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How to Become a Hockey Referee
Becoming a hockey referee is a great way to get involved in the sport. If you want to become a licensed hockey referee and officiate league games, becoming a Level 1 referee will provide you with the proper credentials and allow you to begin your career. Whether you would like to be a professional referee or officiate local games, registering as an official, passing the necessary exams, and attending seminars are all necessary to becoming a hockey referee.
Preparing before Your First Game
Purchase the necessary gear.All officials will need to own their own gear and bring this gear with them to every hockey game. You will need to purchase hockey skates, an officials hockey sweater, a black hockey helmet, shin guards, elbow pads, and a whistle. Keep all of this equipment in a single bag so that you never forget something important.
- Be sure to sew your referee crest onto your hockey sweater before your first match.
Practice your skating skills.You must be a skilled skater in order to officiate a hockey game, no matter what level of competition you are officiating. Practice skating backwards and work on making sharp, sudden turns. Learn to stop quickly and practice weaving in and out of cones to strengthen your mobility.
- Skating endurance is also a very important skill to have, so as you practice, work on skating for long periods of time.
Study the rules and know them well.Before officiating your first match, spend a week or two reviewing the rules and regulations of the game, watching hockey games and reading the rule book. Refreshing your knowledge of the rules every day will ensure that you know as much as possible before your first match.
- Watching hockey on television or in person is a great way to brush up on the rules and to examine how other referees compose themselves.
Focus your energies on the three main violations of hockey.During unofficial games, you can focus on the three most important violations as you learn how to referee. The three rules to focus on as you start refereeing are Offsides, Offside Pass, and Icing. By focusing on these rules, you will be able to keep the game in order and make sure no team has an unfair advantage over the other.
- Offsides should be called when an offensive hockey player passes the puck to a teammate over the defensive team’s blue line.
- An Offside Pass should be called when a hockey player passes the puck to a teammate from the player’s defensive zone over the red line of the hockey rink.
- Icing occurs and should be called when a player shoots the puck over the center red line and past the defending team’s red goal line.
Call penalties when necessary.In hockey, there are minor and major penalties that must be called when a player shows unsportsmanlike conduct, and the severity of the defense dictates the kind of penalty. Understand the different penalties and their punishments in order to hold players accountable and make the contest fair.
- Call a two-minute, minor penalty if you see a player holding, hooking, or pushing another player.
- Call a five-minute major penalty if two players start fighting.
- Call a ten-minute, misconduct penalty if someone commits two major penalties in a game.
- Call a match penalty if a player attempts to injure another player.
- Grant a penalty shot to a player if they are obstructed from behind while handling the puck. A penalty shot is an uncontested shot between a player and the other team’s goalie.
Stay calm and collected if people disagree with your decisions.Officials in every sport face feedback coaches and players. Composing yourself while receiving criticism will go a long way toward determining your success as a hockey referee. Accept the fact that not everyone is going to be happy with your officiating every game.
- As a hockey referee, you will be an acting role model for many young people. It is important to conduct yourself with dignity and class while officiating.
Becoming a Level 1 Hockey Referee
Register with your local officiating governing body.In the United States, you can register as a referee online by creating a membership with USA Hockey. You can also register online as a referee in other countries, such as Canada, by visiting the Hockey Canada website. These websites will give you step by step instructions on how to move forward with your referee career.
- You must be 18 years old to register as a referee online. If you are younger than 18, your registration must be completed by an adult.
- USA Hockey registration becomes available on August 1st every year.
Pay the registration fee.All beginner hockey referees who are trying to start their career must a registration fee to their officiating governing body, and the price will vary depending on the country you register with. You must pay this fee before you are able to take the written exam or participate in a seminar.
Take the open book referee exam online after receiving your rule book.Twenty-four hours after you have registered with your officiating governing body, you will be granted access to an open book exam that contains 50 questions. You can take this exam at your own speed, and your progress will be recorded after answering each question. You must receive a score of 35 out of 50 questions in order to become a hockey referee. You should study the rules before taking the exam.
