Well, let's see. I should probably get the basics out of the way first. Hi! For the purposes of what you're reading here, you can call me Brad Religion. I'm a husband, a father, a guitarist for a punk band and the head referee for a flat track roller derby league in Indianapolis, IN called the Circle City Socialites.
Before my wife joined that league and I decided to be a referee, I hadn't been on roller skates since the fourth grade. I'm 33 now, so it's been a while. I decided that too much fun/amazing/completely weird stuff happens to me during my derby time for it to go undocumented, so here we are.
I'm almost done with my first season as a referee. To say that there were ups and downs would be an understatement...
I was so happy and proud of myself when the league let me know that they trusted me enough to be their head referee - the "ultimate authority" in a bout. I worked HARD to learn the rules and figure out how to skate. A true high point.
The low? That's easy. A week or so after they gave me my new job, I was rolling around on the track in the middle of a scrimmage clutching my lower left leg. Less than two weeks after that, I was sporting seven screws and a long metal plate over my fibula. Yep, I got broke off. Ref-on-ref violence is never pretty.
The good news is that my reffing really never missed a beat. Sure, I wasn't able to skate - but I worked my ass off to be a good ref anyway. And now that I'm back on wheels? Watch out, world. Watch out.