Officials Countdown to Dallas

refsWords by Sleaze

When I opened an email on 23 March saying: “Congratulations!! You have been selected to referee at the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup” I assumed there had been a mistake.

I had only applied as a joke to wind up Ratty, and had spent the month running up to the crew emails going out keeping my fingers crossed that Ed would get picked and we could start fundraising to help him make the trip.

When we all got in it pretty much blew my mind. On 5 April, Me, Ratty and Metal Ed announced to the world that we had been picked… and the fundraising began.

We asked what people would like to see us do to raise money, some said they wanted us to do things that scared us but most people wanted to see Ed do burlesque. Much as we asked him to (and God did we ask him to – repeatedly) he refused to take his clothes off. He also refused to let me cut his hair for money too. Spoil sport.

Our fundraising list began in a pub, in which we discussed ways that we could NEARLY DIE but not quite. We came up with walking on fire, Europe’s longest zipwire, zorbing and a suggestion about being launched into sea which made me grimace. We added in things people had suggested: we wash their pads (urgh no), we train their ref crew (yes!), we have a wet t shirt competition (this was purely aimed at Ed) and we do a ref role reversal game (ah-ma-zing!). And we started setting out to see which ones we could do.

Refs - All the SleazeWe started with some ref training. Crews from around the country messaged us with their situation, I wrote up catered training plans to their needs and then we drove to them to give face-to-face training, ref scrims, test them and give them feedback and encouragement.  First up was Wiltshire, then Leicester, then Cambridge then Nottingham and Wales. Met some absolute stars, got to have real in depth chats about fears, initiators, rules and progressing through the ranks. We also ate lots of meals at service stations and I nearly killed us by falling asleep at the wheel once. (Sorry mum).

Refs - BubblesThen we decided to walk on water. Ok, it was in a zorb, but still.  It wasn’t anywhere near as easy as I expected. Trav and stubble joined us, we climbed into giant inflatable bubbles and then ran around on what was basically a large pond, attached to strings so that we didn’t drift too far away. I ran aground several times, we all ran out of air at the end and one person suffered an over-extended thumb *cough* stubble *cough* but the entire thing was actually quite pleasant. MORE DANGER NEXT TIME we decided.

Refs - ZipSleazeSo we opted for Europe’s longest zip wire. MY ULTIMATE FEAR. Skew, Anton and Trav joined us. The wire was a mile long and they said you can hit 80mph on average. I HIT 92. My mum and dad came because I was certain I would die and I wanted to tell them I loved them before I did. Didn’t die. Raised some funds. I still feel sick thinking about this. LESS DANGER NEXT TIME we decided.

Next up was the referee role reversal. Organised by CCR’s Boots Manuva, the event involved refs from across Europe taking to the track and skaters paying to don stripes and ref them. Refs - JamRatI opted out because I’m not insane. I did however make the incredible art work for the FB event. So I think that counts. Oh and I bench managed Team 2.2.2. Spectators could suggest rules to be added to the game, and three of these were adapted to the WFTDA rules for each half. My favourite? Jazz hands needed to get lead. Never before have I heard so many people shout to the Dad of all refs (LRG’s Duncan Disorderly) “JAZZ HANDS DUNCAN”. Priceless. Oh and the outfits were a thing to behold, if you missed it, check out the pictures here. We had one concussion (Sorry Skew!) and Duncan’s arm fell off again. Looking at it you wouldn’t believe that it raised over £650 for us would you? Refs - JamEdCrackers fun. That’s ENOUGH DANGER FOR NOW we decided.

Coming full circle, we decided to finish how we began. Seven months of fundraising fun later and we headed to Plymouth for the final bit of referee training. A sad moment until we met that daft lot and had a barrel of laughs with them. They tried the hellahard test, then we taught them some tricks of the trade and refereed their session. Lovely finish to what has been a whirlwind year.Refs - Rattys Classroom

And here we are. Just under a month before the World Cup. Twenty-five days before we catch our flights and head off into the sunset. And OH MY GOD are we ready.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our fund altogether we have raised over £2,500 – you guys are amazing. That money goes towards our travel and accommodation while we are there. We can’t thank you enough for being so bloody generous. And thank you to everyone helped us and supported us whether emotionally or physically as we got ourselves ready for the biggest game of our lives. We will not let you down. Refs - SleazeSmack

You can still donate via this link to help get our officials to Dallas for the World Cup in December.

