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.

Club vs Country as Birmingham hosts Team Ireland

TICentral City Rollergirls are preparing for an exciting match up on 13th September as they make league history and take on a national squad in the form of Team Ireland. The double header sees Team Ireland play against both of Birmingham’s women’s leagues, CCR and Birmingham Blitz Dames, as World Cup warm-up games.

The games will have double importance for CCR skaters Siobhan Murphy (Tinchy Slider) and Dana Scurry, as they will play for both Team Ireland (in the first game) and CCR (in the second game). The Birmingham-based skaters were delighted to be selected for the Irish Roller Derby Training Squad after an intense selection process that started in February this year. Born to Irish parents, both are proud to represent Ireland at an international level. Siobhan and Dana have been participating in regular training sessions in Dublin and their most recent game saw them take a convincing win in Dublin against The West Indies in August.

Siobhan said “It’s definitely going to be strange for us Birmingham skaters. As part of Team Ireland we’ve built up some great relationships on track over the last 7 months and hope to put on 2 great games. But the home leagues (CCR and Blitz Dames) skate together several times a week and are most certainly tough opponents. I’m anticipating some challenging games!”

Game details:
Facebook event: https://m.facebook.com/events/736613603062787
Double header: Team Ireland v Central City Rollergirls & Team Ireland v Birmingham Blitz Dames
Date: 13th Sept
Time: 13:30
Location: Doug Ellis Sports Centre, 150 Wellhead Lane, Perry Barr B42 2SY
Tickets: £7 advance, £10 on the door. Concessions £4 advance, £5 on the door. Under 12s free

Siobhan and Dana hope to join several of CCR’s officials in making the journey to Dallas. With the final squad soon to be announced, these are sure to be intense games. Come along and show your support to our World Cup hopefuls.

Want to help Team Ireland get to Dallas? Donate via the fundraising page: www.indiegogo.com/projects/team-ireland-roller-derby or visit the Team Website at www.teamireland.com

Summer in the City

Traditionally August is a quiet time at CCR, as for many years, it has marked the end of the season. People would go on holidays and the skaters would take a breather. Not this year however! This year we decided to extend our season and keep our schedule busy.

First there was the A-Team game versus Hellfire Harlots. Contracts were signed, the game was planned and everyone was looking forward to playing a team they hadn’t played before. However, the day itself was witness to colossal downpour and as the opening game started the roof began leaking. Hellfire Harlots took the difficult but smart decision to call it off. Safety always comes first!

Following on from this the B-Team headed up to Manchester with our Birmingham Brothers the Crash Test Brummies to play Manchester Roller Derby’s Furies. After a painfully delayed journey in what can only be described as a traveling oven (Pete the bus driver swore the air conditioning was working), the coach swung into the sports centre car park just in time for the start of the game. With no time to waste it was straight in with the first whistle.

The first half showed some tight blocking and smart jamming by CCR’s skaters, but MRD never gave up, always trying to push to score a few more points. They had picked up on the current trend of panty swapping to try and distract CCR but it seemed inconsequential as by half time the scores stood at CCR 125 to MRD 23.

In the second half MRD came out stronger. They had regrouped and started to claw back some points while CCR suffered some penalty box trouble. However it wasn’t long before punishing walls and strong offence had CCR back into the swing of things. In no time at all, the final whistle went and after a well fought game CCR emerged victorious ending the game with 244 to MRD’s 72.

More recently, CCR’s B-Team played a long awaited game with neighbours Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames Bomb Squad. The B-Teams of these league’s had never officially met, while the A-Teams only open meeting was way back in 2012 when they played each other during Tattoo Freeze. Back then CCR took an impressive win, but could they do it again?

After a rather pleasant trip to the venue CCR B warmed up and were ready to play in the infamous Futsal venue that has boasted the Men’s world cup among other landmark skate events. Both teams were raring to go! The first few jams showed some pretty equal play with neither team scoring any points. Not long after BBDD jammer snuck past a CCR blocker’s hips to score the first point on the scoreboard. For a while play continued to be pretty level till CCR managed to score some natural grand slams and slowly move up and away point wise. Half way through the first half the score was 10 to BBDD and 69 to CCR. BBDD weren’t going to quit though, they kept on pushing. Some sizeable hits and strong jamming on both sides took us to half time where the score moved to BBD 43 – 117 CCR.

Second half and both teams were ready for action. BBDD started well catching some points but CCR’s steely defensive work prevented any significant dents on the scoreline. As the minutes ticked by both teams put points on the board but a few strong jams allowed CCR to take a convincing lead. A final push from BBDD earned them some much needed points but as the final whistle blew, CCR had come out with another victory. Final scores were BBDD’s 96 to CCR’s 244.

There are some interesting developments coming soon for the B-Team. Want to know what they are? Watch this space, it’s going to be good!

As for the A-Team, this weekend they will be facing the mighty Team Ireland in Birmingham. You won’t want to miss it! Click here for more info.

Thanks to Floyd King and Phil Seymour for their excellent shots.