Taking a day out of reffing, I put on my visor, bum bag from Berlin (LOVE THIS) and my bestest brightest eightiest leggings, and headed to Hull with the Hinnies to line them up.
The Hinnies are well into being a TEAM and asked me to be at practices with them for the few weeks before the bout. I thought they were being high maintenance, but actually it was totally worth it.
I worked on a grouping system with them for a few reasons:
1) They have a healthy spread of skills and experience
2) They have some crazy happy hippies on the team and I wanted to spread that positivity
3) I knew it would make my life easier.
They skate out to Push It by Salt and Peppa, so I had them in Team Salt and Team Peppa, gave them coloured tape on their elbow pads so I didn’t get confused and mix them together. I showed them all the visualisation and positive thinking I introduced the Belters to when I helped bench them, and we did this in practice and then on the day.
Gotta say, I love this team. Never met a happier (on the whole, don’t get me wrong, there are some sour-pusses in the ranks) bunch of lasses, so willing to try out anything new.
With about 10 seconds left on the clock (and us about 100 points in the lead), I asked Dog to call a time out, got the girls together, and gave the star panty to Captain La Dolce Beater. She was unimpressed but had promised to do it if we reached 200 points. Priceless watching her little face as the entire team shouted “keep going”.
They won of course. Well done ladies.
I knew before going that Track Queens would be Boxall’s final roller derby bout. At least for a canny while as she continued to train to be a midwife. So naturally, I HAD to go support her.
Oh, and Germany rocks. So I fancied going.
Watched lots of derby, made friends with CCR and some Birmingham refs (getting in with the people I’ll be skating with for the next five months) and hung out with Sven whilst he announced the SHIZ out of the tournament with Lil Joker.
Taught CCR about Get Down Mr President, and ate my body weight in pretzels. I’d like to live in Berlin it was ace.
Boxall in the box. Obv.
Second time reffing an open bout today. This time in Nottingham where the Tyne and Fear took on a mixed team of merby players.
Head reffed by Cherry Fury – the woman that led me, albeit indirectly, to taking up reffing. She trained me in Helsinki too. I had hoped I’d be considerably better by the time she saw me, but NEVERMIND.
OPR’d again, this time in the middle. We didn’t do the skate-and-wait (you skate a straight and a turn with the pack, then you backtrack to the start of the turn, and then you skate again when the pack catches you) this time we just SKATED FLAT OUT. Oh my life. It’s hard to keep up on the outside of the track.
Took me about 10-15 mins to really get into my stride, made some calls, got a couple of majors in there. Had a really good time. Felt a lot more comfortable in that position, but still need to practice what verbal cues go with what hand signal for a more obscure call… spent far too long trying to suss out what you’d do for “illegal re-entry” only for Cherry to point out she’d called “no pack” so it was fine. *the shame*
Sniper made me a banner, I loved reffing with Scrim Til Death, and of course, NRG’s Stiff. Ah, ref friends, and had pizza and weird conversations on the coach home.
Also – in other news – I’ll be moving to Birmingham soon for work for five months, hoping to ref with a lot of other teams during that time, but only on weekends – need to give this trial period my all work wise.