Photo’s Courtesy of Floyd King Photography or Sleaze’s own.

You can catch some of our officials in action at home in CCR’s upcoming match up against Kallio Rolling Rainbow on November 22nd. More details on the Facebook event here.

Ref vs Ref: It’ll all end in tears… or sweaty hugs.

refsBe afraid… be very afraid… This weekend sees something we don’t believe Roller Derby has ever seen before. A role reversal where skaters take on skating official roles and referees take to the track. That’s right, I know, I know this is mental…you were totally justified in just spitting out your tea over your laptop/smartphone in disbelief.

We continue our #officialsweek celebrations by bringing to you a once in a lifetime event where we get to see our referee crew go head to head on track and battle it out for the ‘not the world cup, cup’ in order to raise funds for CCR referees making their way to Dallas later this year to officiate the Roller Derby World Cup…. and they are really getting into the swing of things too! Facebook smack talk has been rife leading up to the event with the two teams (named after their favourite rules, duh – they are referees) facing off…

As Yvel (Team 1.3.2) pointed out, “I don’t need smack talk, we’ve got the skills to put Shref on his butt and make him admire ours.

Team 2.2.2 did not take those comments lying down and soon dropped some bombs of their own,,, “Ratty’s chances of winning are about as small as he is! *mic drop* (Ed, Team 2.2.2).

What could it all mean? Is this a coded threat? Has the competition sent Ratty insane?

What could it all mean? Is this a coded threat? Has the competition sent Ratty insane?

Then, something that nobody could have predicted happened. Ratty (team captain of 1.3.2) left a bizarre coded message to silence his opposition…

To get to the bottom of this eiree threat, join us tomorrow to see how the day unfolds:

  • The day opens with a co-ed mixed scrim after doors open at 1pm, first whistle at 2pm, referee role reversal game at 4pm.
  • Advanced (and reduced) ticket sales are available online until 2pm on 03/10/14 from here. Limited available on the door.
  • Location: Doug Ellis Sports Centre, Perry Barr, B42 2SY.
  • More details on the Facebook event here.
  • If you can’t attend the event you can follow our tweet cast from @The_CCR

Following this event, the next time CCR takes to their home track will be October 25th where they host a one day tournament. More information on that here.

Photo courtesy of Floyd King Photography

Officials Week

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Photos by Phil Seymour of 50012 photography. Headshots by Laura Jackman. 

With over 20 collective years experience between them, thousands of travel miles, three wftda certifications and a pocket full of aspirations, our officials at Central City Rollergirls are a huge asset to the league and European Roller Derby.

This week sees us catching up with our officials and celebrating all things in black, white and pink._MG_6518 (2)

Being an official is a tricky business, having to encompass a working and practical knowledge of the rules, documenting complex stats, having to adapt to new updates and paperwork every year and incorporate interpretations of the rules into every decision at a split seconds notice is a tough feat. Couple that with constant tactics changes, a driven and inquisitive team and these superstars of the flat track certainly have their work cut out.IMG_5845 (2)

This year has been a particularly busy one for our officials with several major international tournaments already and both the men’s and women’s world cups having a CCR official presence.

So what keeps our officials ticking? Is it as easy as you think? How did they come to be? I posed some questions to our officials to get some feedback on their past and future endeavours.

Rollin Rat – Head of officiating CCR

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Time Officiating:  5 Years and counting. Since 01 July 2009 when I NSO’d at Roll Britannia. First on skates officiating was 05.09.2009 I was OPR for London Rockin Rollers v Stuttgart Valley Roller Girls.

Bouts Officiated this year: 30+

Counties Visited this year: Belgium and in December I will be flying out the USA, Dallas.

Favourite Bout / Tournament? Apart from the obvious, above mentioned first time outings, I would have to say Track Queens Battle Royal as it was my first tournament outside the UK and was accompanied by my league Central City Rollergirls.

What are your goals for next year? To referee around the UK more; To become a level 2 Certified WFTDA Official; To keep applying for tournaments around the world.

