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One of my SCSU students has refereed HS girls, done USA Hockey national tournaments, and a full complement of youth and regional work. She asked her assigner to get her a couple of boys HS games. He said maybe, then proceeded to give her girls HS games only on top of U-14 and U-12s.

I caught him down here before a game as he was watching his son ref our JV. I asked him about the possibility of seeing her in one of our games. He just laughed at me.

This was during COVID, when crowds were been down anyway.

I was livid. When you combine parents with assignors who don’t see the big picture, what is the point? Not suggesting she would have been some fantastic MSHSL boys game ref, but why can’t you ease her in a little bit to see how she does— last year was the perfect time to do so!

The associations have to find a way to break in folks and give them a taste of where they could go. And they have to honestly and earnestly tell those whose time has passed that they need to draw back a bit. But it’s clear continuing the same model they have for 50 years is not going to be a recipe for success in the future.