STOP It’s Jam Time

Hello you lovely bunch of people and welcome back to the PRG NSO blog! I know we have been a tad lazy for the past couple of months and haven’t written the blog for a while, but we are back and in full swing for the New Year!

There is so much to catch up on, so let’s start with the awesome news!

Preston Roller Girls are officially Tier 3! We have been promoted and will be skating in the Tier 3 North British Championships games this year, and as you can imagine we are super excited! With this though come some new challenges for our lovely NSOs and Refs, so we want to make sure that we keep everyone updated with what’s going on and telling you all about the roles YOU could do for PRG as an NSO!

So let’s get started shall we….

In the last instalment we told you all about scorekeeping and what is involved, this week we are going to be focusing on Jam Timing and what you need to know to make you the best whistle blower you can be!

So let’s start with the basics and have a look at what the main role of the jam timer is:

The Jam Timer is the most visible NSO in a bout. They start each jam with a whistle, and time the two minutes for a full jam.

And that’s just the beginning, the jam timer has a few different things that they need to make sure they do during a bout, so let’s get into the details. One of the main things the Jam Timer needs to do is time the jam (I mean it says it in the name!) and if the jam isn’t called off early by the Lead Jammer, then the Jam Timer will whistle for the end of the jam after two minutes. At the same moment, they start timing the 30 second period until the next jam. When there are 5 seconds remaining, they call “five seconds” to warn the skaters, then whistle to start the next jam.

The Jam Timer also stands on track and indicates a hand signal if either team or the officials call for a time out. Let’s have a look at what these signals are with some awesome pics of the lovely WFTDA officials!

  1. Team Time Out – As the Jam Timer you will stand on the Pivot line and make this signal (hands like a T) and then point to the team who are having the time out!

Time Out

Official Time Out – The Refs can call for an official timeout at any point during a game, this can be for a number of reason (like track repair, issues with the scoreboard or to have a discussion about the game between the refs). When an official review is called the Jam Timer should again stand on the Pivot Line and do this signal:

Official Time Out

  1. Official Review – During any bout each team has one official review for each half which can be used at any time. Again the Jam Timer will need to stand on the Pivot Line and do this signal, then point to the team who have called the official review (and then repeat the movement, don’t just stand there pointing, how rude!).

Official Review

So those are your basic signals for when any reviews or timeouts are called, pretty easy right (now don’t roll your eyes at me) it takes time to get used to remembering all of these, Dem’olisher always gets them wrong!

Some of you eagle eyed readers will be sat there wondering why we said whistles, what about the whistles (calm down it’s not a rave, although sometimes you might think the Refs are having one).

Again we will turn to the wonderful WFTDA for some help with this:

  • Jam-starting Whistle
    • One short
  • Jam Called Off/Ended
    • Four rapid
  • End of Bout & End of First Half
    • One long rolling whistle

Now letting you hear them is a tad more difficult to put on a blog (never worry though Dem’olisher is on it so watch this space for these to be added soon), but the simple answer is just to get in touch and one of fabulous HNSOs (even if we do say so ourselves) will show you exactly what you need to do!

There are only a couple more rules that we need to mention (I know this means that this instalment is nearing its end, noooooo I hear you all say!).

Firstly you need to make sure you have two stopwatches, the first is for timing the whole bout and the other is used to time each jam. As you can imagine this can get a bit complicated but the basic rules are, if an official review etc is called then the game clock stops and the same applies for half time. But in the general mix of things the game clock just keeps running!

And last but not least, the final role of the Jam Timer is to communicate with the Scoreboard Operator to tell them how long your game stopwatch has left when an official review or half time is called etc. This is done easily with hand signals (no running to and from involved, BONUS!), let’s have a look at what these are now:

  • Example – The game stopwatch is showing 26:30 left of the bout but when you check the scoreboard is showing as 26:35 left. You as the Jam Timer should get the attention of the Scoreboard Operator (they should be looking at your beautiful face anyway) and do the following signals:

Hand Signals

This signal just means Down by Five! Simple and easy. So the others are exactly the same (except sometimes you might need to use your hands and feet, ok this is a joke, don’t lay down on track and start sticking your feet up in the air!).

So now you know how to jam time! If you have any questions let us know by commenting below and someone will get back to you!

If you have any suggestions or things you want to know for future editions of Whistles and Clipboards then why not get in touch here.

And that’s it! Thanks for reading everyone but for now we will blow our whistles at you and call time with a long rolling whistle!

Dem’olisher and Iron Maeven