As promised, a less meaty post…sort of.
Let’s rewind to May, the start of tournament season for this ref in 2018. Actually, a little further back than that. I applied to four tournaments this season and was accepted into five. NO CLUE how that happened. Unfortunately one aligned with a huge family reunion and I got really sick (Pneumonia that ended up requiring hospitalization at one point) and had to drop out of the other two. This was a really hard thing for me. When I started, it was made clear, if you turn down a tournament you are NEVER GETTING INTO THAT TOURNAMENT AGAIN. And possibly not into any others. Huge false. I’ve been invited to apply to six more and straight up invited to a seventh. So, something good has changed there. I think as the OG refs leave the sport and are less and less able to “gate the content” so to speak, we are going to see positive changes.
The two tournaments I was lucky enough to get to were The Big O in Eugene, Oregon and Mayday Mayhem in Loveland, Colorado. I cannot believe I got into the first and I am so glad I swallowed my reservations and went to the second. Both were such a good marker of the progress I’ve made as an official and I got to work with some standout people at both.
I don’t really have much to say beyond tournaments are so important for those of us growing up in the derby officiating world and I’m lucky that I’ve made some connections that continue to help me find the right ones to fit me. and my learning style. Big O exposed me to some really awesome people who showed me that it’s okay to give the jammer her points like she earned them, that I DO know the rules and regulations better than I’m led to believe at home and that I’ve grown rapidly as an official. I have a ways to go but I’m not afraid to ring my own bell at this point. I held my own at some high level stuff, was staffed as a Crew Head at the biggest tournament on the west coast and showed real growth from one year to the next at Mayhem.
I have applications into two more and I’m going to a third tournament all in the last part of fall this year, so please, keep reading and watching for more as I try to focus in on what really matters going into 2019: being the best goddamn official I can. Continental Cups/Playoffs 2019? I’m looking at you.