The Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association’s referee-in-chief remembers how he got involved in officiating.
Travis Parrell started when he was still playing hockey and feels it helped make him a better player.
“I know it made me a better skater and gave me a better understanding of the game,” said Parrell.
The Amherst native, who played hockey with the CCMHA, has moved through the ranks as an officials working at all levels, including working as a linesman and referee in the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
Now, as referee-in-chief he’s working to encourage young hockey players to follow his lead. Each year the CCMHA loses officials as they move on to university and college or decide to hang up the skates.
A clinic is planned for Sept. 28 at the Springhill campus of the Nova Scotia Community College at 9 a.m. The clinic is for Levels 1 to 3 and people can register via Hockey Canada’s e-hockey portal or by showing up the morning of the clinic.
Parrell said there is a cost to officiate and to purchase equipment, but he’s hoping minor hockey will provide some assistance while there is lots of referee equipment out there for new officials to buy second hand.
Along with Parrell, there are numerous examples of other officials from Cumberland County excelling provincially and regionally. Kurtis Langille, for example, worked games at the Hockey Nova Scotia high performance camps this past summer and he was called to attend an elite clinic at St. Francis Xavier University.
Langille, who also came through the CCMHA as a player, has been invited to officiate in October’s Atlantic Challenge Cup that brings the top players and officials together for a weekend showcase.
As well, official Quentin Knock was recently recognized with the Jordan Boyd Memorial Leadership Award and Scholarship.
“I think both of their accomplishments say a lot about what they’ve learned as officials with the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association,” Parrell said.
Just as lots of effort is put into developing players, Parrell said work is also being done of developing officials. He said the CCMHA is hoping to be part of the Team Stripes program that offers both on-ice and off-ice training for referees and linesmen.
The program is run by former NHL referee Don Koharski of Dartmouth
The clinic is open to people ages 13 and up.
For more information, people can contact Parrell at 902-669-1930 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .