Hello. My name is Brian Falker. It is with a heavy heart I must inform you that I have been told by ECRHA, PIHA, Narch, State Wars and USA Inline that my serves as a referee will never again be needed. I will deeply miss the roller hockey community I have been serving as a referee since 1999 and a player since 1983.
There was an incident two months ago, in November 2007. Over a two month period I was never told about the charges. There were three board meetings, none of which I was present for or invited to. My opinions of the events were never asked for until after I had been found guilty. The appeals process for me was a conference call, not a face to face meeting. Although I truly respect everyone who was a part of the decision I am disappointed at the lack of any due process. I was guilty until proven innocent which determined the rest of my career in a sport I have been associated with since 1983. I truly grew up in this sport, transitioning from a kid to college player to a referee. Unfortunately perceptions of me still seem to center around the young college student I was instead of the man I am now. I was notified of the final decision via e-mail, somewhat less of an explanation than I would have hoped. The other notifications (Narch, State Wars and PIHA) filtered in through both e-mail and text message respectively. My venue for airing both my concerns and story was limited and delayed. My side of the story will be made public but I do not feel this is the right time or place for that.
I am extremely thankful for all of the memories and people I have met through this sport. The roller hockey community has truly been an extension of my family from Boston to Florida to Chicago and Colorado. I would like to thank all the world class players I have had the pleasure of sharing the floor will over the last 9 years. Players like CJ Yoder, Jay Mazer, Brian and Steve Yingling, Dan Constanza, Jerry Osterkamp, Ron Tracy, Kevin Hollenbush, Greg Thompson, Jon Mosenson, John Pinheiro, Mike Hunt, Shawn Sullivan, Mike Keating and Dustin Roux have all made me a better referee and student of the game. Thank you very much gentlemen for your impacts on my life, they will never be forgotten.
A large part of my life has now been torn away but my memories will last forever. Memories of watching kids of all ages score their first goal, winning their first game and celebrate their first national championships can never be taken away. I will never forget the thousands of memories I have like when I was refereeing a 8 and under game at a Narch regional in Long Island and there was an energetic and entertaining little five year old in the game. At a face off all the parents were yelling and screaming and this kid says to me, ďDonít they know itís just a game?Ē Thatís some insight for a 5 year old. Iíll never forget the kids I watch grown up in front of me on the floor like Steven Stewart. When I first met Steven he was a tall skinny kid playing in a house league at Marple Sports Arena. He was under achieving in a B league. Now he is the best left handed goalie in the country and will be on the Drexel University Dragonís ice hockey roster next year. Congratulations on the MVG and National Championship in Detroit. I also can still see the worldís best player (CJ Yoder) scoring a natural hat trick during a MLRH game, on a penalty kill, on the small rink at Marple Sports Arena. Memories like these wonít fade.
To all players, coaches, staff and referees I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with thank you for letting me grow up in this environment. I wouldnít have had it any other way. Thank you for everything. One final thought to the sport of roller hockey, the future of this sport is tremendous. Respect the people who came before you and helped to pave your path, respect everyone who you come in contact with today and teach those below you the same skills and lessons you have learned. Thank you for everything!