This month we are featuring a member of the Buffalo Herd, Queen City Roller Derby’s group of skating officials and non-skating officials (NSO for short). Joining the Herd is a great way to be involved with roller derby if you like watching all the action, but skating isn’t your thing. Though these officials might not be making sweet apex jumps or stopping jammers in their tracks, a game can’t happen without them, and we like to recognize the important things they do for our league!
Attorney Jenneral has been involved with QCRD since 2015 and this year she’s the Herd’s newest Head NSO. Outside of derby, she helps out at the beef cattle farm owned by her parents and enjoys playing the cello. Jenneral has a deep passion for roller derby, and she has many goals she wants to accomplish with the Herd this season and beyond!
Where are you from?
I’m from Colden, NY, which is 40 minutes south of Buffalo.
What is your day job?
I’m a finance attorney at a bank.
How did you get involved in derby?
I went to law school with VooDoo Child (fellow NSO for the Herd) and we used to go to games together with law school friends. I stuck around because I liked that what I was doing was supporting female athletes and a community that I feel is like-minded to myself.
What are some of your hobbies outside of roller derby?
I have a Cricut machine that I use to make customized derby-related things for people, like clothing, scrimmage jerseys, and stuff like that. I also like sewing and helping with farm work for the cows! I also play the cello (just for fun).
You decided to take on the role of Head NSO this season. What are some of the things you’d like to accomplish this season and in the future in this new role?
I want to help our NSOs achieve their goals, which is specifically important because we have a wide range of NSO goals. From parents involved in our Juniors league who are just helping make sure games can happen, to NSOs who want to travel to tournaments/out of town and need to know these different positions that they use elsewhere, all the way to coaching NSOs through the certification process.
I also want to work towards building a culture within the league where officials are appreciated. Nicky Needles (the Herd’s head referee) and I have done a lot in the last year with gifts and different types of recognition for the officials to make sure they know that they’re appreciated.
What is your favorite NSO position?
My favorite position is currently Penalty Lineup Tracker, which QCRD will start utilizing this coming season. It keeps me busy the entire game, there are no breaks! We’ve started using it in our last two scrimmages. It’s two positions that are combined, and we are doing it because that is standard in other leagues now, and we want to make sure our NSOs can travel wherever they want and be prepared to do that.
This past summer, you have traveled to many different leagues as an NSO. What were those experiences like and what new things did you learn?
I learned the most in Rochester with the Flour City Fear (MRDA). Their games are staffed by the 19th Wardens. A lot of their officials come and help us- Queen Kicktoria, for instance, has been coming to QCRD for five seasons. They have coached me a lot and taught me their officiating techniques which are fairly different from ours in regards to what positions they use.
What was your favorite league to visit?
VooDoo and I traveled to Ann Arbor over the summer for a Furies/Sirens doubleheader. They brought in a head ref and a head NSO from out of town and they reviewed with us WFTDA’s guidance on color and number cues, as well as pronouns. I really enjoyed Ann Arbor because of the atmosphere they provided and instructions they gave us, which was very thorough. They did such a spectacular job with their coaching so we are hoping to bring it back to Buffalo and use their guidance here.
Do you have an official/NSO that you really look up to?
My favorite group of officials is the League of Extraordinary Officials. They’re affiliated with Lansing, Michigan and they just have a spectacular coaching and training program there. They really dedicate a lot of time to making sure that derby is a positive and supportive environment. I look up to Geo Knitter because she’s positive all the time and balances that with making sure that things are done correctly and precisely.
Do you have a favorite skater?
This is hard because we’re not supposed to be biased people! I officiate both MRDA and WFTDA so I chose a skater from each of those leagues, both for the same reasons. I chose King Killa (Blocker for Rochester’s Flour City Fear) from MRDA and Freight Train (Jammer for the Texas Rollergirls Texecutioners) from WFTDA. They’re both very versatile in both jamming and blocking and can do everything very well. They’re both just very good human beings: very positive, supportive of everyone, and you never hear them say anything bad about anyone. They build up everybody around them (and they’re nice to officials!).
– Interview by Thrash Bandicoot