Sunday, February 5, 2012

scrimmage: refs vs. everybody

I think, if I had to choose, I would pick scrimmages as my all time favorite derby thing to do.

Really real bouts can get pretty intense and practices are just that.  I like the middle road.  Scrimmages you can have a little fun, push yourself to try out something new, and hit your friends.

Stitch Rip-Her at the pivot line.
All photos by the excellent and generous Richard Lowes.

In our practice space we have very little clearance between the edge of a full size track and the boards.  For safety reasons, we've marked out a track that is 80% of the official size, giving us a little bit of room on the sides.

What that means is that we have two tracks laid out, one full size and another that is just as wide as a full track but the corners are sharper.

You'd think that we'd be better at not cutting the inside line when it's a whole three feet further in than normal, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Black lines are the full track, yellow is the 80%. 
For the officials, the center can become a little bit squishy.

Refs travel in packs too.
And the outside, well, it helps to be a good jumper.

As an inside pack ref, every time a jam ref goes by waving the hand sign for 'not lead jammer' you can get several thwaps across the hips.  We're all in very close.

Skating in bounds minor.
This past scrimmage - because scrimmages are fun! - it was decided that the refs would get to play a line at the last jam before the half and the last jam of the game.   All of the refs in our league are also players and believeyoume, as much as I enjoy reffing, it's still tough to watch all your buddies playing while you're on the inside, taking care of business. 

Fatal on the jammer line.
So, just before half time, five of us put away our whistles, pulled out our mouth guards, and hopped onto the track.  A few skaters were pulled in for there first attempts at reffing (scrimmages are all about learning).  We probably should of did a quick jersey change, but there I will say there are a few advantages to having the other team feel a bit uncomfortable about hitting you.

Mind fuck.

Below is my favorite photo from the night.  That's Jester holding back the jammer and everyone else while I'm... I think I'm about to do something.  Something brilliant.  Yes, let's just go with that.

Attaboy Jester!

A big thanks to all the skaters who let the refs have their brief moments on the track.  Getting to ref, play a little, and actually knocking Lexi on her ass, it was a great night.


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