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I'm looking to try officiating ... quite a few questions - please help a bro

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04-02-2011, 10:47 AM
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spizzle420
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I'm looking to try officiating ... quite a few questions - please help a bro

I'm in Toronto, Canada but other refs in the US and Europe's wisdom welcome as well. The first part is kind of Canada related maybe.

I'm 23, I've played hockey competitively in single and AA minor hockey as a youth, but mainly just play beer league and intramural/pick up these days.

Anyways, I'm kind of hockey obsessed.

I randomly woke up this morning, and decided I want to try officiating this year. Either the "main ref" or linesman. Not sure how that works?* It seems like a cool job if you like the game, stay in shape, make a few bucks... I could take the verbal abuse too I believe (if it comes).

but I have a few question for former or current hockey referees here or anyone that might be in the know.

I've looked into ref schools in the T.O. area and have found:

http://www.gthlcanada.com/content/?page=Refs%20Crease

and

http://www.refschool.com/

I think both seem legit, recognized by Hockey Canada/Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP)

1) You can only graduate 1 HCOP Level per year, correct? Does that mean you'd start with little kids in house league? What's the highest level you could ref with a Level 1?

my 2nd question is a bit of a curveball...

I'm 5'7"-8" 150+lbs, looking to gain some muscle weight. I'm like Gionta but not.

2) Because of my size, I don't think I'd ever get too far in this career. Am I right in assuming that? - It's more of a passion anyways with some possible pocket change and a way to stay in shape. How much is the pay for little kid house league games? How many games a week can you get?

3) I have a disability. Nothing huge but significant enough maybe. While I can play hockey, and skate with the best of them, possibly better than some pros, I suffered a hockey injury when I was younger which resulted in me losing some if not most of my right hand fine motor skills. but at the same time I can grip, shoot a wrist shot, stick handle, etc. I write with different hand movements - but can. I cannot hold 1 finger up at a time individually due to this injury and surgery.

couple questions in regard to this:

1) Must you raise your right arm/hand when calling an offside or penalty? I can, but my fingers kind of bend/curve so I can't really point skywards flatly with my palm, but you'd still be able to tell I was raising my right arm and hand... is the left arm/hand allowed?

2) When throwing a puck down in the faceoff zone, must the puck hit the ice flatly? Is it allowed to bounce/flip around after doing so? I could do this but just wondering.

3) What issues could you see my weird hand causing? Signals - which? Displaying the number of penalty minutes on your hand? Keep in mind my left hand is fine, I can display 1-2-3-4-5 fingers at a time on that hand no problem... and can display all 5 on the right at once - if I were to signal a 10 minute misconduct or something.

I think those are all my basic questions and concerns for now.

Thanks for any info from all.

Cheers.

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04-02-2011, 11:06 AM
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GLG
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If you're interested in becoming a Ball Hockey referee, check this out:

http://www.ballhockey.net/ballhockey...nk=read&id=445

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04-02-2011, 02:22 PM
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spizzle420
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I'll actually prob wanna do that next summer - seems I missed the deadline already for this year. Thanks bud.

Bump?

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04-02-2011, 04:46 PM
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ponder
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Wish I could give you advice, but I've never reffed. I'd be pretty surprised if your hand was a major problem though.

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04-02-2011, 05:06 PM
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I'm retired now but here's a column that I wrote ten years ago for hockeyrefs.com. I received a few comments from other officials telling me that it inspired them. I realize that officiating and the game has changed since I retired, but refereeing is still refereeing. You may be able to pick up some tips from the article.

http://hockeylink.ca/coaches_refs/ne.../arch_2001.htm

As for your physical problem, a very good friend of mine, who played minor pro hockey, lost some fingers on one of his hands working at a summer job and took up refereeing. He went on to referee in two Olympics and also was a linesman in the WHA and was the referee in chief for the Province of Manitoba for many years. He's in the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and also the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

Good luck.

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04-02-2011, 05:17 PM
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I would think that at organization should (maybe they have to) make accommodation for your physical problems.

Years ago I went to professional umpire school (the real deal, to be a major league ump) and one of my classmates had one leg. He was doing it more for the experience but it had no effect on his calling a game.

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04-02-2011, 05:48 PM
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spizzle420
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Thanks for the advice all.

Out of curiosity, mbhhofr, not sure you'll see this, but what Olympics did your friend ref? I also assume he was a tall dude. I'll most likely never take it anywhere near as far as him, but I'm curious. That story is inspiring regardless.

I will read your article now, thanks for the insight.

As for accommodating me, there's really nothing anyone can do for me imo, I'm not severely ... I'm not sure what the right word is... I'm definitely affected but not to the point where I can't do things effectively... I just do it differently... I can move and wiggle all my fingers on my right/grip lightly, I just can't individually move each one at a time. (I had a spine injury - I came out of that pretty lucky in the end)

so unless they have the cyberdyne hand replacement from the Terminator... stem cell research may aid me one day.

Keep them coming, thanks dudes.

