Home AFTDA Member Code of Conduct
Member Code of Conduct
Written by Brad Example   



Effective 2014 Jan 12


Roller Derby announcing requires a unique combination of skills and challenges that are not seen in other sports. As derby announcers we are expected to perform play by play and color commentary via a venue's public address system to a live audience. We are to be professional and impartial while still conveying a level of excitement for those in attendance in order to inform and entertain without detracting from the bout. To that end, the intent of this Code of Conduct is not meant to be restrictive but rather empowering. It is a tool that is a help and not a hindrance. It is designed to be used and enforced on the inter-league and tournament level but is useful at the local level as well.  It is the responsibility of the host league's announcer and the AFTDA BoD to determine when the following rules are being breached and what action shall be taken. Extreme measures, such as expelling an announcer from a tournament, are considered to be a ”last resort” and will not be used unless indisputably necessary. It is always preferable to resolve issues by the most congenial means, i.e. discussing the alleged infraction or breach of conduct in order to solve the problem in a professional and diplomatic manner. This Code of Conduct is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Association of Flat Track Derby Announcers and its items shall not be enforced by any other entity outside of the AFTDA; i.e. roller derby organization representatives, skaters, officials, etc.

Finally, this document shall evolve over time with the sport. The AFTDA BoD will review and revise this document yearly. Also, in the event of an egregious incident (such as an announcer being ejected from an event) a special meeting of the BoD will be held to review the incident, determine if the code was enforced properly, and determine if revisions to the Code are necessary.

As members of the Association of Flat Track Derby Announcers (AFTDA) we have elected to share our knowledge and experience in the hope that in doing so, this culmination will provide a baseline standard for current and future announcers. To that end we present the following Code of Conduct as a set of guidelines.


The role of the announcer in flat track roller derby is to call the play-by-play action and make color commentary regarding that action to the live audience. Announcers should never show bias to one team or another, regardless of affiliation or the current score. Announcer’s comments should pertain to the action at hand or required announcements.  This does not exclude anecdotal references or humor that does not violate other sections of this Code of Conduct. Required announcements include official sponsor spots and other announcements mandated by the hosting organization and/or venue. Announcers should limit making any other promotions or announcements on-mic.

Any announcer showing visual or audible signs of intoxication or any other state that may negatively impact their ability to perform the duties of an announcer during the bout will not be allowed to participate as an announcer in that bout. The parties involved in making this decision are addressed in the preamble.

Announcers will research any team they are announcing for prior to the bout. Prior to a bout, announcers from each team should attempt to provide non-tactical information to each other within one week of the bout. For multi-league tournaments, each attending league’s announcer should provide this information to the hosting league’s announcer or announcer liaison. A minimum of skater name and number should be provided.  Additional information such as a short league background, key stats or awards won by participants, or links to on-line photos of the skaters.

Announcers must maintain a working knowledge of all rule sets they intend to announce.  Announcers should also inform visiting announcers of any and all “house rules” that may deviate from standard play.

Announcers should clarify the local definition of what is and is not appropriate language and content in accordance with the league, venue, and sponsors.

Announcers should not directly interact on-mic with participants during gameplay. Interviews may be conducted provided they are arranged in advance and the announcer does not relinquish control of the mic during said interviews. Announcers may interact with medical staff to get updates on injured skaters. At the Head Official’s discretion, announcers may interact with officials regarding rulings and decisions to provide information to the crowd.

Announcers from a visiting league will get equal representation during inter-league games. During inter-league bouts, the host announcers will make accommodations for at least one visiting team's announcer to be on-mic. If equipment limitations prevent the use of more than two announcers, the host announcers should relinquish one of their mics to the visiting announcer.

Announcers will resolve conflicts with other AFTDA members between themselves in an amicable manner. If the conflict can not be resolved in this manner the AFTDA BoD is to be contacted and the issue should be resolved between all parties involved. A designated BoD member will act as a liaison between the announcers to resolve the conflict. If the conflict can still not be resolved, the BoD will then confer and make a decision regarding the conflict. All decisions of this nature made by the BOD are final. In all levels of conflict management, AFTDA strives for strict confidentiality, and issues should be held in confidence by all parties involved.

Officials’ calls are final and incontestable by announcers. Every effort should be made to not undermine the integrity of the officials while at the same time communicating to the live audience what the official’s signals mean and how they affect the action at hand. Professionalism at all times is a must for all announcers with regards to officials and the calls they make.

While at the venue, and in public afterward, announcers will maintain a level of professionalism with regards to their personal opinions of the events transpiring and participants involved.  This does not require all opinions to be positive, but AFTDA members should conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring the association’s reputation into disrepute.  Members are responsible for maintaining the good reputation of the AFTDA in all their actions relating to roller derby, before, during or after a bout.