I wanted to shed some light on a potential problem in regarding referee numbers for the upcoming 2018/19 hockey season. As is the case with almost every other minor hockey association in Alberta, we have a shortage of adult referees. Two years ago we lost three adult referees who reffed 146 games between the three of them and this year we are losing two more adult referees who last year reffed 53 games between the two of them. Between regular season, tournament and playoffs, the Peace River Minor Hockey Association schedules anywhere from 180 to 200 hockey games from the novice to the midget AA level(s). As you can add, these five referees had a major contribution in covering these games. Yes I do draw referees from the surround communities like Grimshaw, Falher and Manning however these communities are also short and those referees are always reluctant to leave their home association for another. Plus there are mileage costs associated to out-of-town referees which is eventually reflected in the player registration costs. So, the situation is simple, unless some parents and or/midget hockey players step up, take the clinic and ref hockey there will be games getting cancelled and rescheduled this winter. Anyone who can skate can ref up to a pee wee level and any midget aged players are definitely capable to ref to a pee wee level. If I have adequate numbers of refs for the lower levels it takes pressure off of the more experienced refs who are required for the higher levels. Quite frankly everyone only wants to ref so many games in a given weekend and when there are more games than what the available refs want to be there for … games get cancelled. As I know I do my part and so do my kids … who by the way all ref … I can assure you that there will be three teams that will never have to worry about not having referees which are the teams that my kids play on. If someone doesn’t like my approach there are a few options 1) Attend the clinic this fall and do your part in reffing some hockey, 2) Hope that you child is on the same team as one of my three, 3) take my place as the Referee-In-chief. I am hopeful that coaches, parents and older players will understand what this message is and it doesn’t come to team managers having to cancel and reschedule games at the last minute because of a lack of referees For those of you who are referees and for those parents whose children are referees you know that it goes without saying how much I appreciate yours and your kid’s efforts and commitments and really hope you show up again this year.
The Peace River Referee Clinic will be scheduled for some time in late September
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me