Smith: Preparation Key to Success

A referee prepares for a game just like a player in a number of different ways. There are some similarities in pre-game routines and duties for both the players and the referees. It is important for both referees and players to be prepared for the game in order to perform at their top level.

A typical pre-game routine for a referee starts with arriving fifteen to thirty minutes before game time, which leaves time to carry out pre-game duties. It is important to ensure that both referees and the timekeepers are at the arena so that the game can start on time.  Many times a referee will be working with a partner they have not worked with before or are not familiar with. It is crucial to have a pregame discussion with your partner and familiarize yourself with them in order to avoid mix-ups and confusion during the game.

Many referees have a warm-up routine that they do prior to the game. There is a lot more running involved in refereeing than most people appreciate, so it important for referees to ensure they are warmed up and ready to start the game. The beginning of the game is quite often the fastest portion of the game, which makes it even more important for officials to be properly prepared for a game.

Once on the floor, there are a number of things a referee must do prior to the start of the game. The referees must check the nets to see if there is any damage or holes in them. They must also review the score sheet and ensure it is properly completed. Prior to the opening faceoff and after warm-up, the two teams shake hands, which allows the referees a chance to check all players for improper equipment such as no mouth guards, no earpieces, jewellery, and any other infractions.

A referee must properly prepare for the game in order to perform at their highest level. The pre-game routine and pre-game duties help eliminate problems from occurring later in the game, such as an equipment issue that should have been noticed in the handshakes being called in the third period. By properly preparing for the game, the referees are ensuring that the game runs smoothly and efficiently. Referees make it easier on themselves when they are giving just as much effort as the players who are playing in the game.