Officiate Roller Derby

Rules of Roller Derby

Officiating roller derby is exciting, challenging, and a lot of fun. As long as you are at least 18 years of age, you can officiate, regardless of gender. Joining NH Roller Derby’s officiating team might be the very thing that you need in life. Our officials do not pay league dues.

Check out our current team of refs and NSOs.

Are you ready to officiate roller derby? Email officials@nhrollerderby.com to find out when you can start.

If you can’t wait to get started, feed your inner nerd by reading the Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby.

Referees (Skating Officials)

Roller derby referees wear skates, protective gear, and are easily identified by their black and white striped shirts. There are typically five to seven referees participating in each game, but roller derby can happen with as few as three referees; seven is a full crew.

Can’t skate yet? No problem. You’ll attend the same Rookie Camp as our new players, during which you will learn basic skills. You can then come to all or any league practices to keep working on your footwork, endurance, and penalty-spotting.

Referee Requirements

  • Identify as a human
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have health insurance
  • Purchase WFTDA insurance annually: currently $75
  • Sign an annual liability waiver and non-disclosure agreement
  • Commit to officiate at least 75% of league scrimmages and all home games
  • Have the correct gear:
    “Quad” style roller skates (inline skates are allowed but discouraged)
    Recommended: the skates that fit best
    Because: improperly fitting skates will hold you back
    Helmet
    Recommended: dual certified helmet
    Because: no helmet can prevent concussions, but good helmets can help minimize injury
    Mouth guard (required only when doing contact drills)
    Recommended: SISU
    Because: breathing and communication are important during contact drills
    Hard protective shell/insert elbow pads
    Recommended: a snug, comfortable fit
    Because: elbow pads often last longer than other protective gear
    Hard protective shell/insert knee pads
    Recommended: cushioned function over fashion
    Because: you will get hit and you will land on your knees
    Hard protective shell/insert wrist guards
    Recommended: good palm and stable wrist protection
    Because: your hands and wrists will hit the floor/ground
    Fox 40 Classic whistle
    Recommended: Classic CMG with lanyard
    Because: the cushion makes it comfortable and the lanyard makes it more versatile than the finger whistle
    Black and white striped (1-inch wide stripes) referee shirt
    Recommended: Lightweight, breathable, and wicking fabric: Smitty, Honig’s, and Teamwork are popular brands
    Because: sweat is something that you cannot escape as a referee
Referee Roles
Head Ref
Slots: 1
The ultimate authority in the game
Occupies an Inside Pack Ref slot
Jammer Ref
Slots: 2
Watches their designated jammer and everything that happens to their jammer, and keeps score
Inside Pack Ref
Slots: 2
Watches the blockers and pivots from the inside of the track
Outside Pack Ref
Slots: 3
Watches the blockers and pivots from the outside of the track

Email officials@nhrollerderby.com for more information about becoming a referee.


Non-Skating Officials (NSOs)

NSOs do not wear skates nor protective gear, and they are not always easy to identify. NSOs can wear either a black shirt or a pink shirt; it should have the word “official” printed on the back. These are the people who handle all of the paperwork, time everything, and keep track of penalties. They may also be allowed to call penalties specific to their position.

  • Identify as a human
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Sign an annual liability waiver and non-disclosure agreement
  • Commit to officiate at least 75% of league scrimmages and all home games
  • Have the correct gear:
    Black or pink officiating shirt
    Recommended: Buy directly from WFTDA
    Because: WFTDA shirts are the NSO standard
Non-Skating Official Roles
Head NSO
Slots: 1
Certifies stats results for submission to the WFTDA for ranking
Jam Timer
Slots: 1
Keeps 2 minute jam times and 30 second break times. Blows jam start whistle
Penalty Box Timers
Slots: 3
Keeps track of penalty times and notifies skaters when they can leave the box
Penalty Tracker
Slots: 1
Works closely with the Inside Whiteboard NSO to record the penalty type and when it happened
Scorekeeper
Slots: 2
Receives points per lap from the Jam Refs, keeps track of who is Lead Jammer, and records how each jam ends
Scoreboard Operator
Slots: 1
Runs the electronic scoreboard for the public
Inside Whiteboard
Slots: 1
Notes all penalties on a board visible to the referees and skaters
Lineup Tracker
Slots: 2
Records which skater is in each position each jam for computation of play time

Email officials@nhrollerderby.com for more information about becoming an NSO.