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War Stories from the Ice Rink

As the HROfficial I haven’t really brought hockey into the blog much, but I have a couple short “war stories” from the rink that have occurred recently and I felt the need to share.

 Story number one is this.  I am preparing to referee a tournament game.  For those of you who are not involved in the sport let me give a few little nuggets about the game.  Parents pay a lot of money for their kids to participate.  Parents dedicate a lot of time and travel to playing.  Coaches sometimes play favorites and your kid may benefit from this – or may get the short end of the deal.

 Ok now were at the game, as I prepare to walk on the ice, one of the coaches asks to speak to me.  He openly and honestly says to me, “Ref – were gonna get killed in this game.”   He then asked me to watch out for his player so they did not get hurt.  There are four teams in the tournament.  I am talking to the coach from team A.  He told me yesterday team C played Team DTeam D beat team C by 10 goals.   Also yesterday the coach of Team A played team C and got beat by more than 10 goals.  So given that scenario Team D is could or should beat Team A by 20+ goals; a blood bath by any definition.

 Without trying to give anyone a competitive advantage or disadvantage I explained the concerns of the Team A Coach to Team D head coach. He looked at me and smiled and nodded.  Unsure what that meant it was unclear as to how the game would play out.  Team D scored 3 goals in the first period.  They did a lot of passing and working the puck. The game ended 8-0.  Team D could have beat team A by 25 goals but the coach made sure it didn’t go down that way.   After the handshake at the end of the game I spoke to the coach of Team D and told him that was by far the greatest display of sportsmanship I had seen in the last ten years.  He smiled.  He went home, and so did I – only I went home with a renewed faith in humanity!

 The second story is much shorter.  At the start of each game, the Referees must interact with both coaches checking rosters and getting signatures.  I choose to introduce myself, shake hands with each of the coaches and then wish them “good luck”.    As I shook hands with one of the coaches he was pressing a pre-positioned object into my hand.  As I pulled away and opened my hand I found a small tootsie roll.  The coach looked at me a smiled and said”It’s to make you sweeter.”  I smiled and told him that was good.  At this point I don’t even recall if his team won or lost.  Again I went home with a renewed faith in humanity.

 It is the people like this involved in the sport that make me was to continue to referee until I have to skate with a walker.

3 Responses to War Stories from the Ice Rink

  1. Laura Schroeder

    I’m glad you were able to prevent a blood bath in the first story but… wasn’t that a bribe in the second story?

  2. Jay Kuhns

    Great post Dave. One of the philosophies on our team is that whenever we’re playing a weaker club, we use that time to practice. Extra passing, good puck movement on the power play, and allowing some of our players who don’t see as much action to get extra time are all implemented. The goal is not to embarass the other team, but to make sure everyone gets involved, and both teams can have a “good game.” At the end of the day, it’s about teaching the kids, not re-living our misspent youth.

  3. Meet Dave Ryan, Director of HR for Mel-O-Cream Donuts | Employer Solutions Blog | Sage HRMS

    […] got a funny story about passion that I wrote about in a post last winter called War Stories from the Ice Rink.  At the start of each game, as a ref, you usually introduce yourself to the coaches because they […]

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