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USA Hockey Level 1 ref - What to expect?

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10-16-2013, 12:05 PM
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I Am The Stig
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USA Hockey Level 1 ref - What to expect?

Hey guys, I recently started reffing (as a level 1) and have done a few games so far. Currently I'm only doing games 10-under and some mens league games. Funny thing is that I find the mens league games to be easier than reffing a squirt game since for me at least, it's a little hard to analyze why a certain kid fell down. Given a few games though I've had my share of coach and parent banter. Is there anything else I should keep a heads up for or keep in mind as the season progresses?

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10-24-2013, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by I Am The Stig View Post
Hey guys, I recently started reffing (as a level 1) and have done a few games so far. Currently I'm only doing games 10-under and some mens league games. Funny thing is that I find the mens league games to be easier than reffing a squirt game since for me at least, it's a little hard to analyze why a certain kid fell down. Given a few games though I've had my share of coach and parent banter. Is there anything else I should keep a heads up for or keep in mind as the season progresses?
Make sure you verbalize/body language every call confidently.

Most coaches at that level are in the same position as you are with having little to no coaching experience. They can be tough to handle as they sometimes bring they their fan/parent emotions onto the bench. Don't let the yelling intimidate you.
If you encounter a coach who is constantly questioning your calls skate up close enough and whisper "suck a dick" or something in that manner.

If your with a more experienced ref discuss situations with him after the game you were unsure about. Also take a glance at him every once in a while and take note of what he does on the ice when you have the chance.

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10-26-2013, 12:54 AM
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So alot of what to expect will depend on how the leagues in your area are run.

Usually Adult leagues are run pretty casually and may use USA hockey rules or may have their own house league rules.

I'm not sure how your games are scheduled but usually adult are 2-man games and youth are 3 man. As a level 1 ref you will probably never be partnered with another level 1 ref so, you will always have a more experienced partner. Depending on how many officials work for you Officiating league you will probably meet and and at some point work with all the official in your league. Some will be more helpful than others some you will work better with than others.

Usually when you start at a level 1 official you will only be allowed to officiate squirt and under and only the lowest level adult games.

These games will be pretty easy, when you do youth games you will be assigned as a linesman, which in squirt and under is the easiest thing. You games scheduler will probably not just throw you in the deep end to start. Lining all you call is offsides and icings basically.

The thing to learn at first is positioning and procedures.

In the 2 man Adult games you actually will be with another ref and have to take the role of linesman and ref. Work on the basic things at first positioning (when you are in the right position the calls make themselves) and procedures (face-offs, icings, offsides, penalty calls, goals) Learn how to communicate with your partner during play and read off of each other.

If you have the basic officials manual that has alot of your basic procedures in it. Good to know that stuff.

You really shouldn't get alot of coaches, parents or spectators getting on you at this level. It does happen but you learn how to deal with them. the best thing is to talk to them honestly and professionally. Remember at low levels you are also a teacher of the game and it is part of your job to explain the rules and how they are enforced. Why a penalty was called and why a penalty was not called.

You won't believe how much you will learn your first year officiating.

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10-26-2013, 08:59 AM
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If you encounter a coach who is constantly questioning your calls skate up close enough and whisper "suck a dick" or something in that manner.
Really? That works for you? No wonder people hate refs and think they have a god complex.

Be in position so you can sell your calls, you can't call offside call from center ice and not have folks screaming at you, if you're on the blueline people can't squawk as much. Don't make a call just because it looks like it should have been a penalty, either you know it is or it's not. Talking to coaches works for some, not for others, so maybe your best approach to a coach that questions all your calls is to just do your job and ignore him, you don't owe him an explanation.

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10-26-2013, 10:46 AM
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Really? That works for you? No wonder people hate refs
He probably gets within an inch of their ear before he whispers it and then does the Hannibal Lector "hshshshshshsh" thing after. That'd shut them up. And probably traumatize them.

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10-26-2013, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mkoivu9 View Post
Make sure you verbalize/body language every call confidently.

Most coaches at that level are in the same position as you are with having little to no coaching experience. They can be tough to handle as they sometimes bring they their fan/parent emotions onto the bench. Don't let the yelling intimidate you.
If you encounter a coach who is constantly questioning your calls skate up close enough and whisper "suck a dick" or something in that manner.

If your with a more experienced ref discuss situations with him after the game you were unsure about. Also take a glance at him every once in a while and take note of what he does on the ice when you have the chance.
Yeah, don't do this

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10-26-2013, 08:21 PM
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Yeah, don't do this
Don't do this, indeed. Maintain professionalism at all times. You'll probably never get that coach to agree with your calls, but command his respect. You may not get it, but stay respectable.

Be in position. Sell your calls. Sell them harder on closer ones so you look more confident. Close call at the blue line? The entire rink better hear you.


Source: I am a USA Hockey level 2 official. Propane Nightmares is a semi-pro linesman. Listen to him, he's good advice.

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10-26-2013, 10:22 PM
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Really? That works for you? No wonder people hate refs and think they have a god complex.

Be in position so you can sell your calls, you can't call offside call from center ice and not have folks screaming at you, if you're on the blueline people can't squawk as much. Don't make a call just because it looks like it should have been a penalty, either you know it is or it's not. Talking to coaches works for some, not for others, so maybe your best approach to a coach that questions all your calls is to just do your job and ignore him, you don't owe him an explanation.
Yeah it works. You have to say it in a friendly tone and laugh/smile. After this all communication with is cut off with the coach until the post game handshake. I'll talk to coaches until they lose that privilege.

Not a god like complex at all. This is reffing squirts/peewees/bantams in Minnesota.

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10-30-2013, 10:35 AM
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Gino 14
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Originally Posted by mkoivu9 View Post
Yeah it works. You have to say it in a friendly tone and laugh/smile. After this all communication with is cut off with the coach until the post game handshake. I'll talk to coaches until they lose that privilege.

Not a god like complex at all. This is reffing squirts/peewees/bantams in Minnesota.
That's childish and completely unprofessional. Anybody that subscribes to that level of behaviour is no one that should ever be allowed to officiate a game. If I had a partner that I found out pulled a stunt like that, I'd turn him in to the assignor and if he was allowed to continue to officiate, would never accept a game with him again.

Grow up, you're supposed to set the bar, not see how low it can get and still crawl under it.

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