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Referee Assist Program Returns for Second Season

By Force Sports, 10/06/23, 10:15AM EDT


OMHA, Force Sports supporting young officials and removing barriers

The OMHA, as part of its ongoing partnership with Force Sports, is excited to announce the return of the OMHA Referee Assist Program.

This program will support young officials by removing barriers to becoming an official. The OMHA is asking associations to nominate young officials entering the program in 2023-24 or have been officiating for less than three years to receive a Force Sports officiating jersey. They will be awarding up to 100 officials with new jerseys.

“Force Sports is excited to continue the Referee Assist Program with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association,” said Dave Martin, President of Force Sports. “We have been a proud partner of the OMHA for over 15 years and this program helps us increase awareness around the recruitment of new officials and the importance they have in our game.”

“We are looking forward to the return of the Referee Assist Program with our partners at Force Sports. Our young on-ice officials deserve to be supported with programs like these as they begin their journey in officiating,” said OMHA Executive Director Ian Taylor. “The Referee Assist Programs joins our Player and Goalie Assist Programs, as ways that we are helping reduce and remove barriers to our game.”

As part of the #NoRefNoGame campaign, the OMHA will work with these officials to share their experience in officiating throughout the season with news stories and social media posts. The goal of this program is to increase awareness on the important role officials have in our game and to stop the cycle of abuse and bullying towards game officials through cultural change.

“We are thankful to Force Sports for their continued support of our on-ice officials and the game of hockey,” said Dave Wedlake, OMHA Referee Chair. “The Referee Assist Program highlights the great young officials that we have across the province who we hope will stay in the game for many years to come.”

Associations can nominate up to 5 young officials for this program, officials must be under the age of 18. Officials are also welcome to fill out the form themselves.


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