Blitz Dames Roller Derby Boot Camp

Birmingham Blitz Dames - Birmingham, England's Original All Female Flat Track Roller Derby

Sunday, 21 June 2009

A Head Ref Speaks

Yesterday's Fear and Lothian bout between Auld Reekie and the Blitz Dames was a close, evenly matched event. It was our last bout of the season and my first as Head Ref, and it ended with a somewhat controversial draw of 117 all.

We've had some pretty tough and demanding times at BB*DD of late. Some because we've had the happy stress of about a bout a month during 2009, some because of the expected personnel changes and injuries, some for a wide array of personal reasons. Amid all kinds of busy and a change of venue I was well aware we were doing the best we could, but that it wasn't perfect. But I was hoping everything would go smoothly.

Unfortunately towards the end of the second period a problem with communication regarding scoring was observed. Even more unfortunately the full extent of these problems was not discovered until the period had ended and the scoreboard showed a Blitz victory. A full enquiry has yet to be undertaken, let's hope video footage helps clear up any grey areas to help prevent anything similar happening in future bouts, but it was clear that there was a discrepancy and Auld Reekie had been disadvantaged by this.

The obvious response was an overtime jam, but once the discussions between refs and captains had taken place, the skaters were cooling down and worn out from an hour of play. The Auld Reekie girls seemed quite sure they didn't want to get back on the track. The scores were reasonably close at the end and had been throughout, Auld Reekie we presume were missing points from some of their jammers' passes through the pack, so both sides agreed the fairest outcome would be to declare a draw. It might not be quite how WFTDA rules would have it called, but there was no way I was going to let our guests leave feeling cheated by our mistakes, so I believe this was the best call in a difficult situation.

The thing I'm taking from this is how keen I am to implement the changes that need to be changed, and how I cannot wait to have my second bout to Head Ref and prove how much better we can organise and officiate a bout. Much much derby love to our two visiting referees LRG's Ragged Reaper and ARRG's Ella Bella Bang Bang, who both displayed a fantastic understanding of the game and gelled into a focused team with the BB*DD refs. You both taught me so much, and I'm massively grateful.

I would like to make it absolutely clear that no one at BB*DD would feel any victory in falsely gained points or illegal behaviour, and we do set out to be absolutely fair. We love roller derby and we love being part of this ever growing wonderful community, but it isn't easy to produce and run a bout and, being human, mistakes are made. As Head Ref I want to say a big sorry to anybody who had a disappointing experience and a big thanks to ARRG for coming down and playing so well. Can't wait to see you all at Roll Britannia!

Derby love, Mimey Vice x


  1. Hey Ladies, sounds like an awful situation to have to deal with.....well done on calling it a draw!!! (yes i am on holiday in morocco and catching up on all the scores from the weekend!!!!!!)
    Kitty DeCapitate

  2. Awful situation or a great chance to learn lots and lots? I'm trying to always look at it positively. Which is easier said than done sometimes! Enjoy your holiday, Kitty.

    MV x