Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.

I have sold out. I can’t believe I’m about to say this… but I have taken a role within WFTDA OffCom.


Before you hiss and back away, let me tell you about the new ad hoc panel they have started, and why I am mother flipping chairing it.

  1. It’s about Diversity and Inclusion. WHICH I LOVE.
  2. It will look to give a voice to under-represented groups. WHICH IS A GOOD THING.
  3. It will work directly to OffCom, looking at suggestions and ideas, testing them for durability and then putting the best ones forward. WHICH IS USEFUL.

Ok ok ok. Yes it’s WORTHY, but can I just point out how much we bloody need something like this.

I shared my “action plan” (see below… I laboured over this for far far too long), and had someone compare it to “men telling women how to not be assaulted”.

Such a strong reaction to someone trying to make positive changes really makes you think doesn’t it?

Add in to that that this was in a female officiating group – and nearly as many people liked that comment as liked my post – and you know there is an issue.


Then I spoke to Mat who said “well that just proves how much it’s needed”.


He’s a good lad isn’t he?

Thing is, he’s right.

If the people you’re trying to help (I’m part of that group too remember) assume your hard work is tokenistic and well-meaning-but-ultimately-doomed, then you know you need to do the thing and try and help, because things are not rainbows and kittens at the moment.

So I was like YES I NEED TO DO THIS.

I ended up doing this because… and this may shock you to read… I complained about things so much that they were like OK GO AND FIX IT THEN. And I was like:


Thing is. I have many reasons for wanting to do this:

  • I have a lot of feels about a lot of situations and I finally have people that will listen to me.
  • I’m also off skates now so I have time to take things like this on.
  • I am annoyed that I couldn’t see myself going any further than I did when I had the chance.

I came to refereeing as “a fun thing” originally. Naturally I ended up wanting to make it to the top, like I always do. I decided to go for referee certification. I put in a lot of work, time and money. I reached Level 2 – something I’m very proud of.

But in my time in certification, I realised that it’s unlikely that I would be able to progress any further – regardless as to my skills, holiday allowance and money.

This is because the systems in place – created with good intentions – are no longer fit for the job.

Our sport has grown. Interest in refereeing has grown. We have people wanting to reach the top of officiating that were never even considered when the structures were put in place to rank referees. That’s no one’s fault. However it’s everyone’s shame that those structures are now silos, stopping us from moving forward. Stopping us from opening doors to everyone that is willing to put in the effort to stand up and be counted.

In my opinion some people have being skipped-over when others have been progressed far beyond their abilities. I see patterns in these groups. I know others see these patterns.

I see people willing to admit things aren’t right, but I don’t see anyone able to dedicate time to making changes.

So… I offered my time to do it.

I’m coming from the angle of a European female. I have experienced being held back. I have seen others like me being held back. And because of those experiences, I can’t not do this.

I can’t leave roller derby having trained so many amazing women to referee… knowing that they won’t progress higher than I did.

They have so much potential, far more than I have, and I can’t knowingly leave them to battle harder than anyone else and only make it halfway up the road. The feminist in me would rather remove them from derby and teach them badminton than let that happen. BADMINTON. See how serious I am here?

I feel like their mother – I want them to have the opportunity to go as far as they want. But the evidence says those opportunities are not there for them at the moment:

At Level 5 we have… 13 males. 0 females.
Level 4 we have 18 refs. 1 female.
Level 3 there are 56 refs, 12 of them are females.

Which… isn’t… great. Is it Beyonce?


Out of all of those, there is one European female: Cherry Fury.


*cough* Do you think she is anything less than a Level 5? No? Good, we’re agreed.

*deletes rant about this whole sorry situation* *takes deep breath* *gets angry again*

I used to laugh when people answered my question of: “What do you need to do to be a Level 5 referee?” with “Be a white American male with a beard”. But similar to this article in the Guardian which shows that there are more men named John leading FTSE firms than the are women (not women named John, just women at all), it’s not a laughing matter.

And it’s not just about women.

I have my experiences. You have yours. I can’t talk about yours without talking to you. But I want to talk to you. I want to know what this is like for you. And I want to work to help fix that situation. I want to make sure we get together as diverse as possible a panel to speak for everyone in officiating.

I want to pull together a panel of people that know more than I do, that are as fierce about fixing things as I am.

I want to see more balance.

I want people to look at all levels of refereeing and see themselves reflected back. All genders, nationalities, ages, sexualities… I want the people you see to be an accurate representation of the community they come from.

