Wayne Marshall – Official

Portrait by Robert Howson[

Wayne Marshall officiated in Guelph Minor Hockey from 1957 to 1988 while advancing to the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). With the OHA, he officiated Junior B, Junior C and Junior D in addition to university and college hockey. While officiating in the OHA he was selected to oversee many international games involving Russia, Norway, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Japan.

A breakthrough moment came when he was at a rink in Orangeville for an Intermediate league game and the scheduled referee didn’t show. Despite the fact he was only 17 and younger than all the players, he stepped up. “They found me a pair of skates and I went out and did the game with another older official,” said Marshall whose father was a long time OHA official. “We must have done okay because they recommended the league hire us. That built my confidence.”

Wayne became a member of the Guelph Hockey Referees Association (GHRA) in the mid-1960s where he served in various roles including president from 1977 to 1979. In 1979 he received an Honorary Life Membership in the GHRA.

Wayne had an incredible influence on the progression of many officials, some of which would go on to the National Hockey League.

“He was my number one mentor,” said Bill McCreary who would eventually be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame as a referee. “When I was getting started and knew nothing about officiating he would always provide constructive feedback in a direct, patient way. He was also one of the top junior officials in his time because he was strict, stood behind his calls, and if he gave you direction as a player, you listened.”

“I was one of the men that made it to the pro ranks because of dedicated men like Wayne,” said former NHL linesman Ron Asselstine. “He was given the opportunity to officiate in the professional leagues, but turned down those offers to remain in Guelph with his family and to officiate and mentor young officials who wanted to advance to the highest level.”

There were many burgeoning officials who were glad he made that choice.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Official category – May 15, 2019