Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 10/26/11 at 05:50 PM ET
From Kerry Fraser’s mailbag at TSN:
With all due respect to my colleagues in the other major sports the game of hockey is the most difficult to officiate in of all sport. Movement in an athletic shoe on firm turf, field or hardwood is much more natural than skating on a thin skate blade on ice. The very first physical requirement of the job, Greg, is that of superior skating ability. This encompasses balance, agility, mobility, foot speed forward and backwards to place yourself in the very best possible position on the ice to see play and make the best possible judgment. This skill set is a must to also avoid player and puck contact in the confined 200 x 85 foot ice surface so as to not interfere with the game flow and to provide for personal safety.
Another physical requirement beyond athleticism is what you alluded to (LOL) relative to “donuts in the dugout” which implies that a high level of physical conditioning is a must. The NHL Officiating Department, under the direction of David T. Smith, Director of Medical and Fitness sets high personal standards that each official must maintain.
read on for more on the rigors of being a NHL official
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