Monday, August 16, 2010

Referee Shall Report and Impose Penalties, Unless I Have a Crush on Him.

The distraction: Watching reruns of "Haven" on SyFy and wondering what it would be like to live in the idyllic Nova Scotia town where it's filmed. And Sidney Crosby is from there, so perhaps I will uproot my life and move to the other side of the get the idea. This is why the hockey off-season should end, like, right now.

But not to fear: Next week commences the opening of the Portland Winterhawks' training camp and my own little "30 in 30" counting down to our opening night on Sept. 27. What 30 in 30 will be about, no clue. But I'll figure it out. And I'm pretty sure it will involve player profiles, playoff predictions and whether or not Nino will be present and accounted for on his bobblehead night.

The rule: Annex 4, Duties of the Officials.

The quirk: The book lists as a title A4.20, Off-Ice Officials, but there's nothing underneath it. Like say, a list of who qualifies as an off-ice official.

But really, here's the most important rule of any game: A4.10, Two Official System - Referees' Duties During the Game. Among their tasks:

The Referees shall impose and report to the Scorekeeper such penalties as described by the playing rules for infractions thereof.
They shall stop play for any other infractions to the rules.
They shall allow the goals scored.
They shall cause to be announced over the public address system the reason for not allowing a goal.
They shall face-off the puck at any stoppage of play.

Morals of the story:

The game: So basically, the Ref does everything except play, announce things and keep score of the game. We sit there in our stadium seats with our beer and our food that isn't in that little food pyramid you learn about in school and we judge whether a Ref has done his job. Me personally, the next time I see a bad call I'm letting it go. The Refs have a lot of power, but they also have a lot of responsibility and if they're wrong, nobody lets them forget it. Of course, if the Ref making the bad call is cutie pie WHL Ref/corporate lawyer Matt Kirk, then I might have to re-think a few things. Because there's no excuse for cute Canadian boys with law degrees making bad calls.

Life: Being a Ref or a linesman is a lot like being a parent. Not that I'd know, because I don't have any. But still, I see the family units out and about and I have come to the conclusion that parenting and Reffing are basically the same thing. You have to render discipline when maybe you don't want to because that dude on the other team deserved that hit after all, but it's not ok to let it go and sanction violence. You have to punish repeat offenders like Daniel Carcillo and it still doesn't do any good because they still don't listen to you. You have to make sure everybody's in their places at opening face-off and all equipment is within regulation standards, not unlike dressing little whippersnappers and making sure they are in their appointed car safety seat for transport to the school. And really, parents don't get any more reward than Refs, except for a handmade card on some fabricated Hallmark holiday, and an occasional thanks if you're lucky.

I'm not a parent, but if I were in charge, I'd make recognition and understanding of the sacrifices parents make for us mandatory for all children by age 10 and if they haven't figured it out by then, then parents should feel no guilt about leaving the little buggers to fend for themselves until they do. Nothing extreme mind you, like leaving them on the street and what not. Just something minor, like no texting friends on the Hello Kitty phone and no Netflix and no computer time. In today's day and age, guaranteed they'll cave and learn to appreciate in about...oh.....three minutes.

Next up on 8/17: Annex 4, Duties of the Officials. Scorekeeper's duties.

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