It’s nice to be in a larger league. It’s so nice. The league here is a 501c3 and already has its life together and leadership and some paid employees. But I’ve been talking with some skaters from my previous league and I’m missing it this summer.
Here’s what small leagues have going for them:
–Tight teams. By the numbers alone, smaller leagues’ teams are well meshed. When you’re in a league of 30 people total, you know how every one of them jams, blocks, evades. When you’re in a league of 150+ people, it’s impossible to get the same level of familiarity.
–Close communities. By nature, smaller leagues are usually in less populous areas. The league has to be an active community member to stay skating. And while going to every parade in town (Lobster Parade*, Fourth of July, other Fourth of July, skating for kids’ programming at the high school …) can be draining, it’s also so cool to get a small community buzzing with excitement before a bout. It’s hard to get a whole city pumped, but a small town? Everyone knows a derby girl in a small town.
–F-ing dedication. We’re all dedicated to our sport, but if you’re in a league of 20-40 people, it takes a lot more volunteer time and dedication to the not-fun jobs than if you’re in a larger league. Someone still has to be president, organize WFTDA paperwork, do insurance, make bouts, make posters, run practices … but with fewer bodies to do the work.
–More relaxed fun (?). Everyone cares about getting plays down, talking strategy and perfecting hits, but when you’re not worrying about a national ranking, there is time for roller disco lessons and games as drills.
–Creativity. I’ll say it. I’m going there. It’s the same philosophy as above: When you don’t have to care about a ranking, or your stats, or making travel team or being on wftda.tv or whatever, you can loosen up and think about lining your whole defensive wall up backward in a “rugby start” or other weirdo ideas. Less pressure, more risk.
–More track time. At a large league, you might split the track with a junior league, home teams, travel teams, etc etc.
–More game time. If you’re on a small league, it’s easier to make travel team. It’s easier to get rostered. It’s still hard. It’s hard everywhere, but there’s less competition.
What am I missing?
*That’s a real thing.