WFTDA Officials Certification System to be replaced with Magic 8-Ball

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) have announced the long-awaited end to the restructure of their Officials Certification System: the certification panels are to be replaced by a Magic 8-Ball.

In the past, certification panels served to assess officials’ rules and officiating knowledge and skill in order to provide certification of officials.
Certification, in turn, signifies an official’s excellence and qualification to officiate sanctioned and regulation roller derby gameplay.
The assessment of which officials are deserving of certification and have the skill to officiate WFTDA and MRDA tournaments will now be carried out by a Magic 8-Ball.

Heffalump, a WFTDA spokesperson, commented:
“We are happy to present a unified certification system that will better meet the needs both the WFTDA and the MRDA membership than the previous certification program.
We think this new Magic 8-Ball-based system will be better at identifying skill in roller derby officiating than the old panel-based system.”

“We have listened to the derby community and believe that this will be a much better, more reliable and less biased way to find the best referees and NSOs for staffing our tournaments.”

“We would like to apologise for the delay in re-opening the certification program, but we believe the wait and hard work will pay off for the future of roller derby officiating.
After the long break during the re-structure in which no certifications were processed, we are now happy to announce that we are accepting applications for officials’ certification once again.”

In answer to whether there would be any changes to the application process for officials seeking certification, Heffalump explained:
“As before, you will need to submit game evaluations and certification test results, which will be carefully considered by the Magic 8-Ball.
And, just as in the past, certification will continue to be an entry requirement for officiating the WFTDA, and now MRDA tournaments, to ensure a high level of officiating at these events.”

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Get certified for creative roller derby refereeing

This coming weekend, the Derpshire Rollergirls are putting on a WFTDA-sanctioned referee clinic with a special emphasis on creative refereeing.

The class aims to help roller derby officials put the maximum amount of creativity into their roller derby refereeing.

The advertisement for the class states:

We will teach you about creativity, innovation and change.
We want to stimulate your creativity and help you take your creative refereeing to the next level.

Be a more innovative referee; jumpstart your creativity, and don’t just go by the rules.

Learn about what is inhibiting you from calling roller derby penalties the way you want.

Think outside the box, break the shackles, push the boundaries and challenge the status quo.
The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity in roller derby refereeing.

Discover and develop your own ideas for how roller derby penalties should be called.

By the end of this course, you will be great at discovering your own ideas about roller derby rules and delivering them confidently.

This course is highly experimental and teaches you to be experimental, too, in your roller derby officiating.

You will learn to creatively work as an individual ref and you will also learn creative refereeing in a team of officials.

We will prepare you for all the situations you may encounter as a roller derby referee: gameplay, captains’ meetings, official reviews – bring your creativity to all of these.

You will be able to use these creative skills everywhere in your function as a roller derby referee, whether you are making calls, selecting crews or evaluating other referees.

There are no skills requirements for this course.
There are no grades or tests. You decide how good you are, because the only person judging your refereeing should be you.

This course also leads directly to certification, i.e you will be a Certified Creative Referee.

Here are some of the creativity- increasing concepts you will learn on this course:

Approach roller derby penalty calls in new innovative ways.
Push your limits – make calls in ways never seen before.

Have you gotten into a rut? Try calling things differently to how you would normally call them.
You may feel foolish at first, but getting comfortable with feeling foolish is just another way to think outside the box.

Shift your thinking away from your brain’s logic centers and into a more creative part of the brain, where it can be mulled over in a non-rational way.

Work backwards: start with the call you want to make and work backwards to creatively come up with a justification.
Try to challenge your brain’s normal concept of causality.

Draw on other creative sources: players, coaches and the audience may give you new ideas about how to make calls.

Invite randomness into your work. Embrace mistakes and incorporate them into your style.

Always think: what’s the worst that could happen?

Eliminate negativity. Do not limit your ideas. No idea is too ‘out there’.
If other people tell you your ideas are outside of normal, don’t listen to them.
Instead, surround yourself with likeminded people.

Keep your creativity sharp. Like any skill, creativity needs to be exercised to keep it going.
Keep thinking of new situations to apply your creativity to. Any bout is an opportunity for this.

This course will cover all of the WFTDA rule book, though special emphasis will be put on creatively calling forearms, multiplayer block, and cut track penalties.

