Sam Rankin Is The Hockey Ref Shop June Official Of The Month

Congratulations to Sam Rankin for being selected as the June Official Of The Month! 

The Hockey Ref Shop Official Of The Month is a monthly program that recognizes officials from across the world for the great work that they do! 

Check out our interview with Rankin below:

Name: Sam Rankin

Age: 22

Home Town: Ankeny, Iowa

Current Town: Ankeny, Iowa

Years of officiating experience: 2 Years

What do you enjoy to do outside of officiating?:

I enjoy playing Fortnite and doing some photography around town. In the short off-season, I like to stay off the ice as much as possible, and enjoy the challenge of running my own small business.

When and why did you start officiating?:

I started officiating midway through the 2016-2017 season to stay in the game after my playing career ended do several head injuries.

What is your greatest memory or proudest moment as an official?:

My greatest memories include working the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup this past season, and working the NA3HL’s Silver Cup Finals the season prior. It was great to see my hard work in my first two years pay off with receiving a great assignment.

Do you have any superstitious pre-game rituals?:

I eat the same meal before almost every game – a McDonald’s Southwest Chick Salad. I’ve gotten a couple other guys on this kick. I know there’s a McDonald’s in every town I work in so it’s great to have a consistent meal. I also play a little soccer with the guys, and stretch. Being a taller guy and in the car for up to 7 hours on game day kills my legs if I don’t stretch.

What are your long-term goals with officiating?:

I want to move up through the program as the opportunities come and make it to the National Hockey League some day.

Why do you think others should try officiating?:

You see the game from a totally different perspective. I remember seeing close line calls or potential penalties as a player, and never understood that there was so much more going into it.

What advice would you give to a new official entering their first season?:

Know the rules first and foremost. Always ask questions when with more experienced officials as they often know quite a bit, and can really help not only understanding a rule better, but how to apply it correctly. Also, don’t worry about fans, parents and coaches yelling. Someone is always going to think they’ve been wronged.

List some general pro tips or words of wisdom that may help other officials improve their game:

Communicate often. Talking to players helps significantly. This season I forgot to communicate when going into a scrum, and took what had to have been a Mike Tyson right hook to the side of the head. Proper communication would have alleviated this, and helped in numerous situations all season.

How did you hear about Hockey Ref Shop?:

When I first began officiating, this was the first place the instructors mentioned to get my gear. I went online and realized they had everything referee related that I needed. Worked out really well.

Equipment setup:

            Helmet/Visor: CCM Resistance

            Sweater: CCM MPRO150

            Pants: Stevens Pro

            Whistle: Acme Thunderer

            Shin Tights: Shin Tights

            Skates: Bauer Vapor 1x

            Protective: Knee Pads: CCM (The big bulky ones)

                                Elbow Pads: Nike Volleyball Knee Pads

Every month, officials are encouraged to apply for a chance to become "Official Of The Month". The Official Of The Month will be featured on our Referee's Crease blog and will also receive a free gift from Hockey Ref Shop.

If you would like to submit yourself or nominate a friend for the July Official Of The Month please send us a short email on why you (or your friend) should be selected. Our email is


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