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Ref107

Q & A with 107

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Marcus, what made you get into ref'ing hockey games? Did you play hockey when younger? If yes, what position?

I played hockey for many years since I was old enough to play, I believe around 5 or 6. I played all positions, including goalie, but primarily played either left wing or centre. I've always loved policing and laws, and as a referee, you are basically the police on ice. Besides not being a great player, and not being good enough to go anywhere in playing, I figured I could still be involved in competitive hockey as a referee. So when I was 10 years old I got certified and at age 11 I began refereeing house leauges. From there I moved up a few levels and am now doing competitive hockey in Toronto and surrounding areas.

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Do you know (or can even tell) if any of the Canes coaches or players ever read messages on the forum?

Depends where they log in from, depends if I have advance warning, and depends on their registration details. Sometimes emails give away who people are, sometimes its their IP address and sometimes it just doesn't stand out and you never know. The few important people who stay hidden here I already know about and have been informed in case someone were to go stupid on them and start harassing them. Can't say who they are though so don't ask. :-p

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The sky's blue cuz God's a Tarheel ! LOL ! Just kidding and Staalsy, the chicken came first. God created all things, man, woman, fowl, animals, plants, etc. He didn't create eggs.

Marcus, I've so enjoyed reading your responses. You know you rock big time :)

(Hope Santa was good to you.)

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Marcus - how much policing goes on wrt zebras? If the league offices (whatever level of hockey we are talking) starts getting tons of email or letters about particular refs (oh say, like someone named Mr Magoo), is anything done? I know that the NFL and NBA have elaborate systems in place for supervising their own where game film is reviewed in light of all officiating. Does the NHL have such official review and supervision in place?

Are there educational conferences for officials, like continuing education that is mandated?

And - do the NHL-level officials have any contribution in mentoring upcoming officials from the minors ranks?

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Marcus - how much policing goes on wrt zebras? If the league offices (whatever level of hockey we are talking) starts getting tons of email or letters about particular refs (oh say, like someone named Mr Magoo), is anything done? I know that the NFL and NBA have elaborate systems in place for supervising their own where game film is reviewed in light of all officiating. Does the NHL have such official review and supervision in place?

Especially in the NHL, you can send in a trillion complaint letters and nothing will be done. Why? Well do you really think you know how to supervise better that the NHL supervisors? Every game is supervised by a supervisor in the NHL and they get talked to between periods and after the games. If the supervisor thinks something is wrong, then perhaps something will be done, but if they don't, all the complaint letters in the world won't help.

Now in my league, we get supervised once in a while. Depends how senior you are. I've been refereeing quite a while, so I get it once every month to month and a half. A rookie might get it once every two weeks or so. Also in our leagues and most minor leagues, if a tonne of complaints come in from different teams, thats teams, not spectators that are very similar, they will probably send someone to the games to watch the official.

Are there educational conferences for officials, like continuing education that is mandated?

Sort of. I'll speak for Canada, as that is where I referee. In Hockey Canada, there are 6 levels of officiating. 1 being basic house league stuff and 6 being Olympic/NHL. I'm a level three which is really good for someone who's only 20 years old. We MUST get recertified every season by attending a course that is usually about 8 hours long along with an assignment to do at the level 3 and up clinics. We also have to right an exam. To pass the level 1 exam you need to have your name on the paper and answer all questions, level 2 your nee 70%, 3 and 4 = 80% and 5 and 6 = 90%. When you go up a level from 3 onward you also need to pass skating and physical tests.

My leagues also hold meetings in December and February to go over any league wide problems we've been having, or general problems with officials.

And - do the NHL-level officials have any contribution in mentoring upcoming officials from the minors ranks?

Yes they do. A leauge I work in has a supervisor on staff who works NHL games (Dean Warren). He's supervised me actually. Great guy! He came to our meeting and when our supervisors are talking, we're kinda listening, but when he stood up, all eyes were on him and not another sound was heard except by him. Total Respect! The NHL also sends scouts out to games when they reach a certain level, ie: AHL, OHL ect.

