THREE HOME TEAMS IN 2019
As part of our continuous multi-season effort to reshape our organization, Houston Roller Derby has consolidated from four home teams to three. Over the past couple of years, HRD’s membership has decreased with our number of retirees being greater than new recruits and transfers. This trend is not unique to HRD. Our governing body, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) has seen a decrease in the number of new leagues joining, some leagues merging due to declining numbers, and some even losing their practice spaces.
In 2012, when HRD introduced a fourth home team —The Valkyries— we had a membership count of over 100 league members. At the end of 2018, we had 45 league members. For the safety of our skaters and to help continue to produce competitive and entertaining events for the public, the entire league membership voted to temporarily go back down to three home teams until we can drive our member numbers back up.
HRD has noticed this trend over the past several years and made a league-wide commitment to take a multi-year phased approach to restructuring our organization in an effort to improve competitiveness as the most competitive WFTDA league in the greater Houston area. At the end of our 2017 season, we took the opportunity to reshuffle skaters to create new, closely matched teams. With the change in the number of teams in 2018, we took the opportunity redistribute skaters from our eliminated team and placed skaters on teams 1, 2 and 3 evaluating each team closely to make sure they were even.
The decision on which team names to keep was not an easy one to make. There was no question about maintaining the Psych Ward Sirens and Bayou City Bosses team names — they were two of the first teams of the league, both have a rich fan base, and hold the longest championship titles within HRD’s history. While the Brawlers were the third original established team in the league, after careful consideration and deep deliberation, it was decided to keep the Valkyries team name. The Brawlers' 2018 team roster had the fewest number of returning skaters and the league considered this roster to be the easiest to redistribute.
HRD is so thankful to our Brawler veteran skaters and the team’s incredible fans who came out to root for blue or purple over the past 12 seasons. While this situation was not ideal, we want to emphasize that we are working hard to make our move to three teams a short-term solution. In the meantime, continue telling your friends about roller derby and encourage them to come check out HRD!
If you have any questions regarding the reshuffle, please do not hesitate to reach out to Betty Watchett at email@example.com.