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Image: Hockey Alberta Officials selected for International duty


Four Alberta Officials selected for IIHF Events

RED DEER - Four Alberta officials will represent Canada on the international stage at various events over the course of the 2023-24 hockey season. 

Referees Lacey Senuk (St. Albert), Brayden Arcand (Edmonton) and Taylor Burzminski (St. Albert), and linesman Chad Huseby (Red Deer) were among 58 Canadian officials named as IIHF licensed officials for this season. 

Calgarian Todd Anderson will also work as part of the IIHF officials coaching staff this season. 

Senuk was named as one of seven Canadian Olympic officials. This will be her second Olympic Winter Games after making her debut in Beijing, China in 2022. She’s officiated multiple other IIHF sanctioned events such as the Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and 4-Nations Cup. Senuk also made history on Sept. 3, 2022, when she became the first woman in league history to referee a game in the Ontario Hockey League.

Arcand and Burzminski are currently officials in both the Western Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League. Arcand refereed the Centennial Cup final as well as a number of WHL and AJHL playoff games. Burzminski has officiated at the Hlinka Gretzky Tournament, World Junior A Hockey Challenge and the 2023 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. 

Huseby has skated in the WHL, World Junior Hockey Championships and American Hockey League, and on Dec. 22, 2022, made his debut in the National Hockey League skating in a game between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. 

"All five individuals have been involved and continue to be influential in the officiating community within our province," said Brett Kelly, Hockey Alberta’s Manager of Officiating. "We congratulate them all for this accomplishment."

Specific assignments will be announced by the IIHF throughout the season.

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Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The past two years have seen Hockey Alberta undertake several initiatives and engage numerous individuals to help us better understand the challenges faced by participants in our sport related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Hockey Alberta hosted an Indigenous Hockey Summit in August 2021, and then created and hosted the inaugural 11.4 Awareness Day in 2022 with a focus on maltreatment and Hockey Canada’s new rule 11.4.

A key part of the work undertaken by Hockey Alberta has been through the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee is comprised of diverse individuals with a wide range of life and athletic experiences. Members of the committee attended the Hockey Alberta Member Summit in June 2022, where they discussed the findings of the organization’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion survey.

EDI COMMITTEE AND SURVEY REPORTS >

The information gathered through these various forums has included examples of behaviors that have no place in hockey. We have heard real examples and collected data that shows that we have Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issues in hockey. It has reinforced that we have work to do to provide a safe environment and ensure that all participants have a positive experience in our sport.

EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AT HOCKEY ALBERTA >

The next stage in the process starts today with Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Hockey Alberta acknowledges there are systemic challenges in our sport involving equity, diversity, and inclusion. All forms of discrimination and maltreatment are unacceptable and must be removed.

Hockey Alberta is committed to removing the challenges to ensure we are:

  • Creating a safe sport environment free of racism, discrimination, harassment and bullying for all participants.

  • Acting decisively to improve equity, diversity and inclusion so that our sport is accessible to all.

  • Nurturing a positive hockey culture where inclusiveness and belonging are expectations, not options.

This statement provides the framework for Hockey Alberta to address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issues in our sport. Hockey Alberta will ensure sanctioned activities are accessible, inclusive and safe for participants of all abilities, backgrounds, and interests, and Hockey Alberta will eliminate maltreatment, bullying and harassment from the game.

Specifically, our commitments are shown in our actions. In 2023-24, Hockey Alberta will add new staff resources to our operational team to support our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, activate on our objectives, and support our Members, as Hockey Alberta works to nurture a positive hockey culture.

Actions for 2023-24 include:

  • Engaging in a pilot with minor hockey teams that educates and brings awareness about maltreatment.
  • Continuing the education process of Hockey Alberta’s Staff, Volunteers and Board of Directors.
  • Creating a new EDI Grant for Member initiatives for advancing the game through a focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,
  • Identifying and implementing Safe Sport/ EDI standards, tools and resources for use by our Members,

To review the complete plan, click on the website link below:

OBJECTIVES AND KEY RESULTS >

As well, on August 16, Hockey Canada released its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Path Forward document, and asked its branches across Canada to be involved and have stake in the Path Forward. Simply put, Hockey Alberta is in – with a commitment to working at the local, provincial and national levels to ensure a safe environment and a positive experience for all participants.


For more information, please contact Hockey Alberta:

Email: [email protected]

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Image: Hockey Alberta Referee


Officials clinics now open for registration

RED DEER – Registration for Hockey Alberta Officials Clinics is now open. Beginning August 26, clinics are taking place across the province, continuing through to November.   

Officiating offers a network of people who love the game and are looking to give back. For every game worked, officials receive a game fee and there is an opportunity to work through the ranks from minor to elite hockey.  

Anyone 12 years old (13 years old in the Calgary and Edmonton areas) as of December 31 is eligible to become an official. Each season, officials must re-certify by taking a clinic.  Clinics include an online course, in-person portion and an on-ice session.

To become an official, create an HCR 3.0 account and register for the HU – Online Officiating ½ course that must be completed prior to the in-person portion. Skates, a helmet with a visor and a whistle are necessary for the on-ice sessions.  

Become an official > 
Find a clinic near you >  

Check back regularly to find a clinic near you and that fits your schedule as dates and locations are continuously added.  

Frequently asked questions > 

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Congratulations to the 2023 Award winners

RED DEER – Four individual and two minor hockey associations have been recognized as 2023 recipients of Hockey Alberta Awards, presented by ATB.

