Officiating for DCRD

Whenever you watch a Roller Derby Bout you can’t miss them: the small army of people in striped black and white, pink or grey shirts on and around the track, regulating and recording the game. This is the official crew (also lovingly referred to as Zebras and Flamingos).

Officials are an essential part of roller derby. There are usually 7 skating referees at a derby bout, and 10 non skating officials (NSO): jam timers, penalty box timers, lineup trackers, scoreboard operators and so forth.

Referees. Photo: Bruno Ponce


These officials skate around either inside or outside the track, watching the skaters.  Their responsibility is to enforce the rules, ensuring safe, fair gameplay.   Referees are the primary officials who call penalties.

Why should you become a referee?

  • Referees train with us and are full members of the league.
  • You learn about roller derby. There’s no better way to learn the rules of the game than by being part of the official crew.
  • You get to learn by being close to the action! Reffing derby is fun. Roller derby is an unique and challenging sport to referee. No experienced needed. You can sign up as an official, even if you have no previous skating or referee experience.
  • You will learn the rules of the game, and to skate safely, while you’re ‘official in training’. It’s a great way to be part of the derby community! (and as a bonus, of the officials family!)
Scorekeepers. Photo: Xenia Blair


NSOs do a wide variety of tasks: timing the game, tracking penalties, timing penalties, keeping score, operating the scoreboard, and tracking lineups. If you decide to become an NSO you can try out any of these positions to see what you enjoy most.

Why should you become an NSO?

  • You learn about roller derby. Whether you’re a skater or a fan, or just curious about derby, being part of the officials crew is the best way to extend your derby knowledge. 
  • No experience needed: As an NSO you don’t need to be able to skate, and it follows that you also don’t need to have gear. It’s a great way to be part of the derby community (and as a bonus, of the officials family!).
Officials at a home game, may 2018. Photo: Leon Krancher


  • You must be 18 or older
  • You will need quad skates, a helmet, mouth guard, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards (Required for skating refs).
  • Our officials attend the weekly scrimmages and home games. (But many also travel to other leagues to officiate their games. You are expected at training, but you have the option to branch out and have even more derby in your life!)

As a skating official in training, you are invited to join the Rookies program in which you’ll learn the derby basics, and how to skate safely. Once you pass your Minimal Skills Test, you will start reffing at our training scrimmages; a safe learning space to get comfortable with the different reffing positions. Of course, if you are an MST passed skater you can skip the Rookie trajectory.

If you’re derby curious, but unsure if derby is for you: starting out as an NSO or Ref is a great introduction into the world of derby. You will get to know the league and its skaters, the rules of the game, and get a feel for the events.

Are you up for the Challenge? Dom City Roller Derby is excited to have you!


Dom City Dolls are a WFTDA apprentice, we play by their official ruleset. WFTDA rules and resources can be found here: WFTDA Standardized Flat Track Roller Derby Rules

Jam start, ThunderDoms vs Roadkill Rollers, November 3rd 2018 Photo by: Xenia Blair