Is that a hockey player, or a referee?
It will undoubtedly be difficult to tell during an upcoming Vancouver Giants game later this month where all the local WHL players will be in referee-like gear.
Langley’s major junior ice hockey team kicks off an online auction today (Sunday, Oct. 8) where they will be selling said black-and-white striped jerseys they’ll be wearing during their first ever referee appreciation night on Sunday, Oct. 22 – when they take on the Spokane Chiefs.
The jerseys are an effort to acknowledge and show support for the thousands of ice hockey officials in British Columbia and across Canada, explained Pete Toigo, Giants’ vice-president of operations.
He noted there has been a Canada-wide shortage of referees in many sports, including ice hockey, since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our goal with this game is twofold: first, to acknowledge the hard work that on-ice officials do to ensure the game is safe and fair, and second, to shine a spotlight on officiating at the grassroots level here in B.C.,” said Toigo.
“Hockey can’t be played without officials. By hosting this game, we want to encourage youth to get involved in officiating and also show support for officials at all levels, who deserve more respect,” he added.
With the Giants wearing black and white, the on-ice officials for the game will wear special jerseys as well – which will be revealed at a later date.
Prior to the game on Oct. 22, a referee hotstove will take place in the banquet hall of the Langley Events Centre. Participants on this panel will also be announced at a later date.
All player jerseys will be auctioned off online in the days leading up to the game.
The auction started at 8:30 a.m. today, and wraps on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 12 p.m.
People can bid at www.elevateauctions.com/refappreciationnight.
And for tickets to this special game on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m., people can visit vancouvergiants.com/tickets.
In the meantime,
the Giants’ lone contest this weekend was last night (Saturday, Oct. 7), in Portland against the Winterhawks. Stay tuned for those results at langleyadvancetimes.com.