Meritorious Service – Hockey Referee
Being a referee in the sport of hockey in Canada is a very difficult position as Canadians are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport and often question officials’ decisions. In Prince Albert that is multiplied as hockey is an integral interwoven part of the entire communities’ fabric. So for one person to survive, and thrive, as a hockey referee for 27 years is special – Ward Howat has done just that.
A passion for the game of hockey and the love of officiating resulted in a lengthy career for Howat in the striped uniform. He served in the Western Hockey League as a linesman for 15 years and called games at different levels for 25 years. Headlining all this is that Howat is the second longest serving member of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association Executive with 27 years of service in the volatile position of Coordinator of Officials.
On ice Howat was the Referee in Chief for the Saskatchewan Major Midget Hockey League from 2005 – 2010, worked over 20 years of Junior A, Junior B, Major Midget and Senior hockey throughout the province, including working over 40 provincial championships games. He also officiated 2 IIHF Exhibition games and was the Referee in Chief for the 2012 Allan Cup.
Off the ice as a supervisor and mentor, Howat worked as an official assignor from 1985 – 2010 including supervision of over 1500 games. He also had a high profile with Hockey Canada attending many officials seminars and workshops from 1985-2010 and was a Hockey Canada Officials Clinic Instructor from 1995 – 2005.
Ward Howat also was a successful Body Builder and Power Lifter achieving Finalist in both at the Provincial and Western Canadian levels. On the ball diamond, Howat was involved for 10 years with Hewitt Auction Senior B Men’s Slow Pitch team, winning 2 provincial titles and in fastball has been a sponsor, coach and part time player for R & W Custom Collision Pirates who were 4 time Sportsman League Champs.