Not So Official

On Saturday I was at Futsal stadium in Leeds (Cottingley actually) wearing grey.

Grey is worn by Non-Skating Officials (NSOs) as they are impartial. They form an important part of the crew that goes into putting on a game. They track penalties, keep score and perform time keeping. I’ve NSO’d a few times, always as a penalty box timer. I’d recommend this role to anyone who hasn’t NSO’d before, wants to help out, but perhaps feels a bit nervous about it. You’re basically timing two blockers and you have two other NSOs in the penalty box with you. If you’re not sure you can just ask.

Leeds Roller Dolls had organised two scrimmages back to back. The first was to orignally to be a womens advanced game, the second and intermediate mixed game. In the end, due to a lack of players they were both mixed games.

For the first game I was Penalty Box Manager. So, rather than timing a pair of blockers I was resposible for timing the jammers. This is slightly more complicated as the penalties are not always 30 seconds. There must be a jammer on track at all times, so sometimes the penalties are shorter. My Penalty Timers were Kelly and Larni, who used to play for the Banditas. It was good to have friends with me. We managed just fine and didn’t go too far wrong.

For the second game I’d been assigned Jam Timer! My responsibility was timing the periods, jams and intervals/team timeouts. The periods are easy, two of thirty minutes each, and jams/intervals are easy too as they rarely run to the full two minutes. (Three jams did so whilst I was timing.) The interesting bit is when timeouts are called. Team timeouts are 60 seconds, official timeouts as long as they need to be. The period clock stops for the duration of the timeout. Written down it sounds very straight forward, but the twiddly bits around duration of the interval when mixed in with timeouts requires some thought. It’s a job for two stopwatches and I got to use my whistle :-)

A big thank you to XCon-Vick for giving me the opportunity to learn new roles and Stat for reassuring me about my knowledge of the rules. A benefit gained from NSOing first hand is an improved understanding of “the twiddly bits”. I have already started making improvements to my Penalty Timer and Jam Timer apps as a result.