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Yesterday was my first scrim of the year, a co-ed that was the middle scrim of a set of three.

The first was a women’s cherry popper. I was down to referee for this one, and it’s been a while. My worry when wearing stripes is that I’ll miss calling a penalty when I should. I was an outside pack referee. (There are three covering a game, skating around the outside of the track, in front, beside and trailing the pack. They are looking for cutting the track to the outside, directional and multi-player/back blocks in the main.) It went well I think. I spotted a few penalties but before I could get the whistle to my lips others had called the penalty. We swapped around for the second half and the other ref seemed very few penalties too, so hopefully I wasn’t too far wrong. Time flew and before I knew it the game was done and it was time for a quick change ready for the co-ed.

I was pleased that HYLANDER was there. During the warm-up we agreed that there were lots of big blokes playing and that we were both a little nervous. (I hadn’t given it a thought until one of the other refs asked if I was playing in the co-ed and then if I’d brought ibuprofen with me.)

The teams for the co-ed were decided just before the game, on a very simple basis – two blokes and four women had to change from black to white. No bench or line-up, we just sorted ourselves out – Beat Monkey took on the role of captain and did the initial organising. After that we cycled players with a hitch. On track were a mix of players who I knew and a good number that I didn’t. About seven from The Inhuman League, some from Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder, Hull’s Angels and York Minxsters. (Apologies to those that I’ve missed.) There was lots of talk about the walls we should use and did our jammer want from or back wall and then it was half-time. I never bother checking the score but by then we (white) were losing somewhat, 10 points to black team’s 130 something.

During the second half I jammed (just the once) and got one penalty (a low block, falling as I tried to stop Claud Apart). We also managed to score a few more points, ending up with around 50 I think, to over 200? (possibly, I’m never much bothered.) More to the point, the game was played in good spirits. There was moment towards the end of the second period where the jammers collided, helped each other up and carried on around together, the lead calling it as they reached the back of the pack.

That was to have been my day. The final scrim was a mixed women’s game, which I expected to be watching. However, one of the other refs asked if I could take his place. Ha! Bonus! I did another quick change and kept going for another hour.

It was a brilliant day. The Angel’s were all as lovely as ever, Harmony, Dane-ish, Flowers and Iron Giant to name a few. The co-ed was ace, Minxsters, Claud, Jenna (who took some big hits and is just so cheeky). I didn’t mess up whilst reffing, thank you Ref Metal (?) and Owen for your help. Quite a few compliments on my leggings too!

Big love! See you all soon :-)

Death by…

I have posted previously that Skateful Dead occasionally suffer low turn-out at practice. Recently this has been particularly bad. Indeed, I had the distinct feeling that people had made new year’s resolutions to skate less.

On 10 January we there were two of us. We were, thankfully, joined by Sue Perman as a guest coach. She always delivers a non-stop session – focussing on footwork this time. She was also happy to get on track with us, so making three. (Plus Carly our ref and Gillie our regular coach.)

The (short, one hour) Tuesday session was well attended. Then the 17th we were back down to two, plus Carly and Gillie. Rather depressing. Discussion turned to the future of the team as we can’t continue to play out more for use of the hall than we take in dues/fees. As a dues payer I’d never really stopped to think about this, though it makes sense. The team can’t continue to run at a loss.

We all have lives outside of derby (so I’m told) and it’s not always possible to make it to every session. (I missed training yesterday to travel over to Hull and ref/play there.) The problem, we felt, was people saying they’d be at a session and then not turning up. If we know we are going to have low numbers then we can (reluctantly) cancel the session. Numbers also impact on Gillie’s lesson plan. Carly sent a message to the group pointing out the situation.

After that session I was mentally preparing for the team to fold. Well, I’d have more free time, but I really enjoy playing with Skateful Dead. I don’t think I’d want to play for another team. Would I have to join Aire Force One or Manchester? Bugger!

Fortunately the message was well received. Tuesday was well attended and last Sunday we had a great turn out. It made all the difference between two and a half hours of scratting around for something to do and a packed, non-stop session that left me absolutely knackered!

So I want to thank everyone for making the effort to get to training. A special note to those who travel silly distances to get there, Simon, Jim and those from York, Stephen, Georgie, Tanya and Beth. Thank you! :-)