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Author Topic: Skills and drills for roller derby referees in training  (Read 53979 times)

Offline Bishop

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Skills and drills for roller derby referees in training
« on: March 25, 2009, 11:14:06 pm »
Ref Skating SkillsAll reffing positions: Mastering falls is an essential skill for all roller derby referees.  No amount of skating skill makes up for not knowing how to fall properly.  Derby players routinely fall or are blocked into or in front of roller derby referees in the most unpredictable ways.  Also, referees can pose a significant danger to each other as they are often focused on the action and may lose track of other referees.  You must master falls.  If you do not master falls, you are putting derby players, other referees, and yourself in danger.  Some collisions and injuries are unavoidable, but it is imperative that you do your part to reduce the risk.

Outside pack refs (OPR): Inside Pack Refs (IPR): slow, tight skating skills; emphasis on *awareness*, body control, awareness of skaters, other inside refs, and NSOs; T-stops, T-slides, and skating backwards as necessary.  Evasive maneuvers are also important.    

Jammer Refs (JR): fast, tight skating skills, most demanding of skating skills of all reffing positions; emphasis on maintaining focus on a single skater at all times, assertive presence in interior of track, evasive maneuvers in tight spaces (including jumping), body control, straight-line speed, crossovers, T-stops, T-slides, very tight & controlled single knee falls in order to maintain pacing with Jammer as appropriate (when she falls, etc.).  Ability to skate backwards is also helpful.  JRs also need to have the ability to skate while making JR specific hand signals.



Fast, loose, skating skillshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPlRsFw0XTQ&feature=channel
Double knee falls (or double knee slide)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BD7dg-Ksps&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9BIUZILj0M
Eventually learn this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44yDexjHOf4
Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7TUyd_xfZUSlow, tight skating skills3-cone Drill:

Here is an awesome body control/balance drill adapted from American football.  Skaters of all skill levels can benefit from this drill and its countless variations.  For a visual of the general concept, check out this link:
http://www.nfl.com/combine/story?id=09000d5d806cf57f&template=with-video&confirm=true
 
Please resist the temptation on being overly competitive with your fellow refs.  Just focus on technique at first and you will quickly become skilled.  Perform this drill at a speed that is comfortable for your present skating ability.
For endurance (if you are short on outside pack refs or skating a double-header) and speed: Throw a 30-minute interval session into a skating practice. After a thorough warmup, alternate 1-minute sprints with 1-minute recovery periods (slow skating), changing from clockwise to counterclockwise skating periodically. If your breathing isn't back under control at the end of the recovery minute switch to 1-minute sprints with 2-minute recoveries or other variation. This is a great way to end a conditioning practice and should gurantee a good night's sleep.
For acceleration (when you have stopped and need a burst of speed to catch the pack): Designate one curve or one straightaway to accelerate through with chopping or duck-running, coasting around the remainder of the track. All the skater's momentum is generated on a short section of track, conditioning the legs to deliver short, powerful bursts of acceleration. You can do this as part of an interval session as well, accelerating and coasting for the sprint portions, or throw in some plow/hockey stops for fun.


5/23/09 Updated to include more information about falls, the 3 cone drill for inside pack refs, and conditioning drills.

7/4/09 Updated to include jam ref specific skills and drills

*************************original thread post is below******************************

3/25/09

Since I am constantly working with refs "in-training", I am trying to come up with a list of skills and drills for them to work on.  I mainly have skating skills drills in mind here, but would also welcome advice on non-skating skills and drills as well.  I'd like to work on these skills in a logical order - most important skill to least important

Here's what I has so far:
1. being able to perform controlled falls and stops.
2. skating clockwise with the ability to do crossovers (for outside pack reffing.) Note: it is my opinion that the ability to do crossovers is not an important consideration for Jammer refs.  It's beneficial but not essential.
3. skating clockwise it tight spaces with the ability to gain straight line speed (mainly for Jammer refs.)
4. T-stops (inside pack refs and Jammer refs.)  


This my off-the-cuff stream-of-consciousness list, I'd like to improve on it.  Many of the refs I work with need to significantly improve their skating skills and I'm trying to prioritize the list since we have limited rink time.  Also, since I'm dealing with a small pool of refs with limited skating skills, I need to get them up to par as quickly as possible.  At the moment, the position they'll be reffing is based primarily on their skating skills (or lack thereof.)



« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 06:02:47 pm by Bishop »
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Offline DayGlo Divine

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 11:19:55 pm »
Since I am constantly working with refs "in-training", I am trying to come up with a list of skills and drills for them to work on.  I mainly have skating skills drills in mind here, but would also welcome advice on non-skating skills and drills as well.  I'd like to work on these skills in a logical order - most important skill to least important

Here's what I has so far:
1. being able to perform controlled falls and stops.
2. skating clockwise with the ability to do crossovers (for outside pack reffing.) Note: it is my opinion that the ability to do crossovers is not an important consideration for Jammer refs.  It's beneficial but not essential.
3. skating clockwise it tight spaces with the ability to gain straight line speed (mainly for Jammer refs.)
4. T-stops (inside pack refs and Jammer refs.) 

This my off-the-cuff stream-of-consciousness list, I'd like to improve on it.  Many of the refs I work with need to significantly improve their skating skills and I'm trying to prioritize the list since we have limited rink time.  Also, since I'm dealing with a small pool of refs with limited skating skills, I need to get them up to par as quickly as possible.  At the moment, the position they'll be reffing is based primarily on their skating skills (or lack thereof.)

IMO, these things are important for all refs to master. A good start would be to require new refs to meet the WFTDA Minimum Skill Requirements for skaters, minus sections 4.1, 4.2, 5.2, and 5.3 (which deal specifically with whips, assists, and giving blocks -- being able to take a hit safely is as necessary for a ref as it is for a skater).

Also, while being able to skate well clockwise is a good thing, I think you meant counterclockwise. ;)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 11:21:39 pm by DayGlo Divine »
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Opinions expressed here are mine. Not WFTDA's, not Charm City's, and not those of Zebra Huddle as a whole.

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 11:23:24 pm »
My suggestion would be to have them participate in non-contact drills with your league.

Also, I disagree with some skating skills being essential for some positions and not so much for others. There should be a minimum skill level to be a skating ref. That skill level should be the same regardless of what position you expect them to work. Many refs (I'm tempted to say most) will rotate through positions throughout their career. An outside pack ref at this bout may be a jam ref at the next, for example.

I would definitely say that crossovers are an essential skill for a jam ref, as well as all other refs. If you are working with a fast jammer or pack, you will likely struggle to keep up if you can't do crossovers.
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Offline Miss Trie

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 11:27:08 pm »
Drills including lots of weaving, stepping, hopping, taking hits and skating in a ref pack are essential for ref training IMO.

The skaters will occasionally fall on you and usually near you. When I was a refling I got taken out more because I didn't have the footwork to GTFO of a falling skaters way.
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Offline Bishop

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 12:24:13 am »
Hah!  Good catch DayGlo  :D

Here's what I has so far:
1. being able to perform controlled falls and stops.
2. skating counterclockwise with the ability to do crossovers (for outside pack reffing.) Note: it is my opinion that the ability to do crossovers is not an important consideration for Jammer refs.  It's beneficial but not essential.
3. skating counterclockwise it tight spaces with the ability to gain straight line speed (mainly for Jammer refs.)
4. T-stops (inside pack refs and Jammer refs.) 


I have the refs partcipate in the drills that the skaters do - with a few tweaks here and there.  What I'm mainly looking at is what my refs should do in addition to those drills.  As for what skills I'm selecting and why - I'm essentially looking at it from a "crisis-management" standpoint.  How can I make my refs as useful as possible as quickly as possible?

Major, the reason I don't consider crossovers quite important for Jammer refs is because I rarely use crossovers when Jam reffing.  Since Jam refs have to skate a shorter distance in the turns than the Jammers themselves, I think straight line speed is more important.  Then again, if my refs could skate well enough to be able to simply coast in the turns, they probably could already do crossovers.  ::)

At any rate, I'd like to get the most "bang for the buck" when I'm helping my refs become more skilled as skaters.  It's not ideal to pick and choose specific skill sets.  However, I'm trying to be pragmatic and realistic about it. 

Maybe I will look at more derby drills and see what I can glean from them.  I've got to do something because it irritates me to no end to see my refs sitting at rinkside during practice.  Rink time should not be squandered!

 

         
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Offline Jonathan Lee

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 01:03:55 am »
I get where you're going with focusing certain skills on certain jobs. But I have to mirror what others have said - all refs should practice and be adept at all skills.

