How to become a hockey referee

If you plan to become a field hockey umpire, here are a few things to know. Field Hockey matches are administered by two umpires, one working along each sideline. Field hockey umpires strive to stay ahead of the action and work into position to view the play without impeding play.

Because of the size of the field, conditioning is very important. Strong knowledge of field hockey rules is essential to being successful.
How to become a hockey referee

Because each team uses of eleven players and substitutions roll in and out, field hockey umpires must be alert to more than just the play around the ball.

Umpires are also expected to show a strong whistle and good mechanics with their primary and secondary signals. Typical violations to watch for include illegal use of the field hockey stick, kicking and lifting the ball, obstruction and dangerous play.

Today, field hockey is a highly competitive sport at many skill levels. In the USA it is played primarily by women. It is also a game without a surplus of officials, creating good opportunities for field hockey umpires to work games and to advance.

Field Hockey Umpire Training

USA Field Hockey certifies umpires to work competitions throughout the country. There are several levels of certification, beginning with the Young Player Umpire for candidates under the age of 13. For games at the highest level, a top tier official called an Umpire Manager is required. Information about Field Hockey Umpire Certification can be found at the USA Field Hockey Website.

Go to the Choose a State page and select your state to find information about becoming a high school field hockey umpire in your state.

Here is a good resource for high school field hockey rules: 2020 NFHS Field Hockey Rules Book

How to become a hockey refereeLearn how to become a referee or umpire in Ohio by following the links below. Referee training in Ohio can be found here as well.

Ohio uses a referee permit system for its officials. Referee permits in Ohio can be obtained for basketball, football, soccer, ice hockey, volleyball, wrestling, baseball, softball and field hockey as well as gymnastics, swimming/diving and track/field. In many cases referee and umpire camps, if not required, are strongly encouraged to educate new officials and help them advance in their sport.

Ohio Referee Permits

To receive a referee permit in Ohio you must first enroll with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and take their officiating class. Here is the link for beginning officials: http://www.ohsaa.org/Officiating/permits/category1.

A passing grade of 75% is required on both the rules exam and mechanics exam to become certified to referee high school games in Ohio. At that point you can join a local association which will help you obtain game assignments.

Ohio Referee and Umpire Classifications

OHSAA has three classifications of officials:

Class 3 officials may work contests up to grade 9.
Class 2 officials may work all levels except for varsity football and basketball as well as the volleyball referee position.
Class 1 officials may work all varsity contests without restriction.

Requirements for advancing from on lower to higher levels can be found here: http://www.ohsaa.org/Officiating/changestatus. The OHSAA allows residents of contiguous states to receive officiating permits as well. These states include: Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

To referee high school sports in Ohio, you must be 18-years old. You should expect to pay an entry fee along with a yearly dues assessment. The entry fee generally covers the cost of rule books, study material and, in some cases, classroom instruction.

How to become a hockey referee

There’s an old saying in sports: “People who can’t play, coach.” Ouch—that has a bit of a negative ring to it. But in hockey and many other team sports, coaching may come later. When you’re not actually playing and you don’t want to be on the sidelines, you can always referee. This doesn’t mean you’ve lost your touch or aged out of the game. Quite the contrary, being a ref is a way to give back to the sport and to set an example for others to follow. It’s also a great way to actively participate in the game, stay in shape, and make some pocket money. Or more than pocket money, if you set your sights on college, elite amateur leagues—or even the National Hockey League.

How Much Does Hockey Reffing Pay?

If you view being a hockey referee as a means to make a good living, then you have high aspirations, and like a professional anyone, you must be the best of the best. A referee in the NHL can clock about $400,000 (very much the absolute high end) and a linesman about $150,000 to $200,000-plus. Know that this lifestyle involves lots of travel—and lonely nights on the road in maybe not the best of hotels—and total mastery of the rules that govern on-ice management. You must be as fit (or moreso) than the NHL players—and you must have supreme confidence in your game-calling skills.

A head referee is probably one of the fittest skaters on the ice. There are no shift changes, and keep in mind that the game is continuous and you have to cover all the action. A linesman needs the same skills but is not as mobile as the referee. It’s a matter of aspirations and proving your skills—in other words, just like playing and aiming to advance into higher league play.

