NSO Helper
by picoSpace PTY LTD

  1. Overview
    1. Settings
  2. Team Lists
  3. Penalty Wrangling
  4. Recalling A Queued Skater
  5. Penalty Box Management
    1. Seating A Blocker
    2. Seating A Jammer
    3. Recalling A Queued Skater
    4. Skater is Standing (10 seconds)
    5. When a skater leaves early
    6. Misc
  6. Advanced Topics
    1. Downloading Lists
    2. Line Up Selection (Optional)
  7. Privacy Policy


NSO Helper is a collection of tools designed to facilitate either the simplification of tasks associated with performing Non-Skating Official duties during roller derby games, or reducing the number of volunteers needed during non-production games (i.e. training or scrimmages).

The available tools are:

Penalty Box Timing:
Designed for non-production games (i.e. training scrimmages or Family and Friends games), the penalty box timing tool aims to allow a lone NSO manage all 6 penalty box positions. The penalty box timing tool provides a full implementation of all "revolving jammer" rules, provision for enforcing penalty box violations associated with a skater leaving the box early, and the ability to stop the time of a skater that doesn't stand when instructed.
Penalty Wrangling:
Instead of juggling whiteboard markers, whiteboards and whiteboard erasers / piece of rag / glove, the wrangling tool allows the penalty wrangler to record a penalty to a list in just 3 clicks (colour, number penalty code).
Penalty Box Recall:
Designed to replace the whiteboard that penalty box managers use to recall skaters. By automatically increasing the font size to fill the available screen space, skaters that are in the penalty box queue can be displayed to referees with a level of contrast and clarity that makes NSO Helper running on a handheld Android smartphone possess superior legibility from large distances than a whiteboard of significantly greater size:

To facilitate the tracking of skaters, the team lists need to be entered into NSO Helper. To simplify this process, team lists may be downloaded via the Internet in CSV format. More details on this are provided below.


The following settings are available:

  • Fullscreen mode can be turned on and off to hide the status bar.
  • Disable Menus: for Android devices with no dedicated "menu" button, the top of the Team List page contains buttons to replace the functionality lost as a result. If your device has a dedicated "menu" button, then enabling this options removes those buttons from the Team List page, reducing the amount of clutter and increasing the amount of screen available for displaying team lists.
  • Penalty Box Time: The number of seconds a skater spends in the penalty box when a penalty is awarded. Currently defaults to the 2013 Rule set value of 60 seconds.
  • LIS Setup: To reduce the amount of device-based data entry needed to setup the teams prior to a game, NSO Helper is capable of downloading team lists directly from an appropriately designed "League Information System". This is discussed in more detail below, but these options are used to provide the URL and authentication information to reach your LIS.
  • Fonts: Some font sizes need to be adjusted to suit your preferences. Specifically the font size of skater numbers when NSO Helper you to select a skater:

    and when the Penalty Box manager tells you to release a skater:

Team Lists

The default tab displayed when NSO Helper starts is the "Teams" tab. From here the list of skaters for each team can be viewed and edited:

To delete a skater from the lineup, long press the skater; you will be given an opportunity to confirm the deletion of the skater from the roster.

To manually edit a team, click on the appropriate "Edit" button. A menu will be displayed with the options available:

Change Colour:
A colour selector tool will be displayed to allow you to change the colour of the various buttons that are displayed which are tied to the team being edited:

Change Colour Name:
Use this option to change the name of the colour called when referees call a penalty against a skater of this team.
Add Skater:
Enter the skater's number and name, and they will be added to the roster for the team.
Clear Team:
Clears the entire roster for a team.

Adjustments to the roster should be avoided when a game is in progress; care needs to be taken to ensure that the rosters for both teams are finalised before NSO Helper starts to be used.

For information on downloading your team lists via NSO Helper's web interface, and for handling rosters with more than the regulation-permitted 14 skaters, see Advanced Topics.

Penalty Wrangling

Penalty wrangling is a very straight-forward process. Click the colour of the team, then click the skater's number, then click the penalty code associated with the penalty issued. If the penalty type is unknown at the time of entry, use "?".

Note that tagging skaters as being on the track affects the order in which the skaters are displayed here. On-track skaters are listed first.

The penalty will then be displayed in a list along with other penalties wrangled:

To clear a penalty, click the penalty on the list; after confirming that you are sure, the penalty will be cleared from the list. Note that if "?" was selected as the penalty type, NSO Helper will ask again for the type of penalty awarded - once a penalty code is provided (other than "?"), the item will turn into a "normal" penalty entry, which can then be cleared by clicking on it. This is designed to allow the capture of penalties whose code is not immediately known at the time of entry.

Recalling A Queued Skater

Built directly into the penalty box timing tool, recalling a skater is also possible independently of the penalty box tool. The "Q" tab displays the rosters of both teams in a manner similar to the "Teams" tab:

Select the skaters that need to be recalled - only 2 per team will be displayed if more than 2 per team are selected. When ready, press the "Recall" button. All selected skaters numbers will be displayed. When it is clear that a referee has recalled the skater, clicking on the skater's number will remove the skater from the display, and the display will resize itself to make the font used to display the remaining skaters larger.

Multiple clicks on a single skater can be used to cycle between:

  1. The most common case - a queued skater (252Q)
  2. A skater that has left the box early (M08)
  3. A skater that needs an additional Misconduct penalty due to the violence associated with their box entry (X509)

Long clicking can be used to clear a skater's recall status.

