(This article is proudly sponsored by Federated Co-Op who has supported the SJHL & it’s officials all season long)
While the Battlefords North Stars are gearing up for the playoff round at the 2023 Centennial Cup, so is SJHL official Adam Forbes.
The resident of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was one of three SJHL officials to be selected to take part in this year’s tournament in Portage La Prairie, but Forbes was the lone referee from Saskatchewan to be picked for the elimination round.
“It was a great feeling,” stated Forbes. “The fact that you’ve proven to yourself that you have had a good tournament. We’re cutting the staff in half. We’re going from 16 guys down to 8. It’s a big cut, just like the teams, our staff goes down. Getting the chance to move on is a super good feeling and just to know you have proven yourself that you have had a good five games and shown you are capable of working those next games and knowing you have what it takes.”
Forbes officiated Game 3 of the SJHL Final between the Battlefords North Stars and the Flin Flon Bombers, and he feels that the intensity and atmosphere of the SJHL Final and the Whitney Forum helped prepare him for the Centennial Cup where all 10 teams have brought their “A” game as they compete for a National Championship.
“It’s intense! All the teams are coming out right from the start ready to go. It has definitely made it clear for us that we need to focus up and make sure 20 seconds into the game we aren’t missing anything and we need to be ready from the start and ready to go.”
Forbes will a part of the officiating crew for Friday night’s Quarter-Final between the home town Portage Terriers and Yarmouth Mariners. He will then get to officiate one of the Semi-Finals on Saturday (TBD). The officiating supervisors will then pick a team of four from the remaining eight officials for Sunday’s Centennial Cup Final and going into the playoff round everyone is feeling the nerves, Forbes included.
“Feeling the nerves a little bit. You’re trying to turn it into excitement and using it for fuel to continue to go out there and do the best job you can and let the teams play.”
Regardless of whether he get’s the chance to officiate the Finals or not, Forbes feels the chance to ref at the Junior A National Championship will open more doors for him when it comes to future officiating opportunities.
“I think so and I hope so,” explained Forbes. “You always hope there is more coming, but I think it will definitely be a stepping stone to keep going and I am hoping it opens up a few doors.”
As Forbes has had to balance the lifestyle of going to school at U of S for Civil Engineering and officiating on the weekend, he is hoping he can be a good example for young referee’s who are looking to climb the ladder the same way he did.
“Work the games and push through. I know there are lots of push back with dealing with coaches and players at young ages. If young officials can just grind through it, we have tons of support and supervision staff down at the Hockey Sask levels that make sure the guys and girls working know how to improve. Take everything you get with a grain of salt but also take it all and soak it all in. One guy might tell you one thing and another guy might tell you something else, but if you take the best parts of both and use it to improve your game and just keep working, it will get you somewhere eventually.”