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marka

Officiating 101

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Howdy,

So... My wife plays hockey too, but at a decently lower level than I do.  We've been playing together in a beginner league, but that makes me the "ringer guy" even if I don't play for real and give the other players chances, make sure to pass, don't shoot, etc. etc.  It also means I'm taking up a spot for another real beginner.

So instead it looks like I'll be a ref... That's something I've been interested in trying, the guy that runs the beginner league (who also refs it) is up for teaching me some basics, and it keeps me out there with my wife having fun.  I won't get paid or anything, but equally I don't need to worry about getting certified.  My only concern is that I started playing 3 years ago and while I have an ok grasp of the rules as a player, I'm certainly no expert.  Stuff like where faceoffs should be depending on what happened, etc. etc. isn't just built in knowledge for me.

So my question... Is there a "hockey ref 101" type of online course or book or whatever out there that presents the stuff you need to know as a ref in 'priority order'?  Just looking for something that's organized in terms of more common situations to less common, vs. just reading the USA Hockey rulebook front to back...

Thanks!


Mark

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@marka First off, cool to  hear you're willing to wear the attention-grabbing stripes haha. I'd check out USAH's Officiating Resources page and look through the Basic Officiating Manual contained under the 'Manuals' tab.

image.thumb.png.a2c7964020ecf0c3468047060dc154c8.png

You can use this to measure up against video or website that goes into the basic of officiating. I hope you do consider taking the plunge and go to seminar: you'll be better for it. That being said, enjoy and let us know if you have any questions.

Edited by 215BroadStBullies610
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+1 for basic manual. It’s literally an entire book that covers things that aren’t rule related (positioning, where face offs go, etc) all the kind of stuff a ref needs to know but a player probably doesn’t.

you can order hard copies online, too. 

I would also suggest getting certified. Even if you don’t NEED to, getting a chance to attend a seminar with a classroom portion and an on-ice portion (we seriously spent 10 minutes learning how to drop a puck so it lands flat!) is totally worth it. And who knows maybe you’ll love it and want to move up! 

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One of the most important things to have as a ref is situational and positional awareness. You should have a feel for where the play is heading and where players are, especially those near you. The last thing you want is somebody close behind you or to find yourself trapped in the play.

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Howdy,

So, reading the basic manual and I realized that I need a visor...  What's the scoop on inexpensive visors and their care/feeding?  I've always played with a cage.

I assume I'll need to protect the visor somehow as well when my gear is in the gearbag?

Are the $30 visors that Tron has reasonable?  Or do I really need to spend $70+ on a name one?

Mark

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The Tron Visors are fine. I used to use one when I first started officiating and it worked well. I switched to a Bauer Pro clip to have one that is CSA certified for Hockey Canada insurance purposes, but I don't notice a big difference in vision or performance. It is convenient to be able to take the visor off to clean it and replacing a scratched visor takes seconds rather than minutes. I use a helmet bag to protect both the helmet and visor.

 

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Tron are fine for that purpose though I’d never give them my money. I ended up buying a CCM one when I got my new helmet. It has this nice little cover that just goes on the visor itself.

Assuming you don’t mind buying from Tron, they’re fine.

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I've been using the Tron S40 or Tron-esqe visors for the last 2-3 seasons and they get the job done. They do scratch easily so I usually replace mine after the season is over. I don't mind it though since they are cheap and the slim cut is hard to find. Other than that, I don't feel that I'm missing anything (I've used Bauer and Oakley 1/2-ers in the past).

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13 hours ago, marka said:

Howdy,

So, reading the basic manual and I realized that I need a visor...  What's the scoop on inexpensive visors and their care/feeding?  I've always played with a cage.

I assume I'll need to protect the visor somehow as well when my gear is in the gearbag?

Are the $30 visors that Tron has reasonable?  Or do I really need to spend $70+ on a name one?

Mark

You can typically buy pro stock return visors in good condition on sites like SidelineSwap for the same price as the crappy Tron ones.

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Howdy,

First time out last night.  I didn't get into any fist fights and nobody called me a motherf*cker, so that's a good first outing, right?  🙂

The guy who's showing me the ropes / runs the league actually couldn't be there, so I was reffing with another guy.  Felt bad for him that he was working with a rank newbie, but he seemed ok with it in general and helped me out with advise.

My overall impression is that there's just so much other shit to think about / be ready for!  As a player, I don't watch other players for anything beyond "which way will the play go".  Obviously that isn't the case as a ref, and that's weird to get used to / change my natural reactions.

