For two years now, Bob Mancini has been shuttling from the United States to South Africa to help grow that nation’s hockey program.
Mancini, a regional manager for USA Hockey’s American Development Model, has been working with South Africa’s national federation primarily to establish a coaching education program.
Essentially, Mancini — with an extensive coaching background and a strong role in the ADM designed to develop and nurture players from youth leagues on up — is working to “coach the coaches.”
“They really like the USA Hockey coaching education program and they wanted to mimic it down in their federation,” he said earlier this month.
But as he met officials and coaches in South Africa, Mancini’s role grew a bit more. Ronnie Wood, coach of the South African national team, asked Mancini to work with him to bring in a fresh voice and some new ideas, and Mancini jumped at the chance.
Then, earlier this month, Mancini (pictured at right with son Victor) got a major surprise.
When he arrived in South Africa for his latest sojourn, he learned that Wood suddenly had been forced to withdraw as national coach because of an illness. The news came just before the start of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship Division III tournament that was being hosted in Cape Town.
The South African federation asked if Mancini could pinch hit for Wood in the tournament.
After getting clearance from his bosses at USA Hockey, Mancini took over and promptly coached the South African team to a 5-0 record in the six-team tournament, and a world championship trophy. South Africa downed North Korea in the title game, 4-1.
“It was tremendously gratifying, because it’s hard to win a championship at any level, no matter what level it is, no matter what tournament it is, especially in a short-term tournament like this,” Mancini said. “It was exciting.”
Though Division III hockey in the IIHF is far below the World Championship level in which teams such as the U.S., Canada, Russia and the Czech Republic play, Mancini says the South African national program is gaining ground.
“There are some good players,” he said. “They’ve developed their players and done a nice job. It certainly wasn’t one of those things that I came in and all of a sudden they were good. I mean, their players were there before me. I think it was just one of those situations where I worked well with the players, the players worked well with me, I trusted them to do the right things and I was lucky enough to have a rapport with the majority of players [from previous interactions].”
Other teams in the tournament were Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates.
“The players did a great job,” said Mancini, whose players ranged in age from 17 to 33. “I give them a lot of credit. They embraced the direction I wanted and they played very hard. We had some unbelievable performances. … It went exactly as coach would hope and plan for it to go.”
By winning the tournament, South Africa has earned a promotion to the IIHF’s Division II Group B for 2014.
Though hockey in South Africa remains a niche sport, Mancini said South Africa has had a national hockey federation since the 1930s. The passion for the sport is strong, he said, but confined to a small number of players and fans.
The federation there has admired the USA Hockey model of development and has sought its help through Mancini and others to grow both its base and level of play.
Since 2011, Mancini has been making about two trips a year to South Africa, usually for about a week each time.
“It’s a very intense schedule when I’m there,” he said. “It’s nothing for us to be on the ice with the national team, be on the ice with the women, be on the ice with juniors and young players, have a coaching Level 1 clinic and then another one the next day, kind of thing. Spend three days in Johannesburg and do that and then go to Cape Town and do it for another three days. We try to make the best use of a short amount of time as possible.”
He hopes to continue working there and loves the fact that it’s not only good for the growth of South African hockey, but it shows USA Hockey is willing — as a global leader in the sport — to give back and help others.
Plus, he says, South Africa is a beautiful country and he’s eager to return.
“The people are incredibly friendly and warm,” he said. “That’s the one thing that keeps coming back to me. What an incredibly friendly, warm, inviting place. The people have made me feel very much at home.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Remember when score sheets simply consisted of three or four carbon copies at the scorer’s table?
While we’re still likely to see that classic technique at some facilities, most have abandoned the handwritten score sheets in favor of electronic scoring systems and advanced score sheets – or minimally combined the process of both.
But whether it’s handwritten or electronic, the score sheet is not deemed “good to go” until an official signs off on it at the conclusion of the game. Rule 502(e) is clear in saying, “At the conclusion of the game, the referee shall check the official score sheet, including team rosters and players in uniform, for accuracy prior to signing.”
The game score sheet is considered an official record that documents the participants and the actions that take place during a game. Teams need them to document participation for eligibility in state or national tournaments, or to provide verification of a suspension served. They may also be keeping stats on players for their continued development and promotion to higher levels of play. Plus, the score sheet provides a means to track progressive penalties or to identify trends within a local area or league.
Regardless as to what system is used (hard copy or electronic scoring), the game score sheet is considered an official document and officials must adhere to their responsibility to treat it as such. Whereas the vast majority of officials have been good at reviewing and signing off on hard copy score sheets, there appears to be some confusion as to the need to verify the electronic version.
The electronic score sheet is an official document. Teams print these from the web-based system to verify their eligibility as mentioned above. Because it is an official record of the game, the officials have the responsibility to make sure all data is entered correctly, including the officials’ names, and must sign-off on the information prior to having the game sheet closed and finalized. This is no different than crossing off blank areas, making sure penalties are recorded properly and signing the actual hard copy score sheet.
As a refresher, here are some tips on what to look for, and the officials’ responsibility to verify game sheets at the conclusion of every game.
1) Make sure that players who are not present to participate in the game are crossed off (hard copy) or removed from the game sheet (electronic). Only those players/coaches who are eligible and present to participate should be listed on the score sheet.
2) Confirm all penalties are recorded properly and to the proper player. Many times a game misconduct penalty will be recorded as a ten-minute misconduct or vice versa. If a player is assessed a minor plus misconduct, each of those must be recorded as a separate penalty. If you find there is a clerical error where a penalty was assessed properly, but not recorded correctly, fix the mistake prior to signing or closing off the game sheet.
However, an official is not allowed to simply change their call that was made during the game. For example, if an official assesses a major penalty for slashing during the game and the player serves the five minute major, but after the game, the officials talk and determine that the player deserved a major plus game misconduct penalty, or match penalty instead, the score sheet cannot be changed at this time. The officials may submit an incident report requesting the incident be reviewed under Rule 410 Supplementary Discipline.
3) Make sure all of the on-ice officials who worked the game are listed properly on the game sheet.
4) Once you have determined that all of the recorded information is accurate, the officials must sign (legibly) the hard copy of the score sheet or sign off and approve the electronic version so it can be finalized.
The one exception is when the scorekeeper manually keeps track of all of the game actions, but will then later enter the data into an electronic system. In this instance, it is important for the referee to make sure the document the scorekeeper used to record actions is accurate and they understand the penalties assessed so they can be entered properly. It may be a good idea to go back at a later time and check the electronic version for accuracy, as well.
The bottom line is that the game sheet for each game you work is a reflection of your performance on the ice. If you do not pay attention to details and there are inaccuracies on the game sheet, the perception will be your performance on the ice was also lacking effort and attention to detail. Not to mention, it may also effect any potential imposed suspensions and/or eligibility of players/coaches.
Please take score sheet (hard copy or electronic versions) management seriously as it is a major part of the official’s responsibility. Doing so will make life easier for volunteers who are charged with tracking such things and will make the game better. And if the game is better, your job as an official probably becomes more enjoyable, too.
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