Referees reply

18 January 2012, 21:57

On the 16th of January 2012 at the press conference following the Dynamo Moscow vs. Avangard Omsk game, the Muscovites’ head coach Oleg Znarok replied to a request from one of the correspondents present to comment on an episode toward the end of the third period, when the score was 1-1 and two of his players received penalties within 1 minute and 23 seconds, forcing Dynamo to play 3-on-5 for 37 seconds.

Mr. Znarok answered, “I cannot talk about the refereeing – I’ll get a fine. After a game I head for our base, get a DVD and watch it till about four in the morning. Do the referees do this? I work on my mistakes, I am always learning, but what about the referees? Do they get a recording of the game and examine their own performance? We all make mistakes, but you have to learn from them so that you can reduce your mistakes to a minimum. But their mistakes affect the team’s results, the team’s morale, the team’s emotions and its points total.”

With regard to these comments the KHL Refereeing Department considers it appropriate and beneficial to inform Mr. Znarok of the working practices of its referees in their preparations for games.

Referees no longer use DVDs to view video footage. From the start of the current season the KHL has made available a video library – an archive of every game which has been played in the championship. Every referee, linesman, and inspector is given a password to access the video library. In preparing for games and to improve one’s own performance the referees and inspectors must view not only the games in which they have officiated, but also games involving the teams which will play in the officials’ forthcoming games.

Regardless of whether or not inspectors were present at a given game in the KHL championship, the Refereeing Department must analyze and judge the actions of the referees, and pass on complex and controversial moments for scrutiny by referees and inspectors, including officials working in the lower and junior leagues.

The Refereeing Department would also like to draw attention to the fact that criticism of the officials’ work is not automatically a punishable offense; however, such opinions expressed immediately after a game, when emotions run high, are often not entirely balanced, rational or objective.

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