In a recent rules update published by the WFTDA, it has been confirmed that future roller derby games will see the second period played in clockwise direction. The first period will continue to be played in the usual counter-clockwise direction.
Omegara, a WFTDA spokesperson, explained:
“We decided on this step to make our sport safer and less injury-prone.
Many studies have shown that unidirectional roller derby can lead to muscle imbalance, which in turn can cause long term health issues and injury.”
“We also wanted to increase the general level of athleticism in roller derby. We believe that roller derby skaters should be equally good at skating in different directions around the track.
This will help us to be taken more seriously as athletes by other roller sports organisations and sports bodies in general.”
“Of course, in the second period of every bout you would now potentially be subject to direction of gameplay penalties for counter-clockwise blocking.
Regarding necessary rule changes, we have created an updated version of the rule book which contains a new section for the second period.
This section is just the whole rule book again, but every instance of ‘counter-clockwise’ has been replaced with ‘clockwise’ and vice versa. In one swift move we have thus doubled the WFTDA rule book in length.
“In general though, we do not anticipate a lot of organisational changes for games and game play. Line-up and score trackers may need to change position at half time and we will need a second set of jammer and pivot lines and a penalty box ‘line of no return’ on the other side of the box.”
Isle of View, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, commented:
“This is a whole new challenge for our training. We basically feel like rookie skaters when going clockwise around the track. We all have a good side for stops and turns and none of us can really cross-over all that well in clockwise direction.
“I normally like to position myself on the outside line in our walls. Now I’m confused. Will I want to be on the inside on the second half?”
DuroTart, another Derpshire skater, commented:
“I like this change. Why do so many sports go counter-clockwise anyway?”
Meanwhile, owners of derby businesses and enterprises with names based on the unidirectionality of roller derby were left unimpressed.