The registration season for the Officiating Program begins on August 1 and ends on May 9 of the following year.  USA Hockey officials registration is valid for the entire season in any district or state in the United States.  Membership in a State or Local Officials Association is not required for USA Hockey officials registration.

USA Hockey has no minimum or maximum ages for officials.  It is highly recommended that, regardless of level attained, officials not work games of their own age classification or higher.  Generally, officials can successfully officiate as young as age 10.

All persons who have never officiated must register at Level 1 for the first season.  The District Referee-in-Chief only, prior to registration, may make exceptions to this rule in extreme cases in which the applicant has extensive hockey officiating experience that would foster registration at Level 2.  No first-time registered official may register above Level 2 for the first season.

Level 1 Complete Must make application
Must attain an open book exam score of 35/50
Must attend and complete an officiating seminar administrated by USA Hockey
Level 2 Complete Must make application
Must have been Level 1 or higher (Complete) within the last two seasons
Must attain an open book exam score of 85/100
Must attain a closed book exam score of 24/30
Must attend and complete an officiating seminar administrated by USA Hockey
Level 3 Complete Must make application
Must have been Level 2 or higher (Complete) last season
Must attain an open book exam score of 90/100
Must attain a closed book exam score of 40/50
Must attend and complete an officiating seminar administrated by USA Hockey
Level 4 Complete Must make application
Must have been Level 3 or 4  (Complete) last season
Must attain an open book exam score of 90/100
Must attain closed book exam score of 40/50
Must pass skating exam and attend / complete a level 4 specific USA Hockey seminar each season.
Must 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.
  • SafeSport Training (if 18+ years old): All officials who are 18 years-of-age or older must complete the United States Olympic Committee SafeSport training program. This online based program trains coaches, officials, and key volunteers in detecting and preventing detrimental behavior (hazing, abuse, etc.) off the playing surface. Once completed, the training certification is good for two years before recertification is required. This training must be completed in addition to your USA Hockey Local Affiliate Background Checks.
  • Online Education: Once registered with USA Hockey, you will receive instructions regarding the online Officiating Education module program. These modules are a mixture of required and elective topics that teach fundamental skills of officiating using video examples, animation, and knowledge- based testing. You must complete your required hours of training to receive your card and crest.

“Complete” means that an official has met all the criteria (testing and seminars) at the level for which he/she has applied.  “Incomplete” means that an official has filed an application and has not completed all the necessary criteria for attainment of that level.

A new official (not registered the previous year) may not officiate until he/she is “completely registered.”  A returning official (“complete” the previous season) may not officiate after November 30 (expiration date on previous year’s card) unless he/she is “completely registered” for the new season.

Each season all officials must complete the open book rule’s exam.  Officials who do not receive the minimum score for the appropriate level, will be sent a retake notice and a new answer sheet.  Only one Retake Exam per official is allowed and this retake must be completed within 30 days.  In the event that an official fails the exam twice, he/she will become completely registered at the highest level for which the retake exam score would qualify (e.g., Level 1 =35/50 or 70/100, Level 2 =85, Level 3 =90, Level 4 =90).

Renewal officials may apply for one level higher than their completed registation level the previous season.  Officials are allowed to take one season as unregistered or incomplete and return at the same level they were last completely registered at.  Level 1 completely registered officials are allowed to take one season off and still be eligible for level 2 the following season.  The level that each renewal official is eligible is designated on the pre-printed officiating application.  An official may apply for a level lower than their eligible level.  However, once the application has been received at the National Office, an official cannot change the level they had applied for.

We are always happy to have officials return to the USA Hockey Officiating Program after some time away from the program.  Because of your past experience with our program you may be able to register at a level higher than Level 1, depending upon the level at which you were last registered.  As a general rule, officials may take one season off (unregistered or incomplete) without forfeiting the current level status.  If, however, an official is off (not registered or incomplete) for the previous two seasons, he/she must apply for registration one level lower (except Level 1) than that of the last season “completely registered.”  A level 4 officials who takes 3 or more seasons off will be required to return at level 2.

Attendance at a sanctioned USA Hockey Officials Seminar is required for all applicants, regardless of level.  This seminar must consist of both classroom and ice time, conducted by USA Hockey Trained Instructors.  At the seminar, every official and instructor in attendance must be sure to “sign in” on the official USA Hockey Seminar Attendance Form.  This form will be returned to the National Office and attendance recorded in each official’s record.   Level 4 applicants must attend a level 4 specific seminar.  There will be no opportunity to complete the level 2, level 3 or level 4 closed book testing except at the USA Hockey seminar you attend.

To be eligible to officiate in any State, Regional or National Championships, an official must be completely registered on or before December 31 of the current season.  Only level 4 officials will be eligible to referee National Championships.

Registration with the USA Hockey Officiating Program does not guarantee any official any game assignments.  Officials are responsible to obtain their own game assignments from local game schedulers as designated in each District.

Any game scheduler who assigns incompletely registered officials for games is subject to serious liability as he/she jeopardizes the insurance coverage of the officials and both teams involved.  Whenever possible, only qualified officials should be assigned to games based on the above assignment guidelines.  Updated listings of currently registered officials are available from the District Referee-in-Chief on a regular basis.