I had to wait until I stopped moving and had time to think to write this. I also needed some footage to help me remember everything.
I initially thought this would be an epic post, but I think I can narrow it down
Saturday I officiated 8 games
– four as a penalty box manager. I was all over it. I had one experienced penalty box timer and one less experienced penalty box timer, they were both eager and awesome, and all over it. We had no issues, no dinosaurs, and all my jammer switch outs were textbook. Too easy. Kaneage tried to make me laugh, but I knew he was coming for me, refused to make eye contact and he gave up.
– Four games as Outside Pack Ref. This is where I wasn’t so confident. I spent the month prior to the tournament loaning myself out to the other local leagues to get more time and experience as an OPR, and I think it paid off. My positioning and awareness was good, I only lost focus a few times. I am confident that all my calls were correct calls, and that the many “no calls” I didn’t make were also good no calls.
– At some point my league presented me with cake to celebrate my 100 game milestone. My league are awesome. The cake was good.
Sunday I officiated two full games, and two half games.
First game was OPR for Scartel vs Brawlers. It was kinda epic. As I was gearing up I looked up and saw Numb3r Crunch3r also gearing up, and realised she was the substitute Jammer Ref, and quietly lost my shit. Then got it back together again in time for the first whistle. Scartel were very opinionated and chatty. They looked for lots of penalty calls for actions that were no impact/no penalty. It was a busy, full on game, and the crew held it together awesomely. Finished the game, got some feedback from Jen that I filed for later, skates and ref shirt off, NSO shirt on.
Second game I was Scoreboard Operator for Vanguard vs Smash, and loaded up with a handful of food and drink I took my spot. I was doing okay, but quickly realised that I needed to eat more than I needed to SO, at half time I tagged out with Monster and had something to eat and drink, tried to cool down a bit and got ready for the next game.
Third game I was back to OPR for Capital Carnage vs Light City Derby (LCD are my league). I started okay, but about 10 minutes in I felt a bit icky. It was a 20 minute period, so I had a drink and kept pushing. There was a timeout with about three and a half minutes on the period clock and I still felt off. At half time I owned it. I felt that if I tried to keep skating I would have ended up puking. I approached the HR and got sent to the pool to cool down. Skates off, gear off, in to the pool I went. I was done skating for the tournament, and it was a little bit heart breaking. Knowing that I had put in the hard work to feel confident and knowing that someone else was going to have to cover me and go back to back made me feel pretty crap, and I spent a little while slinking around with my head down, avoiding people. It took about two hours for me to return to feeling normal – the game I was meant to be on was covered, and I was feeling well enough to NSO the last game.
Fourth game of the day I was SO for the third place game between The Scartel and Sydney City SMASH. It was a full on game, with many time outs, and by the end of it I was exhausted again. I stayed to watch the grand final, but I honestly can’t remember much of it.
Here is what I know now.
I fucking rocked it. For every game I was on, I was on. I gave it everything I had, and I’m really fucking proud of myself. I may have had to drop out of skating rolls, but I know that was the right choice to make. If I hadn’t, I may have ended up hospitalised. Given that two full days later I am still feeling flat and struggling with a dry mouth, I am glad I was smart and didn’t push through.
I got to skate with Pombat and Numb3r Crunch3r, who are both Officials I respect. I officiated some hard, fast, epic derby. I got to work with some awesome NSO’s. I also got to witness Light City Derby Men’s sabres work hard, play smart and place 5th in the tournament, and I am very proud of them too.