Have you stopped to think about how derby's spread, lately?
I have. Sort of had to, as I'm headed to Dallas this December.
Does anyone remember the 2011 Blood and Thunder world cup? 13 Teams, there were back then. Asia wasn't involved, neither was Africa. Now, we're looking at 30 teams, with every (inhabited) continent sending at least one to compete.
The Men's World Cup 2014 was a big step, too. Men's teams from five continents, all competing together. Bouts broadcast in 2 languages each, and watched on all seven continents. Since the tournament, four additional teams have expressed interest in competing again.
It's not just national teams that prove growth--look at three leagues: London, Victoria, and Southern Discomfort.
first went to a regional in 2011, went again in 2012, and then went to champs as 3rd place in 2013. Now, they're headed to champs as a 1st place team, meaning they earn a first-round bye!
The Victorian Roller Derby
League have had an even quicker rise, going to their first playoff last year and now their first champs! With a win, they would play LRG, in a bout between Brits and Aussies played on American soil. How international is that!
On the men's side, Southern Discomfort
will be playing for 5th in the MRDA today in Seattle. They came out against the St. Louis Gatekeepers
, and forced several lead changed, leaving the 2-seed feeling threatened in the first half. This is their first trip to MRDA champs--not a bad place for a debut team to be skating for!
Those aren't the only non-US leagues headed to the various championships, Bear City
and Rideau Valley
are representing Germany and Canada in the D-II bouts, so there's a flurry of overseas talent this year!
I've read pieces on here and elsewhere about derby & the Olympics, derby & international governing bodies, the best way to grow derby, all that sort of thing. I think too much planning and talking is all too unnecessary. To me it looks like derby's growing well as is--it looks like we don't have to do a thing!
I can't wait to see where derby is in only 2 years--I'm sure we'll all be amazed!