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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Refs Roll in Derby

I feel like startin some trouble today.----At this weekends Regionals, I saw more "Reffing" than I have seen in my life. The games were often stopped for long periods of time to have long discussions about some call or another, only to just blow the whistle and resume play. If there is a foul, call it and be done with it. to break up the tempo of the game, just to gather all the Refs in the center of the arena, for a long pow-wow, tends to look like "Grand Standing" after awhile. People come to see Derby, not to see every other play blown dead by a whistle. Other than that minor issue, the calls were fair, and on the whole accurate, as far as my untrained eye could discern. All Refs were very Professional, and knowledgeable about the rules. I would give them a A+ Grading--But let them Play the Game---Don't look for every little minor infraction you can find. It's Derby, don't forget.----Your turn
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Old October 7th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #2
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Most likely, the lead ref tries to control too much. I've seen that happen.
Or, the secondary refs were unsure of themselves and needed to validate their decisions.

I agree with you John.
(Wow! That was easier than I thought!!)
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Old October 7th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #3
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Most likely, the lead ref tries to control too much. I've seen that happen.
Or, the secondary refs were unsure of themselves and needed to validate their decisions.

I agree with you John.
(Wow! That was easier than I thought!!)
Yep, and we both know that don't often happen. ---It just seems that in some sports, the refs tend to feel it is about them, rather than the Players. And they do tend to want to control the game, rather than just make calls. How many times have you gone to any game, just to watch the refs make calls? that's what I thought. Refs should be there when needed, but it is not their Show.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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When game play stops, it is usually not to discuss a call, it is to handle logistics. And trust me, we'll take as long as we need to get it right. I'd rather have a 10 minute wait and everything correct then let play continue and get it wrong.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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When game play stops, it is usually not to discuss a call, it is to handle logistics. And trust me, we'll take as long as we need to get it right. I'd rather have a 10 minute wait and everything correct then let play continue and get it wrong.
I understand that is often the situation---but the fans want to see Derby. The tempo of the game is most important. I saw some of the time outs, cause more confusion than they alleviated. Unless there are blatant penalties, I think the game should go on. That is what people came to see. Not a stoppage every other jam, to discuss things that have little interest to the fans. and it is about giving the fans what they expect. The Refs should never become a distraction to the game. that severs no useful purpose.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:20 PM   #6
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I understand that is often the situation---but the fans want to see Derby. The tempo of the game is most important. I saw some of the time outs, cause more confusion than they alleviated. Unless there are blatant penalties, I think the game should go on. That is what people came to see. Not a stoppage every other jam, to discuss things that have little interest to the fans. and it is about giving the fans what they expect. The Refs should never become a distraction to the game. that severs no useful purpose.
I'm going to have to disagree. The game is about the fans second. It is about the GAME first. And if there is an uncorrected error (score is wrong, wrong number of players in the box, ejected player is still skating, too many people on a roster, etc etc etc) then the game is not being served.

Ask any derby player, and they will tell you that as much as they dislike stoppages, they would rather it be right than fast.

Refs are not there to be a focal point, we are there to serve the game. And we serve the game by making sure that every aspect of officiating is done correctly.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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I'm going to have to disagree. The game is about the fans second. It is about the GAME first. And if there is an uncorrected error (score is wrong, wrong number of players in the box, ejected player is still skating, too many people on a roster, etc etc etc) then the game is not being served.

Ask any derby player, and they will tell you that as much as they dislike stoppages, they would rather it be right than fast.

Refs are not there to be a focal point, we are there to serve the game. And we serve the game by making sure that every aspect of officiating is done correctly.
I agree that calls should be as close as possible, but not at the detriment of the Game. Make the call and stick by it. We don't need to review replays, nor take a vote. All refs should then support said call, and move on. 90% of the time, that seemed to be the case. but during some matches, the game seemed to get bogged down, due to one discussion after another. The frustration was operant on the Players faces, and definitely in the crowds reactions. A good Ref should make the best call they can, with out changing the all important tempo of the game---any game, not just Derby. No fans, no game.---That said, let me say that I have all the respect in the World for Refs in General. they have a tough Job. But if we are looking at details, I stand by my statements. No Ref can be expected to make 100% good calls, nor should they be expected to.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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Refs do a little bit more than just call penalties... in-between jams, scores get reported and totaled, minors are counted, etc. No one does it professionally, so I must apologize if it is not as efficient as it could be, but considering the circumstances, I think we do rather well. After all, it takes about twenty minutes to get through the last three minutes of an NFL game, and those guys are all pros! The look on the fans and skaters faces would probably be more frustrated if it wasn't done right... measure twice, cut once!

