North Region December Newsletter
Greetings from Herman Costa
I would like to welcome all new and returning officials to the 2023/24 Officiating season. With the season well under way, we have seen a lot of changes in the program and a lot of information that needed to be relayed to all officials. I would like to thank the north region executive members and all the RIC’s for all the hard work at the beginning of the season. All your help and dedication to the officiating program helps keep things going smoothly. The clinic season is now completed, and We managed to register over 2000 officials in the north region. Thanks to Dean Ziegler and the Instructors for all the hard work this past clinic season.
We Held out first general meeting on Nov. 27 and we will be holding our 2nd general meeting on Monday Jan 22. We hope we can get more officials to attend the next meeting as its always nice to get reacquainted with those that we haven’t seen in a long time. We are once again planning to have our annual general meeting and awards presentation in April 2023 (exact date to be announced). We hope all officials will be able to attend and support our award winners. The best way to keep up to date about what’s happening in the officiating program is to keep checking the website, we will post any new information here. North Region Website
Reclassification applications are now being accepted for the 2023/2024 season. We are accepting applications for level 3 upgrades as well as MHP/NHP. More info can be found here. Upgrades | Hockey Alberta | Officials Committee Application can be found here.
Officials Development program applications are now open here is a link to the requirements needed to attend. https://officials.hockeyalberta.ca/development/officials-development-program/ This program is open to all Male and female officials that meet the criteria. Contact Colin Watt at [email protected] if you are interested or if you need more information.
Congratulations to the following officials for being selected to officiate at the Circle K Classic Tournament in Calgary on Dec 27 to Jan 1. Spencer Acheson, Keaton Spirig, Parker Adam, Travis Stewart, Dyson Zukiwsky, Jared Gilbeau, Andrew Hutton, Jarrett Bossert, Kameron Bauer and Jarod Tait.
Congratulations to the following officials who officiated at an International or National tournament this past season.
Hayley Butz national Women’s U18 Championship in Dawson Creek, she skated the Gold medal Game.
Alex Homer World U17 Hockey Challenge in PEI. He Skated the bronze medal Game.
I’d like to wish all officials and their families a happy holiday season and a great new year.
North Region Coordinator
NHL Heritage Classic Experience
The clinic commenced with a brief introduction of the officials—Garrett Rank, Eric Furlatt, Andrew Smith, and Travis Toomey—followed by a walk down to the ice-level and a group photo. The view was breathtaking, with floodlights illuminating the venue under the night sky. As we entered the facility for the clinic, everyone we encountered greeted us warmly, creating a welcoming atmosphere.
The in-class session kicked off with a comprehensive introduction to the NHL personnel and respective officials, featuring Senior Manager of Officiating Taryn Daneman and our host, the VP and Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom. Following the introductions, we were treated to a delightful dinner before delving into the planned activities. While enjoying our meal, a captivating video showcasing highlights from the previous NHL season was presented. The video eloquently captured the raw emotions associated with the game at every level of hockey, fostering a profound appreciation for the significance of the clinic. It was a moment of realization, acknowledging the privilege we held in being part of such a noteworthy event.
Much of the clinic focused on a theme the NHL used for its own clinic and will continue to use throughout the season. This theme was called RITHEM, for ‘React In The Moment’. The group was split into breakout groups with one NHL official assigned to each group. We discussed situational and general scenarios for which our objective was to discuss solutions and strategies to effectively manage the game. This gave us younger officials a chance to bounce some ideas off the NHL officials and receive their valuable input. Each group summarized their strategies and shared them with the larger group, all tied back to the overarching theme of RITHEM.
Throughout the clinic, the importance of mental and physical fitness was emphasised, as this is what allows officials to make the best decisions on the ice and shows the accountability an official has to the game of hockey, irrespective of the level.
Later, the group engaged in a game of Kahoot, where questions pertained to video replays of on-ice scenarios and some personal questions about the NHL officials. Participants were given a timed window to select the correct ruling, and the highest scorer won a signed NHL linesperson jersey from all the NHL officials present at the NHL clinic held before the season.
