Situation #1:
From the view that you, the fan saw, it looked like Jamie was being hooked and from that view it looks like a no brainer. Therefore, of course a minor penalty should be called for ‘Hooking’ against Darcy. It is very obvious and if the Referee viewed the play from the same place you were seated  maybe a penalty would be called. From a game management point of view, by calling a hooking penalty against Darcy at this point in the game would probably help to alleviate the imbalance of penalties on the score sheet and quiet down the crowd.

However, as a referee you must remember that by creating a power play it is likely that the Blue team will score (as they are the stronger team) and this may change the entire momentum of the game in favor of the Blue team. The Blue team may end up tying the game afterwards with the momentum on their side and they even might win the game. But hey, we can’t tell the future so we must call what we see. From the  vantage point of the original photo you would call a hooking penalty against the white player and that would be it.

But Wait a minute! 

The referee has blown the play dead and called penalties to both players!

He called a penalty against the Blue player, Jamie, for ‘Holding the Stick’ and against the white player, Darcy, for ‘Hooking’. 

You are stunned and can’t believe your eyes. However, in the picture that you see above (the exact view that the Referee had on the play) you can see that even though Darcy did put his stick up under Jamie’s arm, which he shouldn’t have done, Darcy was not trying to hook Jamie, he was merely trying to get his stick back from Jamie who was holding onto the stick in an attempt to draw a penalty and get his team on the power play.

Why would the Referee call a penalty on both players? 

Perhaps the referee wanted to communicate to both teams that Darcy did place a little hook (that would normally not be called) but Jamie was also guilty of holding Darcy’s stick and therefore by assessing both players a penalty at this point in the game, both the coaches and the fans may realize what just happened and it will in essence keep the game "under control". 

Furthermore, by assessing both players penalties, no team will receive a power play for something that normally would not have been called.

Other options for the referee would be to not even call a penalty, but then the fans and coaches (who had the vantage point of the original photo which showed what the view behind the play)  would be upset because no hooking call was made.

He could have called a penalty on Blue for ‘Holding the Stick’ but this call would not be too popular with the locals and especially not the Blue team’s coaching staff as they have already received the majority of the penalties in the game. Especially a non-impact penalty such as ‘Holding The Stick’ this late in the game. It likely would have resulted in the coach being ejected for over-reacting and the game would end in a terrible battle.

He could have called a penalty on White for ‘Hooking’ and no coaches or fans would be upset because from their vantage point it looked like an obvious hook. The only one in the whole arena who saw the holding the stick was the referee. However, the referee must call what he sees and not what he thinks the coaches or fans see, regardless of the possible reaction.

This example gives a good lesson about how a referee may see something completely different from what what the fans or coaches see. It does not mean that anyone is wrong by making the call they thought should be made. It is just that the referee’s vantage point is all that counts in the final decision and he only has a split-second to factor in all of the above scenarios.



Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved
Infocom Canada Business Consultants Inc.
Phone: (705) 969-7215      Email