Name: Jaffa Skates
When not being a derby ref extraordinaire what do you do?:
I talk. A lot. Usually on a little roller derby podcast called Talk Derby To Me (Facebook.com/talkderby). We've been lucky enough to.inyerview some huge names in this sport which is pretty cool. I'm also an independent announcer too (although I do have a terrible habit of volunteering for games/events and then realising I can't actually afford to go!) Away from derby, I'm also the management representative for WrestleZone Scotland.
What got you into reffing?:
Krusty. Haha. According to her, she figured I could do it so she decided to buy me a starter kit so I'd have no excuse not to at least give it a go. I fell a lot at my first session but absolutely loved it and haven't looked back since.
Ummm...the next home game...! May 7th 2016 will mark my official stripey debut. Yes...I am terrified at the prospect.
Favourite bout you've reffed:
Seeing as it's not yet happened at the point of typing this, I'll go with the first grad scrim I reffed. Was good to actually get into the groove of being a whistley, shouty, stripey person.
Any bout day rituals?:
Music and yoga. I'm all about a few decent tunes in my head to help me focus and yoga has been an absolute lifesaver for me the last year or so. Without a decent stretch, I'd never be able to skate.
What's your favourite rule?:
8.3.2 Was the mantra that was drilled into us by Tessington and it stuck. Makes me more relaxed somehow.
Rawk, Cherry Fury, Righteous Oxide, Candy Moho, Twist Of Faith, Buffy and Tessington. Some of those are well known names but the last 3 are the most important. Faith is my derby wife and we've trained together since day one. Buffy and Tessington are the 2 who have coached and mentored me since I started. I've not always shown or explained to them just how much I appreciate their support and guidance. Also, the fact they can tolerate my atrocious banter speaks volumes for their patience!
Favourite thing about reffing:
Cheesy as hell but the fact we are there to keep everyone safe. It's not about sending people off, it's about providing a safe, structured and rules based environment that allows the skaters the freedom to do what they do best. That's my theory anyway.
How long have you been reffing for?:
Ummm...about 3 years ago is when I started TRYING to do the skatey thing.
What would you do differently if you were starting out today?:
Everything. Haha. Nah, just invest in better equipment early on. Start as you mean to go on.
Skate set up:
Reidell R3's & Crazy skates wheels (I forget the duro but it's 4 soft and 4 not so soft!) 187 pads, sisu mouthguard, Fox 40 whistle etc etc.
Advice for anyone looking to improve rules knowledge:
Study footage. Read your rule book. Most importantly...ASK QUESTIONS. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.