KNOXVILLE, TN (FEBRUARY 20, 2020) - Knoxville TN’s roller derby league has officially updated their league name to Hard Knox Roller Derby. While this may seem like a small change, it signifies a big steps toward inclusivity.

As the league announced in their March 10 Facebook post , the decision was made both to include skaters who prefer non-descript gender pronouns as well as to welcome an open gender team into the league, joining the existing 5 female-only teams.

“One of the things that we love about the sport of roller derby is our inclusive community. Just as we welcome and encourage skaters of any body type, we also welcome and encourage skaters of any gender. Not only do we want to be inclusive of any skaters who prefer they/them pronouns, but we’re also excited to officially welcome Marble City Mayhem into the league as our open gender team, joining the existing HKRD All-Stars, Brawlers, and our three home teams. As men’s and open gender roller derby continues to grow in popularity, many leagues have made similar name changes in the past few years as they enter into competing in these areas. We couldn’t be happier about our progress as a league and we look forward to an amazing 2020 season!”

HKRD opens their 14th season with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at the World’s Fair
Exhibition Hall in downtown Knoxville at 935 World’s Fair Park Drive.

Hard Knox Roller Derby was established in 2006 and remains Knoxville’s only flat-track roller derby league. We are a diverse group of athletes who strive to improve individual athleticism, self-discipline, and confidence through structured training and competitions that represent Knoxville at the national level.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Hard Knox Roller Derby is dedicated to providing community outreach through events, activities, and charity sponsorship. The league is skater-owned and operated, relying on the support of our community. Individual skaters pay dues to the league, as well as fund their own gear, insurance, and travel expenses.

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating counter-clockwise around a track. Gameplay consists of a series of short “jams” in which skaters earn points by legally passing opposing players. The sport of flat-track roller derby is governed by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), representing more than 450 member leagues on 6 continents.

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