The Ontario Hockey
Federation's Annual General Meeting was hosted on June 25th in Toronto where
they recognized their 2021-2022 award recipients.
Among the recipients were ALLIANCE Hockey's Development Coordinator - Officiating, Chadwick Houben who received the 2021-2022 OHF Staff Award.
The OHF Awards Program was introduced during the 2001-2002 season to formally recognize the efforts and achievements of volunteers and administrators who dedicate countless hours in putting the interests of our game ahead of their own.
CHADWICK HOUBEN - OHF Staff Award 2021-2022
M. Copp & C. Houben
Established in 2009, the Staff Award honours a staff person that best exemplifies the commitment to the values and objectives of the OHF and its Member Partners, exhibits pride and respect for the organizations of the OHF and its participants, demonstrates team spirit both in the office and in one’s life and shows commitment and dedication for the betterment of the game of hockey within the Branch to the level they have the ability.
Chadwick or “Chad” as he is known within ALLIANCE Hockey and the OHF, has been employed in the role of Development Coordinator – Officiating since October 2006. In this role, Chad is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the ALLIANCE Hockey Officiating Program, including annual certification coordination, assigning of officials for the U16AAA and U18AAA Leagues, special event coordination and assignments, and officiating working group liaison. Chad also coordinates all matters of discipline which includes management of hearings, suspensions, and game sheet administration.
Over the years, Chad has worked diligently to ensure that the recruitment and retention of Officials has been at the forefront of the ALLIANCE Hockey Officiating Program. Over the last few seasons, when the hockey world was turned upside down due to the Covid pandemic, Chad made sure to keep in constant communication with the Officials helping to maintain their interest in officiating and keeping them ‘in the game’ where possible. As part of this effort, ALLIANCE Hockey has been able to keep games scheduled and avoid cancellations due to Official shortages.
Chad has also worked to help evolve the Officiating Program certification clinics. He has worked with the OHF and the Referee Working Group to ensure that ALLIANCE Hockey maintains the most updated version of delivery for both the recertification and certification clinics. This is no small task as he has been faced with numerous tight timelines and an ever-changing landscape when it comes to program delivery.
Chad has been instrumental in further developing the ALLIANCE Hockey Officiating Program of Excellence which is a bi-annual development camp for young Officials. The 3-day camp hosts Officials from across ALLIANCE Hockey and is designed specifically to provide the Official with the following skills not currently available in other formats:
- Improve their officiating teamwork,
- Develop appropriate officiating attitudes and values,
- Expand their awareness of conditioning/fitness programs and nutrition,
- How to prepare for games physically and mentally
Officials participate in classroom sessions, off-ice, and on-ice sessions in addition to officiating select games where they receive supervision and mentorship.
Many of the past participants are now working at the junior level, with others working regularly at the U18 AAA level.
Chad has taken on the responsibility of coordinating the ALLIANCE Hockey Internship Program. The Internship Program provides an excellent learning environment for students interested in gaining knowledge and understanding of the hockey industry. As the Program Supervisor, Chad provides valuable training and guidance to students/interns throughout a given placement.
As the coordinator of discipline, Chad is faced with the daily tasks of maintaining current records, coordinating numerous groups and committees, providing important notices to the membership, preserving sensitive information, and providing timely responses for a variety of discipline related matters. In association, Chad has worked this season to coordinate and deliver the latest Hockey Canada initiatives surrounding Maltreatment. Chad’s understanding and knowledge of the Hockey Canada rules and regulations are an everyday asset for ALLIANCE Hockey.
Chad is also the coordinator of numerous ALLIANCE Hockey technology projects including the management of the SharePoint program, inter-Office communications, and virtual meeting assistance, just to name a few. Having Chad work on these projects has assisted ALLIANCE Hockey with efficiently advancing current communication and program delivery systems.
Aside from the day-to-day responsibilities, Chad is affectionately known as the caretaker of the ALLIANCE Hockey Office. He oversees the organization of inventory, the holiday decorating (we have one of the best dressed office spaces in Stratford!), cleaning of the storage room and even the restocking of the soda machine! Every office needs someone like Chad to take care of these essential tasks.
Chad is a diligent and conscientious co-worker who is always willing to step up to any challenge that is thrown at him. Executive Director, Tony Martindale fondly recalled a past situation in which ALLIANCE Hockey was desperately looking to find an on-ice Official to accommodate a tournament, which otherwise would have had to cancel games. Chad was asked to referee a U16AAA, three-official system game with only a few hours notice. Even though the highest level he had officiated to date was U14AAA, Chad put any reservations he may have had aside, and worked the game. That moment of Chad being “thrown to the wolves” is consistent with his approach to his everyday tasks. Regardless of what challenges he is presented with; Chad will do his best to accomplish what needs to be done.
It is worth noting that Chad is now a Level four on-ice official with over 20 years experience working games under the ALLIANCE Hockey, OMHA and OWHA umbrellas and has experience officiating games at numerous OHF Championships of all levels. He also has experience working with local referee associations which allows him to bring a unique perspective to his everyday responsibilities.
As a father of two young children, Chad often finds himself at arenas outside of ‘work’ time. Chad is always willing to assist at events and never hesitates to keep learning about all aspects associated with minor hockey, including coaching and training.