Thousands of Calgary kids are taking to the ice for Minor Hockey Week at the Max Bell Centre but a growing number of youngsters are slipping into striped shirts rather than pads for the tournament.

As a result of the resounding interest in officiating at events, a group of hockey officials put together a video that they hope will encourage more young people to get involved.

Making The Call - The Beginnings of a Referee follows one of the youngest linesmen on the ice in the city, 13-year-old Mason Rockley.

In the video, Rockley reveals why he wanted to put on a referee’s uniform.

“I wanted to become a referee because I’ve been playing for so long and I just want to see what it’s like making calls.”

Organizers with the Central Zone Referee’s Committee, the group that published the video, say their goal is to make sure that young referees are equipped to handle interactions with players, coaches and parents.

Other young referees at the tournament like James and Jonathan Dobeck say they wanted to become linesmen to stay within the community outside of actually playing in games.

James says the job has given him a greater respect for referees in the game.

“I never even realized what the referees had to go through and stuff and I never realized how hard it was especially.”

He says that emotions often run a lot higher when you are a referee.

“Every call you make, whether it’s good or bad, everybody freaks out at you one way or another.”

Dobeck adds that it also gives him a much different perspective when it comes to hockey, where you are looking at the rink as a whole and anticipating the play before it happens.

He adds that he hopes to stay officiating for the near future at least.

“I’d definitely just like to stay connected and go for a few years anyway.”

For more information on how to sign up to become a minor hockey referee, check out the following links:

(With files from Kevin Fleming)