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A word from the ODC: Overview of upcoming Referee Summer Camp

Scott Lawson of the GTHL’s Officiating Development Committee gives an overview of the 2023 GTHL Summer Camp ahead in August  

With another hockey season right around the corner, registration for upcoming clinics is likely top of mind for new and returning officials. We all know the routine: trying to find your bag, all the corresponding equipment that helps Greater Toronto Hockey League officials keep the first-rate standard that makes them such a fantastic group and shake the dust off.  

But what about wiping the dust off your rule knowledge and sharpening your skills – just as you would sharpen your skates – and prepare your mental skills for another season, too? Luckily, the Canadian School of Hockey Officiating powered by the GTHL can help you expand your rule knowledge just in time for hockey season.  

I’m Scott Lawson and I am a proud alumnus of The Canadian School of Hockey Officiating. I attended the school, more commonly known as Referee Summer Camp, over 15 years ago in August 2007. Since then, I have spent the last nine-plus seasons working as a linesperson in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), attended numerous high performance officiating seminars, and have taught at the last two OHL Officiating Prospect Combines. With that, I can say from firsthand experience, nothing is going to prepare you for your season in the GTHL, or any minor hockey league, quite like The Canadian School of Hockey Officiating.  

In reflecting on my experience at The Canadian School of Hockey Officiating, my first thought is the confidence I gained after attending and learning from the best in the officiating development world. I believe attending any of the programs at The Canadian School of Hockey Officiating can help new or experienced officials gain confidence and expand their officiating knowledge. Officiating emulates life – the learning never stops no matter where you are in your career, on or off the ice.  

With experience assisting with the preparation for this year’s Referee Summer Camp, I can say that this year’s blend of in-class and on-ice sessions will help prepare you for the hockey season ahead like no other program. The instructors and clinic facilitators have been working overtime to provide you – the participant – with the best experience possible. Whether it’s providing new and engaging ways to help expand rule knowledge; finding new methods and ideas from the best to help you better interact with coaches, players, and fellow officials; working to expand our video education platforms to better educate and provide new perspectives; or just being able to provide practical knowledge and lived experiences, our team is working to ensure the 2023 Referee Summer Camp is unparalleled within the hockey community in preparing officials. To top it all off, attending the 2023 Referee Summer Camp will not only expand and improve your officiating skills, but it will also provide you with the necessary recertification items, as required by Hockey Canada, to be certified to officiate for the 2023-24 season – and all this before the season has even begun!  

So, where do you go from here?  

At time of writing, the Quick Start program is just about at capacity and the Becoming an Elite official and Experienced Official Refresher programs aren’t far behind. To expand your knowledge, learn from the best, and be better prepared than ever before, head to gthlcanada.com/referee-summer-camp and sign up today.  

No matter how new or experienced you are in the officiating world, there is always something new to learn and a skill to be honed. Take it from me – the learning never stops and as I did some 16 years ago, make sure you sign-up to attend The Canadian School of Hockey Officiating to improve your officiating skills and be as prepared as possible for the 2023-24 season.  


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