Finally, the group gathered for a Q/A session with the NHL officials. Numerous insightful questions about their experiences and advice were posed. My question was directed at the linespersons, inquiring about the adjustment to the new offside rule change from ‘position of the skates’ to ‘breaking the plane.’ They shared that the transition was challenging considering all the factors of an NHL-pace hockey game, but it helps knowing the call can be corrected with video replay.
As a parting gift, all attendees received a custom Heritage Classic hat and whistle. It was an extraordinary experience to be surrounded by such accomplished officials and talented individuals. Being part of the NHL Heritage Classic Officials Development Clinic was an honor and a genuine privilege.
2023 World U17 Hockey Challenge - Experience
I was very grateful to be selected to attend the World U17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown/Summerside PEI from November 2 to November 11, along with 13 other officials from across Canada.
The tournament was supervised by Todd Robinson (Hockey Canada) and Todd Thomander (Hockey Canada) who both provided very valuable feedback and guidance over the 10-day tournament.
I was fortunate to be able to skate 6 games over the course of the 10 days, where I was able to see every team in the tournament at least once and was extremely grateful to be assigned the Bronze Medal game between Sweden and Czechia.
I always believe that one of the best parts of these tournaments is getting to meet the other officials from the surrounding provinces. The officiating community is like a second family to me, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of officials to spend the 2 weeks with.
Thank-you to Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and the North Region for giving me the opportunity at skating such a world class event.
National Female U18 Championship 2023
I had the opportunity to attend the National Female U18 Championship as a referee in Dawson Creek, BC from November 5-12, 2023. I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 8 referees and 8 linespersons from across Canada. U18 Nationals is a Hockey Canada event where provinces compete against one another for the National title. There were 8 teams present – British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario Blue, Ontario Red, Quebec, and Atlantic. I had the chance to officiate 6 games throughout the week, including my gold medal game assignment between Quebec and Ontario Red. The tournament was supervised by Vanessa Stratton and Heather Richardson, both high performance coaches with Hockey Canada. They provided valuable feedback throughout the tournament.
Meeting other officials from across Canada is a unique opportunity. I was fortunate to be apart of a group of supportive officials at this event and create bonds, as well as friendships that span over the entire country.
Thank you to Hockey Canada, the North Zone female development team and my many mentors for supporting my goals at a national level.
Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week 2024
The Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week tournament will take place from January 12th to January 21st. This will be the sixtieth edition of the tournament that was first held in 1964. Last year all members of the Edmonton Federation Hockey League (EFHL) entered teams. Tournament games are played in arenas in most of the participating EFHL communities. The finals, which usually number around sixty-five games, will be held at Edmonton’s Terwillegar Recreation Centre on January 20th and 21st.
The officials will again participate as volunteers. Officials have been part of the large number of tournament volunteers since the tournament’s inception in 1964. Consider volunteering and please participate in the tournament when asked. Your participation will result in a successful tournament.
Colin Hackett Scholarship
In November 2016, the North Region lost Colin Hackett, an inspirational mentor and official, after a two-year battle with colon cancer. Colin became an inspiration to many after his diagnosis, as he would officiate games days after undergoing chemotherapy treatment and continued to mentor younger officials. He also refereed for the World’s Longest Hockey Game while wearing his chemotherapy pack and undergoing treatment during the game. Off the ice, Colin gave a motivational speech to more than 2000 people at the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and then rode for 200 km with the group. During his courageous two-year battle with colon cancer, Colin continued to be a mentor to many officials and volunteered his time as Vice Chair.
Applications for this year’s Colin Hackett Memorial Scholarship are now open. Please go to www.hockeyalberta.ca and click on the North Region Awards for all the requirements and rules for applying. This is open to all officials who are going to be attending post-Secondary education. Applications will taken until March 1, 2024.
Hockey Alberta Officials Committee Scholarship
Annually – Maximum of three (3) awards of up to $1,500.
Scholarships are presented to applicants who meet the following criteria:
· A member in good standing with Hockey Alberta in the current season with a minimum of Level 2 certification.
· A resident of Alberta for at least 2 years.
· 18 years of age by December 15 of the season s/he is applying for scholarship.
· An active official, working games at any level.
· Attending a post-secondary institution in a recognized program on a full-time basis, including a recognized trade school program. Transcript of class enrolment is required.
· Other criteria will include, but is not limited to, the applicant’s on-ice ability and off-ice contribution to his/her Region.
Application deadline is April 1 of each year.
Applicant could be applying for the year just being completed in order to qualify.
Kenneth R. Stiles Scholarship
The Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship was established by the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation (formerly Project 75) and Hockey Canada in recognition of Ken Stiles and his tremendous contribution to grassroots hockey in Canada.
Through the vision and leadership of the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation, many Hockey Canada development programs have received their start. The Hockey Canada Officiating Program of Excellence is an excellent example of this support.
The Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation is committed to providing Canadian student athletes and officials with access to financial resources to support their pursuit of post-secondary education.
Scholarships are allocated (one major award of $5,000 and three minor awards of $1,000 each) for both Male and Female officials. Male recipients must have been part of the Hockey Canada OPEO in the past and female officials must be at minimum Level 3 certification.
The deadline for applications is April 15, 2022. Full criteria are included in the application form package
Edmonton Invitational TOC Scholarship
The Edmonton Invitational Bantam Tournament of Champions is providing the North Region Officials with a $1000 scholarship to be awarded to an official who officiated at the Bantam level this season. Officiating in the annual Edmonton Invitational Bantam Tournament (EBIT) of Champions would be a plus. The funds will be held in escrow until the official provides the EBIT Scholarship Committee with an official receipt showing proof of registration or tuition payment to a post-secondary education institution. Should the official not provide such and reach the age of 23 years old, the scholarship will be returned to the EBIT Scholarship Fund.
The criteria for the award is:
1. Academic accolades (current marks as of March 1). A letter from current registered school will provide information.
2. Athletic accolades, if any.
3. Applicant to write an essay (minimum 200 words) outlining why s/he deserves the scholarship and what being an official has done for him or her.
4. Letters of Reference.
Please apply to the EBIT Scholarship Committee no later than March 1 of the current season. Nominees may be interviewed.
Only the successful candidate will be notified, and the name will be posted on the EBIT and Hockey Alberta Officials website. No individual can win more than one scholarship.
All scholarships can be applied for at www.hockeyalberta.ca under the Officials tab for the North Region.
U16AA Scotiabank tournament of champions was held Nov 10-13. Officials did a magnificent job throughout and were highly spoken of from from the visiting teams from Calgary, Okotoks, and area.
The bronze medal game was officiated by:
Darian Hewson, Mackenzie Way, Zachary Tavares, Jacob Dunn
The gold medal game was officiated by:
Jamal Sakhi Khan, Graham Warner, Ryan Luz, Matthew Zhang
First half of the season has been going well. We had our U16AA and U18AA Tournaments in November and the officiating was excellent throughout both. Looking ahead we have the U15AA Christmas Tournament in December, NAX U15Prep Showcase in January and NAX U17Prep Showcase in February. I’m expecting the outstanding commitment level, hustle and coachability of our officials to continue throughout the second half of the season as we prepare for playoffs.
The first half of the season has been great. We have over 150 female officials in the North Region.
At the beginning of the year we had a supervision experience at a Pandas game where officials could watch the game and sit in on the supervision. WE had some officials from Vegreville join us! We hope to have another supervision experience on January 27 for Female Hockey Day.
Quantum Speed ran power skating sessions for our officials. We had 15 show up. We have two more scheduled for December 18 and January 23. If you’d like to join, please email [email protected].
We had three games this year skated by all female crews!
Referees: Hayley Butz and Suzanne Moneta
Lines: Megan French and Kennedy Roblin
The same crew above also skated a U18AAA Prep CSSHL Showcase game.
The following officials skated a U15AAA AEHL game:
Referees: Megan French and Michelle Gariepy
Lines: Haley Brand and Cassidy Brand
Huge congratulations to Hayley Butz who was selected to skate the gold medal game at the National Women’s U18 Championships in Dawson Creek!