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In order to comply with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 149, Sections 54 – 105, all officials must reach the age of 14 prior to being allowed to officiate USA Hockey games within the Massachusetts District. In addition, all officials age 14 to 17 must submit the proper documentation to the league(s) they work for prior to being assigned any games. M.G.L. Chapter 149 also restricts officials age 14 to 17 on the number of hours they can work in a day and the times of day they are allowed to officiate.
Posted on MassLive.com
For a minute, Katie Guay was speechless.
The opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter
Games had just ended and the awe of seeing it in person was setting in.
“It’s a little surreal,” she said over the phone, her call coming in from Pyeongchang, South Korea, just after the event ended.
The fireworks that filled TV screens in Massachusetts early in the morning had covered the night sky over Guay’s head. The hundreds of athletes, dignitaries and representatives that marched into the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium over cable broadcasts had walked right by her.
Nearly a lifetime’s worth of dedication on the ice put her in the perfect seat to witness the moment in person. And for Guay, that moment could only be described as incredible.
When the Olympic games conclude later this week, though, Guay won’t return to her hometown of Westfield with a medal to show off. You won’t see her name on the back of a jersey when the United States battles Canada for the gold.
But, if you watched a women’s ice hockey game during the Olympics, you probably saw her intently analyzing the game and skating alongside those hopeful athletes.
After roughly a decade of work, Guay is one of four American women to go to the Olympics as a women’s ice hockey official.
Guay called it her first taste of the real world.
She graduated from Brown University in 2005 and found a full-time job as an auditor for BJ’s Wholesale Club. For three weeks of the month, she traveled along the east coast, spending most of her days in a car or a plane.
But for the majority of her life, that kind of time was spent on the ice. After watching her older siblings Todd and Lisa play, Guay joined her first hockey team when she was about six years old.
Her passion for the sport only grew.
She played a year at Westfield High School – “I was the only girl on the team,” Guay added – before transferring to Deerfield Academy during her sophomore year. She broke the school record for goals by notching 74 in her career before she played Division I women’s hockey at Brown. The accolades only continued while she was there.
She played alongside future Olympians on the Team USA U-22 team, and she attended some of the national team camps.
“I realized that I wanted hockey to continue to be a part of my life as it always had been,” Guay said. “I just missed it so much. After that first year, I thought, ‘how can I get back into it?'”
That return started with a women’s league. As she saw different pathways and opportunities, though, Guay once again found a home on the ice. She picked up some Division III women’s games, and a year later took on Division I. Then came development camps and another trail of opportunities.
As someone who also had a passion for travel, the goal became to officiate international tournaments.
“I realized I would be able to see the world through a game that I love,” Guay said.
Guay, as it turned out, accomplished that goal somewhat quickly. In 2011, she went to France for her first international tournament. Over the past decade, she has gone to multiple countries in Europe, including Budapest and Switzerland, all because of her skill as a referee.
Ultimately, the goal shifted once again- Gu
ay wanted to officiate at the Olympics.
Paul Stewart met Guay about eight years ago and something about her stood out almost immediately.
While investing her time in international tournaments, Guay continued to referee women’s games with the ECAC and Hockey East. (In fact, up until the past year, officiating was a part-time job for Guay as she also held a position in the Noble and Greenough School’s development office.)
But Stewart, the ECAC’s Director of Officiating, saw something in Guay that was different from other officials. She had size. She understood the game – she was aggressive as a player throughout her career. And she was one of the best skaters Stewart had ever seen.
“I don’t know how to teach it,” Stewart said. “And the thing that amazes me about her is this year, with the idea that she might have a shot at the Olympics, she came out to the rink three or four days a week at 5:45 a.m. and skated. She hired a skating coach to improve.
“You can’t find people like that.”
Stewart, for his part, takes a father-like pride in Guay. He wishes he had 20 more of her, and in 2015 he began incorporating her into Division I men’s officiating crews – not as a stunt, but because she deserved to be there.
“Officiating men’s Division I hockey was never really a goal of mine,” Guay said. “I didn’t even realize it was a possibility.”
In reality, it wasn’t previously a possibility for her. Guay was the first woman to put in consistent time as a men’s hockey official at the Division-I level.
