By Michael Barrett, Illinois Referee-in-Chief & Supervisor of Officials
While a fair number of people are taking some well-deserved time off from the hockey world, the Illinois Hockey Officials Association and its members are preparing for the upcoming season. IHOA is finalizing its seminar dates, locations and levels as well as preparing for any upcoming rule changes from USA Hockey this June (I will have more on rule changes AFTER the USA Hockey Annual Congress is concluded in June).
In addition to planning the upcoming season, officials are striving to improve their skills. The various Development programs afford officials the opportunity to advance to different levels of ice hockey. Included in the development chain are our programs here in Illinois and then beyond Illinois through the USA Hockey development tiers.
USA Hockey conducts many levels of officiating camps and each camp affords the officials with the opportunity to improve their overall officiating skills. Beyond the Illinois programs are the Central District Camp, the High Performance Camp and the Futures Camp.
The Central District Camp is conducted in June and these camps are meant to be a bridge between local officiating and the USA Hockey Regional Camps. They are also meant to give an official advanced instruction in officiating that the official can take back to their home areas and share with other officials. The Central District Camp participants will be announced soon.
The Futures Camp provides an intense and thorough review of the fundamentals of amateur ice hockey officiating. The camp establishes the existence within each participant of a practical understanding and a consistent application of the fundamentals of ice hockey officiating and is conducted at various sites through June and July. USA Hockey also conducts a Womens’ Futures Camp.
The High Performance Camp provides officials the opportunity to continue to advance the educational process of the amateur official who has successfully proven his proficiency and application of the fundamentals of ice hockey officiating as presented at the Futures Camp level. This camp is focused on the advance techniques that officials must master to effectively manage hockey games at the highest levels, but in doing so re-emphasizing the need to master the fundamentals of officiating.
These camps are invitation only and the invitations are based on several criteria which include:
- Overall game experience (Tier II & III Junior, ACHA, etc.)
- USA Hockey game experience
- Prior participation in a USAH Regional/Futures Camp (not required but strongly recommended)
- Regional Camp Performance Grades (written & skating exams)
- District Referee-in-Chief (and support staff) recommendations
- State Supervisor recommendations
We are very pleased to report that the following individuals were invited and will participate in the various camps discussed above:
High Performance Camp:
Women’s Futures Camp:
Each of these officials has dedicated themselves to improving their officiating skills and overall performance and is to be applauded for their talent, time and dedication to our sport. We wish each of them well when they attend their respective camps and look forward to their return to Illinois next season.