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Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I earn officiating a game?

Game fees vary depending on the league in which you officiate, the level of the game, and your officiating role (referee in the 3 official system, linesman in the 3 official system, or referee in the 2 official system).

How long do officiating seminars last? Are they all day affairs?


Seminars generally begin early in the morning (at 8:00 or 8:30am, check the Seminar Schedule) and last until 4:00pm or later.

Please arrive at or before the scheduled starting time of the seminar and be prepared to stay for the entire seminar. As other stories on this website say, late arrival or early departure from the seminar are among the reasons that you can be dismissed from the seminar without receiving credit for it.

I want to attend the seminar in (town name) thats happening tomorrow, but the website says I can't register for it. Why Not?


The deadline for using the On-Line Registration System to register for a seminar in Minnesota is 12-48 hours before the seminar begins. The registration system automatically closes registrations at that time, whether the seminar is totally full or not. The reason we have chosen to do this is to allow time for the Seminar Staff to receive a complete roster of the attendees.

In the past when we have allowed walk-up registrations, the result has been long delays for the officials who have followed instructions, planned ahead, and registered in advance. We have decided that it is too frustrating both for the seminar attendees and the volunteer Seminar Staff to try to accommodate last minute registrants.

I was a Level 3 official, but I did not register last season. What level am I eligible for this season?

You have a one season exemption for the last level you were complete at.  For every year you "take off" beyond the initial year, you lose one USA Hockey officiating level. If you were a Level 3 complete the season before last, you are eligible for Level 3 this season. If you took two years off, you would have to drop to Level 2. Any time off 3 years any longer would require you to register at level 1.

If I am registered with USA Hockey as a player or a coach, do I still have to register as a referee?

Yes, each division of USA Hockey is separate. You have to register as an
official and complete all registration requirements in order to officiate games.

If I am bringing someone with me to an officiating seminar, do I have to register each of us separately?

Yes, each person intending to become an official must have their own registration verification in order to be admitted to an officiating seminar. (Parents or Guardians wishing to attended an not having a desire to officiate are enouraged to attend with their child)  Furthermore, the MHOA Officiating Program strongly recommends that each seminar attendee register themselves using the on-line registration process.

Why do I have to pay the $10.00 MHOA Fee in addition to the USA Hockey National Registration Fee?

The MHOA Fee covers the cost of local issues (i.e. mailings, seminar
equipment, and seminar costs not reimbursed by USA Hockey). The National Fee covers administration of the officiating program, issuance of your officiating card and crest, training materials, insurance, and other National programs.  When you register with USA Hockey as a Minnesota official, the $10 fee is collected along with the national fee.

How old do I have to be to officiate USA Hockey games?

USA Hockey has established a national minimum age of 10 years for officials.  Most youth hockey programs further restrict young officials. Young officials can generally only officiate games where all players are younger than they are. For example, a 12 year-old official will not generally be permitted to officiate games where the players are 12 years old or older.

What are the steps involved in becoming an official?


There are three steps to becoming a USA Hockey Official:

  1. Registration with USA Hockey New officials will receive intructions for on-line registration at the seminar, returning officials will receive an e-mail reminding them to register on-line).
  2. Local Seminar Attendance
  3. Testing

All USA Hockey officials must complete an open book rules test. In addition, Level 2, 3, and 4 officials must complete a closed book test administered at the seminar. Level 4 officials must also pass a skating test.


All district and national registration fees must be paid, as appropriate for your registration

I may be late for my seminar. Is that OK?

No, you will not be admitted if you are late.

I cannot stay for the whole seminar, is that OK?

No, if you leave the seminar early, or leave the seminar in the middle and come back, you will not receive credit.

Can I skip an officiating level, or take two seminars in one season to move ahead faster?

No, you may only advance one USA Hockey officiating level per year.

I may not be able to skate for the skating test, because I am injured. May I still attend?

Yes. However, you should bring a doctor's note stating that you are unable to skate. All Level 4 attendees must participate in the skating test at the seminar. No exceptions!

Can I start officiating games right away after I attend my seminar?

If you are a new official, you cannot officiate any games until you receive your officiating membership card and the officiating sweater crest from USA Hockey. If you are a returning official, you can officiate games provided you have a valid officiating membership card and crest. If you were fully registered last season, you can continue to officiate until November 30 on last season's card and crest. After December 1, you must possess the card and crest for the new season.

When do my card and crest from last season expire?

The card and crest for a season expire on November 30 of the next season. For example, the 2002-2003 card and crest expire on November 30, 2003. This means that you must have your new USA Hockey officiating membership card and crest by December 1 in order to continue officiating.

If I am a returning official, what registration materials are USA Hockey supposed to send me and when should I receive them?


USA Hockey will e-mail you a reminder to register on-line sometime in early August.  If it is a rule change year, you will receive a rule book.  Once you have registered on-line, you will be able to access the open book exam within 72 hours if not sooner.  If you have not received your reminder September 1st it is probably because of a change in your e-mail.  With the advent of on-line registration, It is now very important that you keep all vital contact information current.

If you are a new official, you must register using on-line registration process at Then visit the seminar registration icon and begin the seminar registration process.  As stated above the on-line open book exam will be available to you soon after.  Every new official will receive a rule book which is good for two years.  Please wait for your rule book to arrive before you attempt the open book exam.

Must every official in Minnesota register On-Line for a Seminar?

Yes, we have implemented a system to ensure that we have enough materials, staff, and ice time at each seminar. We also feel this will speed up the registration process and give us more time to spend working on the materials.

What if the seminar I want to go to is full?

You will have to choose another seminar. The on-line registration system closes a seminar when capacity is reached. Registration is on a "first come, first served" basis.

Can I register for more than one seminar, so I have a backup?

No. The on-line registration system will only allow you to register for one
seminar at a time.

How do I know that I successfully registered for a seminar?


Your web browser will display an MHOA Seminar enrollment verification containing seminar details.  Please print the verification!

What if I do not bring my MHOA Seminar Admission Verification with me to the seminar?

You may not be admitted to the seminar.

What should I bring with me to the seminar?


All officials must bring:

  • your MHOA Seminar Verification printout
  • In addition, returning officials must bring:
  • full officiating gear

In addition, new officials must bring:

  • a hockey helmet
  • skates
  • long pants, and a long sleeve shirt