2013 PEOC Johnstown
The final weekend of July coincided with the final Pittsburgh Elite Officiating Camp of the 2013 summer.
This expanded primary camp began as twenty-one officials, from throughout USA Hockey’s Mid-Am and Central Districts, converged in Johnstown, PA for an exciting and challegening weekend of education and officiating.
Upon arrival, the participants were welcomed to an expansive classroom, complete with dedicated group and individual video review sections. Each participant received a packet of information, which along with logistical information for the weekend, included correspondence from various leagues including the NHL, AHL, ECHL and IIHF. This material was reviewed and discussed throughout the weekend. Also, participants received a PEOC notebook, riot pad and discount card (provided by the Johnstown Tomahawks) for various local vendors for use throughout the camp.
The participants were also supplied a dedicated locker room for the weekend, equipped with an individual stall, nameplate, t-shirt, pair of athletic shorts, razor, shower supplies, snack food and hockey tape.
Thursday’s schedule of events began with a extended classroom session discussing items such as the weekend’s schedule, participant and staff introductions, in-depth review of the four-man officiating system and review of the USA Hockey Junior Rulebook.
The participants then hit the ice late Thursday evening for the first of four weekend on-ice sessions. Each on-ice session included a stretch and warm-up, referee and linesman specific station drills and a game simulation, putting officials versus officials while their peers attempted to manage the chaos as referees and linesmen. Also, during the on-ice sessions, each official was videotaped individually while performing both the referee & linesman total package drills. These videos were reviewed one-on-one with each participants with the PEOC staff throughout the weekend during classroom sessions.
The games began early on Friday morning as 80 prospects were vying for 25 spots as Johnstown Tomahawks. Each game was intense, fast and physical, but the PEOC participants accepted to the challenge in front of them and managed each and every game throughout the camp weekend well. Each game was officiated in segments of periods, allowing 12 different officials to be on the ice for each game. Following each period throughout the weekend, the crew would immediately review the game film and receive feedback from their assigned supervisor.
Following the Friday morning session of games, PEOC guest and ECHL Director of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst reviewed game film with on-ice crews and addressed the group. He took multiple questions from all camp participants and gave valuable feedback to those officials attempting to advance their careers.
Friday afternoon, PEOC guest and current NHL Linesman Derek Amell gave a brief presentation to the group. Derek then took questions from each of the camp participants and assisted the staff in presentation and discussion of proper linesman mechanics using video clips and handouts.
Friday evening included a couple of tryout camp games, followed by an on-ice session and finally a classroom session reviewing overall game management, preventative officiating and referee mechanics.
Saturday morning the officials hit the ice again working the two tryout games. Following the games and lunch, the group assembled in the classroom to discuss penalty standard and criteria using video examples from multiple leagues and levels of both obvious and marginal infractions and get each officials opinion and perspective.
Saturday evening, the Allegheny Badgers and Westmoreland Eagles Midget U-18 teams squared off in a game organized by PEOC. The game featured many curveballs coordinated by the PEOC instruction staff at the on-ice officials including clock errors, multiple pucks in play, multiple “Too Many Men” penalty scenarios and much more.
Following the game, a brief classroom session was held in which the camp participants voted on who would officiate the final half of the third period in Sunday’s All-Star Game based upon development throughout the weekend.
The group then headed to Big Dogz Grille in Johnstown, PA for a PEOC sponsored dinner. As was the case with the PEOC-Warrendale camp, it was great to see our group of officials with differing backgrounds, ages, and officiating aspirations relax, bond, and come together as a team away from the ice.
On Sunday, the participants began the final day of camp with a brief classroom session where they were able to ask current ECHL and AHL Linesmen Zach Roberts and Ray King any questions they had about their officiating careers. The questions also included topics ranging from travel, to war stories to personal opportunities and on-ice accomplishments. During this classroom session, the group was asked complete a camp feedback form to ensure our camps continue to improve each and every year.
The participants then hit the ice for the final on-ice session. The on-ice session wrapped up with another game simulation to prepare for a faster-paced All-Star game later in the morning.
Following the on-ice session, the group met briefly in the locker room to announce the game assignments for the last game of camp.
During the All-Star Game on Sunday, each participant met with the instruction staff individually before heading home.
The PEOC extends another sincere “thank you” to the entire Johnstown Tomahawks organization for allowing us to work in partnership with your tryout camps. The skill the players showcase at your main tryout camp allows our officials to work a high-level of hockey, which challenges them both mentally and physically throughout the weekend and makes them better all-around officials following the experience. Thank you again for your professionalism and willingness to work with our camps.
Thank you to the PEOC staff for putting countless hours of preparation into making this camp a success.
The biggest “thank-you” goes to each of the camp participants, for not only for taking time away from your personal life to attend but for working hard and giving your very best effort throughout the long weekend. Your efforts both on and off the ice made this camp a huge success.