Ice Hockey Officials of Northern California
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Scheduling Process

Whenever possible, IHONC schedules games 1-3 weeks in advance. On the 15th of each month, IHONC sends an email to all officials asking them to provide their available dates and times for the following month. (See below for a list of other factors the schedulers consider when assigning games). Please change your availability as often as your life changes, to avoid cancellation fees.

In some cases, scheduling more than 2 weeks out is not possible: for example, at the beginning of each season when some leagues are still finalizing their schedules, or for tournaments. Some leagues (particularly NorCal youth) schedule games on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Also, during the month, schedule changes are sometimes needed. This can happen when an official cancels an assignment, or when a league adds a game. In these cases, the schedulers may assign the games to an available official, or they may post games as "available".

When the schedulers post an "available" game, email is automatically sent to all officials who are eligible for the game. Those who want the assignment can use the web site to request it. The schedulers can then assign the game to one of those who requested it.

All forms of scheduling are dependent on your submitted availability. It is to your advantage to keep your availability as accurate as possible. If your availability is restricted, you will receive fewer assignments, and you will be notified of fewer "available" games. If your availability is overly optimistic, you may find yourself having to decline assignments. You will be fined for declining an assignment for which you were marked available at the time of scheduling.

Players, please note: if you have told the web site what team you play on -- in other words, if the games you play are showing up on your IHONC calendar -- there is no need to update your availability to block out the times you are playing. We automatically assume you are not available when playing (although we will still notify you of available games during those times, just in case). You do still need to update your availability to reflect team practices and other events that don't show up on your IHONC calendar.

When you are assigned a game, you will receive an email, and the assignment will be posted on the IHONC web site. In addition, officials will receive a reminder email on the day before the assignment (unless they have disabled this feature). It is important that you check your email at least once every 72 hours: otherwise, you might miss a scheduled assignment. The fines for missing assignments are significant. Also, missed games can result in being offered fewer assignments. (If you are assigned a game that is less than 72 hours away, the scheduler will get your acknowledgement by phone unless he sees that you have visited the web site since the game was assigned to you.)

NOTE: While IHONC will always send out email notifications and reminders, email delivery is not always reliable for reasons that are largely beyond our ability to control, such as spam filtering by the receiving email server. You are responsible for checking the website periodically to make sure you do not miss assignments. In accordance with our 72 hour notification policy, a login once every couple of days should suffice to make sure you know of all schedule changes ahead of time.

If you need to decline or cancel an assignment, send the scheduler an email. If the assignment is less than 72 hours away, you must also phone the scheduler and get acknowledgement from him.

Adult/College games: Todd Llewellyn referee@ihonc-ca.com 925-785-9608
Youth games: Mark Mauro mmauro1207@aol.com 650-208-4820
Fines will apply. Watch for the automated email that shows the game has been removed from your schedule; if you don't receive it, remind the scheduler. Do not attempt to find a substitute yourself; you may not be aware of key information needed to choose a proper substitute, and it won't save you the fine in any case.

Please be aware that Todd and Mark are the only schedulers for IHONC. If someone else "assigns" you to an IHONC game, that assignment is not valid and you may not be paid for the game.

If an official is missing for a game in progress, someone must immediately phone the scheduler. (Often you can ask a rink employee to do that, so you don't delay the game further.) If another official is present whom IHONC considers eligible for the game in question, that official may replace the missing official. At that point the missing official has forfeited the games; if he arrives later, it is the replacement official's choice whether to finish the game(s) or to allow the late official to take over.

If no replacement official is available, the remaining official(s) are encouraged to work the game without the missing official. (They will be paid appropriately, as long as the scheduler has been called.) If the game gets out of hand and the remaining official(s) feel that they are unable to work the game without their missing partner, they may suspend the game, but this should be done only as a last resort in extreme cases.

Working a game short-handed is never pleasant and sometimes disastrous. If your personal schedule permits, when you finish your game assignments for the day, it is good form for you to wait to see if all of the incoming officials show up for the following game. If not, and if you are eligible, you can volunteer to take a missing official's place and thereby save a fellow official from an unpleasant experience.


IHONC schedules games based on various factors:

  • Eligibility: Your IHONC rating governs the assignments that you are offered. In addition, IHONC will avoid scheduling a youth official for a game with older players. And IHONC avoids scheduling any official for a game in the same league and level where they play.
  • Availability: IHONC schedules games based on your stated preferences for dates and times, rinks, leagues and levels. In general, the more leagues and rinks you will work, and the more available you are, the more assignments you will get.
  • Experience and History: IHONC schedulers take into account your experience level and past history with particular leagues, levels, roles (2-man ref, 3-man ref, or linesman), and in some cases with particular teams. Less experienced officials are usually matched up with more experienced partners.
  • Reliability: Officials who cancel or miss games will receive fewer assignments.
  • Involvement: IHONC attempts to schedule games each month for every active official who submits availability. This may not be possible in quiet months (i.e. between seasons), during playoffs (when only highly experienced officials are used), or for officials whose availability is very restricted.

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