RCRD NSO Manual – Scorekeeper

This document was written based on the rule set established by the WFTDA Rules Committee for the 2019 season. It contains the policies and procedures used by the Rainy City Roller Derby Officiating Crew, and is not endorsed by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.

General Description

There are two Scorekeepers who will document the points earned during each jam and keep a running tally of the score. Each will be assigned to watch a Jammer Referee during the game; they will stand outside of the track, on either side of the Scoreboard Operator. Scorekeepers need to focus on their assigned Referees and maintain good communication with the Operator.

Equipment Needed

  • Clipboard
  • Score sheets
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Coloured Wristband


Prior to the start of the game, the Head NSO will assign a team/colour, introduce each Scorekeeper to the Jam Referee they will watch, and provide a coloured wristband. When the paperwork is provided, fill in the name, date, and colour boxes (if it has not already been done in advance).

The columns of information to be watched for during the game are listed in the black bar along the top of the page:

JAM — Starting with 1 each period, write the jam number as it happens. DO NOT fill in the jam numbers ahead of time. If a Star Pass should occur, write ‘SP’ in the box below the current jam.

JAMMER’S NUMBER – Write the alphanumeric number of the Jammer in this box. If a Star Pass should occur, write the number of the Pivot who received the star (they are now the Jammer).

LOST – If the Jammer loses the ability to become the Lead Jammer, or if they lose the status itself after acquiring it, mark an ‘X’ in this box. (Note: do not mark if the Jammer simply does not become Lead Jammer.) Reasons for loss of Lead status are:

  • Jammer is sent to the Box as Lead Jammer
  • Jammer is sent to the Box before completing their initial trip and Lead has not yet been awarded
  • Jammer completes a star pass after earning Lead Jammer status or before it has been awarded
  • Jammer or Jammer’s teammate intentionally removes their helmet cover for any other reason after earning Lead Jammer status or before it has been awarded
  • Jammer is the first to complete their initial trip but is not awarded Lead due to no pass/no penalty

LEAD – When the Referee signals that the Jammer has earned Lead Jammer status, mark this box with an ‘X’.

CALL – If the Jammer of the team calls off the jam prior to its natural conclusion, mark this box.

INJ – Mark this box if the jam is called-off due to an injury.

NI – (No Initial) If the Jammer does not complete their initial trip through the pack before the jam ends, mark an ‘X’ in this box. Leave the box for Trip 2 empty as the Jammer has not started scoring trips.

TRIP 2, TRIP 3, ETC. – Each time the Jammer goes through the pack, the Referee will signal how many points they earned on that trip. (Note: there are no points earned on their first/initial trip through the pack.) Scoring for jams with ten or more scoring trips should be marked in the Trip 10 column as: [ninth scoring trip points] + [tenth scoring trip points]+ …

JAM TOTAL – At the end of the jam, tally the points for each trip.

GAME TOTAL – Keep a running tally for the entire period. The period 1 total (at the bottom of the page) will carry over into the next period.

a) During the second jam, there was a Star Pass; Pivot #2121 becomes the new Jammer and continues where the previous Jammer left off.
b) In jam three, the Jammer did not get through the pack at all before the jam ended.
c) Jammer #55 earned the status of Lead Jammer and called off the jam before its 2 minute natural conclusion.

Star Passes

Both Scorekeepers will write in two rows in a jam which has a Star Pass.

The Scorekeeper for the Star Passing team should move to the next row and write ‘SP’ in the Jam # column. Write the new Jammer’s number in the Jammer’s Number column, and pick up the scoring on the trip where the previous Jammer left off.

If the original Jammer is still on the initial trip when a Star Pass occurs, the NI column should be marked. If the new Jammer also does not complete the initial trip, then the NI column should be marked in the SP row as well.

The Scorekeeper for the NON-Star Passing team should wait to see if their team performs a Star Pass as well. If that team did not Star Pass during the same jam, at end of the jam move to the next row and write ‘SP*’ in the Jam # column, leaving the rest of that row intentionally blank.

NOTE: The current Standard Practice is to record points only when the Jammer Referee has signalled points at the end of a Jammer’s trip. This means all points scored on a scoring trip of a Star Pass should be recorded for the new Jammer.

One team star passes

During the second jam, there was a Star Pass; Pivot #2121 becomes the new Jammer and continues where the previous Jammer left off.
The opposing team did not Star Pass, so ‘SP*’ has been entered.

Both teams star pass

During the second jam, there was a Star Pass; Pivot #2121 becomes the new Jammer and continues where the previous Jammer left off.
The opposing team also had a Star Pass; Pivot #80 becomes the new Jammer and continues where the previous Jammer left off. There only needs to be one line for the star passes; as both teams had a star pass there is no need for a SP* line.

