I set myself a goal three months ago to ref a closed bout before the end of the year. I thought that was a pretty big goal.
This weekend though I reffed an open bout – and not just ANY open bout – it was the Hinnies v SSRG Crucibelles and the Tyne and Fear v The Inhuman League.
Double header. Home game. Plus Merby. Aye, bit of a crackers decision on my part for my first refferage.
My way of psyching myself up for things I’m nervous about is to talk about them lots. Tell everyone, and then you get used to people talking about it and it stops being a big deal. I posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram probably once every two seconds in the run up to it, JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE.
I’d be OPRing. I’d try to not fall over. I’d try to not skate into anyone. I’d try to not make bad calls. Three things I was concentrating on not happening… so of course they did.
I checked my outfit with Sven, I wanted to wear pink – naturally – and stayed up til 1am the night before re-reading the rules.
Got to the venue (Concordia, Cramlington) early. First time I’d been there. Walked in to find Sven looking like he might vomit because the room wasn’t big enough. Dealt with some liaison issues (changing rooms, seating, booze, tracks etc) and then was told I had 15mins to kit-up and do my warm ups.
Loved OPRing with Zeb-Rarr and Arctic Roll (and then the second bout with Raege), totally supportive ladies who high fived me after my first call IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE FIRST BOUT. Jees. Was starting to think I’d lost my voice – every call I went to make someone else did so I didn’t make a SINGLE CALL in the first half. Totally got into my stride for the second half and the merby though. Even called two majors (whoop).
Hated not being able to congratulate skaters when they did ace moves on the track, but found it really easy to not be biased… I didn’t have the time to be.
Saw lots of penalties that I didn’t call (knew this would happen. Saw them, thought “hey, was that a forearms/elbows/clockwise?” just in time for the pack to have reached the other side of the track and no one to have fluttered an eye lid about it). Next time though. Next time.
Massive thank you to Sven, head ref for the bout who kept me calm even when I freaked out. Stiff for talking me through everything til I felt confident. Harrison Floored for seeing my wild CUT TRACK hand signals and trusting me. And finally the rest of the zebra huddle for helping me pop my zebra cherry.
Oh and yeah. Fell over once. In front of the TnF bench *fail*. Got skated-in-to twice. Once by a girl, once by a boy. Didn’t hurt. And last worry of the bout – messed up a call well and truly. Destruction of Pack Major no less. AH WELL. It’s done now.
Was bought drinks and given a balloon and a card to celebrate. Ha. Gotta love the wonderful world of roller derby.