Its not just our skaters who work hard all year round, our officials do to! Here at CCR we are very privileged to have some of the UK’s top officiating talent training alongside us week in week out. Training with referees and non skating officials really helps us as skaters focus on our game. As a league it helps us appreciate the sometimes mystical art of officiating. Their tireless effort and drive to succeed really makes them stand out and with whistles, stop watches and pens at the ready they help the leagues bouts and scrimmages run like clockwork.
Some of our crew have shared with us what it’s like being officially official this season. Here are their thoughts on being the other side of the track…What’s been the highlight of your season so far?
Metal Ed (Referee): “The highlight of the last season for me was all the tournament work I got to be a part of! Track Queens in Berlin, Skate Odyssey in Gent, MERDC 2012/3 and The Big O of course. Which was my first sanctioned game as a head referee!”
Pinkie (NSO): “Watching several of our refs and officials work really hard at Track Queens in Berlin last year, as well as our skaters. I was very proud of all the ways in which CCR was represented at this tournament, and feel that it says a lot about the league that not only do we want our skaters to succeed, but we also proud and supportive of our officials.”
Rollin Rat (Head of Refereeing): “My highlights this season have got to be having been lucky enough to referee tournaments. The European Tournament in Gent, most notably the close fought final between Tiger Bay Brawlers and Berlin Bombshells. Most recently, the Men’s European Roller Derby Championships in my home town of Birmingham including the final between Southern Discomfort and Quad Guards. As well as the UKRDA Tournament in London for which my home league was lucky enough to be part of. I must also mention all the awesome referees and NSOs I have the pleasure of working with again. And ….for the first time I have even managed to watch a game or two ;-)”
Referees and officials often get the best seat in the house when it comes to games, so we wanted to ask…Whats been your favourite game you’ve officiated this season?
RR: “My favourite has probably got to be Berlin v Tiger Bay, such a loud crowd and amazing tactical and battling play! I am proud to say I was there. Plus that shock moment of turning around to see the crowd up on their feet right at the boundary. Wowzers.”
ME: “There’s easily a few. Team USA bouts in Helsinki were an absolute pleasure. Getting to referee the final of Skate Odyssey between Berlin and Tiger Bay was an amazing bout! Then the Southern Discomfort v Quad Guards in the final of MERDC was incredible. But my favourite bout was my first sanctioned head referee gig between Victorian v Sacred City at the Big O. The things I learnt from that game have stayed with me and helped me to have the confidence going forwards.”
P: “They are all my favourite!”
What are your aims/are you looking forward to next season?
ME: “My aim for next year is continue working towards my level three WFTDA certification by having a more diverse collection of positions under my belt. I also have my fingers crossed for a successful application to go to both the women’s and men’s world cup tournaments. I’m looking forward to reffing international sides.”
P: “My aim for the next season is to get my level 1 certification. Work got in the way of me attending the officiating clinics held in the UK this year, so I am hoping that WFTDA will be putting on some more in Europe next year.”
RR: “By next session I will be in full on marriage mode to the one and only Verry Cherry so I am very much looking forward to that obviously. I am looking to hopefully gain full WFTDA Referee Status and will continue to referee around the country where I can and hopefully another tournament or two.”
Our officials travel all over the world to officiate at the highest level with this season seeing them travel to outdoor tournaments in Finland, European invitationals in Belgium, Men’s European Championships, Anarchy in the UK, Spring Roll and The Big O in America. Our officials often receive no financial support from any governing bodies to support their travel funds so much like the league itself, their stripey pursuits are funded by themselves.
Along with tireless travelling, this season has also seen our two WFTDA certified refs Major Travis T and Metal Ed be accepted by the MRDA (Mens Roller Derby Association) as affiliated officials. This is a prestigious title only held by four referees in Europe (including them!). They have officiated a number of high level MRDA sanctioned games and gained letters of recommendation from MRDA leagues in order to gain their affiliation. Well done chaps!
With all the on skates excitement we’ve also seen a few changes within the officiating ranks at CCR. Rollin Rat stepped up as Head of Refereeing at the beginning of the year and continues to do a sterling job keeping the good ship zebra on course. Sadly we have had to bid goodbye to one of our longer serving refs, Grave Dogg who has left for pastures new in London. Grave Dogg has been with CCR since 2010 and has been a staple part of the officials crew. He joins London Roller Girls as part of their stellar crew where we know he’ll be just as fantastic. He’ll be sorely missed! From all at CCR we wish him good luck and hope he settles into his new league quickly.
We look forward to seeing our referees in action after the league’s off season once again but you can catch them at a venue near you soon. Don’t forget to say hi and thank them for being an awesome official!
All photos courtesy of Floyd King
Our refs will next be in action when CCR host their first home game of the 2013/14 season against Belgium’s, Gent Go-Go Rollergirls. The even is a double header with the Crash Test Brummies locking horns with the South Wales Silures on Sunday September 15th. The fun starts at 1pm at Doug Ellis Sports Centre, BCU City North Campus, Perry Barr. More details are available on the facebook event here.