Everyone at BDD knows that Jill is an amazing NSO, but what’s even more incredible is how well known and respected she is by every WFTDA league in the world. She puts in so much travel time and dedication for training and tournaments that people can’t help but look up to her!
Roller derby is a collaborative effort, and we can’t play the game without some serious help from our amazing referees and NSOs (non-skating officials). Our head NSO, Intejill, routinely does fantastic work for both the WFTDA and for our league; while doing all of this, she’s also learning how to be a better skater within our TRT program. She’s one of a kind and we’re so happy to have her be our featured BDD skater this month.
Want to read more about Intejill’s first involvement with roller derby, what defines an NSO, and her amazing boutfits? Click the link below to read our full Q&A.
Our 2012 Official of the Year is intelligent, conscientious, and funny—but her greatest strength in this sport is undeniably her experience. It is a huge honor for a referee or an NSO to be asked to participate in “The Big Five” WFTDA postseason games, and the list of tournaments in which Jill has participated is both impressive and intimidating. In just the past year alone, this Level 2 Certified NSO worked at three of the WFTDA regional tournaments: first as a Penalty Box Manager at Westerns, then as the Tournament Head NSO for both the Eastern and South Central Tournaments. And to top it all off, she worked at Championships in Atlanta, GA with the best officials from all over the country and the world. Jimichanga, Co-Chair of BDD’s 2012 Officiating Committee (also known as Team No Fun) said of Intejill’s impressive reputation:
“Everyone at BDD knows that Jill is an amazing NSO, but what’s even more incredible is how well known and respected she is by every WFTDA league in the world. She puts in so much travel time and dedication for training and tournaments that people can’t help but look up to her!”
Most recently, Intejill went to Berlin to NSO at Track Queens: Battle Royal, the first WFTDA European tournament. We are so incredibly lucky to have someone on our league like Intejill to represent the Boston Derby Dames as wonderfully and capably as she does on both a national and an international level. May the Force, who also co-chaired BDD’s 2012 Officiating Committee, gushed that:
“Intejill is one of the best NSOs in the WFTDA that I have met; The Boston Derby Dames Officiating crew is extremely thankful to have her. Her strong leadership abilities and talent rubs off on the entire crew helping every member become stronger at officiating both on and off skates. Whenever one of us is in a jam we ask ourselves, ‘What Would Intejill Do?’”
INTEJILL (front right) AT THE WFTDA CHAMPIONSHIPS © SEAN MURPHY 2012
We sat down with Intejill and got her to spill the beans on NSOing, WFTDA, and the secret lives of the people in pink. Here’s what she had to say:
BDD: How did you get involved in roller derby?
INTEJILL: In 2007, some friends said my husband and I would love roller derby and took us to see a Windy City Rollers bout. I fell in love with the sport immediately. Derby is actually the first sport I ever got season tickets for. In 2009, Windy City moved to the UIC Pavilion, which was a bit swankier than their previous venue…. and it meant higher ticket prices. At the time, I was a very poor freelancer and my husband had been downsized, so we couldn’t afford to go to bouts as often. About that time, Windy City put out a call for officials, and I thought that would be a fun way to see bouts for free. The dirty little secret about officiating is that you never really see a bout ever again (at least, the same way a fan sees it), but by the time I figured that out, I was hooked.
BDD: What keeps you coming back for more?
INTEJILL: I’ve always loved stats and the tracking aspects of sports, so NSOing is a natural fit for me. I also love the teamwork aspect of the job. The entire officiating crew works as a team, and then NSOs work in little teams within the larger team. When the whole crew teams well and backs each other up, it’s a really magical feeling. There is really nothing more exciting than experiencing a bout from an official’s perspective. NSOs are often the eye in the center of the hurricane, and being a part of the action in that way is really exhilarating.
BDD: What exactly is an NSO? Who are these people in the fashionable pink shirts?
