NSO 101 – It’s all about timing


Edgy! What’s with all the hardware?


Well I’m glad I asked myself that question so that I could tell you all about the wonder of Jam Timing.

Jam Timing is my favourite thing to do as an NSO. It’s quite unexpected really given that I am a bit of an anxious person, not a big fan of all attention being on me, generally kind of quiet. So naturally I want to stand in the middle of the track and shout and blow a whistle! My partner actually came to watch a scrim recently and said they didn’t realise I could shout that loud. Only been together nearly 12 years!

Here comes the science part:

The job of the Jam Timer is, surprisingly, to time the jams – but there’s more! So first of all the Jam Timer signals the start of the game with a rolling whistle, then calls FIVE SECONDS to prepare the skaters and officials for the start of the first jam, and at the start of every jam thereafter. Then they are timing the jam. The jam can be a maximum of two minutes long so if the clock runs to two minutes without it being called off by a jammer the Jam Timer calls it off with three sets of four whistles and resets the clock to time 30 seconds between jams. The Jam Timer also times team time outs to one minute and signals that a time out is either a team time out, an official time out (where officials request a time out of indeterminate length to amend something or query something with each other), or an Official Review.

One of the most important things that a Jam Timer has to do is keep track of the 30 minute period clock, which stops for time outs and official reviews. The clock then restarts at the start of the jam and does not time the seconds between the end of the timeout and the start of the jam. Therefore if a time out is called within the last 30 seconds of a game the clock can be stopped and restarted and another jam can be squeezed in before the clock runs out. If there are less than 30 seconds on the clock and a time out is not called then the period will end before a new jam can start. And a jam can run past the end of the period clock as long as it starts within the 30 minutes. So, if there are 31 ┬áseconds on the clock a jam can happen and there are 29 seconds on the clock it can’t. At a game you might see the Jam Timer and Score Board Operator signalling to each other and the time on the scoreboard changing so that it matches the Jam Timer’s stopwatch. It’s a delicate task in a fast and furious environment!

That’s a detailed but hopefully not boring account of what Jam Timers do for you. And, AND(!) sometimes they are empowered to call specific penalties, which is exciting! I have been empowered but not had the opportunity to use my penalty calling rights as of yet. Good skaters. Well behaved, non-game-delaying skaters. *nods approvingly*

See you in a few weeks folks!

Welcome to the home of the Birmingham Blitz Dames! We're an all-female, full-contact, flat track roller derby team based in Birmingham in the UK. We skate fast and we hit hard! Our league is skater run and owned - and we're proud to work and play as a team, and compete at the highest level. We take women from all backgrounds and train athletes. Whether you've played roller sports all your life or never tried on a pair of skates - if you'd like to join a great team and play a fast-paced, hard-hitting, athletic sport, come and join us! See you on the track!

Posted in Meet the Dames Tagged with: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *