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Author Topic: NSO training and value of WFTDA Officiating Clinic attendance - opinions?  (Read 3450 times)

Offline Wicked Lizard

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  • League Affiliation: Sonoma County Roller Derby
  • Referee Certification Level: Not Certified
  • NSO Certification Level: Not Certified
Some background:

I've been an NSO for my league off and on for the past few years, but am wanting to get more serious about my training -- for my own sake, as well as to help build our league's officiating staff and overall knowledge base. I had some brief initial NSO training (under the old ruleset when there were still minors), and since then have been primarily self-trained and/or learned hands-on or via quick pre-bout coaching in specific positions by other NSOs. I've worked both regulation and sanctioned bouts, and a couple of tournaments (regulation but non-sanctioned), and am beginning to feel quite comfortable in many of the NSO positions (IWB, PT/PW, SK, PT, PBM, assistant to HSNO, OWB when that existed), but not all (have yet to do LT, JT, SBO).

I'm considering signing up for an upcoming WFTDA Officiating Clinic, but am wondering how much value one gets from clinic attendance, vs. simply trying to work lots of scrimmages and bouts and gaining direct experience learning from more experienced NSOs. I would eventually like to pursue certification (though knowledge and improvement are my primary goals for now), and if I'm not mistaken, clinic attendance is a requirement for Level 1 cert only, but not Level 2 and up.

My question is two-fold:

1 --For those of you who have attended the formal WFTDA clinics -- how valuable were they to you? How much did you learn there, vs. from other officials in your area? Having gone, would you recommend attending one?

2 -- I'm also interested in eventually training as a skating official in addition to being an NSO, so considered maybe signing up for the clinic in the skating official track rather than non-skating, just for the exposure to that perspective. For anyone who's done both tracks, how much overlap is there between, or how different are, the non-skating vs. skating official tracks at the WFTDA clinics? (I've read the clinic descriptions on the WFTDA site, of course, so understand the basic differences, but they are not highly specific.)

I'd appreciate any thoughts/perspectives on either of the above - thanks!

Offline Vanilla VICE

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  • League Affiliation: Muscogee Roller Girls
  • Referee Certification Level: Level 2
  • NSO Certification Level: Not Certified
I think the value is extremely high for anyone who has never been. There are just things you learn, you may not get elsewhere. The live feedback from the scrimmages is likely the most valuable part, having officials at the top of their game watch you live and give feedback is powerful.

The value is reduced for each time after the first, so it does have diminishing returns in terms of value. I personally like the whole experience even though I have been twice before, I would still go again.

I would also add that just because the clinic isn't a requirement for level 2, doesn't mean Cert doesn't notice you have been. I'm not on Cert, but I'm fairly sure they like seeing that on the game history for level 2 applicants.

Even though I'm writing this as a skating official, I'm sure this all applies to the Non Skating side too. Attached is the schedule from Memphis 2014, you can see the general flow of the clinic and the break down of what each track does. I'm sure there are a few things different now, but this should give you a good idea.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 02:22:27 pm by Vanilla VICE »
Muscogee Roller Girls: Columbus, GA
FlatTrackStats Mod

Offline Wicked Lizard

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  • League Affiliation: Sonoma County Roller Derby
  • Referee Certification Level: Not Certified
  • NSO Certification Level: Not Certified
Thank you very much for your reply! It's good to hear that you did find the clinics a valuable experience. It certainly made sense to me that a more structured, intensive training clinic should be a good learning experience, but it helps to hear that first-hand from someone who's been. Thanks also for attaching the daily schedule; that was very helpful.

Offline Germaine of Thrones

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The clinic had helped me realize all the bad habits I had formed when I NSO at non-wftda games and made me see that I had potential in bettering my skills. I would recommend taking it.


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