Future ref-erence


Reader Sandy von Kaldenberg raises an intriguing idea in response to my rant on even-up reffing: since improvements in TV technology have made such officiating shortcomings obvious, why not creat a position for an off-ice official? 

I take it Sandy means an official with something akin to the appellate powers granted to video goal judges. This raises the obvious problem of too many game interruptions. But you could pipe an off-ice ref right into the on-ice official’s helmet, restricting his duty to that of a spotter—too many men, guys throwing sucker punches in melees between whistles, that sort of thing. It would be a delicate balance; he’d have to avoid undue distraction. And he would not be somebody to whom coaches can appeal for replays. That would be strictly limited to disputed goals.

But it would provide grounds to pull that stupid second referee off the ice, reducing congestion and putting the primary onus back on the ref at ice level.


Filed under:

Future ref-erence

  1. An intriguing idea, especially for all the nonsense away from the play. But I don’t think it’d help with situations like the Holmstrom goal of a few nights ago. The NHL, rightly, makes such calls exempt from review, because they really come down to a ref’s judgement. Clearly, in that case, the ref’s judgement was poor, but I don’t think we’ll ever eliminate the potential for a bad call from the game.

Sign in to comment.