Tri-City Storm Hockey

Today is:

                                                        Off-Ice Officials
Goal Judges

        In the early games the Goal Judges were sometimes called umpires and were selected from the fans in the audience. They stood on the ice behind the goal and would raise a flag when a goal was scored. Since there was no net, the Goal Judge would then have to go get the puck. If he missed seeing a goal, that team might pepper him with “wild” shots the next time they were at that end of the ice.

        Over time the goal frame and net were added, the Goal Judge moved back to stand behind the end boards of the rink, and a light instead of a flag was used to signal a goal. It was not until the 1960’s that the NHL required a protected area in which the Goal Judge would be seated. The Goal Judges probably figured it was about time. Some thirty years earlier in a game between the Chicago Black Hawks and New York Americans, Chicago scored but the light did not go on. When the Referee checked to see what the problem was, he found that some New York fans were holding the Goal Judge’s hands so he could not turn on the goal light.

        Even now in the older USHL arenas not all Goal Judges sit in protective boxes.


        The Timekeepers’ jobs are not easy either. The Penalty Timekeeper must be very careful to keep accurate time. Releasing a player from the penalty box too early or waiting too long might make the difference between winning or losing a game. His job was even more difficult in the early days when there was only one penalty box for both teams. Can you imagine what it was like when two players penalized for fighting had to sit in the same box?

        The Game Timekeeper's job is easier now compared to the early days when all they had was a round-faced clock with a minute hand and a second hand. Once when the end of a game was delayed over a discussion of time differences between the timekeeper's clock and the referee’s stopwatch, two fans, a husband and wife who were cheering for opposing teams, got into such a heated argument that the wife stabbed the husband in the shoulder. Fortunately the husband survived. [We don’t know if the marriage did, however.]

(From The Official Rules of Hockey by James Duplacey)


Revised: 06/29/2016