior roller derby programs.
In 2010 the JRDA began the process of incorporating in Austin, Texas as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation for promoting the advancement of national and international amateur athletics through roller derby.
The mission of JRDA is to nurture bold self-confidence in youth by developing teamwork and athletic ability while treasuring individuality within a culture of integration, encouragement, and service to others. JRDA partners with competitive & recreational junior leagues, communities & schools, mentors & families; to empower youth through the international sport of roller derby.
Junior Roller Derby Championships
In 2014 the JRDA hosted the first Junior Roller Derby Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2014. Dayton Beach received an outstanding JRDA take-over as 17 National JRDA Member Leagues rolled in for a 2-day Tournament played on 4 tracks.
With the implementation of the JRDA Games Dept., and newly formed Games Sanctioning policy, Team Divisions, and Team Rankings System at the end of 2014, the JRDA highlighted the top teams in the world with an invitation to participate in the 2015 JRDA Championships, held in Kent, Washington. The top teams from each Division played at the highest level of Junior Derby over 3 days on 2 tracks.
|Year||Host||Female Division||Open Division|
|1st Place||Result||2nd Place||1st Place||Result||2nd Place|
|2015||Kent, Washington||Seattle Derby Brats-Galaxy Girls||189 - 168||I-5 Rollergirls||California Mayhem||231 - 160||The Attack Pack|
Junior Roller Derby World Cup
July 2015 the JRDA hosted the inaugural Junior Roller Derby World Cup held in Kent, Washington.
Although a number of nations were expected to participate, only 3 countries attended, with the USA providing two teams, one representing USA West and the other USA East. The two other nations were Canada and Australia.
The first day of competition saw each team play each other to determine seeding for the following days competition bracket. The final was won by USA West defeating USA East. Canada took third place over Australia.
|Year||Host||Finals||3rd place playoff|
|2015||Kent, Washington||USA West||194 - 139||USA East||Canada||258 - 114||Australia|
There is no confirmation of a subsequent World Cup in 2018 although rumors suggest it may be held in Montreal, Canada.
JRDA and the AAU Junior Olympics
In February 2015 the JRDA made history when they announced their partnership with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to bring Junior Roller Derby to one of the largest world stages by taking Junior Derby to the Olympics.
The JRDA was quoted in saying, "The Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA) and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) are proud to present a unique competition opportunity for junior roller derby athletes in a co-ed event hosted in Lincoln, Nebraska July, 2016."
They then went on to add, "In this collaboration with USARS to bring Jr Derby into the AAU Junior Olympics, the JRDA is taking a big step forward in the development of the sport." This will be the first Roller Derby games that will be played and recognized by an Olympic committee.