Derby on our Doorstep

Tomorrow through Sunday, my league, Tri-City Roller Derby, will be hosting the very first WFTDA Playoff tournament to be held outside of the United States. That’s pretty darn cool.   The even cooler thing about the K-W tournament is that we have teams from 3 countries (Canada, US, and Germany) travelling to play.  We could not be more excited.


Just like when you host a party, you get nervous that all of your preparations will have been worth it.

It’s been a crazy ride getting to this point. There have been thrilling surprises that we never thought would pan out, and panicky moments where we worried if it would all ever come together.

There are a few incredible things about hosting this tournament:

The highest level of derby, right on our doorstep.

Last season, the D2 games were some of the most exciting in all of the playoffs.  Duluth’s recent D2 tournament upheld that tradition, with some stellar action.  I expect no less from the games coming up this weekend.  Division 2 teams have a lot to fight for, and they all play to win.


A gathering of all of our local leagues, and the chance to strengthen our derby ties.

Like I said before, this is the first time a WFTDA playoff has been held outside of the US. Canada has hosted some pretty amazing derby events, with Toronto Roller Derby hosting the very first Blood & Thunder World Cup back in 2011, and Hammer City’s recent all-Canadian, all-WFTDA Maple Stir-Up, but this will be the a new experience, having the WFTDA come to us.   It means that all of our local derby friends can come to watch and celebrate with us.   Having attended the first World Cup, I know the incredible energy that gathering a huge derby community creates.  It gives us all a chance to reconnect, to talk about future projects, to renew friendships and to enjoy the sport that we love together. You can’t beat that.

Finally, our league coming together to do something awesome.

Putting together a WFTDA playoff tournament (in an international location, no less) is a huge undertaking.  I could not be prouder of the way that my league stepped up to the plate.  Many leagues have struggled this season with low bout attendance, burn-out, and general derby struggles.  TCRD is no exception.  What blows me away, is that at the end of a long and challenging season, we were able to join forces to promote and organize like we’ve never done before.  League members got excited about planning, people hustled hard to find vendors and donors.  We’ve promoted the heck out of this thing, and it seems like our work is paying off.  Just like on the track, we’re stronger when we’re together.  Together, we can throw the best Division 2 tournament Canada has ever seen!

So, if you can get to Kitchener-Waterloo this weekend, don’t even think twice.  There will be skilled, high-level derby, there will be awesome surprises, there will great vendors, and there will be SO MUCH derby love. In the words of our very own tournament head announcer, Lightning Slim, “Get your backside trackside!”


If your physical body can’t be there, you can join us in spirit, by buying your pass to watch.

Thanks to the WFTDA for believing that a little league north of the border could help to make this happen.  Good luck and all the best to all of our visiting guests, and my deepest appreciation to all of the many, many people who made this happen.  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!

Do you have any tournament stories?  Share ’em here!

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