Bench Manager or Bench Coach; whichever term you prefer – those people who stand in the corners squinting at the track and occasionally waving obscurely. Ever wondered what they really do? Or why? Fancied trying it but been unsure where to start? This article is (hopefully) for you!
Before we start, there is probably no such thing in the derby-verse as the standard BM role – some teams have a permanent bench team, some conscript an available person near the time and some use non-rostered team skaters. The advice contained below is based on a combination of my current experience benching Bristol A‘s, and previous experience benching Bristol B‘s; you may find it more or less applicable to your situation, especially if you are helping with mixed teams.
In early October Bristol Roller Derby Bees went over to Hannover to play the brilliant Demolition Derby Dolls. B Team Captain Scar Faith decided to keep a diary of what went on…
13:45 – And we’re off! All packed and ready to go to Hannover for my first game as Bristol Roller Derby B(ee) Team Captain! We’re dragging some of the BRD men with us too, so there’s gonna be 23 BRDers invading Germany!!
14.10 – … Ok, now we’re off. I’m not sure my fellow car passengers share my opinion about leaving as much contingency time as possible when travelling to the airport. But the delightful POW, injured B-teamer and step-in Line-Up Manager, is a calming influence and despite the traffic we make it to Birmingham airport in plenty of time.