ZURICH – The IIHF Council and the IIHF Referee Committee announced today that the games at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada (Quebec City and Halifax, May 2-18) will be officiated with the four-man system. It will mark the first time the IIHF’s flagship event will have two referees calling the games.
“Our test events showed the overwhelming superiority of this system, so there was no doubt that we should implement this for Canada 2008,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
The IIHF made the decision last season to test the four-man system in the opening stages of the 2007-2008-season. Altogether 74 IIHF-organised games provided the testing base for the evaluation of the new system.
- Continental Cup – 36 games
- European Champions Cup – 7 games
- 2008 IIHF World U20 Championship – 31 games
“Our officials responded very well to the challenge and it became very clear that the referee committee would recommend to the council to stay with the four-man system also for Canada 2008,” said Konstantin Komissarov, the IIHF’s Manager of officiating.
The referee fraternity praised the decision.
“Once you have tried this, there is no going back,” says Swedish referee Markus Vinnerborg, who was part of the testing phase during the European Champions Cup. “With the game being so fast and with so many outlet passes over two zones, there is no way one referee can alone cover all the bases. With this system you can be sure that you only call what you see, you are very seldom in a position where you have to guess. Also, this system keeps you fresh and focused for the entire game.”
Vinnerborg, who called the ECC final as well the gold medal game of the World Championship in Moscow last year, is one of 16 referees, which is the same number of linesmen that will work the 72nd IIHF World Championship, the first ever to be held in Canada.
Swiss Danny Kurmann is the dean of the 2008 IIHF referees. The event in Quebec City and Halifax will be his seventh men’s World Championship. Kurmann has also officiated in two Olympic Games.List of all referees and linesmen selected for Canada 2008:
Referees: Pellerin Guy (CAN), Savage Chris (CAN), Minar Milan (CZE), Partanen Sami (FIN), Ronn Jyri (FIN), Piechaczek Daniel (GER), Schuetz Richard (GER), Bulanov Vyacheslav (RUS), Polyakov Alexander (RUS), Kurmann Danny (SUI), Reiber Brent (SUI), Orszag Peter (SVK), Larking Christer (SWE), Vinnerborg Markus (SWE), Looker Rick (USA), Sterns Tom (USA).
Linesmen: Kasper Christian (AUT), Dedioulia Ivan (BLR), Losier Sylvain (CAN), De Haan Chris (CAN), Kalivoda Frantisek (CZE), Semionov Anton (EST), Fonselius Stefan (FIN), Schroeter Lars (GER), Eglitis Ansis (LAT), Gienke Thomas (NOR), Oskirko Yuriy (RUS), Wehrli Tobias (SUI), Novak Milan (SVK), Ulriksson Fredrik (SWE), Kicha Andriy (UKR), Ross Joseph (USA).