I love intraleague as it's when all of main league play, those who aren’t on travel teams get their moment to line up, our league take the colours and and costumes very seriously and there’s that friendly rivalry.
At the start of the week I felt like death, pretty much hadn’t left my bed and wanted to roll around on the floor going ‘I have derby plaaaaaague’ dramatic? me? noooooo. But I couldn’t call in sick, I had to get better. Every member of the league was playing - so all hands on deck to NSO or help out on the day. So in my very neutral white, full of painkillers and lemsip tablets I headed out to the game.
Game day is always hectic but this time, there was more of a buzz, more costumes, more chaos and that family vibe. Tribes were forming around the hall, families lining up at the door and we’re about to start. So report to your NSO position. We were allowed to cheer the skate outs but when that first whistle went we had to behave and become team no fun.
We were testing out he new Penalty Box system the 30 second seemed strange for everyone but that first game seemed all over in a flash, still impartial, still trying not to cheer certain players or teams, second game and its Inside White Board. Do not frown at certain penalties become stoney faced and ignore that inner voice telling you to cheer. A few more swaps in different NSO positions and desperately not cheering with the crowd at that final jam...
Then that final whistle goes... A look at the scores and an inward cheer the Goldies finally did it, the new intraleague champions. Hugs and photos all round, and before those drinks clearing up the hall. And then finally a chance to celebrate and congratulate everyone. Once you hit the after party it doesn’t matter anyway, all of the dancing and singing happens, all of the booze and all of the awards. Everybody comes back together as one mass to celebrate the events of the day. And then go home and crash out after we all seem to have plague.
So how to survive? To stay impartial? Its hard, they are all your league, all people who you know, have coached you, even encouraged you to get on skates. You see them every week and they are your friends, you will them to do well, you want everyone to have a good game and you notice the new moves or improvements and want to support them. But you then have to realize an NSO is important and you are needed to help with the game, and you can celebrate with them after. So take up that NSO spot, and keep those cheers hidden.
And now I can admit I was wearing my gold hotpants under my shorts.