Introduction and Concerns - Referees wanted
My name is Rebecca Breitel. I am the President of the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association. I am also an Advisor (resigned Board Member) for the NCRHA. The ECRHA is the largest individual college club inline organization in the country. We hold approximately 20 weekend events between October and April. These events are for college club team members and affiliates only. We are one of 8 organizations that make up a larger umbrella affiliation called the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA). Though NCRHA is a new organization, NCRHA is most commonly associated with the former national organization that we evolved from: CRHL (Collegiate Roller Hockey Association). One of NCRHA's goals is to be the total Governing Body for collegiate roller hockey. Organizations like ECRHA and the other 7 may someday become one total group. NCRHA (and ECRHA alike) have support from USA Hockey InLine, AAU/USARS, NARCh, and others.
Our websites are <A HREF="http://www.ecrha.net" target="_new">http://www.ecrha.net</A> and <A HREF="http://www.ncrha.org" target="_new">http://www.ncrha.org</A>
I have been a counselor, a police officer, a horse back riding instructor, and a tax specialist. I am somebody's wife, somebody's family member, somebody's friend, and a home owner. My relevant hockey background includes 10 years in the roller hockey industry. I have worked every position imaginable - front desk girl, proshop girl, concession chic, scorekeeper, referee, referee in chief, manager, league director, building supervisor, player, coach, and accountant. With my experiences and the help of one of ECRHA's most memorable founders, (Jonathan Huck) as well as other great staff like Mike Burke and Chris Rabatin, I have finally been able to make a league what I feel it should be in order to unite and grow the sport without alienating others; a league that serves all its participants, players and staff alike, as well as the inline community. I have prided ECRHA on consistency, class, dedicated quality staff, and community health, as well as players who really want more for the sport than some of the jokes of leagues they have played in. ECRHA has gained a large amount of respect in the inline industry.
However, I hear every many complaints and misdirected anger about inline hockey. Every one hits home from the disorganization of leagues and the sport, to the lack of respect from players, to the lack of any valid source to strengthen our cause, even the lack of scoresheets and simple items at rec leagues and in tournament series.
I have grown totally intolerable of the disunity of this sport; the whining and complaining too. My current issue this month is that my referees are burnt. They are not burnt by ECRHA per se. They are burnt by the sport and all the reffing they are doing elsewhere. They cannot make a living from my organization and most of them are gypsies to reffing inline. No one person's organization can sustain them a living. Quality refs dont come out of the woodwork either. Any one of these guys (and gals) should they return to serious reffing, want to return to ECRHA where they are respected by the organization and the teams (we are in our off season now). We do not tolerate BS from teams or players and the teams of ECRHA pride themselves on this also. We have a great balance of Staff Association : Players Association. But I am concerned about our fleet of officials. It has withered.
ECRHA is a travel organization. We operate events from New England down to VA and west to Ohio. We need refs in all the areas and people willing to commit weekends and travel. Problem with reffing in inline is the lack of money. ECRHA is no exception. The going rate for a QUALITY org with quality refs is $20-$30 a game (games are always under an hour). This is not acceptable, I know, but it is reality. ECRHA pays higher too than many other inline organizations. Because of the classy league we run, refs have loved to officiate for us giving us the ability to choose the best ones. In return, the players expect only the best officials. In the cycle, I warn teams that as they abuse refs, refs will become eventually burn out and leave as well as grow intolerant and vie for more money, which I will almost always support knowing this comes from dedicated great officials.
Sadly, most of these great officials are gypsies now and are all burnt. They have taken on thankless (and payless) roles as Referee In Chiefs in other tournament series and local rinks. They have given much of themselves to train other officials and teach other organizations what ref's needs and desires are. Every year I see 1-3 quality inline guys burn out.
I am concerned. ECRHA requires about 40 officials to get through a 650 game season. I am hearing this issue from many other administrators. I am obviously concerned for ECRHA mostly, but I am also concerned for the health of these officials.
I assure you that there is one organization out there that operates with quality and class. We were built by players who wanted better from the industry and a future in roller hockey so they acted like better people and built an amazing league.
Anyhow, I just wanted to introduce (reintroduce) myself here. As a top administrator, I too am burning out. I have recently resigned my Board position on the National level, which is an organization that I actually helped found (but remain as 1 of the 3 advisors). And as the President and League Director for ECRHA, I am concerned about not being able to give top quality to our teams this year because the entire staff is burnt. Our RIC also recently resigned because his priorities are his real career and family and inline has burnt him out too. He stuck with it and ECRHA for as long as he could.
Ever hear the saying that leaders take on the most? This is why we are all burnt. Every employee and every referee in ECRHA is a leader in some aspect. And the officials who make it past the annual clinic/camp show it in every facet of their lives - specifically in their value, leadership, and dedication to inline hockey. Most of them would have been so much more successful if they stuck with ice hockey or went to it - and some are. Many of them have over the years too. I applaud them for their dedication to inline all these years. Our RIC would have been officiating in the highest ice ranks by now, no doubt. He was the youngest level 4 official in NY at one time many years ago. He chose to play though and didn't make the NHL. He hung his ice skates up at age 18 and dealt with life beyond hockey. He has never gone back to ice. Its now 10 years later. We were lucky to have him in inline for as long as we have.
If you are in the North east and think you might be interested in reffing for ECRHA, please email me at [email protected]
or IM me at screen name BESTREFSofLI. We are looking for THE BEST!
Thanks for reading! I need some hope too :)