CARHA Hockey and the CARHA Hockey World Cup stand united with the people of Ukraine

Q&A with Sean Ireland

How long have you been involved in hockey as a player and/or referee?
Like many young Canadians, I have been involved in hockey since I was 10 years old.  I played in the local house league until I was 19 years old. By then, I had become busy with school and work. Although I stopped playing, I never stopped watching hockey.  Then when I was older, I started playing again and I also started refereeing.  So altogether I have been playing and refereeing for roughly 37 years.

What part of the CARHA Hockey World Cup experience as a referee are you most excited for?
This will be the first CARHA event I will take part in.  I think I am most excited for the whole experience of being a part of the CARHA World Cup. I am really looking forward to meeting the other officials that have been selected to work in the tournament, and I am also looking forward to meeting and interacting with the players and seeing all the different levels of hockey at the tournament. For myself, it is all about the love for the game of hockey that I have had since I was young.

What inspired you to be a referee and get involved in adult rec hockey?
Unlike most officials, I only started refereeing later in life.  I had been wanting to start playing hockey and missed the registration date for my local men’s / Oldtimers hockey league.  However, I would still go out to the arena and watch the league games as I’d intended to register for the following season.  It was at this time that one of the league’s referees approached me and asked if I had ever refereed any hockey. When I told him I had not, he asked me if I’d like to learn, that they would gladly teach me, and that it would be a good way to get to know the guys in the league. The following week I showed and although I was extremely nervous, my partner was a great teacher, and the guys in the league were very welcoming. My love for refereeing started that night.

It was a week or two later that I was talking to a friend at work who I knew was a minor hockey official. I was telling him how much I was enjoying refereeing, and he suggested that I contact the local minor hockey referee in chief to ask about refereeing minor hockey. That fall I took my certification course, and I have never looked back since.

I have been fortunate enough to be an official for many different levels of hockey from U9 right up to our regional Junior league, where I am currently a lineman. I have had the privilege of working many semi-final and final games in our local and regional playoffs, as well as at a yearly AAA prospect tournament. 

Like many referees you might ask, it is all about doing it for the love of the game, and the camaraderie of working with your fellow officials.

What plans do you have for your time in Richmond?
Well, I am looking forward to the opening ceremonies, and visiting the athlete’s village.  I hope to be fortunate enough to work the Feature game on Friday night, and if I am not selected, then I will be going to see the game. I also plan on visiting the Stevenson Village, and I’d like to check out the River Rock Casino night; as well as the Richmond Olympic Oval experience, and taking in the local sights like Stanley Park. 

Tell us about your favorite hockey memory/story as a ref. 
It is hard to pick out just one experience.  I have so many great memories from playing and refereeing over the years.  I think that one of my favorite things is that as a referee you have the best seats in the house for some incredible hockey! I have been fortunate enough to referee some truly incredible games over the years from Minor hockey to adult leagues, both Men’s & Women’s.

3 Responses

  1. Great to have you on board. Catch up at some point during that week
    CARHA had me write a story on my history of Refereeing. Read in Feb, ice chips. Then you will know me when to look me up. Looking forward to meeting you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *