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Officiating Program

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HCOP Level 3 Upgrade Seminar

The GTHL conducts one HCOP level 3 upgrade seminar per season. The objective of the seminar is to prepare participants for the on-ice evaluation phase of the level 3 upgrade process and to prepare them for the OHF level 3 upgrade exam.

The seminar occurs over 2 days in January, and is coordinated and hosted by the Technical Director of Officiating. Attendance is by invitation only. The seminar registration fee is $125. There is no quota or class size limit applicable to this seminar. Interested persons may apply for an invitation directly to the GTHL Technical Director of Officiating or through their league referee-in-chief, referee coordinator or equivalent. Participant selection is done by the GTHL’s ad hoc Officiating Development Committee.

Curriculum development is the responsibility of the Technical Director of Officiating. This upgrade seminar consists of two 5 hour classroom training sessions and two on-ice sessions. Participants complete the HCOP on-ice skating skills tests during the on-ice sessions. A written exam is included in the second classroom session and participating officials must achieve at least 80% on this exam to obtain a passing grade. All participants receive a pre-seminar study guide at least four weeks in advance of the first classroom session. Officials that successfully complete all components of this seminar receive HCOP level 3T (T for theory) designation and also receive an HCOP level 3T certification card as proof of their new HCOP level qualification. Participants should bring a pen, an HCOP officiating manual and a Hockey Canada referee’s rulebook/casebook to the first classroom session.

Participants must wear full referee equipment and apparel during the on-ice sessions. Running shoes are required for both sessions.


HCOP Level 4 / Level 5 Upgrade Seminar

A combined HCOP Level 4 and HCOP level 5 upgrade seminar is conducted as required by the OHF. The GTHL hosts this event on a rotational basis with several other OHF member partners.

The objective of this seminar is to prepare participants for the on-ice evaluation phase of the HCOP level 4/5 upgrade process and to prepare them for the HCOP level 4/5 upgrade exam.

Normally, this three day, two night (Friday through Sunday) event occurs near the end of April or early May every second year (normally, during even numbered years). Seminar content, registration procedures and staff selection are determined by the OHF.

The fee for this seminar typically varies between $300 and $400, and is set on a case-by-case basis by the OHF. Attendance is by invitation only. Interested persons may apply for an invitation through the GTHL Technical Director of Officiating. Participant selection is made by the GTHL’s ad hoc Officiating
Development Committee


HCOP Level 4/Level 5 Seminar Work-Up Program

Officials selected by the GTHL to attend an HCOP level 4 / level 5 upgrade seminar must complete a special pre-upgrade seminar work-up program. This program is coordinated and hosted by the Technical Director of Officiating and is intended to ensure that upgrade candidates are rules “experts” before they attend an HCOP level 4 / 5 upgrade seminar and that they know what to expect when actually attending the upgrade seminar.

This work-up program begins at least 12 weeks before the upgrade seminar and
involves weekly rules training sessions, numerous home study assignments and several practice written exams. The registration fee for this program varies but is in the $25 range depending on the number of participants. Curriculum development is the responsibility of the Technical Director of Officiating.


Supervisors of Officials (Initial) Qualification Training Courses

The GTHL conducts one supervisors of officials’ initial qualification training courses during October each season. The course provides initial qualification training for new supervisors of officials, and is managed by the Technical Director of Officiating. Attendance is by invitation only. Participant selection is made by the GTHL’s ad hoc Officiating Development Committee. Interested persons may request an invitation through their league referee-in-chief, manager of game officials or equivalent.

Curriculum development is the responsibility of the Technical Director of Officiating. The course involves home study and one classroom training session, and is provided at no cost to participants. Participants must bring a pen, a notebook and an HCOP officiating manual to the classroom training session. Successful graduates receive a GTHL Supervisor of Officials card as proof of their qualification. Graduates also receive a GTHL, MHL, NYHL and SHA arena pass.


Supervisors of Officials Annual Recurrent Training

The goal of this annual recurrent training is to improve the collective and individual ability of supervisors of officials to coach and evaluate the League’s on-ice officials. This goal is achieved through a combination of home study and one in-class training session. Several in-class training sessions are conducted during August through November each season. Participants must bring a pen, a notebook and an HCOP officiating manual to the classroom session.

This training is managed by the Officiating Development department. Curriculum development is the responsibility of the Technical Director of Officiating. Participation in all aspects of this training is mandatory. Participants receive a stipend to cover expenses incurred to complete this training. Successful graduates receive a GTHL Supervisor of Officials qualification card, and a GTHL, MHL, NYHL and SHA arena pass.


HCOP Clinic Instructors Annual Recurrent Training

This highly specialized event provides all GTHL officiating program HCOP clinic instructors with annual recurrent training. The goal of this training is to improve the effectiveness of the clinic instructors as an instructor, a speaker and a training facilitator, and to prepare the instructors for the upcoming clinic season.

HCOP Clinic Instructor ART is managed by the Officiating Development department. Curriculum development is the responsibility of the Technical Director of Officiating. This training involves a few hours of home study and one 8-hour classroom training session. The classroom session occurs each May or June, on one occasion only. The classroom session is hosted by the Technical Director of Officiating and consists of workshops, discussion groups and guest speaker presentations. Attendees must bring their personal laptop computer, clinic instructor files and presentations, their instructors “kit” and their HCOP officiating manual to the classroom session.

This training is provided at no cost to HCOP clinic instructors. Participation in the training and attendance at the seminar is mandatory, however, an excusal from the classroom session may be granted by the Technical Director of Officiating in exceptional circumstances.


GTHL Program of Officiating Excellence

The GTHL Program of Officiating Excellence is directed towards future leaders and top performers within the GTHL officiating program. It is specifically designed for officials that are in the process of, or have recently upgraded to HCOP level 4.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development of participating officials’ on-ice performance by improving their physical fitness, skating ability, judgement and decision-making skills, ability to perform technical skills and procedures correctly, and leadership qualities through focused and continuous coaching, competition and evaluation.

The Program of Officiating Excellence is managed by the Technical Director of Officiating. Specifically, the GTHL TDO:

  1. Identifies and invites officials to participate in the program;
  2. Recruits coaches for the program;
  3. Matches coaches with officials;
  4. Arranges participation of subject matter experts in the program;
  5. Monitors the progress of participating officials;
  6. Oversees the activities of participating coaches;
  7. Evaluates the effectiveness of the program; and
  8. Secures funding to conduct the program.

The Program of Officiating Excellence begins each year in July and runs until the end of the Minor hockey season in April. Participation is by invitation only. Participant selection is determined by the Technical Director of Officiating in consultation with the GTHL’s ad hoc Referee Development Committee. Persons interested in participating apply directly to the Technical Director of Officiating.

There is no quota or limit to the number of officials that may participant in this program each year. Registration in this program costs $50. This fee is used to directly offset program costs and may be paid through two bi-monthly payments of $100. The first payment is due on acceptance into the program.

Each participating official is paired with a coach who works with them to develop and follow a personal development plan. Once an official-coach match is established, the coach and the official meet to:

  1. Conduct an analysis of needs;
  2. Set goals;
  3. Design a training plan;
  4. Make arrangements to implement the plan;
  5. Establish how program activities will be monitored; and
  6. Identify the means and timing of performance evaluations.

Coaches submit a report outlining identified goals and the training plan as soon as possible after being matched with an official. Thereafter, coaches submit reports every two months which compares the official’s progress to the written plan.

Officiating assignments are the officials’ competition. Coaches liaise with league schedulers to ensure that assignments which complement the officials’ development plan are scheduled at the appropriate time. Throughout the program, participants receive instruction in:

  1. Physical fitness;
  2. Mental preparation;
  3. Decision making;
  4. Penalty standards;
  5. Playing rules;
  6. Communication and rapport building;
  7. Skating;
  8. Leadership; and
  9. HCOP officiating positioning systems and procedures.

Various subject matter experts sourced from within and outside the GTHL officiating program provide specific education and mentoring services to participating officials.
It is important that the Program demonstrate an ability to produce measurable results. Therefore participant ability and/or knowledge is evaluated in these areas:

  1. Physical fitness;
  2. Skating;
  3. Leadership skills;
  4. Playing rules and published penalty standards; and
  5. HCOP officiating positioning systems and procedures.

These evaluations occur in August (in conjunction with Referee Summer Camp activities), in January (coincidental with HCOP level 3 upgrade seminar activities) and in April (upon completion of the program).