The Hockey Alberta Awards program provides the hockey community the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals, teams and associations for their hard work and accomplishments in making a positive difference for participants in our sport each season.

Nominations are accepted from Hockey Alberta member organizations, staff members, volunteers and the hockey community. Each award recipient receives $1,000 for his/ her association.

The 2022-23 Hockey Alberta Award recipients are:

Coach of the Year: Chad Huseby (Red Deer). Chad was a coach of the Red Deer Minor Hockey U11B Flyers, and after a tragic incident occurred with the team’s head coach, Chad acted as support to the players and coaching staff to help guide them through the season.

Official of the Year: Taylor Burzminski (St. Albert). Taylor obtained his National High Performance Level certification in October. He skated two international events and the Alberta Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League playoffs. He also serves as the Development Coordinator in the North Region.

Player of the Year: Ryley Budd (Calgary). Ryley, a goaltender with the Calgary Northstars of the Alberta Elite Hockey League, raised $5,000 for HEROS Hockey this season through a fundraising initiative with EnerCorp. The funds Ryley raised sent a goalie (and his team) in the HEROS program to Ontario for their first hockey tournament.

Volunteer of the Year: Janet Fairless (Grimshaw). Janet has volunteered with Hockey Alberta since 2009 in a variety of roles, including serving on the Minor Administration Committee.

Minor Hockey Association of the Year: St. Albert Minor Hockey Association (SAMHA). During the 2022-23 season, SAMHA demonstrated it was one of the most progressive organizations keeping the development of their players and support of voluteers at the forefront.

Exceptional Provincial Host Site Awards:

  • Olds Minor Hockey Association – U13 AA
  • St. Albert Minor Hockey Association – U17 AAA

Congratulations to all the award recipients and nominees. Hockey Alberta and the hockey community thank you for your contributions to our sport.

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36 officials work regional camps

The 2023 Hockey Alberta Officials Regional Development Camps took place March 31 - April 2 in conjunction with the Alberta Cup Regional Selection Camps.

Officials were selected from across the province to skate in Calgary, Spruce Grove, and Red Deer for intensive on-ice and off-ice training sessions including on-ice testing, mental skills and leadership training, and in-game coaching from some of Alberta’s top officials.

Congratulations to the following officials for having been selected to attend:

Spruce Grove

               •             Brett Friesen (Grande Prairie)

               •             Reese Hagen (Fort McMurray)

               •             Kaleb Hammond (Edmonton)

               •             Nate Kasowski (Edmonton)

               •             Tyler Keller (Sherwood Park)

               •             Dawson Konowalchuk (Edmonton)

               •             Jayden Mah (Edmonton)

               •             Grayson Pollok (Edmonton)

               •             Kale Salacki (Sexsmith)

               •             Eric Scherger (Devon)

               •             Zack Snow (Edmonton)

               •             Kirklon White (Fort McMurray)

Red Deer

               •             Kameron Bauer (Edmonton)

               •             Sean Duffy (Camrose)

               •             Conor Filipchuk (Edmonton)

               •             Graham Gagne (Rocky Mountain House)

               •             Silas Johnson (Edmonton)

               •             Maverick Lynes (Edmonton)

               •             Carter Martindale (Rocky Mountain House)

               •             Grant Numrich (Lacombe)

               •             Brayden Rekimowich (Lloydminster)

               •             Nolan Spadafore (Cochrane)

               •             Keaton Spirig (St. Albert)

               •             Matthias Virues (Red Deer)

Calgary

               •             Zach Cormier (Calgary)

               •             Trent Ducharme (Fort McLeod)

               •             Emily Hill (Calgary)

               •             Carley Jewell (Lethbridge)

               •             Mathieu Laurans (Calgary)

               •             Sam Lewin (Nanton)

               •             Joshua Marshall (Medicine Hat)

               •             Jacob Martin (Nanton)

               •             Josh Meier (Calgary)

               •             Ziad Music (Calgary)

               •             Jeremiah Nudd (Airdrie)

               •             Jaydan Paul (Calgary)

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From left: Brett Kelly, Brayden Arcand


Brayden Arcand receives Hockey Alberta Official of the Year Award

SPRUCE GROVE - Hockey Alberta’s Official of the Year, Brayden Arcand received his award on Tuesday, December 20 prior to officiating an Alberta Junior Hockey League Game (AJHL) between the Blackfalds Bulldogs and Spruce Grove Saints.

Hockey Alberta’s Manager of Officiating, Brett Kelly, was in attendance to present Brayden with his award.

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Mini-officials clinic hosted at Female Hockey Day

CALGARY – Female Hockey Day, presented by ATB, is coming to Calgary! Girls Hockey Calgary will host the celebration of female hockey on January 7 at the Max Bell Centre.

Registration is now open for the day of development, growth and celebration of the game. The day will include a female-only officials mini-course to become a certified official, as well as:

  • Try Hockey event for youth and adults who have never played hockey; event includes on-ice and off-ice activities.
  • Try Goaltending session for players born in 2014 or earlier; session includes on-ice and off-ice activities.
  • U11 and U13 Skills Competition featuring teams from Girls Hockey Calgary.
  • Intro to Coaching for females who are interested in becoming a hockey coach.

Girls Hockey Calgary will be offering a parent information session for parents looking for more information GHC programming.

Register >

The day-long event also features an Alberta Female Hockey League U18 AA game, as Calgary Fire White hosts the Airdrie Lightning.