Stewart brought up the idea at a coaches’ me
eting where Katey Stone, the head women’s coach at Harvard and a former United States Olympic coach, was in attendance.
“Katey Stone said to me, ‘I think it’s a great idea, but I hope it’s not a gimmick,'” Stewart said. “That triggered in my mind exactly why I wouldn’t make it a gimmick, because it’s condescending to the sport and offensive and disrespectful to the coaches and athletes in the sport.”
At first, Guay was hesitant. She didn’t think she was ready. Then, one day, Stewart made the decision on his own, adding a men’s game to her schedule and following the same process he would with a male rookie official. He put her on staffs that had supportive and experienced individuals, and she covered eight or 10 games in her first year.
Guay, for her part, fit in with ease.
“I think if (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman is ever interested in breaking the glass ceiling, she’s got a combination of all the right stuff,” Stewart said of the chance a woman could officiate in the NHL one day.
“Katie Guay is athletic, intelligent, sharp, knows the game, has good presentation. And how would we not do it as a gimmick? Feed her in slowly. Get her into some American League games. Get her so she’s comfortable and slip her into a game some night.”
Guay was on the ice at the Agganis Arena in Boston in late October when Team USA faced off against Canada during a tour of exhibition games.
Young women and girls filled many of the seats in the sold-out arena, waving flags and holding signs. Some of them with their faces painted. They were about to see the best women’s hockey players in the world. And, maybe some of them noticed the female officials skating around the ice.
Guay knows that representation matters. She was a young hockey player in 1998 when she watched the United States women’s hockey team win gold. She was still playing hockey with all boys.
“To see women on TV playing hockey certainly opened m
y eyes quite a bit,” Guay said, reflecting back on that game.
This year’s exhibition game, filled with energy, was Guay’s final chance to prove she could hack it as an Olympic official. She had worked for nearly eight years – from her first world championship tournament in 2011 – attempting to reach her Olympic dream.
It took on-ice testing drills. Off-ice fitness testing. Supervisors providing feedback after each and every tournament. Sheets of paper with observations staking up, putting together a picture of Guay’s abilities as a referee.
She knew she was on the long list – a group of 35 that needed to submit paperwork for work visas in South Korea – but all she could do after the exhibition game was wait.
Guay was informed that she would find out if she made the Olympic cut on Dec. 1. The day was the one she was waiting for, but the call didn’t come.
In fact, no one received a call until Dec. 28.
After hoping when she was younger to one day play in the Olympics, that dream – albeit in a slightly different form – waited in limbo.
“I just continued to wait for the moment and knew it was, at that point, out of my control,” Guay said. “I had done all I could at that point. I felt that I put my best effort forward both at the fitness testing and at my final game to showcase my officiating.
“You never really know why selections are m
ade, so I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped for the best.”
Then her phone rang. Matt Leaf, USA hockey’s officiating education program director, gave Guay the news she had long waited for.
For Guay’s parents, Susan and Yves, the moment was exactly what any parent who watched their child fall in love with a sport hopes for.
“Katie has worked very hard to get where she is today,” Susan Guay said. “Surprised? No, we were very hopeful and ecstatic when she was chosen.
“It is like winning the gold.”
Within 24 hours of Katie Guay hearing the news, her parents told every family member, every friend and every colleague they could reach.
Before this past week, Susan and Yves Guay had never crossed either the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. Her parents will spend the final few days of the Olympics in South Korea with her, watching and supporting their daughter as they have done since her first hockey game.
“To find out that she could be in the Olympics for reffing, it made us feel so good,” Susan Guays said. “She’s a determined girl. She put her mind to it and she worked hard to get there.”
Guay will not officiate during the gold-medal game Wednesday – she cannot ref any games played by the United States. Her presence on the ice, though, from collegiate hockey to the Olympic level, remains vital.
She didn’t know about many of the opportunities she now is working and living through. Several of them didn’t exist. Her own mentor, Julie Piacentini, who officiated Olympic games in the early 2000s, didn’t have the same chance to officiate men’s games.
While Guay breaks proverbial glass ceilings with her work ethic and skill, her goal now rests with future officials. She wants to help them not only see potential paths, but also have the skillset to explore them on their own. She’s gone to development camps during the summer and worked with younger officials who aspire to what Guay now does.
