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Don Derosia: Massachusetts’ ADM crusader

03/22/2013, 12:45pm MDT
By Mike Scandura

Seeing is believing.
 
Labor of love.
 
Take your pick, but each of the above phrases is appropriate when describing Massachusetts Hockey third vice president and American Development Model chair Don Derosia.
 
Over the last several months, the Chicopee native has packed a set of boards in a trailer and traveled around the state espousing the virtues of USA Hockey’s ADM.
 
“We’ve run into a few spots where parents were resisting,” Derosia said. “At the end of the day, after we took four hours of ice time and set up dividers, they saw their kids play on a half-sheet of ice from red line to goal line and play with full-sized nets plus 4-on-4 or 5-on-5. They were able to skate behind the net and skate behind the boards, which didn’t fly all over the place.
 
“The general consensus was, ‘If this is the direction of Mite hockey at the 7-under and 8-under level next year, we can accept this, and it’s a good alternative.’”
 
Briefly, that’s the seeing-is-believing aspect of Derosia’s trips.
 
The labor of love is a completely different story.
 
Derosia owns a tree service business. Last year, a tree fell on his leg and fractured it in three spots. After three operations, he contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome, when a person’s immune system attacks the person’s nervous system.
 
“I was paralyzed the next day,” Derosia said. “I was in a rehab unit and had to be taught how to do everything over again. It’s more to the extreme than a stroke because you’re paralyzed from the neck down.
 
“It was a very scary time in my life because I’m self-employed. But it made me look at things differently. I’m semi-retired now. I’m able to outsource [work] and have more time available and I really enjoy this. With that extra time I have available, I’m able to get to places during the week.”
 
The “places” that Derosia travels to primarily are in Boston, including the North Shore and the South Shore.
 
On a “typical” weekend, he leaves his home at 4 a.m. in order to arrive at a rink by 6 a.m. and have the dividers set up by 7.
 
“What I’ve tried to do throughout the last four months is schedule myself to get to one place on a Friday night, two on Saturday and one on Sunday so I’m doing four rinks in three days,” Derosia said. “It’s a hectic schedule. But I’ve had an opportunity to meet some great volunteers — people who are true to their heart when it comes to youth hockey.
 
“They give the term volunteer a totally new meaning.”
 
Derosia admittedly would be remiss if he didn’t credit his wife, Bonnie, for her support during his endeavors to promote the ADM.
 
“I’ve given up a lot of weekends and a lot of family time,” he said. “I’ve put my family in some instances second to everything I’ve been doing. My reasoning is this is a very important time for Massachusetts Hockey and for the growth of hockey in the state.
 
“It was very important for me to get out there with these dividers as often as I could and to be sure I could honor everybody’s request. Bonnie’s been very understanding. I really have to thank her for her understanding.”
 
Last year, Massachusetts Hockey made a proposal in conjunction with adjacent states to USA Hockey that said the organization wanted to make the sport age-appropriate for 6U and 8U.
 
“Age-appropriate enables us to divide a rink at center ice,” Derosia said. “If you were 6 and under, the proposal we put forth meant you had to play cross ice. You can’t play full-ice games. When you’re 7 and 8, it could be half-ice with the dividers. Then, from Jan. 1 through the end of the season, the 7s and 8s are allowed to play 10 full-ice games and one five-game maximum tournament.
 
“That was the proposal USA Hockey approved for us.”
 
Derosia noted that when USA Hockey held its summer meetings last year in Colorado, it “helped with the cost of some of the rink dividers.”
 
Along with Massachusetts Hockey President Keri-Anne Allen and Executive Director Kevin Kavanaugh, one set of dividers was set up in western Massachusetts, one in central Massachusetts, one on the North Shore and one on the North Shore.
 
“By having them in those rinks we could begin the process of showing people what the dividers could do,” Derosia said. “We got into a working relationship with a company in Minnesota [Becker Arena Products]. Kevin got the groundwork done and I took over from there and worked with the people at Becker doing some modifications with the dividers.
 
“They sent me a set of rink dividers that I could tour the state with to all these associations that requested me.”
 
But since the dividers wouldn’t exactly fit in the trunk of Derosia’s car, he asked Allen and Kavanaugh if Massachusetts Hockey could purchase a trailer in which the dividers would fit.
 
