The Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO) officiating program is a member partner of the Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP). The two major objectives of Hockey Canada are to:
- Foster and encourage the sport of amateur hockey throughout Canada
- Foster and encourage leadership programs in all areas related to the development of hockey in Canada
The HEO Officiating Program meets these objectives to promote safe, fair and fun hockey at all age and skill levels. The HEO Officiating Program operates several development programs, such as our certification clinics, a supervision program, a mentorship program, and other special events in order to meet these goals.
Ultimately, all levels of amateur hockey in Eastern Ontario fall under the jurisdiction of HEO, the local branch of Hockey Canada. HEO then delegates most of the responsibility for minor hockey programs to the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association (ODMHA). HEO and ODMHA have separate officiating programs, but work together to provide development opportunities for officials at all levels.
The HEO Officiating Program falls under the responsibility of the Branch elected Referee-In-Chief (VP of Rules and Officials) and is responsible for officiating at the following levels:
- Junior A,B,C hockey
- Senior hockey (though there are currently no franchises at this level)
- CIS (University)
- Inter-branch tournaments and assignments
The ODMHA Officiating Program falls under the responsibility of the appointed ODMHA Referee-In-Chief and is responsible for officiating at the following levels:
- Competitive Minor hockey (including AAA, AA, A and B)
- House League hockey (all levels)
The ODMHA is divided into several smaller geographical districts. Each district has a Referee-In-Chief (RIC), who administers the officiating program in that area. Most districts are then further divided into associations, each with its own RIC. An ODMHA Referee-in-Chief is appointed annually to act as a liaison between the ODMHA, the different leagues, HEO, Hockey Canada, and the district RIC’s. An HEO Referee-In-Chief is elected every second year and is expected to oversee the officiating program across the entire branch.