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Colin Chaulk and Kaleigh Schrock are known as Komets who are always talking to referees, which is why an upcoming deck hockey tournament they host could be very interesting.
Chaulk and Schrock will be the referees.
Will they take lip from the players, and if so, how much? What if someone questions their vision, their experience or their intelligence? Will they be quick with the whistle, handing out misconducts and unsportsmanlike penalties?
"As long as they are being respectful, I'll be fine," Chaulk said. "I'm always respectful to the refs. There's probably only a handful of times I've lost it over the last 10 years."
That's true because Chaulk usually knows he's been caught with his stick somewhere it shouldn't be, so he always heads quietly to the penalty box.
And Schrock? He's usually pretty respectful, but partly that's because he's had so much practice as he's annually one of Fort Wayne's leaders in penalty minutes. Maybe surprisingly, the Fort Wayne native also has more reffing experience, especially with local deck hockey.
"I actually thought that playing in town and guys knowing me they would be a little easier on me," he said with a grin. "No. Once you are a ref, you are a ref. I had to kick a few guys out. I'll be the first one to say I'm the hardest on the refs... because I'm so competitive. Then, when you are in their shoes, it's more difficult. You can never have it both ways and keep both sides happy. I never ref any more because there's too much pressure."
Every ECHL official will have that quote on their bulletin board by morning. Shoot, some might even bring copies to games as a way to slow Schrock's mouth down a little.
The 1st annual Schrock and Chaulk Adult Ball Hockey Tournament will be held at Lutheran Health Sportscenter on July 21 and 22. The cost is $125 per team of six players and one goalie. Teams are guaranteed four 24-minute games. They are splitting the sport court into 85-foot long rinks with two games going simultaneously. The age minimum is 17, and admission to the public is free.
Schrock, Chaulk and possibly some other Komets will be refereeing from the middle of the set-up. Who better to call things than a pair who have pushed, stretched and broken every rule in the book at some point?
"I call it as I see it," Schrock said with a big laugh. "I let a lot of stuff go."
That leaves Chaulk to wield the whistle of reason.
"I figure we'll let most stuff go," Chaulk said. "I figure hacking and whacking at hands is what we'll call the most."
Um, isn't Chaulk known for usually hacking and whacking hands as his best defensive maneuver, and doesn't he annually rank among the league leaders in minor penalties?
Schock has much more experience with deck hockey, while Chaulk grew up in Toronto playing street hockey. In fact, Chaulk said he wants to put a team in the tournament so he can play goal like he did as a kid. Schrock won't be able to play because he's healing from surgery to correct a broken thumb.
Perhaps to save the referees some grief, the tournament will be using a different format for penalties. Instead of slowing down the games and sending players to a penalty box, the referees will keep track of the amount of offenses. If the number doesn't balance out at the end of a contest, the team with the most infractions will have to watch as its opponents take penalty shots on its goalie.
Tie games will be decided by a shootout. The games will start around 11 a.m. depending on the amount of teams.
And when the refs decide to show up and start listening for once.