INTEJILL: NSOs are non-skating officials—it’s true! You don’t need skates to be a part of derby! NSOs do the tracking and timing positions that can affect the game. We track penalties, time skaters in the penalty box, keep score, operate the scoreboard, time jams, and track lineups. It takes 15 NSOs in 10 positions to staff a bout adequately. Without us, fans wouldn’t know the score or how much time is left in the bout. Skaters wouldn’t know how many penalties they have, and they wouldn’t be timed properly when they did go to the penalty box. And there wouldn’t be any bout stats.
INTEJILL IN ACTION AT TRACK QUEENS: BATTLE ROYAL © MICHAEL WITTIG 2012
BDD: What is your favorite NSO position and why?
INTEJILL: I actually don’t have one. For a long time I penalty tracked almost every bout, and while I do love being in the center of the track, this season I’ve spent many bouts doing other positions. I love the challenge of penalty box timing and getting the skater released exactly on the one minute mark. I’ve also really enjoyed manning the scoreboard and learning how to be a better jam timer. Each NSO position has its own intricacies that may not be apparent on the surface, and it’s a lot of fun to figure out ways to take each position to the next level.
BDD: What is unique about the rules of roller derby?
INTEJILL: Roller derby within the WFTDA is unique because the rules and standard practices come about through a democratic process, and officials get a say in that process. The reemergence of roller derby has been revolutionary, and it’s pretty radical that I have a say in how the rules take shape.
As we get more and more dedicated NSOs in the officiating community, I’ve seen the quality of officiating really improve, and the non-skating side of officiating has been taken a lot more seriously. This year within the WFTDA Officiating Certification system, NSOs have been separated from the Referee Certification program and they now have their own certification committee and system that will certify officials based solely on their NSO skills. This is great because it shows how NSOs have evolved and really become an integral part of officiating. Granted, I also have a vested interest in NSO Certification because I’m the chairperson of the WFTDA NSO Certification Committee, but having certified officials is important to the sport because it’s a stamp of approval of excellence. Everybody knows that when a bout is poorly officiated—and this is true in any sport—that it’s not a good thing. Certification lends credibility to an official’s skills.
INTEJILL AT TRACK QUEENS: BATTLE ROYAL © DAVID McALEAVY 2012
BDD: Can you talk a little bit about your tournament experience?
INTEJILL: During tournaments, the bar is set incredibly high to do your best each and every bout, and it’s so much fun to meet that challenge and give it your all. Every tournament I learn so much, and it’s great to bring that back to BDD.
Being selected to work at a WFTDA Big 5 tournament is a real honor. You have to apply to be able to work these tournaments, and not only is the selection process pretty involved, the competition is pretty fierce too. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked at tournaments each of the four seasons I’ve been an official, and 2011 was my first opportunity to take on management roles at tourneys, when I was a Crew Head NSO for Easterns and South Centrals and the Tournament Head NSO for North Centrals and Championships.
2012 was especially great because about half of BDD’s officials were selected to work in tournaments, and the league was represented at all five of them. That’s a really great accomplishment and reflects the talent that we have on our crew.
BDD: Anything else you’d like to share?
INTEJILL: In 2012, I became an instructor with the WFTDA Officiating Clinics program, and it has been a pretty amazing experience. The instructors are certified officials from all over, and we’ve created some great lesson plans to help officials up their game. I’ve gotten to travel all over the country—and to Australia, New Zealand and Canada—to teach officials how to do this job I love. In turn, they also teach me. I sometimes think I’ve picked up more new tricks than I’ve taught.
BDD: What would you say to someone who would like to join the BDD officials?
INTEJILL: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org! We’re getting ready for the upcoming season and would love to have more officials to make 2013 the best year yet.
COME SEE INTEJILL IN ACTION AT THE BOSTON DERBY DAMES’ SEASON OPENER ON MARCH 16TH!
INTEJILL PROFILE IMAGE © DAVID ANDREW MORRIS 2012