The Brawlin’ Betties’ next bout is this weekend and, provided I don’t self destruct before then, I’m going to be an Outside Pack Ref! That’s right. Me. In a bout. With skates on. I’ve been reffing the practice scrimmages, practicing calling penalties in my car, in front of the computer or in the parking lot, and I’ve got my stripes. I’m having serious self-confidence issues but hey, what else is new?
Yeah, DopaMean Jean and I will be the freshest baby zebras out there. For those who haven’t been to a bout there are 7 skating refs. 4-5 refs skate on the inside of the track, while 2-3 skate on the outside. I’ll be on the outside, which puts me right in between the skaters and the audience. I’ve heard rumors that this is the position with the most potential for huge crashes, but I’ve also seen some big spills on the inside of the track, as well as when people are just standing still. I’m slightly worried about landing in the audience but hey, that’s why they sit up front, right?
I’ve gotten better at seeing penalties, not all of them, but some. The part I’m struggling with is calling them out and using derby sign language to signal to the inside refs and NSO’s. Between now and Saturday I’ll be spending a lot of time here http://www.rosecityrollers.com/media/video/ I’ve found that they have really nice quality videos and I can actually see the numbers on the skaters shirts and call penalties before the (annoying) announcers comment on them. I’ve also tried watching videos on http://derbynewsnetwork.com/ but the image quality isn’t all that great on my computer.
The forecast for Saturday is predicting a chance of showers. Because we have an outside track, rain spells demise. So if you happen to see mother nature over the next few days, please put in a good word for the Betties and ask her to spare us the crappy weather.
P.S. Sometimes I wonder why, as shy as I am, I keep putting myself in situations that are so far outside my comfort zone. Yet I keep wanting it and I keep doing it.