The truth about professional sports is that it’s a system of meritocracy—a system of rewards based on your talent—but sometimes it’s an autocracy, in that one person (a coach or a head referee or a committee operating jointly) may likely decide if you make the cut. Those referees talented enough will rise to the top and be recognized. Others are right for rec leagues.

Refereeing Options Outside the NHL

Certainly, you’ll have lots of refereeing options other than the NHL. But the pay will be quite a step down. What did you expect? The NHL is the high-water mark for players and those associated with play, such as officials and administrators; college is amateur; referee pay in semi-pro or club hockey can vary widely.

According to sources, reffing NCAA Division I college games averages about $400 per game and about half that for linesmen, less for lower divisions. With sanctioned USA Hockey games, you’re probably looking at about $27 or so an hour; the pay scale for refs in club hockey might depend on whether the league charges admission to games, and its overall budget structure.

Essential Hockey Reffing Skills

To be a hockey ref takes game experience and commitment. You need a deep understanding of the game and the rules. So in truth, you evolve into a hockey official. Yeah, the thrill of scoring or being an integral part of the winning team compels us to compete in hockey; but being a ref continues our full-throttle involvement in the game, only more as a participant-observer than a player—though you’re skating as hard as the players, and without line-shift breaks. And heck, who doesn’t look cool in a zebra-striped hockey jersey (or sweater)?

When Did the Zebra-Striped Referee Sweaters Become Standard?

Zebra-striped sweaters became standard issue in 1955. But before the NHL, referees were much more formal and nattily dressed, wearing suits and derby hats—which certainly set them apart from the players! Later, NHL refs wore white sweaters and then orange tops—fine for when spectators were watching a game in person. When NHL games were televised starting in the 1950s, viewers often couldn’t tell the referees from the players on their black-and-white televisions. So in December 1955, NHL officials solved that problem—by having referees wear black-and-white, vertically striped sweaters. (A style that probably was borrowed from U.S. college football.) NHL referees now also wear an orange armband, to distinguish them from linesmen.

By the way, two referees and two linesmen work NHL games, with the referees responsible for calling on-ice play penalties and goals and the linesmen call line infractions, such as icing.

How to Get Started as a Hockey Referee

Your first step in becoming a hockey ref is to contact the USA Hockey-sanctioned Referee-in-Chief closest to your geographic area, and registering as a hockey referee. USA Hockey is the governing body overseeing organized hockey in the U.S. The organization was founded in 1937 in New York City and is now based in Colorado Springs, CO, largely focused on grassroots hockey and grassroots-player development. It also registers refs and offers referee training and teaching support.

There are no age restrictions—anyone can ref. You will need the proper reference materials—USA Hockey Rules and Casebook—and USA Hockey will send other preliminary info, as well, after you register with the group. Canada has its own hockey governing body.

Consult the Pure Hockey Resource Center for more on how to become a hockey referee.

Hockey Referee Training Assistance

Being a ref is challenging physically and mentally. As you keep pace with play on the ice, skating hard to maintain a clear view of the action, you must also make quick or even instantaneous decisions. Plus, you have to remember the rules of the game and the responsibilities of a ref: You must act confident and be decisive, communicate well, and shoulder many other responsibilities. There’s a lot going on—you’re an official, an authority figure on the ice. Embrace it, but know you don’t have to master all these skills alone. Except for the physical fitness part—only you can get in shape and stay fit.

But the craft of being an official is something for which you can receive training: Official “officials” camps—training camps for hockey referees—are available. Some are staffed by current or former National Hockey League personnel. You cover more than rules at these schools—officiating skills that are taught during these sessions include on-ice positioning, skating skills, signals, penalty calling, plus off-ice sessions provide strategies through classroom presentations, and more.

You’re basically going to ref school. And why wouldn’t you? If you aspire to being a conduit to skills development and adherence to hockey rules, players need to learn from someone like you. Another option is to seek out an experienced mentor, possibly a ref you know and respect. This person can answer questions and help guide you along your official officiating path.