Female Hockey Day activities can be hosted anywhere across Alberta. For associations or teams interested in hosting a local Female Hockey Day event in their community, the Hockey Alberta Foundation is offering $1,000 Every Kid Every Community Grants to help support the activity. Applications for funding must be submitted by December 15.

Apply for Every Kid Every Community Grant >

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Officials Development Camp held in Red Deer

RED DEER - The 2022 Hockey Alberta Officials Development Camp took place July 6-10 in conjunction with the Hockey Alberta U16 Summer Development Camp.

Officials were selected from across the province to converge in Red Deer for intensive on-ice and off-ice training sessions including power skating, video review of game action, mental skills and leadership training, and many other sessions relevant to officiating development.

Congratulations to the following officials for having been selected to attend:

  • Spencer Acheson (Edmonton)
  • Kyle Edwards (Edmonton)
  • Brandon Granson (Coaldale)
  • Jordyn Gyurkovits (Grande Prairie)
  • Jacob Hicks (Red Deer)
  • Andrew Hutton (Edmonton)
  • Brennen Jasonson (Sherwood Park)
  • Andrew Lattimer (Calgary)
  • Dylan Leaney (Edmonton)
  • Jordan Mandel (Camrose)
  • Flynn McGeough (Calgary)
  • Sean Nault (Stony Plain)
  • Dylan Ouellet (Okotoks)
  • Phillip Tanguay (Calgary)
  • Jesse Wood-Schatz (Eckville)
  • Dyson Zukiwsky (Red Deer)

Additional congratulations to Jesse Wood-Schatz, the 2022 winner of the John Jacobs Most Promising Official award for his efforts at the camp.

Officials interested in attending next season’s camp can apply now.

2023 DEVELOPMENT CAMP APPLICATION >

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Officiating a family affair for the Woods’

LETHBRIDGE – For Brent, Ryan, and Levi Woods, a life in the game of hockey has come in the form of officiating.

Growing up in small town British Columbia, Brent Woods was recruited to become an official from a family friend around the age of 14 or 15. When he moved to Alberta for university, he debated whether to continue with officiating, and ultimately opted to stick with it as it was a good way to make some extra money and spend his spare time.

He would eventually begin a role with the South Region Officials Committee as the lead of the mentoring and supervision program, which would continue with for many years. Along with that role, Brent also took on a role as an assigner. After taking a break from the Board, he is now back on as the Vice-Chair and lead of their grassroots program, which is aimed at recruiting more officials, particularly in rural areas.

With such a prominent role on the officials committee, it was only natural that his two sons, Ryan and Levi, would step in and join their father. Ryan has now been an official for six seasons, claiming that his love for the game was the reason for getting into it. When he stopped playing hockey, it was a great way for him to still be involved.

Levi just completed his first season as an official, which he says had some bumps in the road, but he continued to progress and get more comfortable with every game that he was a part of. He says that he would lean on his Father and Brother for advice throughout the year.

The trio were able to work a few games as crew, something that they said was a fun and unique experience.

“It makes it easier when we’re out there,” said Ryan. “When I’m refereeing a game and I know that my two linesmen are my dad and my brother, it’s easier for me because I know them personally, and I know I can have good communication between them.”

As a mentor, Brent’s best advice to a young official is to just go out and try it, and if you see a penalty, call it. Whether it’s the right or wrong call, if you saw it, trust your judgement, and make the call. That advice is something that both of his sons echo as younger officials.

“This is something I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Brent. “It gives me comfortability and confidence when I can be out there with them, and make sure they are getting respect from the coaches, fans, and players.”

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Hockey Alberta Officials Called to National Events

RED DEER – Nine Hockey Alberta officials have been named to Hockey Canada’s 2022 spring national events. Three officials are headed to Okotoks for the Esso and Telus Cup May 16-22. While six officials will travel to Estevan, Sask., for the Centennial Cup May 19-29.

Officials named to the tournaments include:

Kelsey Hagan

Referee

Esso Cup

Kennedy Roblin

Linesperson

Esso Cup

Kael Maltais

Referee

Telus Cup

Brayden Arcand

Referee

Centennial Cup

Colin Stefanyk

Referee

Centennial Cup

Kevin Webinger

Referee

Centennial Cup

Scott Fulmer

Linesperson

Centennial Cup

Will Mosswick

Linesperson

Centennial Cup

Jason Nedinis

Linesperson

Centennial Cup

Congratulations to each official who will be donning the stripes.

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2022 Alberta Cup officials announced

Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the 12 officials who will be working the 2022 Alberta Cup.

Spencer Acheson (Edmonton), Parker Adam (Edmonton), Kyle Edwards (Sherwood Park), Jared Gilbeau (St. Albert), Brennen Jasonson (Sherwood Park), Andrew Lattimer (Calgary), Dylan Leaney (Edmonton), Flynn McGeough (Calgary), Dylan Ouellet (Okotoks), Jack Saunders (Sherwood Park), Jesse Wood-Schatz (Leslieville), and Dyson Zukiwsky (Red Deer) will all be skating into the next step of their officiating careers.

The Alberta Cup is the first step in the Hockey Alberta Official’s Development Program. The 12 officials were selected based on their performance at the three Alberta Cup Regional Camps recently held in Spruce Grove, Red Deer and Calgary.

The 2022 Alberta cup runs from April 28 - May 1 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

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Skating into the history books

PICTURE BUTTE – Ten female officials were a part of Hockey Alberta history in Picture Butte during the U13 Female A Provincials this past weekend.

