Know Your Ref Faces

DISCLAIMER: Every single one of these photos are taken completely, and utterly, out of context and each point is simply meant to be taken in good fun!

Nothing beats a damn good ref face. And boy are there some damn good ones. Inspired by an amazing ref face capture I saw re-posted on Facebook this morning (It. Is. Epic.), I thought I’d take a moment to educate fans and players on the hidden meanings behind, and hidden nuances within, the many faces of your skating officials. This also doubles as super serious training material for all new skating officials. You baby zebras need to learn how to use these faces appropriately.

P.S. All photos (with the exception of one) courtesy of Rob Vida Photography.

The “You Don’t Say!” Face

Is that so

“Oh yeah? That is super! But if you’ll please excuse me, I’m gonna get back to reffing this game happening right now.”

Best suited for conversations you don’t really want to have, the passive-aggressive “You Don’t Say!” face is perfectly suited for being uncomfortably nice as you politely hint to somebody that you’re simply not interested in their feedback on what is and isn’t being called.

The “Get Outta My Face” Face

Get Outta Mah Face

“@#$%&… you turn RIGHT back around…”

Nothing says “back off…” like the “Get Outta My Face” face. See a player or coach skating toward you with more commentary you’re tired of hearing? Toss them this doozy of a gander that perfectly communicates: “you better think twice about coming over here.”

The “Don’t You Know I’m Loco?” Face

Don't You Know I'm Loco


This face actually comes in MANY forms, all under different sub-categories, and does not necessarily have any specific expression guidelines other than there are frequently crazy eyes while  yelling. Also, the “Don’t You Know I’m Loco?” face commonly happens entirely by accident, most of often while screaming pack definition or calling penalties. Observe:

The “Just So I’m Clear…” Face


“You want me to review the points scored in jam three, of last month’s game, in Helsinki, which you saw footage of on Youtube?”

Okay so the captioned challenge scenario never actually happened BUT sometimes we really do have to reconfirm what you are challenging because in some cases, *cough* Coach Lime *cough, there are actually 2 to 3 different challenges cleverly rolled into a seemingly single challenge. Other times, we honestly just want to make sure we’re 100% clear on what your dispute is. Regardless, Lolemite here is displaying the “Just so I’m clear…” face in PERFECT form.

The “Yeah, whatever” Face

Yeah, whatever

“Yeah, whatever.”

Exactly… pffffff.

The “Welcome to Bates Motel” Face

Welcome to Bates Motel

“Why, yes… we do have a few vacancies. Mother will be most pleased.”

One of the skaters giving you a lot of guff? Don’t want anyone to talk to you? Try tossing everyone the “Welcome  to Bates Motel”. Also known as the “Taxidermist’s Glare”, nothing gives a player the hibbie-jibbies like a well placed Norman Bates impression! BUT BE CAREFUL! This ref face must be used in extreme moderation and under no circumstances should it be used at an after-party while approaching somebody on the dance floor.

The “If I Don’t Move… They Can’t See Me” Face & Pose Combo


“Don’t… blink… or… breathe…”

“[She] moves like a bird, lightly, bobbing [her] head. And you keep still because you think that maybe [her] visual acuity is based on movement like T-Rex – [she’ll] lose you if you don’t move. But no, not [the derby girl]. You stare at [her], and [she] just stares right back. And that’s when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, from the other two [derby girls] you didn’t even know were there. Because [derby girl]’s a pack hunter, you see, [she] uses coordinated attack patterns and [she] is out in force today. And [she] slashes at you with this – a six-inch retractable claw, like a razor, on the middle toe. [She] doesn’t bother to bite your jugular like a lion, oh no … [she] slashes at you here … maybe across the belly, spilling your intestines. The point is … you are alive when they start to eat you.”

– Dr. Alan Grant, Jurassic Park. (Quote also taken completely out of context).

DISCLAIMER: Derby girls are not really like Velociraptors… but they DO attack in packs. HAHHHH… speaking of which!


"Hahhh, she fell off the bench."

“Hahhh, she fell off the bench.”

We officials have fun too and it’s actually not uncommon to see us laugh or smile! We’ll laugh alongside everyone else when a jammer starts twerking on the jam line or a blocker completely miscalculates sitting on the bench and biffs it. I’m just kidding, officials don’t ever smile. The above photo was heavily Photoshopped, which bring us to my personal favorite face, and easily the most common officiating face!

The “…” Face



So there you have it, folks! A beginner’s guide to understanding your officials’ faces. For new refs, now you know of the outstanding arsenal you have at your disposal. But just remember… with great power… comes great responsibility. Choose your faces wisely! Bah forget it, the truth is that you don’t choose your ref face… your ref face chooses YOU. Happy officiating!

Headshot1Written By Kevin “Kevlar” Dennison

Owner-Operator of Derby Frontier



  1. Lmao love it!!

    But my favorite isn’t there: Kevlar’s patented ” I can’t see you, I’m calmly skating, but kindly get yourself to the penalty box” face accompanied by the arm-swoop point

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