We have many graduates who have gone on to referee at the big 7 WFTDA tournaments and other high profile roller derby events.

Interested?

Contact the Derpshire Rollergirls to book your place on the creative refereeing course and bring your officiating creativity to a bout near you.

Roller derby captain’s meeting drinking game

Before the start of a roller derby game, the head referee will meet with representatives from each team, usually captains and alternates, in the captain’s meeting.
During the captain’s meeting the head ref will go over the rules and procedures of the bout with the team representatives.

Have you already had the chance to enjoy captain’s meetings? Are you about to go to your first captain’s meeting?

Either way, you can now drink your way to a happier captain’s meeting using our captain’s meeting drinking game!

Take a (discreet!) drink for each of the following:

o Captain’s meeting is awkwardly scheduled to clash with all your team’s essential pre-bout prep.

o No location is specified for the captain’s meeting, making it impossible for the relevant parties to find each other at the scheduled time.

o One team’s reps are late. Take one drink for each minute of time wasted.

o Head ref turns up with their ‘captains-meeting binder’.

o Head ref evades questions from teams about recent rules updates and clarifications.
Take one drink for each evasion tactic:
– The head ref simply quotes the relevant rule from the rule book, but offers no further clarification.
– Head ref claims that more intricate questions had to be submitted beforehand, though no team was made aware of this.
– Head ref instead discusses a clarification that nobody cares about (e.g. the width of stripes on referee uniforms).

o Team reps look befuddled at the concept of a recent rules update or clarification.
Take one drink for each team rep who looks like they are just nodding along.

o Head ref comes up with insane venue- or event-specific rules.
These are often brought up under the guise of ‘safety’ but may in reality be more about something that the head ref needs to work through emotionally.
Take one drink for each made-up rule. Possible examples include:
– No hitting on one side of the track due to lack of room outside the track.
– Time does not stop during any time outs.
– As the venue only allows for a 90% size track, teams may only field three blockers per jam and the engagement zone ends 10ft from the pack.
– No red-coloured items to be worn, because they might attract vampires.

Bonus: It is not really possible to object to any of these insanities, because it would likely mean having to cancel the bout after everyone has travelled there. Take another drink to get through these tough times.

Take extra drinks if it later turns out that these rule changes were only relayed to a portion of the people who needed to know about them (officials, teams, etc).

o Captain’s meeting takes far longer than necessary.

o The head ref warns that teams are not allowed to talk to any official other than the head ref.

o Team reps ask inane question about the rules that could easily be answered from reading the rules (‘How will you be assessing cuts?’), instead of focusing on important questions that cannot be answered simply by looking at the rule book (‘How will you be assessing forearms?’).

o Head ref makes completely unrealistic promises about the skills, attitudes and procedures of their crew (‘We will keep on top of that.’, ‘We are here to ensure a fair and save game.’)

o Head ref details fouling out and expulsion procedure and you just know they cannot wait for this to happen.

o 90% of the information discussed during the captain’s meeting is not useful for either team.

o Head ref declares themselves Supreme and Benevolent Leader of this bout/tournament and clarifies that any and all questioning or back talk from the teams may lead to beheadings.

o Neither team has brought a jammer ref identifier. Items from teams’ merch stalls are quickly repurposed.

o The head NSO hands the teams a stack of evals that they cannot wait to fill out in a professional manner (i.e. give to their least drunk supporter in the audience to fill in).

o One team bombards head ref with rules clarifications that are clearly meant to work in favour of their team and against the other team’s style.

o Time comes to a standstill.
Children are born, people die, lives are lived, the cure for cancer is found, several rare species go extinct and glaciers disappear forever; but you are still in this meeting.

o International records are broken for exchanging the least amount of useful information in the longest possible time. And all this while there are several important topics that could be discussed.

o The head ref completely forgets to address important questions like switching benches at half time or comparing team colours.
Take an extra drink if they have to be reminded by the teams.

o You have lost all sense of purpose and hope. You cannot remember why you are even here.

o The head ref makes comparison to previous captain’s meetings that they have lead (‘This was much shorter than my usual meetings!’).

o At the end of the meeting you still have no idea how forearm penalties will be assessed in this bout.
 

**Anticlockwiseblog does not endorse skaters, bench staff or officials to be intoxicated during a bout.