Start Dropping the Puck

We mentioned earlier there are no age limits on being a hockey referee—young or old! So this challenging, rewarding work (sometimes involving dropping the puck for faceoffs—no doubt USA Hockey teaches that in training) will keep you involved in hockey for the rest of your days, or at least for as long as you can skate.

And as you accumulate experience working games, you’ll become part of a vital hockey network, always giving back to the sport you love.

The first step to becoming an official is to approach your local officiating governing body, i.e. Canada (Hockey Canada), USA (USA Hockey), or your local league office. This will put you in contact with other officials to set you on your way.

The next step is to get out there and “just do it”. Experience is the key to your success. Any game experience is invaluable, regardless of the level of hockey played. Progression to better games comes in time. ANY game is a good game to officiate. You will inevitably draw from all your experiences and grow as a well rounded official.

Training is available to you by way of official training schools and camps as well as power skating sessions in both Canada and The USA These are key factors in your development as they will give you the technical skill set needed. Many of the people who instruct, are current or former officials in the NHL, who have been students at these very same training camps and schools.

Some of the topics that are emphasized include, on ice positioning, signals, penalty calling, skating skills, and off ice theory sessions to give you a sense of the game

Present at these official’s schools are representatives of leagues such as the NHL, AHL, ECHL, Canadian Major Junior Hockey Leagues, and USA Hockey associations. These representatives are there to help develop and encourage young officials to further their careers in officiating.

Make no mistake about it, fitness is a key factor in your success as an official, Fitness is measured and monitored closely by the league to ensure the staff are ready and able to do the job, game in and game out.

Remember, whether you are a first time official, have some experience, or are looking to officiate after or during a playing career (at any level). The key to your success is you. You need to get out there and just do it

HOCKEY CANADA OFFICIATING PROGRAM
For more info on how to get started with Hockey Canada, click here:
https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/hockey-programs/officiating/how-to-get-started

USA HOCKEY OFFICIATING PROGRAM
For more info on how to get started with USA Hockey, click here:
http://www.usahockey.com/officials

NHL OFFICIATING AMATEUR EXPOSURE COMBINE
Looking for a way to earn a living in the NHL? The NHL is holding every summer an NHL Officiating Exposure Combine for current and former hockey players looking to stay in the game, while learning a different side of hockey. Officiating is a fast-paced, high-energy profession with the best view in the arena for games and is in need of great athletes to serve the game as officials. The Combine’s focus is on high level hockey players with little or no officiating experience. The Combine is accepting ex-college (D1, DII, DIII), University (CIS) and Junior hockey players or with or without any professional experience. Several attendees have been hired by the NHL as officials in the past few years. For more information on this program, please click on the link below.

The NHLOA (National Hockey League Officials’ Association), was born in 1969 out of a need to improve working conditions, salaries and other benefits for officials of the National Hockey League. All members are active Officials under contract to the NHL who are working in the NHL and designated minor leagues

LIHO was established in 1989 by Ray Leonardo for the purpose of providing the most competent hockey officials available to service the growing hockey playing population. For the past 33 years LIHO has fulfilled that need and is the number 1 provider of officials for Adult hockey on Long Island. The credibility of the league is due in large part to the caliber of officiating and LIHO provides Adult hockey with the best and will continue doing so.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Keep up the good work. From what I have observed at the games we are continuing to do our part to maintain a safe environment. I have not heard of any positive cases from any of the leagues that we service. п»ї Please continue to monitor league and rink websites for the latest updates. We’ll be updating the LIHO website as well.

​ SUSPENSIONS

Game Misconducts.

3/29 #72 Frank Liontos Village Idiots MHL – suspended for game on – 4/5 Rinx 10:50

3/26 Sean Coveney #77 Scrappers HLI – suspended for game on – TBD not on schedule

3/21 #33 J. Skidmore K-Stars (2) MHL – suspended for game on – (2) – 4/11 Syosset 9:00 TBD

3/7 #76 Nick Taronto Gentlemen HLI (3 games) – suspended for game on – (3) 4/5 Iceland 10:15

Match Penaltiesп»ї

3/19 #89 Stern Spitfires Red MHL MATCH – Return date

4/19 3/25 – #3 – Leonard Ovaitte Fourth Meal MHL — Return date pending

3/25 #23 Joe Adriano MHL Fourth Meal MHL — Return date 11/25п»ї п»ї

Click here for Game Report form

This website is under construction. In addition to filling out the Game Report please email the details to:

