An NSO’s Guide to the Statewide Stampede.
Hi! My name is Rhianna “Frickin’ Ghastly” Malas, I’m the head NSO (Non-Skating Official) of MPRDC and a fledgling skater. I’ve been a member of the club for more than a year now, and I was an NSO for the second and third round of the Statewide Stampede.
This is how that went.
The event was at the Knox Regional Netball Centre in the lovely Ferntree Gully. One $70 Uber drive later, I arrived at the centre. Both rounds were hosted by East Vic Roller Derby, who were insanely nice and welcoming, and they did such an amazing job. There were merch stands and a raffle, a canteen, all the fun stuff.
I arrived on the Saturday morning and got ready for my first and only job of the day, which was Score Tracking for the Chiko Rollers vs The Diamond Growlers bout. Score Tracking is probably my favourite thing to do. It requires you to communicate with the referees and watch the whole match super carefully, and you also get to communicate with the other NSO’s. So, I made new friends from a bunch of different teams, and that’s an opportunity I don’t really get often.
For the rest of the day I had the opportunity to meet new friends and watch some derby, support my teammates for both the Black and Blue bouts and in the TRV vs South Sea Banshees match. Everyone, whether they were debuting or not, did such an amazing job. It was a lot of fun!
This is where things got real crazy for this humble NSO. Out of the five bouts for Round 3, I did NSO work for four of them. Four. Two for Score Tracking and two for a totally new job that I had never tried before: Jam Timing.
Jam Timing requires you to be on your feet for the whole bout, blowing whistles so often that I heard them in my sleep that night. Jam Timing gave me, an aspiring referee, the opportunity to look closely at what they do. The only downside was that in one bout there was a nine minute official review, so I had to stand in the middle of the track and signify it over and over, but it gave my guns a really good workout. Everyone was really cool to me, and I made some friends along the way.
By the end of the weekend, I was pretty tuckered out, but there was nothing I would rather do. I had a blast representing my team and learning more about the sport I love. For anyone who’s not comfortable skating or is currently unable to, I highly recommend NSO-ing, it’s a great way to meet new people and learn more about roller derby.