Recently there was a Finland-Belarus -game in Tampere that was conducted as a ”test game” for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship organisation, so that everything would run as smoothly as possible in May.
Action started two hours before game, when the coordinators in charge of ceremonies went through the game with players, referees and others who follow the strict schedule. With this, they make sure everyone knows where to be in right time.
Timetable measured in seconds
At the World Championship, two hours before the first game, the events for the whole day will be rehearsed. Everything must happen on the right second – if someone is late for a half a minute, everything will be late. Actually, it's more a rule than an exception that something will be belated, and on then everyone just have to adjust to the situation. The audience rarely even notices this.
Use of time for events and transitions has been tested and estimated to work smoothly second-to-second, and pattern is quite the same that will be used in the Championship. The protocol for 2012 IIHF WM was tested in the Tampere game, and if there appears something that needs fixing, it will be done to the Championship.
WM-protocols longer than usual
Protocol in IIHF WM is a bit more complicated than in regular league games. Even if there's nothing happening during intermissions, before and after the game the ceremonies are always held according to the rules. The structure of ceremony preceding a game can vary a lot depending on situation, but after-game ceremony usually doesn't change at all.
Likewise, on Euro Hockey Tour amount of ceremonies can vary depending on tournament, whereas in World Championships pattern stays quite the same.
Coordinator has time to eat during the periods
Even though the organisation has a strict minute schedule, there's plenty of waiting as well, when things are done precisely on said time, not earlier or later. Because the majority of events happen to fall on intermissions, before and after the game, during periods the coordinator in charge has time, for instance, to go eat.
Some matters need to be taken care of during periods, too, e.g. giving instructions for those taking part in awarding ceremony during intermission.
After making sure everyone is present, the coordinator in Tampere told how and in what order the awards of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association will be given, and on what time the part takers should be on rink side. Once the period had ended, the ones being awarded were organized to the order they'd receive their trophies, commentator were instructed, and ceremony could begin on the exact stroke.
When best players of the game have received their awards after game, coordinator's day is close to be finished as well. Does one doing this job need to have an excellent inner clock, or can you always check from somewhere?
”A bit of both,” says Kimmo Oikarinen, who was taking care of ceremonies during FIN-BLR game.
”Getting a routine matters quite a lot.”