USA Hockey Magazine

December 2018

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42 // DECEMBER 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM T om Chmielewsk i sta r ted of f iciating youth hockey ga mes a s a 12-year-old and worked his way up through Junior hockey a nd t h r e e m i nor pr o le a g ue s . He c r e d it s h i s t i me at US A Hockey's annual Officiating Development Training Camp with helping him get over the f ina l hurd le a nd into the Nationa l Hockey League. "The camp taught me how to referee a game, how to interact with players and coaches, how to work out, how to skate better – really just how to become a professional," said Chmielewski, who made his debut as an NHL referee in 2014. For America's best young amateur officials, the camp is the place to jumpstart a career in the game. The weeklong preseason camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., features on-ice drills, fitness testing and classroom sessions that include rules interpretations, instruction on communication techniques and advice on lifestyle choices. "If you want to be the best official that you can be and want to make that commitment, then this is the place to go," said Scott Zelkin, the manager of USA Hockey's Officiating Development Program. "We try to give them the resources to handle the challenges they deal with on and off the ice. We give them the coaching, direction and training that will help them go as far as they can." Ve t e r a n o f f i c i a l T i m M a y e r h a s w o r k e d f o u r I I H F Wo r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d t h e 2 0 1 8 O l y m p i c W i n t e r G a m e s i n PyeongChang, South Korea. He has also worked in the American Hockey League since 2010. He was an inexperienced young official when he attended his first development camp where he remembers "being immersed in officiating." "I asked so many questions. I loved it," Mayer recalled. "They bring in so many high-quality officials to teach, and if you keep your ears and eyes open you can learn so much. It's important to have a place to PHOTOS BY Rena Laverty GROUND PROVING Officiating Development Camp Helps Aspiring Refs Earn Their Stripes By Philip Colvin

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