Anyway, here's some suggestions:

Jumping.
Turning around both directions - quickly and smoothly - without losing sight of the pack or jammer (depending on what you're watching).
Getting up fast after falls. (and I'm guessing you're having them practice ALL types of falls - single knee, double knee, all fours, baseball...)
Skating without looking where you're going. And by that I mean, seeing what is in your path using your periphery vision as opposed to turning your head.
Skating over taped-down rope to get used to it for when it happens at a bout. That way you get used to the feel and your body knows how to react to it other than making you fall on your face.
Skating as a group and going aroudn each other - simulate jam refs following jammers thru pack. Have them get used to how to get around the pack refs and the pack ref used to how to stay out of the way.

And if they are just sitting around or there's not much room to do your own drills....push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats, plyo, yoga.
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Offline Jessticular Fortitude

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 03:46:01 am »
If your league has a newbie or B team practice, throw your refs in the mix. For real. Make them do all speed and endurance drills. If the skaters won't let them, then do your own drills in a straight line off to the side. Relay races, falls, turn stops, whatever. If they are forced to do something because the other option is hitting a wall, they will learn.

Do hand signal quizzes if they can't skate for some reason.

If the league is doing drills you can't participate in, have your refs skate inside or outside and try to pace the pack. Definitely teach them to skate while squatting so when they get hit they're more likely to stay upright.

Put cones down to weave through and around.

But really the best thing is just have them participate in the league drills until they get to the scrimmaging portion- then have them skate out of bounds.
Hey look, a search function! Right up there! No on the left

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Offline Major Wood

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 03:52:13 am »
Even though I said it before and you seem to disagree, get them to learn to do crossovers.

It is on the minimum skills. Every ref should be able to pass minimum skills before they ref a bout.
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Offline mick hawkins

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 04:02:10 am »
Even though I said it before and you seem to disagree, get them to learn to do crossovers.


i agree - refs should be able to skate pretty well before they ref a game
otherwise they might end up pre-occupied with their skating and not their job as a ref

anything that helps them be better skaters is worth doing

we have our new refs do the skating drills with the skaters
(not the contact drills though - our male refs only contact other male refs)
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Offline Major Wood

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 04:07:08 am »
otherwise they might end up pre-occupied with their skating and not their job as a ref

Exactly! If you aren't comfortable enough to not worry about your footing, you aren't going to be able to watch the things you need to watch to ref effectively.
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Offline noidd

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 04:39:04 am »
It is on the minimum skills. Every ref should be able to pass minimum skills before they ref a bout.

... I just wish the WFTDA would publish the Ref skating minimum skills list so I knew what I was supposed to be working towards.

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Offline howie~swerve

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 04:45:15 am »
... I just wish the WFTDA would publish the Ref skating minimum skills list so I knew what I was supposed to be working towards.

naah... a minimum is something to be surpassed, not worked towards.  just keep trying to skate faster and jump higher than you think you'll ever have to in a bout, and the bout-relevant skills will become second nature.

h~
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Offline the pantichrist

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 05:03:42 am »
We have one league practice and the individual teams have their own practices through-out the week.  I spent the first 5 months I was with the league going to private team practices and did all the drills the skaters did except for contact drills.

One coach called it, "lets make a ref throw-up night."  I never lost my lunch but it got me into shape.  I was almost always last in their drills but I eventually could hang with them (kind of).

I encourage all new refs to go to private team practices and drill.  It doesn't take long to get those skills up to speed.  Nothing like being beaten, and sometimes laughed at, by girls to motivate a person.  I judge their commitment in part by their willingness to go to those extra practices and consider this when I'm selecting who will skate in bouts.
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Offline SeerSin

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 03:00:12 pm »
Pick the fastest/best/most agile skater in your league and try to keep up with her, it's good motivation. Any drills where skaters pace each other in close proximity is good practice, crossovers are essential to reffing, as are falling drills(if only so you don't get hurt), and there's no shame in going through the freshmeat training to get your skills up.
Blocking drills are great too, if the skaters don't mind you participating, but have your falling technique down first. Obstacle courses, where you combine all the skills mentioned work really well too, for jumping, sharp turns, turn-around-stops, etc...

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Skills and drills for reffs in training
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2009, 03:18:57 pm »
Yes! Obstacle courses are excellent.
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