I know we’re not all white American males with beards. I know some of you are. We need those beardy-blokes too. They’re part of our community. But they’re a part of it. They’re not all of it.

WFTDA has a brilliant slogan, it aims to be: Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.

I think we should take that last bit seriously. I think we need a revolution.

My call to action (please share!):

I am in the process of working with WFTDA OffCom to create a Diversity and Inclusion panel – with the bold aim of increasing the opportunities and visibility of the under-represented members of our community.

We are seeking to broaden representation in terms of race, national origin/geography, gender identity, class and other groups and communities, recognising that OffCom leadership has not always represented the breadth of diversity in WFTDA officiating.

It’s my belief that diversity is important in order to appreciate and value the difference in people, and the remarkable contribution we can make when we work together.

I also believe that issues can’t just be fixed by wishful thinking and hoping… I hope that others share this belief and will work with me to make positive changes.

My aims are:
· To create a panel that better represents the diversity of our community, and gives more of a voice to the groups that are currently under-represented.
· To provide a destination for WFTDA officials and team representatives to send their ideas and suggestions surrounding D&I.
· To encourage and support changes at grass roots levels, providing a healthier start for people within officiating.
· To encourage and support changes throughout officiating to enable those under-represented groups to move up in areas where they have not had equal opportunity to do so.

Yes. It is a big task. And that’s why I need help.

The panel will sit within OffCom, and as such is only open to certified officials and WFTDA official reps.

The panel will be appointed and volunteer based at the start, will sit under OffCom elect leadership and serve as advisor to OffCom leadership.
Structure will be based on successful models already in action within WFTDA panels, but suggestions and feedback on this will be listened to.

So! I need your help to put me in touch with the people you think most fit the bill for this. Whether as potential panel members or simply as people willing to contribute at the start in order to make this the best it can be.

I’m open to all your contacts, so please send them my way. Or if this sounds like something you would like to do, please get in touch. I can be contacted on:

I really appreciate your support in this, and hope to make some positive changes with your help.

Finally I just want to say thank you to those at the top that messaged me to tell me to keep fighting. The ones who listened to my suggestions about changes and rather than saying they didn’t want to rock the boat, they said “Yes please!”

The ones that even went so far as to offer me a place to work on Diversity and Inclusion.

Thank you for telling me to ignore the haters and instead stun them into silence them with the job I do.

If you didn’t live so far away I would totally paw your faces off. Thank you.



This is a thing that is happening now

I’m off skates.

People keep saying “oh you’ll just be off for six months and then everything will be fine and you can come back”, but that’s like telling me I WILL want babies one day… It doesn’t make me feel all happy inside like you think it does. And since shouting “SHUT UP YOU DON’T KNOW ME” isn’t seen as polite, I thought I would put my thoughts down in my blog so I can just shout “READ MY BLOG” and run away instead.

Over a year ago I injured myself in the gym. I overdid it on the ol’ ankle raise and this happened:


Sexy innit? I didn’t even notice it at the time.

I carried on at the gym. I drove my car to Wales. I reffed a tournament. When I took my skate off I couldn’t put my foot down. I then had to drive home. THAT HURT.

I went to the physio who laughed at the fact I hadn’t realised my ankle was quite obviously injured. I had a few weeks of sick-inducing physio and he advised me to tape it up and leave it til it got better.

I went easy on it, but it kept swelling up. When it was hurting it would give me stabbing pains in my outer ankle and in my knee.

The physio said it was something that had been coming for a long time; and other pains I’d had around my ankle and knee are all tied in. These are pains I had been having for about five years – pains that impacted on my skating back when I was with Newcastle Roller Girls. He said I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it and to try to not get upset.

But then three months ago this happened:


I skated at MEC 2015 for a full weekend, took my skate off and couldn’t put my foot down again. I had stabbing pains in the bottom of my foot, at the side, and up my leg.

Physio said once again: “This has been a long time coming.” Said it’s to do with how my foot pronates when I walk. Said the weird pains I used to complain about as a teenager were actually the onset of it and it’s been waiting to happen since then really. Once again not a lot I could have done bar foot-strengthening exercises… but no one told me they were a thing.

I have always tried to be good with footwear. I don’t wear heels often. I do however cram my feet into shoes that are too small. Something Blockerbye Baby and Dr Knock know all too well – being just one size smaller than me in shoes they get a lot of my purchases handed to them after two wears and me going DAMMIT I’VE DONE IT AGAIN. I am avoiding acknowledging that this may have had an impact.

