It all started with a stopwatch and a whistle

Lor N Order #999
Lor N Order #999

By Lor N Order

Non-derby person: “So you are in a roller Derby league but you do not skate? What do you do?”
Me: “I NSO”
Non-derby person: “you do what now?”

This is a normal conversation piece for me when I get asked what I get up to at the weekends and my reply is “derby”.

What on earth is NSOing and why do I do it?

NSO means non-skating official.  We help run the games (also known as bouts) and informal scrims. There are lots of positions to fill, many involving timers, gesticulations, pens and paper or a whistle, but what better way to get close to the action than sitting on the front line.

Watching what my amazing league do every week, I just know skating isn’t for me! I’ve tried to re-live my youth days of skating but the fear takes over.  I have found a place in Hertfordshire Roller Derby and I am made to feel just as welcome and equal as a skater.

So how did I become interested in roller derby when I do not skate?

My bestest friend Stings like Abbie, is the whole reason I am here! She invited me to the Belles home game in 2015. I almost didn’t make it as I wasn’t really feeling very sociable and really wasn’t sure what it was all about, but I made it just in time to see the Belles play! I really didn’t understand what an earth was going but it was crazy and was glad I didn’t miss it. I attended two more game days and by the end of it all I found myself really into the sport.

I had seen online that they was looking for NSOs in the league, but I didn’t really know what it was, so initially just kind of brushed it off!  I do think Abbie may have threatened me with “if you want to see me then come training”, but the truthful answer it was probably more like “come see us train”, and I think she knew exactly what she was doing!

I was asked early on to help in scrim by timing the jams. I was handed a stopwatch and whistle! SCARY! I had no idea what I was doing but I loved it in the end.

Over the weeks I slowly but surely learned what NSOs are, and what they mean to the league and games days.

Prior to finding Hertfordshire Roller Derby I found myself in a bit of rut, not really having anything to do, choosing to stay in and avoid any social interaction… 12 months later I find myself to be in a very different place.  I wouldn’t recognise the person I was a year ago, I feel I have my confidence back, I love socialising, I hate not having anything to do these days!

Everyone in the league was so friendly and welcoming and I class the friendly faces as super cool friends.

I have been given fantastic opportunities. I have NSOed British Champs games, closed door scrims, and even had the chance to NSO the tryouts for the Women’s England team! Exciting!

Inspired? Get in touch! Email to find out how you can get involved as an NSO.

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