By Michael Svac – USA Hockey Disabled Referee-in-Chief, Brad Roethlisberger, was recognized by Doris Donley, USA Hockey Blind Hockey Representative and Michael Svac, USA Hockey Representative for the Central District, for his outstanding leadership in supporting Disabled Hockey in the Central District and his work for helping to grow Blind Hockey throughout the United States at the USA Hockey Winter Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on January 18, 2020.
Brad has been instrumental in disabled hockey since 2007 when he helped Wisconsin develop their first sled hockey team while he was an active board member of the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association. Twelve years later, he was identified as the USA Hockey Disabled Referee-in-Chief while continuing to coach and referee in the Central District. He is responsible for coordinating all referees at the annual disabled hockey festival and many disabled hockey events throughout the year. USA Hockey disabled hockey disciplines include Blind Hockey, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Sled Hockey, Special Hockey, Standing/Amputee and Warrior Hockey.
In 2014, Blind hockey was introduced to the Central District and today there are two Blind Hockey teams in the District, the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. The Blind Hockey Discipline continues to grow throughout the United States and in January 2018 a decision was made by USA Hockey to develop a National Blind Hockey Team. Brad has been engaged with the Blind Program since day one and was instrumental in the current success of the National Team and continues to mentor and coach other referees in the game of Blind Hockey.
“Brad has been an outstanding role model for the game of disabled hockey,” said Doris Donley. “He continues to introduce and develop new referees to Blind Hockey and has been an active part of Team USA since the beginning. We are very lucky to have him and appreciate everything Brad has contributed to our success.”
The recognition award was presented on behalf of USA Hockey and USA Hockey’s Central District.