The problem is the stabbing pain I got after MEC is something I have had on and off for years. It might be plantar fasciitis, or it might be because my foot roles in and the muscles underneath have started to torque. The physio isn’t too sure. What they are sure about is that suffering from it for three months is a bit bloody excessive.

I have been to a podiatrist. I have spent nearly £300 on checks, custom orthotics and guidance. I’m not convinced it’s helped. The pain is now pretty much constant – but hurts less than it did.

I have seen two physios and an osteopath. They have prodded, bandaged, given me stretches and exercises. They have pushed, pulled, iced and strapped me. At times it helps, at times I think it’s making things worse.

I have daily exercises, stretches and an icing regime. The icing makes it feel worse. The stretching feels like something is going to snap. The exercises are frustrating because I can’t do them.

But I do it all. Regardless. I do “everything” I am told to do to make it better.

The one piece of advice all of them gave me that I refused to listen to? STOP. SKATING.

I refused to listen because I didn’t want to give in. I feel I am finally in a position where I can DO SOMETHING.

I felt… frustrated. Now was not the time to leave roller derby. Not when I could make a difference.

I had lots of conversations with lots of people. I wrote lists of pros and cons of staying in derby, injury aside. The biggest pro? I get to see people I like. The biggest con? I have to see the people I don’t.

I thought about the derby drama. The teams I have been with, the people who I loved, and those who made the lives of those around them a misery. The affairs, the break ups, the way humans act when they’re near each other for too long. I thought about it all and I was secretly glad for an opportunity to take a step back from it.

I talked to people who have left derby and people who returned after injury.. and I realised that actually, while I was doing all of this, I had already made my mind up: I was definitely stopping skating.

My time participating on skates in this sport is up.

But, and this is something I am now able to realise, my time making positive changes is not.

I am going to use my new found time really dealing with the issues I have faced in roller derby and trying to fix those problems for those that follow in my footsteps. I have agreed to do some work within OffCom with WFTDA, helping to bring diversity and inclusion to the ranks of officiating. I hope it will make a difference. I am still going to continue teaching Ref School to all the up and coming talent; mentoring, teaching, passing on my experiences and knowledge.

All of this is what these years in roller derby were building up to.

This will be the part of my roller derby career to have the most positive impact, the part I’m most proud of. And given everything that has come before, this is a fucking exciting time.

It’s just a game, you realise that right?

I’m a terrible roller derby fan.

I never know who the higher seed is. I don’t know the derby famous players and rankings bore me senseless.

When I used to play I could never remember which games we won or lost, or even if we had played a team before. But I would always remember games at which I had made friends or managed to pull off something I had been practising for months.


I see roller derby for what it is. A sport. A game. It really doesn’t mean more to me than that. Granted I work hard, I train and I study. But I participate because I enjoy it and I want to be the best I can be.

When I was a skater I used to write “Only I can do this” on my arm as an affirmation. I would look at it before I jammed – not because I thought had super powers… but because only I can play the game I play. Only I can win this for me. I feel exactly the same as a ref… it’s just I’m playing a different game.

I’m no longer trying to race through a pack, now I’m doing a hardcore hazard perception test on wheels. I’m trying to call all the penalties (extra points for the super technical ones), get all the scores right, communicate fast and effectively AND look awesome. Obviously that last bit is easy. *snorts*

My aim is to be better than I was in my last game. Always striving for perfection.

I don’t tend to compare myself to other people; this is my journey and I’m kicking my own ass every day.

I would prefer to spend my time and money visiting somewhere I’d never been before or to ref with or for friends – rather than officiate a game because of how good it would look on my CV.


I love to see people enjoying themselves on track (I love people doing spins and awesome toe stop work simply because I can’t and think it looks awesome), and I like games where weird stuff happens and I have to test my knowledge.

But, and this may sound weird to you, during the game the people on track don’t mean much more to me than pawns in my game of Hazard-Perception-Ref. They’re potential points and penalties. That’s genuinely about it. You’re something for me to test my knowledge and skills on.

Can I dodge you when you fly off and hit me? Yes? Extra points for style.

Did I call that super technical cut when everyone changed direction, someone fell over and the jammer did a star pass? Probably not. Who the hell am I kidding.

