Recap of Atlantic District Officiating Program 2012 Winter Meeting
On January 18, 2012, the AAHA Officiating Program held a winter meeting in Trenton, NJ. The meeting was attended by approximately 65 people, including Tom Koester (Atlantic District President), Colleen Marinari (Atlantic District Executive) and Mike Lichtenberger (Atlantic District Coach in Chief). Leo Boylan, our District Referee-in-Chief, chaired the meeting, which lasted about 2 hours. Other attendees that were invited were any evaluators, instructors and assignors in the District as well as various other leaders from the Atlantic District. Below is a summary of each speaker and their comments.
Leo Boylan opened and closed the meeting with a constant message that this is "your" District and he wants input and help from everyone who is interested. He will certainly guide programs, but wants ideas and will willingly accept help from all of us. Leo outlined his plans for structure in the future and told everyone that he hoped to have this laid out at the beginning of the summer. In the meantime, a re-cap from the USAH winter meetings included:
- Registration numbers are down in the district and nationally.
- 2013-2014 will be a rule change year and after that, rule changes will be every 4 years
Mike Lichtenberger spoke briefly to welcome Leo and talked about making the coaching and officiating programs work closer to create a better relationship between coaches and officials.
Marty Maglio spoke about the Seminar Program and Instructors. He thanked all the officials in the District and the Instructors for their patience in moving the seminars around Hurricane Irene. The constant contact system seemed to prove very valuable in getting the information out in a timely manner. Marty emphasized that the seminar program is going to embrace change and wants ideas for how to improve the seminars. We had 15 seminars with about 2300 officials last year and the plan is to be in the same areas this year, but Marty and his staff want to make these seminars even more valuable and want your help and input as to what you like and do not like and what changes they can make. Marty is also going to create a panel to evaluate the seminar process from A to Z - if you are interested in joining this panel, please contact Marty directly.
Bill Maurer then spoke about the enhancements in the evaluation program, most notably the on line evaluation system. This system will allow the evaluations to be more consistent and the content to be analyzed and used in conjunction with the seminar program to develop topics, presentations and videos to better teach our officials. Thus far this season, there have been 152 officials evaluated - a solid number, but we hope to have even more moving forward. Bill is going to lead the efforts to further grow our shadow and mentoring programs to help young and new officials develop their skills and hopefully retain more officials.
Ian Walsh is the leader of the Atlantic District Summer camp program which provides the recommendations to the District and USA Hockey for our candidates for the Regional, National and other camps. Ian is also the Director of the Atlantic District Summer camp that is intended to provide those going to USA Hockey camps with e pre-camp experience that will help them when the get to their camps. If you know someone who should be considered for summer camps, please forward their name to Ian or Leo for further consideration.
Mike McDevitt and Jim Doyle spoke about the assignors in the District. They are going to be leading an effort to take these important people and look at the process and how it works around the District and look for improvements and modifications that can be made. One of the important links that will be looked at it the link between assignors and evaluators to make sure that we can get more officials evaluated each year moving forward. They will be working with Leo to put together a loose list of guidelines, understanding that each area is different and poses challenges of its own.
Ken Haas spoke on behalf of the Atlantic District as the Risk Manager. The main point that Ken wanted to make was that we need to be cognizant of when we are working under the guidelines of USA Hockey and when we are not. All it takes is one person not being covered under USA Hockey to cause issues with insurance coverage should something happen. If there are questions on this, Leo or Ken should be contacted.
The main focus of the meeting is that there are going to be opportunities to get involved moving forward. If you have ideas or are interested, please let someone know! If you like something, please let everyone know, but if there is something that bothers you, please do not spread it as gossip, please contact Leo to talk about it and you will not only be heard, but your feedback will be appreciated!