B.C. Hockey referee mentor receives award from Hockey Canada

Chilliwack’s Larry Krause has been involved in officiating hockey since he was 10-years-old

Larry Krause, a born and raised Fraser Valley resident and BC Hockey Officiating Development Facilitator, has been recognized with Hockey Canada’s Officiating Award.

The honour is given to an individual for their “outstanding contribution to officiating and for their notable impact on the game at the member and national levels.”

Krause was thrilled to receive the award, but insisted there are others who deserve just as much credit for the advancement of hockey officiating in B.C.

“Randy Henderson was the chair of the board for B.C. Hockey and he’s since been inducted into the Hockey Canada fraternity and he’s a member of the board there,” Krause said. “He has been a tremendous supporter of the officiating program in B.C. and the change to equip, mentor and teach referees.

“Other administrations and administrators before him tried, but didn’t have the resources. What’s happened now is we now have resources like we’ve never seen before and we’re seeing the results.”

Krause has invested thousands of hours into training officials in B.C., travelling to every corner of the province on his mission.

“When I’m able to travel the province on behalf of the officiating program, that obviously costs money,” he said. “That revenue was never there before and now it is, and that starts with Randy and our current B.C. Hockey CEO, Barry Petrachenko.

“They’ve ear-marked funding specifically for what we do on the frontlines.”

Krause is the first B.C. native to be recognized since the award was introduced in 2005. He travelled to Ottawa to receive the award at Hockey Canada’s Spring Congress.The banquet was held Friday night.

Before the banquet, Krause sat down for an on-camera interview with Hockey Canada, and he was asked why he does what he does.

Krause flashed back to the face of a young man he met sitting in the stands at Abbotsford’s MSA Arena one night.

The 19 year old was the third goalie for the PJHL (junior B) Abbotsford Pilots and was already identified as an elite up-and-coming referee by B.C. Hockey.

“He was a first-year student at UFV and a good-looking kid who seemingly had everything going for him,” Krause recalled. “There was no indication that he was troubled or frustrated or disturbed or angry or anxious. It was just a regular conversation, and 72 hours later he chose to take his own life.

“I recognize that what we do is about more than just dropping pucks. It’s about having the opportunity to work with these individuals every day.”

Krause brightened up talking about what he and others in the B.C. Officiating Program can do to mold, mentor and teach life skills that will help young men and women with whatever they do next.

“As an example, we have four individuals from our program who are in Regina right now, weeks away from becoming RCMP members,” he said with a smile. “When we get phone calls from RCMP recruiters, we’re able to talk about things like ingenuity, intelligence, calmness under fire and how they perform when the heat gets turned up.

“This is so much more than what happens on the ice. This is about what they do for the rest of their lives and the skills we’re able to provide for them.”

The award Krause received is being shipped to his home from Ottawa where it will take its place next to a framed artists’ rendering of the old Chilliwack Coliseum.

Seeing the two side by side will remind him just how far he’s come since he first started officiating in the early 1970s.

“I started playing in Chilliwack Minor Hockey, but I was a terrible skater,” Krause said. “Ron Vermeer was in leadership and he took a liking to me and brought me into the officiating fold in 1972, when I was 10 years old.

“I started off putting my skates on in a small closet in the Chilliwack Coliseum, and because of the opportunity Ron gave me, I was eventually able to work my way up to officiating junior B (Chilliwack Jets) and junior A (Chiefs) games.

“I’ve been in a leadership role since my late teens, and it all started here.”


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