USA Hockey Officiating Development Camp Comes to USHL City

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by Bryan Fongers, Muskegon Lumberjacks


The L.C. Walker Arena, along with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, is pleased to announce the arrival of USA Hockey’s top amateur officials to downtown Muskegon as their annual Officiating Development Camp makes its debut visit to the lakeshore in preparation for the upcoming 2014-15 season from August 25-29th, 2014.  The camp will features 60 officials from the United States Hockey League (USHL), North American Hockey League (NAHL), and Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).

USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Camp is a weeklong preseason training camp for the country’s elite full-time officials.  Under the direction of the Manager of USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Program, Scott Zelkin, the camp consists of on-ice training, physical fitness training, and classroom sessions with special guest speakers from the National Hockey League (NHL), ECHL, and other professional outlets.


“After meeting with Muskegon Lumberjacks General Manager John Vanbiesbrouck and Vice President of Business Development Rob Murphy on occasion throughout the course of the 2013-14 season, we are elated to be bringing our Officiating Development Camp to the downtown Muskegon area for the first time and are confident that the L.C. Walker Arena will provide a superior venue for our officials and supervisors,” shared Zelkin, who serves an additional role as the Referee-in-Chief of the USHL.  “This preseason camp is no different than what it is like for the players as it is crucial to get our officials prepared for the upcoming season at all levels and get the season off to a positive note from our perspective.”


The goal of USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Program is to train, coach, and develop officials for the highest levels of hockey whether it be at the professional or international ranks.  Over the past decade, every American-born official that is currently officiating in the NHL has come from the development program.  In addition, three of the four officials that were involved in the 2014 NCAA Division I National Championship between Union College and the University Minnesota were from the same program.


“As we are concluding year one of the ownership transition of the Muskegon Lumberjacks as well as the management of L.C. Walker Arena, we are encouraged by the community’s response to providing year-round ice programming in downtown Muskegon,” shared L.C. Walker Arena and Muskegon Lumberjacks Vice President of Business Development Rob Murphy.  “Scott Zelkin is a terrific leader and developer of USA officiating talent, and we know Muskegon will roll out the red carpet to accommodate this talented group.  We are really excited to showcase our community to many of the best and brightest hockey officials who will have the opportunity in between lots of hard work both on and off the ice to enjoy Muskegon during a beautiful time of the year.”

All meetings and classroom sessions are closed to the general public, and a complete on-ice public schedule for the Officiating Development Camp will be made available at a later date.


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14.  A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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