Take 5 with … Blair MacGregor, Officials Supervisor

Take 5 minutes to get to know our officials supervisors, on-ice officials, shot clock operators, and more. 

Our next installment features Blair MacGregor, whose officiating career has spanned nearly all of Canada! 


Blair MacGregor, who grew up in Prince Albert, SK (about an hour and a half northeast of Saskatoon), started his officiating career in high school. The local association was just forming, and they needed someone to referee his games. Being able to carpool with his twin sister, who played ringette, was a bonus! Since then, he has played, coached, and continues to officiate the game. 


Where did your officiating journey begin?

“I started officiating in 1983, when ringette had just started in Prince Albert. I have a twin sister, she wanted to play, we were in high school at the time. One of my teachers was looking after ringette, my sister got involved, and then they said they needed someone to referee their games. I was playing hockey and could skate, so I thought I’d try it out. They were paying $5 a game at the time, and for a person in high school who wasn’t driving, it was an alright job to have. I went to university in Regina, continued officiating, and moved my way up the ranks. I started doing higher-level games, took more courses, and liked that. I moved to Calgary to do some more school and reffed there. And then I moved to Ottawa, I did a Criminology degree at Carleton University, and reffed out there for three years. I got in with a good group of officials there and got to go to my first Nationals in 1994, it was in Saskatoon. I had moved to Ontario, and my first Nationals was in Saskatoon, near home in Prince Albert.”  


What does the role of Officials Supervisor entail? What does a game day look like for you?

“This will be my third CRC supervising. I did three CRCs officiating; now this will be my third supervising. I still officiate, but as I get older I’m focusing more on supervising and less on skating. I like developing the sport through the officials and helping them to move up the ranks. You know you’re going to be at the rink all day, you’re providing feedback for every game, providing official evaluations for every game. At Nationals, I like it because there are officials from all across Canada, and you can see everyone at their best. I appreciate the grassroots level as well, developing them, it’s rewarding to work with the officials just starting and to see where they end up, it’s very rewarding.”


What would you say is the most rewarding part of being an official?

“Seeing officials you’ve worked with that aspire to make it to the CRCs, seeing when they get there. It takes a lot personally to get there, but you also get help along the way from different people. Being able to contribute to help people progress through, I’d say. Now, I have a daughter who’s 15, she’s a second-year official. It’s nice that we can do things together, and sometimes she’ll ask to referee games with me. I also facilitate clinics, I’ve been doing that for probably 30 years now, it’s great when you see Level 1 officials for the first time, and then you go out and evaluate them, and then you see them later on end up at CRCs.”


What advice do you have for officials who are just starting, and don’t know where they can go?

“I always tell them, it’s very tough your first few years because you’re going to be getting younger players with parents who maybe don’t know the sport as well. Be strong, try not to let people influence you, and your senior official will always support you so don’t be shy to lean on them. Be confident, and make sure not to let one incident stop your officiating career.”


What are you most looking forward to at the 2024 CRCs?

“Definitely looking forward to seeing the people, and meeting the new officials who are up and coming, and helping them to progress higher in their careers.”


What was your most memorable experience?

“That first time I was invited to the CRCs, and reffing my first game there was surreal. You’ve worked hard to get there, and then when I was there it’s like ‘wow, you’re here reffing at the Nationals.’ it was one of the few, there were only two of us new people, and it was very intimidating, but it’s feeling like ‘I made it, this is what I’ve been working for’. The other would be reffing with my daughter for the first time.”


What’s something you wish more people knew about officiating?

“It’s a good career, you meet a lot of good people, and it’s very rewarding. Everybody has their reasons to officiate – it may start out as making money, and then it moves to making friends, extra money in university, staying in shape, and then it becomes a lifelong journey, and giving back to the sport. Everyone has their own reasons, but without the officials, there are no games. Anyone can join, associations always need more officials, and you don’t have to have the goal of going to the CRC.”


Thank you for joining us in this Take 5 installment! Check back next week to meet our next featured official. 

And of course, catch all the CRC #Dieppe2024 action in Dieppe, NB, April 7-13, 2024 live or on the Ringette Canada YouTube channel.

Territory acknowledgement

While we are a proud Canadian organization, we acknowledge that our head office is located on traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Ringette Canada extends our respect to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples for their valuable contributions to this land. We are committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

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