Wednesday, December 22, 2004

First Time With The Arm Bands On

Tuesday night was the first time that I had ever been called on to act as head ref this year. Until this point I have just been a linesman when needed. There was an unofficial/practice game between Germantown High School and the Bantam Travel Team. The elders of the league thought this would be a good chance for me to get some practice in with the arm bands on. I thought the same at first but worried that my conditioning was not up to par for the task being asked.

It wasn't very far into the game when I realized I was over skating everything. I ended up ahead of the play once or twice from over anticipation which I thought would happen before the game. I knew that if one team controlled the puck more than the other one that I would end up in the zone earlier than I would prefer. Thankfully the high school team did put up a good show and kept things from being too lop sided in favor of the travel team. I fully expected the travel team to dominate that game if the Germantown seniors were not playing. Once the game started I did not see one of the star players of the Germantown squad so I was sure the travel team would not be too over challenged. I was however worried about myself being over challenged.

The travel coach said in pre-game that he wanted his guys to get to work on some penalty killing so he would have them take a penalty or two intentionally. This had me a little nervous that I might miss the call that he was expecting to be a penalty call. Worse, I was worried if I did miss the call what might ensue afterwards. (normally a melee takes place) Luckily the Germantown squad never allowed that to happen. Some teams play hockey and others take stupid penalties. It was Germantown's night to do a little of each. Needless to say the travel players got to work on their power play more than the penalty kill. Not to knock the Germantown squad, but they had some good opportunities to even that game up and didn't capitalize on it.

I had one play where a puck was kicked into the net, but thankfully I was on the whistle quick that night and was already shutting that play down before it crossed the line.

I thought things went alright at the end. I don't know how anyone does more than one game a night as a referee. I guess when you get in shape for it the job becomes easier. I can say that I was a little more than tired when it was over. I look forward to the experience of getting to do a few more games like that but also know where my challenge now lies. Thankfully I wasn't hit in the legs by a puck that night; first time in 3 games that hasn't happened. Now if these other bruises would just go away.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hey Ref, Your Partners Suck Too!

Funny how the guy lining in front of the bench of the coach that is pissed off catches the heat eventhough he may not be mad at you. I heard over my shoulder this weekend a couple of times; "You better keep your partner on that side of the ice because he is doing you no justice over here." All because of a couple of offside calls that maybe were or maybe were not correct. I can understand one of them; the second one maybe he should have caught and exercised judgement a little better but it was his first series of the season.

It was game # 58 for me. Of course my calls are going to be made with confidence and more than likely going to be hard to dispute. I had a 57 game advantange on my partner. Especially after a 10 game weekend the weekend before in Alabama. I saw and worked on as many of the things that I do incorrectly that weekend so they would be improved when I got back here. I think I did well progressing through that. He was looking at game #2 for the season.

That game did end with the coach mad at the referee too. What game doesn't have that happen? I got the traditional speech from the coach "Is this what we can expect tomorrow too?". I assured him that the referee would be back as a linesman and that the other two guys would be fresh crew with good consistency. How I can make a statement like that I am not sure because I don't have the first idea what the guy coming in might do.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Hey Ref, You Still Suck!

So I ended up scheduled for the championship game for the adult league on Tuesday night. The original schedule said that game would be played on Thursday. I had talked to the league admin about the games moving and he said that the officials didn't have to change unless I wanted them too. I really didn't see a problem with the two people that I was selected to work these games with so I told him not to worry about it. ...I should have worried about it.

I end up at game time with no partner in the largest game for the adult league season. It took about a period to get adjusted to what was happening and where I should be. The team I hoped would win did, but I can't say that everyone played their hardest due to the fact they knew I couldn't keep up at both ends of the ice. I can honestly say that the game was hard fought and the winning goalie made some crucial saves that could have changed the course of the game. If he hadn't made those particular stops the team with the most talent would have won.

The most important thing about this game: David Sorrell finally got his name on the adult league trophy. David is a good guy and a hard working hockey player; he deserves his name on the cup finally.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Silver Sticks

Last weekend I was in Huntsville, Alabama for the annual Silver Sticks tournament. I actually enjoyed being back in Huntsville for the first time in 9 years. The last time I was there I was playing in that tournament. Since 9 years ago they have divided the tournament into two different weekends. I was there for little kid weekend. Mites, Squirts, and PeeWees were playing all that weekend. The higher levels were the week before which helps for that weekend to run very smooth. Most games were running 20 minutes early which is extremely odd for a tournament.

I got to call one game with the PeeWee A team from Nashville playing in it. I love seeing that team anytime the PeeWee tournaments are going. That's one coach that is good at what is happening on and off the ice. I heard him get loud once about one of my calls but he knew I wasn't wrong on the call just justififed it incorrectly. I quickly told him I called it the wrong thing and what it would show on the scoresheet and he had no more concern on it. He knew it was a good call eventhough the signal was wrong on the ice by the time we got to the scorekeepers area I changed it to what it should be. With the point of emphasis being head contact that game I had no issues justifying that to either bench. When both teams are committing the same offenses it is easy to not get coaches giving you the "Got to call it both ways" statement.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Hey Ref, You Suck!

I am amazed by the hockey coaches that think they are the almighty when it comes to the game. I am definitely not saying that I am, but that I know my place. I have witnessed coaches being disrespectful twice this weekend. One was the coach of 10 year olds and one was the coach of 15 - 18 year olds. Noting that both of these groups of kids are impressionable minds.

These are the same guys who will challenge my knowledge of the game; yet don't know all the rules themselves.

There was another incident but that coach waited until after the game and after everyone had left the ice to berate us. I can handle that. At that point it's just a coach and some officials having the usual disagreement that you expect those two groups to have.