College ice hockey could follow NHL and add second referee

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

University of Maine men's ice hockey head coach Tim Whitehead has proposed that the National Collegiate Athletic Association adopt the four-official system.

The system, which has two referees and two linesmen, was adopted by the National Hockey League for the 1998/99 season on a trial basis before being fully implemented for 2000/01.

“My rationale for the proposal is to get more calls right,” Whitehead told the website. “It’s about getting the best system we can for the game.”

Maine competes in Hockey East, one of six Division I conferences. Currently, Division I employs a three-official system of one referee and two assistant referees.

Adding a second referee could result in logistical and financial difficulties for both conferences and schools.

“This would open a lot of opportunities,” said Whitehead, who isn’t opposed to young, college-age officials doing his games if “they’re the best out there.”

The NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Rules Committee will vote on the proposal in June