For the first time in Provincial Championship history, the officiating crew at the tournament was made up of all female officials.

Among that group was 15 year-old Picture Butte resident Rayann Campmans, who, with just two years of officiating under her belt, was the youngest official on the crew.

“When I was growing up, there were no female officials to be seen (in Picture Butte), or even Lethbridge, so I feel honoured to be a part of it,” she said. “Female Hockey has started to become a big thing, and there’s a lot of changes happening, so I feel proud to be part of that change.”

Campmans added it was a welcome sight to have fans back in the stands in her hometown rink, and a relief to be back on the ice.

“I am very elated that hockey is back,” she said. “I played for the majority of my life, and I missed it so much. Now, I’m proud that I can be giving back in a way that keeps me skating and keeps me involved in the game.”

Ten-year officiating veteran Brooke Akune, who turned 21 the day before the tournament kicked off, is happy to see increased visibility for female officials, and was honoured to be a part of history.

“I’ve always reffed with boys,” she said. “This is kind of my first two years of reffing female hockey. I was born in a small town, and that’s where I started reffing – with a bunch of boys.”

Piper Ell, an 18-year old official with six years of experience, echoed Akune’s sentiment, and hopes to be a role model for younger females in the game.

“It means quite a bit,” she said. “I grew up in boys hockey, and I never had a female official in my town, so it was always really cool to see a female official. Now, I’m really happy to be able to be that female official for the young girls.”

Francis Rankin, the Officials Supervisor for the U13 Female A Provincials, and the Female Coordinator for the Southern Region Officials Committee, said all ten officials earned their spot in the tournament, and should be incredibly proud to be a part of history.

“It shows and showcases what these females have accomplished,” he said. “They’re not out there just because they happen to be female. “They’re out there because they’re the ones who are qualified to do this tournament. Hopefully, this continues and will encourage younger females to stick with the game.”

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Hockey Alberta to host Para Hockey Officiating Webinar

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta-registered officials, as well as aspiring officials are invited to take part in a free virtual seminar on officiating in Para Hockey.

The free webinar takes place via Zoom on Thursday, March 10 at 6:00pm for those who are interested in learning how to officiate Para Hockey, and the additional opportunities that come along with it.

The seminar will cover the technical aspects of officiating Para Hockey, and the non-technical aspects of the game, led by Head Coach of the Canada’s National Women’s Para Hockey Team Tara Chisholm.

Register >

Registration is free of charge, and anyone interested is encouraged to attend, regardless of officiating background.


For more information, contact Stacey Pattison at [email protected]

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A Dream Come True

Lacey Senuk’s goal of working as an on-ice official at the Winter Olympics seemed like a pipe dream - until she got the call.

The Level 5 official from St. Albert will be skating the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China as a referee in the Women’s Hockey competition.

“It’s the pinnacle of officiating for myself. It’s an unbelievable honour to be selected as part of the group that’s going. It’s been a unique couple years and to finally reach that goal is pretty surreal,” said Senuk.

Senuk is no stranger to the international stage. Her experience working IIHF tournaments, including the 2021 Women’s World Championships, placed her on a preliminary list of officials being considered for the Olympics. After traveling to Denmark for fitness testing and classroom work in November, Senuk was designated to Czechia to work an Olympic qualifier tournament before the IIHF officially named her as a referee on January 7.

“It’s always been a pipe dream just because it’s every four years, it’s a very small group of officials going. But now that dream has come true,” said Senuk. “You don’t have the words, it’s pretty indescribable. The pipe dream has come alive and it’s come to fruition.”

With less than a month until the tournament begins, Senuk’s preparation is unusual compared to her normal routine. Under normal circumstances, Senuk would work games right up to when she leaves. Due to the COVID-19 environment, she is instead turning her focus to her off-ice fitness, studying the rulebook, limiting her interactions to just her “bubble”, and hitting the ice when it is convenient for her.

“I owe a lot of gratitude to Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada for where I am and the association that I started with in St. Albert,” said Senuk. “If it wasn’t for the individuals involved there that saw potential and helped me, it’s hard to say, would I be where I am today? You don’t know but I am very thankful for the part that every single person has played in my development as an official.”

In total, 21 females will skate the women’s tournament, making it the second Olympics that will be entirely officiated by female officials. Women’s hockey action begins on February 3, and continues through until the gold medal game on February 17.

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Three Albertans Called to Officiate 2022 World Juniors

RED DEER – Three Albertans will be officiating at the IIHF World Junior Championship on home ice this holiday season.

The three Hockey Alberta officials - Fraser Lawrence, Kyle Kowalski and Cody Huseby - will be part of crew of 26 officials donning the stripes in Red Deer and Edmonton.

For Lawrence (Edmonton), this is his third consecutive appearance at the World Juniors. He skated in the Edmonton bubble in 2021 and in the Czech Republic in 2020. Lawrence also worked the Western Hockey League final in 2019 and also has skated a number of other International assignments. He was named the Official of the Year for Hockey Alberta for 2019-20.

Kowalski (Edmonton) is also returning to the World Juniors after officiating in the Edmonton bubble, where he skated the Bronze Medal game in 2021. The son of a Hockey Alberta official and former member of the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, Kowalski has worked the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, 2018 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup and was selected to officiate the 2020 USports Cup that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Huseby (Red Deer) is getting his first call to the World Juniors. Huseby’s international experience includes the 2018 World Under 20 Division II Tournament and the 2017 Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic. In 2011, he and his twin brother, Chad, became the first twins to work the lines together in the WHL. Cody is also the Regional Coordinator for Hockey Alberta’s North Central officials’ region.

For more information on the World Juniors visit iihf.com or becoming a Hockey Alberta official, visit officials.hockeyalberta.ca.

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Hockey Canada announces new maltreatment playing rule for 2021-22 season

CALGARY - In furthering its commitment to being leaders in safety and inclusivity, Hockey Canada has introduced an update to its rulebook to focus on recognizing and reporting incidents of maltreatment.

In a special meeting of the Members held on June 22, 2021, Hockey Canada and its 13 Members unanimously approved the adoption of Section 11 – Maltreatment in the Hockey Canada Rulebook starting this season, which includes bringing all forms of maltreatment under one section of the rulebook and providing guidelines for escalating penalties based on the severity of the inappropriate behaviour from players and team officials.

“Hockey Canada has made a firm commitment to making the game safe and inclusive for all who wish to participate, and the introduction of Section 11 provides our 13 Members, local hockey associations and officials across the country with clearly-defined criteria for enforcing rules related to many different forms of inappropriate conduct,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “We believe this is a great step towards ensuring we limit the number of incidents that occur on and off the ice, and will allow players of all ages to enjoy our game free from abuse, discrimination, racism and all forms of maltreatment.”

As part of the new rules, certain infractions will include an indefinite suspension pending a hearing, as well mandatory hearings for repeat offenders. To read Section 11 of the Hockey Canada Rulebook in its entirety, please CLICK HERE.

In a further effort to eradicate discrimination of all forms from the game, Hockey Canada and its 13 Members also approved a new national reporting system for incidents of discriminatory taunts, insults or intimidation, both on the ice and outside of game play. The new rule and reporting system includes, but is not limited to, discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, skin colour, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

The national reporting system will allow Hockey Canada and its 13 Members to have a better understanding of where maltreatment incidents occur and their frequency, and will allow the organization to take progressive steps to eliminating incidents through action and education. A number of tools and resources will also be provided to Hockey Canada’s 13 Members and local hockey associations across the country to help educate participants on maltreatment, including a Rule 11 officiating module and coaching resource document.

“The addition of Section 11 to the Hockey Canada Rulebook is a major step towards making the game more inclusive for all, but the reporting system will allow Hockey Canada and its 13 Members to proactively implement change through education and create a better understanding of where issues are occurring,” said Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer of Hockey Canada. “As we continue to learn and help foster an environment that is diverse, inclusive and safe, we believe the updated playing rule will greatly benefit all participants and allow more young children and adults to enjoy the game.”

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Matthew Wass and David Westwood Receive Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship

Matthew Wass and David Westwood – members of the Hockey Alberta officials’ program – have been named by Hockey Canada as recipients of the Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship for the 2020-21 season.

The scholarship is awarded annually to members of the Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP) to help offset the cost of post-secondary education, supporting their efforts to reach their university or college goals, and to reward their interest in mentoring the next generation.  

Wass, of Medicine Hat, has been in the HCOP for 11 years. He is currently entering his third year of the education program through Mount Royal University at the Medicine Hat College campus.

“Winning this scholarship is a huge accomplishment that brings together two things that I’ve worked very hard to succeed in, my education and officiating. I always say hard work pays off and this just proves right here that it does,” said Wass. “I feel honored and proud to represent Hockey Alberta and South Region Officials in being named one of eight to receive the scholarship.”

Westwood, from Red Deer, is currently completing his Bachelor of Education from Burman University. In addition to skating as a hockey referee, Westwood is also a referee in the National Lacrosse League.

The Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship was established by the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation (formerly Project 75) and Hockey Canada in 2006 in recognition of Ken Stiles, a former president of Project 75. Stiles made significant contributions to grassroots hockey throughout Canada. He was a catalyst in planning and designing an initiative aimed at players and officials who demonstrate excellence in sport and commitment to education.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, officiating achievement and community involvement.

There were eight recipients this year’s Stiles scholarship. Other recipients are Hazel Barthel and Melissa Brunn (BC Hockey), Lauren Fox (Hockey Manitoba), Sophie LeBlanc (Hockey Nova Scotia), and Jonathan Bolduc and Noémy Brisebois (Hockey Quebec).

For more information on Hockey Alberta officials visit Officials.HockeyAlberta.ca or the Hockey Canada Officiating Program, visit HockeyCanada.ca.

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2021 Hockey Alberta Officials Committee Scholarship Recipients Announced

The Hockey Alberta Officials Committee has awarded three scholarships for the 2020-21 season. Logan Parsons (Calgary), Kennedy Roblin (Sherwood Park) and David Westwood (Red Deer) each received $1,500 to put towards their post-secondary education.

Recipients of the scholarships must be active officials in good standing with Hockey Alberta, holding a minimum of Level 2 certification. The applicant’s on-ice ability and off-ice contribution to his/her region may also be considered. A maximum of three scholarships are awarded annually.

To see the application criteria and to apply, Click Here >

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George McCorry receives 2021 Hockey Canada Officiating Award

Congratulations to George McCorry on receiving the 2021 Hockey Canada Officiating Award.

Over the last 55 years, McCorry’s name has become synonymous with officiating in Alberta.

Donning the black and white for the first time at 12 years old, McCorry achieved the top level of refereeing certification, Level VI, by the time he was 30. He took on national and international assignments for Hockey Canada, including three national university championship appearances and a role in the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France. Two years later, McCorry refereed 10 games in the NHL.

While the list of on-ice accomplishments is lengthy, his continued work developing officials may be more meaningful to the long-term success of the game. For over 25 years, McCorry has been an instructor for the National Referee Certification Program, and he’s been supervising officials in Alberta for 38 years. He has served as referee-in-chief with Hockey Alberta and as chair of the Hockey Alberta Referees’ Council. Since 1999, McCorry has been the vice-president and supervisor of officials for the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

On and off the ice, McCorry has been keeping the game in check and teaching the next generation of officials how to do the same.

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Hockey Canada Officials Pathway unveiled

The Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP) offers participants of all ages an opportunity to be involved in the game beyond playing. By following the levels of development, and with hard work and dedication, officials can find fulfillment in their advancement while making the game safe, fair and fun.

The Hockey Canada Officiating Pathway is the foundation for all officials across the country. Hockey Canada has categorized hockey into five basic streams, each with different priorities. They include:

  • Introduction
  • Recreational
  • Competitive
  • High Performance
  • Adult Recreational

The pathway has been developed to address the following components of the program at both the Member and national levels:

  • Inclusivity and gender neutrality.
  • Defining a process to allow individuals to join the system at the appropriate level.
  • Providing equal opportunities for officials of the same skill level.
  • Developing a national standard that is adhered to by the Members.
  • Building flexibility into a linear system.

For full details, go to the Officials Pathway page:

Officials Pathway Plan >

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Alberta’s Lacey Senuk to officiate at 2021 Women’s World Championship

HALIFAX/TRURO - Alberta’s own Lacey Senuk is among the on-ice officials selected to work the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Nova Scotia in May.

She was named today by the IIHF as a referee for the event. The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship runs May 6-16 in Halifax and Truro.

Senuk is a Level 5 referee in the North Region and has worked many prestigious international hockey events. In 2017-18 season, she earned an IIHF U18 assignment in Russia. And this year, she followed up by refereeing the 4-Nations Cup gold medal game. She also refereed the gold medal game from the world women’s championship in Espoo, Finland in 2019.

Senuk was named Hockey Alberta’s Official of the Year for 2019. Her career includes having worked two Esso Cups, the Canada Winter Games, two U18 Women’s national championships, three 4-Nations Cup events, and eight IIHF championships. She also serves as an important resource at the regional level as a mentor and instructor for aspiring officials in the Edmonton area.

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In Memoriam - Ron Panchyshyn

RED DEER - Ron Panchyshyn, one of the founders of the Officiating Program in Alberta, passed away on February 27 at the age of 82, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Ron started his officiating career in 1964, working at all levels including University and Major Junior, and multiple national and international championships. Ron was one of the first Level 6 officials in Alberta and Canada, when the Level system started in 1976. Off the ice, Ron was a tireless volunteer who served as tournament chairman at dozens of local and national events. He spent four years as the North Zone Chair, 13 years as the Past Chair, and was the third Provincial Chairman in Alberta (1986-90). Ron also served 14 years on the Board of Directors for Hockey Alberta.

Ron was inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and was named a Life Member of the Hockey Alberta Officials Committee in 1998.

Ron was also an influential referee supervisor, mentoring officials such as George McCorry, Mike Rebus, Dave Shaw, and Lance Roberts, who all became Level 6 officials. He was committed to Grassroots officiating, teaching clinics as early as 1973 and was the first referee coordinator for the Edmonton Minor Hockey Week which started in 1964. One of his proudest accomplishments was negotiating the donation of officiating services to that tournament, a tradition that carries on to this day.

Ron was a loving and devoted husband to his wife, Joyce, and a man who lived and loved for his children and grandchildren. One of Ron’s favourite things was to watch his grandchildren play hockey and football.

The family is asking for those that wish to do so, donations be made in Ron’s name to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.

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Western Branches Officiating Development - Season 3, Episode 2: Recruitment

For the third straight season, the Western Hockey League, in association with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, are producing an episodic video series about development as an official. Episode 2 focuses on the recruitment of new officials.

 Episode 2: Recruitment

See the entire series, including seasons 1 & 2 here.

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Three Albertan Officials selected for World Junior Championship

RED DEER - Three Albertan Officials have been selected to work the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Referees Kyle Kowalski and Fraser Lawrence, and Linesperson Deion Foster will all take to the ice when the World Juniors comes to the Edmonton bubble in December.

Kowalski (Edmonton), the son of a Hockey Alberta official and former member of the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, has worked the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, 2018 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup and was selected to officiate the 2020 USports Cup that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Foster (Edmonton) grew up playing in Lloydminster, and now calls Edmonton home. He has officiated the 2016 & 2019 National Jr A Championship, worked the 2019 WHL Championship Series between the Vancouver Giants and the Prince Albert Raiders.

Lawrence (Edmonton) officiated the 2020 World Juniors last January in the Czech Repulic and also worked the WHL Final in 2019 and many other International assignments, Lawrence was named the Official of the Year for Hockey Alberta for the 2019-20 Hockey Season.

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Western Branches Officiating Development - Season 3, Episode 1: Introduction

For the third straight season, the Western Hockey League, in association with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, are producing an episodic video series about development as an official. Episode 1 is an introduction to the new season, which has come with a lot of changes.

 Episode 1: Introduction

See the entire series, including seasons 1 & 2 here.

