Originally Published in Hit and Miss Roller Derby Magazine, August 2013

I can’t remember exactly when it was that I started

cultivating my fledgling obsession with roller derby,

it may have been when I saw a clip on TV a few years ago

or spoke to a woman in a shop wearing a PRD shirt, but

somehow the seed of awesome got planted in my brain and

grew. But being a natural cautious person I was nervous

about signing up for Freshmeat, and as a result intakes

came and went and I kept saying to myself: next year;

next year I’ll put my name down.

I missed the PRD intake again this year, again making

excuses; I have never been a sporty type, I’ve never

roller skated, I have had a very unsuccessful attempt at

push-scootering which resulted in me falling down a bit

of a hill; a story that gets retold as “that time Mel

fell off an Alp”.

I am weirdly prone to accidents, I am constantly covered

in mystery bruises and tend to fall over nothing at all

so my desire to play roller derby is of course totally


I decided that I would try, somehow, to get involved with

a league while I learnt to skate, I wanted to learn in

my own time without the added pressure of freshmeat and

I know that a lot of leagues say you don’t have to have

any skating experience to start off with but I wanted

to have a basic ability before I committed to derby,

because I might turn out to be rubbish or I might hate

it. Thankfully now after a few months learning to skate

I definitely don’t hate it (I am rubbish, but I’ll get


Thanks to the power of Twitter I got in touch with Perth

Roller Derby and the fabulous HNSO Connie Penaltea’cakez

and asked if there was anything I could do. And there

was, hooray! I was told that I could be an NSO and that

it was brilliant and I would love it. And whaddya know, I


Being an NSO is just as important as being part of any

other team. You turn up to training, you practice at

scrimmages, you learn from and bond with your team mates,

you put your hand up to help if you can, you listen to

your HNSO.

Just because you’re not skating doesn’t mean you’re not

an important part of the league, it’s an essential part

of the league; without NSO’s the bouts can’t run.

And it’s FUN! Who gets the best views? NSOs do! Whether

you’re line-up tracking or penalty tracking or wrangling,

the action is RIGHT THERE! You’re part of the game, NSOs

keep track of the scores, penalties and time, as an NSO

you have the power! Let’s face it, being part of the Pink

Zebra team is pretty great, we’re the team that never


If you’re keen to get involved in Derby but don’t know

where to start then get in touch with your league’s

HNSO, you don’t need any experience to do it as there are

always people to teach you. If you’re a retiring skater

then it’s a great way to keep your hand in and stay in

touch with the strategy of the game, you already know so

much so put your knowledge to good use, your league will


Being an NSO is an amazing opportunity to be part of your

league and an excellent way of getting involved if you

don’t skate, and if you do skate it’s an incredible way

of thoroughly learning the rules so you can kick-arse;

which is really what it’s all about.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: