Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Teachin' the new Emphasis

So I spent a whole day, 6am to 4pm, over at the Air Force Academy working the local referee seminar to qualify the Level 1s, 2s, and 3s. A glutton for punishment I'm doing the Level 4 day in October so I didnt get my crest on Sunday.

Its a good deal, and we got Leafers to come and talk about the new rule emphasis in place for 2006-2007. Red showed up, thank-you sir, and we had the usual crowd of guys on the NCAA and IOC call list as instructors.

I dont have many comments about the new rules, other than to say its about time... 11 pages of trash dissapeared from the Advanced Officiating manual, pages on pages of meandering and less than helpful junk about 'judgement' which inevitably end up making no-one's decisions terribly well respected. A few times my supervisor told me "dont be a black-and-white referee", meaning I needed to be more flexible and allow the game to go its own way, usually down the gutter and into the sewer...

What got me was two items. The Level 3 on-ice time was meant to provide some skating and positioning help, it ended up being a nut-busting skate session because of two things:

1) during the SILENT warmup there was quite a lot of talking and not very much warming up

2) during the drills a few of the less mature teens decided this was a phone-it-in event.

Dont get me wrong, the seminar can be boring and tedious, but the on-ice time is a very special event, once a year only, and the only actual time officials get to practice. To make matters worse the two instructors for the on-ice time are nearly the most experienced guys in the state, both have worked international events, both have 20+ years instructing and still can outskate, out-hustle, out-think and generally handle any sh*t fest like the pros they are. Here they are on a Sunday, not getting paid, not with their families (and both have road jobs), and some punk ass kids blow off the time.

Ladders. Yep. Thats what the ice time ended up being. We were prepared to do full on teaching of power skating, and drills like the "full-package", goal line movement, etc. Those things that turn promising officials into candidates for development camps. Instead we worked them, hard. In the end all of the instructors agreed that they earned it.

Sigh.... perhaps next year some of them will even remember....


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