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Harry Cleverly
02-15-2012, 06:47 PM
There is a school of thought that the best officials will call the same penalty in the last five minutes of games that they did in the first five minutes of a game. After all, a penalty is penalty, and the game situating and timing should not matter.
But we all know that it does matter. And more officials than not will swallow their whistles towards the end of close games. The excellent book "Scorecasting" explains that this is because 'they don't want to decide the result.'
But in reality, non-calls can help to decide events as much as calls.

In Monday's Beanpot final, the officials called a tight game for the first two periods, loosened up in the third and were not going to call anything in the closing minutes of regulation.
In the overtime, they left everything go. Some would say they let the teams play.
But they not only didn't make any marginal calls, they also didn't call any of the obvious penalties.
The overtime was an up-and-down, forward-and-backward thriller. But the two referees might as well have found a Loge seat and left the game to the two linesmen.

So here is my question: Should referees swallow their whistles in the closing minutes of tied or close games, and OTs?
Or should they make the same calls at the end that they did in the beginning games?
Perhaps even a third choice, that only obvious penalties are called at the end of close/tied games?

MUnRPI
02-15-2012, 08:09 PM
There is a school of thought that the best officials will call the same penalty in the last five minutes of games that they did in the first five minutes of a game. After all, a penalty is penalty, and the game situating and timing should not matter.
But we all know that it does matter. And more officials than not will swallow their whistles towards the end of close games. The excellent book "Scorecasting" explains that this is because 'they don't want to decide the result.'
But in reality, non-calls can help to decide events as much as calls.

In Monday's Beanpot final, the officials called a tight game for the first two periods, loosened up in the third and were not going to call anything in the closing minutes of regulation.
In the overtime, they left everything go. Some would say they let the teams play.
But they not only didn't make any marginal calls, they also didn't call any of the obvious penalties.
The overtime was an up-and-down, forward-and-backward thriller. But the two referees might as well have found a Loge seat and left the game to the two linesmen.

So here is my question: Should referees swallow their whistles in the closing minutes of tied or close games, and OTs?
Or should they make the same calls at the end that they did in the beginning games?
Perhaps even a third choice, that only obvious penalties are called at the end of close/tied games?

Can't speak for the Beanpot officials but I have always felt that consistent officiating is good officiating.

mookie1995
02-15-2012, 08:15 PM
sux, sux, and sux.

aygwm2
02-15-2012, 08:17 PM
There is a school of thought that the best officials will call the same penalty in the last five minutes of games that they did in the first five minutes of a game. After all, a penalty is penalty, and the game situating and timing should not matter.
But we all know that it does matter. And more officials than not will swallow their whistles towards the end of close games. The excellent book "Scorecasting" explains that this is because 'they don't want to decide the result.'
But in reality, non-calls can help to decide events as much as calls.

In Monday's Beanpot final, the officials called a tight game for the first two periods, loosened up in the third and were not going to call anything in the closing minutes of regulation.
In the overtime, they left everything go. Some would say they let the teams play.
But they not only didn't make any marginal calls, they also didn't call any of the obvious penalties.
The overtime was an up-and-down, forward-and-backward thriller. But the two referees might as well have found a Loge seat and left the game to the two linesmen.

So here is my question: Should referees swallow their whistles in the closing minutes of tied or close games, and OTs?
Or should they make the same calls at the end that they did in the beginning games?
Perhaps even a third choice, that only obvious penalties are called at the end of close/tied games?

Put the puck in the back of the net!

Put the puck in the back of the net!

Put the puck in the back of the net!

TonyTheTiger20
02-15-2012, 08:32 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_k07pirzBU34/S1XuEqs17lI/AAAAAAAADXk/lJ7t-y2rM9g/s400/tiny-violin1.jpg

Harry Cleverly
02-16-2012, 05:32 PM
It's nice that we can have such an intelligent, general conversation on officiating consistencies. :(
This thread was not about blaming officials for anything. Only about what kind of officiating do fans prefer based on game situations.

Third Family Member
02-16-2012, 06:17 PM
There is a school of thought that the best officials will call the same penalty in the last five minutes of games that they did in the first five minutes of a game. After all, a penalty is penalty, and the game situating and timing should not matter.
But we all know that it does matter. And more officials than not will swallow their whistles towards the end of close games. The excellent book "Scorecasting" explains that this is because 'they don't want to decide the result.'
But in reality, non-calls can help to decide events as much as calls.

In Monday's Beanpot final, the officials called a tight game for the first two periods, loosened up in the third and were not going to call anything in the closing minutes of regulation.
In the overtime, they left everything go. Some would say they let the teams play.
But they not only didn't make any marginal calls, they also didn't call any of the obvious penalties.
The overtime was an up-and-down, forward-and-backward thriller. But the two referees might as well have found a Loge seat and left the game to the two linesmen.

So here is my question: Should referees swallow their whistles in the closing minutes of tied or close games, and OTs?
Or should they make the same calls at the end that they did in the beginning games?
Perhaps even a third choice, that only obvious penalties are called at the end of close/tied games?

After some 35 years of watching hockey on all levels, I can safely say I'd rather the game were called consistently from start to finish. One of the things that the late Amo Bessone (my coaching mentor) told me from the get go was that a game that is called consistently should see fewer penalties called as it goes along because the teams know what won't fly. That didn't mean the refs should swallow the whistle in the 3rd period (as you seem to think happened at the Beanpot), it meant that the players knew they had to play the game the way it was meant to be played. For me, seeing the penalties increasing throughout the game usually means a game that the referees let get out hand from the get go. The problem today, as my current coaching mentor pointed out several weeks ago, is that there is NO consistency whatsoever in the refereeing arena. Making matters worse is the appearance that some referees have not learned that a lot of what they hear should be rolling off their backs. Combine that inability with an attitude of I can do no wrong and make no mistakes and you have the crop of refs that I believe I am seeing today.

I may be old school (well there is no may about that, I am old school), but I think one of the big problems with this issue is the 2 man referee system. Go back to one man and 2 linesmen, and see if it helps, because I suspect it will. Sadly, that probably won't happen, again due to "improvements" in the game, bigger, faster players, and improved safety in the equipment. Combine that with the natural I will live forever mentality of most players who are college aged, and you get more high sticks, more checking from behind, more hits to the head, more boarding, etc. Sometimes progress isn't really progress.

Harry Cleverly
02-16-2012, 07:14 PM
Combine that with the natural I will live forever mentality of most players who are college aged, and you get more high sticks, more checking from behind, more hits to the head, more boarding, etc. Sometimes progress isn't really progress.

The full facemask, and improved protective equipment, make the players less accountable for their recklessness. A reason why many coaches would like to do away with the full shield. It seems almost backward logic that less protection could make the game safer, but it would remove some of the fearless bravado.

What you mentioned about the officials seemingly calling it tighter early, and the players realizing what they can't get away with so penalize less, is very true. For good officials.

One of the problems this year has been officials anticipating penalties, raising their arm, and still making a call even though there hasn't been a real infraction. Officials often receive directives from leagues to watch more closely for certain penalties. As the season goes on, less of those penalties are called. Is it because the officials aren't calling it as tight as they did. Or because the players stopped committing those infractions.

I prefer a more consistent enforcement of the rules, no matter what the situation.
However, the Beanpot OT, with the whistles swallowed and being digested, was as exciting a period of hockey as you could see.