USA Hockey’s online game reporting system has continued to evolve since its introduction. Over that time, many people, including Mike McCullough, Connecticut admin for the game reporting system, have reaped the system’s benefits.
“We’re a few years into this, and what we’re seeing is a lot of positives,” McCullough said. “It has been a great assistant when it comes to managing our affiliate.”
Though McCullough is the person responsible for handling the reports in Connecticut, his job would not be possible without the officials at the rink submitting their game reports.
There is a significant amount of administrative data that goes into a game report. It starts with the the basics — the level of play, data and time of game and where it took place. That all helps tie back to the report.
“Sometimes when we get these, we have the team wrong or someone mixes up a program that plays under multiple names,” McCullough said. “If we know when and where it’s played, we can drill into the correct game.”
From there, the referees input their own information. Then information accuracy becomes more crucial. This includes data such as the home and away teams and affiliates.
“The correct affiliate is critical because it will send it to the correct person,” McCullough said. “Sometimes, we see someone click the wrong affiliate and a report that’s supposed to go to Colorado goes to Connecticut.”
From there, a referee gives a description of any incident that occured. As has been pointed out previously, giving the facts is the most important part of this section.
“We need the length to be whatever tells the story of what happened,” McCullough said. “Usually what we end up getting is good information.”
The last component of any report is the player information. Accuracy here is crucial. If the incorrect player is selected, that player could face unintended consequences for penalties he or she did not commit.
“This is where we have our most frequent issues,” McCullough said. “It’s the fact there’s a name lookup and someone could select the wrong combination of initials. If a player is wrongly selected, there is a chance it could end up in a progressive suspension alert being sent out when it shouldn’t be going out.”
Once a report is submitted, people such as McCullough are able to mine the incoming data and identify issues quickly.
“This system gives us the ability to identify programs that are having larger issues,” McCullough said. “We can then talk to the association about frequent flyers and why they’re having so many game reports.”
Overall, there is one important factor that goes into any successful game report: timeliness. This is not only something required by USA Hockey, it also helps those going through the disciplinary process.
“This is just such valuable information to the affiliate and everyone involved,” McCullough said. “We appreciate the effort our referees put into these reports. Timeliness is one of the most important things in the process. The quicker we get that information and the more consistent it is, the better for all involved parties.”
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