2013 PEOC Warrendale
On June 21-23, a total of 22 hockey officials from the Mid-Am District of USA Hockey – each with differing backgrounds and aspirations but all having the common goal of improving – converged at BladeRunners-Warrendale for the first Pittsburgh Elite Officiating Camp of 2013.
Each participant was welcomed with a dedicated classroom for the three-day camp and provided with a packet of information, notebook and a riot pad. The participants were also supplied a dedicated locker-room assignment for the weekend, equipped with an individual stall, nameplate, t-shirt, pair of athletic shorts, razor, shower supplies, and hockey tape.
During the registration period on Friday, the House O’ Hockey Pro Shop (located in Murrysville, PA) gave a brief presentation and offered officiating equipment and apparel to participants at a discounted rate. A great thanks goes out to our friends at House O’ Hockey for coordinating the camp apparel for our participants.
Following the presentation, the staff was introduced. The 2013 PEOC-Warrendale staff was comprised of Keith Kaval (Erie, PA), Phil Parks (Dayton, OH), Zach Roberts (Pittsburgh, PA), Ray King (Erie, PA), Adam Annaccone (Pittsburgh, PA) and Tim Morgret (Pittsburgh, PA).
After the individual participant introductions, the first classroom session began with a review of the camp and game format. Phil Parks (Director of Officiating Development and Advancement for USA Hockey’s Mid-Am District) then gave an informative presentation on self-motivation for officials. He focused on indentifying and maintaining the drive to constantly improve as officials, whatever one’s officiating aspirations may be.
Other highlights of Friday’s classroom session included a detailed, interactive review of the four-man officiating system, USA Hockey’s Junior Rulebook and hybrid icing, which were all components of the weekend’s games.
The participants then hit the ice as a group for the camp’s first on-ice session. The Friday on-ice agenda included a brief power-skating session, review of breaking up altercations, hybrid icing, proper face-off procedures, and referee and linesman-specific drills. The ice session concluded with each participant getting their individual skating filmed, which was then reviewed one-on-one with an instruction staff member over the course of the weekend.
After the on-ice session, it was time to get to business, as the tryout games for the Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL) Free Agent Tryout Camp began with three Friday night games. Working those games in quarters, each group of four officiated their slot and then immediately went into the classroom to watch the entire quarter with their assigned supervisor. The group used the film to discuss both their strengths and areas in which they could improve.
Despite the early start on Saturday morning, the participants and staff got right to work with a lengthy classroom session. Material and correspondence from pro hockey leagues – including the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL, and IIHF – were distributed and discussed, including topics ranging from “What Separates Good Officials from Great Officials” to “Pre-Game Reminders” and “Penalty Standard and Consequence.” The instruction during this classroom session also included referee and linesman-specific positioning review, complete with video examples of proper technique.
The officials hit the ice for another three-game set on both Saturday morning and Saturday evening, including more in-depth review of their game film with the instruction staff immediately following their assignment.
Between the game sets on Saturday, the instruction staff threw a curveball to the participants when the on-ice session turned into a staff vs. staff controlled scrimmage. The participants officiated the two-on-two game in which staged scenarios (e.g., close hybrid icing races, combative centers on face-offs, scrums, fights, etc.) took place to determine how the participants would react and test their overall rule knowledge. Remaining instruction staff served as “coaches” for the event and undoubtedly expanded the vocabulary of the participants by testing their composure during tense referee-coach communications.
After a long Saturday at the rink, the staff and participants finished the day with dinner and beverages at Primanti Bros. restaurant in Cranberry, PA, provided by PEOC. It was great to see a 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 an early on-ice session. After a warm-up and brief power-skating session, the group ran through stations of referee and linesman-specific drills, including penalty signaling, penalty reporting procedure, faceoff communication with centers, and being mobile around the blue line. 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 in the classroom to review the game assignments for the last game of camp. The group also was able to ask any questions to the staff. The questions ranged from topics such as travel, war stories, personal opportunities and many more. Finally, the group was asked complete a camp feedback form to ensure our camps continue to improve.
During the final game on Sunday, each participant met with the instruction staff individually. Following the game, the group met one last time in the classroom before heading home.
The PEOC extends a sincere thank-you to the Johnstown Tomahawks for allowing us to work in partnership with your tryout camps. The skill the players showcase at your camps 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.
"I was very impressed with how the instruction and criticism were handled at camp. Very non-confrontational, respectful and very constructive. So many times instructors talk down to participants. Not at your camp. I think that is why everyone responded so well. I know I appreciated it very much. Thanks again for a job well done!"
- Mike Trego
2013 Warrendale Camp Participant
"Thanks for a great camp weekend. It's always great to be around the guys and put some good work in on the ice."
- Chadd Colin
2013 Warrendale Camp Participant