Canadian police officer heads to Beijing Olympics to referee hockey

When she’s not on the ice, Justine Todd works as a use-of-force instructor in Ontario


By Suzie Ziegler 

AURORA, Ontario — Justine Todd, a police officer from Ontario, is headed to Beijing where she’ll trade her blue uniform for black and white stripes. 

“I’ve got the best seats in the house. It’s a fun way to stay in the game,” Todd told the Toronto Star. “It’s my passion. I love to study the game.” 

Todd, 38, will be representing Canada in women’s hockey as a linesperson, a type of referee who watches for certain violations. Todd began as a hockey player at the University of Toronto and switched to refereeing once her playing days were over, according to the Toronto Star. 

“It’s all about judging the appropriate level of contact and whether someone crossed the line,” she said. “The women can’t drop their shoulder. There’s less fighting, but lots of scrums. Canada-U.S. (games) are very physical.” 

When she’s not on the ice, Todd works as a use-of-force instructor with the York Regional Police. How does she handle her busy schedule? 

“We do work full-time jobs,” Todd told Hockey Canada. “But the beauty of officiating is that you get to make your own availability.” 

This will be Todd’s second Olympics. She also officiated women’s hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018. 

You can find the full hockey schedule for the Beijing Olympics here.

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