Happy (ref) birthday to me

Just realised I’ve been reffing for over a year. That’s three pairs of skates (plus one borrowed… Thanks G), two complete safety equipment changes, two ref clinics, one tournament abroad – several at home, one league change and EIGHT hair colour changes. But the important thing is that looking through the photos – I have successfully managed to stand directly in front of photographers at almost every bout, so you get this lovely montage of pictures of my ass spoiling some great photos of hot derby action.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get this far… Here’s to another year of bum-pics… And er… Officiating. Yes, that too.


This weekend was the rescued Into the Nitemare tournament in Birmingham. They cancelled it the week before due to a bereavement and the Crash Test Brummies stepped up to the mark to take it on… renaming it the Brummies Nitemare Before Christmas.

I’d agreed to do it ages ago because Mat was due to skate in it then kinda forgot all about. It was a great chance to catch-up. Bacon and Samdroid stayed at my house, and M-Dawg and Disco Dave were there which was AWESOME.

Crash Test Brummies vs Super Smash Brothers
Tyne & Fear B vs Crash Test Brummies
Super Smash Brothers vs Mild Discomfort
South Wales Silures vs Tyne and Fear B
Mild Discomfort vs Crash Test Brummies
Super Smash Brothers vs South Wales Silures

Crash Test Brummies vs South Wales Silures

Got to wear my new skates, which didn’t hurt at all. And celebrated afterward with crap TV and a curry. BLISS.

P.S Tried to send Samdroid off for blocking after the whistle. Totally forgot the verbal cue and had to just ask him to go sit in the penalty box. FAIL.

P.P.S 42 bouts.


This weekend was once again spent REFFING.

The second Brummies’ mixed scrim on Saturday and then Team England practice on Sunday. Both in Birmingham.

Team England was awesome. FIPR’d, met some skaters I hadn’t really talked to before. Skated AT SPEED with the pack and also had an awkward moment where I sent a skater off, they were brought back on track, they shouted stuff at me then later came to apologise and I just stared blankly. Rude of him. Rude of me. Messaged him that night and sorted it out. Didn’t like that at all.

Went to the pub afterward with Ed and Ratty to chat about stuff. Told them I’m gonna take reffing seriously in 2014 and they both burst out laughing. Second time that’s happened. 

Grimsby is VERY FAR AWAY

Roadtrip fun with Fu today. Final day of my holiday so why not spend it DRIVING TO GRIMSBY.

Neither of us realised how bloody far away it was. And how that distance is extended when you miss your turn-off. 

Got to ref with Big Smack, which was just awesome actually. Not reffed with her properly so really enjoyed being able to talk to her during a bout. It was Brummies v Lincoln Rolling Thunder. The hall was tiny so the OPR lane was… sketchy at best. Thought I was going to plough into the wall several times.

Bout number 35. Didn’t really feel IN THE ZONE. I hate that.

Still, got to have a proper talk with Fu. Talked about derby drama, love, skates and me taking next year seriously. He laughed. Told him I wanted to just enjoy reffing, and a year in I still do. So I feel I should put more effort in and actually show the people who have helped me get this far that I was worth the effort. He mentioned about me HRing a division of the Heartlands Tournament next year. Too much? Don’t know.

Oh also tried on Sully’s skates. I’m a 7.5 in Bonts FO SHO.

So that’s two good things that came from today.

Mixed Scrim Times

Took the Lovin off to Milton Keynes to see Bacon and ref at the mixed scrim. Half way there we find out Bacon wont make it and consider turning back… I’m glad we didn’t.

The ref crew were mixed skills, just like the skaters taking part. No one wanted to jam ref so I offered to. Had to check a few rules first – ie what happens when there’s no pack and your jammer is still fighting to get past three blockers? Is it the same as when those blockers are out of play? (*SPOILER ALERT* answer: no)

Really enjoyed it actually. Didn’t think I would. Forgot whether my jammer was on his initial pass when he went to the box so didn’t know if he was scoring when he came out or not (fail); and had a jammer with the helmet cover on inside out making her an inactive jammer (Cue me grabbing the FIPR and saying “SKATE WITH ME” whilst trying to articulate CAN SHE SCORE? WHAT DO I DO?). 

Really good to try new things… might try that position again because it wasn’t as God damn awful as I anticipated.