Using Digital Tools to Improve Hockey Officiating

As one of the most innovative sports associations in Canada, Saskatchewan hockey worked with lexcom to turn its intellectual property into an official evaluation application

How Lexcom and Sask Hockey Transformed Officiating Using Digital Tools To Train and Improve Hockey Officials and Linesmen

July 15, 2017

Saskatchewan Hockey Association was looking to improve hockey officiating by incorporating digital tools to train and evaluate hockey officials. Their old system was built using a customized Sharepoint website with a web based front end for data entry. As the system aged, and mobile devices became the main form of data entry the system quickly became obsolete.

The goal of the new system was to use a web based system to train and test officials prior to the start of each hockey season. Each year, the courseware would be improved and updated to ensure officials were aware of any rule changes being made.

A secondary evaluation system was put in place to monitor the performance of the officials and provide structured feedback that would help them continually improve.

  • Online Courses Delivered
  • Streamlined Payment Collection
  • Standardized The Official Scoring System
  • Delivered a Web and Responsive Mobile Evaluation App
  • Built Customized Dashboards for Evaluation By The Association

CHALLENGEs & Lessons learned

1) Delivering An App To The General Public

Pushing an application to business in a controlled environment has its challenges but delivering it to the general public takes it to a whole new level. Building on our enterprise experience we knew that we would have some challenges in supporting different platforms. As we rolled the system out, we found that the age and combinations of different devices was 10x greater than in the enterprise. This resulted in us having to invest in testing tools to verify the applications functionality across a very diverse set of devices and implement automated test procedures as part of our application development process.

2) Simplified Experience

As the application was going to be used by the general public, we knew that it needed to be very straightforward and easy to use. We incorporated a scoring system with default entries into the system. This enabled the evaluator to start with a max score and decrease the score based on the performance. This significantly reduced the amount of effort to enter an evaluation and subsequently resulted in greater submissions.

3) Stop & Go

One of the things we never thought of was for an evaluator to begin an evaluation at the rink and then complete it when they got home. Our initial feature set missed the boat on this capability and we had to go back and incorporate this functionality in future versions.

4) One Evaluation Multiple Notifications

The application used the iWuntu rapid application environment as the platform to deliver the evaluations. By default the system provides a 1:1 notification where all data entered in the form was sent to the parties. As an evaluation could be performed for 4 people on one submission it posed a privacy concern if an evaluation was shared with all parties. To address this we had to add a new component that was able to parse out each evaluation from the form and send it to each person individually while sending the complete dataset to the association.

5) Scalability

With over one thousand officials to be trained across the province in a short period of time the performance of the Moodle training system became a problem in the first year of the launch. We had numerous instances where the system crashed, didn't accept payment among other issues. Learning from that experience we redesigned the courseware from scratch. By incorporating new techniques we significantly improved system performance and eliminated the design constraints found in year one.

Tech partners


  • Moodle
  • iWuntu Rapid Application Environment
  • PowerBi
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Asp.Net MVC
  • Telerik Controls
  • Bootstrap

successful result delivered

In working with Lexcom over the past few years we have taken our vision for how to train and manage our officials and built a really robust system. We are now focuised on using these systems to gain more insight into the challenges our officials face and deliver training to help our officials be some of the best in the world.

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