Friday, November 9, 2012

The Prosecutor: The NSO with FLAIR!

Photo by Lesley Etherson
Well everyone, if you were at Champs this year, you were told that it is officially NSO-vember, and in order to celebrate the unsung heroes of derby, I decided to interview and write about The Prosecutor.  If you don't know who I'm talking about, you clearly weren't watching Champs this year; The Prosecutor was starting the jams with such authority that often she was the secondary star of the show.  A true pet peeve of mine is when NSOs don't have the confidence to start jams with authority; I have been involved in several games where the jam timer just didn't seem to have the chutzpah to start the jam with a strong whistle and gesture, which makes it hard to know what's going on sometimes.

Not so with The Prosecutor.  This lady knows how to start a jam and let's the WORLD know she is starting the jam and when the jammers are cleared to go!  Not only are her whistle blasts strong, but her gestures are easily read by the crowd, the other officials and of course the skaters.  So, where did this mystery lady come from, and how did she get so amazing at jam timing?  Of course I had to sit down with her and find out what made her tick.

When I finally reeled in The Prosecutor, she had just finished NSOing her second day of Champs, so I was super excited that she wasn't too exhausted to sit down and talk to me.   She is a very soft spoken person, and smiled during the entire interview, which made the interview even more fun.

 How long have you been involved with derby, and do you skate? 
 -I've been skating since 2005, and I'm a founding member of the Houston league.  I got involved with NSOing at the second Dust Devil, because they needed officials.  I read the description of the job and thought "I could do that."-

How did you develop your unique style?
-When I was NSOing, we were in an area where you couldn't hear the whistles on the track, so I added the gestures so the team would know when the jam actually started and the jammers would definitely know when they could go.  I feel like it reassures the jammers when I point at them.  Some of the best practices for NSOs are based on some of the moves I came up with, like the time out call and pointing to the team's bench.  Also, in Champs 2010, the jam timers started taking the pivot line during time outs so skaters wouldn't get confused and think the jam had started.  It was a little intimidating at first to stand facing those skaters, but at this level, most skaters won't run you over.-

Do you NSO in other postions?
-I have, but not at the level I am at jam timing.  I really like jam timing and it is my niche.  I also help organize the NSOs for Houston.-

What do you think about the scrum starts, since you're the jam timer.  Are they confusing?
-Aw, I really liked the pivot line starts, but I celebrate that the sport is not stagnant.  I can't wait to see what changes next.-

Thus ends the interview.
Photo by Lesley Etherson
 Look folks, we all need to have more NSOs like The Prosecutor out there.  She's incredibly dedicated, and strives to make her craft even better.  I know I am a big proponent of training refs, but so many games can be won or lost by improperly trained NSOs.  Time is the third opponent on that track, and if you have NSOs that don't understand the subtleties of their positions, then you won't have a successful bout.  Celebrate NSO-vember by letting your volunteers know how important they are to your league, and how important it is for them to be trained.  Are you training your volunteers?  Do you have a Prosecutor, or a Paris Kills or a Dr. Stats Boy in your league, keeping the jam running on time?  Well, why not?  Take the time to let the NSOs know they have your league's love and admiration!


  1. I love her!

    1. She rocked my socks. For realz. Thanks for this interview Q!

  2. I love her Business socks....she was sporting then at ECDX, but I didn't see them at Champs.

  3. I remember her from Nationals in 2010 in Chicago!

    I loved her!!!!!

  4. You need to schedule the Jam Time off before the new rules makes the second whistle null and void :0) Two words pirate boots. One phrase 100% more dancing!