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Want to be a Referee?

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 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.

For more information, please contact a supervisor of officials from your area.  A directory can be found under the MHOA Board section.

What Are the Various Levels and Requirements for 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.

LEVEL 1: May officiate games at age levels 8 or Under thru 12 or Under (Mites through Pee Wees). Requirements:

  • Register with USA Hockey.
  • Attain an open book exam score of 35/50.
  • Attend and complete an officiating seminar administered by USA Hockey.

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. Requirements:

  • Register with USA Hockey.
  • Must have been Level 1 or higher within the last two seasons.
  • Attain an open book exam score of 85/100.
  • Attain a closed book exam score of 24/30.
  • Attend and complete an officiating seminar administered by USA Hockey.

LEVEL 3: The Level 3 official has proven his abilities over a period of years. 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).  Requirements:

  • Register with USA Hockey.
  • Must have been Level 2 or higher the previous season.
  • Attain an open book exam score of 90/100.
  • Attain a closed book exam score of 40/50.
  • Attend and complete an officiating seminar administered by USA Hockey.

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.

  • Register with USA Hockey.
  • Must have been Level 3 or higher the previous season.
  • Attain an open book exam score of 90/100.
  • Attain a closed book exam score of 40/50.
  • Must pass skating exam and attend & complete a level 4 specific officiating seminar each season.
  • Arrange to have an evaluation completed, while officiating a high level game, by a trained USA Hockey Evaluator at least once during the calendar year.