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Third all-female camp draws officials from across the country

By Chelsea Ward McIntosh, Danielle Bugge, 06/28/23, 3:00PM EDT


WAYNE, N.J. - The third annual Liberty Belle Games Female Officiating Development Camp took place June 2 through 4 at Ice Vault Arena in Wayne, New Jersey, and featured all-female officiating coaches and campers. The three-day event provided a four-official experience and focus on the unique opportunities and challenges for female officials.

This year, the camp opened beyond the Atlantic Affiliate and drew campers from all over the country. USA Hockey Referee-in-Chief for Female Development Krissy Langley joined the camp for the entire weekend, along with officiating coaches who brought professional and international experience. 

The camp began with an introductory Zoom session on Tuesday, May 30, where participants got to know each other, reviewed expectations and learned the basics of the four-official system. 

Camp activities commenced on Friday afternoon with icebreakers, goal setting, classroom discussions on positioning, and an ice session that included power skating and ice ball. Games started Friday evening and ran through Sunday morning, with each official skating four games, two as a referee and two as a linesperson. 

At the end of the weekend campers received personalized one-on-one feedback on their performance, including strengths, areas for improvement and future development opportunities. Throughout the camp, participants had the opportunity to meet AAHA President Glenn Hefferan, Atlantic Affiliate Referee-in-Chief Jim Doyle and Atlantic Affiliate Officiating Evaluation Coordinator Brian Bell.

Participating campers included:

  • Stephanie Beaman - (DE)
  • Mary Therese Ciaccia - (PA)
  • Sarah Dobrzynski - (PA)
  • Eva Erickson - (MN)
  • Joanna Hiebert - (MI)
  • Caitlin Holden - (PA)
  • Keira Holden - (PA)
  • Emily Jedson - (RI)
  • Melissa Kelly - (NJ)
  • Heidi Niskanen - (PA) 
  • Erin Reilly - (NY)
  • Becca Wharton - (IA)