If you’re tired of watching the same old same old sports like football and basketball, now’s your chance to see a sports competition that you probably don’t see every day: Greensboro Roller Derby, a non-profit organization that supports women’s roller derby in this area, will host the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) International Playoffs from Friday, Sept. 6 to Sunday, Sept. 8.
Though hosted by the Greensboro Roller Derby organization, the WFTDA International Playoffs will be held at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds and Annex, where teams from the US and from around the world will compete all weekend for three spots in the International WFTDA Championships that will be held in Montréal, Canada in November. The teams in the competition in Winston-Salem will hail from France, England, Finland, Germany and Argentina as well as from America –with US teams from California, Texas, Illinois and Georgia.
Teams such as the Santa Cruz Derby Girls from Austin, Texas and the Paris Rollergirls from France will be on hand at the fairgrounds to thrill spectators and knock each other out of the rink.
The event in being held in Winston Salem next month despite the fact that the Women’s Flat Track association, and some of its member teams, have expressed concerns about holding any event in North Carolina due to the passage of the controversial House Bill 2. Widely known as the “bathroom bill,” that bill passed in 2016 before later being replaced with alternative legislation.
According to a press release sent out by the WFTDA this week, “it is our intent that it opens barriers for those still penalized in the LGBTQIA+ community in North Carolina.” (LGBTQIA stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex and asexual.”)
The press release goes onto state: “The WFTDA is committed to inclusive and anti-discrimination practices in relation to all transgender women, intersex women, and gender expansive participants and aims to ensure that all skaters, volunteers, and employees’ rights are respected and protected. The WFTDA is committed to doing everything it can to ensure safety at the venues, hotels, and meeting/ gathering locations they choose for business and events.”
According to the WFTDA’s press release, the board of Visit Winston-Salem and the Sports Diversity Leadership Council have been working proactively to ensure that athletes, fans, volunteers and other visitors feel welcome and safe at the September competition.
Also, the WFTDA states, it is working with Greensboro Roller Derby and its selected venues to ensure that there are protocols in place for any unexpected disruptions during the playoffs.
The International WFTDA Playoff and Championship tournament series have been in existence for 14 years. Greensboro Roller Derby was founded nine years ago.
Tickets to the event are already on sale – including a $15 evening ticket for each day – at WFTDA.com/Tickets