A Level 5 official who has called games at all levels of hockey, Flood has been around the game in a number of capacities, but this weekend in Gander will be his first time attending HNL’s annual general meeting.
He’s excited about continuing his commitment to lend a helping hand to young officials coming up through the ranks and he’s learning a thing or two about what concerns people have about officiating, so he’s getting comfortable with each day as he talks to officials about how they can be better at what they do and how to deal with some of the challenges they will encounter when they are the ones on the ice with whistle in mouth.
“It’s been a real learning curve for me,” Flood said.
The Western Star talked to Flood about his goals for his first year in the position earlier this week.
Here are the five most important goals for the new referee-in-chief heading into his first season in the volunteer role with Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador:
1. The biggest issue is the supervision of officials. He spoke with an official last year who never had an evaluation done on him in 17 years, and he believes this isn’t good enough. He wants every official on the island to have an evaluation done at least once a year and that’s what he’s going to be promoting to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador.
2. Recruitment of female officials is also high on the priority list. The growth of girls’ hockey is exponential and he doesn’t see why there shouldn’t be some correlation between the number of girls who want to officiate and the number of girls who want to play.
3. Having a female official serve an official capacity on the provincial referees organization this season is something that should come to fruition with HNL’s female hockey officials playing a role in finding a person to serve on the executive board.
4. Addressing the serious concern about abuse of officials. Some minor hockey associations have policies in place to deal with parents, spectators or players subjecting a young official to abuse, but the new referee-in-chief will ask HNL to put together a committee through the minor hockey council to come up with an abuse policy that will see all associations on the same page.
5. Build a good working relationship with the new supervisor of officials (Ted Murphy of St. John’s) and the seven zone co-ordinators across the province in an effort to meet the demands of the various levels of hockey under the HNL banner. He hopes to make this happen by creating a better environment for learning and teaching.