Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To all the refs I've met....before.......

Now, let me post a disclaimer on this blog post, because I love love love the zebra herd!  Refs, you guys and girls are amazing and you do great great things by giving us your time, effort and sweat equity.  You put up with the rolling eyes, the mutterings, and sometimes the outright insubordination.  I have worn your stripes and feel your pain, so please take this blog with the love and gentle humor it has, and don't get your stripey panties in a wad.  DERBY LOVES REFS!

I know that each derby league has its share of characters, but the zebra herd has its own recognizable personalities as well.  Here are some of the more prevalent ones.  Can you find your co-referees?  Can you find yourself?

#1  The Hot Refs
  Oh lordy, every league has a hot ref, male or female.  They skate out and you can hear a collective "siiiiiigh" from the skaters.  Unfortunately, most of these refs know they are smokin' hot and do take advantage of it, so look...maybe not touch.

See how pretty she is? 

#2  The Vindictive Ref vs the Slacker Ref  Yeah, so these two refs aren't necessarily in the same league, but they do end up in the same bout, which is the universe's way of balancing out opposing forces.  The Vindictive Ref seems to have a bone to pick with every skater and loves having ULTIMATE POWER  (probably because they have dealt with too many Bad Psychos)!  They tend to call a lot of minors and majors with a little too much venom; but that's ok, because the Slacker Ref let's just about anything slide, including an elbow to the jaw. There is such a thing as balance in karmic forces.
Notice the drool!  Notice the hipster beard!

#3 The Fancy Pants Ref  Derby is an outlet for people to express themselves, and these refs are the kings and queens of that!  Fancy Pants refs have been seen wearing Derbyskinz, really crazy leggings, bustiers, mohawks on their helmets, and face paint.  Unique doesn't describe some of you zebras!

What will they be wearing next?

#4  Refs with Cameras on Their Heads  These are the refs of mystery, technology and possibly MEN IN BLACK!  There always seems to be at least one ref a with a camera on his or her helmet; it is interesting to speculate about what happens to this footage.  Is it only seen by other refs?  Is it watchable at all?

Big Brother is Watching!

#5 Refs with Inlines   All refs on skates are welcomed; that is the fact and the rule, but derby is a quad sport, so derby girls worship the quad skate. 
Still...skating is skating.

#6  Really Awesome Skater Ref  Grr!  These refs are jam skating during time outs, mohawk with ease, and backwards skate like nobody's business.  We are envious of you!

Teach us to jam skate too.

#7 Significant Other Refs  Ah, derby girls are great at recruiting; they will even bring in their boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, and life partners to join and help out with derby.  Yea for refs! Unfortunately, this can cause issues, especially if a Significant Other Ref and a skater bring personal issues onto the track.  For the most part, the Significant Other ref is blessing, and derby girls are happy to have you there!

We know you came for your significant other.  We hope you stay for the love of the sport!

#8 The Best Ref
  Every league has a predominance of awesome refs; they show up to practice, keep the skaters calm, make incredibly difficult calls, and help us interpret the many rule revisions.  Thank you for your continued dedication!  We love our refs!

PS.  Funny side note; when I started drawing these cartoons, I was drawing people, but I felt like some of the people were WAY too recognizable, so I turned them into zebras.  I like how it turned out.


  1. These are awesome! I'm going to link this to all the refs I know and tell them which ones they are :P

  2. Yea! I had fun trying to come up with them!

  3. This is pretty awesome! We don't have any hot refs in Texas... Or I know them all too much!

  4. these are cool... thanks. i fit all but 1, 2, 5, 7... and here's what i do with with #4 :)

  5. I think I fit in #1 (of course) and #7 and really would like to get to #8. very clever!


  6. Most refs are aiming or are already #8!

  7. Most of the footage I ever shot made you nauseous. Unless I was jam reffing, that looked really cool. But no one ever wants to watch it.

  8. I loved this post, but not all of us #4's keep the goods to ourselves:

  9. Ref-cam footage is really cool. I mean, it's disorienting, but cool. We had a jam ref wear a camera at a recent scrimmage. It's provided us with some food for thought about our league as a whole.

    But if you watch too much of it, your head will spin.

  10. This is great! We have most of these either on our ref crew, or on the crews we frequently work with. But I think you missed one... The Rules Nazi. Most leagues have one (I hope).