Want to Ref?

Next Ref Intake (a.k.a freshmeat): A freshmeat training camp is currently in session. Our next session will likely be in the new year. Contact freshmeat@tbayrollergirls.com if you would like to be contacted for the next session.


Frequently Asked Questions for Refs


Who can ref?

Refs must be 18+.

Do I need sports experience to ref?

There is no experience necessary and we will teach you everything you need to know to ref roller derby. You will find derby officials are very diverse.  Many refs had little or no sports experience before joining our league.

What equipment do I need and where can I get it?

You will need (from the top down)

  • bm_bright_green_straps75x75Helmet
  • mouthguard-green-tnMouth guard
  • whistleWhistle
  • kp22-75Elbow Pads
  • 187wrist75x75Wrist Guards
  • ep55-75Knee Pads
  • skatesRoller Skates or Inline Skates

For new skaters, the simplest method to acquire the necessary equipment is to purchase a “freshmeat” starter package from any roller derby equipment website.  These packages are generally the most economical option and include equipment chosen with beginner athletes in mind.

How much does it cost? Is there a membership fee?

Equipment packages start around $250 to $300. There is a yearly insurance cost of $50 which is purchased through the league.  Once you’ve completed basic training, you will need to purchase a black and white officials shirt.

There is no membership fee for refs.

When can I join?

Our Ref intake program coincides with our freshmeat skater program.  Refs learn basic skills and undergo testing along side skaters.  Freshmeat sessions are typically held twice a year in October and January.

What is freshmeat?

New skaters are lovingly referred to as “freshmeat”.

What the process for becoming a ref?

  1. Freshmeat – We teach you everything you need to know to ref roller derby – from how to skate to the rules of the game.
  2. Skills Testing – You must pass basic skills testing as defined by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).  Skills testing includes on the track skills as well as a written rules test.
  3. Endurance Testing – This test requires you to skate 10 laps in 95 seconds.
  4. Game On – Refs are needed for home team championship games from May through August.  Refs who wish to travel may also travel with the Babes of Thunder to ref away games.