Hill to officiate at world’s
Bay Roberts native a role mode for referees, says Eddie Russell
When Tyler Hill learned he was selected as a linesman for the world under-17 hockey championships in Windsor, Ont. from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5, he was shocked.
“I was very, very surprised,” the Bay Roberts native said last week.
Hi l l was at hom e whe n h e received a phone call at 11 p.m.
On the other end was Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador referee-in-chief Don Kelly, waiting to tell him of his impending trip to the tournament.
“Before the call I was kind of disappointed because I didn’t have anything yet,” said Hill.
After going to the Canada Games last winter in Halifax, Hill did not think he would be selected to go to another tournament on the mainland.
“When you go to the Atlantic Officiating Program of Excellence (AOPOE) you fall under a three-year term,” he said.
For three years, referees who attend the camp have the opportunity to go to a high profile tournament.
“I knew there was a possibility last year that I could be going,” said Hill. “However, seldom do referees get to go to two tournaments in the three years.”
Hill said Kelly was excited to deliver the news, telling hill to “do your own thing.”
“He told me I couldn’t tell anyone because the rest of the referees hadn’t been informed yet,” said Hill.
It was rough for the young official, given his understandable excitement.
“It was a rough week-and-a-half for keeping it a secret,” said Hill. “He told me I could tell my parents, but that was it.”
Hill admits he is feeling the pressure of going to a tournament featuring the best under-17 hockey talent in the world.
“I feel good but I also feel a little nervous at the same time,” he said. “I don’t really know anyone going and I have the feeling I’m going to be the youngest official there.”
Hill figures he is going to go to the tournament and “skate his ass off.”
“They are going to be a lot more strict up there,” he said. “If you miss a call, they are going to let you know about it, with some choice words mixed in.”
Keeping up on his procedures manual will be something Hill will be focusing on over the next month, making sure everything is perfect for when he goes away.
“I’ve been working out a little bit,” he said. “I haven’t had a lot of time to tell you the truth.”
Hill knows that personally, being selected, is “a big deal.”
“It’s unreal, there are going to be so many more doors open to me,” he said. “There were doors open before, but it’s all positive feedback.”
Without Eddie Russell, Hill admits he might not have gotten this far.
“I definitely would not be going without his mentorship,” he said.
Russell, the former referee- inchief at the Bay Arena, said he is excited for the opportunity that has presented itself to Hill, and is proud of him.
Bay Roberts native Tyler Hill is seen here escorting Corner Brook Royals defenceman Brad Rice to the penalty box during game action in Harbour Grace Nov. 12 at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium. Hill has been selected to work games in the upcoming world under17 tournament from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5 in Windsor, Ont.