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Author Topic: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)  (Read 4309 times)

Offline Axis of Stevil

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Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« on: March 25, 2016, 08:32:24 am »
I have now HRed 23 games and am getting the hang of it.  I recently HRed a game that was plagued with terrible game flow due to numerous official timeouts.  Some of these were unavoidable, but some of them could have been reduced or eliminated had I handled the game more effectively.

As part of my improvement process I'm trying to compile a list of tips on how HRs can effectively preserve game flow.  So far I have...
  • When processing foul outs between jams, first inform the bench to send a substitute to the box. Then skate to the box and process the fouled out skater. (Even better, have an alt or PBM process the foul-out to avoid the HR from having to conduct that step.)  Ideally an OT can be completely avoided.
  • Ask teams at the captains meeting if they are using "turn coaches" during the game.  If so, inform the captains what the rights and obligations of those obligations will be.  Absent a standard practice from WFTDA, managing turn coaches can be worse than herding cats.
  • While captains/alternates can bring concerns between jams, cut it off if necessary.  It is not wrong to be curt.  The HR is a HR, not a concierge. They can use an OR or TO if they want to talk in detail.
  • Maintain control of ORs.  Gather only the information necessary to make a decision cutting of referees when necessary. Referees can be overly helpful thereby slowing the OR process.
  • Remind referees at the offiicals' meeting and during the game to drop off penalties called at the very end of a jam or between jams to the penalty tracker. This avoids the PT from having to hunt down penalties between jams possibly avoiding an OT.
What other tips can you suggest for an HR maintaining game flow?
6.1.3.5.1.2.3 - The referee who quotes a rule with the most digits is declared the winner.

Offline Vanilla VICE

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 02:33:55 pm »
It might be obvious to say this but: "speaking the language of the rules" speeds up ORs imo. If you have a referee that is like "Blue 121 initiated the block, then went OOB after the hit. Red Jammer re-enters in front of Blue 121, this should be ruled as a No Pass/No penalty" that should be a really fast review. Whereas a referee who says a lot of non pertinent information, will make you have to filter out the unneeded stuff by asking more questions.

Edit: One more: If your in an OR and the resolution is to penalize Red 123, and she needs to penalized as the same position she was in (but none of the refs know what her position was) a good HR will know immediately what NSO's to consult to speed up finding the resolution. This is just one example, but basically "know what NSOs will get you the information the fastest"
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 02:37:27 pm by Vanilla VICE »
Muscogee Roller Girls: Columbus, GA
FlatTrackStats Mod

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 05:17:29 pm »
Maintain control of ORs.  Gather only the information necessary to make a decision cutting of referees when necessary. Referees can be overly helpful thereby slowing the OR process.

This is a large part of why I like to not have other referees involved in the discussion with captains/coaches. You also mention "cutting off" referees. Be very careful about doing this, as it's something that can be done very poorly and come off as very disrespectful. I would recommend working instead on formulating very pointed questions to draw out the exact information you need to make a decision, asking for elaboration as needed.

Remind referees at the offiicals' meeting and during the game to drop off penalties called at the very end of a jam or between jams to the penalty tracker. This avoids the PT from having to hunt down penalties between jams possibly avoiding an OT.

Personally, I don't like this. This feels a lot like saying, "Hey everyone, I need you to do your job". This is something that I expect everyone who is ready to referee games to know that they should be doing. As head referee of a game, I don't feel it is appropriate to be educating everyone as to the basics of everyone's job.


Other advice I would give:

  • When an issue comes up (this includes ORs), take a moment to develop a game plan. Think about everyone that you will need to communicate with, and when those communications need to be in a specific order. Think about if you have some communication that will be the same to various people and gather them together. I often see HRs go back and forth between people and generally look like a chicken with its head cut off.
  • When you make a decision, that decision is final. Deliver that decision and get the game moving again. It's OK to give a brief explanation as to why that decision was made, but it should not turn into a discussion.
  • Talk with your jam timer ahead of time. Make sure they know when you are OK with them starting jams after timeouts before the full 1:30 has expired. Make sure they know if they can start jams if you are not in position.
  • Get really good at concise communication. Get to the point where you can deliver feedback to multiple people between jams and still be in position when the jam starts.
  • Learn when feedback needs to be given immediately, or when you need to keep an eye on the situation. Especially when feedback is given from the benches, you may want to use that information to know what to watch your crew for. Sometimes it can be counter-productive to give that feedback immediately.
Your friendly Zebra Huddle admin.

Nashville Roller Derby Head Ref
WFTDA Level 5 Certified Referee

I speak only of my opinions and interpretations.

Offline llama of death

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 05:55:14 pm »
I love this thread Btw.

