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All men and women 18 and older can be officials for Dunedin Derby

As an official, you will be part of the team that oversees and facilitates the game. Officials are required to keep track of points scored, award penalties for illegal behaviour and actions, and to maintain the integrity of the game.

While almost anyone can become a Roller Derby referee, the time commitment can be significant. Regular attendance at practices and meetings is required, as well as learning and understanding all the rules. The position is important and needs to be taken seriously because without officials Roller Derby bouts couldn’t happen. But don’t worry, it’s not all seriousness and stress, and all the other officials in the league are there to help you as you learn the sport.

How many officials are required?

Tallying up the referees and officials and their substitutes, there can be up to 15 officials needed for a game.  Each official has a specific function, which is very necessary to the sport. It’s a very fast-paced game and requires many eyes on the track.


(all referees must be on skates)

In accordance with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) standards, there should be no fewer than three (3) and no more than seven (7) skating referees for each bout. In a standard game you would have:

  • One (1) Head Referee – addresses the captains of each team, assigns duties to the other referees and officials, is the authority and final say for dispute resolution and decides whether a player is ejected from the game.
  • Two (2) Jammer Referees – these referees each watch (and must keep up with) a specific Jammer, keep track of points and penalties and relay them to the scorekeeper and penalty trackers.
  • Up to five (5) Pack Referees – Pack Referees skate alongside the pack and are primarily responsible for calling penalties. They must: be confident in impact assessment (incidental, minor and major) as well as identifying the initiator of contact; maintain awareness of track boundaries and pack status; and call penalties accordingly
  • There are usually two or three (2-3) Outside Pack Referees and a maximum of two (2) Inside Pack Referees.

Non-skating Officials (NSOs)

Not every official position requires skates. New officials often start out in non-skating positions, allowing them to focus on learning the game and acclimate themselves to the high energy of the bout. NSOs are officials in every sense, including the ability to award penalties to players, and are just as important to the game as skating referees.  All that is required is the desire to learn more about roller derby, and willingness to help out.

The following NSOs are required for each bout:

  • Two (2) Scorekeepers to keep the official score and record points reported by the Jammer Referees.
  • At least one (1) Penalty Tracker to record penalties reported by the referees and keep the official penalty tally.
  • At least two (2) Penalty Timing Officials to oversee the penalty box, time penalties and assist referees in ensuring a team skates short when they ought to. An in-depth look at the rules will reveal why this is trickier than it sounds.
  • One (1) Scoreboard Operator to post the score from the Scorekeeper and the penalties from the Penalty Tracker.
  • One (1) Jam Timer who is responsible for starting jams and timing 30 seconds between jams. The Jam Timer is also responsible for ending the jams that run a full two minutes.

For more information about officiating with Dunedin Derby, please see our Guide for Referees and Officials:  Refs and Officials Guide PDF

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