You sound like you have some ideas on how to more efficiently do all of these tasks... I'm sure your league would love to have you volunteer as a ref for them.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #9
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I agree that calls should be as close as possible, but not at the detriment of the Game. Make the call and stick by it. We don't need to review replays, nor take a vote. All refs should then support said call, and move on. 90% of the time, that seemed to be the case. but during some matches, the game seemed to get bogged down, due to one discussion after another. The frustration was operant on the Players faces, and definitely in the crowds reactions. A good Ref should make the best call they can, with out changing the all important tempo of the game---any game, not just Derby. No fans, no game.---That said, let me say that I have all the respect in the World for Refs in General. they have a tough Job. But if we are looking at details, I stand by my statements. No Ref can be expected to make 100% good calls, nor should they be expected to.
I think we're talking about different things.

As Fresh Eddie states, and as I stated earlier, we aren't talking about calls in the middle. We're talking about logistics. We're not taking a vote, we're making sure that the logistics (score, penalties, etc etc) are correct.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #10
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Refs do a little bit more than just call penalties... in-between jams, scores get reported and totaled, minors are counted, etc. No one does it professionally, so I must apologize if it is not as efficient as it could be, but considering the circumstances, I think we do rather well. After all, it takes about twenty minutes to get through the last three minutes of an NFL game, and those guys are all pros! The look on the fans and skaters faces would probably be more frustrated if it wasn't done right... measure twice, cut once!

You sound like you have some ideas on how to more efficiently do all of these tasks... I'm sure your league would love to have you volunteer as a ref for them.
Please do not consider my critique, with criticism I think Ref do a fine job, under adverse circumstances. I was only commenting on one particular tournament. and expressing what I had not seen in the few I have been to before. But to stop a bout, in the middle of a Jam, just so one can check their stats, is a tad much. things can be worked out after the Jam, without disrupting the play. Nothin Personal here, I don't know any of the People involved, and would not call them on it if I did. Just commenting in general.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #11
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Please do not consider my critique, with criticism I think Ref do a fine job, under adverse circumstances. I was only commenting on one particular tournament. and expressing what I had not seen in the few I have been to before. But to stop a bout, in the middle of a Jam, just so one can check their stats, is a tad much. things can be worked out after the Jam, without disrupting the play. Nothin Personal here, I don't know any of the People involved, and would not call them on it if I did. Just commenting in general.
If someone blew a jam dead to question a penalty called, then you are absolutely correct, and those refs did something that would have a major impact on the outcome of the game. If it was in-between jams, I would say it would most likely not have any impact on the outcome.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 09:07 PM   #12
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If someone blew a jam dead to question a penalty called, then you are absolutely correct, and those refs did something that would have a major impact on the outcome of the game. If it was in-between jams, I would say it would most likely not have any impact on the outcome.
Thank you Sir, my point exactly. there is time to do all that, after the play is dead.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #13
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Please do not consider my critique, with criticism I think Ref do a fine job, under adverse circumstances. I was only commenting on one particular tournament. and expressing what I had not seen in the few I have been to before. But to stop a bout, in the middle of a Jam, just so one can check their stats, is a tad much. things can be worked out after the Jam, without disrupting the play. Nothin Personal here, I don't know any of the People involved, and would not call them on it if I did. Just commenting in general.
Keep in mind that I was officiating at the tourney in question, so I am absolutely familiar with the jams you are speaking of. That said, there are plenty of reasons a jam can be stopped. What if there is a skater that should be in the box? What if there is a skater in the box that shouldn't be there? What if a player went out on an injury, and came back in the next jam? What if one of the skaters had picked up her 4th major and should be ejected, and is skating in the jam? What if there is debris on the track? What if what if what if. We make every effort to rectify these situations without stopping play, but will stop play if neccessary. Because what is better for the sport: a play stoppage? Or a jammer that should have been in the box scoring 20 points?
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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #14
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I read this thread this morning.. and with-held comments....

Gle8 has said it perfectly.... and I wouldnt add.. or detract a thing.

