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View Full Version : The State of Officiating in the WCHA



Eeyore
01-11-2014, 01:16 AM
Crazy Dave mentioned some of this in the MN/OSU series thread but this has reached the point of deserving its own conversation. The officiating has been terrible all year long in the WCHA but what was delivered at Ridder Arena tonight is simply unacceptable. The penalty calls were bad, to some extent both ways but in the style where the rougher team gets away with more, but it was the linemen who were grotesquely incompetent. They made the wrong calls. The made what were probably the right calls but at the wrong time. They made calls that were completely inexplicable. And they very clearly weren't communicating with each other.

As ARM mentioned, for much of the game it was as if they had no idea that they were supposed to be using the hybrid icing rules. Unlike the penalty calls, I think these errors worked to the detriment of OSU. There were several occasions when a Buckeye was clearly going to get to the puck to negate the icing but the whistle blew. There was one occasion when the play was blown dead before anyone from either team had crossed the red line.

There were times when the whistle went and I not only couldn't figure out what the call was, I couldn't even come up with anything that could have been called that would have led to a face-off where they put it. On one occasion with the play along the boards in OSU's defensive zone the whistle blew and the ensuing face-off was just outside the zone. The puck was clearly still moving, so it wasn't blown down as frozen. A hand pass would have meant a face-off either in the zone or all the way down at the other end, depending on who was called for it. It obviously wasn't for a player in the crease. I have no idea.

On one occasion in the second period the Gophers shot the puck down the rink for what should have been an icing. The Ohio State player was miles ahead of anyone, so hybrid icing or not it should have been called. The whistle was duly blown and then . . . the face-off was in the OSU defensive zone. Again, I can't come up with any explanation for what the call was.

The line changes during stoppages were a veritable comedy. Before a face-off in the OSU defensive zone the ref allowed an extremely late change by the Buckeyes, which was something of an ongoing problem all evening though this was particularly egregious. So then Frost decides to change his line, which the ref was clearly signalling to allow. Paige Haley and Kate Flug managed to get over the boards and headed towards the face-off circle, at which point the lineman dropped the puck with them on the ice and the ref out of position. Everybody had to scramble back since no one decided that they ought to stop play for such a fustercluck.

Similarly, late in the third the ref allowed a late OSU change of defensemen and the puck was dropped before the players leaving were anywhere near their bench.

The WCHA really should be embarrassed by what went on. I had really thought that Mr. Nepotism had left to become the supervisor of officials for one of the new leagues this year but I was wrong. But if he won't depart on his own, the league really needs to can him because his performance is appalling.

CrazyDave
01-11-2014, 09:11 AM
On one occasion in the second period the Gophers shot the puck down the rink for what should have been an icing. The Ohio State player was miles ahead of anyone, so hybrid icing or not it should have been called. The whistle was duly blown and then . . . the face-off was in the OSU defensive zone. Again, I can't come up with any explanation for what the call was.
I'm not saying whether this was right or wrong, but the linesmen in this case were calling an icing and then one of the referees overruled them and set the faceoff location. My only thinking is that the referee saw that it was deflected into the zone. But previous times I've seen something like that happen, the faceoff has been at center.

play-by-play guy
01-11-2014, 10:27 AM
I'm not saying whether this was right or wrong, but the linesmen in this case were calling an icing and then one of the referees overruled them and set the faceoff location. My only thinking is that the referee saw that it was deflected into the zone. But previous times I've seen something like that happen, the faceoff has been at center.

Being an official myself, I really don't get too critical on calls that require a split-second decision. What we see from a distance is sometimes so much harder to call when you are practically sitting on the play. What I do get critical about though is when an official or officials are not using proper mechanics such as getting in the right position to make a call, or in the case of last night, lack of communication.
On hybrid icing it doesn't matter who is closer to the puck, it is who gets to the face-off dots first. It may have been the first icing call of the game, but OSU dumps the puck and rings the wall. The puck ends up being on the side of the ice closer to the OSU skater, however, Melica McMillen was at the dots first. Proper call from what Mr. Shepherd has told me about hybrid icing.
But yeah, clearly something is lacking in these crews. I don't know how to fix it, but why not have crews that work together all season long rather than shuffling them around. I have always found I work better and call a better game when I have worked with someone many times. We just know what each other is going to do when a certain scenario occurs and can communicate almost by knowing the other's body language.
Just my two cents.

