Illinois Referee-in-Chief & Supervisor of Officials on the Supervision, Mentoring & Evaluation of Officials

Dear Illinois Ice Hockey Community:

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.

AHAI and IHOA collectively established various committees to provide supervision, mentoring, evaluation and development of officials via ice time and assignment of games. Repeated supervision, mentoring, evaluation and reinforcement of growth potential can lead to officials’ participation in high caliber games and tournaments. This past season, I am pleased to report the various committees (supervision, mentoring and evaluation) were highly successful. This past season, the breakdown of each program is as follows:

Supervision: The supervision program assigns experienced officials with extensive officiating backgrounds to act as supervisors and support during ice hockey games. During a game, a supervisor provides support for on-ice officials and is ready to discuss rule interpretations with the hockey community and tournament officials. In his/her capacity as a supervisor, this person must also bring their full officiating equipment and be prepared to officiate a game in the event of an injury or other extreme circumstance affecting the on-ice officiating crew.

This past season, the following tournaments/playoffs were supervised:

Mentoring: The mentoring program assigns experienced officials to act as a “shadow” for our newest officials and the mentor follows the new official on the ice and provides instant feedback and helpful guidance to the official throughout the game. The mentor also sends the new official an email with post-game feedback. This past season the mentor program mentored 151 games consisting of 87 of our newest officials. More than 50 IHOA officials provided their services as mentors this past season.

Evaluation: The evaluation program assigns trained officials to act as officiating evaluators during ice hockey games. During a game, an evaluator observes an official and provides a critique to the official after the game ends. The evaluations are utilized in the assignment process to identify those officials who are capable of more intense game assignments and also identify those officials who may require additional training or rules support. Officials are randomly evaluated; officials may request an evaluation; and evaluations are scheduled in the event AHAI/IHOA receives a pattern of communication for a particular official. In order to provide a fair evaluation, an evaluated official is NOT informed he/she will be evaluated until after the game is completed. This past season, approximately 375 games were evaluated consisting of 414 different officials. The total number of evaluations provided by the committee totaled approximately 750.

All in all, this past season saw an increase in the number of supervisions, mentoring and evaluations for the officiating community. I would like to mention that it is no small effort to schedule all of these processes and I applaud Dave Ballantyne and Carl Sassolino for their efforts as Chairman of these Committees. I also wish to publicly thank all of the AHAI/IHOA officials who performed as supervisors, mentors and evaluators this past season. The reward these officials receive is the satisfaction of “giving back” to the hockey community in general and the officiating community in particular.

Officials are a necessary part of this great game and the officiating community strives to provide quality officiating to the ice hockey community. The various programs mentioned above contribute to the overall officiating experiences for everyone and will continue to do so next year.

For more information about becoming an official, please head to There you will find information regarding the registration process.

I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to the start of next season’s officiating seminars.

Michael Barrett
Illinois Referee in Chief &
Supervisor of Officials

Categories: Officials

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