I hate to admit that this is my post season wrap up because it means I’m admitting I won’t commit to anymore derby for the next several weeks. I usually pick up the odd game, a traditional (and favorite) tournament and this or that event throughout November and December, but I told myself that I’d take November off of games and just focus on practice and CrossFit so.. here we are in wrap up! What? Okay. This is fine, this is fine.
Number of games… That’s tough, I don’t remember and my games doc is sketchy at best. I think between 40-60 though. I hit 100 lifetime at some point in September apparently. There were some double headers starting in February and some random pickups all summer combined with The Big O (I flew on a plane!), Mayhem, and Monsoon Madness. I achieved my goal from when I started officiating in 2016 and reffed D1 Women’s Flat Track. So now new goals are set. I’ve HRd more than I ever thought I would have and I’ve learned that even though I like it, it’s not my favorite. My favorite role on the track is OPR (more on that in a bit). I have made a LOT of new friends. Really supportive ones who have helped me over one of the hardest two years of my life. They may not even know they did, but they did.
I have goals for next season: Focus in on OPRing. That is a tough decision to make because applying to tournaments as an OPR often means I’m put into the Alternate position rotation. Fewer games in a weekend for the same price of the travel. This is the position I really love doing, however, and if I’m going to pursue certification and eventual endorsement in any role, it is this one. I will still work on all the other roles, but this one is my bae.
Photo Credit: Derby With Recess Photography Maybe I should work on my ref face next season….
Balance. I applied to twice as many tournaments as I went to this season. Why? because that is what I was taught you do. You will only get into to half as many as you apply to. The problem? I was accepted into every tournament I applied to. EVERY SINGLE ONE. This left me in some conundrums. I had to turn down one because it conflicted with a very important family trip. I had pneumonia for nearly eight weeks after that leaving me unable to attend another one. I received acceptance to a third very close to it’s date and decided to decline it due to financial reasons. So next year I’m going to risk applying to fewer and getting into half. It’s a huge risk, but one I have to take. That felt bad; turning down things I wanted to attend and letting down those staffers. So balance. I went backpacking, took family vacations, and still managed to do a lot of derby. It’s okay to do less, I’ll still meet my goals.
Post season: I allowed myself to be talked out of applying to post season by a very toxic individual in my community. I’ve cut this person out, but the damage was done. I think I could have reffed a Continental Cup this year. Or done an alternate role at one of the Men’s events. I will apply to something post season next year. Even if I’m turned down. Shoot for the stars, land on the moon. I have really supportive mentors encouraging me to reach high, even if I don’t stick the landing quite yet, what’s the worst that can happen?
International? It isn’t off the table.
I will be kind to new officials. I don’t think I get to call myself new anymore. I think I’m a lightly seasoned official with plenty still to learn and some to offer to new officials in their first years on the circuit. I will not introduce myself with my games history. I will not introduce myself with a number of games I’ve worked or how many I still have to go. I will ask new officials who they are and what they do outside of derby. I will listen to them discuss their goals and ask them if there is anything I can do to help them reach those goals. I will discuss with them the successes I have had balancing life and derby. I will ask the names of their partners/pets/children, favorite movies, songs or books. We are in this as a hobby that turns career like too quickly. I will not contribute to the same toxic environment that nearly drove me out in my first six months of officiating. I will be a good listener and empathetic teacher.
I will continue to learn, to grow, to admit when I am wrong, to be a good crew mate, to take feedback well and to take responsibility for my own growth and learning process. I want to be stronger and faster on the track and have strength and race goals to help with that. I want next season to be full of positive, growth mindset experiences and fewer fixed mindset moments.
So that’s it. That’s the wrap up! Time to off season like a champ, starting with catching up on some WoW and Doctor Who. I’m going to start a running training program because???Reasons? so wish me luck on that, I guess. And look for tournament announcements as I get accepted (or not, it’s all part of the process) in the coming months. What’s your off season plan? I would love to hear from other officials about their goals and processes. Leave me a note below.