Tag: officials

Official Business: Officiating Bootcamp

‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear’ Nelson Mandela

Lots of things about derby scare me – the hardness of mastering new skills (the hardness of the floor), the physicality, derby kisses, it’s addictive nature and also whether my husband will find out just how much I spend on pretty new wheels. As with all things, its best to face fears head on as otherwise you feed the monster. This said, the thing that still gives me the most cold sweats is the extraordinary number of intricate rules the beautiful game comes with. I adore derby, but my golly gosh!

Scary Quadmother, Firth of Force & Queen Beestly NSOing at Inspire Suffolk

So at the beginning of the year when the lovely Caz #4250 spear headed the movement to get as many of our league as much NSO training as possible, I was in. We’ve done pretty well between us all, and it has 100% improved my understanding of the sport and actual game play.

Then, last Saturday, we were offered the opportunity to attend a boot camp with the NSO extraordinaire  Yoshi (DominAsian) – a man with an officiating CV so huge, that the only thing to rival it is his mohawk. As well as being informative and jolly, he feed us American candy whilst filling our porous minds with juicy NSO info. There was also a Ref boot camp running concurrently, hosted by Igor Maniac, and after we’d all finished with the learning, we got to flex our newly acquired skills on an intraleague bout (Stowmartians vs Sugartown Saints). A lovely time was had by all.

Not cheering teammates will always remain the hardest part of team grey, way after my stop watch and mental arithmetic skills become proficient. But I truly believe that learning how to NSO will not only make you a better player, but if everyone in the league can do all roles, way more skatey fun can happen. And that is something far from scary.

-Queen Beestly #26






notes from the President…
*See ours amazing officials in action TOMORROW at Inspire Suffolk in Ipswich – they’ll be doing their stuff and running a double header – our Women’s A team vs London Rockin’ Rollers Badasses, and British Champs Tier 2, our Men’s A team vs Mild Discomfort! All details on the event page
*We’re always looking for more NSOs to join our ranks – want to get involved with roller derby but can’t/don’t want to skate? We can train you as an official! Get in touch with us via email or our Facebook page

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

photo courtesy of nearthecoast.com

Official Business: New Challenges

Apparently I like a challenge. This is something I have only realised recently, and only in relation to a specific thing.

That specific thing is roller derby. Ever since first seeing my little sister play back in November 2012 I have been hooked. People who know me are probably bored at hearing the words “first and foremost I am a fan”. But that does not make that statement any less true. And this is my driving force. It’s driven me to strap wheels to my feet and learn how to skate. Which was a challenge in itself. Especially when that involved meeting new people, being a shy person (honest) that was difficult. But those new people are some of the best people in the world. Because they’re derby people. And these specific derby people are who go to makeup my league Suffolk Roller Derby.

Officials from SRDs first intraleague games in 2016

Being part of SRD has given me so much. From helping me when I was struggling with mental health issues to getting me to feel more and more confident learning the skills needed to become a fully fledged roller derby player.

So of course I wanted to give something back. Volunteering as an NSO (Non Skating Official) is my way of doing that. NSOs are a vital ingredient in the world of roller derby, without them a game just cannot happen. They are responsible for keeping track of timings, scorekeeping, and penalties.

I have been NSOing since February last year, so my experience is not that great. This year I decided that I wanted to improve my knowledge surrounding this aspect of the sport I love. After a brief conversation with Asterisk, our league president, the idea of an SRD NSO group was born, lovingly referred to by me as the Suffolk’N’Awesome NSOs. Shortly following this I was then given the scary responsibility of sorting out NSOs for SRD’s first closed door challenge team bout on the 24th February. My new challenge.

NSO training session at Inspire Suffolk

This was not as simple as just getting volunteers and giving them a role, this involved training. Not the easiest of tasks when I only had limited experience of a couple of the roles myself. But with help from some SRD league mates who had NSO experience I was able to put together a training session that was held the week before the game.

Then came game day itself. I was so nervous but excited. The event went well and everyone seemed to have fun. Reflecting on both the training session and game day there are many areas that can be improved, but those are things that I need to improve, my knowledge, my confidence. But this will come with time and practice.

Scary Quadmother, Firth of Force & Queen Beestly NSOing at Inspire Suffolk

As I write this it’s been almost a week since the game. And it was a success, and that success has very little to do with me. That success came from my league mates that volunteered when I asked them to. Those league mates that showed enthusiasm to learn something new. Those league mates that gave up two weeks on skates to learn and to officiate. Those league mates that make me so proud to be part of this league. My league. My roller derby family.

We are SRD and we are AWESOME!

-Caz #4250

…gumshield courtesy of Sisu

P.S. I need to take the opportunity here to thank Kevin ‘Yoshi’ Stanton, Astrid ‘Asterisk’ Coxon and Julie ‘Dragon’s Den’ Dennis. All have been vital in cultivating the above success with me.

tattoo by Lauren Barfield Lady Lucifer #616)





notes from the President…
Official Business is the start of a new blog series where we’ll be looking at the “behind the scenes” of roller derby – as Caz says, roller derby can’t happen without our wonderful officials, but they are all too often the unsung heroes of the derby world!
*We’re always looking for more NSOs to join our ranks – want to get involved with roller derby but can’t/don’t want to skate? We can train you as an official! Get in touch with us via email or our Facebook page
*We’ll be hosting an Officiating bootcamp this year – keep your eyes on our Facebook page for more info soon
*header image courtesy of Des Fisher at nearthecoast.com

See you soon, sports fans!
-Asterisk* #8