The Swedish Ice Hockey Association, together with the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan, will hold the first ever Referee Showcase on May 21.
The Referee Showcase is a meeting and test event for current game officials from Sweden’s national third division and top Under-20 and Under-18 leagues. Also invited are high-level players considering a jump to officiating.
Each league will provide an overview, along with their plans, expectations, and demands of referees and linesmen. League managers will meet with the prospective zebras, providing an opportunity for interaction and question-and-answer sessions.
The prospects will also participate in a battery of physical fitness tests to gauge their strength, endurance, and abilities.
“The Referee Showcase is really something we missed for several years,” said Joel Hansson, Referee-in-Chief of the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. “Creating another competition and arena for [officials to] interact and meet people from the other leagues is really key to continuing the positive development of future elite officials. I believe that this event will create a greater understanding of what is needed and gives the game officials an opportunity to show different sides of themselves, both on the ice and on the off the ice. “
Tomas Thorsbrink, Referee-in-Chief for HockeyAllsvenskan agrees.
“[The Referee Showcase is] a great opportunity for us to meet the future of HockeyAllsvenska referees and linesman,” said Thorsbrink, who supports opening up the camp to experienced players that may look to continue their hockey careers as referees and linesmen.
“It will be a tough day,” adds Thorsbrink, “so I hope everyone comes well prepared. Mentally and physically. “
The SHL’s Peter Andersson sees a number of benefits in the implementation of a referee showcase:
“I see it as an excellent opportunity for SHL to meet our future possible SHL game officials personally,” Andersson said. “It is also a good opportunity to give players who have been active at high level the opportunity to show themselves and also get a good introduction to the work as game officials.
Sweden currently has 12 full-time referees in their top league . The Referee Showcase will likely help them find the next candidates to join that select group and identify a few more talented individuals to wear the stripes in Sweden.