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2. Reviewing Judgment From Basic & Intermediate Levels Officials are “teachers” at the lower levels of Hockey
(Mites & Squirts)
Officials serve a dual role as “teachers” and “Game Managers” at some higher levels of hockey. (PeeWee - Midget)
3. Reviewing Judgment From Basic & Intermediate Levels At highest levels of hockey, an official’s role is one of a “Game Manager.”
Game Manager - “Managing the progress of the game in a safe and fair environment while using good judgment.”
4. Reviewing Judgment From Basic & Intermediate Levels Officials need to have a reactive role in the game regarding the calling of penalties.
Good officials are always aware of what might happen, but only react to what actually happens.
5. Reviewing Judgment From Basic & Intermediate Levels Top Officials have complete knowledge and are extremely proficient in the playing rules. . .
The intent of each rule
The playing rule interpretations
6. Reviewing Judgment From Basic & Intermediate Levels Consistency is defined as the ability to make the same judgment call in the same situation from official to official, and individually from game to game.
7. Penalty Criteria There are 4 criteria for the calling of an infraction. These infractions are refereed to as “black and white” penalties that must be called every time they occur.
An infraction which causes a loss of a scoring opportunity.
An infraction that creates a potential for injury.
An infraction that is blatantly obvious.
An infraction which causes an immediate change of possession.
8. Penalty Criteria Some examples. . .
Stick contact to the head of an opponent
#2 - An infraction that creates a potential for injury
Shooting the puck out of the rink during a stoppage
#3 - An infraction that is blatantly obvious
Check delivered to the head of an opponent
#2 - an infraction that creates a potential for injury
Checking from behind
#2 - an infraction that creates a potential for injury
Hooked opponent driving to the goal
#1 - an infraction that causes a loss of a scoring opportunity
Hooked opponent in the neutral zone looses possession of the puck.
#4 - an infraction which causes an immediate change of possession
9. Marginal Infractions Marginal infractions are those that are also known as the GRAY AREA. These infractions do not meet the above mentioned penalty criteria. In some cases, these infractions may be called every time, while in some games under different circumstances, the referee may choose not to call the same infraction.
10. Marginal Infractions
11. Marginal Infractions An official who calls every situation strictly by the letter of the rules will be extremely unpopular.
The game will have numerous unnecessary stoppages that will add to the frustration of the players.
Spectators will also become frustrated by the length of the game and lack of continuous action.
12. Marginal Infractions An official who refuses to call infractions when they occur will also run into considerable trouble.
Jeopardizes the safety of the players
Could affect the outcome of the game.
13. Marginal Infractions Although spectators may be attracted to the rough and continuous action this type game promotes, the players and coaches view this official as being lazy and not caring about a quality performance.
14. Marginal Infractions The fine line between these two examples is where game management fits in.
The game manager promotes a continuous flow to the game without compromising the safety or fair play.
The successful game manager calls every infraction that falls under the 4 criteria for a penalty.
15. Marginal Infractions The successful game manager will carefully choose which GRAY area infractions to call to effectively control the game.
He must realize that a good “No Call” may be just as important as a good penalty call.
16. Judgment Factor There are several different factors that will weigh into the official’s decision as to whether a marginal penalty is called.
Analyze the following factors and figure where they fit into the game management concept.
17. Judgment Factor Type of game (rough, routine, mis-matched teams) will dictate how much control is needed.
Marginal infraction may be let go in a clean game.
May need to be called in rough game.
18. Judgment Factor Not allowing a marginal infraction to go unpenalized in a routine game will probably not change the tone of the game, while not penalizing the infraction in a rough game could make matters worse.
19. Judgment Factor Time of game when infraction occurs.
(1st period vs. late in 3rd period of a tied game)
A marginal infraction occurring in 1st will probably be called to establish control of game. While the same infraction late in 3rd of a tied or 1 goal game may be best not called.
The official does not want to affect the outcome of the game by assessing a GRAY area foul and giving one team a power play at such a late point in the game.
Proper game management calls for the official to soften the marginal penalty standard as the closely contested game progresses.
