Jun 2015 25

South Side Derby Dolls has a place for skaters of all levels. From those playing in the highest level of competitive games to the person who bought skates yesterday with dreams of getting approved for contact. But there’s another group of people who train and work hard to help make every roller derby game safe, fair and fun. The S2D2 Droids is our team of officials both on and off skates.

Why are our officials called droids? Droids are an essential part of any organisation in the world of Star Wars. They’re always in the background offering translations, processing data and keeping things functioning. Some on wheels and some on foot. The S2D2 Droids are always active during roller derby games collecting scores, directing players and keeping games running.

Being an official is often overlooked even though it is an essential part of the game. Officiating can be hugely rewarding, enjoyable and a great way to participate in the game without the contact side of things. It is a great way to meet people. We asked our officials some questions about why they chose to become a droid and why they find it rewarding:

What do you enjoy about being a Droid?
“The people and the opportunities. I have met so many amazing people during my time involved in derby; people I would have never met in any other circumstance.” – Switzerland

“I like being part of the team. Not necessarily the “officials” team, but contributing and being an active member of my league is most important to me.” – Kaos Bob

“I’m enjoying being in a supportive team where I can take my time to learn things properly. I also still get to hang out with all my skater friends.” – Sweet Baby Cheeses

“I like working on a crew for a tournament and how that crew works better and better together each game they work.” – Totorod

“We sometimes travel a long way to help make derby happen. Some of my favourite games have been working closely with a mix of skill levels.” – Gory Numan

“I really enjoy the disciplines of being part of team zebra, receiving and giving support to fellow officials and of course I have met some great friends along the way.” – Wayne-o-War

“You instantly make so many friends and people who share your interest in derby. I also feel the league I skate for respects the officials and include us as just another skater on the track…we just happen to wear stripes.” – Boom Tish

Photo by Liam Mitchell Photography

Is being an official fun?
“I find NSOing great because simply it’s fun to do.” – Raven Nyx

“I like it when things click and I have lightbulb moments.” – Sweet Baby Cheese

“Made and get to work with great friends, warm fuzzies from helping facilitate a great sport, and getting my rules nerd on.” – Major Skateholder

“I like doing it right. Its always fun to learn but applying that to give the players and fans a smooth game is very satisfying. Also we get into games for free.” – Kaos Bob

Why did you become an official?
“I became an official to learn more about derby as my skating developed then fell in love with it so it made an easy choice to get more involved when I could no longer skate.” – Coch Less Monster

“I was living and breathing Derby as a fan, but it wasn’t enough so when S2D2 advertised for NSOs I had to give it a go. No choice.” – Kaos Bob

“Derby widow, refereed sportsball in the past so was comfortable with the concept of officiating.” – Major Skateholder

“My best friend at the time decided she wanted to play the derby and as much as I loved the sport it wasn’t for me. I decided I wanted to be behind the scenes, plus I love statistics, so I became an NSO.” – Boom Tish

“I started NSOing so I could learn the rules and hopefully end up being a better player. It was also a time where officials were pretty scarce in our region.” – Switzerland

“Our family grew up in and around roller rinks until family life got in the way and unfortunately roller skating took a back seat. many years later my wife found roller skating in the form of roller derby whilst I was overseas.” – Wayne-o-War

Are there some things you find hard about being an official?

“Time: it takes a big commitment to develop and maintain both skating skills and rules knowledge.” – Major Skateholder
“I’m a Derby fan first. That’s why I got into this. I find it hard not to cheer. Sometimes I have to take a game or two off just to watch and be part of the crowd.” – Kaos Bob
“I’m a perfectionist and a bit of a stress head so sometimes I really feel the pressure when it comes to doing things right quickly.” – Sweet Baby Cheeses
“One thing I find hard is not being able to stop and explain why a skater got a penalty.” – Totorod

You too can join the S2D2 Droids!
South Side Derby Dolls is always looking for new officials. To find out more come to our recruitment info session (28th June) and talk to some of our Droids. There are lots of great reasons to become an official:

  • Learn more about roller derby
  • Be an essential part of safe and fair games
  • Be part of a team working together
  • No skating required (some roles are on skates)
  • Non contact
  • Opportunities to help other leagues with their games and practice games