KING OF THE ICE TOURNAMENT RULES

LINKS To League Rules

** MIDNIGHT HOCKEY ONLY** OVERTIME RULES: Regular Season: Games will be 4 on 4, 5 minute RUN clock. The clock only stops when the official blows the whistle to assess a penalty or for an injured player. The clock will start running once the official drops the puck after he/she has placed the penalized player in the box. The stopping of the clock while a penalty is assessed will prevent teams from intentionally fouling an opponent in an attempt to ‘run out’ the clock and force a shootout. Line changes are only permitted on the fly. No line changes allowed during stoppage of p lay. Any player who’s penalty has not expired at the end of overtime, is not permitted to participate in the shootout. If still tied, there will be a 3 man shootout followed by sudden death shootout. Home team decides who goes first. Any unused time outs in regulation, would be available to use in overtime. .

How to become a hockey referee

There’s an old saying in sports: “People who can’t play, coach.” Ouch—that has a bit of a negative ring to it. But in hockey and many other team sports, coaching may come later. When you’re not actually playing and you don’t want to be on the sidelines, you can always referee. This doesn’t mean you’ve lost your touch or aged out of the game. Quite the contrary, being a ref is a way to give back to the sport and to set an example for others to follow. It’s also a great way to actively participate in the game, stay in shape, and make some pocket money. Or more than pocket money, if you set your sights on college, elite amateur leagues—or even the National Hockey League.

How Much Does Hockey Reffing Pay?

If you view being a hockey referee as a means to make a good living, then you have high aspirations, and like a professional anyone, you must be the best of the best. A referee in the NHL can clock about $400,000 (very much the absolute high end) and a linesman about $150,000 to $200,000-plus. Know that this lifestyle involves lots of travel—and lonely nights on the road in maybe not the best of hotels—and total mastery of the rules that govern on-ice management. You must be as fit (or moreso) than the NHL players—and you must have supreme confidence in your game-calling skills.

A head referee is probably one of the fittest skaters on the ice. There are no shift changes, and keep in mind that the game is continuous and you have to cover all the action. A linesman needs the same skills but is not as mobile as the referee. It’s a matter of aspirations and proving your skills—in other words, just like playing and aiming to advance into higher league play.

The truth about professional sports is that it’s a system of meritocracy—a system of rewards based on your talent—but sometimes it’s an autocracy, in that one person (a coach or a head referee or a committee operating jointly) may likely decide if you make the cut. Those referees talented enough will rise to the top and be recognized. Others are right for rec leagues.

Refereeing Options Outside the NHL

Certainly, you’ll have lots of refereeing options other than the NHL. But the pay will be quite a step down. What did you expect? The NHL is the high-water mark for players and those associated with play, such as officials and administrators; college is amateur; referee pay in semi-pro or club hockey can vary widely.

According to sources, reffing NCAA Division I college games averages about $400 per game and about half that for linesmen, less for lower divisions. With sanctioned USA Hockey games, you’re probably looking at about $27 or so an hour; the pay scale for refs in club hockey might depend on whether the league charges admission to games, and its overall budget structure.

Essential Hockey Reffing Skills

To be a hockey ref takes game experience and commitment. You need a deep understanding of the game and the rules. So in truth, you evolve into a hockey official. Yeah, the thrill of scoring or being an integral part of the winning team compels us to compete in hockey; but being a ref continues our full-throttle involvement in the game, only more as a participant-observer than a player—though you’re skating as hard as the players, and without line-shift breaks. And heck, who doesn’t look cool in a zebra-striped hockey jersey (or sweater)?

When Did the Zebra-Striped Referee Sweaters Become Standard?

Zebra-striped sweaters became standard issue in 1955. But before the NHL, referees were much more formal and nattily dressed, wearing suits and derby hats—which certainly set them apart from the players! Later, NHL refs wore white sweaters and then orange tops—fine for when spectators were watching a game in person. When NHL games were televised starting in the 1950s, viewers often couldn’t tell the referees from the players on their black-and-white televisions. So in December 1955, NHL officials solved that problem—by having referees wear black-and-white, vertically striped sweaters. (A style that probably was borrowed from U.S. college football.) NHL referees now also wear an orange armband, to distinguish them from linesmen.