20. Judgment Factor Which team has the greater number of penalties.
Subconsciously every official has some idea of the penalty differential. When an official has called 4 or 5 consecutive penalties on the same team, subconsciously the penalty standard is changing.
The team who has received several penalties has their penalty standard loosened slightly.
The team who has not been penalized now receives a tighter penalty standard.
The often penalized team may commit a marginal infraction that goes uncalled while the non-penalized team commits a similar marginal infraction that is immediately penalized.
21. Judgment Factor Team committing a marginal infraction is already shorthanded.
Once a team has been penalized and is shorthanded, the standard for marginal penalties should become softer. An experienced official would not choose to put a team down by 2 players unless the infraction fits into one of the 4 criteria.
The current GRAY area standard does not change for the team on the power play.
22. Judgment Factor The score at the time of the infraction
The score of the game may have an effect on the penalty standard for marginal infractions. An even game with a 2-1 score will not call for a tight GRAY area standard. The referee does not want to effect the outcome of the game by granting a power play on a marginal infraction.
A game with a score of 8-1 will require a tighter standard by the referee. In this situation the referee’s top priority becomes safety. A lopsided game can easily turn ugly when the referee does not assume control.
23. Location on the ice of the infraction (defending zone at the goal vs. neutral zone)
An official’s standard for marginal infractions will be softer for play occurring in the neutral zone. There is little chance for an immediate scoring opportunity in the neutral zone.
The same infraction that occurs directly in front of the net is most likely going to fall into one of the 4 penalty criteria.
For this reason a marginal trip that occurs in the neutral zone and does not cause an immediate change of possession is best left uncalled. Judgment Factor
24. Judgment Factor Retaliation after the initial infraction
In some cases an official may choose to initially not call a marginal infraction but end up calling the penalty after an opponent has retaliated. The action of the opponent in this case may actually affect whether a marginal penalty is called.
In contrast, the official may also choose not to call either the initial infraction or the marginal retaliation.
A final option the official may consider, based on the degree of the retaliation would be to assess penalties to each player with the player retaliating drawing an additional minor penalty.
25. Judgment Factor The age and maturity level of the players
No gray area at the lowest levels of hockey. An infraction is always a penalty within the official’s role as a teacher.
This changes as the players become older and more mature.
The tendency is to allow the gray area to get larger as the players are more developed.
What may be called as a penalty in a Squirt game may be acceptable in a Bantam game.
The gray area standard for a Bantam house league game would be smaller then for a Bantam travel team game.
26. Judgment Factor Standards previously set by the official
Once an official has developed a penalty standard early in the game, the players will most likely adjust their style of play to play within the established standard. This becomes even more critical when a loose standard is set by the official.
It is better to set a tight standard and loosen up as the game progresses than to attempt to tighten a loose standard.
Consistency is based on your ability to call the same infractions in the same situations within a game and also from game to game.
Establishing a tight standard at the start of every game and loosening up as the game allows is still establishing consistency that will be acknowledged and respected by the players and coaches.
27. Judgment Factor The teams involved in the game (top two teams or first place against last place).
An official never wants to contribute to the outcome of a game, this becomes even more critical when an entire season and first-place finish is on the line.
An experienced official will allow the top two teams playing each other to dictate the course of the game and will only call marginal penalties that are necessary to effectively manage the game.
In contrast a tighter standard would most likely be set when a strong team is playing one of the weaker teams.
28. Judgment The tight standard will help avoid injuries and send a message that rough play will not be tolerated.
This avoids potentially unnecessary altercation suspensions that could effect the future of one team more than the other.
29. Judgment The following graphs may help you understand the difference in gray-area penalty standards that are used by elite officials depending on the type of game:
31. Calling a Good First Penalty The most important call in a game is the first penalty of the game.
Sends a message to all of the game participants.
Establishes a penalty standard the official is going to adhere to.
It communicates what actions the official will allow and not allow.
It is imperative that the first penalty of the game meets one of the four penalty criteria discussed previously.
32. Calling a Good First Penalty Best first penalty to establish a standard is generally one under the injury potential criteria. It sends a message early that. . .
Rough play will not be tolerated.
Safety of participants will be of utmost importance.
Retaliation by non-offending team will not be necessary because official has control.