Hope this answered your questions. Yet again some great questions! Keep them coming!

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First off, you do a great job here Ref107.

My question is: Do you alone personally pick mods here to assist you and what are the credentials required for such a position?

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Well then, no WONDER you all picked me!!! I fit that description PERFECTLY!!! I guess that means that I'm no longer an outcast/ reject!!! YAYYYY - I fit in somewhere!!!!! **does the happy dance**

Ehem... okay... sorry to almost derail the thread, Marcus... back to our regualarly scheduled programming....

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I'm guessing the refs have to stay in good physical condition in order to keep up with the play of the game (accept for Magoo of course). Do you have any special training or workout that you do to help you on the ice? Any idea what the NHL refs do?

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Have you ever been to a canes game in raleigh, and would you or plan on it any time soon if you can? If you do let us know so we can have a big canes board party :)

No I have never even been to NC let alone a Canes game down there. I've seen the Canes play at Maple Leaf Gardens many years ago. Going to Carolina is something I would love to do and to see the Canes game would be amazing! Hey I could actually afford the tickets here to the loudest rink in the NHL. Unlike that funeral home of the Leafs. I believe its something like our cheapest tickets = your best tickets. But that's a different story all together.

And yes, if I ever come to NC, I'd be sure to post here and perhaps one or two people might want to show up to beat me up...I mean say hi.

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The RBC is fun. And loud. That is what I love about it. If you EVER get the chance, you really should come. I think you would love it.

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First off, you do a great job here Ref107.

My question is: Do you alone personally pick mods here to assist you and what are the credentials required for such a position?

I pretty much pick the mods myself, although once I do, before modding them, we discuss the person in the mod board. I wouldn't pick someone that I like who would anger 3 of the other staff members. They have too much experience and it would be a great loss to lose them. I'll post the steps to becoming a moderator first, then I'll post the "credentials".

1: Marcus/other staff feel that a moderator is needed. This could because a lot of us are going away on summer vacation, a lot of problems happening, playoffs, ect.

2: Marcus scouts the boards looking for certain members. (see creditials below)

3: Marcus picks two or three potential candidates.

4: Marcus does complete back ground check of them, including almost all of their posts, and a look through the mod section to see if anyone's had problems with them. I also check to see if they've harassed me or asked me to be a moderator several times before.

5: Marcus decides who I think would be the best candidate for mod position.

6: Marcus posts thread in mod board requesting feedback on that person chosen.

7: Mods give Marcus the thumbs up or thumbs down. They also put forward ideas/suggestions.

8:Marcus sends person invitation private message asking if they would like to help out the forum as a mod.

9: Assuming its a yes, training is done, showing them how all features they need work, and how we do things around here, like why/when threads are locked.

10: Announcement to board is made.

Of course if another moderator suggests someone as a mod, I'd look into it very closely with almost the exact steps above. Maybe a few minor changes to it.

Now the credentials:

Never ever in serious trouble with any staff member. If one or two of your threads were locked for not so serious offences this is ok. We want someone who can enforce the rules of the forum. That is their job after all. If they can't abide by them, how will they enforce them?

Never rude to other people. This includes spammers. Yes I know its tempting to give it back to them, but mods can't do that, so we expect people who can ignore them.

Along with this, we need mods who can help out newer members who may be lost and posting in the wrong area as well as mods who can issue warnings in a polite, but firm way via private message when someone breaks the rules.

The person must also be on the boards alot. This doesn't mean a lot of posts. I want someone who contributes positive things to the board. Having 50 posts, mostly about the Hurricanes that create discussion will win every time over someone with 3000 one line posts. We don't really look at time zones as we're mostly all in the same one, but if your in an "odd" time zone that can also help you. For example, Section300 is on...well all night. I don't think she sleeps. So by bringing her on, we are protected almost 24/7. I don't think anyone has ever seen a spam attack or really bad post on the boards for more than an hour.

