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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old June 8th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #1
Slick Tracy
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Default Non-Compete Agreement?

Has anybody ever been a part of a Roller Derby team that when presented with a policies and procedures manual, that asked you to sign off that you accept and will adhere to all the rules set forth, including a non-compete agreement?

I have a friend who is currently skating, and the management of this particular league is trying to prevent losing skaters (there are many teams in the area, many who are more competitive) by requiring that ALL skaters sign this agreement, not to leave to skate for another league within 60 miles, for 6 months after resigning, otherwise they will owe the league $350 (equal to about 8 months of dues).

Is that completely insane or is it legitimate?
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Old June 8th, 2010, 06:49 PM   #2
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Well, if you are fortunate enough to be in an area where there are that many teams to skate with, I can sort of see wanting players to sign an agreement.

Around here, we need all the skaters we can get, and it's common practice for skaters to help out other teams when they are short of skaters.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #3
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Sounds douchey to me. Whoever came up with that rule sounds like they forgot amateur flat track roller derby is something people pay to do in their spare time. Attempting to dictate what people can or can't do after they've left the league and have stopped paying dues is ridiculous.

It also sounds like the leadership of the league has a vested interest in maintaining an adversarial relationship with neighboring leagues and to codify that by actually putting that clause in a player agreement, well, that's just not going to be good for the league in the long run.

After all, it's being discussed on an international message board right now and it probably wouldn't take a lot of guesswork to figure out who the league in question is.

Besides, I'm sure the league would end up spending much more than $350 taking that person to court and trying to get that amount.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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I think that non-compete agreements are kinda silly. If a skater wants to leave a league, she probably has a good reason.

Would you want a skater on your league who doesn't want to be there? I think it just creates too much potential for drama and I think it'd be more likely to allow an open air of ill feelings if one skater feels trapped ends up being bitter. I don't think I'd want to be around a skater who might play with us only because she can't play otherwise. If she has to pay a bunch of money to transfer to another league, she will probably be bitter, and I just don't want to be around that. Why create more reasons for some girls to be any more dramatic than they are at times?

I live in an area with a more competitive league, but our leagues are completely different. If any of our skaters want to join that league, then cool. She wanted something different. If skaters want to join our league, our opportunities are different.
That's just me, though.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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I agree that it seems a little...odd.

Wouldn't you think that if you are running a great league, where people are happy, you wouldn't have to FORCE people to stay, even if they don't want to?

I can understand if you switch to another league, perhaps signing a confidentiality agreement, so you aren't giving away insider knowledge about sponsors, league members, training, etc. But seriously? This isn't a professional sport, yet, and even then, players are shuffled around so often, that it doesn't make sense in the professional sports industry.

Any other thoughts/opinions?

Rogzilla - not sure about the international league you are referring to, the area I'm talking about is New England. But feel free to PM me if you want to chat about it.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick Tracy View Post
Has anybody ever been a part of a Roller Derby team that when presented with a policies and procedures manual, that asked you to sign off that you accept and will adhere to all the rules set forth, including a non-compete agreement?

I have a friend who is currently skating, and the management of this particular league is trying to prevent losing skaters (there are many teams in the area, many who are more competitive) by requiring that ALL skaters sign this agreement, not to leave to skate for another league within 60 miles, for 6 months after resigning, otherwise they will owe the league $350 (equal to about 8 months of dues).

Is that completely insane or is it legitimate?
I think I have a guess which league this is....
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Rogzilla - not sure about the international league you are referring to
I was talking about Skatelog. It's an international message board.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post
I was talking about Skatelog. It's an international message board.
gotcha. loooong day at work.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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I heard that Fresh Eddie has a clause in his league's player agreement that prevents other skaters from wearing non-matching socks.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:53 PM   #10
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #11
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I heard that Fresh Eddie has a clause in his league's player agreement that prevents other skaters from wearing non-matching socks.
that's a policy I can get behind!
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:13 AM   #12
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I've heard of skaters having to sign a "Non-Disclosure" clause saying that you wouldn't divulge league secrets/business methods without approval/permission from the league.

However, a Non-Compete, considering that almost every league I've heard of a skater pays dues to play rather than being PAID to play, I doubt it would hold up in a court of law. (However, I am not an attorney YMMV).
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #13
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Default Compensation

Unless times have changed.....Derby girls do not get paid money or make a fortune playing Derby.

The problem I see is compensation, for a contract to be binding there must be compensation. Derby does not operate like baseball leagues.

I would find Non-Compete agreement here hard to stand up in court for lacking the basic components of a contract. Besides, you are sort of forced to sign under duress.

I can look into it more, but I had to study this for my CPA license. In the work world these agreements are very hard to enforce because it deprives a person the ability to earn a living.

They never win if they are too broad. For example if I said you can never play for another team within 60 miles that is too broad and deemed unenforceable. They have to be reasonable, like you can't play for the opponent for just the rest of the season. Reasonable time frame and miles. And assuming you make enough playing Derby to quite your full time job.

Sorry to but in. Not deemed legal advice.