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Old October 8th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #15
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yep
agreeing with Gle8 (well said)

if the "untrained eye" cant tell why the refs were taking their time... then it hardly seems reasonable to pass comment and tell them how to do their job
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Old October 8th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Keep in mind that I was officiating at the tourney in question, so I am absolutely familiar with the jams you are speaking of. That said, there are plenty of reasons a jam can be stopped. What if there is a skater that should be in the box? What if there is a skater in the box that shouldn't be there? What if a player went out on an injury, and came back in the next jam? What if one of the skaters had picked up her 4th major and should be ejected, and is skating in the jam? What if there is debris on the track? What if what if what if. We make every effort to rectify these situations without stopping play, but will stop play if neccessary. Because what is better for the sport: a play stoppage? Or a jammer that should have been in the box scoring 20 points?
I do not think Skateguy disagrees with your "What ifs". All of the things you mention should be dealt with; And, they should be dealt with immediately. But you cannot discount another's views so whole heartedly without realizing that there is some merit to them.

This is still a somewhat young sport. Getting everything down will take time. There are times when an event requires a full review...but, not all of the time. That, I think, is what Skateguy is referring to here. Make your judgment, and make it quick. Otherwise, you will lose audience interest, and the sport will suffer.

Possible answer? More intense ref training, and allowing individual refs to make a call, and not have to review it every time. Also making sure that derby players do not continually interfere with refs decision making process, every time they are not happy with a call.

Is this hard? Do people make mistakes? Will egos clash and people get mad?
Unequivocally, YES. But the game will improve as everyone takes ownership of their responsibilities. I'm not bagging on refs or players. Everyone is part of the problem, and everyone is part of the solution.

Take criticism from anyone and turn it into a positive. If Skateguy didn't care, then he would remain silent. Also, he and I might not be right, but we can't be entirely wrong.

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Old October 8th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #17
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yep
agreeing with Gle8 (well said)

if the "untrained eye" cant tell why the refs were taking their time... then it hardly seems reasonable to pass comment and tell them how to do their job
I always question things that seem unusual to me, as any reasonable person should.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 05:18 AM   #18
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Keep in mind that I was officiating at the tourney in question, so I am absolutely familiar with the jams you are speaking of. That said, there are plenty of reasons a jam can be stopped. What if there is a skater that should be in the box? What if there is a skater in the box that shouldn't be there? What if a player went out on an injury, and came back in the next jam? What if one of the skaters had picked up her 4th major and should be ejected, and is skating in the jam? What if there is debris on the track? What if what if what if. We make every effort to rectify these situations without stopping play, but will stop play if neccessary. Because what is better for the sport: a play stoppage? Or a jammer that should have been in the box scoring 20 points?
I heard you were there, but didn't have the pleasure of meeting you. ---and now that I hear your reasoning behind the calls, (weather or not you made them makes no difference) I understand the thinking behind it. I don't have to agree on the methods, but I respect your call. Be well.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #19
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I always question things that seem unusual to me, as any reasonable person should.

you didnt ask "why were there such long pauses between jams", you said "if there's a foul, call it and be done with it"

questioning is one thing... telling someone how they should do their job when you dont have all the information is another
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Old October 8th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by biffsk8er View Post
I do not think Skateguy disagrees with your "What ifs". All of the things you mention should be dealt with; And, they should be dealt with immediately. But you cannot discount another's views so whole heartedly without realizing that there is some merit to them.

This is still a somewhat young sport. Getting everything down will take time. There are times when an event requires a full review...but, not all of the time. That, I think, is what Skateguy is referring to here. Make your judgment, and make it quick. Otherwise, you will lose audience interest, and the sport will suffer.

Possible answer? More intense ref training, and allowing individual refs to make a call, and not have to review it every time. Also making sure that derby players do not continually interfere with refs decision making process, every time they are not happy with a call.

Is this hard? Do people make mistakes? Will egos clash and people get mad?
Unequivocally, YES. But the game will improve as everyone takes ownership of their responsibilities. I'm not bagging on refs or players. Everyone is part of the problem, and everyone is part of the solution.

Take criticism from anyone and turn it into a positive. If Skateguy didn't care, then he would remain silent. Also, he and I might not be right, but we can't be entirely wrong.

“If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.” -Malcom X
"I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise." -Noel Coward
"He who praises everybody, praises nobody." -Dr. Samuel Johnson
Like Gle8, I was officiating and thus well aware of the situations described. The thing I think you are missing is that we're not talking about an intraleague bout where the only reward at the end is a trophy and maybe a little pride. This is a TOURNAMENT. Rankings, seedings, trips to Nationals -- all are at stake. Every point and penalty matters; every I has to be dotted, and every T crossed. And yeah, it's frustrating when the game is stopped for an official time-out. We feel it, too. But again, given the choice between that and having someone score the 20 points that win a game and earn her team a trip to Nationals when she should have been in the box, it's definitely the lesser of two evils.
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