BOSTON, MA -- During a hockey game, who has the toughest job on the ice? The officials.
There is no game with no officials, and no individuals get more criticism throughout the sport. The officials are in charge of monitoring the game in a fair and honest manner. They are also involved with every play, as they can never make a line change, and throughout the contest they need to be as invisible as possible. There is no task more difficult than officiating a hockey game, and as a thank you to these top-notch individuals, the USAJHM will be presenting a monthly official’s spotlight, highlighting an advocate of the game that has gone above and beyond.
This month’s official’s spotlight features Jodi Price.
I started playing hockey when I was 2 years old. I would watch my father and brother play in awe, so my parents decided to let me on the ice early. I started officiating when I was 16 years old. It first started as something to do during the split season, and a way to make money around my playing schedule.
I have been an official for 10 years now, and I think the biggest thing I have learned is how to communicate with people. We as officials have a job to keep players safe and enforce the rules of the game, but it's not that simple. It’s important that we remember that this is not our game, and we are not the most important individuals on the ice. Sometimes working with players and coaches (when they are being reasonable) for the good of the game is a better method than the "I'm right, your wrong" argument.
Everything I could have wanted plus more. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world as an official, make some amazing friends, and see some great hockey. This sport is truly one of a kind with the people that you meet, and reffing is definitely a community, and a great one at that.
My next goals are to work on getting women more into the men’s side of hockey. I would love for it to be myself, but even if it’s not me and I can have a part in showing that the right female can do the job, then I'll be happy.