This weekend I Tournament Head Refereed 4Nations. I was considering just leaving this post as that one line. But I won’t.
What a fricking achievement. I got to do it with my buddy Becks Macfarlane too, which made it even more fun.
We ran a fluid ref crew, meaning we could tailor the skills of the crew to the teams that were playing.
We had people who trained me to referee on board and even had two Level 3 referees (well, three now but he was a Level 2 at the time!) in the mix. I had so much positive feedback on the crews it was amazing.
Someone *who shall remain nameless* said they always spot things referees miss, but had only spotted one thing so far. I managed to ref-face that idiot and walk away. Believe me when I say they aren’t the best at rules so I highly doubt they would know a good call if it came over, introduced itself and proceeded to date them for a month. Plus. DAT CREW THO. *swoon*
The event ran pretty smoothly. Hardly surprising given the amount of prep that went into it. I was part of the planning group and worked alongside Niks and representatives from England and Wales.
I took on the officials, the medals and trophy, the after party, housing the food (as I live close to the venue), and acted as moral compass when situations got tense. Me. Moral compass. Ha. I also helped word things. Because I’m dead gud at werdz.
I wanted 4Nations to be brilliant. And it was. Here are the things I learnt:
- I am good at meetings, planning, and troubleshooting
- How to deal with situations where personal issues encroach on derby-life
- How to tell people their private lives are now my issue, without kicking off about being dragged into their drama
- Niks is a feeder
- How to do expulsion paperwork and conduct meetings
- How to do suspension paperwork and conduct meetings
- I am good at giving feedback and constructive criticism (well, no one cried when I gave it, so that’s a bonus)
- I am not as good at remembering to eat as I thought I was
- Not skating at a tournament means you will get COLD
I’m really pleased with how it all went. I’m pleased that I had the chance to THR such high-level games and to THR such wonderfully talented referees. And I got to smush faces with this twerp all weekend: (Krystal Vice is such a babe).
It was actually nowhere near as scary as I thought it was going to be.
You know what REALLY worried me the whole weekend? Not that my leggings would tear. Not that I would get something wrong. But that the after party games I planned wouldn’t be a success.
How trivial right?
But really… I was planning games on my own. With no input. And if people didn’t like them it would be SO obvious and horrible and I would have to leave immediately and change my name and never go back to roller derby again.
We agreed to hold the party at the pub we usually end up in – the Rose Villa Tavern. I booked the upstairs room and bought loads of flags and bunting to decorate the room.
I arranged to go there at 1pm on the Sunday and decorate it, so I turned up, just after 1pm with Sniper and Laura Haman, checked in with the staff and started setting up. Singing along to Sniper’s music, and Laura’s unwavering lack of fear when climbing on unsafe objects to stick up flags… we had it looking mint in no time. We emptied out the huge bin bags full of balloons and smiled. Just as the bar manager walked in and announced they had messed up and they needed the room for a party before us. Damn.
He looked around the room at all the flags and offered to put them all up for us after that party finished. We laughed a lot. It was ridiculous. Then a young lass walked in, saying she booked the room for a surprise party for her mum. I ask if she would be up for a snazzy 4Nations theme at all? She looks around the room, eyes and mouth wide, puts her hands to her face and says “WE’RE IRISH!”
Cue me, Sniper and Laura laughing at the awkwardness and her running away crying.
We took photos and packed up, on the understanding that the venue would put it all back up for us later… HOWEVER… this never happened. I rang during the half time of the final (not stressed enough at this stage) and the manager says the Irish party are refusing to leave so he’s put up our decorations downstairs. Argh. Nightmare. Not what we wanted at all. He offers to take photos. He sends me them and actually…it doesn’t look that bad:
Good lad. I ask if he can sweeten the deal for me with a few free drinks? Yes. Yes he can. He hands us a “bottle of shots” as we arrive and says we can get it refilled later if we want. Sometimes the biggest stresses turn into huge positives.
/\ “Bottle of shots” one was blue. “Bottle of shots” two was orange. I have no idea what either were.
So… back to those games. I now have a bunch of shots to give out to the winners, so it seems useful that all of my games are like Frat Party fodder:
- Peg Face (stolen from Boots from CCR). In twos you have 15 seconds to attach as many pegs to your partners face as possible. One pegger, one peggie. (As Poupa Test screamed loudly and repeatedly THAT IS FACIAL HAIR AND NOT FACE. Iain is a total cheat at Peg Face.)
- Marshmallow Mouth. In twos again. You have 30 seconds to push as many normal-sized (not the giant ones) into your partners mouth. One gives, one takes. Photo by Marj Orie.
- Sex Balloon. Yup, you’ve guessed it, twos again. You have to pop balloons in as many sexual positions as you can in 1 minute. You can switch up who gives and who receives. Extra points for flair.
- Bum Money. Just one person needed for this. Put an empty pint glass about a metre away on the floor. (If you’re me, your mate will walk over and smash it instantly. If this happens, get a new pint glass and repeat). Have a bunch of 50ps at the ready. 1 minute on the clock. You need to put the 50p up your bum crack, waddle to the pint glass and try to drop it in. This is surprisingly hard. Also nearly every person playing this game asked if I wanted them to take their bottoms off… I did not.
I didn’t take a photo during Bum Money. Mainly because I was amazed at how bloody good Bomb Weasely was at it. So here is a photo of a peg I put in Rob BG’s bum crack instead:
I also put together Dat Ass Tho. This made me laugh so many times. I asked all the team captains to send me a photo of their naked bums. They all agreed without hestiation. How is that a thing? I even had two girlfriends send me photos of their partners’ bums. So. Funny.
I asked my beautiful assistant (Mat) to put them into black and white and then print them out. We had five altogether: two Scottish, one French, one Welsh and one English. Only one person guessed all of these correctly, but I’m impressed to say the whole of the French team recognised their Captain’s butt instantly. Well done lads, and well done Spider for a smashing rear!
/\ Not Carnnage’s actual bum.
Now to recover and do it all again next week with BEARDi.