Bruise Almighty

The Preacher of Pain

Join Date?
I started as a skater in 2009, and I've been an official since 2011.
What positions do you normally work/like to work?
My favorites are Outside Pack Ref (OPR) and Jammer Ref (JR), which are two very different roles: an OPR has to be aware of everything happening on the track, and a JR has a narrow focus on their jammer. I love the demand that both positions put on my skating skills to be in the right place at the right time and hold my own with the same speed and agility that the skaters bring to their game.
What brought you to DDR?
I fell in love with derby as a fan of Providence Roller Derby in ’05, so when I moved to Lancaster, I jumped at the chance to be part of this amazing sport. The support and dedication of my teammates is one of the things that kept me here.
What do you love about officiating Roller Derby?
I love the combination of mental work and physical work that goes into it. For all the time I spend at practice and the gym, I spend almost as much time reading rules, discussing rules, and trying to be ready for the next new strategy we might encounter. And when I'm in a game, I can't be anywhere else except 100% focused on what is in front of me. It forces you to be present in that moment, which both feels great and is a really useful skill in all of life.
What do you love about Dutchland?
I'm so grateful for the dedication and love that we all bring to the sport, particularly from the refs and Non-Skating Officials. It's been so valuable to be a part this team of committed and talented folks!
What were your 2013 season highlights?
I got to work with some amazing people this year! At ECDX [East Coast Derby Extravaganza] and elsewhere throughout the season, I learned so much from watching and working alongside some really talented refs and NSOs from all over the place. And I ended on a high note: in December I was certified as a Level 2 Referee by the WFTDA!
Dutchland's 2014 season is around the corner and it's looking good! What are you looking forward to in the next season?
I'm definitely hoping to travel some more this year, both with Dutchland and to some tournaments. I'm already planning a trip to Florida in May for the Gold Coast Beach Brawl, and I'm hoping to be accepted to work at ECDX and one of the WFTDA Division 2 playoffs!
What is one piece of advice you could give to newer referees, NSOs, or anyone else thinking about joining Roller Derby?
Try something new! One of the amazing things about derby is that there really is a place for everyone. So come and check it out, or test out a different role if you're already here. And being able to see the game from a different angle will help you no matter where you end up.
How has Roller Derby impacted your life?
Outside of derby, I'm a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and I'm constantly surprised how much these two worlds have in common! On one level, there's the basic stuff like wrangling volunteers, navigating personality conflicts, and (as a ref) being a calm and diplomatic presence in the middle of anxious or high-energy situations.

I'm also starting to realize the potential we've got in the derby community for bringing together people from such a wide range of backgrounds, who are totally supportive of one another and committed to making this sport the best thing it can be. And I'm starting to dream big, and wondering what other amazing things could come out of the passion of this community? I'm pondering what it might look like to bring people together to do spirituality in a roller derby kind of way. I'm sure it would be pretty cool!

Anything else you'd like to say about Roller Derby?
This is such an incredible sport and community. I want to send a giant Thank You to everyone who's a part of it!