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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #14
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If I was presented with a non-compete, I would promptly tell them where to shove it, turn around and walk away.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:00 AM   #15
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I honestly think its about the situation the team is in... the area... and if any other leagues split off from them.

My league has every skater sign a 'non disclosure' agreement. This means we are not allowed to go to a league with in 30 miles of us and tell them what we are doing.

I find this perfectly fine... just because we did have a league split two years ago, there are two leagues in Jacksonville, FL now.

You have to think of it from the board members point of view. The league is their 'baby'... and they take every precaution to avoid something from happening.

Ive been skating with my league for two seasons now... and I have never seen a problem with someone jumping ship and going to the other league. We actually have GOTTEN quite a few skaters and NSO's from theirs that have came and joined us.

Just my .02
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #16
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here in Dallas we actually DO have two leagues within thirty miles of each other, a few of my close friends, and myself as a coach, made the switch after some of us signed a no-compete clause, which said we couldn't quit and skate for another league for a full year, but that doesnt cover a WFTDA transfer, because if you move, or there is a league closer, i dont see how anything like that would hold up as none of us are paid to do what we do, yet.....
anyways, we switched and pretty much that non-compete just held up on the end of not leaking insider information about the other leagues plans and what-not.... i would extend out and first of all find out if the league your coming from is WFTDA sanctioned and if the league your going to is WFTDA sanctioned, if so, i bet WFTDA has something that will prevent any repercussions on your end from happening.

hope this helps, and by the way, if a team is scared to lose you, you are probably more valuable than what that team has to offer anyways, make the jump and get the level of competition in your area higher!
hell, look at Pikes Peak vs Rocky Mountain, if you dont want to compete at high caliber level, you will lose your skaters that WANT that, they WILL move/transfer/change teams, whatever.....
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
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If I was presented with a non-compete, I would promptly tell them where to shove it, turn around and walk away.
yeah, that's basically what i did.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #18
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Default Counter Point..

Ill first say.. that I am not for.. or against non compete clauses..

But I WILL SAY THIS..

Those of you that are in established leagues.. are enjoying the ben-e-fits..of the hard work of those before you. Money spent.. money earned.. contacts made.. and skills learned.

Those that feel that they can come into an established league.... learn skills.. techniques.. policies...abilities.. and then take those skills and apply them to a adjacent league.. to better their name.. skills...production..etc.. is rather borderline DBish.

Leagues out there.. that dont require their skaters to pay dues.. have paid for your ability to skate.. at a practice venue.. offer you coaches and trainers with experience that has been bought.. and paid for by that league..through money.. or..sweat equity.

We all like the notion of.. Derby Love.... and Be Your Own Hero... but the facts are.. the only thing that is gonna keep your ass on the track.. is keeping asses in the seats.

Leagues have every right to defend their fan base. And any dilution of this is a cause of concern for some leagues. And if they feel they have the need for a non-compete clause... you should respect that.

If you dont.. then find another league. But if you come aboard.. learn skills.. then want to foo foo their policies.. well.. that speaks volumes on those individuals..

Im Just Sayin
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #19
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Default Contracts....

Elements of a Contract,

Meeting of the minds
Offer and Acceptance
Mutual Consideration
Performance and Delivery
Good Faith

Without these present there is no contract. For a Non-Compete to be binding it has to have the following elements:

a reasonable time limit
a reasonable geographic limitation
specified restricted activities

To be legally binding it can't be general. The plays or trade secrets are "Intellectual Property" and need to be spelled out.

I agree, you should not take what you have learned and share with another team.

I am afraid with out a specific blueprint that is very detailed the Non-Compete will not hold up in court. Judges throw them out all the time.

And the League has to furnish some sort of compensation to you, insurance, skates, medical or some sort of compensation to have a contract. Otherwise, the only benefit is to the league and then there is no exchange of consideration or contract.

Another way to say it, you have to be given consideration (Money or Goods) in exchange for giving up your right to compete. What were you given in return for giving up your right to compete?

Coaching is not enough. You have to be given a signing bonus or something right then, not a future benefit to YOU. Compensation can't be future coaching, future skills, future benefits to you as they may never materialize.

Personally, I can see why the league may do it. I don't have a problem with opinions on both sides. But the law is the law and whether I like it or not that is the reality.

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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #20
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Well it goes further then Contracts.. you shouldnt need a piece of paper to tell you that something may not be a good idea.

Derby Love is fine and well..

But...

New leagues out there.. please.. use the information that WFTDA posts..and find your way. Dont look..*or expect* other leagues to share information ..that they worked hard for.. made mistakes and gained wisdom from those mistakes..... just for the asking.

Again.. we all love the same sport... but dont be shocked... when you start a league in close proximity to an established league, that it may not be that well received. There are only so many fans.. so many resources.. so many venues out there. Those that have come before you, worked their asses off just to be taken seriously.. they have earned their fans.. and may respond rather cold to you wanting to borrow their coaches.. referees.. bi-laws... etc.

I guess maybe a simple rule of thumb..

DONT BE A TICK.

Last edited by 8-Ball; June 9th, 2010 at 05:09 PM.
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