Last year we introduced a new approach to assigning games and by the end of the season had almost everyone trained. We kept track of numbers of games per official and ensured that over the season they came out very even.
In doing so we were also being somewhat unfair to some refs who were more available than others. So this year we will still try to be fair on the number of games but there are many factors that come into play when we assign the games and so being fair by number of games is not always possible.
Our job is to put out the best candidate for the game, but also make sure you officials get a chance to develop.
Some of the factors we consider in assigning games include:
- Age, size and skill level of each official – for example, on paper you may be able to ref or line a Bantam game, but we need to know that you are comfortable out there and capable at the lower levels first. Also, if the size difference between the players and the officials is too big, then you are going to have a hard time out there. If you officiated last year we have a sense of where you left off so you won’t be starting over.
- Skill level comes into play especially in tournaments. Oceanside is known for well run tournaments and reffing is a big part of the success of those tournaments. Skill is also important for play off games.
- Weekly schedule itself – overlapping game times for different levels, or some levels maybe only one game a week (for example Initiation can be slow to start on games) and other higher levels 2-3 games a week. So not everyone will get a game each week. Last year some guys would get one game most weekends, but others would get 2-3 games one weekend and nothing the next.
- Team schedules – for example last year one team had 7 refs so if I knew that team was going to be away one week then the week before or after I’d load up the games with them, because I knew everyone else would get the games the week they were away.
- Number of games you’ve had so far
- Game cancellations – will try to catch you up as best I can
- If we are trying to develop someone and running a mentor program then how to best set it up for that person will impact the rest of the schedule.
Last year we had officials who didn’t’ want to get up in the morning, or went away for three weeks, or snow boarding and still expected to have the same number of games as those who were around. We won’t be doing that this year. So if you are generally around you’ll get as close as we can to even number of games, but if you are not around then you won’t be caught back up.
So how do you get games?
1. Check the website. It is usually up by Friday, but can be up a week in advance.
2. Send me an email by Sunday night and tell me what times you are available for. Please note - do not tell me specific games you can make. This is because if the schedule changes and you’ve picked games I won’t know if you can fit into the new schedule and sometimes we don’t’ have time to call around and check. Also, if you pick games out that you would like, it could be the same game as many others. Last year it was quite normal to have 15-20 guys ask for the same game.
3. Ideally late Sunday night I am going to put the schedule together and get it to Bill and you’ll see it Monday or Tuesday morning, but sometimes my work schedule changes things and you might not see the final until Wednesday. But you still need to get me the emails by Sunday – send them Friday, send them a week ahead if you can.
Let me know if you are not available as well – so that way if I still have blanks I know I don’t have to track you down to see if you can fill it. Also it will keep you in the habit of emailing me once a week.
If you have computer issues – you can call in your availability and tell me your times, or use the computers at school.
Last year even at the end of the year I had people emailing me mid-week to give their availability – we can’t wait that long as we have deadlines to get the schedule in so everybody else knows on the other team and up the line in hockey management. I will work with what I have Sunday first and then any blanks left I’ll fill on a first come first serve basis.
4. When I get the emails I file them by date and write in on the schedule who all the possible games that each official can take.
5. Once I’ve written everyone in where they are available, I weigh all the factors I describe above.Then I start assigning the games and shifting it around trying to keep it even, making sure people are getting games they can be comfortable with, and getting some chance to develop as well. This can take quite a long time – 1-2 hours and so I’m going to be hesitant to change it once it’s done.
6. Then I send it to Bill to make sure its okay and then it goes to all of you.
7. When you get it, please check it. With all the shifting that goes on there can be errors. Check that you are not on overlapping games for example.
8. We expect you to show for the games you are assigned, so do not expect you to confirm each game.
9. If something comes up and you can’t make a game after you’ve been assigned to it, you need to find someone to fill in. But you need to know they can do that. As the year goes on you will learn who does what levels, if you don’t know then contact Bill or I to check who can take your game. Then you will call around and let us both know about the change in official.
If you are sick or have a family emergency I’ll give you a hand. Sometimes I have to go out of town for work and so may not be here in which case call Bill.
But please do not email if its Friday or Saturday or Sunday – it’s just too late – call both Bill and I and leave messages.
10. Any questions, any time, email or call! Michele at: or 250-738-0232. Bill at or 250-248-1761.
This may sound confusing to start, but once people are used to it, we’ve found it works for everyone. We look forward to working together for a successful season!