Any tips for an aspiring ref? Seek guidance. The officiating community is massive and we are all a friendly bunch and willing to help develop officials. As the sport grows, the tactics grow so officiating needs to grow with it.

Honour Rampage – NSO

Time officiating: 4 years

Bouts officiated this year: 30 and did stats for SKOD 2014

Countries visited this year: Belgium Via France

Favourite bout/tournament? SKOD as doing the stats gave me more time to watch the derby and see some of the best NSO’s in Europe at work. I was too ill during the men’s world cup to appreciate the experience. Eastbourne Extreme was fun as my first outdoor roller derby experience.

Aspirations for next year? New job so I can afford to go to more bouts and getting my certifications!

1 tip for an aspiring official? Its not as scary as it looks!

Metal Ed – WFTDA Lv3 cert. (JR/OPR)

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Time officiating: Four years and three weeks.

Bouts officiated this year: My one hundredth game was head reffing Victorian Vs Sacred at the Big O in May 2013. Then my two hundredth game was SDRD Vs CTB at Men’s European Champs, Aug 2014. So around a hundred!

Countries visited this year: France (twice) and Belgium so far, with trips to Norway, Sweden and the USA before the end of the year.

Favourite game/tournament? My favourite game was Toulouse v SWS at MEC, it was so close all the way through the game and either team could’ve taken the win. My two favourite moments from last year were both from the Men’s World Cup. I realised that I skated in my first open game with a few members of Team England, and there we all were in the world cup final, albeit on different sides of the rope! Second, was being able to award Scotland lead jammer against the USA, I’ve never reffed with a crowd that crazy and emotional.

Aspirations for next year? Ideally I’d like to go over to America again for another tournament or maybe even Australia…

1 tip for an aspiring official? Get yourself about. Seeing how other referees work, their standard procedures within their crews and different interpretations all help you to take the good points on board and become a well-rounded official. Also, relax!

Stubble Entendre -

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Time officiating: Since July 2012, so like…just over 2 years.

Countries visited this year: The UK and Newcastle. That’s a different country, right?

Favourite bout/tournament? The Men’s World Cup. Amazing atmosphere, wonderful people, what a blast!

Bouts officiated: Game 100 sometime in early 2015 – hopefully it’s a CCR game too!

1 tip for an aspiring official? Be loud!

Von Sleaze – WFTDA Lv1 cert.

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Time officiating: I am fast approaching two years in stripes now.

Bouts officiated this year: 34 womens, 13 mens. NSOd two games.

Countries visited this year: Two so far (on top of the UK), two separate events in France and once to ref in Belgium. By the end of the year I will add Sweden and America to that list though.

Favourite bout/tournament? The Men’s World Cup. No doubt at all. It was amazing and I cried when it finished because of how proud I was to be a part of an event that saw amazing skaters playing in the city I live in. That and Panam v Lincoln at the Men’s European Cup. I was with most of my CCR team mates (sadly missing Metal Ed) and some other refs that I love – we worked so well together that it just felt like everything clicked into place. It was tough but felt like we were a proper tight crew.

_MG_4977 (2)Aspirations for next year? God where do you go from this? By next year I will have been reffing for two years and have refereed two World Cups. I have enjoyed training refs this year, I think I’d like to do more of that. I want to revisit the leagues we trained in the run up to Dallas and see how they have progressed. I think next year will be about finding those hidden gems and helping them to reach their potential. I have had so much help in these two years that I feel I need to pay it back.

1 tip for an aspiring official? Find a mentor and use them. You won’t regret this. And keep a blog or diary so you can see how much you are progressing, you won’t feel it at the time, but looking back over the months will be a great inspiration for you when you’re having a “meh” day. Good luck!

Our other Central City Rollergirls officials include Major Travis T (WFTDA Lv2), Sugar Buzz, Super Nashwan, Ma Might and Meg Ya Cry.

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You can catch our officials participating in a role reversal scrimmage this Saturday to raise funds for their trips to Dallas later this year. You can get a ticket to ref the game (they will be competing in it, many for the first time ever!) at the events page here. The event is preceded by a mixed scirmmage for those who aren’t wanting to have a go at donning the stripes.

Our officials also offer boot camp opportunities at your league and you can find out about their other fundraising endeavours via here.