Ice Hockey World Championship 2021: Referee Šimon Synek evaluates the championship

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Šimon Synek considers participation in the Hockey World Championships in Riga to be a big shift in his career. The Slovak line judge was part of the U20 World Championships at the turn of 2019/2020 and also received an invitation to his first World Championships among men.

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At the championship in Latvia, he was surprised by the speed, discipline and communication in the matches. According to Synek, hockey at such a level is completely different from that in the Slovak domestic competition, and as he stated for TASR, this experience will definitely help him in his further progress.

Son is one of the best line arbitrators in Slovakia, he received an invitation to Riga together with his compatriot Peter Stan. He decided six matches at the championship.

“It’s a completely different hockey than in our country, I had to get used to it. Other situations arise, but they are predictable. And the game is clearer. I expected it to be fast, my expectations were confirmed. Everyone follows the puck like rabies. In one match, I even collided with the players, it probably wouldn’t have happened to me in our league. “so they played very well. There was no weak match,” said Synek.

The line referee was also surprised by the fluidity of the game and the very decent communication of the substitutes: “Everyone notices the game and not the things around it. And if something happens, it will be resolved right here and everyone respects it. There are eternal debates in the league. I don’t see it and stuff.

That does not exist at the World Cup. The smoothness of the game is somewhere else. With us, the match lasts three hours, 130 minutes are played here and it’s over. Players enjoy the game, nothing more, nothing less. They want to show themselves, they have no room for anything else. And the International Hockey Federation IIHF is strictly against unsportsmanlike things on the ice, it is immediately punished here, every higher penalty is re-evaluated. “


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The result of a more advanced gaming discipline in such a large tournament is a smaller number of offsides. “Yes, the game is smoother, players think more when crossing the zone. Here we don’t see anyone with their heads down. Players are waiting for a teammate to cross the blue line. Even with prohibited releases, it’s different, more readable. And that’s a little out of the question “because the referees have to set the trend, let the players play. So don’t enter the action, they have to rule out only clear things. The referees don’t have to stand out,” added Synek.

The throws were also offered to Synek by a different view: “It’s also different. Players need to be communicated, prepared for the throw-in. Here, too, some try to fool it, but when we let them know it’s going to be like this, that’s the way it is. I had about 4 or 5 reprimands in six matches. , it’s another third in our league. It’s a joy to whistle such hockey. Advanced hockey in the world today is about letting the game run smoothly. Players have to play cleanly and then we can let them play.

There are no silly fouls here, because the players are mature. But I know from experience that cleaner hockey is also played in other leagues, but for us referees from Slovakia, the advantage is that what we see in the league, then we are better prepared. What is still very important is communication. With players and with substitutes. We must be smiling and positive. Basically, it’s about not being the bad ones, but being part of the whole thing. “

Joint photo shoot of the Slovak hockey team at the World Cup 2021

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The Slovak arbitrators will no longer present themselves in the fight for medals, but Syneka is pleased with the good evaluation of the delegates and members of the arbitration commission. He knows what he should be working on. “I don’t want to judge myself, but I have good feelings, I think I’m honestly ´odmakal´. I can compare these matches with that in the final of the U20 World Cup, I said then that it’s completely different from our hockey. “Now I dare say that these matches are even better. It’s faster, more physical and more advanced. It’s definitely moved me forward, and I want to move this information to younger colleagues so that they can move forward in their careers.”

The championship was unusual for the Slovak referee also because it had a birthday at the end of last week. However, the referees belonged to the strictest bubble and were not entitled to a celebration in the city. “I don’t celebrate so much anymore, but of course it’s different, since I couldn’t invite my colleagues to a single beer. Only when I come home will I celebrate this holiday with my loved ones afterwards.” added Synek for TASR.

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