But YOUR game isn’t MY game. And YOUR game doesn’t impact on MINE in a way that you may think it does. If I’m having a bad game it impacts on you – which is why I don’t let your game rub off on mine. No offence but sometimes you guys on track can be batshit cray. I need to be zen. I need to be in the zone. I do not think about you guys and how this is going for you.

If there is a lead change it doesn’t affect me. If there is one point in it it doesn’t affect me. I will still be beasting myself in the same way I always do. Still trying to be the best ref from the first whistle to the last, correcting myself as I go and learning with every jam.

My game is just that. Mine. And I love it.

I mention this because at the weekend I was told that someone had said I shouldn’t be allowed to referee South Wales Silures because Mat plays for them. He’s my fiance. Yes. But unless he trips me over and my leggings split up the back (genuine fear), his actions are just the actions of a skater to me. (Actually, even then he would just be a skater… but I do worry about the leggings thing.)

I thankfully get to ref people I like and love in varying percentages. Similarly I spend a proportion of my time refereeing people who don’t like me. That doesn’t change my goal.


My life is made easier by well mannered players, a ref crew that works well together and a happy atmosphere. But if that’s not the situation I’m facing… I still give my all. I work differently and I put on a different face. I change my techniques and I once again try and win reffing for me.

That’s why everyone who told me about the above suggestion of bias said that I was “too professional” for that kinda thing. But that’s weird too… because this isn’t my profession. I don’t get paid for this. I actually do all of the above because I want to win my game – I want to come away knowing I was cool, calm, collected and correct.

I still never bother looking to see who wins. I check my scores. I correct any of my mistakes. Then I go home and watch games back to see how I could improve my game.

If you needed evidence that Mat’s just a skater on track to me, he threw up during a game I was reffing and I didn’t notice. It wasn’t a penalty and I was JR for his team so he wasn’t a point for me. He wasn’t important in that moment (sorry babe).

So… now I have cleared up that I don’t spend every waking second on skates fretting that Matthew has a good game and DEAR LORD I HOPE HIS TEAM WINS, allow me to share my MEC 2015 highlights:

  • Reffed four games. All as JR. Didn’t get subbed out for a single one.
  • My leggings didn’t split and my new hairdye didn’t run.
  • Got to ref again with my favourite JR, Metal Ed. Having not refereed a game together for months we slipped back into it perfectly. Called lead from under his arm twice.
  • Got a compliment from Miss Trial. Huge kudos. Tried to play it cool.
  • Witnessed some perfectly communicated and timed ORs, three times they were questioning things I was about to ask for official input on. All were won by the teams.
  • Ate a bite of macoroni cheese pie. Regretted it. Haggard.
  • Saw Cat, Sniper and Alice. Hugged them all for ages and enjoyed it massively.
  • Met my fiance out the back of the building for a little snog after our final games, reminded me of MEC 2014 when we got back together. Made me so unbelievably happy… and still not biased.
  • Caught several AMAZING star passes. Missed one. Laughed out loud and had to rescind a jammer lap point. Barrow are brilliant at star passes.
  • Gave one lead that shouldn’t have been lead. Had a total mind-blank on how to undo it. This was picked up by almost EVERYONE. Thankfully after about the tenth mention it started to become funny. I’ll never do this again.
  • Saw a brilliant Low Block call by Rocky. Extra points to Rocky.
  • Watched Steven Thomas rocking IPR, impressing me again with how much he has come on in a year.
  • Worked with the best score keeper ever, Nick Goodrick. He rescued me from three potential scoring issues. So great to work with.
  • Got told that I’m “annoying” by the CHR when I was doing warm ups during our ref meeting.
  • Got sworn at and shouted at by several skaters, got tripped up by one (Didn’t lose sight of my jammer though, so extra points). Got apologies from three of them.
  • Hid behind my hoodie so no one could see my expression as Pablo Diablo scored a 30 point jam against SDRD in the final. PABLO. Really. Awesome.
  • MAJOR SADNESS as I didn’t get to ref a French team *weeps*. Dem accents tho *swoon*.
  • Drank a beer during the awards standing next to one of my favourite skaters, Samdroid. He had fouled out of his game and I hadn’t noticed. Bad friend.
  • Had a huge Peroneal Tendonitis and Plantar Faciitis flare up meaning that the moment I removed my skates I couldn’t walk.
  • Danced with Gif and Kalamity at the after party and enjoyed touching all the medals of all the people that wore them. Even Shrooms who kept hiding his inside his t-shirt.


