Thursday, 21 February 2013

21st Feb: Experience is Everything.

A little late but I wanted to write about it nonetheless.

I was asked to help referee at a closed door event over the weekend. 2 of our league's newer refs, Emma and Jacqui drove me there and attended with me to observe and learn, as per their ongoing 'snow tiger' training.

Upon arrival to the venue I observed an "incident" in the car park which warranted a call to the police, but we headed promptly into the Sports Centre to put it behind us and prepare for the task at hand, finishing off a few discussions from our Roller-Derby-Test-O-Matic (EPIC FUN SITE CLICK HERE) testing on the entire car journey, and preparing for Referee duties.

Slowly players started arriving with a few referee's I've not had the pleasure of reffing with yet. 2 from Coventry, 2 from Surrey, Northampton and myself (Skating 1 Ref Short on the outside). I was down for Front IPR for the day and was looking forward to having the opportunity to further practice with the new rules. It was the first change for some of the refs to experience bout situations too so it could have gone either way.

The game got underway and played through reasonably well between both teams who are, to my knowledge, two relatively newer teams. There were a few mix ups in the penalty box from a newer NSO set up but nevertheless the game flowed reasonably well. The general feel from the get go, which was always explained was a casual set up to give both trams a chance to experience bout situation.

Around 10 Minutes in, the Centre manager needed to let me know the Police wanted to talk to me, so after the jam I went to see the Mr Policeman who needed to take a statement regarding the incident I saw and reported earlier. Luckily he was able to come and visit me post bout so after a few minutes, I rushed back in to re-assume my role as front IPR. Usually things like this can fluster me and throw my focus, but I felt I upped my game and remained composed and focused to get on with the rest of the 1st period. I hope that's the strangest thing I have to deal with mid bout, but then again, this is Derby so I can't rest easy.

After the break for fluids and feedback between refs, we got back on with the second period. Nothing too taxing in terms of gameplay, almost an expulsion for a player fouling out, and plenty of power jams to both teams, resulted in the game finishing with, I think, a 30 point difference.

All in all, it was a great chance to try new things as it was stated from this closed door's inception. The day allowed for a few Refs to loose their external game V-Cards in a casual environment, a chance for NSO's to try new things and practice and of course, for skaters from two teams to practice and play derby. Thanks for organising Rach!

What I've learned/realised over the weekend:

- I'm better at dealing with interruptions when I have to and making quick decent decisions
- Be observant throughout bout prep, ready to plug any gaps or issues as early as possible.
- Lucky and thankful to be a part of a league with a strong NSO Crew.
- Lucky to have been able to learn from and work with some great people from various leagues so early on.*

*(Notable thanks to Xavier Bacon (ongoing help and opportunities), Scream Winchester teaching me how to kit-check and saw T and I through my first closed door at Kent), Fu Man-Drew (Calmest man inside track), Stubble Entendre (Enthusiasm and ongoing support), Noise Tank (Flair, and support through closed doors), Scoot'er (Examples and opportunity for reffing my first open door), my own league and **refs** (T for being an awesome head of refs) and for the ridiculously lengthy discussions and all on UK Refs.

Thanks to all I've chatted with, wrestled rules with and who have lent ANY advice over the past year. It's greatly appreciated, I love Derby and I want to be a good referee first and foremost, and you're all helping me to do that, thank you.

Next bout I'll be at should be the Seaside Sirens vs Romsey Town Rollerbillies on the 9th of March, Titled ever so Essex-ly, Pie and Bash. There's going to be a STRONG ref crew and I'm sure the game's going to be a good'n.

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