Before the formation of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, or WFTDA, it would have been difficult to decide exactly who was the best roller derby team in the world. With no formal coalition of teams there was no centralized tracking of matches – let alone results, form or other statistics.
After 2005, teams started attending organized global championships and playing on standardized tracks with consistent rules. This made deciding who the best teams in the world are much easier, giving prestige and recognition to the hardest working and most talented players in the scene. These are just a few of the most successful teams since the WFTDA founded.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby
Five-time world champions, New York based Gotham Girls were for a long time the undisputed queens of world roller derby. In fact, they won the first ever official ‘Hydra trophy’ at the inaugural world championships back in 2007. Originally consisting of four teams, representing some of New York’s famous boroughs, the Gotham Girls now have three ‘tour’ teams that play around the USA and the rest of the world – on top of their four borough teams and two youth development teams.
Well known former members include pivotal roller derby founder member Karin ‘Chassis Crass’ Bruce and Nicole ‘Bonnie Thunders’ Williams – who now plays for the upstart new World Champs Rose City Rollers.
Rose City Rollers
Founded in 2004 in Portland, Oregon, USA, the Rose City Rollers were one of the founding members of the WFTDA back in 2005. Since then they’ve consistently been one of the premier names in the sport worldwide. They have four local teams, for varying levels of skill, and two junior teams called the Rose Petals and the Rose Buds.
Their all-star team, selected from the best players on the four local teams, is called ‘Wheels of Justice’. They travel the world and the USA and compete in regional and international competitions. In 2015, ‘16 and ‘18 they were the Roller Derby world champions, beating their long-term rivals Australia’s Victorian Roller Derby in the 2018 final by 144-121. Currently, only Gotham Girls have won more World Championships than the Rose City Rollers. Star players include Rochelle ‘Gal of Fray’ Jubert and Nicole ‘Bonnie Thunders’ Williams.
Victorian Roller Derby
The only non-American team to win the World Championship trophy, the Victorian Roller Derby League is based out of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. They feature two home teams, two travel teams (the second of which is called the Queen Bs) and a youth development teams.
One of their star players was New Zealander Samara “Lady Trample” Pepperell. A talented jammer, she was tournament MVP when they beat the Rose City Rollers 181 to 101 in the 2017 final. However, Lady Trample opted to move to Denver for the 2018 season and now plays for the Denver Roller Derby.