As we draw to the close of another regular season of youth hockey New Hampshire was well represented in both state Tournament assignments as well as New England District Regional Tournament assignments.
Congratulations to all of the officials who were selected at the various locations. Below you will see the officials who worked the Regionals in action.
Now that the season has come to an end we can see how the pandemic has affected our referee numbers. Here in the New England District we certified 1553 referees for all of our levels (1,2,3 and 4) combined. This was 89% of our pre-covid numbers of certified officials. Specifically, level 1 referees that got certified this year were 751 compared to 507 last year and 818 pre covid.
Scott Zelkin director of development for officials shared that we had 9 officials in China for the Olympics, which was more than any other country. This speaks volumes for the USA Hockey development program and the grass roots push that comes from the districts like New England to identify and groom young officials.
NH Supervisor of Officials
When the USA Hockey Board of Directors ratified the Declaration of Safety, Fair Play and Respect in June of 2019 its intent was to create a culture that eliminates: 1) hits to the head, 2) hits from behind and 3) late hits.
The onus on modifying the culture lies with everyone in the game, from players, coaches and officials to media, parents, fans and administrators.
While the focus of the Declaration is largely around changing the culture and mindset involved with body checking, there is also language that deals with unsportsmanlike conduct centered around banging on the boards to celebrate a body check. Below this video of Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, commenting on the Declaration, there is a document that clarifies the intent around what has been a long-standing part of the USA Hockey rulebook.
This video is a MUST watch for all coaches, players, parents, and officials. This video provides solid examples of the types of plays that should be considered acceptable and unacceptable. Please take a few moments to watch and learn a better way to play our sport.