Eeyore
01-11-2014, 11:30 AM
On hybrid icing it doesn't matter who is closer to the puck, it is who gets to the face-off dots first. It may have been the first icing call of the game, but OSU dumps the puck and rings the wall. The puck ends up being on the side of the ice closer to the OSU skater, however, Melica McMillen was at the dots first. Proper call from what Mr. Shepherd has told me about hybrid icing.

If that's true, Shepherd doesn't understand the rule. I guess that wouldn't surprise me. From the NCAA Rule Book (http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/IH14.pdf), pages 75-76, rule 85.1:


For the purpose of interpretation of this rule, icing is completed the instant the puck crosses the goal line, unless an attacking player, who is onside at the blue line and with no opponent between that player and the goal line and is clearly in position to be the first player to touch the puck. Icing shall not be called in this situation. This decision by the official shall be made no later than the first player reaching the end zone face-off dots. If the puck enters the goal in this situation icing shall not be called and a goal shall be awarded.

So while it is not strictly speaking which player is closer to the puck, it is determined by which player the linesman thinks will play the puck first, not who gets to the dot first.

play-by-play guy
01-11-2014, 11:48 AM
Good posting E.
When I read the rule there are two criteria here that may be subject to interpretation and judgement:
1. "no opponent between that player and the goal line"

AND

2. "is clearly in position to be the first player to touch the puck".

If #1 isn't satisfied, then #2 doesn't apply.

Which leads to the next obvious question: How does an official judge #1?
I thought I knew, but maybe I don't. My understanding is/was that the linesmen used the face-off dots as a reference to judge #1. Perhaps I can track Mr. Shepherd down tonight to clarify.

ARM
01-11-2014, 12:07 PM
I'm not saying whether this was right or wrong, but the linesmen in this case were calling an icing and then one of the referees overruled them and set the faceoff location. My only thinking is that the referee saw that it was deflected into the zone.That play happened just below me, and a Buckeye forward was playing it back to the point along the wall, only the there was no D at that point. The referee was trying yelling "no" all the way, trying to keep the linesmen from calling the false icing. Once the whistle went, the faceoff was in the OSU zone, because that's where the Buckeyes had played it. The referee also overruled on another occasion when the linesmen were calling a delayed offside on the Gophers, but he whistled it dead for an icing that they missed.

I believe OldDave is correct in that there isn't hybrid icing in international play. However, if the officials can't move seamlessly from one rulebook to another, then they better stick to one level at a time. Many of them are referees for HS games, so I would think they are used to putting on different filters. And once they blew the first icing call and the Buckeyes bench voiced its displeasure, they should have realized that they weren't in Kansas anymore.

As for the number of penalties whistled, IMO that is on the teams. The two squads played an out-of-control game in their previous meeting. Anybody knows that the whistles are going to be blown a little quicker in the aftermath. Both teams committed a lot of unnecessary infractions. I thought the referees were decent. The lines were brutal.

CrazyDave
01-11-2014, 12:20 PM
The referee also overruled on another occasion when the linesmen were calling a delayed offside on the Gophers, but he whistled it dead for an icing that they missed.
I recall this one too. It was only the one linesman that missed the icing call, because the one trailing the play did make the initial ruling. But, again, clearly another communications breakdown. :rolleyes:

pokechecker
01-11-2014, 04:57 PM
What I do get critical about though is when an official or officials are not using proper mechanics such as getting in the right position to make a call, or in the case of last night, lack of communication.
this, and this:

I thought the referees were decent. The lines were brutal.

