Like mother like daughter - pair take refereeing skills to the ice

Mother and daughter pair have opportunity to bond and gain life skills while refereeing together.

Mother says refereeing develops lifelong skills

Mother and daughter referee team, Shelley and Kylee Knowlton. (Justin Parsons/St. Albert Gazette)

It's one of the toughest jobs in hockey and a mother-daughter team in St. Albert is facing the challenge head-on.

Shelley Knowlton and her 13-year-old daughter Kylee refereed their first hockey game together this past weekend. The experience was a new one for Shelley, a 25-year referee veteran.

"It was exciting," she said. "I was still trying to watch the play, but also watch her."

She even yelled a few pointers while in the heat of the game.

"Get skating. You gotta go, you gotta go!"

Kylee Knowlton, 13, referring a hockey game. (Justin Parson/St. Albert Gazette)

Kylee, a hockey player herself, liked having her mom on the ice with her.

"It was a lot of fun," she said.

But not everything in reffing is fun as there's always a chance that the players or the crowd won't like the call.

Kylee said that no one has yelled at her so far in the four games she has officiated, but knows it's a possibility.

Shelley said the best defense to any conflict on the ice is to treat disrespect with respect, a model she has taught Kylee.

"I let her know the people are going to yell at her and she's going to feel very upset and she just needs to take a breath and deal with it after the game."

Mom and daughter think the challenges are worth it.

Both Shelley and Kylee are hockey players too and say the comradery and friendship that that is gained on the ice, sticks with you.

Shelley can also attest to other skills that come from the game.

"A lot of good conflict-management skills — dealing with some of the situations that come up in a game — and I think those kinds of things definitely will help her in life."

Refereeing is something definitely in her future, Kylee said.

Her favourite part of the job? "I like calling the goals."


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