33. Calling a Good First Penalty Unfortunately the first infractions committed during a game is not always an injury-potential infraction.
In this case the official must still call the infraction and not wait for the perfect first penalty to come along.
The official may still get a good opportunity to make a good injury potential statement later in the game.
34. Calling a Good First Penalty Officials should make an effort to not call a marginal penalty (one that does not fit the 4 penalty criteria) as the first penalty of the game.
Once the call has been made the official has established a standard that must be adhered to.
35. Calling a Good First Penalty One problem that arises when a marginal penalty is the first call is. . .
The perception by the players and spectators that something more severe had occurred earlier and had not been called.
This creates a problem with credibility for the official as a confusing message is sent regarding the standard that has been established.
36. Calling a Good First Penalty In some cases, a good official will recognize that the first penalty of a specific period may also be extremely important.
When loose standards are set for marginal penalties during previous periods. The first penalty called for the next period will also become very important.
If a marginal penalty is called as the first infraction, a very confusing message is sent to everyone, and the officials will have to work hard to get back to a consistent standard.
37. Degree of Intent Penalties can also be broken down further and categorized as “aggressive fouls” or “restraining fouls”.
Aggressive fouls will most likely fall into the injury potential criteria.
They have little purpose in the game except to injure or intimidate an opponent.
Will always be a black & white penalty.
Aggressive fouls might include
Checking from behind
38. Degree of Intent Restraining fouls might include
The only gray area for the official involving aggressive fouls may be the decision to assess a minor or more severe penalty.
39. Degree of Intent Restraining fouls are less serious in nature and may actually serve some purpose in the game.
Example: a player has a clear path to the net and is hooked or held by the defending player to take away a scoring opportunity.
In a case where a penalty shot would not be assessed, this may be perceived to be a good penalty and may have saved a goal.
Restraining fouls are more apt to fall in the category of gray area infractions and often times are a measure of the officials’ judgment.
40. Degree of Intent A good first restraining penalty call during the game will also be an important call by the official.
A good restraining foul call will help set the tone for acceptable play.
41. Consistency Consistency is. . .
The ability to penalize, on a regular basis, those infractions that meet one of the four penalty criteria.
Consistency is judged by players, coaches and spectators in the following ways.
Calling a similar situation the same within the same game.
Calling similar situations in similar games the same way.
42. Consistency Officials
Within the same game by one official
Within the same game from official to official
From game to game by the same official
From game to game by different officials
43. Consistency As you can see, there are several factors that will measure the overall consistency of all officials. Our goal is to become consistent as possible throughout USA Hockey.
44. Flexibility Another important aspect of good Judgment, and ultimately good officiating, is flexibility.
An experienced official will recognize that no two games are exactly alike and each game must be treated individually.
Even though we strive for consistency from game to game, the difference between the nature of each game calls for flexibility by the official.
Flexibility allows the official to react appropriately according to the game without affecting the ability to be consistent.
45. Flexibility Example
An official has worked a game involving the same two teams previously. The first game may have been physical and required the official to establish a very tight standard to maintain control. Human nature tells us that the official will go into the game with a preconceived notion as to how the game will be played.
A successful official will be flexible enough to again allow the players to dictate the standard and the flow of the game.
46. Flexibility An official who overcompensates for the rough play of the previous game by establishing a tight standard and not letting go, even though the players have adjusted, will only frustrate the players and ruin what could be a good game.
47. Judgment Not Exact Science We have discussed several concepts involved with advanced-level judgment and it is important to recognize that judgment or “game management” is not an exact science.
Judgment cannot be taught in exact terms. It may best be taught through practical experience, although considerable experience is still not a guarantee an official will possess good judgment or game management skills.
48. Judgment Not Exact Science Because judgment is not an exact science, the comprehension of the concepts involved with game management is a must in order to establish the instinct necessary to be successful.
The things that we do know for sure about judgment are. . .
Officials who progress to higher levels of hockey MUST possess and apply good judgment.
The higher the level of hockey, the more judgment is necessary to properly manage the game.
49. Judgment Not Exact Science High levels of judgment and a high level of acceptability as an official go hand in hand.
Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from BAD judgment.