Congratulations to Gary Poteshman for being selected as the November Official Of The Month!
The Hockey Ref Shop Official Of The Month is a monthly program that recognizes officials from across the world for the great work that they do!
Name: Gary Poteshman
Home Town: Chicago, IL
Current Town: Highland Park, IL
Years of officiating experience: 8
What do you enjoy to do outside of officiating?
Too many interests to numerate so will leave it up to the imagination.
When and why did you start officiating?
8 years ago I decided that my years of playing were over, I was still coaching and I decided another way to stay part of the game would be to officiate.
What is your greatest memory or proudest moment as an official?
I've had many great memories and experiences as an official, I would say that my greatest memory and proudest moment, was officiating tournaments in Israel in 2014 and 2016, but I'm also very proud that I've been on the ice with 18 of the top 20 high school teams officiating their games, either as a ref or linesman.
Do you have any superstitious pre-game rituals?
I usually have a Starbucks Latte before a game.
What are your long-term goals with officiating?
I'm Sixty, I would say I'd like to be able to Ref for another ten years, but I'd like to help educate and mentor young officials.
Why do you think others should try officiating?
In life you have to see things from different perspectives in order to be an objective observer, well Officiating certainly makes you an objective observer, it would serve coaches and players to officiate a game or at least look at the game from our perspective, it would make better coaches and players.
What advice would you give to a new official entering their first season?
Don't pay attention to the calls coming from the spectators, they are speaking from emotion and ignorance, make sure you look adults in the eye and speak to them as if you were the same age, have fun, see the humor in situations and don't be a drag of a partner, we are a team and I know I want fun teammates.
List some general pro tips or words of wisdom that may help other officials improve their game.
Take control of the game and of the situations that arise, communicate with your partner. Communicate with the players and coaches to humanize yourself to them so they see you as part of the game and not an adversary.
Every month, officials are encouraged to apply for a chance to become "Official Of The Month". The Official Of The Month will be featured on our Referee's Crease blog and will also receive a free gift from Hockey Ref Shop.