Monday, 13 May 2013

Postcards from the Inside Track: First Practice Back + NSOing a Mixed-Gender Scrimmage

This past week, I had my first fresh meat practice with FCDG on Thursday and NSO'd a Men's and Women's scrimmage in Woodstock. A dramatic landing after approximately forty seconds on my skates on Thursday resulted in an ongoing ouchie, so this post was very nearly titled The Sore Ass: Synonyms for Pain. Perhaps that classy title will appear later.

On Thursday, I was very nervous before practice. My anxiety has kept me from getting to the fresh meat practice at FCDG before and I was unsure if I could make it. Happily, a friend called to offer a ride to practice and that sealed the deal. Getting back on skates after a long break was a study in humility: I could barely get off the floor without using my hands. However, the trainer I was working with was wonderfully patient and positive. Due to anxiety and work, I've had more absences from and returns to derby and subsequent visits to fresh meat training than most and FCDG's one on one training was some of the best I've had. Next up: getting in shape again. Somehow.

This Sunday, I was penalty wrangler/tracker for a scrimmage hosted by Woodstock. Open to men and women, the scrimmage featured skaters and officials from Tri-City, TORD, Royal City, Rollergettes, LMRD, Festival City, FCDG, and Woodstock. Several of the players were also referees affiliated with their home leagues, so the occasional penalty getting called from the bench was slightly confusing for a first-time tracker. The referees and NSOs were a dream to work with and scampering around the inside track was great fun. The most frequent penalties assigned were for cutting the track, with fore-arms coming in second.

It was my first time watching a mixed-gender scrimmage and I have to admit that I expected it to be rough. What I didn't expect was that the hits, though hard, were generally legal. There were a few dramatic pile-ups, but the scrimmage went more smoothly than expected.

Woodstock also hosted a free dinner after  the scrimmage, which was a great idea. Free food encouraging community and connections between leagues? Delicious genius.

Next up, continuing to practice with FCDG and a post on the scarcity of referees.

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