I watched two games back the next day and am proud to say I look well chilled. Me and Ed work so well together it’s sickening. I don’t mind the bad lead call and that missed star pass because I’m so proud of the rest of it. My game was bloody brilliant.

The crew I was on did a fantastic job overall. The skaters seemed to enjoy it. A team won. Some other teams didn’t. Some were nice, some weren’t. I think I had four of the best games of my reffing career. But I’m still not content. My next game will be better.

Allow me to introduce you to… Ref School

This plan came to be when I was made aware that a lot of leagues want to help their baby refs but don’t know where to start. In the name of sharing best practices, furthering the wealth of roller derby refereeing and generally being a good egg… I wrote this plan.

All info has been taken from WFTDA, MRDA and other reliable sources and compiled by Von Sleaze with help, input and contributions from Orla Skew, Duncan Disorderly, stubble entendre and Rev Riot.

Special thanks to Orla Skew and Duncan Disorderly who have copy-edited and fact-checked all my work, and donated their time to this project so generously.

This is not meant as an exhaustive plan, but a guide to make sure newer referees are taught everything they need to know to start out in roller derby.


Ref School

Who, what, when, where and how?
Ref school is for newer refs. It goes through everything in the rules and includes some guidance on whistle-blowing, confidence and personal development plans.

It is a 12-week programme and will require someone to teach sessions. It is best run with one or two head coaches and support from others. If your league has a HR, ask them to be involved.

I suggest a mentor system and further training plans – these are an ideal but certainly not a necessity if your league can’t support this.

The sessions are best run in tandem with your league’s training, with “classroom” style training for an hour and then the chance to watch/officiate scrimmage afterward. The sessions are written with this time frame in mind unless stated in the weekly plans.

The weekly sessions are broken down into a step-by-step guide and links to help. I would suggest sharing the links and others you find with the newbie refs and encouraging conversation and learning throughout.

Skating skills:
It is advisable that referees complete the WFTDA min skills with a roller derby league. This gives a referee the chance to learn a variety of skating skills, stops, starts and how to withstand the occasional tap (and of course time to bond with a team).

However not all of the skills are necessary for refereeing, here is a breakdown of the skills a ref should learn in min skills:

Ref school is a structured 12 week plan:

This should be completed in full. Each week is important so if a session is to be missed, this should be raised before the induction of the training and should be caught up at the earliest opportunity.

The sessions are not all the same length – some are longer because they’re full of facts that won’t need much explanation, others will open up a fair amount of discussion. Pre-read the session before teaching it so you know what session you have ahead of you.

The broken-down plans can be found here:

Some of the sessions refer to these bloody useful sheets written by Orla Skew (aka Zebra Skew: They break down reffing positions and explain where to be, what to look for and how to prep:

All sessions can be paired with drills, I haven’t stipulated what drills on all sessions, only the ones where a certain drill is really needed. To help you compose your lessons I have compiled some good drills I have used in the past to help give you some inspiration:

Further sessions and keeping it fun:
If you have the manpower, include additional extra-curricular meet ups to discuss things in more detail or go over things that didn’t stick first time round.
Use this as a team-building exercise outside of normal training times. I’d highly recommend doing this a couple of times if you can.

I would also recommend doing something purely for fun i.e organise headshots of everyone in stripes or take a trip to watch a game together.

Levels of refereeing:
Completing this course will not necessarily make you a game-ready referee. Your HR and coaches will be in a better position to address your suitability for games.

To help with this grading of referees, here is a guide you may wish to use/adapt at your league:

There is also advice in there for leagues looking at when to progress their referees and when to look into certification.

Continued support:
Refereeing can be a lonely venture – please offer additional support to keep your zebras interested.

I recommend offering a mentor to newer refs from within your ref crew, someone else for them to talk to aside from the course tutor. If this isn’t possible, consider speaking to other local ref crews, or skaters within your league. This will help the new refs to network.

Advise the newer refs to log their learning somehow (googledoc, diary etc) so they can see their progression and pinpoint any sticking points in their learning.

Once your refs have completed their 12-week plan, ask them to think about their future and work on a development plan with them – see here for more details on this doc:

Consider looking at training yourself in giving feedback and constructive criticism too – you will be asked to give it, so best to prepare yourself so it’s a positive experience for everyone.

So… that’s it. All I can say now is GOOD LUCK!

