Attention Team Managers & Organization Presidents: A Letter from Michael Barrett, AHAI Supervisor of Officials & Illinois Referee in Chief

Attention Team Managers and Organization Presidents:

As the Illinois Referee in Chief and Supervisor of Officials, one of my many roles is to oversee and work with AHAI and IHOA (Illinois Hockey Officials Association) to develop, promote and administer a competitive officiating program. This program is meant to benefit Illinois officials and the organizations they serve by providing officials the opportunity to officiate in a competitive hockey environment and by offering high quality education, instruction and knowledge of officiating.

My various working groups provide supervision, evaluation, development and mentoring of officials via ice time and assignment of games. Repeated supervision, evaluation, mentoring and reinforcement of growth potential can lead to officials’ participation in high caliber games and tournaments.

But recently it has come to my attention that these difficult tasks are currently complicated by select organizations and their assigners who refuse to place their hockey games on the central assigning website. This refusal to place games on the central assigning website poses many problems for the officiating community but more importantly, it creates confusion and a tremendous waste of time for managers, coaches, players, parents and administrators who cannot locate their games on the website.

Let me explain this to you further.

As you are aware, AHAI provides all team managers with an email each Monday morning which identifies that team’s schedule for the rest of the week.

When a team manager or coach reviews the email and identifies that some of their scheduled games are not listed on the email, the manager or coach cannot review the website to determine if the game is actually scheduled and that officials are assigned because the game is not on the website.

This is caused exclusively by the home team’s officiating assigner and his refusal to place the game on the website.

The myriad of difficulties that this causes can lead to the following:

  • A team refusing to travel to a far-away rink because they do not want to arrive at the rink only to find out there is no game and/or no officials assigned for their game;
  • AHAI expects all IHOA registered officials to be extended the opportunity to officiate. Among other things this means that games are to be visible to the officials, within the appropriate time frames, so the ability to request games is fair and equal among the officiating community. Failure to place these games on the website prevents officials from fairly and equally requesting game assignments.
  • AHAI suggests no official should work more than 4 games a day except in rare circumstances. Failure to place games on the website may permit an official to work an unlimited number of games in a day which is clearly not in the best interests of the players.
  • Non-payment of officiating fees to the officials. The central assigning website accounts for all game fees, service fees, and assigning fees. The failure to place these games on the website prevents the proper and timely payment of game fees to the officials.
  • Improper accounting and billing to the organizations. The central assigning website accounts for all organization game fees, service fees, and assigning fees and is accessible to the organization 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. An organization may always review their online billings for accuracy. The failure to place these games on the website prevents the organization from reviewing their billing statements and timely paying their officiating fees.
  • The failure to place these games on the website prevents officials from identifying and reporting game reports for game misconducts, major penalties and match penalties. Additionally, this will prevent officials from identifying and reporting incident reports for injuries, zero tolerance and rink/arena conditions. Obviously, there are safety components at issue here.
  • Finally, the failure to place these games on the website makes it impossible to identify and hold the assigner accountable for his errors.

If games are NOT placed on the website and therefore officials cannot be reviewed, my assigned working groups cannot identify those officials who are new and need a mentor; or the official who is scheduled for an evaluation; or the official who we may want to supervise to determine his/her abilities for higher level games and possible end-of-year playoff assignments. All of this will ultimately negatively affect the ice hockey community as a whole.

For the programs mentioned above to work and benefit both the officiating community and the ice hockey community as a whole, all games must be placed on the central assigning website.

So how does a team/manager/coach/administrator help in this regard? Well, the answer is quite simple.

Please routinely log into your web account ( and verify all of your home and away games are posted in your schedules and that they are correct.

In the event you are missing a HOME game from your schedule, you may enter it online.  To do so, please follow the instructions HERE. As the HOME team, AHAI recommends you add a small number of missing games yourself online. Your officiating scheduler will see them when they access their assignment tools. An email is also sent to the scheduler each time a game is added using the online tools.

In the event you are missing an AWAY game from your schedule, you must contact the team you are playing and require their scheduler to confirm and post your game date, location and time. Contacts for teams in your age classification may be found using the contacts button on your web page.

The responsibility for the accurate placement of all youth ice hockey games on the scheduling website rests upon the HOME team’s officiating scheduler. All changes, cancellations and adjustments must be done through the HOME team’s officiating scheduler.

If the HOME team does not timely post the game on the scheduling website, AHAI recommends that you send your complete schedule in excel format to There is a sample spreadsheet under the Schedule button or click HERE. AHAI will post your schedule and advise your officiating scheduler for you.

As the HOME team, it is imperative that you enter each home game immediately once it is scheduled. With the increasingly high volume of games on weekends, and in order to properly assign the officials to those games, the assignments need to be made well in advance.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Please email me with any questions.

Michael Barrett, AHAI Supervisor of Officials & Illinois Referee in Chief

Categories: Hockey Headlines, Officials

Tags: ,

%d bloggers like this: