So far so good (knock on wood). From an official’s stand point, we have had a very quiet year – THANK YOU!!! We really do appreciate you working with us while we are learning the art of officiating. All officials have been working hard over the past season to increase their game management and penalty selection process.
As part of our efforts to help grow the quality of officiating, we have increased the amount of supervision on our officials this past season; you may have noticed an extra official on the ice – his role is to help “shadow” the other officials that on are the ice. If the supervisor is not on the ice, then they are conducting an official supervision from the stands. This usually takes place during the 2nd game of both Division 2 and 3, and helps all stakeholders gain both experience and knowledge for increasing their skill set as officials.
All officials also recently attended our 2nd meeting of the year, spending a few hours going over the various rules and penalties that come up frequently during the games. As a result of the discussion and sharing session, we have decided to increase our awareness of stick infractions (hooking, slashing, high sticking, etc…) to ensure a safe and enjoyable culture of hockey is play here. The stick should only be used to play the puck in our league, so any time the stick is placed parallel to the ice, a potential penalty may be called. We also had a special presentation from Sean Connors on Body Checking vs. Body Contact.
Some other updates on officiating:
Canadian Officials – For the few weeks of March Singapore Ice Hockey Association will host two officials from Canada. They are here to help with our local tournaments and help guide our local officials. During their stay they will be supervising, shadowing, officiating and giving presentations. Their role here is to help our local referees and program move forward, increasing the quality of our officiating.
IIHF Event in Bishkek – The Challenge Cup of Asia Division 1 is quickly approaching, and local referee Eugene Ang has been selected as a linesman for the tournament. This will be a great learning experience for both Eugene and our SIHA officials as Eugene will bring back his knowledge and experience to share with our local program. I myself hava also been asked to be the Referee Supervisor for the tournament. Both officials being selected by the IIHF is a great testament to our officiating program here in Singapore.
Lastly guys, a quick reminder to all that our officials are learning. While the verbal abuse has been better this year, there is always room for improvement. Please keep in mind that yelling at an official only causes things to get worse; it never goes well. I remind you to work with the game officials, ask questions (politely) and be respectful. If we all work together, we can build a strong ice hockey community here in Singapore.