Author: Dor-Iain Grey
I was initially introduced to roller derby at Bath’s first home bout in September 2014, as a couple of friends were playing, and after experiencing the great atmosphere on the day I immediately fell in love with the sport. I enquired about how I could get involved with the league, and a couple of months later found myself in a school sports hall with clipboard in hand NSOing my first closed doors bout. Soon after I began attending BRDG’s weekly scrim nights, where I was thrilled to receive my own whistle, and both the players and referees were very supportive as I learned the rules and began honing my NSO skills.
The best way to improve as an NSO is to get stuck in and do it, so I threw myself into it and took any positions I could get. I officiated the next home bouts for Bath, as well as travelling with the team to NSO at their SW:UK and British Championship matches. I enjoyed getting involved in the organisational side of officiating too (I like spreadsheets), so when the time came I put myself forward and was elected Head Non-Skating Official for BRDG. In that role I now look after new NSOs joining the league and organise officials for our home games, but I’m also always happy to help other leagues with their bouts and offer them head official support on the day if needed.
If you have any interest in roller derby then NSOing is an excellent way to be part of it, as without officials the sport wouldn’t happen. There’s always a great sense of camaraderie as NSOs and referees work together to ensure bouts are safe and played within the rules, and there’s usually a plentiful supply of Haribo too. Officiating can be serious business at times, but there are chances to have fun with it too - I’ve NSOed a WWE themed tournament disguised as a wrestler and a Grease based bout dressed as Danny Zuko!
Getting involved with NSOing also opens up exciting opportunities, and has allowed me to travel up and down the country meeting lots of wonderful new people. This month I’m also flying out to Milan to officiate Italy’s first international roller derby tournament, as well as heading to Birmingham for the 4 Nations tournament featuring the national men’s teams of England, Wales, Scotland and France.
That’s what I’m doing during my NSOvember - why not speak to your local roller derby league and see how you too can help out as part of their officiating team?
This blog is regularly updated with all the goings on of Bath Roller Derby!