Bob Dumond recipient of NOHA ‘Most Deserving Official’ award

Bob Dumond

GORE BAY—A Gore Bay hockey official has been named the recipient of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) annual Most Deserving Official award.

“Bob Dumond has been chosen for the most deserving official award,” Gail Payette, second vice-president of the NOHA told the Recorder as the announcement was made earlier this week by the NOHA. “What happens is that every referee in chief in each NOHA district selects an official from their area and then one is chosen overall by a committee.” 

“Bob was selected among all nine districts of the NOHA, which is quite an accomplishment,” said Ms. Payette. “He has contributed so much to the NOHA as an official, not just on Manitoulin but other areas he has officiated in, and as a supervisor and mentor. And Bob’s contributions have made a tremendous impact on Greg Lockeyer’s contributions in the district.”

She pointed out Mr. Lockeyer, referee in chief for NOHA district 7 nominated Mr. Dumond for the award. 

In his nomination of Mr. Dumond, Mr. Lockeyer explained that Mr. Dumond (who is 56 years old) “continues to be one of the most respected officials in District 7. Bob is a level four official who is a mentor for many of us and is always relied upon for his support and guidance as gathered through his years of experience.”

“Bob always gives back to the district with his willingness to instruct at the various clinics and also as a NOHA supervisor,” said Mr. Lockeyer. “Bob is looked upon for clarification in regards to rule interpretation and application. Bob is very knowledgeable in this area and is able to communicate his experience in a manner that is well received by those both young and senior in experience.”

“One of the attributes that Bob brings to each and every game is his professionalism and enthusiasm regardless if it is midget rep. to atom house league,” continued Mr. Lockeyer. “Bob was even supportive this season with doing games in the novice level at house league. Even at this lower level of hockey, Bob works hard every game and is a great role model for other officials who may think they are above doing the games with our youngest players.” 

Mr. Lockeyer noted, “unfortunately, Bob’s home location of Gore Bay does not work well with his ability that would allow him to officiate in the NOJHL as Bob is mor than competent to work at that level. Bob is in great physical shape and possesses superior skating skills.”

In his role as District 7 referee-in-chief (RIC), Mr. Lockeyer wrote, “I am constantly in touch with Bob when situations arise that I need some guidance with whether it is dealing with rowdy arenas or making fellow officials accountable for their actions. Bob continues to make my role as district RIC a much easier one.”

Mr. Lockeyer explained, “with Bob getting up there in years, although his qualities as a great official have not dwindled; but perhaps his interest in officiating could slip. Each year it is not known if Bob will return as he may feel he has contributed enough to the sport of hockey. Bob takes great pride in his craft and has said on numerous occasions that when he needs to step back it will be for everything … meaning Bob would not be happy with just limiting himself to either atom or peewee house league.”

“It is extremely unfortunate that COVID prevented Bob from doing as many games this season as he would normally. I strongly encourage the selection committee to honour Bob for his years of active dedication as an official before he decided to hang up the black and white jersey forever. Bob’s dedication and support has also made my job much easier as RIF.”

Mr. Dumond told the Recorder he started as a referee 29 years go. “It was actually Jack Clark who first approached me about being an official. He mentioned that without referees, kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to play hockey and as our kids were in hockey, I would be at the arena anyway. I give Jack a lot of credit for what he did for refereeing here.” 

After getting his training, Mr. Dumond started as an official in the local Island house league. Mike Payette was the RIC for the local district in the NOHA at the time. He pushed for me to officiate in NOHA tournaments around the area, said Mr. Dumond, who pointed out he would travel to Elliot Lake a couple of times a year for tournaments and he and “Jason Thibault and I would go to Toronto to officiate games. Toronto was so short of officials in those days we’d go to Toronto at least a couple of times a year to officiate in games.”

“And once the Manitoulin Wild team started play on the Island, Mike pushed Jason and I to get our Level 4 officiating certification. We could officiate in tier two junior games and even higher hockey levels,” said Mr. Dumond. 

“Yes, I’ve officiated every level of hockey I can and still do this every year,” continued Mr. Dumond. “Some officials wouldn’t want to referee games for the younger players, but without officials there are no games or leagues.” He said one of the great things about being an official, “is to see how the kids develop as they grow up and gain better hockey skills and go to higher levels in hockey.” 

“I still enjoy officiating and I don’t plan to hang it up in the near future,” said Mr. Dumond. “There is always a need for officials. The future could be tough; in five years I’m not sure where we will get our officials from.” He has also coached, officiated and played hockey. 

“Bob is not only a great mentor but a personal friend whom I have known for many, many years. This award is greatly overdue,” said Mr. Lockeyer.

The NOHA Most Deserving Official award description is as follows. “This official is rated on their own officiating skills and what they put back into the branch division i.e. supervision, instructor and administration. The following are additional guidelines for consideration when nominating an official; has played a key role in the officiating program within your district; someone who would be sorely missed if they were no longer involved; supervisor who is always willing to go out and supervise younger officials; and a person who has assisted with the assigning, instruction and administration at development camps, certification and re-certification clinics.”