NHL referees spend very little time as a cohesive unit together. Yet, despite being miles apart for the majority of the year, they’re expected to remain consistent with one another–and learn from one another’s mistakes.
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This has previously been addressed through the use of video footage, filmed both through regular ice-level cams and through handheld cameras toted around by officials trainers. Both methods work well enough, and at least provide on-ice coverage of various scenarios that need to be addressed in training and development for ice referees.
In the past two seasons, though, certain refs have suffered through having to wear ‘helmet cams’. These cameras, mounted awkwardly to their helmets, provide a literal in-person view of plays as they occur. Refs wore these cameras during two games each in last preseason and this one, and the footage recorded will be used to help make more unified calls on specific scenarios across the league.
This is a step even beyond the handheld camera’s footage- after all, it’s one thing to be standing off to the side filming a play, and it’s quite another to be right in the midst of it recording.
Hopefully, this improvement to referee training will make game calls more cohesive from a league-wide standpoint, and will help improve the quality of the game.