Victorian Roller Derby League

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Victorian Roller Derby League
League logo
Metro areaMelbourne, Victoria
TeamsLightning / All Stars (International Team)

Thunder (National Team) Storm (State Team)

Victorian Junior Roller Derby (Juniors Team)

Toxic Avengers (Home Team)

Dead Ringer Rosies (Home Team)
Track type(s)Flat
VenueThe Factory VRDL
AffiliationsSkate Australia WFTDA
Org. typeNPO

The Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL or Victoria) is a flat track roller derby league based in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 2007, VRDL provides opportunities for all ages and at all levels to participate and compete in Roller Derby. VRDL is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), having gained membership in December 2011.[1] In November 2017, VRDL became the first non-American team to win the WFTDA Championships.[2] Since 2019, VRDL is the 2nd-ranked team in the WFTDA.[3]

VRDL consists of three adult representative teams that compete in interleague competitions within Australia and internationally:

  • VRDL All Stars / Lightning - the International representative team.
  • VRDL Thunder - The National representative team (Thunder)
  • VRDL Storm - The State representative team (Storm)

VRDL also has two Home Teams, the Toxic Avengers and Dead Ringer Rosies. VRDL is currently planning the 2023 Home Season with dates.[4]

Alongside their adult teams, VRDL also runs Victorian Junior Roller Derby League, with both developmental and competitive training for junior skaters.[5]


Founded in March 2007,[6][7] the Victorian Roller Derby League was started by Cherry Rockette (Mandar Nelson), Betty Bamalam, Toxic Judy, Denim Destructor (Chandelle Macklin) and Hidden Magenta. By the end of the year the VRDL had 40 members, playing their first invite-only bout for friends and family at the Dandenong Showgrounds,[8] and by 2009 the three teams were competing at 'Puckhandlers' in the suburb of Reservoir.[8][9]

In 2008, the first interleague bout in Australia, "Skate of Origin", was held. The VRDL travelled to Adelaide to compete against Adelaide Roller Derby. The Victorians won at the end of a close bout.[10] Other interleague bouts over the years have included "Skate of Origin 2" in Melbourne, where the Adelaide team defeated the Victorians;[10] the Great Southern Slam in 2010, in which the VRDL won the largest roller derby competition that had been held outside of the United States;[11] and the Canberra Roller Derby League at the AIS Arena in Canberra in 2011.[12]

In 2010 bouts were moved to the Melbourne Showgrounds,[8] and in 2011 the VRDL was both accepted into the WFTDA Apprentice program and gained a new training ground in Preston. The VRDL was the first league in Australia to be accepted into the WFTDA Apprentice program. In December 2011, they graduated from the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Apprentice program and became full members of the WFTDA[1] - the first Australian member, as well as the first member league in the Southern Hemisphere at the time.[13]

This created opportunities to compete in Europe and the United States.[14] In 2011 the VRDL played their first international match against the Hotrod Honeys from the Texas Rollergirls, losing out to the more experienced side.[8][15] In November 2011 the VRDL played their second international match against the Rat City All Stars from the Rat City Rollergirls, again losing to the more experienced team, but gaining a lot of skills in the process.[16]

In 2012 the league expanded to four home teams and two levels of skater development within their recreational league.[17] In April the travel team competed in their first international tournament in Tucson, Arizona. The Dust Devil Tournament is an invite-only event, which was then in its fifth year. The VRDL went into the tournament seeded tenth and ended in fifth place.[18]

The league used to field four home teams: Dead Ringer Rosies, Toxic Avengers, Rock Mobsters and Dolls of Hazzard. For now, these have been retired.[19]

In 2022, Adelaide Roller Derby hosted The Great Southern Slam at the Adelaide Convention Centre. VRDL sent both teams Lightning and Thunder. Lightning made it to the grand final against Adelaide Roller Derby, winning the final 248-66 and placing 1st in Australia. Thunder won the game to place 3rd in Australia in a tight game against Brisbane City Rollers 137-135. [20]

In the community[edit]

The VRDL won the Women's Health magazine inaugural Women in Sport Award for best 'A' team of the year in August 2011,[21] citing the general groundswell of support from the Australia-wide roller derby community for this people's choice award.[16]

They contribute to the wider roller derby community in Australia by holding Master Classes and bootcamps[22] on a regular basis, their coaches visit fledgling leagues all over Australia and are actively involved in the Australia Roller Derby Coalition (ARDC).[23]

WFTDA competition[edit]

The VRDL All-Stars represent the Victorian Roller Derby League in WFTDA competition. In July 2013, VRDL was ranked at 31,[24] earning them their first appearance in a WFTDA Division 1 playoff tournament, held in Salem, Oregon September 27 through 29, 2013.[25] VRDL entered the tournament as the eighth seed out of ten teams.[25] This marked the first appearance in the WFTDA playoffs by an Australian and southern hemisphere-based league. With victories over the Chicago Outfit, Sacred City Derby Girls and Toronto Roller Derby, VRDL finished the tournament in fifth place.[26]

At the 2017 Division 1 Playoff in Dallas, VRDL defeated Philly Roller Derby, Minnesota RollerGirls and Texas Rollergirls to finish in first place.[27] The league continued to strengthen, and in 2017 won the WFTDA Championships, beating previous champions Rose City Rollers 180 to 101 in the final.[28] VRDL jammer Samara "Lady Trample" Pepperell was named the tournament MVP.[29] In 2018, VRDL received a bye directly to WFTDA Championships, by placing within the top four teams overall, as the first seed, in the 30 June rankings.[30] At Championships in New Orleans in November, VRDL finished in second place, losing the final to Rose City in a rematch of the 2017 title game, 144-121.[31]

