Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Game Journal - ECE 2008 - Part 4

Grand Raggidy All-Stars vs. the Ohio Roller Girls

Incident - Due to the nature of the ECE, there's typically two bouts happening at the same time. During this bout, the concurrent bout was a much "bigger deal", to the point that almost the entire crowd was watching that bout. Indeed, even some of our referees were interested in that bout.

Comments - This was an apt lesson in focus. One look at either team and it was clear where their focus was, and where ours needed to be. I'm glad to say I was focused on our game and not the other, and I'm sure the other referees would say the same. But I wish I'd made a concerted effort to make this point to everyone, just to be sure, to really be sure.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Game Journal - ECE 2008 - Part 3

Boston Derby Dames vs. HaRD Knocks

Incident - During this bout I called a 20' Out of Play major on a Houston player positionally blocking the BDD jammer. Instead of leaving the track to serve the penalty though, she yelled back, "I didn't hit her!", and for some reason I flipped a switch and got irate. I yelled back "I don't care! You're OUT!". Also, I might have sworn, I am not sure. That part changes depending on who tells the story to me.

Comments - Beyond the swearing part (which, if true, is obviously totally unacceptable on my part), there's two things of note here. First I need to constantly check my composure during bouts, not just at halves, especially as the skater's anxiety increases with higher stakes.

Second, part of the reason I think I was so upset was I had talked to coaches and captains about this sort of thing pre-bout. Up until this bout I took it for granted that that information always got back to the players. Clearly it doesn't, and that in a lot of ways makes sense. I need to remember that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Game Journal - ECE 2008 - Part 2

Texacutioners vs. Gotham Girls All-Stars

Incident 1 - As one jam began I noticed the Texas jammer was not in position, but was on the track getting into position. By the rules, this should have been a minor penalty false-start. I assumed it was called right and so just skated pack. As it turns out the jammer referee (the one at the time assigned to watch GOTHAM'S jammer) sent the Texas jammer back to her bench for the jam, as per the previous ruleset.

Comments - While the ref making the call was wrong, and while the other jam ref would have been justified in stopping the jam, it was ultimately my job as Head Referee to oversee everything, including this call. I knew that this was many people's first time with the new ruleset, and that this was a major change, I should have been more aware that the potential was there for a mistake, and right now I don't know why I didn't watch it closer as I saw it about to happen. I need to be more aware and take on more of a supervisory role as a head referee, especially when not totally familiar with the other referees.

Incident 2 - In the second half of the bout a Gotham blocker(Beyonsláy) laid a dramatic hit on the Texas jammer (Rice Rocket) (Yeah, THAT hit). The crowd's reaction was overwhelming, so I knew when I was told that just prior to the hit Beyonsláy had accumulated her fourth minor that there would be controversy, as big legal hits being called as illegal merely because they are big has been an issue for a long time. So I resolved immediately to correct the announcers as soon as the jam was over. I did, and while it didn't help, I'm glad I did it.

Comments - While it didn't help fan understanding, that is an announcer issue. Beyond that though I am again glad I was able to both watch the action on the field and read the bigger picture of the game from the fan's perspective. Not to let their opinion influence my calling, but to know what further information they needed to understand the calls. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Game Journal - ECE 2008 - Part 1

Burning River All-Stars vs. The Stepford Sabotage

Incident - While I didn't make an incorrect call per-say, I did miss that the jam referees called the jam for a jammerless jam. As such I delayed the start of the next jam, as I "corrected" the penalty box, and then corrected my "correction".

Comments - I simply need to work on communication between the other refs and myself, especially for things like jammerless jam. Probably something to add to our pre-bout meeting.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Game Journal - 6.14.08

Dairyland Dolls at WCR All-Stars

 - During a markedly physical bout, the Dairyland Dolls jammer, who was fully out of bounds, was blocked into a wall, hard. While the offending blocker was immediately called to the box for the foul, it was just as clear that just as quickly the Madison team felt they needed to take the law into their own hands. Almost immediately a Madison blocker took a knee and dragged her back leg in the path of the Chicago jammer, in what clearly seemed to be an attempted trip. The Chicago player simply stepped over the Madison player's leg and easily broke the pack, though upon further reflection it became clear to me that I should have ejected the Madison player for the attempt, and failing to do so might have allowed for what turned out to be a more violent or physical game from that point on.

Comments - The largest problem in this scenario is that we were reffing the game under a new ruleset. New to both teams and to the ref crew. Personally, I had only had a week to dedicate to focus on learning the differences, which I spent more making sure other refs and skaters knew those changes than I did on my own knowledge. I need to remember to not rest on past knowledge and since this bout have been regularly reviewing the rules to keep up on them, even the less discussed portions of the rules.
On the upside of this my intrinsic understanding of how big plays can effect player's and fans attitude seems to be developing well, and while I didn't anticipate the illegal play, I knew to quickly refocus on the pack once the penalty was issued and be ready for whatever might come.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Game Journal - 6.7.08

Fort Wayne Bomb Squad vs. Arch Rival Rollergirls

Issue - The game venue was extremely hot and humid. As such, fuses were very short, even at the start of the game. While things didn't get entirely out of hand, there were several incidents involving shouting, mostly at me and other referees by team coaches.

Comments - A I've mentioned, things were not totally out of hand, but they were close and could have been if something had gone wrong. I think that was a combination of a few things, but all things I should have been able to manage (other than the weather). I should have done more, we as officials in general need to do more, to ease tensions. We too often (and myself especially) get overly defensive too quickly. These coaches were doing their job, if maybe a little aggressively, but if I had a problem with it I should have settled things down then, instead of responding in kind. It's entirely possible only I noticed my own anger, which would be good.