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The Official's Corner - May 2019

By Eugene Binda, 05/15/19, 8:00AM EDT


Women’s Officiating Camp

Eastern Officiating Collaborative announces Women’s Officiating Camp -- Marlboro, MA -- July 18-20, 2019

Women’s Ice hockey is one of the fastest growing sports and is expected to expand at all levels, The EOC recognizes with the growth, the officiating staff needs to grow with it. Without bringing more officials along to help with the expansion, these games could just become scrimmages.

The four USA Hockey Districts in the east are sponsoring the Officiating Camp, they are the Atlantic, Massachusetts, New England and New York. The districts are also joined by two NCAA Division I Women’s Conferences, who have committed to running the camp, College Hockey America and the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance. Supervisors from the ECAC and Hockey East will also be in attendance so officials can meet with them for future considerations as they move through the system.

CHA and NEWHA Commissioner Robert DeGregorio is on record stating this is an excellent opportunity for women officials and their development as the work their way towards the college ranks.

Sjoukje Brown from the Central District will be the lead instructor, along with a staff of women instructors who have officiated at the highest level of hockey. The camp will include three days of classroom sessions and games with video review with a focus on the four-person officiating system.

Those attending will also receive their USA Hockey Certification for levels 2-3-4.

Any interested candidate look to come to the camp please send request to

In other news, summer registration will open shortly.

As of June 1, 2019 USA Hockey has made a major change in the way officials can get certified during the summer months instead of in season as a of done years past.

With the early start date the more experienced officials have greater opportunities for summer camps and certifications, one of the big initiatives from the Eastern Officiating Collaborative is the ability to have level III and level IV officials have all the training done before the start of the season. We have also tied the seminars into the NCAA certification as well.

There are several sites that are listed below that will be combined new officials looking to advance into the junior in college ranks these minicamps will allow us to identify in place officials for the 2019 – 20 season. These camps are free of charge, the only requirement is that you are registered for the 2019 – 20 USA Hockey Season.

With the explosion of women's hockey in the New England area we have also added a woman's officiating experience to be held at the Newman Sports Center July 18 – 21. Any Level 1-2-3-4 women’s official looking to advance a just get better should plan on attending this event. This event is free and it will include games and housing, please register for this event early we do expect to fill up fast.

On another front, If you are official who is looking to advance summer tournaments are a good place to start.

Summer tournaments have exploded over the last 6 years. There is not a weekend here in the Northeast where there is not a youth or junior tournament where you can be seen by a supervisor.

These tournaments are scouted just like players would be. Players are evaluated for a position with a team, officials are often being evaluated as well; this is where the supervisor will determine where your entrance point will be for the start of the next season. Not just what level but at what position Referee or Linesman.

One of the problems officials have is most do not know who to contact within their region outside of the local assignor, who assigns for the most part youth hockey at the town and recreational level.

USA Hockey has listings of the District Supervisors and Assignors and what levels they assign on the USA Hockey District Affiliate Websites to help steer you in the right direction to find the assignor who can help you advance.  For example you can go to the Massachusetts Ice Hockey Officials Website and locate assignors in your area at

The earlier you reach out to them, the better chance you have of getting evaluated on things you need to work on: skating, mechanics or penalty enforcement. You will have time to adjust and get a second look before the season starts.

We are looking for officials who are “coachable” says Alfonso Botchagaloupe, long time supervisor in the east. “These events help us find out who is willing to listen and adjust to make it to the next level” says Alfonso.

Mike Schubert who assigns youth through D1 ACHA Hockey in Philadelphia agrees and points out that many officials who work through the off-season are better for it. There is so much hockey during the winter it gets harder to see the same official more than 1-2 times during the season, especially at the lower levels.

We know the new officials are a little nervous when they come to the games and trying to make it to the next level. All we are looking for when we talk to the officials about skating or positioning is that they make the adjustment.  If we get to see the official early enough in the summer and think they have potential we invite them back for more tournaments and for more coaching.

“We have been very successful in the region” says Schubert. “We have more officials working locally at the junior and college level in the last five years. The success of identifying officials during the summer has really paved the way officials to advance with a jump start before the season begins.”

The ultimate goal is to make hockey a better experience for all and at the same time advance those with the time, work ethic, and passion to make it to the higher levels.

Below is the information that can help pave the way for advancement.

There are several tournaments in the New England and Atlantic Districts.

Please reach out to Referees Crease, as we are starting the summer tournament assignments for July and August, if you are interested in advancing or just getting better.

For those officials looking to advance looking or additional training, feel free to reach out to me.  There is no charge for the training, just a commitment to getting better!

For those officials who are currently USA Registered or Members of National Ice Hockey Officials (NIHOA) Association who are interested in advancing to the junior and collegiate levels, we have several midget and junior tournaments throughout the season that will include secondary training on player safety, game management, and on ice mechanics for all officiating systems.

After successful completion of the classes you will added to the staffs at the junior level, to the United States Premier Hockey League and the Eastern Hockey League, which are the training leagues for Atlantic Hockey League, College Hockey America, the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance, the Northeast 10, the Commonwealth Conference and the Massachusetts College Athletic Conference.

I would also like to thank the following people for their hard work for putting these seminars together to provide an avenue for standardized officiating across all spectrums: Jim Doyle-Atlantic District USA Hockey; Mike Shapey, New York District USA Hockey; Kevin Donovan, Massachusetts District USA Hockey; Barry Zalcman, New England District.

For those interested please contact Gene Binda at or Gene Binda Jr. at