MIHOA Development & Education Coordinator
Late summer and early fall marks the beginning of another hockey season. Hockey zebras from Minnesota to Massachusetts, Ohio to Oregon, and Connecticut to Colorado are in the process of renewing their USA Hockey officiating membership or taking the plunge for the first time. Things are no different in Missouri. The Missouri Ice Hockey Officials Association has a jam-packed schedule of certification seminars that includes 13 sessions in nine weeks from mid-August to mid-October.
The first MIHOA seminar on August 19 involved officials striving for USA Hockey’s highest officiating certification, Level 4. The day began with the officials lacing up their skates at Brentwood Ice Arena for USA Hockey’s Level 4 skating exam. The exam, which is graded by veteran USA Hockey officials, features a variety of skating drills designed to gauge an official’s acceleration, stopping, balance, control turns, speed, agility and more. The “total package” drill, as executed below by 16-year-old Clayton Liefeld, combines all the elements.
The final element of the on-ice session is a fitness drill where officials must demonstrate their acceleration, speed and agility in a timed exercise. Completing the drill within the allotted time results in bonus points toward the participant’s overall grade. Veteran MIHOA member and former junior and minor pro official, John Fitzgerald, successfully completes the drill.
After a short break, attendees participated in an interactive classroom session featuring higher-level discussions about judgement, the 4-official system, communication with coaches & players, and more. Next, a special guest speaker, John Burroughs School Athletic Director Peter Tasker, delivered a powerful message about injuries in high school sports, and what officials can do to ensure that hockey games are played in a safe and fair environment.
The conclusion of the Level 4 seminar featured a 50-question USA Hockey Officiating closed book exam. Officials must demonstrate their rule knowledge in order to receive their certification by answering questions like this one. Do you think you know the correct answer?
A penalized player sustains an injury requiring him/her to leave the ice and get treatment. He/She is replaced on the penalty bench by another player. The injured player returns to play with time still left on his/her penalty and scores a goal. The referee should:
a. Allow the goal, assess no additional penalty and have the player serve the remainder of his/her own penalty.
b. Allow the goal and assess a bench minor.
c. Disallow the goal, assess no additional penalty and have the player serve the remainder of his/her own penalty.
d. Disallow the goal and assess a minor penalty to the player.
e. Disallow the goal and assess a bench minor penalty.
As MIHOA’s seminar season continues, 400+ returning and new officials will participate in the USA Hockey curriculum and on-ice sessions in order to prepare for the busy hockey season ahead. MIHOA assigns officials to more than 7,000 youth, high school, AAA, college and adult games each season, and its officials are excited for the season ahead.
Interested in becoming a hockey official? Learn about the certification process and register for an upcoming seminar now.