Offsides calls were pretty easy... I play wing a lot so I'm used to watching other players to see if its ok to go or not.  I had to get used to signalling a good zone entry every time to tell my partner it was ok though.  I also struggled a little with situations where the puck exited the zone, was regained by the attacking team, but they still had players in the offensive zone.  At times I was signaling a delayed offsides before the puck actually went back into the offensive zone and I'm almost 100% sure that's wrong.  I also would verbally say "get out! get out!" when that happened, which I think is probably ok, in a beginner league especially?

I sucked with initiating icing calls... When I was the deep ref (I don't know the right words... I mean the ref down at "home base" or whatever its called in the zone, vs. the "high" ref at the blue line) I frequently forgot to evaluate if the defending team shot the puck out of the zone.  I think maybe I was only 50/50 at best on that?  The league uses blue line icing, which I think actually hurts me with this, just because it happens more rarely.  I need to get better here.  As the high ref, it was fine.  More time to evaluate and again, I'm often playing wing so I'm more used to evaluating that.

Actually, in terms of hand signals I just sorta sucked in general.  When the goalie would cover the puck I would blow the whistle and point at them... That's certainly wrong.  And when I thought about it, I knew it was wrong, but wasn't sure what the actual signal should be...  I'll need to review that.  I imagine its either a wave off signal or just a point to the appropriate face off dot?  I also initially wasn't waving off good zone entries every time, but my partner mentioned that to me between periods and I started doing it.

Positioning-wise, I got a little better as the game went on, but for sure an area for me to work on.  I'd read the above manual, but reading a diagram and saying "oh, of course" and doing it in practice in response to situations are two different things of course.  When I was the high ref I would frequently get "caught" watching zone exits, vs. getting moving and staying ahead of the play so that I could judge the opposite zone entry and then get to my position as the "deep" ref.  Even when I got moving early and judged the zone entry when play reversed, I would sometimes then not keep moving and get down to the deep / home base position.

I also need to practice faceoffs.  I didn't realize I needed to blow the whistle before I dropped the puck, but that was easily corrected by the other ref.  The actual face off itself... I think I had maybe one puck land flat out of the five to ten I dropped?  Horrible.  Who knew dropping a damn puck would be hard?

Counting players is also weird.  Again, something I never worry about as a player.  Almost made myself look like an idiot at the end of the game when the team that was down by one had 6 skaters on the ice...  I realized the goalie had been pulled as I was about to say something.  🙂  Still, cost the team down by a goal a couple seconds while I held the puck on a face off figuring that out.

 

Anyway, that's way too long already.  🙂  It was challenging and now I want to ref a bunch of games to get better at it.  Its going to be slower going though, since I'm just doing it for my wife's beginner games.  Even if I could, I don't think I'd be comfortable at this point with more serious games where I didn't already know a lot of the people.

Got some positioning videos and hand signals to brush up on!

Mark

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Howdy,

Oh yeah... The tron visor worked great.  Didn't fog up, was visually fine, etc. etc.  I'm pretty sure I NEVER want to play with it though, since I think I would like it a LOT and I really like my teeth, eyes, and facial structure.

Mark

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Howdy,

So... Is there no hand signal from the ref when they blow the whistle for a dead puck?  Any difference for goalie covering vs. player?

I'm not finding one anywhere, but its hard to confirm a negative or whatever.

Mark

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No signal when the goalie covers it. Often a ref will point to one circle with a “this side, boys” if there’s any question on which side it will be on but usually it’s pretty obvious. 

No, you shouldn’t be signaling offsides or saying anything at all unless the puck goes back into the zone. You don’t need to SAY anything at all, though if it’s obvious that the attacking team doesn’t realize they’re offside and are pressuring the defensive team you may yell “OFFSIDE!” until they get the hint.

For icing, one ref does NOTHING except raise their hand if the puck was shot from before center. The other ref does NOTHING except blow the play dead once it crosses the goal line (and subsequently raising their hand and retrieving the puck).

Ive seen in adult leagues countless times where somebody complains to the near ref (who does the face off after the icing) that it should have been waived off, not realizing that that ref is not responsible for that. 

(Of course there are some exceptions, like if either ref sees it tipped or deflected the can certainly waive it off) 

And... yeah, there’s a reason we spend a good 10 minutes dropping pucks during the seminar 😉 It’s not as easy as it looks. Though most guys reffing adults don’t really care. We have one that basically stands sideways and tosses it down. Doesn’t even get square.

I think I covered everything you asked but I’m replying on my phone 🙂

Did you get a copy of the basic manual?

