With the proliferation of electronic devices, the opportunities to improve officiating program communication continue to grow. During recent meetings, the USA Hockey district referees-in-chief discussed how to use technology to better serve our membership through registration, game operations and education.
USA Hockey spoke with Dave LaBuda, national referee-in-chief, about how far we’ve come, and where we might be going.
USA HOCKEY: How has technology affected or benefitted the officiating program?
DAVID LABUDA: The USA Hockey officiating program has been one of the most aggressive areas of the organization in technology development. The Coaching Education Program was the first to implement online education, and we used their experience to design our own program. We built an online game reporting system, online video modules, a web-based mobile rulebook and we offer officials a full view of their membership history online. Our officials are early adopters and we are always trying to roll out new features to help them improve their skills.
USAH: How are these types of programs and initiatives coordinated?
LABUDA: We work with the USA Hockey Technology Task Force to manage our technology development and strategy. We lean on experts to make sure what we’re building meets the highest standards that our officials have come to expect.
USAH: Mobile Rulebook was recently embedded into the Mobile Coach app. How well has that been received?
LABUDA: The rulebook is one of the most popular features in the coaching app. It was built to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the coaching materials and it’s been a great way to cross-promote the two products.
USAH: Any thoughts about developing a similar mobile app for the officiating program?
LABUDA: We are exploring an idea to make a custom native mobile app for our rulebook, with an eye to a larger Officiating Education Program app down the road. At this time, we’re surveying our members to gather feedback as to whether they’d use such a product and what tools they want. As with any of our projects over the years, we’re doing our best to make the right moves for our officials.
To take the survey and share your opinion with us, please CLICK HERE.