We here at Lothian Derby Dolls and Fear and Lothian are very happy to introduce our new referee Aly-Lou Yeah. LDD and F&L have been supported by Toot but as the only ref in the league it has been difficult to develop opportunities. With Aly joining us now we have a chance to build on RANSO and the skaters that are interested in becoming Refs and NSOs.
Harm and Aly had a wee chat about her experience of being a ref so far…
What made you want to be a ref?
I’ve always enjoyed the details of the game and knowing the rules. I was involved with NSO and bench roles that let me do that, then a ref friend encouraged me to try it out. I tried it for a session in 2012 and I’ve never looked back.
How many teams have you skated with?
Three. I originally joined ARRG in 2010, moved to the Cambridge Rollerbillies and was with them for 3.5 years before coming back to Edinburgh and joining LDD.
How do you manage to keep up with the rule changes all the time?
I find chatting about them with skaters and other officials helps keep on top of them. There are usually discussions and videos online to help make sense of changes.
What is your favourite ref position ?
Jam ref forever!
Do you feel like using your whistle in real life…?
Sometimes… mainly when the Fringe is on and it’s chaos in the streets.
You have reffed in high profile bouts, which was your favourite and why?
I’ve recently reffed at the British Champs promotion playoffs for the first time, which was a lot of fun. I got to work with some of my favourite officials and officiate some really good roller derby. What more could I ask for?
Do you find a difference reffing between female, male and all-gender derby and if so what?
Yes, I find them quite different games to officiate. I love the tactics that come out of the women’s game, but also the risks that men’s derby skaters take on track. All-gender is a great mix of both! I like getting to ref a mix of all kinds as it keeps things interesting.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming a roller derby referee?
Do it! It’s hard work, but can be so rewarding. You’ll meet some amazing people and have lots of fun!
If you are interested in becoming a ref with the league, get in touch here.