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Howdy,

Yeah, I have a copy of the basic manual and read it.

Thanks for the info!

Mark

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Howdy,

Another one...

As a player, I just go sit in the box until the ref tells me I can leave...  That's not going to cut it.  🙂

Is there some straightforward guide to this somewhere?  I get individual minor penalties.  I don't necessarily get coincidental penalties, how more major stuff works, etc.

As a dumb for instance, I don't know when you play 4v4 vs. 5v5 when a player from either team gets penalized.

Thanks!  Sorry about the dumb questions.

Mark

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3 hours ago, marka said:

Howdy,

Another one...

As a player, I just go sit in the box until the ref tells me I can leave...  That's not going to cut it.  🙂

Is there some straightforward guide to this somewhere?  I get individual minor penalties.  I don't necessarily get coincidental penalties, how more major stuff works, etc.

As a dumb for instance, I don't know when you play 4v4 vs. 5v5 when a player from either team gets penalized.

Thanks!  Sorry about the dumb questions.

Mark

The rulebook covers these situations extensively 🙂

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Howdy,

Yeah, my issue is that when I'm reading through this stuff in the rulebook, it pretty immediately gets way too deep for me.  Like the picture of that page... I read that and my overriding reaction is "Um, WTF?"

Maybe it doesn't matter, at least for now?  In the men's league games I've played in, there's basically only been minor penalties and game misconducts.  I don't recall ever seeing a major or misconduct called.

Mark

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On 1/6/2019 at 9:24 AM, marka said:

Howdy,

Oh yeah... The tron visor worked great.  Didn't fog up, was visually fine, etc. etc.  I'm pretty sure I NEVER want to play with it though, since I think I would like it a LOT and I really like my teeth, eyes, and facial structure.

Mark

Good to hear! I'm literally smiling reading about your experience just because I felt the same way when I did my first game (Squirts) haha. It seems that only after one game you already have made yourself a better player because you now have experienced a glimpse of what a referee has to go through and process during a game. @IPv6Freely has given good advice/feedback. All I say is: go to a seminar! You'll be better for it even if you just stay a Level 1. Keep it going and continue giving us updates! 

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Howdy,

So, got back out again this morning.  This time with the guy that offered to coach me some.  It was definitely nice working with him.

On positioning, one thing he said really helped me... Basically that I should be thinking like I'm a 3rd, really conservative, defenseman (2 ref system, btw).  So I'm down at home base, then as the play transitions out of the zone, I follow the play up, staying even / slightly behind the defensive players.  As we get into the offensive zone, then I stay on the neutral zone size of the line and wait for play to transition the other way.  When it does, I try and stay even or slightly behind the defenseman again until I'm back down at home base.

It's not exactly that simple (I assume) since I may need to call zone exits in the offensive zone and zone entries into the defensive zone, but the concept helped me for sure.

Also worked on just dropping the puck.  I probably spent five minutes throwing pucks at the ice after the game and just that extra bit of practice helped.  I think as part of my warmup routine when I'm reffing I'm going to drop a few pucks just to try and get into that same groove.

Worked on signals some as well.  The guy helping me is pretty particular on signals that aren't lazy or "happy" / "excited".  I would say that when I play games I don't see refs that are that diligent about them, but its still good for me to learn.

Anyway... It was a good morning.  🙂  I feel like I'm slowly learning some stuff and working on building my skill set.  Hopefully as I get better I won't need to think so consciously about some of this stuff.  🙂

Mark

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Howdy,

Anyone got any links to positioning videos for reffing as a single ref?  I've seen plenty of 2+ positioning, but nothing that really talks about strategies for doing it alone.

Mark

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As a single ref, I'd stay in the lane and go from end zone faceoff circle to end zone faceoff circle on one side of the rink.  Exit the zone in stages from low to blue line to other blue line to low, staying ahead of the play as it transitions.

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Howdy,

1 hour ago, psulion22 said:

As a single ref, I'd stay in the lane and go from end zone faceoff circle to end zone faceoff circle on one side of the rink.  Exit the zone in stages from low to blue line to other blue line to low, staying ahead of the play as it transitions.

So doing this, would you attempt to overtake the play to get ahead of it when a turnover occurs?  Otherwise being ahead of the play immediately turns into being behind it, right?

Mark

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If you're working alone for whatever reason, I don't think anyone is going to fault you for not being on top of every play. I wouldn't try to get ahead of the play because you'll end up killing yourself for, most of the time, no reason. 

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