“When I really first thought
about reffing, I had no idea the places it would take me,” Guay said. “To share that with younger officials and mentor younger officials and work them – hopefully get them to this level – is certainly what I have been doing the last few years.
“It’s what I hope to continue to do and leave a legacy as one that came back to the game and helped others reach their goals.”
Post from USA Hockey
“We’re a few years into this, and what we’re seeing is a lot of positives,” McCullough said. “It has been a great assistant when it comes to managing our affiliate.”
Though McCullough is the person responsible for handling the reports in Connecticut, his job would not be possible without the officials at the rink submitting their game reports.
There is a significant amount of administrative data that goes into a game report. It starts with the basics — the level of play, date and time of the game and where it took place. That all helps tie back to the report.
“Sometimes when we get these, we have the team wrong or someone mixes up a program that plays under multiple names,” McCullough said. “If we know when and where it’s played, we can drill into the correct game.”
From there, the referees input their own information. Then information accuracy becomes more crucial. This includes data such as the home and away teams and affiliates.
“The correct affiliate is critical because it will send it to the correct person,” McCullough said. “Sometimes, we see someone click the wrong affiliate and a report that’s supposed to go to Colorado goes to Connecticut.”
From there, a referee gives a description of an incident that occured. As has been pointed out previously, giving the facts is the most important part of this section.
“We need the length to be whatever tells the story of what happened,” McCullough said. “Usually what we end up getting is good information.”
The last component of any report is the player information. Accuracy here is crucial. If the incorrect player is selected, that player could face unintended consequences for penalties he or she did not commit.
“This is where we have our most frequent issues,” McCullough said. “It’s the fact there’s a name lookup and someone could select the wrong combination of initials. If a player is wrongly selected, there is a chance it could end up in a progressive suspension alert being sent out when it shouldn’t be going out.”
Once a report is submitted, people such as McCullough are able to mine the incoming data and identify issues quickly.
“This system gives us the ability to identify programs that are having larger issues,” McCullough said. “We can then talk to the association about frequent flyers and why they’re having so many game reports.”
Overall, there is one important factor that goes into any successful game report: timeliness. This is not only something required by USA Hockey, it also helps those going through the disciplinary process.
“This is just such valuable information to the affiliate and everyone involved,” McCullough said. “We appreciate the effort our referees put into these reports. Timeliness is one of the most important things in the process. The quicker we get that information and the more consistent it is, the better for all involved parties.”
Each summer, the development of young officials continues at the USA Hockey Officiating Development Camps. These camps are used to identify and prepare officials for junior, collegiate, and professional competition, and provide all participants with the fundamental skills needed to return home to their grassroots hockey community and be the best amateur hockey officials they can become. Many of the top officials in the United States have progressed through the various summer development camps, and USA Hockey recruits the top instructors available from professional and collegiate leagues to educate and evaluate the participants in all aspects of officiating. Here is a brief synopsis of each of the camps.
Note: The USA Hockey District Referees-in-Chief have more information regarding each of the development camps. All interested officials that meet the criteria for participation should contact Kevin Donovan. Applications must be submitted to Kevin Donovan by the prescribed deadline.
OBJECTIVE – This camp is a thoroughly educational review of the fundamentals of amateur ice hockey officiating. The Futures Camp establishes a practical understanding of the fundamentals of game management as recommended by the USA Hockey Officiating Program. These areas include positioning, skating fundamentals, rules knowledge, physical fitness, mental preparation, and setting goals. This camp is educational in nature and focuses on reinforcing basic techniques an official needs to manage all levels of amateur hockey.
PARTICIPANTS – These programs each host 12 -18 participants between the ages of (but not exclusive to) 18-28 years old. Applicants should have 2-3 years of overall experience (minimum) and some experience working 14 & Under hockey and higher. Furthermore, all participants should possess a desire to bring all information they learn back home to share with their local officiating community.
COST – $90.00 Registration Fee if selected to participate, plus travel to and from camp location. Housing, meals, facilities use, and classroom materials are provided by USA Hockey.
OBJECTIVE – To advance the educational process of the amateur official who has successfully proven his proficiency with the application of the fundamentals of ice hockey officiating as presented at the Futures Camp level. To review and refine the lessons learned at the Futures Camp as the participants attempt to advance to the higher levels of hockey. This camp is focused on the advanced techniques that officials must master to effectively manage hockey games at the highest levels (Tier I & II Junior, NCAA, & Professional), but in doing so re-emphasizing the need to master the fundamentals of officiating. Additional supporting areas of instruction will include power skating, nutrition, physical conditioning and mental preparedness.
PARTICIPANTS – This program hosts 18-24 participants who are between the ages of (but not exclusive to) 20-30 years old. All officials must be USA Hockey registered officials. Experience at the Tier III Junior or ACHA Collegiate level, or participating at NAPHL development events or USA Hockey National Tournaments is preferred (but not required).
COSTS – $90.00 Registration Fee if selected to participate, plus travel costs to and from the camp location. Housing, meals, facilities use, and classroom materials will be provided by USA Hockey.
PROGRAM OF MERIT
OBJECTIVE – To instruct those officials who work at the most advanced levels of competitive hockey (Tier I Junior, NCAA, & Professional). To provide participants with the opportunity to receive high levels of both individual and group instruction on college, international and professional mental-function and techniques, including both on and off-ice environments. This camp is focused on the advanced techniques that officials must master to effectively manage hockey games at the highest levels.
PARTICIPANTS – All participants will be invited based on selections made by a committee comprised of top Tier I Junior, NCAA, and Professional officials.
COST – No registration fee required, and USA Hockey will subsidize a portion of travel costs to camp location. Housing, meals, facilities use, and classroom materials will be provided by USA Hockey.
|Eastern Futures Camp||July 9-13||Keene, NH||March 15|
|Women’s Futures Camp||July 14-20||St. Cloud, MN||March 13|
|High-Performance Camp||July 7-13||Buffalo, NY||March 13|
|Program of Merit||6/26-7/2||Buffalo, NY||Invite Only|
|Sled Hockey Futures Camp I||TBD||Buffalo, NY||Email Us!|
Applications must be submitted through the online website by the posted deadline. Click Here for Applications
Someone once said that “Officiating is the only vocation where you are expected to start out perfect and then only get better from there.” It’s true, officials face plenty of scrutiny every time they step on to the ice, and it’s unlikely that you will be able to please both teams with every call throughout the course of the game.
To make our job even more unique, you get a variety of “input” from players, coaches and spectators about your performance. Sometimes you’ll take those comments to heart in order to improve, other times you’ll tune the chatter out, knowing it’s not exactly helpful.
When it comes to our job in managing officials registration and education programs, things aren’t that much different. The Officiating Program leadership, made up of the Officials Section which is comprised of volunteer district referees-in-chief charged with establishing policy, finds it difficult to keep our 25,000 officiating members happy all of the time, while also balancing a commitment to the game of providing capable officiating.
They too hear a lot of chatter throughout the season, some of which is simply impractical and self-serving and tends to get tuned out, while some of it is heard loud and clear as legitimate concerns or ideas on how things could be improved. In any case, time is needed to explore the effect on the big picture and carefully think through all the possible ramifications of any change that is made for the betterment of the entire program, and ultimately, the game itself.
Consider the beginning of the USA Hockey Officiating Education Program back in 1983 when Mark Rudolph was brought in as the first director of the Officiating Education Program. It started with manuals, then the establishment of the summer development camps and instructor training programs, followed by the development of a more formal seminar program and open-book testing. It has continued to evolve to become the internationally recognized program you are part of today.
Along the way, there has been a tremendous amount of change taking place – much of which was actually suggested and encouraged by you, our membership. The digital age started electronic registration, then electronic testing, and more recently, the development of the online seminar curriculum. All of these ideas came from voices within our membership and USA Hockey’s leadership listened.
Sure, there have been a few naysayers suggesting we will lose membership as we make certain changes, or they say that we demand too much from our officials. After all, change is rarely easy and some people just don’t like it because it alters their routines. However, over the years and regardless of the changes that have taken place, the Officiating Program has seen growth in membership in 30 of the 35 years, and has continued to do business with only a couple of moderate fee increases. It is also important to realize that when change does occur, time is necessary to be able to fully evaluate the effect of that change. That has been especially true with the significant change in implementing the online seminar curriculum, now in its fourth season. This part of the educational process has been tweaked each season and culminated with a significant reduction in the time commitment necessary to complete all of the modules during the 2017-18 season.
Now that time has passed and as technology continues to advance, the Officials Section has spent the past 10 months evaluating our registration/education program and continuing to listen to membership feedback in an effort to continue to streamline the registration process while maximizing the educational benefit. The work of a sub-committee charged with this task has recently been completed and presented to the entire Officials Section, and received a positive response. Much of the specifics and details of the recommended changes moving forward will be finalized in the coming months, but we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the likely proposed changes to the registration process you will see for the 2018-19 season.
More information will be coming as specifics are finalized. Be sure to read the STRIPES newsletter and USAHockey.com in the coming months for updates and more specific information on what you can expect as your officiating career continues.
Congratulations to Massachusetts own Katie Guay (Mansfield, MA) who is one of the seven American officials chosen to officiate the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea! Ice hockey competition begins on Saturday, February 10.
The six other American officials are Dina Allen (North Tonawanda, NY), Jud Ritter (Bethlehem, PA), Jessica Leclerc (Saco, ME), Timothy Mayer (Okemos, MI), Fraser McIntyre (Amherst, NY), and Melissa Szkola (St. Clare Shores, MI).
“USA Hockey is very proud of the officials selected to work the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said Matt Leaf, USA Hockey officiating education program director. “These officials are well-positioned to represent USA Hockey at the highest level, each having been committed and dedicated to successful officiating for many years.”
More information about the American officials chosen and their backgrounds may be found on USA Hockey’s website. A complete roster of Olympic Ice Hockey officials can be found on the IIHF’s website about PyeongChang.
Registration Renewal Deadline Approaching. For returning Officials, you have until November 30, 2017, to complete all requirements to renew your USA Hockey Officiating registration. You are not allowed to work games after the November 30 deadline unless you have completed all renew requirements and have received your 2017-2018 Referee registration card and sweater crest.
You can check the status of your USA Hockey registration by logging in to your Referee Profile at USA Hockey”. Select “Referee Profile Login” and sign in with your email address and password. Once you log in, select the “My Profile” menu item and the “Officiating Information” menu item on the My Profile page. Click on the green “Refresh Data” button to make sure you are seeing the current information on your profile.
Seminar dates and locations for 2017
Aug 8 and Aug 9 – Haverhill – Two nights, New Officials Only
Aug 23 – Level 3 – St Johns HS – Shrewsbury
Aug 26 – Level 1 & Level 2 – Shrewsbury HS
Aug 27 – Level 1, 2 & 3 – Agawam
Sep 9 – Level 1 & Level 2 – Andover
Sep 12 – Level 3 – Andover
Sep 16 – Level 1, 2 & 3 – Barnstable
Oct 5 – Level 4 – Marlboro
Oct 11 – Level 3 – Canton
Oct 14 – Level 1 & Level 2 – Canton
Registration Opens August 1 at USAHockey.com
The attached document is a brief summary of playing rule changes and does not reflect the actual language used in the official rules.
The purpose of this document is to provide a quick reference to the rule changes.
For specific language related to each rule, please see the 2017-21 USA Hockey Official Playing Rules Book.
Congratulations to the Massachusetts Officials chosen to work in National Tournaments this year!
Well deserved, thank you for representing!
USA Hockey Announces Dates and Locations for the 2018 National Championships. The 2018 Girls Tier 1 and Tier II National Championships will be held in Marlboro, MA April 5-9, 2018, additionally, Women’s A, B & C will be in Bedford, MA April 5-8, 2018. Why are we telling you about the 2018 National Championships in 2017? Because the crews for the national championships are selected from Level 4 Officials. If you want to have a shot at working a national championship, you must be a Level 4 for the 2017-2018 season. For those who plan ahead, plan on registering as a Level 4 (you must be a Level 3 now) next season.
Crews are selected from across the nation, but traditionally, the districts hosting the events have more Officials than those who have to travel. However, just because a national championship is not local to the district, we have often sent Officials across the country to work national championship games. The key is the Level 4 certification. So if you want to work at the national level, you must improve your officiating skills to attain Level 4 status.