Just a few years ago, referee Wheely Serious began his involvement with SCDG as an admirer from afar—really far: Glasgow, Scotland. Wheely’s derby career started back in 2012, when his wife Koko (currently a Non-Skating Official for SCDG) began skating with Glasgow Roller Derby. Wheely soon realized that he was in danger of becoming a “derby widow,” so he decided to join in on the fun instead. He took part in GRD’s three-month boot camp, his first skating experience, where he quickly progressed to the WFTDA Minimum Skills level required for derby skaters. After boot camp, Wheely volunteered with the league as an NSO, but discovered that he had a knack for understanding the nuances of WFTDA rules and moved to refereeing.
When Wheely and Koko decided to move their lives across the pond to the US in 2014, they knew right away that they wanted to officiate with SCDG. According to Wheely, they had their plan to join SCDG figured out even before their visas were approved! Under the direction of SCDG's then-Head Ref, Killa Hz, Wheely jumped head-first into one of the most physically and mentally demanding ref positions: jam refereeing for the All-Star team. Since then, Wheely has honed his ref-ing skills and technical knowledge of WFTDA rules, and is currently pursuing WFTDA certification. He is particularly fond of what he calls the “obscure” penalties: technical or procedural violations that occur rarely in game play, and take a keen eye for a ref to catch.
Fellow SCDG ref, Neoscorin, admires Wheely’s dedication to studying the WFTDA ruleset and to the league. According to Neo, “Wheely bleeds black and white. Always a student of the WFTDA rules, he enjoys discussing the most complicated on-track scenarios in an effort to refine his understanding and elevate his abilities.”
Off the track, Wheely plays another crucial role for SCDG: in January 2016, he was voted into the Board of Directors. As Co-Director, Wheely is responsible for a daunting range of tasks to keep the league running smoothly as a non-profit organization: helping clarify the league’s rules and procedures, streamlining the league’s contracts and inter-league negotiations, answering countless emails, and lots of other crucial behind-the-scenes work.
Keep an eye out for Wheely’s expert officiating at the March 12th game at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, where the Boardwalk Bombshells will take on the Oakland Outlaws. Don’t be surprised if you see him skating with a look of intense concentration - after all, he’s Wheely Serious about derby!