Skater of the Month – Ben Wa

January 1, 2018 – January 30, 2018 all-day America/Chicago Timezone

Image may contain: one or more people

Photography credit:  Joel Giltner

Ref Name: Ben Wa

Position: I prefer these officiating positions IPR, OPR, JT, PBM, SK… Skaters should ask me what these are if they don’t recognize them 😉

Years involved in derby: 7 years so far. 2 as a volunteer, 2 solely as an NSO and now 3, primarily as a referee.

How did you get into reffing for derby: I had NSO’d a couple hundred games and was needing a new challenge. Ex girlfriend convinced me I’d be good at it. My very logical minded brain couldn’t fathom me being a referee. She pushed me to learn to skate and try. Then I found a truly incredible mentor that inspires me.

How did you select your ref name: Actually ex girlfriend again. All my suggestions were too dirty to pass her tests. Ben was her idea and then we found Wa together – that was just enough under the radar…

What is your day job: Rocket Scientist (for reals)

Worst skating injury: Bimalleolar fracture of the right ankle. Titanium plate & 11 screws (no power source) installed to return me to active duty 😉

Tunes that get you pumped on bout day: Depends on what I need for the game. If pumping is required usually something like Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away”, but generally my go to is more meditative as in Boards Of Canada (especially “Davan Cowboy”).

Any current ref crushes: Tough question. I’m afraid to tell my secrets 😉 I have one maybe two in the DFW area and I’ve worked for a couple as an NSO at the WFTDA Playoff level that I admire. I’ll leave it a mystery…

Most rewarding derby experience so far: This is hard. As a referee, every home game is fantastically fun. I get to skate and learn with a great group of fellow officials. As an NSO working the 2014 World Cup in Dallas was a total rush. So many good memories were made during those games and after party…

Favorite food: Butter. Yes I said Butter.

Favorite penalty to call and why: The elusive no call. It’s empowering to realize what you just saw did not rise to being a penalty.

Advice for new refs/volunteers: Realize it takes work to know the game and understand the role of an official. Throw yourself in. Get overwhelmed. Never stop learning. Don’t fear mistakes. Some of my most cherished moments have been when the train is about to jump the tracks and you realize you just “know” what to do. I try to work on making more of those happen for myself…

Comments are closed.