Hockey players haven’t been the only ones training for the BCHL season to come. Budding referees and linesmen are also taking part in intense physical and mental training to make sure they’re ready for the opening puck drop.
This year, the BCHL board of governors created scholarship opportunities for select young officials in B.C. to attend two of the best summer officiating camps there are.
The West Coast Prep Referee Camp in Port Alberni and the Steve Kozari School of Officiating in Penticton offer elite training for young officials looking to move up the ranks.
The five recipients of the BCHL scholarships were Hasret Sidhu, Jordan Wood, Matt Caillet, Tyler Goudal, and Jonah Lachapelle.
“Just like players in our league prepare in the off-season, our officials are expected to focus on their training and come into the season in great condition,” said BCHL director of officiating Derek Adams. “We place a high degree of accountability on our guys to work hard in the gym over the summer to ensure they come into the season in great shape.”
The West Coast and Kozari camps provide young officials with the technical and physical tools to run a game the right way and open doors to increasingly advanced levels of hockey.
“These particular schools are excellent training grounds for young officials because they offer them the ability to learn the trade by officiating games in front of NHL officials like Brad Lazarowich, Steve Kozari and Kyle Ryman,” Adams noted. “Also as important, they provide these young officials the opportunity to be scouted and hired by the BCHL. The camps have an excellent off-ice training component that delivers instruction on such things as rules, game management, positioning, and on-ice presence, which are all very important parts of being an on-ice official in junior hockey.”