USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Program is on showcase this week in Muskegon, Michigan with a camp aimed at preparing officials for the upcoming season.
The camp began on Friday with USA Hockey officiating supervisors and carried over to Saturday and Sunday. Over the course of the weekend, supervisors reviewed all materials with Scott Zelkin, manager of officiating development for USA Hockey, and set expectations for the year ahead.
Among the 29 supervisors in attendance, there is an astounding 831 years of officiating experience between them. That includes five Olympic Winter Games and three Paralympic Games officiated. In addition, there are six former National Hockey League referees on hand who officiated 4,080 NHL games.
On Monday, 74 officials from all over the country began their participation in the camp. To date, the group has predominantly been through off-ice fitness testing and classroom sessions focusing on skill development, rule knowledge and game management.
On-ice work began Tuesday with instructors implementing and reinforcing was taught in the classroom. Officials were also put through rigorous skating drills to test their proficiency. All of these components are designed to advance the group and prepare them to work in junior hockey around the country as well as minor professional leagues.
The ODP continues to assure that officiating across the United States remains strong, evolves with the game, recruits the finest talent and reaches its fullest potential.