- If you fail the exam the first time, you will have one opportunity to retake it. The exam will become available to you one week after your failed attempt.
Attend the officiating classroom seminar.After completing the open book exam and paying your fee, you will be able to use your officiating government body online account to register for a referee seminar. These seminars take place in both the classroom and on the ice, and are mandatory before becoming an official.
- To find seminars near you, visit your officiating government body website for a full list of local offerings.
Finish the Online Educational Curriculum.This online curriculum is available after creating your membership with the officiating website and can be taken after your first Level 1 seminar. As the last step in the process, you will receive your referee card and crest in the mail shortly after you complete the curriculum.
Research local games to officiate to be paid by a league.Although there is no age limit for hockey referees, you are not able to officiate a game that is being played by people your age or older. With your Level 1 referee card, you may begin officiating games for children 12 and under. You must sign up to officiate the games on your own, so search the internet for local Mites and Peewee matches and contact the league.
- If you are 12 years old or younger, you will have to wait a couple more years before you are allowed to officiate.
Advancing Your Referee Career
If you are over 18 years old, complete the SafeSport program training every two years.To renew your referee license and continue progressing as an official, you must participate in a training program after every two seasons. This training is done online and takes close to 90 minutes, with video segments that refresh your understanding and knowledge of the game.
- This training program is free and will be covered by the cost of your officiating governing body membership fee.
- If you think you may forget to renew your license by taking this training program, set a notification on your phone to remind you.
Become a Level 2 referee after at least one season of being a Level 1 official.Visit the officiating governing body website and register as a Level 2 referee. The process of registering as a Level 2 official is similar to Level 1, but with some changes.
- The registration fee raises to 60 dollars for Level 2 officials.
- You will take two exams to become a Level 2 official. The first exam is an open book exam on which you must get 80 of 100 questions correct. The second exam you must take is only 30 questions long, but it is closed book and you must get a 24 questions correct.
- When registering for the seminar and online education curriculum, be sure to sign up as a Level 2 official.
- Level 2 referees officiate games played by people 14 years of age or younger.
Become a Level 3 referee after at least one season of Level 2 officiating.Visit your officiating government body website and receive no worse than a 90% on the open book, 100 question exam, as well as a 90% on a closed book, 50 question exam. Pay the registration fee on the website, which will now go up to 80 dollars. Participate in the Level 3 seminar local to your league.
- Level 3 officials may referee for hockey matches played by people 17 years of age or younger, as well as senior leagues.
- Level 3 officials can also act as the linesman for matches played by hockey players that are 19 and under.
Register as a Level 4 referee after one season officiating at Level 3.Arrange for an evaluation by your officiating government body while officiating one high-level hockey game, which can be done on the government body website. Pay a 90 dollar registration fee when applying for Level 4 officiating status, and take the necessary exams and participate in the necessary seminars, which are the same as in Level 3. Pass the Level 4 skating exam during the seminar.
- Level 4 officials are the highest level of hockey referees and can officiate any national-level event and all high-level hockey games.
QuestionWhat are the requirements of becoming a hockey referee?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou must be a capable ice skater and pass an open book exam showing that you understand the rules. These requirements become more intense as you start officiating more serious hockey games.Thanks!
QuestionApproximately how many years does it take to become a hockey referee?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe process of becoming a hockey referee does not even take one year! You can get started now, and should be able to start officiating 12 and under hockey games within a few months.Thanks!
QuestionAbout how experienced to you have to be to become even and NHL refereewikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn order to be chosen as an NHL referee, you need to be a highly professional skater and athlete. Because you will have to be skating with professional hockey players, you must be a professional skater. Most NHL referees are drafted into the NHL after years or decades of training and experience.Thanks!
QuestionWhat does a clinic fee cost?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAround depending on where you live. But some are free and the payment you get will pay for the clinic.Thanks!
How much do you have to pay to become an official
Video: Ice Hockey Referee Clinic
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