“My goal is I truly love the kids,” Derosia said. “When I hop in my truck and bring that trailer out to the rinks, I get satisfaction from watching kids smile to the point where I can help these kids in the way that they should be helped so we can have the majority of our kids being like the guys who played on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team who were mostly from Minnesota and Massachusetts.”
 
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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As we enter the 2015-16 registration season for officials, I want to give an update of what changes to expect this season.

The Officials Section has been busy since the 2015 Winter Meeting, working on implementing the registration changes that were discussed and voted on by the district referees-in-chief, along with refining the testing and online seminar programs.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION
For 2015-16, there will be an informational video available before an official registers with USA Hockey outlining the requirements and commitment that an individual will need to fulfill in order to complete their registration.

REGISTRATION PROCESS

Next, and a very important change, starting with this season, in order to register for a seminar, an official will have to first register as an official (online) with USA Hockey in order to gain access to the online program to register for a seminar.

This change was due to a number of individuals who would never register as an official with USA Hockey and then ‘no show’ to the seminar that they registered for, which frequently led to other registered officials being denied attendance at that seminar because the seating capacity had already been reached.

This change will provide more incentive for every individual who registers as an official -- and registers for a seminar -- to attend that seminar and complete the registration requirements.

EXAM PROCESS
The open-book testing process has also been modified for the coming season. What hasn’t changed is that a Level 1 official will still have to answer the first 50 questions, while Level 2, 3 & 4 officials will have to answer 100 questions. However, the passing score for a Level 2 official has been modified to 80 from 85. All other passing scores remain the same as last year. Those minimum passing scores are 35 for a Level 1 official and 90 for Levels 3 and 4.

While an official is taking the open-book exam, there will be immediate feedback provided after each answer is submitted. If the question was answered incorrectly, the rule reference for that missed question will be given with the appropriate rule book language.

After completing all of the required questions, a summary will be sent of all incorrect responses with their rule references. If a passing score is obtained, then the open-book exam requirement will be complete.

If the result is a failing score, after the seven-day waiting period has passed, the official will only have to retake those questions that were incorrectly answered on their first open-book exam. The retake questions will be based on the same rule reference as the originally missed questions, but will cover a different aspect of the rule.

Once all of the retake questions are answered, the number of correctly answered retake questions will be added to the original test score to hopefully obtain a passing grade. As a reminder, there is no third attempt to pass the open-book exam.

IN-CLASS SEMINARS & ONLINE EDUCATION UPDATES
During the winter meeting, the Officials Section spent considerable time discussing seminar program feedback, and in particular, the online modules. All feedback was taken seriously and an action plan was discussed and adopted.


Two work groups were established to address the new classroom curriculums and to improve the online video modules. Both were comprised of grassroots members who could bring a grassroots perspective to their work. Both groups have completed their work and their recommendations have been adopted. The new shortened classroom curriculums have been distributed for application to this coming seminar season and the online modules are being re-engineered with improved formatting, better sequencing, animation replacing some video clips and reduction of music and voice-overs to allow the viewer to better focus on the presented material.

We’ve also evaluated the number of required modules for each level, and based on the user analytics that the first years’ experience produced, we have reduced the number of required modules in some cases.

Lastly, as a reminder, once an official begins their first online module, they will need to complete all of their online module training within a specified time period. The online module completion time periods are 60 days for Level 1 registered officials and 45 days for Levels 2, 3 and 4. If all of the required and elective modules are not completed within the specified time frame, the official will have to restart all of the module training from the beginning. This requirement was waived during last year’s registration season due to the delayed rollout of the online module program, but it’s back in place this year.

This completion requirement was put in place by the District RICs to encourage all officials to complete their registration as early as possible and to provide continuity in the overall seminar education process.

SUMMARY
As a reminder, to complete an official’s registration an applicant must:

  • Register online with USA Hockey
  • Register and attend a classroom seminar (reduced attendance times depending on registration level)
  • Complete the required and elective online training modules within the required time frame
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  • Complete their online USA Hockey SafeSport training at the end of every two-year cycle

 

Work will continue on improving our educational programs, and as always, we will continue actively listening to your constructive feedback. Without your involvement and support as a community, we cannot continue moving forward.  Acknowledging that improvements were needed was only one step in the process.  Implementing those changes in a way that meets the needs of our officiating community is the next step and we’re excited to be taking that step.

Have a great 2015-16 season and as always, skate hard and have fun when you’re on the ice.

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