Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hot Pants Cold Beer

The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls (LVRG) are geared up and have their laces on tight for this weekend’s March 9th bout against Ithaca’s League of Women Rollers in a much anticipated battle on the track.  Based on the WFTDA (Womens Flat Track Derby Association) first quarter rankings, Ithaca is the heavy favorite for this Saturday’s match up. However, with the WFTDA’s new ranking calculator (found here at http://wftda.com/files/wftda-rankings-calculator.pdf), LVRG can greatly benefit by playing such a tough team with a higher strength score.   Since the WFTDA created this new ranking calculator, wins and losses will affect each team’s rankings based on their opponent’s strength, total point spread and a few other factors; it's not just the win/loss end result.

How does the WFTDA get all of those details and manage all of that data? The answer is through a great team of officials on every league. LVRG’s Head Non-Skating Official, Heather Harlin Lloyd, is one of the brains behind the data for LVRG.  We stopped to ask Heather a little bit about her role as an official and what kind of data she pulls from each bout.  Heather started with our league in 2009, and has an extensive and impressively professional officiating resume.
LVRG NSOs- Deb, Heather and Kara
Heather stated, “There are so many officials around during bout day. There are 7 skating referees and 11-14 non-skating officials (NSOs).  The NSOs work as penalty trackers and scorekeepers but there are also penalty box timers and line up trackers.  There are whiteboard operators and a jam timer, who is responsible for the official game time as well as keeping the bout moving on schedule.  These are all very important positions that without them, we couldn’t successfully run a bout.”
Heather added that the officials keep track of who is on the track, they formulate scores, and calculate how many penalties were obtained in the jam. “Each skater has an effect on the overall stats when they are on the track in a particular jam.  We can use this data to take into account how well a skater played against the other team and even against skaters of their own team.  My favorite data are the Average Points For/Against.  Basically, this tallies how many points were scored (on each team) for each jam that a skater was in.  It’s a quick snapshot of how well a skater played in that particular game.”
Heather and her crew aren’t the only ones watching each team’s statistics. Coaches and players actively monitor these results to determine their effectiveness on the track and their effectiveness gauged against other teammates on the track. These statistics are what also help coaches and captains to determine which players are rostered from game to game.
So, you are all probably saying, "Poor Heather, that is a lot of information to track down and record." No worries, it’s the science of the sport that she loves. As a neuroscientist by training, her brain is wired for this stuff. Heather explains, “being an official has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.  I met a great group of women and oddly enough I met my husband through roller derby (LVRG’s head ref Bob Lloyd). Anyone who volunteers as an official will find this to be such a rewarding gig.  Plus, it’s fun!”

Hot Pants Cold Beer Crew
Speaking of fun, referees like to have fun too and enjoy the games when they aren’t working hard at our bouts.  Heather and the LVRG officiating crew are part of a group called ‘Hot Pants Cold Beer.’ Hot Pants Cold Beer (HPCB) is a roller derby spectating team that was started in 2012.  The majority of this crew includes roller derby officials that hardly get to watch games.  During games that they do not have to officiate, they gather and hoot and holler for derby, especially those teams that travelled the furthest.  They most likely don’t have a fan club there, so the HPCB crew steps in.  Beer not required, but hot pants are highly suggested.  (www.hotpantscoldbeer.com)

LVRG loves their officials. So come see them in action this weekend, officiating their hearts out at the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls vs. Ithaca’s League of Women Rollers bout at the Independence Family Fun Center on Saturday, March 9th. The doors open at 5:00p.m., and the bout starts at 6:00p.m.

TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED HERE:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/340607

Season tickets can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/309495

All functions will be held at the Independence Family Fun Center, 4345 Independence Dr, Schnecksville, PA.

For more information about becoming an official, contact us at join@lehighvalleyrollergirls.com

1 comment:

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