Another AIHL Jamboree gone by, still the same issues.
First off, for the most part, it was a great weekend. Got to see a lot of great teams and players as well as play a few of them. 495ers pro team looks insanely good. I enjoyed watching them, a TON of talent, size, and more important, a very smart team.
Anyways, on to my rant...
Every year in these Jamborees, the officiating is always WAY off. It seems as a whole, they ask all referees to tighten down on all calls for this weekend. I do not understand why all season long they let you play hockey, then when it comes jamboree time, the style of play is that of a 10U houseleague game. Some teams travel so far to play these jamborees, just to get there and see the entire style of the game changed. This weekend, if you were 5'4 103 lbs, you had the advantage. You could not touch anyone with a stick, or even bump someone with a body. If someone had the puck in the corner, you could not press them in the corner or fight for the puck...that would be a hold or roughing. If you did not intercept a pass, or get a rebound, you could never get the puck without getting called for a penalty. If this is the correct calling....then why is it during finals weekend, playoffs, and rest of season, none of this is called??? If this is the way roller hockey is suppose to be played, no wonder Ice hockey players make so much fun of this sport.
The game I am most referring to, was Richmond Robins minor vs Long Island 495ers minor, however, it pretty much happened all weekend. Richmond took this game 5-4 in OT. I feel that mentioning the fact that we won that game, does not make me look like a pissed off poor sport. This game was a rematch of last years Eastern Conference Finals....LET US PLAY HOCKEY!!
That being said, the game is 24 minutes long. This game consisted of 14 individual penalties, equaling 28 minutes in penalty time. There was not a single penalty that would be considered dirty. A lot of the penalties, players only did a simple stick check, or a small bump fighting for a loose puck. One call they made against 495ers with only minutes left in the game, the guy was called for hooking me as I skated by him......he never even touched me with any part of his stick or body. I went on to score the PP goal to take the lead 4-3 with only a few minutes left. Yes, this went in our favor, but SUCH a terrible call. I even told the ref that the guy never touched me (after the game of course), he said "He viciously tried to hook you" .....I never realized that an ATTEMPTED minor penalty IS a penalty...
This is a GREAT league, with a TON of great players. The referees should NOT determine the outcome of the game. These games should be won by the teams themselves. The games are short enough as it is, they need to lighten up the calls, or not make the penalties 2 minutes.
The only reason I am even posting this is, I spoke with 495er players during the game, and they felt the same way we did. Let us play hockey!
Shawn Rogowski #2