Don't let the silly face fool you. Lady F'n Justice is an upstanding member of the community, a longtime SCAR Derby volunteer, and a major asset to the roller derby community. Starting as a non-skating official during SCAR Derby's inaugural season, she took the plunge into the April Fresh Meat class and has been working ever since to become a skating member of the SCAR community. Having just passed her referee assessment, the St. Valentine's Massacre will be her debut as a referee.
So we sat down with her to ask a few questions about her experience with SCAR -- and don't you know she answered them all, and then some.
Off the track, what kind of work do you do? Do you have any other hobbies besides roller derby?
I was a graduate student in a Child Development PhD program. I am now a Postdoctoral Fellow.
What drew you to roller derby?
My boyfriend was a ref, so I started helping out with the league. After spending time with the ladies, I fell in love with both the derby girls and the sport itself. I just couldn’t resist.
What is your position while playing/participating, and how do *you* approach it?
I was a scorekeeper as a non-skating official (NSO) and am now going to be a ref. I took my scorekeeping position seriously, and learned how best to support the teams and the refs by reading the rules and asking questions. The most important aspect was showing up on time with a good attitude. All jobs are important, no matter how (un)glamorous. As a ref, I try to skate and safely as I can. I also do my best to study the rules whenever I have free time.
What do you think about SCAR’s upcoming schedule? What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
I am absolutely psyched about SCAR’s upcoming schedule! The derby girls have come such a long way in the last year. I love seeing them get better, use more strategy while playing, and get the crowd pumped up.
This year as a ref, I personally, hope to know the rules well enough to make the game more safe and fair for all players involved. I know I will make my mistakes. I know that I will make some of the derby girls mad at me during the bout. I know I will make good and bad calls. I just hope I learn more and more with every practice and event. I also hope that I am able to help the derby players gain a more in-depth grasp of the complicated derby rules.
What do you find most challenging about your position?
Having people understand that my enforcement of the rules as a ref is not personal. I am just trying to do my job as best I can. Also, that refs miss things, and cannot call a penalty unless they see the beginning, middle, and end. There is a lot to look for on that track.
As a ref, I will miss something important. I will make a bad call. Talking to me after about it, and helping me understand your point of view will make me a better ref, and maybe you a better player. Yelling at me, may get out some of your frustration, so go ahead, do what you need to do as a derby girl. However, it will not help me learn to make better calls. I guarantee it.
What SCAR achievements are you most proud of?
I am just happy that I can stay up on my skates. Before August, I was barely able to balance myself on roller skates. Now, I can do t-stops and crossovers. For a klutz like me, that is an achievement.
What was your most embarrassing SCAR moment?
Where to begin? I am constantly embarrassing myself when I fall, especially when it is flat on my back. However, you just laugh at yourself, brush yourself off, and try again.
What would you tell a person who is thinking about coming to a SCAR Bout/trying out to ref or skate for SCAR/volunteering with SCAR?
Just do it!!! Come and join us. Seriously, you will have a good time.
Who supports you in doing roller derby, and what would you say to them?
I got a great deal of support from my fellow fresh meat cohort, the refs, and most of the derby girls that I know well.
What would I say to them? Thanks for making me a better person. I hope that I enhance your life in some way too!!!
Any injury stories?
None so far. Is anyone knocking on wood for me? Someone? Anyone?