If you have any questions about the plan, contact me here or on:

Any questions about the rules, ref training, ref certification or other should be sent to WFTDA directly:


Ref Cert: Staying within the lines

So this just happened: 

So bloody pleased. Even more so that I did it in tandem with my ref buddy stubble entendre. Well done champ. Well done.

It’s been a year since I applied for certification for the first time. When I did it, I wrote this blog:

I wanted to document the process because it wasn’t clear to me and there were things I was just expected to know. I have been told by others going through the process that they found that blog post really useful – so I’m writing one to show the things I have learnt in a year of being certified… about the process of certification.

Number 1: You have to wait a full year to apply to level up
I thought getting Level 1 was ace and within the year I would be able to gather the evidence needed to prove that I was at Level 2, go for it, and get it. I was wrong. Your certification lasts two years, but you need to hold your cert for one whole year before you can apply to level up.

You can also apply to level down… if after a year of being certified you decide the lower level is better for you, you can apply for this in the same way you would apply to level up.

Number 2: Letters of recommendation v Feedback
I didn’t know about feedback when I applied for Level 1.

Think of it like this: When you apply to be married the council have to display your intentions on a roster/board that people can view and raise any objections they have with it… e.g you’re not legally allowed to get married.

It’s similar to application for certification. You apply, they put a list including your name and what level you’re applying for on the WFTDA forum and all certified officials and WFTDA reps can access this and contact ref cert to say YEY or NAY (with evidence) to help with the decision on whether to give you what you’re asking for. This feedback is taken in email form and is only seen by the people who give out certification. It is not made public.

I didn’t know about this because I wasn’t on that forum (because I wasn’t certified), and no one else told me. You may not have known about it either, but now you do.

The thing with feedback is that it relies on people spotting your name and being driven to message in. I’m not confident enough to leave this kind of thing to chance so I opt for letters of recommendation.

As mentioned in my previous blog this isn’t just a free-for-all where you ask everyone to write in about how ace you are. It’s best if you pick say three people you have worked with recently who are already seen highly in the eyes of ref cert (made friends with a Level 5? You best be asking them to vouch for you!). This letter will hold the same weight as feedback from the WFTDA forum.

Ref cert accept letters of recommendation from anyone for any level. They do not add them to the certification checklist unless they are required for a person to apply at that level. I have been assured by ref cert that all feedback and letters sent in are read.

Number 3: Everything has an expiry date
But trying to pin down what bits and when is difficult.

However, these bits I do know: If you have passed a written test and a new one comes out, you have a grace period of a month before your old pass is null and void. That means you need to get your application in to ref cert to be considered asap. They only check them once a month remember, so don’t hang around.

If you do your skating skills and don’t apply to cert for ages, you should re do it within two years. It’s generally understood that you will do this skating skills assessment annually, but that’s more for your benefit to track your progress (to make sure you’re not slipping and to prove to yourself and others that you’re physically up to the task). But if you have it on file, ref cert will drop it off after two years.

Evals will purge after two years. Unless they are needed for any grievance procedures or similar. That’s actually pretty useful – you don’t want to be judged now on your ability to ref two years ago, right?

Number 4: Sometimes things change
So completely by accident I found out that the cut off date for applications changed. It’s now the 10th and not the 15th of each month.
The day you find out your results has changed too, it used to be the first day of the next month and now it’s from the 26th of that month onwards, with public announcements being made on 1st. More info on that and the FAQs here!

So if you’re one of those leave-it-til-the-last-minuters… DON’T. Because if you wait til the 14th to hand in your application, you’ve missed that month’s intake and you’ll be assessed in the next month.

Also there is no review in December… Everyone needs time off.

And last but not least… ref cert no longer use regional email addresses, just for everything now.

So that’s it from me – GOOD LUCK!

About referee certification:
Ref cert FAQs:
Previous blog post on ref certification:

Two weeks to go

It’s only two weeks til the World Cup and I’m starting to brick it.

I am not running at 100% at the moment.

I got ill on holiday and spent three days in bed with a fever. After that I had an illness hangover of feeling shaky and having what was basically a bad head cold. I had a solid week off any exercise and then tried to go back to the gym… Managed about two days and was wiped out by a water infection.

Cue me eating jam on toast none stop as the only food I can handle… I’ve put on weight and feel like even walking upstairs is a chore.

Training Baby has been harder work than normal – I’ve had to have my iPad with me all the time to check her rules questions because my brain is failing to give me the information.

So. Two weeks to go and my brain and fitness is failing me. NOT THRILLED.

