How much do you love your refs? It amazes me how much our refs love what they are doing even though they get the most flack and least amount of appreciation. I mean really, you ever seen this situation happen: a close game but your team loses, but it wasn’t your fault – it was that god damned so and so ref who called you out for something you totally did not do. Right? Wah, wah.
So I dub today, Give Your Zebra a Hug Day. They spend countless hours reading those rules that you probably haven’t read since they were last released (for shame). They are always being called into judgment as to why the eff you got that major. The discussions over the rules on the WFTDA board seriously make me thankful I am not a ref when I see 8 pages on **BLEEEEEP** (WFTDA confidentiality agreement bleep) that makes my mind explode after only one page about Blocker A and Blocker B on White Team and Black Team doing this shit:
B B A -> B
Those diagrams make me do that “HUUUUHHH?” with my head cocked at an angle look that dogs do. And why do the zebras do it? Outside of the fact that they must think they look good in stripes ... you’ve got me, but I do know how important of a role they play.
Be prepared, I am about to make a very bold statement (in bold font nonetheless): No league will succeed with poor reffing. If your refs stray from the rules in the slightest from standard practice, oh man will that bite you in the ass when the opposing team’s refs keep calling you out on back blocking because you have thought your “dive through two blockers” move was “ok” this whole time and now you can't break the habit in a matter of minutes to stay out of the box for the game. Keep doing it and your whole league will be noted as a dirty team (ew, ew, go wash those britches).
So please, please train your refs. The best way you can repay your entire league so that it can to become more competitive is to ensure your refs receive the proper training. Make sure they get to regionals and nationals to watch how certified refs make calls. Funny thing, these zebras, when they go to tournaments… they don’t watch the game, they watch the other zebras. If you hear about any sort of ref training, make sure they get there. You would be surprised with even four years of skating here there are things that make me go “OHHHHH”. If you can, get a certified ref to head ref a game and give you some constructive feedback to your refs.
Until then? Remember, roller derby is absolutely one of the hardest games to ref, so at some time this week when you see your fellow zebras herding about, tell them thanks and give them a hug... or canoe... whatever, just make sure they know they are appreciated... even if they missed that call when that bitch hit you in the face.
Stupid refs. We love you.