Thursday, September 30, 2004

Sure, we can go around about Game 7 one last time. But before I tackle that, feedback from some off-ice personnel.

One goal judge writes:

Many people volunteer for an Off Ice Official thinking that they will get to watch games for free. I have been doing this for years and you do not get to watch the game, you get to see the game. As a Goal Judge, I am so focused on the puck and my job during the game, I do not even remember which team is shooting at my end. I only realize who has scored once the puck goes in and one team is celebrating. I am not sure if this is the same with everyone though, I can only speak for myself.

This leads me to On Ice Officials all of a sudden switching to Goal Judges for the playoffs. Being a Goal Judge is a different beast than being an On Ice Official. It is a different angle and a different type of focus. So not to have done this all season and to be thrown in to Goal Judge may generate more issues than the way it was before. I think it would have been better off leaving it the way it was, or to use impartial experienced Goal Judges.

And from an off-ice supervisor:

I think this will come back to bite them in the butt, because linesmen or refs don't sit there game after game and 99.99% of the time make the right calls. I believe that there will be a lot of lights that are not lit in time and a lot of very slow lights, because they will be looking at the refs on ice to make the first call.

I don't think there's any doubt that, if change was even necessary, out-of-towners were the way to go. But that costs money (the back-up refs and linesmen are already paid to be at playoff games).

In any case, the league office feels strongly that an experienced, full-time on-ice official is more than qualified to do the job, and probably that's true. But again, as I've already said, if the regular off-ice officials can't be "trusted" with the most important games, does that mean all the other games are not important?
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