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Author Topic: Referee as a president?  (Read 2802 times)

Offline 2nd skin

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Referee as a president?
« on: June 30, 2014, 10:32:47 am »
Hello all!

I couldn't find a topic concerning referees as a president. But if so, please drop me a link.

I've been president for my league for almost two years now. After a long period of injuries I started playing again for our B-team. Unfortunately I feel that my body can't cope with playing derby actively anymore. Since I love derby, I decided to become a referee next season.

And here starts the concern. A referee should be neutral of course. Although I know I can stay neutral and will not let my other role as a president will influence the way I look at the games and will call penalties, I can imaging other leagues will look differently into this.

Since I love to skate I do want to have a rolling part in roller derby. but I would feel sad if I couldn't support my league anymore by being a president.

A penny for your thoughts ;)

Offline Stray Taco

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Re: Referee as a president?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 10:59:02 am »
I'm our league's treasurer and head referee. Other than time commitments with having 2 significant league roles, I haven't had any issues.  In derby, most refs are part of leagues and that's known.  Of course YMMV, but for us it's worked out well. A couple things I do to make sure there's not an issue when I put my stripes on:

1. I make it clear that I'm a member of the league, but not of the team. My role is not to help the team win, but to make sure they have a safe, legal game.
2. I never coach skaters at practices.  I provide rules interpretation, but don't go into any details as far as what you "should do", only what you would get a penalty for.
3. Refs participate in skill drills at practice, except hitting drills and scrimmage drills. I've done a couple hitting drills as a target for fresh meat to help with our requirement to be able to take a light hit, but that's it for hitting stuff.
4. On game day, I'm a zebra through and through. I've carried merch in my Jeep, but then I drop it off and go hang with the refs. I don't hang with the team.

Mike "Stray Taco" Straw

I know some things, but there's a lot more I don't know.

Offline 2nd skin

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Re: Referee as a president?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 02:59:38 pm »
Thanks Straw, for your quick reply!

Offline Charles Dickins

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Re: Referee as a president?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 03:11:54 pm »
Referee on the track = neutral official
Referee off the track = league member
Charles Dickins

Offline Rev. Riot

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Re: Referee as a president?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 10:18:37 pm »
It depends what you want to referee though.

I don't think it's crazy to think that teams from other leagues might be concerned about the President of the League having a bias favoring their league. The President has a lot of concerns. We sell more merch when we win. When we win or have close bouts we sell more tickets next time. That skater is retiring after this bout, it would be a shame to expel her.

So it's a concern. Sure.

If you're at this point going to be focused on home league bouts, then it shouldn't be an issue, you're neutral as the President (hopefully), you're neutral as an official. The more you spread out, the more it might be a problem, be up front, explain your credentials, impress upon them how there's a HR to oversee your calls and a method for which they can address any perceived bias, etc. Tell them before the day of the bout. It doesn't rule out your involvement, but you're right to prepare for others being concerned.
Matthew Mantsch - Reverend Riot
WFTDA Rules Theory Committee
Gotham Girls Roller Derby - NYC

Offline Kabong

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Re: Referee as a president?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 01:22:11 pm »
[rule]From the Officiating Code of Conduct:

Officials shall disclose to persons in authority (i.e., to Crew and/or Tournament Head Referees/Head NSOs) any
conflict of interest which may result in accusations of bias. Disclosure alone shall not result in sanctions from
either WFTDA Grievances or Referee / NSO Certification.[/rule]

I was directed here by the wise and wonderful FN when I asked a similar question. I'm a chartered skater for our league and one of the B team captains, but when I don't make eligibility, I ref our games (with the consent of the bout HR and anyone she/he deems it necessary to inform. Honestly, most home bouts we play are against leagues that already know who I am because I'm usually rostered). When in doubt, full disclosure of any potential perceived biases. If you feel you cannot call unbiased, remove yourself. It should play out in the course of the game. If you're calling unfairly, hopefully people around you will notice. The last home game I reffed, there were a couple of complaints about refs. I was not one of them. Most refs are associated with leagues. Don't stop yourself from pursuing officiating because you're doing other great things.

Edit: And I'm very much one for not hugging/high-fiving skaters when I'm in stripes. No need to be a d-bag, but no "Good luck," no listening to trash talk. Remove yourself. Don't warm up with skaters. I try to not be around participating skaters while in stripes or in the venue before equipment check.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 01:29:28 pm by Kabong »
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