Me in a herd of grown up zebs 

Training on Saturday was fucking awesome! Although, I say ‘training’ – it was actually a friendly scrim with Hereford Roller Girls.

Obviously I’m lightyears from being allowed to play myself, so I forced a sleepy Fenton out of bed and over to Beaufort early so I could get in some skating practice before the game.

I tried a lot of the same as I was trying on Friday, using one foot going backwards. Improving, but work to be done. Did however psych myself up to practicing my wee baby 180 hops, which always scare me. Of course after a few crashes, the fear (kind of) wears off, so I did manage to give them a good go. The culmination was managing to 180 hop into a one-foot weave around the apex. I think I managed this successfully maybe three times, and chickened out or overbalanced most of the rest.

As it turned out, even though I wasn’t scrimming, I did end up getting to skate as an outside pack ref alongside Nollie and Wolverine.

Shit, that ref shit is hard!

How do they pay attention to everything that’s going on?? I had enough trouble keeping up with the pack and checking for jammer cut tracks – let alone watching for actual contact penalties.

Not to mention that at one point I was so engrossed in what the pack was doing that I ended up in a head-on collision with a poor Hereford skater innocently returning from the penalty box…

Which brings me onto… Treblemaker! I knew she skated with Hereford, but she came to the scrim on Saturday – not that I was brave enough to speak to her. If you don’t know, (as some people I talked to didn’t) Treblemaker has an awesome blog which everyone should read right now. RIGHT NOW.

Weak areas:

  • Focus – being able to pay attention to what is happening enough to make confident calls while reffing
  • Rules – knowing the rules so as I’m confident in my own judgement
  • Ref hand signals – I can recognise them fine, but reproducing them and matching them to rule violations is shaky

Areas which sucked slightly less:

  • Stopping is better. Unintentionally worked on my derby stops while reffing (partly due to the lack of space in the outer track lane!)
  • Transitions – getting so much smoother and gradually building up to do them faster.
  • Landing on one foot backwards – I’m impressed I managed this at all, frankly.
  • 180 Jumping – this one is mostly about overcoming the fear of jumping. It scares me a little less now I’ve tried it again.

Learnings from the scrim:

  • Talk talk talk talk keep talking keep talking keep talking keep talking you’re fine you’re fine you’re fine you’re fine you’re fine okay okay okay okay okay okay okay. Really though, gotta communicate more, and more automatically. Perhaps I should take singing lessons?
  • Careful of multiplayers when you’re bracing – let go if challenged but reform where you can
  • Transitions will make you God

Stuff to work on:

  • Accelerating. Currently, toe stop running still eludes me a little. I can launch straight onto my skates without crying too much (though it is scary), but I never do more than two strides in succession. Duck runs are still “???”
  • Read the rules again.
  • Watch more footage to practice getting used to watching out for schenanigans.
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