Regionals 2011 Diary Day Seven
Because the vast majority of referees are based with a particular league, there is the chance that you work your own "home league's" bouts during the tournament, and the mantra is that we are not League XYZ referees, we are WFTDA referees - and we mean it. So as I did equipment checks, I basically ignore comment like, "it's weird having him doing our equipment checks here and not at home". It is what it is, and the skaters have very definitely stated that they think the referees can be neutral in these situations, and at the playoffs, they want the best referees available. Is it harder to remain neutral in these situations, yes - but that's where training comes in, and you just make the call. League names go away in favor of "color number penalty", which is how things are called out here (such as "Blue 42 out of bounds block")
As my stint of doing nothing but outside pack dies down (not done, but I'll be working other positions again shortly), one of the things I get asked that I can't say, was how I thought the game went; I only see bits and pieces of it up close. But I did find a video from a few years ago that kind of shows what things look like from the outside (although all the stopping, backing up, and sprinting off again has been edited out). This isn't me - I hadn't started reffing derby yet, but I was in the audience watching.
BTW - I apologize if this final entry is a bit on the short and vague side. I'm writing this a few weeks after the day (as opposed to the night of or next morning, which I had done with the others). After the final bout ended, I found a relative had passed away, and I spent a very frustrating day trying to redirect my flight for the funeral; the stress level was so high I just don't remember a lot of stuff about this day except for spending hours on the phone trying to wrangle the logistics of the next few days.