What if it was his grandmother?

Eismeister Zaugg

The “Causa DiDomenico” is not an isolated case. At the end of October, there were already as many clashes between referees and players in the two highest leagues as in the whole of last season.

11/10/2022, 6:15 p.m11/10/2022, 6:50 p.m

The head of referees, Andreas Fischer, does not comment on the “DiDomenico case”. He is not allowed. It is an ongoing case and he is a party. His referee department reported a collision between SCB forward Chris DiDomenic and the referee in the match between SC Bern and ZSC Lions (4:3) to the association judiciary last Saturday.

A verdict is expected by the end of the week at the earliest, but before the championship resumes next week at the latest. Andreas Fischer, on the other hand, can comment on the general situation of the referees. But it’s a bit worrying. According to Andreas Fischer, by the end of October there had already been 14 clashes between players and referees in the Swiss league and the national league. As much as for the whole of last season.

SCB forward Christopher DiDomenico.

SCB forward Christopher DiDomenico.Image: keystone

Have referees become “fair game”? No Mutual respect is especially high in ice hockey. The frequency of incidents is related to the higher level: the tempo and intensity increase, the transition from defense to attack is faster and faster, the game is more and more unpredictable. However, a person’s reaction time remains the same for centuries. As the pace increases, the risk of a collision with one of the four referees inevitably increases.

Which does not change the fact that referees are respected in all circumstances and must be considered absolutely “untouchable”. Under no circumstances should they become victims of frustration in any form, which may then look like inevitable collisions. The “DiDomenico case” is the fourth to be referred to the union justice by the refereeing department this season.

Why only four? Andreas Fischer says: “Because referees are also responsible in case of collisions or because collisions in certain situations are simply unavoidable.” What we see: Referees are very aware of their responsibilities. Which in turn means that if a complaint is filed, the matter is apparently not considered completely harmless.

DiDomenico in the match against Kloten.

DiDomenico in the match against Kloten.Image: keystone

At the traditional pre-season meeting with club managers and sports directors, this topic was discussed in depth. What SCB manager Raëto Raffeiner confirms. “We drew attention to the fact that the referees share the responsibility. Just as with the check, how the behaved player behaves also plays a role. »

When is a conflict reported to the jurisprudence of the association and when not? A difficult, delicate question. Andreas Fischer explains the problem with an example. “You look at the scene and ask yourself: If the referee had been the player’s grandmother or child, would the player have avoided the collision? Depending on what conclusion you come to, you will announce it or not.’

For the avoidance of doubt: This information from the Referee Chief is about the general situation and not the “DiDomenico case”. His statement has nothing to do with the “DiDomenico case”. They are only trying to give the impression of what criteria can be used to judge the situation upon request. That said, we don’t know if Chris DiDomenico would have avoided a collision with the referee if it had been his grandmother.

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