There will be 225 new officials heading to the classroom this weekend as part of three Referee Schools. Designed to train and mentor new officials, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and Force Sports, sponsor of the OMHA Referee Program, are hosting schools in Guelph, Trenton and Windsor. This will be the 24th year of providing new officials with the start of their officiating experience.
Students will acquire officiating skills and rule knowledge while completing OMHA and Hockey Canada certification requirements for the upcoming season when the weekend is complete. The OMHA Referee Schools provide new officials with methods and procedures of officiating in both the 2 and 3 official systems, as well as the new guidelines for modified ice hockey. They will also instruct uniform interpretation of the rules while teaching effective communication strategies and techniques.
An intensive, action packed agenda is planned for the weekend which will include three classroom instructional sessions, two on-ice training sessions and a final written certification exam.
“The Schools set the foundation for our new officials, providing the students a learning environment in the classroom that encourages participation and active on ice modules which illustrate the fundamentals of the officiating program,” said Dave Wedlake, Chair, Referee Program for the OMHA. “The OMHA has been delivering the Referee School Program for over 20 which indicates the high standard and value of this program.”
“The combination of classroom and on-ice sessions provides a unique learning environment for new officials,” stated Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director. “This program has been a starting point for numerous officials who have had a successful career officiating at the minor hockey level with some moving on to Junior, international and professional careers.”
Force Sports provides each student with a School t-shirt, as well as other giveaways. Students will also receive a Fox40 whistle, Hockey Canada Rule Book, Membership Handbook for Officials, Referee School Workbook, and Hockey Canada, Ontario Hockey Federation and OMHA uniform cresting.
Last season, nearly 700 new referees were trained in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association with 240 graduating from the OMHA Referee School program. There are currently over 4,000 active officials registered with the OMHA.
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