Officiating at the 1st WJC (1977)

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by svetovy poharu, Dec 30, 2005.

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  1. svetovy poharu

    svetovy poharu Registered User

    Dec 7, 2004
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    With all of the current controversy on officiating surrounding this year's WJC tournament, it is quite interesting to step back and look at what was being said about the level of refereeing at the first official World Junior tournament held in Czechoslovakia from 22 December 1976 through 2 January 1977.

    For instance, based on the opinion that European officiating is not traditionally held in high esteem by Canadian hockey coaches, things were different following Canada's (St. Catharines Fincups) 6-4 win over Finland on 26 December 1976When as Canadian coach Bert Templeton had nothing but praise for an all-Czech officiating crew handling the game. Templeton said that although the officials' rule interpretations were still at odds with those in Canada, their calls were at least consistent.

    However the Czechoslovak newspapers were rather critical of the IIHF officials, except for Canadian referee Blair Graham, who the Czech newspapers praised as the best referee at the '77 championships. Ceskoslovensky Sport said: "Graham differs from his player compatriots. In the match between West Germany and Finland, he did not hesitate to send off 13 players from each side for rough play." The paper went on to add that the other IIHF referees showed that "they are not on the same standard as the quality of the play of the teams taking part in the championships."

    When the tournament concluded, coach Templeton remarked that it was a tremendous learning experience for his young players to know about the European style of playing hockey and officiating. But Canadian (Fincup) player Trevor Johansen said: "Our team plays a hitting game but not dirty, at least in our eyes. The European referees thought differently. Inconsistency is their major problem in making penalty calls."

    Another team Canada player, John Anderson, called the officiating at the 1977 WJC tourney "absurd." He said: "I couldn't believe how bad the refs were. They took away much of the enjoyment because you were always frustrated by them."

    These comments came from 28 years ago.
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