Overtime Jam

A game may never end in a tie score. If the score is tied at the end of a game, an overtime jam will determine the winner.

Overtime jams last the full two minutes, and there is no Lead Jammer. Jammers will begin scoring points on their initial trip. The score for the first trip will be recorded in the Trip 2 column as such: [Initial Trip points] + [Second Trip points].

If the score remains tied, additional overtime jams will be played until the tie is broken.


Prior to the first jam, tie the coloured wristband around the wrist of the hand to be used to be signal to the Referees. When the game begins, watch the assigned Referee and do not get distracted.

As the Jammers make their way through the pack on their initial trip, know which Jammer (if either) earned Lead Jammer status. On subsequent trips, Referees will signal how many points were earned. Use the hand with the wristband to mimic the points back to the Referee. Watch the Jammer Referee for a score, especially at the end of a jam as they may have scored points. Wait for this before reporting the score to the Scoreboard Operator.

Communication between both Scorekeepers and the Scoreboard Operator is very important. After each scoring trip announce Colour and Points scored to the Scoreboard Operator, e.g. ‘Red 4’. Other things to announce are lead, lost lead, and star pass so all three NSOs can hear. Check regularly that all three have the same current jam number.

The Official Score is the one that is shown on the Scoreboard. Corrections to this can only be made during the lineup and the jam following the one where the error occurred. After this, the score displayed will be taken to be the correct one. It is extremely important to ensure that the Scoreboard Operator has been given the correct number of points for each trip and jam. If an error has occured but it is too late to correct the Official Score, make a note of the reason for the error as this will need to be recorded by the HNSO.

If less than two minutes remain of the second period, the score must be corrected before the start of the following jam. The Head Referee may choose to take an Official Timeout at this point to give the opportunity to check this.

A tip for making sure a score has been recorded when needed is to place a dot in the bottom left of each trip box as the Jammer starts that trip. This dot means that a score needs to be recorded in that box, even if it is zero. Further information can be found in Nine Inch Wheel’s Dot System.

Before the Jammer passes through the pack again, double-check the maths. Between jams and during timeouts, double-check the maths. Any time there is a break in the game play, double-check the maths.


Illegal Procedure

Rule 2.2.2

A Jammer without Lead Jammer status successfully calling off a jam


Scenario C4.3.F

Profane, abusive, and obscene language is unsporting and degrading to the sport, but should not always be penalized. If said language was audible to the audience or via broadcast, [the skater] is penalized. If [the skater]’s profanity was directed at an Official, [the skater] is penalized. Otherwise, a few choice words directed at a teammate or opponent should result in a warning and be penalized if the behavior continues.

Scorekeepers will be able to issue these penalties themselves unless the Head Referee says otherwise, this will be clarified before the start of the game. If the penalty should be issued to the Captain, this should be reported to the Head Referee who will issue this.

Issuing penalties must be done in accordance with Officiating Discretion. The correct verbal cue and hand signal must be used, these can be found in WFTDA Officiating Cues, Codes And Signals.

End of First Period

Complete the boxes at the bottom of the page to count up the total number of jams, the total number of Lost, Lead, Call, Injury and No Initials, and the total score for each trip. The combined total of the trips should equal the total score.

Find the colour’s assigned Jammer Referee and ask them to double check the scores and the maths. They can then sign this sheet.

Transcribe the Game Total at the bottom of period one to the top of the next sheet. The Jammer Referees will switch their roles and the Scorekeeper will switch with them, staying with the same Referee for the second period. Trade paperwork and coloured wristbands with the other Scorekeeper.

NOTE: At the end of the game, the Head NSO will get the final scores and record them on the IGRF before getting signatures from the Team Captains.

Making roller derby accessible for people with colour vision deficiencies

What is colour vision deficiency

Colour vision deficiency (often referred to as ‘colour-blindness’) affects a significant proportion of the population. In Europe the most common form of it affects 1 in 12 people with a single X chromosome and 1 in 200 people with two X chromosomes (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/color-vision-deficiency#statistics).

Despite this prevalence, many aspects of society are not made accessible to colour-blind individuals.

Exactly how colour-blindness affects someone varies from individual to individual. By far the most common form is red-green colour blindness which means that the person has abnormal red or green cones in their retina. The impact this can have ranges from a person struggling to tell the difference between a reddish-brown and a greenish-brown through to a person being completely unable to see one of the colours.


