The Road to Rollergirl How I Stopped Being a Roller Wannabe and Started Being a Rollergirl


Ruling the Rules

Tonight was rules class for the fresh meat. Hauled my cookies out there, because I figured it would be good for me, and either way, I'd get an attendance credit.

I have a funny relationship with the rules: I don't think that people believe that I know the rules, so I am never quite confident enough in my knowledge. Part of it is not wanting to sound like an asshat in rec league or Fresh Meat practice. Like when I'm pretty darn sure that if you hit me straight on my tailbone hard enough to send me flying forward and off my feet, that's a "back" block even if it is on my booty. Oh you're not sure? Let's just ask a coach... (cue heavy sigh and discreet eye roll)

I know that there are some skaters out there who skate with the philosophy of "I only need to know enough to keep me out of the box." But the need to understand the rules on a more sophisticated level was proven to me at the MRDA Championships this year when I watched a Dallas Deception player spend something like 2 and a half minutes in the box because of Rule 7.4.4.. You could see the triumph in his eyes when the other jammer came to the box: I know this rule! I get out of the box! And then the confusion as the refs all started doing their little conga dance for illegal procedure majors because he hadn't been released... TWICE! Sad trombone... Or the utter confusion on players' faces when they get whistled to the box for a major because they started with a skate touching the jammer line and moving forward instead of freezing in place or skating clockwise all the way around the track (no, I am not kidding).

Attending rules class was helpful in a way because it made me realize that I have actually learned some shit in the past few months, and that I should be confident in that knowledge. I was able to answer some hypothetical questions that the skaters had, which obviously is something that I should be able to do, but I had never been called to do so. In the end, whether or not I keep reffing after this season, I know that this time that I've taken to get up close and personal with the rules will improve my game. Knowing the rules won't make you a better athlete, but it can definitely make you a better player, because you're no good to your team sitting in the box -- or worse, fouled out!

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