IIHF officiating coaches kick off the 2023-2024 season
by IIHF|12 OCT 2023
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
Officiating coaches are an active and critical part of all IIHF events that take place over the course of the season. On an annual basis, IIHF selects officiating coaches from around the world to oversee the game officials teams at global tournaments. These coaches bring an immense level of knowledge, creating an experienced and high-performing group which supports and educates IIHF licensed game officials. From 29 September to 1 October,  the IIHF gathered the 37 selected officiating coaches for a kickoff seminar to collaboratively prepare for this upcoming season.

The 2023 season will feature the most diverse group of referee coaches in the history of the IIHF. Coaches represent 18 Member National Federations, including for the first-time ever, representatives from Norway, Poland and Australia.

In the past years, a renewed focus on development has supported the growth of the referee coaching program, leading to 8 new coaches this year alone.

“Having a room filled with people of this calibre, all talking the same language, sharing their knowledge, passion and views is truly inspiring.
We came in with an open mind and left with a whole lot of knowledge on our own values as officiating coaches - how to live by them, coach by them, in our day-to-day work with the officials.
Anna Wiegand, Officiating Coach
“We are extremely proud to put together a group from all over the world that contributes to our championship program.  Our game officials play an important role in our event program and to enable the best possible coaches to work hands on with the game officials prior to, during and after events is a success factor on all levels.

Over the course of the weekend, the focus was on developing the coaches’ skills within coaching and feedback, the implementation of the IIHF Rulebook and how the joint process for preparing the game officials can be formed.”

Danny Kurmann – Officiating Manager
“An officiating coach is sharing a lot of the work and tasks as a coach does in a team of players. To have instructors as Ulrika Billme in our program is an honor as we are able to work with the latest coaching strategies and techniques to better our game officials.

In combination with the focus on coaching techniques, we also aim to find a unified standard of implementation of our playing rules and how the feedback and support from the officiating coaches play an important role in this part during our events. We have great experience in our group, both from their own on-ice experience, but also from their daily work back home in the federations and top leagues. This enables us to set a standard from our international events and out to our members league and tournaments as well.”

Over the course of the season, the officiating coaches will participate in continuing professional development through online sessions and meetings to follow up on the work from this past weekend and continued performance at all the IIHF Events and tournaments.
Joel Hansson – Officiating Development Manager