Describing colour-blindness is very hard to do to someone without it. It’s incredibly hard for a person with normal colour vision to imagine not being able to do something which comes so naturally.

NOTE: Please remember that with all these examples the fact that you’re viewing it on a screen and not in real life will alter the colour display.

The example I often use when trying to describe my personal experience of colour-blindness is that I can’t play snooker. The moment the brown ball ends up amongst the reds I can’t tell where it is anymore because the colours are just too similar for me. The image below is a simulation of how I view snooker balls – it’s not perfect but I hope it will give you an idea.

Picture of a standard set of snooker balls. The image on the left shows the original colours and the picture on the right shows a simulation of viewing the balls with colour vision deficiency.

Original image by barfisch – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Another example is the standard tests used to diagnose colour-blindness: the Ishihara plates. In the image below, people with normal colour vision are expected to see the number 74 whereas those with red-green colour vision deficiencies are expected to see 21.

Further examples can be found at colourvisiontesting.com

Impact in roller derby

So, let’s get to the meat of this – exactly what impact does colour-blindness have in roller derby? I’m going to approach this as an official as that’s my only real experience of the sport but remember that most of these issues are likely to impact other roles connected to the sport as well.


The biggest issue I’ve come across is the colour of people’s numbers. It is very common for skaters to choose to put red numbers on a black (or other dark colour) background. This isn’t particularly easy to see for anyone but can be problematic for those with red-cone deficiency.

Take this image below – with full colour vision it appears to contrast quite well. (Apologies to any skaters with the number 123, this isn’t picking on you I just had to choose a number).

123 in red text on a black background

Now I’ll apply a filter to simulate colour-blindness.

The above image with the red component reduced

This number is obviously a lot harder to see. Now remember that people will be trying to read this number as it moves around on a skater’s back or arm and hopefully you’ll be able to imagine how hard that can be.

Shirt colours

The other problem which I’ve come across on a few occasions is the colour of the kit worn by each team being too similar. The rules state that the teams must wear contrasting kits but the interpretation of contrasting can differ and those with full colour vision sometimes don’t consider how the kits may look to those with colour-blindness.

I’ve only ever had one kit combination where I’ve been completely unable to tell two teams apart. This was green versus grey and the players’ sweat had turned both colours into a dark greenish-grey to my eyes. Fortunately I was an OPR and this was Sur5al so I stepped out for a few jams and all was fine. However, if this had been a full length game then I would have likely had to withdraw from the crew.

The more common issue I have is where the team colours are slightly similar but different enough to be identifiable (for instance green and black). This is all fine before the game but once skaters start moving things like pack definition become very hard.

For pack definition I generally rely a lot on my peripheral vision where colour vision is worse. However, when the colours are closer I have to use my central vision more which increases the mental load of pack definition and notably reduces my ability to focus on other areas of the game.

What can be done to improve accessibility

There are a hundred tools out there for simulating colour-blindness that you might be able to use to determine if kits are sufficiently readable. However, none of them can simulate it perfectly and there’s a much easier way to be sure: luminance.

Colour-blindness impacts how hues are observed but how dark or light something is isn’t impacted. So, if two things are of a completely different brightness then they’ll always be visible regardless of colour vision.

The image below depicts a particularly hard number for me to see – red on a dark coloured background. (Again, these colours chosen for difficulty not to single out any team or skater).

Red 123 on a dark turquoise background

If we convert this to greyscale then we get the following:

The above image converted to greyscale

Now the number in this image is definitely visible, but I wouldn’t describe it as highly contrasting which is what we want. So, let’s look at a colour which could make this a lot better.

Light yellow 123 on a dark turquoise background

Whether or not yellow is a particularly aesthetically pleasing colour to go for in this case, it does make it a lot clearer and I wanted to choose a colour rather than just plain white to show that it can be something more interesting. When converting this to greyscale we get the following:

The above image converted to greyscale

This is obviously much more contrasting and could easily be seen by someone even if they had complete colour-blindness.

The other option is to use a highly contrasting border around the number. This way the desired colours can be kept but it still makes it possible for colour-deficient people to see.


Roller derby is a wonderfully inclusive sport but more could be done to improve accessibility for people with colour vision deficiencies whatever their role in the sport.

The simplest steps to take to ensure that the sport is accessible are for teams to ensure that their numbers have a highly contrasting luminance with the rest of their kit; and for head officials and game coordinators to ensure that the teams playing have a high luminance contrast between their kits.

Testing for luminance difference can be done by taking a photo of the kit and converting it to greyscale. Remember that some colours (green is especially bad for this) may appear bright to your eyes but are actually quite dark when converted.

Further reading