Penalty Box Management

The penalty box tool is designed for non-production games, where a goal is minimising the number of volunteers required to run a scrimmage. By using NSO Helper, a single volunteer can run the entire penalty box.

The Pause/Unpause button should be used to pause the penalty box count down in between jams and during time outs. The buttons labeled "J" and "B" will be referred to "chairs" in this documentation.

Seating a blocker

To seat a blocker, press the appropriate "Blocker" button for that team. A list of the skaters for that team (who are not already in the box) will be provided:

If there is space in the penalty box, the coloured buttons at the top will update to indicate the number of the skater that sat down, and how much time is remaining to be served for that skater:

If the penalty box is full, and the skater is already in the queue, an additional minute will be recorded against the skater, so that when they are finally able to serve their time, the correct number of minutes will be served. The events list at the bottom of the screen will note the fact that the skater is in the queue. Release the skater and recall them when a spot is available:

Seating a jammer

Click on the appropriate jammer chair and select the jammer. NSO Helper enforces all "revolving jammer" rules specified in 7.3 Both Jammers Penalized / Both Jammers Off the Track".

Recalling a queued skater

When the penalty box tool is being used to run the entire penalty box, NSO Helper manages the queuing and recall of skaters when the penalty box is full.

Simply press the "Recall" button, and the colour and numbers of up to 4 queued skaters (2 per team) will be displayed, with the text size adjusted to be as big as possible:

When a referee has recalled a skater, clicking on the skater's number will cause the number to be cleared from the display, further enlarging the font of the remaining skater:

When the skater is recorded as seated in the penalty box, they will be removed from the recall list.

Skater is standing (10 seconds)

At 10 seconds, the skater's status will move to the event list and appear in yellow:

When the skater stands, click on the event to indicate that the skater is standing, after which the skater's event will turn green. If this is not done, the timer associated with the skater's penalty box trip is paused at 9 seconds (i.e. the skater has 1 second to respond by standing). Once the skater finally stands, their timer can be resumed by clicked their event.

When their time has elapsed, NSO Helper will prompt the user to release the skater:

When a skater leaves early

If a skater leaves the penalty box early without having been told that they are "done", the skater has earned an additional penalty for an Illegal Procedure ("Penalty Box Violation"). If the seat is still considered to be in use by the skater, click on their "chair" and select "Penalty Box Violation". This option is also available by clicking or long-clicking on the event if the skater is standing.

The chair will remain occupied, but an event will appear in the list at the bottom of the screen. Note the increase in penalty box time.

You can click the event to recall the skater, or resume the (now increased) time when they are re-seated in the penalty box.


If necessary, you can click on a penalty box chair to change the number of trips owing, release a skater, or display their number in a manner that suggests a Misconduct penalty is being requested:

Advanced Topics

Downloading Lists

This section assumes knowledge of URLs and CGI methods. A simple set of example files is available at:

To use these with NSO Helper directly, set the "LIS URL" to http://www.picospace.com.au/downloads/nsoHelper/teamList.csv?.

In the preferences menu, under "LIS Setup", the "URL to your LIS" is a URL to either a file, or a CGI script which returns a CSV file of the form "Team Name,URL,red,green,blue,colourName". Where red, green and blue is a number between 0-255 that indicates how much of that colour is present in the team's colour. For example, Red would be red=255, green=0, blue=0; Aqua would be red=0, green=255, blue=255. Colour name refers to the colour that is called when referees call a penalty (eg. "Blue 1-2-3-4 False Start" would indicate a colour name of Blue). For further assistance, web-sites such as http://www.colorpicker.com/ provide a convenient way of determining RGB values based on the colour chosen by the user.

If your LIS for NSO Helper is a CGI script, then the script should accept a URL-encoded parameter "key", which will contain the URL-encoded contents of the setting "URL Key" - this can be used by CGI developers to send information back to the CGI host for authentication purposes. The URL specified in the settings should end with a "?" as NSO Helper will simply append "key=VALUE" to the end of the URL that will be GETed. Similarly, any URL in the CSV file should either end with a "?" or if extra parameters are specified, an "&".

As an example:

Team A,http://www.example.com/cgi-bin/teamlist?ID=1211&,255,0,0,Red
Team B,http://www.example.com/files/teamB.csv?,0,0,255,Blue
Team C,http://www.example.com/files/teamB.csv?,255,0,255,Purple

Once the list of teams is downloaded, a list will be displayed and the user will be prompted to select a team. The URL contained in the second field will be visited, with the "key=VALUE" appended. For example, if the "URL Key" parameter in the settings menu is set to "MyVoiceIsMyPassport", then the URLs visited for Team A and Team B in the example above are:



The file format for a team's roster is:


For example:

Skater A,SK8R

Line Up Selection (Optional)

In "normal" games where there are no more than 14 skaters, NSO Helper is capable of displaying all skater's numbers simultaneously. However in situations where the number of skaters on a team exceed 16, it may become necessary for the user to "tag" skaters who are currently on the track, resulting in those skaters appearing at the start of the list of skaters that is displayed in the penalty box and penalty wrangling tools.

To tag a skater as being on the track, click their entry on the "Teams" tab. They will be highlighted in white, indicating that they have been tagged as on the track:

Note that this process is purely optional if the user is willing to scroll through a list of more than 16 skaters.

Privacy Policy

With the exception of performing a license check with Google's Play Store intermittently, NSO Helper does not otherwise send or store any identifying information to any other system or service.

If the app is navigated away from during use, the current state of the application (the state of the timers, timeouts and reviews available etc), is saved to your device, and loaded again the next time the app is run.