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L to R: Gregson, Leaf, Zelkin

Officiating Program Prepares for 2014-15 Season

08/20/2014, 5:30pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Matt Leaf, USA Hockey’s director of the officiating education program, Scott Zelkin, USA Hockey’s manager of the junior officiating development program and Terry Gregson, former NHL Director of Officiating convened at USA Hockey headquarters today to discuss the state of officiating at the start of the 2014-15 season.
 
The sharing of ideas and philosophies was at the forefront of the meeting. From the grassroots level to the professional ranks, Leaf, Zelkin and Gregson, stressed the importance of continuous education and establishing standards for young and veteran officials. The trio communicates regularly to review the development of officials at each level of the sport.
 
“Meeting with Scott and Terry is a great opportunity for us to strengthen our officiating development program at all levels of play,” said Leaf. “Each of us pays attention to different levels of officiating, so it’s important for us to review what’s happening around the country and provide the resources to create the best possible environment for our officials. No matter the level, we want to produce officials that are consistent in how they see and call a game.”

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Body-Checking Clinic Builds Contact Confidence

08/25/2016, 3:30pm MDT
By USA Hockey

Aug. 25, 2016 | Body-checking is a skill, not unlike skating, shooting and stickhandling, and it’s a critical skill to teach. Rhode Island Hockey recently gave it special emphasis with a free on-ice checking clinic open to all players in the 12U, 14U and 16U age classifications. Hosted at Schneider Arena with help from Providence College men’s hockey head coach Nate Leaman and Roger Grillo from USA Hockey, the two-hour clinic welcomed more than 100 players for station-based instruction in the fine art of giving and receiving a body check properly.

“Body contact is sometimes an under-taught skill, but there’s so much value in teaching it, both in terms of helping young players become more successful and also in terms of injury prevention,” said Grillo. “It was great to team up with the Rhode Island coaches and offer a learning opportunity that’ll pay dividends for these kids throughout their hockey careers.”

The event was so successful that Rhode Island Hockey will host a second session Sept. 8 at Boss Ice Arena on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston. Led by Kevin Sullivan, Rhode Island Hockey’s American Development Model director, the clinic will likely become an annual offering to enhance players’ skill and contact confidence, especially for 13-year-olds progressing into their first season of 14U hockey.

“The initial idea came from a parent asking if we offer any checking-specific training for players transitioning from 12U to 14U,” said Bob Larence, president of Rhode Island Hockey.

There’s a component of body-contact training that happens at every level, from cross-ice 8U to small-area battle drills for older players, but the idea of a body checking-specific teaching event for tweens and teens seemed a beneficial complement to that team-level training, so Rhody ran with it.

“We all thought it was a great idea, and ultimately, it became a great collaboration with Rhode Island Hockey, USA Hockey and the local colleges – Providence, URI and Brown,” said Larence.

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Killip Learns, Leads in Kalamazoo

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