Anyone can be involved in roller derby...
There are many people who think Roller Derby is the next best thing, but do not actually want to actually play the game. You can still get them involved! Maybe you know someone who started the game and realized it was a little too intense, or that hitting and taking hits was just not for them (or maybe that’s even you). And here is another thought, there is a chance you are injured and cannot play for right now. Do not leave your team, stay and help by being part of the officials crew and still be an active part of your local league.
I come from a small league and like many other small town teams, we are always looking for fresh meat skaters. However, it is often overlooked by many leagues about how much they need the counterparts to skaters, the officials: NSOs (Non-Skating Officials), refs, and volunteers.
Without NSOs, refs, and volunteers Roller Derby could not exist. They are so much a vital part of playing the game. For a sanctioned WFTDA (or apprentice) game, numerous people are needed to just make the game happens outside of skaters. There are scorekeepers, penalty box timers, jam timers, announcers, and refs that all contribute to two teams of 14 skaters to play an invigorating game of derby. Not to mention the coaching and bench staff that might or might not be skaters too when not assisting in this manner. It is not just the skaters that put their heart and soul into Roller Derby.
The hardest part is getting these people to come join the league. As a team, you have to show 100% and more that you appreciate your NSOs, refs, and volunteers. Always thank them after every single practice, and after every single bout.
Remember when you are skating, do not question your refs. If you think there was a bad call, discuss it with your captain. If you have a question, wait until after the jam, and maybe even later to field that question. We all know there have been some bad calls that happen, but guess what? Some of the refs are new too, just like you once were! Remember that very first game? When you pretty much had no clue what you were doing? They might feel that way too. And the worst thing you can do, is criticize.
It really feels great when you are appreciated out on the track, right? Well, make them feel that appreciation as well.
So thank you officials, refs, NSOs, and volunteers. We could not do it without you.