By the way, two referees and two linesmen work NHL games, with the referees responsible for calling on-ice play penalties and goals and the linesmen call line infractions, such as icing.

How to Get Started as a Hockey Referee

Your first step in becoming a hockey ref is to contact the USA Hockey-sanctioned Referee-in-Chief closest to your geographic area, and registering as a hockey referee. USA Hockey is the governing body overseeing organized hockey in the U.S. The organization was founded in 1937 in New York City and is now based in Colorado Springs, CO, largely focused on grassroots hockey and grassroots-player development. It also registers refs and offers referee training and teaching support.

There are no age restrictions—anyone can ref. You will need the proper reference materials—USA Hockey Rules and Casebook—and USA Hockey will send other preliminary info, as well, after you register with the group. Canada has its own hockey governing body.

Consult the Pure Hockey Resource Center for more on how to become a hockey referee.

Hockey Referee Training Assistance

Being a ref is challenging physically and mentally. As you keep pace with play on the ice, skating hard to maintain a clear view of the action, you must also make quick or even instantaneous decisions. Plus, you have to remember the rules of the game and the responsibilities of a ref: You must act confident and be decisive, communicate well, and shoulder many other responsibilities. There’s a lot going on—you’re an official, an authority figure on the ice. Embrace it, but know you don’t have to master all these skills alone. Except for the physical fitness part—only you can get in shape and stay fit.

But the craft of being an official is something for which you can receive training: Official “officials” camps—training camps for hockey referees—are available. Some are staffed by current or former National Hockey League personnel. You cover more than rules at these schools—officiating skills that are taught during these sessions include on-ice positioning, skating skills, signals, penalty calling, plus off-ice sessions provide strategies through classroom presentations, and more.

You’re basically going to ref school. And why wouldn’t you? If you aspire to being a conduit to skills development and adherence to hockey rules, players need to learn from someone like you. Another option is to seek out an experienced mentor, possibly a ref you know and respect. This person can answer questions and help guide you along your official officiating path.

Start Dropping the Puck

We mentioned earlier there are no age limits on being a hockey referee—young or old! So this challenging, rewarding work (sometimes involving dropping the puck for faceoffs—no doubt USA Hockey teaches that in training) will keep you involved in hockey for the rest of your days, or at least for as long as you can skate.

And as you accumulate experience working games, you’ll become part of a vital hockey network, always giving back to the sport you love.

Getting Started

The USA Hockey Officiating Program is responsible for the registration, testing and education of approximately 24,000 ice hockey officials in the United States. Officials who are registered with USA Hockey actively officiate all sanctioned games, tournaments and other events. These events are played at all levels ranging from youth hockey to the Olympic Games.

The Officiating Program provides the opportunity for officials to gain the proper experience at the lower levels of competition and promotes the more experienced, talented officials to high ranks of officiating such as collegiate, minor professional, USA Hockey National Championships, International and Olympic competition, and even graduates top program members to the National Hockey League. Officiating USA Hockey-sanctioned games offers a unique opportunity to practice and further develop on-ice skills while providing a safe environment in which all participants may compete.

Who Should Officiate?

USA Hockey registers male and female officials between the ages of 14 and older. These officials are recruited from all aspects of life. Players, students, adults and parents are all welcome to join the program and participate as on-ice officials. Even those who aspire to a career in professional officiating begin in the ranks of USA Hockey.

Why Do People Officiate?

People officiate for many different reasons. Officiating is a great way to supplement a playing career. It provides players with an “extra edge” that comes from the additional ice time and rules knowledge that they receive. Ex-players find officiating a rewarding method to stay involved in ice hockey, while parents can enhance their child’s involvement in the game by participating as well. Students find the additional income helpful in financing their education. Above all, most officials are involved because they love the sport. There is a great deal of self-satisfaction after completing a well-officiated game.

How Do Officials Get Started?

All officials who work sanctioned games must register with the USA Hockey Officiating Program. This involves the completion of a simple registration form and the payment of a nominal annual registration fee. After registering, the applicant must pass an open-book rules exam that is designed to cover the basic playing rules that are required at the lower levels. New officials will also have to obtain a black hockey helmet, official’s sweater, black trousers and a whistle.

The Officiating Program conducts over 400 pre-season educational seminars for its officials during the fall months. These full-day seminars are mandatory for all officials registering with USA Hockey. All seminars are conducted free-of-charge to all participants. The content of these educational seminars ranges from on-ice skills to rules interpretations to advanced theories of officiating. As experience is gained, officials advance to higher level seminars.

What Are the Various Levels of Officiating?

The Officiating Program establishes “levels of achievement” for each individual, from the beginner to the highly-skilled official.

First-year officials must register as a Level 1 official and may officiate at the lower levels of hockey. New officials who have past experience in officiating ice hockey may register at a different level, on a case-by-case basis, as determined by the District Referee-in-Chief.

LEVEL 1: May officiate games at age levels 8 or Under – 12 or Under (Mites through Pee-Wees) after completion of the registration and testing process in addition to attending a pre-season seminar.

LEVEL 2: May officiate at the 14 or Under (Bantam) and younger age classes after completion of the registration and testing process and after one or two years at Level 1. Attendance at a pre-season seminar is mandatory.

LEVEL 3: The Level 3 official has proven his abilities over a period of years. The official is required to complete all registration and testing requirements and must attend a pre-season seminar. Level 3 officials may referee games through the 17 or Under age classification (Midget) as well as Over 20 (Senior) and act as a Linesman for Junior hockey games (19 and under).

LEVEL 4: Level 4 officials may work all levels of USA Hockey. Applicants must have one year experience at Level 3, must successfully complete the open-book exam, the closed-book exam, a skating test and attend a pre-season seminar.

What Are The Benefits Of Membership?

In addition to being eligible to officiate USA Hockey-sanctioned games, all officials are provided with $1,000,000 liability insurance and excess medical/dental insurance. All registered officials receive an Official Rule Book, training manual for the appropriate level, Playing Rules Interpretation Manual (Level 3 and 4 only), sweater crest, registration card, Stripes Newsletter (four times per year), American Hockey Magazine (nine times per year) and assistance from the District Referee-in-Chief, local supervisors, officials, and various instructional staff members throughout the district.

USA Hockey also conducts various officiating camps for elite officials, district weekend seminars and instructor training programs throughout the country on a regular basis.

Who Should You Contact?

Any person who wishes to become a USA Hockey Official should contact Nick Tochelli

Mass Hockey Officials Recruitment Flyer
USA Hockey Referee Brochure – Women
USA Hockey Referee Brochure – Men

Dear Potential Officials:

Thank you for interest in the USA Hockey Officiating Program.

Everyone must attend a USA Hockey Seminar each year (both veterans and new officials) in order to be a registered official. The program is usually a 7 to 8 hour day on Saturday or Sunday, with breaks and lunch on your own. The Seminar includes both classroom and on-ice training.

We usually run our Referee Seminars from late August to late October or early November. Choose the seminar you want to attend from our list of seminars starting in early July. All officials must register on-line with USA Hockey before they will be allowed to register for a seminar. Registration is on a “first come, first served basis” and registration for each seminar will be closed when the seminar reaches capacity. Please note that these seminars often fill up quickly.

There is no charge to attend a seminar, but you must register with USA Hockey and with the Mass Hockey as a Referee (even if you are already registered as a Player and/or a Coach). This involves a fee of $45.00 (fees vary by level) to register with USA Hockey and a $25.00 fee to register with the Mass Hockey You can register with USA Hockey on-line at http://www.usahockeyregistration.com/ starting on August 1.

After you register with USA Hockey, you will receive a USA Hockey Rule Book and access to the Open Book Test. You need to complete the Open Book Test on-line. USA Hockey will process all of your information. If you successfully complete all aspects of the program, they will send you a Referee’s Card along with a crest for your Referee’s sweater.

You will have to book games on your own. Attendance at a USA Hockey Seminar is no guarantee of assignments. Officials make progress at their own pace, based on ability and availability.