In 2019, VRDL received another bye to move straight to the championships.[30] VRDL won against Angel City Derby 169-88 to proceed to the semi-finals and was beaten by Gotham Roller Derby in a close match 109-103. VRDL then played for 3rd against Arch Rival Roller Derby and after a tight and competitive game, won with a score of 119-107.[32]


With the March 2017 WFTDA rankings release, VRDL was the top-ranked team in the WFTDA for the first time.[33] VRDL has maintained a position in the top 3 since.[3]

Season Final ranking[34] Playoffs Championship
2012 11 W[3] DNQ DNQ
2013 21 WFTDA 5 D1[35] DNQ
2014 4 WFTDA [36] 2 D1[37] QF D1[38]
2015 2 WFTDA[39] 1 D1[40] 3 D1[41]
2016 2 WFTDA[42] 1 D1[43] 3 D1[44]
2017 1 WFTDA[45] 1 D1[27] 1 D1[28]
2018 1 WFTDA[46] bye[30] 2[31]
2019 2 WFTDA[34] bye[47] 3[32]
  • bye = received bye directly to WFTDA Championships

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "WFTDA Adds Six Member Leagues". WFTDA. 1 December 2011. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Victoria Roller Derby League All Stars wins WFTDA roller derby championship". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Current Rankings - Women's Flat Track Derby Association". WFTDA. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  4. ^ "VRDL Home Teams". 22 December 2022.
  5. ^ "About The League". Victorian Roller Derby League. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  6. ^ Brown, Terry (10 November 2007). "Training starts for Victorian Roller Derby League". Herald Sun. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  7. ^ Bailey, John (20 May 2007). "It's a bruising sport, but every day is derby day for the rink and file girls". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d Elder, John (31 July 2011). "Bigger than Texas? Not quite, but this derby is on a roll". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  9. ^ Fonseca, Allyson (24 October 2009). "New fad has girl power on a roll". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  10. ^ a b Wise, Beck (6 September 2009). "Adelaide Squeaks By Victorian Roller Derby, 136-134". Derby News Network. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Victorian Roller Derby League". Hit & Miss (2): 18. 2001.
  12. ^ Trail, Jim (25 March 2011). "The Big Reveal: Roller Derby". 666 ABC Canberra. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Victorian Roller Derby League". WFTDA. Austin, Texas. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  14. ^ Procter, Gabrielle (25 January 2011). "Roller derby league no longer just spinning its wheels". Melbourne Times Weekly. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  15. ^ Whittaker, Richard (5 August 2011). "ATX Roller Derby". The Austin Chronicle. Austin, Texas. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  16. ^ "VRDL Recreational Class". Melbourne, Australia. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  17. ^ "All Stars take 5th place at Dust Devil!". Melbourne, Australia. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Teams: Get Involved!". Victorian Roller Derby League. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  19. ^ "TGSS Results". 10 June 2022.
  20. ^ "I Support Women in Sport Awards winners". Women's Health. Sydney, Australia. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  21. ^ "VRDL Masterclasses". Melbourne, Australia. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Leagues". Roller Derby AU. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  23. ^ "WFTDA Releases June 30 Rankings, Tournament Brackets". WFTDA. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  24. ^ a b Tallionis, Lex (12 July 2013). "WFTDA Brackets 2013 Playoffs". Derby News Network. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  25. ^ Wise, Beck. "D1S 5th: (8) Victoria Bounds By (10) Toronto, 208-124". Derby News Network. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  26. ^ a b "2017 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Dallas Central". Derby Central. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  27. ^ a b Brown, Simon Leo (6 November 2017). "Victorian Roller Derby League All Stars win WFTDA world championships". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  28. ^ "VRDL All Stars' Lady Trample at WTDA final - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)".
  29. ^ a b c "WFTDA Releases June 30 Rankings and 2018 Playoffs and Continental Cups Seeding – WFTDA". WFTDA. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  30. ^ a b Danzer, Paul (15 November 2018). "Wheels of Justice takes world title". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  31. ^ a b "Rose City Rollers Win Back-To-Back Titles After Defeating Gotham at the 2019 International WFTDA Championships". 10 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Victoria Takes Top Spot in WFTDA Rankings – WFTDA". WFTDA. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Current Rankings", WFTDA
  34. ^ "September 27-29, 2013: Salem, Oregon". WFTDA. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  35. ^ "2014 WFTDA Rankings". WFTDA. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  36. ^ "October 3-5, 2014: Charleston, West Virginia". WFTDA. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  37. ^ "October 31-November 2, 2014:Nashville, Tennessee". WFTDA. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  38. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2015 – WFTDA". WFTDA. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  39. ^ Deadwards, Lisa (7 September 2015). "D1T 1st Place: #1 Victoria Takes Gold From #2 Bay Area, 151-107". Derby Central. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  40. ^ "D1 Champs 3rd Place: Victoria Unsettles London, 122-99". Derby Central. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  41. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2016 – WFTDA". WFTDA. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  42. ^ Defiance, Brooklyn (19 September 2016). "D1V: #1 Victoria vanquishes #2 Angel City, 143-140". Derby Central. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  43. ^ "Rollers repeat as roller derby champions". Portland Tribune. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  44. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2017 – WFTDA". WFTDA. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  45. ^ "Rankings: December 31, 2018 – WFTDA". WFTDA. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  46. ^ "WFTDA Releases June 30 Rankings, 2019 Postseason Seeding and Brackets". 10 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New tournament
Great Southern Slam Champions
2010 – 2016
Succeeded by
Current champions
Preceded by WFTDA Championship winners
Succeeded by