Local Ice Hockey Official takes on International Stage
This spring has been a ground breaking time for some of the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Officials Associations’ young game officials. Perhaps the most of which centers around 25 year old Tracy Wong, who was the first female game official to represent Hong Kong in an international tournament.
The path began this summer, as she became the first female game official from Hong Kong to be licensed with the International Ice Hockey Federation. Her “C” Linesman status earned her the potential to be selected to work in the 2016 Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia tournament, which was held in Chinese Taipei, March 22-26. The next step was her nomination by the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association which put her in the pool of all IIHF Licensed Linesmen to be selected for the tournament. From there, she was selected to work the tournament by the IIHF.
“I was very fortunate and happy to be nominated to be a Linesman for this tournament” says Tracy. “Working at an IIHF tournament was a goal that I, along with some of the other younger officials, had been working towards over the last couple of years and I was thrilled to be selected.”
Her officiating path began 2 years’ ago after returning to Hong Kong from Canada. She took her first officiating course with the Hong Kong Amateur Hockey Club (HKAHC) officiating programme and was provided further training by the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Officials Association (HKIHOA).
“My Referee Supervisor, Jeremy Hutchins, guided me from the first day I put on the black-and-white strip shirt. I must thank him for his guidance and the opportunities given by the HKIHOA and HKAHC which wholeheartedly developing locals officials behind the scene”.
This being not only the first tournament worked, but also the first time officiating games outside of Hong Kong for Tracy, which provided its own set of questions, but the training she had over the past few seasons prepared her for the task.
Tracy is also a pivotal player in the National Women’s Ice Hockey Team.
“I was unsure what to expect, working on a larger Olympic size ice surface with Game Officials I have never met before” admits Tracy. “But this season and leading up the tournament my Referee Supervisor in Hong Kong really encouraged me to work on the small details such as improving my positioning, anticipating the play and my reaction to close calls. Making these skills become a habit was very important as I was working with some very experienced game officials from around the world.”
Given the short travel required compared to most of the Game Officials, Tracy was assigned to the first game. Her ability and performance improved over the course of the week and she achieved her goal; to be assigned the final game of the tournament.
“I was assigned the first game of the tournament which was a bit nerve-racking” Tracy says candidly. “However, after I finished the game I felt more relaxed and focused on building on my performance. Being at these tournaments really shows the passion that all the participants have for the game of ice hockey. In addition to the feedback from the Referee Supervisor, I also got to watch and learn from the other officials and become better.”
“I’m grateful for the support and development I have received from the Hong Kong ice hockey community and I’d like to thank the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association for this opportunity. This Challenge Cup of Asia tournament was a great stepping stone for me and I hope this is the beginning of many more CCOA assignments and perhaps a chance to work an IIHF World Championship”.
Photos by Andy, Leo and Tracy.