getting hit by a puck that is being cleared (twice) and getting hit by a player are two indications there is something lacking in the lineswomen

good players anticipate the play and get INTO position to make the play

good officials also anticipate the play and get OUT of the way and into position to make the call that needs to be made

the one good thing about last night is that bad calls went both ways
but two wrongs don't make a right, it just means you are more incompetent than the person who makes one bad call

CrazyDave
01-11-2014, 11:04 PM
Is now a good time to point out that one of the linesman from this weekend's Gopher-Buckeye series is going to Sochi to work the lines in the Olympic women's games? Really, really, REALLY hoping she's not a brutal there as she was this weekend. :eek:

CrazyDave
01-19-2014, 09:13 PM
WCHA referee helmet cam video from the Hockey City Classic women's game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXa1uDPgHzA

WiscDC
01-20-2014, 10:51 AM
I saw some ridiculous things in the North Dakota - Wisconsin series. A couple of calls were made at random, and they blatantly ignored everything else, even things about 10 feet in front of their faces with no obstructions.

Timothy A
01-20-2014, 12:37 PM
I saw some ridiculous things in the North Dakota - Wisconsin series. A couple of calls were made at random, and they blatantly ignored everything else, even things about 10 feet in front of their faces with no obstructions.

Having attended all but 1 UW home game, the reffing is bad as usual. For the sue series, they reviewed goals that were clearly goals, which did hurt the sue's and UW's momentum overall. I'm all for getting it right, but you have to trust what you saw. Langley called abosolutely nothing all weekend, and Worozidlo made some calls, but couldn't decide who did what, so she'd match them up. She did call a total bs hooking on Ammeraman Sunday. There was one time where Langley allowed UW to change players and should not have. She timidly signaled it's ok to change UW, then the sue head coach just shook his head and looked down. You can check out the UW thread for specific discussions, but overall the reffing that I have seen in Madison was been horrible. There was one decently series I recalled being reffed, I think it was the OSU one.

Eeyore
01-20-2014, 12:56 PM
I have nothing to say about the officiating at the Hockey City Classic because I couldn't see the game well enough to judge. But there were some strange penalties called yesterday, including an interference call on Hannah Brandt when she was standing still. In compensation, there was at least on case of a Gopher getting called for one of the most obvious hooking penalties I've seen in a while having the gall to look disbelieving.

There was also another instance of the linesman dropping the puck on a face-off while a line change was incomplete. In this instance, like the couple of times it happened at Ridder a week ago, the ref had very clearly allowed the change and was still out of position herself. In this case it meant the three of them all scrambling to get into position rather than the players needing to scramble back on to the bench but it was still a ridiculous situation.

In the end I can live with the bad penalty calls. Given that none of us can come up with a crew of refs that we like it's probably a harder job than we give it credit for. But the things that involve basic lack of communication, such as these face-off snafus and all of the times when the back linesman is signalling no icing and the leading linesman blows the whistle anyway really are inexcusable.

WiscDC
01-20-2014, 02:04 PM
Having attended all but 1 UW home game, the reffing is bad as usual. For the sue series, they reviewed goals that were clearly goals, which did hurt the sue's and UW's momentum overall. I'm all for getting it right, but you have to trust what you saw. Langley called abosolutely nothing all weekend, and Worozidlo made some calls, but couldn't decide who did what, so she'd match them up. She did call a total bs hooking on Ammeraman Sunday. There was one time where Langley allowed UW to change players and should not have. She timidly signaled it's ok to change UW, then the sue head coach just shook his head and looked down. You can check out the UW thread for specific discussions, but overall the reffing that I have seen in Madison was been horrible. There was one decently series I recalled being reffed, I think it was the OSU one.

During the Bemidji State series, I heard multiple remarks on how uncontroversial the officiating was, and I agreed.

Timothy A
01-26-2014, 10:15 AM
Yesterday's UW-dawgs game was a trip-fest, but I think only 1 was called. Those plays are either trips or dives, they have to call that crap both ways. What a sad state of affairs.