Western Hockey League referee Chris Crich was awarded the WHL’s Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy as the league’s top official for the second straight year

Crich, in his 17th season, made his league debut as a linesman in 2006 before making the jump to referee in 2007.  The 39-year-old Alberta native has officiated nearly 700 regular season games, along with over 100 playoff matches. He’s also worn the stripes for six WHL Championship series, as well as the 2019 Memorial Cup.


From the WHL:

“It is once again humbling to be included in a group of names of previous winners – Tom Kowal, Brad Meier, Kevin Acheson, Chris Savage, as well as a couple current teammates of mine, Brett Iverson and Jeff Ingram,” Crich said. “I share this award with many people, most importantly my family – my wife Alexis, thank you for the continued support every year. If it wasn’t for you looking after our boys, I would not be able to continue this passion of mine.

“To my boys, Carson and Cooper, thank you for being my biggest fans. My favourite games were always the ones where you were at the tunnel to greet me going on or coming off the ice. I will miss those the most.

“To my parents – for the continued support through 17 years in the Western Hockey League, plus many more before that. The encouragement was needed to keep going on a lot of nights. You were always there for a phone call to talk about the good games, but most importantly the tough games. To the rest of my family on both sides, thank you – I share this award with all of you.”


In addition to his back-to-back Paradice trophies, Crich was also recently honored by the WHL for his outstanding achievements with the league’s Milestone Award.

Prior winners of the WHL’s Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy for Western Hockey League Official of the Year, which is voted upon by the league’s general managers:

2022-23: Chris Crich
2021-22: Chris Crich
2020-21: Not presented due to COVID-19
2019-20: Jeff Ingram
2018-19: Brett Iverson
2017-18: Brett Iverson
2016-17: Brett Iverson
2015-16: Chris Schlenker
2014-15: Reagan Vetter
2013-14: Nathan Wieler
2012-13: Nathan Wieler
2011-12: Pat Smith
2010-11: Matt Kirk
2009-10: Chris Savage
2008-09: Chris Savage
2007-08: Andy Thiessen
2006-07: Andy Thiessen
2005-06: Kyle Rehman
2004-05: Rob Matsuoka
2003-04: Rob Matsuoka
2002-03: Steve Kozari
2001-02: Kevin Acheson
2000-01: Kevin Acheson
1999-00: Mike Hasenfratz
1998-99: Kelly Sutherland
1997-98: Brad Meier
1996-97: Tom Kowal
1995-96: Lonnie Cameron
1994-95: Tom Kowal

* Current NHL Official / Former NHL Official