IIHF aims to get refs on same page

TERRY KOSHAN

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Put the tournament chairman of the 2006 world junior championship in the group which is aghast at the officiating in the event.

"We are pressing for (an improvement)," said Frank Gonzalez, who also is an IIHF council member. "We are a little disappointed like everyone else. I think there has been a misunderstanding with some of our officials and trying to go for the no-tolerance."

Gonzalez, who outlined the precise manner in which IIHF refereeing supervisors guide referees each day, said there is no intent on the IIHF's part to have the referees call the games on a no-tolerance basis.

"That is impossible to do for the NHL and for us,"Gonzalez said. "We are going to call what the major points are -- hooking, interference and holding."

About a month before the tournament started, on-ice officials were sent a DVD that outlined what they were and were not supposed to call. Gonzalez said supervisors not only meet with referees after each game but after each period, and daily briefings are the norm. But something has been lost in translation and now, Gonzalez said, the problem has to be fixed.

Though refereeing at international hockey events often has left a sour taste in people's mouths, it has been truly ugly here. Russian referee Rafail Kadyrov was awful in the game between Canada and Norway on Wednesday night, but officiating has been bad throughout the event.

Swedish ref Marcus Vinnerborg will work tonight's game between Canada and the U.S. Expect less to be called, if Gonzalez's message sinks in.

"This is the turning point," Gonzalez said. "We are basically at the end of the preliminary round. We can't have more mistakes in future rounds. We are all going forward to make sure everyone has a similarity on the ice."


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