Editor’s Note: As well as previewing the competitors, this year we’re also going to try to give you an insight into those people keeping those ladies in line: the officials. This post comes courtesy of DNN’s Officially Official Officials Correspondent, Y.I. Otter. Any feedback on what else you might want to know about the ladies and gentlemen in stripes and polos is very welcome.
â€˜Tournament Officialsâ€™ -or- â€˜Who Are Those People With the Pink Polo shirts and Ref Jerseys, Even?â€™
This weekend officially starts off the WTDA Tournament Season. The time of year where The Best of the Best Come (b)out to win. The women skating in the next few months work year round for these coveted spots. They give everything they have mentally, physically and financially to get to this place. Who better to officiate the most talented skaters, than the most talented officials?
Tournament officiating is broken down into 2 equally important groups. Skating Officials (Referees) and Non-Skating Officials (NSOs). Like pencil¹ and paper, one canâ€™t do its job without the other.
Des Moines, IA starts it off with Seer Sin and 90 Degree Johnson manning the helm as Tournament Head Ref and Tournament Head NSO. Some of the ladies and gents joining them on the track are OrgAnnica (Louisiana) Pantichrist (Tennesee), BiPola Lola (Washington state) and Kill C. Grammar (Ohio). With a combined total 21 years of officiating experience, there is plenty of knowledge to go around.
When asked about what he remembered about his first officiating experience, Grammar shared: “I remember a very nice lady walking me through score keeping while we stood on a very tiny wooden platform. I was pretty sure I was going to die.” Most people would find Kill C’s total of 243 bouts worked impressive, but he feels as if he’s slacking and assured us he will “try and pick up the pace.”
As with all good officials, the overall consensus amongst this group is that their peers have been a cornerstone of the learning process. OrgAnnica summed it up, saying “I learn something from someone each game … I also travel any chance I get to learn from people I have not worked with yet.” For OrgAnnica, derby is not only a personal hobby, but one she shares with her husband, Short Fuse, who is also a skating official in the Big 7 this season.
For BiPola Lola, officiating isn’t how she started, but she fell in love anyway. “I came from an injured skater perspective so I was already hooked. I’m not gonna lie; reffing is awesome. It’s easy to love.” You know what Lola also loves? DERBY PATCHES. Sadly, she–along with almost every other official we know–has learned that as much as there is to love about officiating, it will not support a rampant patch habit.
Are these officials born obsessed with the game? Pantichrist summed up what happens to most people who participate in roller derby, regardless of what area: “No, it grew like lichen, consuming my spare time gradually.” That sounds about right. In his spare time, Panti enjoys gardening, so the lichen comparison seems fitting.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more info about the people who keep things rolling this WFTDA tournament season!
¹I was going to use the word â€˜penâ€™ but I suspect the NSOs reading this would be thinking â€œWhat is this â€˜penâ€™ of which you speak?â€.
Tournament Head Referee: Seer Sin
|Umpire Strikes Back
|Curtis E. Lay
||Spankin D. Monkey
||Eject You Later
|Pol E Dangerous
||Crash Test Ref
Tournament Head NSO: 90Â° Johnson
|Kill C Grammar
||Phil in the Blank
||TrogDora the Jaminator
|TrogDora the Jaminator
||Chanel No. Die
||Chanel No. Die
||Kill C Grammar
||Phil in the Blank