Officials are an essential part of modern day roller derby. They are made up of skating officials, or referees; and non-skating officials, or NSOs. This group of volunteers work as a collective to issue penalties, catch points, collect statistics, and maintain the game flow.
Referees follow the skaters around the track and watch for unsafe and illegal actions by the skaters, and issue penalties when warranted. They also follow the jammers around so that they can issue Lead Jammer status to them, and count the number of points earned for each pass through the pack. All referees must have exceptional skating skills so that they can keep up with the skaters, as well as the ability to maintain their focus on the action of the game. A deep understanding of the rules of roller derby is essential for a skating official.
While the referees are issuing penalties and showing points, the NSOs are busy keeping track of each penalty, timing the skater penalties, tallying each team’s score, and updating the scoreboard. They also keep track of timing each jam and each period, and are responsible for generating all of the stats of the game. For a roller derby game to be sanctioned, so that the teams can be ranked against each other, the NSOs are hard at work, before and after a Sanctioned game, pre-populating the paperwork, and entering all of the information into a stats book. These steps are crucial to help satisfy the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association’s (WFTDA) sanctioning requirements. NSOs must have a good understanding of the rules, as well as proper focus on what is happening all around them, both on and off the track. All officials are required to maintain professional attitudes, and remain impartial to the skaters.
If you wish to learn more about being an Official for the Winnipeg Roller Derby League, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.