Referees keep LNHL safe and on time

MISSISSAUGA – An event of this size required an army of people to pull off, some of whom are usually taken for granted. But anyone who has tried to organize a sporting event anywhere near this magnitude, will know that scheduling on and off ice officials is a nightmare of its own.

But since the li’l NHL began operating out of the City of Mississauga, this chore has been taken off the plate of already overloaded organizers.

That is another reason organizers have settled on Mississauga as the host city.

“The City looks after that for us,” said LNHL president Marvin Assinewai. “It’s great. All we have to do is send them the schedule and they do the rest through the Mississauga Minor Hockey system.”

With 178 teams playing multiple games over three days and nights, it requires a lot of man-hours for referees, linesmen and time keepers, many of whom seem to never leave the arenas.

They carry the responsibility of not only officiating all the games, but do their best to keep to a strict timeline for the tournament itself. That requires, in some cases, allowing the clock to run down when there is a blowout game, or restricting the on-ice post game celebrations to get that Zamboni on the ice as soon as possible to get ready for the next.

There was only one incident that required referee intervention on the ice out of around 300 games, but that too is the responsibility of the game officials. Added to that is a legion of volunteers and friendly arena staff keeping the various arenas clear of trash.

All-in-all it was a very smooth running tournament which stayed on time for the most part, and for that Assinewai is very grateful.

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