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04-02-2011, 06:20 PM
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mbhhofr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spizzle420 View Post

Out of curiosity, mbhhofr, not sure you'll see this, but what Olympics did your friend ref? I also assume he was a tall dude. I'll most likely never take it anywhere near as far as him, but I'm curious. That story is inspiring regardless.
I don't think that Gordon was more than 5'10" to 6' tall.

http://halloffame.mb.ca/honoured/2007/gkerr.htm

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04-02-2011, 06:26 PM
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mbhhofr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spizzle420 View Post

Out of curiosity, mbhhofr, not sure you'll see this, but what Olympics did your friend ref? I also assume he was a tall dude. I'll most likely never take it anywhere near as far as him, but I'm curious. That story is inspiring regardless.
I don't think that Gordon was more than 5'10" to 6' tall.

http://halloffame.mb.ca/honoured/2007/gkerr.htm

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04-02-2011, 07:08 PM
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spizzle420
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I see, and what Olympics?

I've read half the article so far, interrupted by the pens panthers game, will finish after. It's an awesome story so far.

You're pretty old school eh.

Thanks for sharing.

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04-02-2011, 07:33 PM
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mbhhofr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spizzle420 View Post
I see, and what Olympics?

I've read half the article so far, interrupted by the pens panthers game, will finish after. It's an awesome story so far.

You're pretty old school eh.

Thanks for sharing.
He refereed in the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan and the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

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04-02-2011, 09:24 PM
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spizzle420
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okay, that was an epic read - any hockey fan should read that.

nice to hear the perspective of a ref seeing the game change over the decades. congrats on the mhof. you accomplished a lot. nice write-up as well... insightful.

hmm... so what does your username mean? I think I could guess now maybe.

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04-02-2011, 10:04 PM
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I played some A/AA and refereed while growing up, so I can give you some info from a fellow player's standpoint. I'm actually thinking about getting into it again, so maybe my post can inspire both of us

***ALSO, for what it's worth, I reffed in the US so it may be different up in the great White***

With that being said, they'll start you out reffing mite/squirt house games during your first year. Usually, there will only be two linemen who each act as head ref during these games. Our schedule system was pretty relaxed/open, meaning that if you saw a game you wanted to ref, you'd sign up for it. It was on a first-come-first-serve basis too, and I knew guys who'd schedule 5 or 6 back-to-back rep games every weekend...that's a TON of pocket change for just getting paid to skate around watching great hockey! If you're reffing a rep game, you won't usually be able to head ref until after you have some experience (a year?) under your belt.

I love playing hockey, and never thought I'd like to ref, but it is an entirely different experience from playing it. Make sure your skating skills are strong (although I don't think that will be a problem for you). It can be exhausting sometimes. As a player, you get to rest up during your off-shifts...but as refs, you're constantly sprinting up and down the full sheet of ice.

As far as puck dropping skills go, you don't *have* to get the puck flat each draw (they won't fire you, etc.!), but it is the sign of a good ref. If you want to go pretty far in this, you have to get that down.

Also....I'm 5'5 and, if not for college and sticking with it, I think I could have gone pretty far in this career. Someone who I reffed a lot of games with was a linemen for the WHL, and he was about 5'8-5'9...the guy was a complete goober though, so if he can do it, you definitely can


P.S. Be prepared to get flak from *a lot* of parents on the way out to the parking lot after a game


Last edited by Czar: 04-02-2011 at 10:10 PM.
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04-02-2011, 10:23 PM
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Hey Spizle,

I am in Toronto as well, what area of the city? Don't worry about an "officiating school" yet, it's not worth it yet, since you have a grasp on the fundamentals of the game etc, ie. you know what offside, icing, is etc, typically an officials school will delve further into the finer points of officiating.

What beer league do you play in?

Also keep an eye on the GTHL site, mainly the officials section, mid summer they open up all the registering classes, register and attend a level 1 seminar, that will get you registered for Hockey Canada, from there, you can do GTHL, NYHL, and house league, I recommend to not do the GTHL at first, depending on your time restraints and area etc, get in touch with a few of the house leagues in your area, the scheduler there, they will start you with the young kids, and this is great as it will do two things, A.) allow you to learn positioning, and B.) allow you to call penalties without a lot of pressure, (as opposed to a travel game etc)

As far as everything else it comes with experience, I've been doing this for 22 years now, mainly beer leagues now and it's a great job that you can do anywhere in the US and Canada.

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04-04-2011, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spizzle420 View Post
2) Because of my size, I don't think I'd ever get too far in this career. Am I right in assuming that?
I am in the same boat as you in that regard. I am 5'10" and about 165 lbs. While size can be important, your skill is all that matters. I am 18 years old and am a linesman for the MHL (Jr. A) and major midget AAA, so you can still work high levels of hockey with that size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spizzle420 View Post
2) When throwing a puck down in the faceoff zone, must the puck hit the ice flatly? Is it allowed to bounce/flip around after doing so? I could do this but just wondering.
Faceoffs are the most important element of the game (according to NHL officials), and while in lower levels the players won't care if it flops and bounces, as you progess higher through hockey the puck will be expected to be dropped hard, flat, and in the middle of the dot. It comes with practice, don't worry about it.

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