Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Incapacitated Referee Shall Not Impede a Scoring Opportunity.

The distraction: Watching 35 Years of Raising the Cup on NHL Network and wondering why there was no Stanley Cup Champion in 2005 and then realizing...oh, right. Yeah, it's way past time for hockey season to get underway.

But I won't have to wait too much longer, because: Portland Winterhawks' training camp starts next week, and yours truly is kicking off my new blog with a report from camp. Stay tuned.

What a difference a day makes: Even more exciting than training camp is the news that the opening of the Winterhawks' regular season is now September 27, a day earlier than previously reported. Hey, if you're a real hockey fan, you'll understand what a difference a day makes. Of course, it's not as exciting as Nino bobblehead night, but then again, what is?

The rule: Annex 4, Duties of the Officials.

Clearly I will be covering this rule over several entries, because: There are 26 sections spread over three pages, including signals for the Refs and Linesmen.

Let's start with the easy stuff: Right off the bat, they start with what happens in the event a Referee is incapacitated. Makes sense, when you realize that all the rest of the rules in this section are based on the Referee or his substitute showing up in the first place.

A4.1, Incapacitated Referee or Linesman, Before the Game: If, for any reason, the appointed Referees or Linesmen are prevented from appearing, the team leaders shall agree on a replacement Referee/Linesman. If they are unable to agree, then the Proper Authorities shall appoint the officials.

But if this happens during a game, don't even think about interfering with a perfectly good scoring opportunity: A4.2, Incapacitated Referee or Linesman, During the Game. A4.2 a) If a Referee leaves the ice or is injured, the Linesman or other Referee shall stop the game, unless one team has a scoring opportunity.

In Europe, the Linesmen are a tad busier than they are here in the NHL: A47. a) The Linesmen shall determine and stop the play by blowing the whistle for any infraction of the rules concerning:
1. Offside.
2. Icing.
3. Puck out of bounds, unplayable or interfered by an ineligible person.
4. Goal displaced from its normal position.
5. Encroachments occurring during a face-off.
6. Premature substitution of the goalkeeper.
7. Interference by spectators.
8. Injured players.
9. Pass with the hand from a player to a teammate.
10. High sticking the puck.

And finally: As in the NHL, if the Linesman may present his version of a penalty or other incidents that may have occurred during the game to the Referee, but the Ref still has final say over what happened.

Morals of the story:

The game: So, no rigging the game by choosing a replacement referee who will show favoritism to your team, eh? Of course, on the other hand, you could get lucky if the Proper Authorities appoint the right guy. But my favorite is that they don't replace the Ref during a game if a scoring opportunity is imminent. Hey, if the players have to suck it up and play with broken bones and knee injuries and stitched up eyes, why not the Referees too?

Life: Vice presidents, deputy mayors and others are the life equivalent of linesmen: they have a longer to-do list that involves running the company while the boss plays golf and does lunch, and even when they suggest to the boss there might be a better way to do things they are usually are overridden. As is the case here in Portland, where our esteemed Mayor has cast off the city leaders' opinion of what to do with Memorial Coliseum in place of his own ideas. The Coliseum, by the way, is the Portland Winterhawks' home. Nobody can do anything about it, either, so we're stuck with whatever he decides. Therefore, I propose an annex to Oregon state law whereby if the Ref (in this case our Mayor) is incapacitated for any reason, including his own arrogance, stupidity and need for power, he shall be removed by the Proper Authorities and forced to watch on the evening news while Portland goes back to the drawing board and rebuilds it the right way and with the Portland Winterhawks and their fans' best interests in mind.

Next up: Annex 4, Duties of the Officials, A4.8 Two-Man System - A4.22, Scorekeeper's Duties During the Game.

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