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Hockey referees setting the tone

01-11-2012 16:17 BJT Special Report:12th National Winter Games |

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Ice hockey is considered one of the world’s fastest sports. So, referees overseeing the activity need to be able to keep, but at the same time not get caught up in the action.

The referees officiating the ice hockey competitions at the National Winter Games, are all Chinese. Most have received their credentials from the Asian Ice Hockey Federation.

It might be interesting for spectators to witness how referees work during a game. According to the International Hockey Federation, referees are supposed to make the game as fluid as possible, which requires officials to allow incidental contact.

Zhang Liheng, Vice Chairman of Asian Ice Hockey Refereeing Association said, "It has been a great change for Chinese referees, players and coaches to adopt the new regulations. Over the years, The International Ice Hockey Federation has been reiterating that the rules will remain unchanged. We are getting used to them."

Refereeing is considered a dangerous undertaking as officials have to avoid being hit by the puck or sticks. Sometimes though getting injured is inevitable as referees don’t have as much protection as the players do.

Wang Zhanyong, Asian Best Hockey Referee said, "In Feburary 2006, I was hit by a powerful slap shot by an American player, which resulted in a broken kneecap, but I love the sport, and the rink is my home."

Wang says it’s the professional experience as well as the love for the game which have been motivating him and his colleagues to continue their work despite potential risks.

Organizers say they send referees abroad each year so they can improve. In the future, China will try to introduce international referees to officiate at the National Winter Games.


Editor:Wang Xi |Source: CNTV.CN

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