Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that 14-year OHL officiating veteran Jason Faist is the 2019-20 recipient of the Ken Bodendistel Character Award for Officials as voted by his peers.
A native of Waterloo, Ont., Faist began his OHL tenure as a linesman before wearing the bands as a referee for the past 12 seasons. He’s worked 550 career regular season games along with 85 playoff games.
“It is such an honour to be this year’s recipient of ‘The Bodie’ Award,” said Faist. “Ken was a mentor for so many young officials spanning several decades. I was fortunate enough to see Ken as a supervisor at many of my games when I first started as I lived in Cambridge and he was in Guelph. You knew when he was in the building, you better bring your ‘A’ game. He expected nothing less from you.”
“Jason is not only a successful referee, he’s also a leader on our team and is highly respected and regarded by his peers and the OHL clubs,” said OHL Director of Officiating Conrad Haché. “He’s a mentor to our officials and after 14 years he continues to bring his dedication, willingness to learn, commitment and desire to every assignment that he works.”
Faist, who works as a firefighter with the City of Kitchener away from the rink, got his OHL officiating start at the outset of the 2006-07 season. Since then, #5 has worked a total of three OHL Championship Series as well as the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He also skated in Game 4 of the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series in London and serves as a referee in the American Hockey League.
“Thank you to the Ontario Hockey League, Conrad Haché, the Officiating Managers and all my fellow officials that I’ve had the pleasure to skate beside night in and night out,” Faist continued. “Not only do I get to share the ice with the best junior players in the country, but I have the opportunity to skate alongside the very best amateur officials in the world!
“I’d also like to thank my family and especially my wife Kayla for always supporting me as I spend so many nights away throughout the season. This award wouldn’t be possible without her.”
Established in 2013, “The Bodie” is presented annually to the OHL official who demonstrates a passion and dedication to officiating and the game of hockey, who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, professionalism, and is respected by OHL member teams, players, and fellow officials. The award is named in recognition of former OHL Senior Officiating Manager, Ken Bodendistel, who served 40 years in the league beginning as a Supervisor in 1974-75. Bodendistel passed away in November, 2013, at the age of 73 after a courageous battle with cancer. This year marked the eighth year “The Bodie” has been presented with past recipients including Geoff Rutherford, Kevin Hastings, Joe Celestin, Mike Cairns, Steve Corlyon, Sean Reid and Scott Oakman.