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Hockey Alberta crests & Hockey Canada patches now available at select retailers

Hockey Alberta left breast crests and Hockey Canada left arm shoulder patches are now available for purchase at the following retailers:

United Sport & Cycle
7620 Gateway Blvd NW
Edmonton, AB

Tuxedo Source for Sports
2520 Centre St N
Calgary, AB

TBS Hockey Store
6013 48 Ave
Red Deer, AB

Ernie’s Sports Experts
11500 100 St
Grande Prairie, AB

Player Bench Team Apparel
612 13 St N
Lethbridge, AB

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Photo credit: Rob Wallator


Hockey Alberta officials working to end racism and inequality in hockey

RED DEER – As officials from across Alberta prepare for the 2020-21 season, a special emphasis is being put on battling racism and inequality on the ice.

A number of topics were covered during the annual Officials Leadership Weekend (which was done virtually this year), with social injustice and inequality at the forefront.

Referee in Chief Craig Decoursey says equality on the ice begins with how officials treat each other.

“Part of your support will be ensuring you are inclusive, and supportive of your fellow officials, no matter their race or background,” he says. “Combating discrimination starts with us all working together to ensure a welcoming and safe refereeing environment.”

Sanjeev Bhagrath, a Sikh official from Edmonton, says he’s faced many challenges as an official who is a member of a visible minority.

“It is disappointing, unfortunate and disheartening the number of times I’ve had coaches, players and fans call me a Paki, Taliban member, or terrorist,” he says. “These comments have impacted me to the point where I’ve thought of quitting, and that I would never be accepted by the hockey world because of my colour.”

“However, my family and friends have always encouraged me to continue on and persevere,” Bhagrath says. “I will never understand why I have to be seen as a ‘brown official’ and not just ‘an official.’ We need change in hockey to make us all equal.”

In order to ensure a safe environment on the ice and respect amongst players, an increased emphasis is being put on officials to enforce discipline in situations of racism, discrimination, or inequality directed from one player, or a group of players, to another.

Charle Dumba, a Hockey Alberta official whose son, Matt, is currently working hard to lead change in the National Hockey League with the Hockey Diversity Alliance, offers his perspective as a parent and an official.

“As referees, we have a very important role to play, because we are at the grassroots level of where all of this starts,” he says. “As parents, we all want our kids to grow up a certain way, and be respectful, but we never really get to hear what they say on the ice, or hear what someone has said to them on the ice.”

“The Officials Leadership Weekend, organized by our Volunteer Leadership Coordinator, Chris Bruce, was a rousing success,” says Brett Kelly, Hockey Alberta’s Manager, Officiating. “Inequality and racism conversations are difficult to start, but that’s what we believe we’ve done – started the conversation around these vitally important causes.”

Kelly says the rule emphasis on inequality and discrimination, and the penalties associated with it, will be taught at all Hockey Alberta Officials clinics throughout the 2020-21 season.

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WHL Beyond Hockey: Austin Weisgerber — Constable

From whl.ca:

WHL Beyond Hockey is a brand new series celebrating the outstanding community contributions beyond the world of hockey made by those associated with the Western Hockey League. From Officials to Team Doctors, and everywhere in between, countless individuals across the WHL continue to put their best foot forward as they serve their community during this uncertain time.

Whether he’s helping diffuse tense situations on the ice or in the line of duty, Constable Austin Weisgerber has taken it upon himself to serve and protect.

Operating in unprecedented times, Weisgerber has showcased a strong commitment to his local community with the Medicine Hat Police Service.

“Our response and interactions have certainly changed now, with the safety of the public, ourselves, and families still at the forefront,” Weisgerber said. “Our patrol shifts now start and finish with about a 15-minute clean of our vehicles to ensure they are safe and sanitized, as well as a check of our PPE supply so we can appropriately respond to any situation protected against the virus.”

Weisgerber has also put in more than a decade of service on the ice as a hockey official. He joined the WHL for the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season and has refereed 32 WHL regular season games to date. He was also selected to work at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.

The 26-year-old has quickly adapted shared qualities from both of his professional roles.

“They’re both very similar in the sense that typically emotions are high, trying to be reasonable in unreasonable situations,” Weisgerber said. “You’re trying to be the calm voice out there to deescalate situations.

“The two go pretty well hand-in-hand.”

Under the tutelage of WHL Officials and other leaders in the field, Weisgerber said he’s realized a new level of importance for the work he does on the ice.

“You need to make sure that you’re doing your part too to keep the integrity of the game going and making sure you’re not the one controlling the outcome out there.”

In his community, the importance of the role has been heightened as well in a time when so many rely on first responders for assistance. When he’s pressed into action, he’s ready to help in any way he can.

“As much as we are trying to control some of the environments we are in, we are always ready to immediately help anyone in an emergency or potentially dangerous situation,” Weisgerber added. “One thing I have been proud of is the way our service and community have been working together to help each other out and navigate our way through these unique times.”

The WHL commends Constable Austin Weisgerber for his commitment to both professions as well as his contributions to protecting his local community.

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Hockey Alberta announces 2019-20 award winners

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual Hockey Alberta Awards, with three officials earning honours.

These Awards allow Hockey Alberta and the Alberta hockey community to recognize outstanding individuals and teams for their hard work and accomplishments in making a positive difference for our participants in the game of hockey during the 2019-20 season.

The Hockey Alberta Awards program includes awards that are open to nominations from Hockey Alberta member organization, staff member or volunteer, and others that are determined by Hockey Alberta through a review of eligible candidates.

