Take 5 with … Nancy Desfonds, Shot Clock Supervisor

In the second installment of our Take 5 series, Nancy Desfonds chats about her role as a Shot Clock Supervisor at the upcoming CRC.

Nancy Desfonds, who was born in Montreal, and grew up in St-Eustache, started playing ringette in 1990. In her 30 years involved in ringette, she has tried out a number of different officiating roles. She has been the lead for minor officials in her local and regional associations for several years. At the 2024 CRC, she will serve as a Shot Cl0ck Supervisor, overseeing the other Shot Clock Operators.

“A few years after moving to the Outaouais region, I started refereeing,” Desfonds said. “But after two or three seasons, I realized the role wasn’t for me. I started timekeeping as a teenager, and still do today. In 2000, the shot clock was introduced to ringette and I was approached to try out the role. I have since had many great opportunities to evolve with the ringette world over the years.”


What do you find most rewarding about officiating?
What I find most rewarding is the team and family spirit we share together – the same passion for the sport. Participating in local, provincial, national and world events allows me to grow as a person, as an individual and as a leader within the officiating group and within the ringette community. In addition, developing relationships with people from all over the world is also an exceptional opportunity.

I also find it super important and interesting to have the chance to contribute to the development of my local and regional association, in Gatineau, in the Outaouais region. Having the chance to share my experience with the next generation is a real opportunity for me, because I’m giving back to my community, and I find that very important and rewarding.


What does your role involve? What’s a typical game like for you?
As Shot Clock during a game, my role is to time the 30 seconds a team has to take a shot on goal at the opponent. I have to be focused on what’s happening on the ice, and do a “reset” when there’s a change in which team has control of the ring. I have to be attentive to the referees’ signals, to stoppages in play and to the progress of the game in general. I form a team with the on-ice and minor officials. I have to ignore everything that’s going on around me, the noise on the players’ benches and in the stands, in order to stay focused on each reset.

For me, a ringette game is played one reset at a time, 30 seconds at a time. Whether it’s a local game, a Canadian championship or a world championship, the teams have the right to get the best out of me, and I force myself to be focused, whatever the level. I admit that a world championship game is more stressful, but at the end of the day, I focus on one reset at a time.


What are you most looking forward to at CRC 2024?
In the lead-up to the 2024 Canadian ringette championships, I’m looking forward to once again sharing my passion for the sport with friends and colleagues who share my passion for advancing the sport. As co-leader of the Shot Clock group, I look forward to discussing Shot Clock and being a leader for the group to strive for excellence throughout the week.


What was your most memorable officiating experience?
Thanks to a surprise phone call in 2015, I have the privilege of rubbing shoulders annually with the best officials in Canada, as well as our colleagues from Finland at various world championships.

Throughout my career, my most memorable experience as an official is my participation in the last Canada Games, held in Prince Edward Island in 2023. A friend once told me, “I really wish you could compete in a Canada Games, it’s really incredible!” I was intrigued! To me, this event is like the Olympics. Each athlete is selected as the best in his or her discipline, across all sports, in his or her province. For ringette, having the chance to watch the best ringette players from each province was quite simply an exceptional experience. I also had the chance to work with an exceptional group of officials and develop new friendships.

I sincerely hope to have the chance to take part in another Canada Games in the next few years, and why not another world championship!


What advice would you give to new officials just starting out?
The advice I’d give to new officials just starting out with Shot Clock, and to those already doing it, is to always give it your best shot, not to be afraid to ask questions, clarify rules and ask for feedback when the opportunity arises. Teamwork is also very important, as we form a team with the on-ice officials, as well as the minor officials.

I make myself available on a regular basis to offer my help and expertise to people who want to improve, evolve and progress in the world of officiating as Shot Clock, and even as minor officials.


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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