Yorkton Regional High School student Cory Bashutski recently received a Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) Outstanding Referee Award. In presenting the award, Garry Gawryliuk, Zone 4 coordinator for the SHA Referees’ Division, says Bashutski is being recognized as the most improved official in Zone 4.
Gawryliuk explains the nomination process. “Cory has been nominated by his peers for doing an outstanding job. He has officiated at all levels in minor hockey and has been a linesman in the senior program,” Gawryliuk points out.
Bashutski, who currently holds a level two certification, says he was encouraged to go into officiating hockey by one of his friends four years ago.
The biggest challenge he feels is going onto the ice, getting caught up in the game and knowing the rules.
He hopes to achieve a level three certification next year and to officiate some more senior hockey.
He enjoys a challenge. “The more of a challenge the better,” he states. As a result he likes working senior games.
While he has avoided injury for the most part, last year a puck in his mouth required a few stitches.
Every once in awhile some fans do prove bothersome, he suggests. “You just have to learn it’s part of the game and walk away,” he advises. The policy of “zero tolerance” has helped things somewhat, Bashutski feels.
“You just have to go with what you know and what you think is right,” he adds. A hockey player himself, Bashutski is in his third year as a AA midget. He hopes to play some junior B hockey and would like to break into the Yorkton Terrier lineup.
Playing hockey helps his officiating, Bashutski believes. “You see both sides of the game,” he says.
Recently his knowledge of the game worked to his team’s advantage. He felt he knew a rule called by the referee was inaccurate. After discussing the matter with the official, he managed to get the call changed, giving his team a five minute powerplay.
Bashutski encourages youngsters to try officiating. “If kids want to get into it, it’s a lot of fun and the money’s good,” he concludes.