As we grow as a league and more players join the program with varying levels of experience and rules interpretation, we want to keep CHILL games as fair as possible. As volunteer referees we do the very best job we can each and every game to ensure safety and gamesmanship. We are certainly human and make our share of mistakes and missed calls. Last year we started recording games through a GoPro helmet cam. Those videos have served multiple purposes including a way for people who couldn’t be at the game to see it, and as an instructional media for both our senior and junior referees to review calls made or potentially missed. CHILL’s two most senior referees, Matt Hackett and Jeff Murchison, spend countless hours watching videos of games recorded to provide the best results game after game. Recently, in CHILL’s most competitive division, the ECHL, a couple calls required additional attention and we asked for guidance from the Referee-In-Chief for AAU/USARS, Paul Pelletier.
We want to enforce that intentional retaliatory actions are not acceptable especially when serious injury could result. Both situations were penalized by the referee; however, after reviewing the video footage, the call as it should have been made at the time would have been a 5 minute Major Penalty to the team and Match Penalty ejection from the game (recorded on scoresheet as 10 minute penalty). As stated in the AAU rules, Match Penalty may be followed with a suspension based on the review from AAU Disciplinary Committee. After this video footage was brought to the league director's attention, he consulted with the National Referee-In-Chief for AAU/USARS and sent him the videos to review. Under his advisement after reviewing the videos, since the proper call was not made for a 5 minute major and to eject the player for the remainder of the game, the player should serve a one game suspension.
In an attempt to eliminate "intentional cheap shots," we felt the appropriate course of action was to suspend both players for their next regularly scheduled game. Again, we try to make the calls on the rink to the best of our knowledge and ability, but in this instance, having not dealt with this type behavior with any regularity only two-minute minor penalties were assessed for interference and roughing. There are multiple reasons a player could be suspended from playing. But to be clear, we operate under the rules of AAU/USARS and intent to injure another player is a Match Penalty according to AAU and each player should have been ejected from the game.