Heartlands part one

Yesterday was my first Heartlands bout at Divisional Head Ref. I was HR for both bouts with Fu as FIPR, Stubble and Metal Ed as jammer refs and Templeman, Robo and Ed Estaire as OPRs – and T Hex as alt.

It was in Nottingham and was the first time I got to properly meet the Divisional Head NSO for the NE, Jen. Lovely lass. Gave me a running countdown to BEER TIME.

The bout actually ran pretty smoothly. I prepared my captains and ref meeting in advance – and apart from people turning up late and asking the most random questions (can you clarify how you will be calling Failure to Reform? And then later on in an OR Why did my jammer not get lead – when the other team’s jammer had it….) it went pretty well.

It was a double header and felt ridic long. There is so much to think about as HR and I found I was basically stressed for the full thing. I have done the position in scrims and once at a mixed scrim away from home well before i was prepared to, but this was my first go at it when I felt almost ready. Out of my comfort zone but not out of my depth.

Things I learnt: Some teams are super organised and will do anything to help make sure the event runs smoothly. Nottingham are one of those teams. Nathan (their HNSO) was a bloody dream.
Sometimes your mates will take the piss out of you when they know you’re stressed. This will seem funny to you later on.
There is never enough water for teams.
Sticking to the times on the info sheet is hard but people will love you for making it happen.
People ask HRs the most retarded questions. Sometimes keeping a straight face is the hardest part of being a ref.

Oh and coming home, fried and with a banging stress headache, to find your boyfriend has sneakily let himself in to your flat and made you tea and tidied up is the best feeling in the world. <3


/ Look how pissed off I look in that picture!!

Yesterday I was alternate ref for the first bout and OPR for the second. For the first time in my derby reffing career I got to deal with a foul out… TWICE.

Both CCR skaters, both lovely. I do look like a mardy biatch in the photos though. Standing against a wall with my ref face on.

Second bout was CTB v SWS (with Matlovin and his rainbow unicorn mouthguard) and I had another first… Impressing Metal Ed.

SWS jammer skated off track to avoid a block whilst calling it. I saw it and signalled it to his jam ref (Rocky) who called it. Then the bench manager called an official review to question it.

I was 100% on the call, explained it, the call stuck. Metal Ed smiled. GOOD TIMES.


So. Two days. Nine bouts. Six and a half hours of reffing for Crew Travesty.

One word sums it up: Amazing.

It was tiring as hell – I had to ice my feet on Saturday night – but the entire thing was completely invaluable. Nearly doubled my bouting history in two days (again) and this time I felt completely confident.

Travis’ no-crap style is perfect for me mid-bout. Being told to just take it up a level each time kept me on my toes. No complacency allowed.

Got some great feedback from teams too who said my calls were fair (although the wished I had missed them… Obviously). Amazing what one weekend can do for your reffing-esteem. And this is just one year and one week since I decided to start reffing. What a bloody journey.

Great to catch up with skater friends too. Shref, Kosh, Bunnie Suicides, Chaz, Templeman and Igor. Plus new friends Lotte, Harry and Watze. Still loving this tournament malarkey.

Have emailed my thankyous to Stiff and Sven, Boris and Ed, and the people who made this happen for me – Cherry and Trav. Thanks for believing in me you mad bastards.


NWO vs. Jakey
Quad guards vs. Skateful
LRT vs. MK
LRT vs. Tyne N Fear – Full length
Jakey vs SSB, MK vs. Expendables
New Wheeled order vs.south Wales silures – Full length

Southern discomfort vs. Inhuman league – Full length
Inhuman league vs Tyne and Fear – Full length.

Boys v Girls

Tonight I reffed the Crash Test Brummies v Central City Rollers. Boys v Girls.
I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world to take a deep breath at the idea of that. Merby is a completely different game to Derby in my head.

I worry about high blocks, I worry about the Boys saying they’re toning things down for the Girls and the Girls ramping it up in retaliation. (Like this: I worry that they’ll break each other. And I worry that the Boys will sweat all over the Girls and make them smell bad. That last bit is only half-joke because Merby Boys tend to STINK.

With only four refs (Rollin’ Rat, Metal-Ed, Fu Man Drew and me) I had to IPR. Checked with Fu on what I was meant to do… then spent the first two jams being told “Sleaze… you need to be THERE”. Got there in the end, although I was convinced I was about to break my ankle by doing hockey stops backwards.