BEHIND THE SCENES – HOW A GAME IS RECORDED

Behind The Scenes – How A Game Is Recorded – by C. Scott Holland

Most spectators at hockey games are unaware of how much effort there is in providing a proper boxscore or game sheet for each match played. While there has been advances in video of junior games, and electronic game sheets, an old-style game sheet can still be relevant and very useful.

Sometime nearly a century ago, people associated with hockey games began recording the goals, assists, penalties, special goals and other statistics for each team playing a contest. During some games, it’s extremely difficult to keep up with the slew of penalties and goals, but somehow, someone – or in some cases a crew of people – actually keep track of this information.

For the Leamington Flyers, Jerry Sleiman is one of the West Conference ‘s longest serving recorders of game data. His tenure with the Flyers began over 30 seasons ago when he started as a trainer with the Junior C club, but by the time Leamington entered the Junior B ranks in 1992/93 Jerry was in the press box and ensuring that proper game info was recorded.

It’s always been a tradition in Leamington that a “hard copy” (paper copy) of the game is done.

So let’s take a look at just how and what Mr. Sleiman does during the course of typical Junior B game.

On most nights, before he even arrives at the rink, a member of the Flyers’ behind-the-scenes crew takes the Pointstreak roster to both teams – or pre-2005, a blank game sheet – to their respective coaches. In the past, the coaches filled out the names of their players (usually in numerical order) along with their proper sweater numbers.

Today it’s simpler. Each coach indicates the players not dressed, his starting goaltender and circles the number of each member of the starting lineup then several photocopies of the master are made and it goes up to Jerry whose roost is in the press box at the Highbury Canco Arena.

While the blank game sheets are seldom used in many rinks, Sleiman prefers using them.

Once Jerry has that info, he prints the names of each player under the respective team heading and fills the starting goalies’ names, adds the game date in the upper right corner and whether it is an exhibition, regular season or playoff game. In the bottom right section he enters the names of the referees and linesmen.

When a game begins, Jerry enters the time the contest started and enters its time of conclusion at the end of it.
In between he fills in the penalties with the period, the number, the name and the penalty infraction plus the penalty code if needed for 10-minute and game misconducts, plus the time off and time back on the ice. This can get complicated if a player receives multiple penalties or includes a 10-minute misconduct late in a period. But he always comes up with the proper time the players can return to action.

He tracks the shots on net as well and if he’s busy with the game sheet paperwork someone else with keep track and update him.

Each goal is entered with the player’s number and the type of goal – even strength, powerplay, shorthanded or empty-net as well as when it occurred and in what period.

Any corrections on goals or penalties are duly noted by him and initialed.

At each period’s conclusion each goalie’s shot total is entered and then added at the end of the match.

Prior to 2005 a list of each team’s personnel was also entered at the top along with the game’s location the goal judges and timekeeper’s name.

While doing a game this way may seem time-consuming, it is still its most accurate method. Computer errors can plague any electronic scoring system and having a hard copy can not only be a blessing for the teams, it can aid the Pointstreak operator(s) as well, plus serve as a handy tool in case a printer goes down.

So easy, just to copy it and give it to the opposing team, ref or anyone else instead of facing electronic glitches or delays.

Sleiman has also become adept at announcing the games and still keeping track of the game’s info and as a local volunteer firefighter he has achieved the status of captain and has the credentials to serve as a team trainer if necessary.

No matter how a team gets a finalized game sheet, when in Leamington you can be assured that theirs always has accurate information about each Junior B contest and as long as Jerry Sleiman is around that tradition will continue.

(photo credit – facebook)

C. Scott Holland is an accomplished author, a former Western Jr. B Hockey League statistician and is recognized as the West Conference’s and GOJHL’s historian. A lifelong resident of Leamington Scott was a journalist for the now defunct Leamington Post for 26 years and currently writes for the Southpoint Sun. Among the books he has authored are: 75 Years: A History of the Leamington and Erie Shores Golf Course; A Century In The Making – History of Heinz Canada 1909-2009; Leamington Flyers 1992/93-2011/12 Platinum Anniversary Special Program; the Western Jr. B Record Book 2003/04 and 2005/06 editions; as well as updates of both the West Conference and GOJHL Record Books. He was been a member of he Leamington Jr. Flyers hockey club for the last 27 years and served many years as a board member, statistician, press box announcer, and scorekeeper among other duties. He has been named the West Conference Volunteer of Year and a Windsor-Essex Sportsperson of Year award. He resides in Leamington with his wife Susan.
He can be contacted at cttocsh1@yahoo.com

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