Updated WFTDA COVID-19 Guidelines for Member Leagues Effective Oct. 1

As previously communicated to WFTDA Member League representatives, the WFTDA COVID-19 Medical Task Force has updated the COVID-19 Return to Roller Derby Guidelines and Recovery Plan, effective October 1, 2021. The updated guidelines are now available for download.

In 2020, the WFTDA assembled a team of medical and epidemiological experts to help us create our COVID-19 Guidelines in an effort to keep roller derby and our surrounding community as safe as we could in the face of an unknown disease. Since that time, we have been reviewing test data, multiple variants of the COVID-19 disease, and the various approaches to the mitigation that each of our 33 member countries and their health departments have taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our initial response and Guidelines were a way for the WFTDA to buy some time needed for the development, distribution, and accessibility of vaccines or COVD-19 treatment protocols, while ensuring safe and attainable return to play for our members.

Additional challenges emerged in 2021 with regards to COVID-19: Discrepancies in global and local access to vaccines, high levels of vaccine hesitancy, and more contagious mutations of the disease.

Our June 2021 Updates were on a trajectory to help get more of our members back on skates, and back on track. But these challenges have pushed the disparity in COVID-19 mitigation efforts by country even further apart.

To address this, the following updates have been made to the guidelines:

  • The COVID-19 Return to Play Guidelines are no longer required for WFTDA Member Leagues, but are strongly recommended.
  • Member Leagues must continue to follow their local government/health department requirements surrounding contact sports, sporting events, and public gatherings.
  • WFTDA leagues under the jurisdiction of a National Governing Body (NGB) may follow their guidelines/recommendations, if available.
  • The recommendations for “Knowing When to Step Back Down” have been updated to provide new guidance for leagues in areas with rising rates, which loosen the guidelines for when to pause or step back down on the ladder, and allow for a quicker return to making progress.


  • Leagues should continue to monitor hospital capacity in your area and factor it into your return to play decisions, should you choose not to follow the recommendations for when to move up and down the ladder. (Access to healthcare is important for all leagues to monitor during the pandemic: It is not only an important indicator of COVID spread, but it may mean less access to treatment for roller derby athletes in the event of injury.)
  • If your league has a reported case of COVID, you must pause activity for 14 days. This is true no matter which set of Guidelines you are following. You may start back on the ladder where you were at the time of the pause. We feel this practice should be upheld by all participating members to ensure the safety of most vulnerable community members.
  • Leagues are asked to consider local/national masking recommendations as part of your safety plans.
  • All Members are still required to report your return to play status in the Member Portal (please standby for further instructions).
  • The WFTDA Audience Guidelines for COVID-19 Return to Play have been adjusted so that the additional requirements for track setup to meet Risk Management Guidelines compliance are now recommendations.

Read more about the new recommendations on the COVID-19 Recommendations page.

WFTDA League Representatives can find more information and ask questions about these updates on the WFTDA Online Community (contact memberservices@wftda.com for help accessing the community site).

Download Updated Guidelines