Archive for category Roller Derby

Back again

Two days in a row? No way! OK, so I don’t have any real content yet, so I’ll keep babbling. And while I’m at it, I might as well keep going on the roller derby notes. There are a few things I had trouble finding out about roller derby reffing, so here they are:

  • Any ref can call a major on any player. Only the jammer refs should call minors on the jammers – if others call them it gets hard to keep track of when they get their 4th minor & get sent to the box.
  • Minor penalties can be announced, but don’t have to be. In general I think it’s simpler to just report them than to confuse people as to whether they’ve gotten a major or minor. Major penalties are announced as team color, player number, the penalty name with hand signal, the word major & pointing one finger off the track.
  • The “easiest” position to start reffing is outside pack. In general they’re responsible for minors & skate only 1/2 a lap at a time. Of course, that’s on the outside of the track, so speed is still pretty important (keeping up with the pack on the outside of the curve), as is stopping. Focus on the penalties that could cause injuries first, like back blocking, elbows, tripping, hitting above the shoulders.
  • When in doubt, don’t call it. If you see something that could be either a major or a minor penalty, call a minor. If you see a major but can’t tell for sure who did it, don’t call anything.
  • Major penalties are, in general, any illegal action that causes the loss of position to the opposing player. An elbow is a major if it knocks the target down or pushes her back. Minors are when a correction needs to be made, but position isn’t lost, such as a back block that causes the target to move slightly.
  • Only the jammer ref can react when the jammer calls off the jam. It’s not technically a rule, but the jammer ref will know if the skater isn’t actually allowed to call it off.
  • Check the training of the people you’ll interact with. Many of the NSO’s may be new, or at least new to that position. Make sure you both know what to expect from each other.

There’s a lot more than this – and I’ve only outside reffed 2 games. Hit me up with any questions – I’ll try to answer if I can. See ya tomorrow!

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Welcome back

OK, this has gone on too long – it’s been almost a year and no new status updates! I bought (and repaired) another pinball table, learned to skate, refereed in two roller derby bouts, and generally lost what remained on my sanity. Therefore, I’ll try to post some great thought each day. Starting with this:

If you’re starting to roller skate, possibly looking at roller derby, consider the following advice:

  • high-top skates are a good transition from ice skating, but they don’t give you much control on quad wheels. Skip ’em.
  • Skates will cost $50 & up ($2,000+). In general, avoid anything under $80
  • Reidell R3’s ($99) are awesome skates… if they fit your feet. They’re pretty narrow – if you have wide feet, Rock GT-50’s are good. About the same price, but not as well made.
  • Skates are customizable – boots, plates, trucks, cushions, bearings, wheels, toe stops, toe guards & laces are all replaceable. You’ll probably need to upgrade bearings & wheels first – and definitely get a toe guard! You can also adjust what you already have – trucks can be loosened for easier turning, wheels tightened (slowed) for a beginner.
  • If you have flat feet, you’re screwed. Well, maybe not entirely, but from the research I’ve done you’re going to have a harder time. Many people with flat feet also have overpronation – your weight doesn’t rest on the same parts of your feet as most people, so your skates don’t sit entirely flat when standing. I’ve tried 4 shoe inserts from gel to rigid, full length, half length, tall & short. The first lesson learned is that skates are designed to fit snugly so your foot doesn’t slide around – tall inserts don’t fit. The gel one smushed around & moved out of place. Currently I’m in the process of getting a custom one made for about $200. It’s a steep price, but if it works it’ll be worth it.

Of course, I’m just a guy that started reffing recently & thought others might like to see my notes on the topic. I’m no doctor, so none of this is medical advice.  Good luck & happy rolling!

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