I can second the being clear and succinct parts, but as for my tips after my first full season as an HR...

When HRing crews with staff who you are not familiar with, I like to PM the various staff before hand (HNSO, PBM, and any refs I haven't worked with before). I like to ask them to tell me a bit about themselves and their experience in their own words, often this makes the difference in making the game run smother as there is less to learn about your crew the day of the game [less surprises].

I always as the team before the bout usually PM if there are any venue considerations, HoH or Deaf players, or anything else I should know about the teams/venue before hand.

Don't be afraid of pulling the HR card with refs who like to argue with each other mid bout [best to do so without needing an OR].

Practice all the positions, particularly with other leagues/crews as you will accrue experience and information faster.

***Be confidant, firm, but also open/friendly. It will make your life as HR MUCH easier.***

Remind referees at the offiicals' meeting and during the game to drop off penalties called at the very end of a jam or between jams to the penalty tracker. This avoids the PT from having to hunt down penalties between jams possibly avoiding an OT.

Personally, I don't like this. This feels a lot like saying, "Hey everyone, I need you to do your job". This is something that I expect everyone who is ready to referee games to know that they should be doing. As head referee of a game, I don't feel it is appropriate to be educating everyone as to the basics of everyone's job.

Unfortunately in smaller communities this can me necessary. Reffing is voluntary by nature, in our area it is not uncommon for refs who self evaluate as "advanced" will stop training and studying. We can't force them because we have too many openings and too few refs. (commonly games are staffed with 4 refs (two of which are often first year trainees).

I love when I work with a crew that I don't need to remind them of the basics but it is (unfortunately) common.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 06:05:27 pm by llama of death »
I play devils advocate a lot, it is always because I desire a complete understanding of the rule/scenario. I do make changes to my reffing often as a direct result of discussions resulting in a consensus. Particularly if it is contrary to my previous understanding.

Offline General Hellativity

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 03:47:39 pm »
  • While captains/alternates can bring concerns between jams, cut it off if necessary.  It is not wrong to be curt.  The HR is a HR, not a concierge. They can use an OR or TO if they want to talk in detail.

I get cutting them off when necessary to start the new jam as addressing that issue at that moment, but do you (or anyone) have suggestions for handing coaches whose strategy apparently includes rattling the crew by habitually yelling or bringing manufactured "concerns" between every jam or otherwise making our jobs difficult?

Offline llama of death

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 04:45:59 pm »
I get cutting them off when necessary to start the new jam as addressing that issue at that moment, but do you (or anyone) have suggestions for handing coaches whose strategy apparently includes rattling the crew by habitually yelling or bringing manufactured "concerns" between every jam or otherwise making our jobs difficult?

My take on it: I take clear an concise notes mentally on what they say is happening, possibly ask my team if they saw it (if there is time), and refuse to let it bother me. They are heated, they will make comments and concerns that they would otherwise not worry about; be understanding but firm that my job is to keep the game moving along safely and to the rules.

If they are approaching my crew with too much and it is effecting their ability to ref, I ask them to to bring the concerns to me [the HR] and not the other refs.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 04:50:55 pm by llama of death »
I play devils advocate a lot, it is always because I desire a complete understanding of the rule/scenario. I do make changes to my reffing often as a direct result of discussions resulting in a consensus. Particularly if it is contrary to my previous understanding.

Offline General Hellativity

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 02:25:32 pm »
How about safety? What are some things that you effective HRs out there do in general to ensure safety on the track?

I'm asking in general, but let me also ask a specific question: suppose a team is getting seriously pummeled. Multiple jams are being called for injuries. The hits are legal, but people are starting to get hurt. What do?

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2016, 03:06:57 pm »
Nothing. Maybe take a timeout to remind officials to remain calm and stay sharp. If skaters are escalating, maybe a warning, but I would caution against that kind of warning. We are concerned with safety, but we are officiating a bunch of adults who know what they are getting into.

In reality, the best thing that you can do is make sure that the coaches feel like their concerns are being heard and taken seriously.
Your friendly Zebra Huddle admin.

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I speak only of my opinions and interpretations.

Offline FNZebra

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Re: Tips for the effective HRing (game flow)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2016, 05:00:43 pm »
This is also where having a derby-experienced medical crew is wonderful. As HR, I've gone to them in such a situation an asked about the kinds of injuries they have been treating in the game -- are there unusual clusters of them (aka are the refs not watching for particular things which may be contributing to the cluster?), are there other factors officials may not be aware of yet (e.g., humidity in the venue causing the track to be more slippery, and Skaters mentioning that as the medics are treating them), and so forth.
You will bout as you practice.


Cheers,

FN Zebra
Bleeding Heartland Roller Derby (WFTDA)
Bloomington, Indianer

 

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