Officials receiving 2020 Hockey Alberta Awards are:

  • Official of the Year: Fraser Lawrence (Edmonton). Fraser is a Level 6 official from Edmonton who represented Canada internationally last season at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic. He has been involved provincially and regionally as an Instructor and Supervisor at Hockey Alberta’s Officials Development Camp and supervising the Alberta Cup.
  • Ernie Boruk Award: CJ Senkow (Grande Prairie). CJ has been involved in various capacities in both the North Central and Peace Region executives since 2001. He has worked all levels of hockey in Alberta and the WHL, officiated numerous Provincial and National championships, and just retired this year from the AJHL.
  • Dave Ganley Award: Geoff Da Silva (Calgary). Geoff has been officiating since the age of 16. Through Geoff’s efforts, Central Region has been able to identify and develop officials effectively and efficiently. Geoff’s ongoing contributions include participation as a league supervision in both the Alberta Junior and Midget AAA levels.

Congratulations to all of the Award recipients and nominees and Hockey Alberta and the hockey community thank you for your contributions to our sport. We encourage everyone to look at the full overview of the Hockey Alberta Awards program and consider who makes a difference to you, your team and your community in 2020-21.

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Western Branches Officiating Development - Season 2, Episode 10: Conclusion

For the second straight season, the Western Hockey League, in association with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, are producing an episodic video series about development as an official. Many different topics will be covered, including nutrition, off-ice presence, and communication. There will also be interviews with current and former WHL and NHL officials. For anybody who is interested in further developing as an official, or even is just curious about what goes into officiating at the top levels, it is highly recommended you check out this series.

Episode 10 - Conclusion

See the entire series, including the seven episodes from the 2018-19 season here.

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Western Branches Officiating Development - Season 2, Episode 9: Officials Appreciation Night

For the second straight season, the Western Hockey League, in association with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, are producing an episodic video series about development as an official. Many different topics will be covered, including nutrition, off-ice presence, and communication. There will also be interviews with current and former WHL and NHL officials. For anybody who is interested in further developing as an official, or even is just curious about what goes into officiating at the top levels, it is highly recommended you check out this series.

Episode 9 - Officials Appreciation Night

See the entire series, including the seven episodes from the 2018-19 season here.

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Western Branches Officiating Development - Season 2, Episode 8: Communication

For the second straight season, the Western Hockey League, in association with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, are producing an episodic video series about development as an official. Many different topics will be covered, including nutrition, off-ice presence, and communication. There will also be interviews with current and former WHL and NHL officials. For anybody who is interested in further developing as an official, or even is just curious about what goes into officiating at the top levels, it is highly recommended you check out this series.

Episode 8 - Communication


See the entire series, including the seven episodes from the 2018-19 season here.

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Western Branches Officiating Development - Season 2, Episode 7: Work/Life Balance & Recruitment

For the second straight season, the Western Hockey League, in association with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, are producing an episodic video series about development as an official. Many different topics will be covered, including nutrition, off-ice presence, and communication. There will also be interviews with current and former WHL and NHL officials. For anybody who is interested in further developing as an official, or even is just curious about what goes into officiating at the top levels, it is highly recommended you check out this series.

Episode 7 - Work/Life Balance & Recruitment

See the entire series, including the seven episodes from the 2018-19 season here.

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Chad Huseby (right) and Fraser Lawrence (2nd from left) represented Alberta and Canada at the IIHF World Juniors.


Chad Huseby reflects on the World Juniors

CHAD HUSEBY RECENTLY RETURNED FROM THE IIHF WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND REFLECTED ON HIS TIME IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

Recently I had the opportunity to represent Hockey Alberta, Hockey Canada and the Western Hockey League on the international stage at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is something that I will truly never forget.

My journey started on December 23 as I made the long journey to the Czech Republic. Upon arrival in Ostrava I was introduced to the rest of the officiating team, along with the IIHF officiating coaching staff that was assigned to this event. Twelve referees and 10 linesmen along with four officiating coaches and the IIHF officiating manager is what made up the 11th team of the tournament. This team of 27 was very diverse with officials and coaches coming from eight different countries. It was extremely special to sit in our meetings on Christmas Day as we prepared for what we were facing in the coming days. We all come from different backgrounds and different styles of game play but for the next two weeks we knew we would need to trust each other and work together to serve the game and the tournament as best as we possibly could.

The games and the atmosphere around the games was amazing! They do hockey differently in the Czech Republic, the games have a party atmosphere that is tough to match in North America. That made being on the ice and being in the stands special. The tournament was very well attended and the people in Ostrava love the game of hockey! It was amazing to see how many Canadian fans made the long journey across the pond; it was very cool to be part of a tournament that means so much to Canadians.

I ended up having a very successful tournament and was fortunate enough to work seven games in total. I worked four games during the round robin and then was assigned to work a quarter-final, a semi-final, and then ultimately the bronze medal assignment on the final day of competition.

I feel extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity. Every game we had a detailed supervision from one of the officiating coaches as well as detailed video work that helped us as we moved throughout the tournament. I know that officiating always seems to be a topic of discussion at these events, but after having been to one and having seen the work that the IIHF and the officiating team puts in behind the scenes I can tell you that I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the 11th team at the tournament and I am proud of the work that we did.

I would be remiss not to thank my wife Lindsay for her support, having four young children, it was a huge sacrifice for me to leave for 2 weeks at the busiest time of the year. I also need to thank Hockey Alberta, Brett Kelly, and Curtis Nichols for their continued support. It was awesome to work with the other Alberta official, Fraser Lawrence, in all three of my playoff assignments. I feel like we were able to show the world the level of officiating that this province produces.

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