Friday

Roller Derby and the world of NSO-ing

I've got a new job. Technically I have got two new jobs but the 9-5 one is much less exciting than this. I am Hereford Roller Girls new NSO! OK, how many of you just thought "wha.....?!". Don't worry I am here to enlighten you to the world of the Non Skating Official (NSO).




I have been in love with roller derby since I saw Whip It and then discovered that real life derby is so much more exciting. I've never been a sports fan, I had a pretty intense horsey phase as a teen but generally getting sweaty in company as an adult is not really my thing and I find uber competitiveness off putting. I am however a fanatical crafter, passionate feminist and thanks to roller derby's connection with both the American DIY movement and its abundance of positive role models for women, it has been part of my cultural landscape for a while. So as you can imagine when I found out there was a team in Hereford excited is too mild a word to describe how much squealing there was.


I strapped on my little used disco skates and proceeded to suck at skating. But everyone sucks when they first start. As an adult balancing on wheels is downright terrifying, and so I tensed up and I fell over. A lot. A hangover from teen riding accidents, as well as a drunken fall down some stairs and a hereditary neck problem has left me with a back that just can't handle impacts like that. My doctor told me in no uncertain terms that sure I could skate I just couldn't fall over. 

And with that my Derby dreams were over.....or so I thought. 



Turns out there is a whole section of the derby world that doesn’t skate, it is even in their job titles – Non-Skating Officials. NSO’s do all of the timings, scorings, penalty wrangling and generally keeping track of what is going on. Being organised, a whole bunch of rules, being a little bit bossy, and no chance of falling over (other than the usual challenges of remaining upright in day-to-day life) it’s like the roller derby gods dreamed up a job just for me. So here I am the newest addition to the HRG family complete with requisite new-fad-obsessional- researching and learning. Several evenings have been spent with roller derby on the TV, a rules handbook in one hand and the stats package in the other as I try and understand the differences between all the different penalties and referee hand gestures. 

And I love it.

Things are about to get a bit more skate-y here are Rats as Big as Cats, it’s going to be awesome.


 

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