Czech referee Pavel Lainka has died after being hit by a puck during a game.

Lainka, 24, sustained a serious head injury when a slapshot hit him in the side of the head during an Under-16 game between Warrior Brno and Young Dragons Šumperk on August 25.  After spending two weeks in the hospital, Lainka succumbed to his injuries on September 10. 

“After a serious injury, friend and colleague Pavel Lainka left us,” Novotny’s tweet reads. “My condolences to his family. Rest in peace.”

Lainka focused on officiating on and off the ice. Studying at Brno’s Masaryk University, the referee’s Bachelor thesis covered “identifying the cognitive skills of ice hockey referees with regard to the length of practice.”

A former player, Lainka has been a referee since 2011, now in the WSM league, the second highest league in the Czech Republic. He was extremely active and successful among the first graduates of the “Referee of the Team Sports” study program. 
Lainka also volunteered for his local Czech Extraliga club, helping track statistics for the Brno Comets (HC Komet Brno). 
KHL Armbands

KHL officials wore black armbands in memory of Lainka

“Czech Hockey has lost a very promising and prospective referee with the highest ambitions. We express our deep condolences to the family and everyone nearby,” said representatives of the Czech Ice Hockey Association.

Both junior leagues and the Czech Extraliga will observe a moment of silence in Lainka’s memory prior to their upcoming games.  

Lainka leaves behind his girlfriend, Kristýna Švarcová, who is due to give birth to their first child in two weeks. The day Lainka passed, September 10, is also Kristýna’s birthday. 

Our condolences to Lainka’s family, friends, teammates, and fellow officials.  We also send our sympathies to the teams involved and to the player who last touched the puck; may he have a strong group of family and friends who can help him through this challenging time. 

Update:  Donation Information

A ‘Transparent’ account has been made to support Kristýna Švarcová, his girlfriend; Lorin, the child they have been waiting for; and for both families that lost their great son.

The account is held under the name of Tomas Měkýš, Lainka’s close friend. It’s being managed by Měkýš, senior Czech referee Stanislav Barvíř, and international referee Roman Polák, per the wishes of Lainka’s family. 

Any donation would be greatly appreciated at this very hard time for his family.
  • Account number is 2201061562 / 2010
  • Account name: Tomas Mekys
  • IBAN: CZ4120100000002201061562
You can view the account information here, and can send funds via TransferWise.

(stick-tap to Nick Heyman for bringing this to our attention, to r/hockey for background information, and referee Jan Melc for additional background and donation information)

Scouting the Refs does not endorse TransferWise nor assume any responsibility for use of its service or related transfer of funds.