Your season is over. You ask yourself “What could I have done differently to achieve my goals?” whether those goals be working a higher level of hockey or working a playoff game.
By Eugene Binda
Officials are just as competitive as players. We all strive to be better. However, with the amount of games being played, it is getting tougher to be evaluated. It is also tougher to get valuable feedback on a consistent level at the lower levels. Depending upon the league, at the upper levels, you are lucky to receive feedback more than three or four times over the entire season.
So what does an official need to do to get better and develop into a top-rate official? Just like the players do, they go to the summer camps to get better!
There are a number of officiating camps throughout the United States and Canada.
However, choosing which camp to go to can be complicated process. Since there are camps that specialize at different levels, mechanics and officiating systems, when choosing a camp you must ask yourself what are my goals?
If you are a first-to third-year official, you should pick a camp that will offer videotaping of your games and solid classroom instruction.
For the officials looking to move into the junior, college or professional ranks, you need to look at “Exposer” camps. These camps put officials into games and expose their abilities to a variety of league supervisors and assignors.
That is what you want – to make a connection with the league supervisors, and assignors. You want to have some one-on-one discussion on how you can add value to their team.
Most all camps do include a tuition fee, and often call for an investment in housing, meals and time away from family and work. These all factor into the opportunity to get ahead in the game.
When picking a camp, make sure the leagues you are trying to get into have staff from those leagues. This will allow you to build a relationship with them.
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, there are several tournaments ongoing through spring and into summer at the midget and junior levels. These tournaments 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, and set up to work games in the United States Premier Hockey League and the Eastern Hockey League. These are training leagues for the NCAA Division 1 Atlantic Hockey Association.
All the training is free of charge. If you are capable of meeting the requirements, I will also add you to the officiating staffs for College Hockey America, a NCAA Division 1 women’s league and the following men’s NCAA hockey conferences, the Northeast-10 (Division 2) and the New England Hockey Conference and Massachusetts Small College Athletic Conference (Division 3).
If interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Training will start with classroom sessions in May at the Foxboro Sports Center and at the Atlantic Hockey Association office in Winthrop, Mass.
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