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One of the requirements for advancing to level 2 in my league is that you have to participate on scrimmages as a ref at least twice. And, being as ambitious as I am, I took the challenge at the first possible scrimmage, which was today.

Since one of the newer refs are going to be an OPR (outside pack ref) at our next bout, we practiced that today. There are normally three OPR’s, and they skate on the outside of the track. Which means you have to skate around a lot, and often quite fast, as you have to keep up with the pack which have a much shorter way to skate than you have.

I got to practice my turn-around toe stop a lot! And at some high speeds too. And I think I got the whole skating pattern, and I managed to keep up with the pack as I was supposed to. I didn’t give any penalties though. I noticed that I may know the rules, and I know the hand-signals roughly, but I’m not so confident on the little things. I.e. for example what separates a minor from a major, and how much impact is needed before a penalty is due? I did, for example, notice some forearms here and there, but having your forearm touching another opponent is inevitable, so how much and how hard before it is a penalty?  I did read some more about rules after I came home though, to answer some of my questions, and plan to read some more so I’m even more prepared until the next time I can ref.

Another thing that’s hard is basically noticing stuff. When something happens in the pack, it happens fast, and you need a keen eye to be able to see everything that’s happening.Kudos to all refs.

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