We also need members who are willing to listen/learn. I am in contact with the webmaster directly and sometimes threads are locked by me with no apparent reason. The most recent was the all star voting thread on how to hoodwink it. I was asked by Hurricane staff to lock and remove that thread and all future threads like it. Whether or not the staff agree with this, they need to understand where it's coming from and enforce it.

Next, and I think the thing that gives members the biggest problem, is the asking me to be a moderator. Nothing turns me off giving someone the position than someone asking for it. My immediate thoughts are does this person want the power to cause problems here, like delete the posts, ban members for no reason and cause huge problems for me. Asking me won't get you anywhere, ever. Now there are a few minor exceptions to this again, but remember being direct is never ok. Take Section300 again, on one of our major spam attacks, I had to rush to an exam, so I had hundreds of posts to delete and not much time to do so. She asked if I would like help deleting the posts. I said yes and when we were done, she sent me a pm thanking me for letting her help, telling me it was all clear and that I could remove the moderator powers. First she's a member whom I have trusted for a long time, and second, she didn't expect the power to stay even after all the help. Makes me think she's hear cause she enjoys it, not to get positions of power. That greatly helped persueade me in chosing her.

Finally and most importantly, TRUST. I won't take on anyone I don't trust and the minute I don't trust you as staff, I'll remove you. Being an official board we cannot risk staff getting angry and causing damage. And unless I really trust you, you won't get the staff position.

Gee, that was really long. I hope it answered your questions fully. I don't think I can go into more detail without writing a novel.

Great Questions though.

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I'm guessing the refs have to stay in good physical condition in order to keep up with the play of the game (accept for Magoo of course). Do you have any special training or workout that you do to help you on the ice? Any idea what the NHL refs do?

At the NHL level and pro levels this is an absolute must and they do go through strict exercise plans. I know the NHL officials work out both before and after the game. They also follow strict meal plans for their days of work.

As for me, I do not follow anything special. I've been known to go to Montana's and eat a steak or ribs and fries before games. Fortunatley I'm a pretty good skater and can keep up with the guys I referee. To give you an idea of my skating ability, the average 16 year old player, if he were to skate his fastest forward, I could probably outskate him going backwords. Practice really does make perfect, and being on the ice 3-5 hours 29 times a month ha really helped me out. To be honest, I firmly believe I should be about 300 pounds, but with the skating I do, I'm no where close to that. I love chicken, and I eat out quite a bit. More than I should and the amount of pop I drink is crazy (I was at 6 litres a day of coca cola in the summer but have cut down to about 2 now). If I sat around doing nothing, I'd be that weight though.

Oh, and at the NHL level, the majority of officials can outskate any player. I know Scapinello was an amazing skater and could beat all those players on icing calls.

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Have you ever been to a canes game in raleigh, and would you or plan on it any time soon if you can? If you do let us know so we can have a big canes board party :)

No I have never even been to NC let alone a Canes game down there. I've seen the Canes play at Maple Leaf Gardens many years ago. Going to Carolina is something I would love to do and to see the Canes game would be amazing! Hey I could actually afford the tickets here to the loudest rink in the NHL. Unlike that funeral home of the Leafs. I believe its something like our cheapest tickets = your best tickets. But that's a different story all together.

And yes, if I ever come to NC, I'd be sure to post here and perhaps one or two people might want to show up to beat me up...I mean say hi.

Then I guess you'd remember who the last Eastern Conference team was to win at Maple Leaf Gardens, huh? Yup... your CAR-O-LINAAAA HURRRRR-ICANES. Sorry, you gotta stop me when I do that.

From a ref's perspective, the best line I ever heard was from an NFL official (I forget who) who said, "A fan is a guy who can sit in the last row of the stands and pick out every tiny mistake we make. But when he gets out to the parking lot after the game he can't find his own car."

I howled.

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