Congratulations on taking the first step towards becoming an official. Each official plays an important role in each and every game. The basic role of the official can be broken down into two simple words –safe and fair. By viewing and officiating the game with these two words in mind, an official helps make the game enjoyable to all participants. The officials are the third team on the ice, without whom the game would not happen.
Once you’ve decided you want to become an official, you should begin by contacting your local Referee-In-Chief (RIC), as he/she will be responsible for administering the officiating program in your area. Each district has their own needs and procedures for accepting new officials, so it is important that you speak with the RIC before signing up for any certification courses. If you need help finding out which district you belong to or you need contact information for the local RIC, you can find that information on the Districts & RICs page
Once your RIC has accepted you as an official in their district you can start the certification process. For new officials, certification is a two-step process which the official is required to complete:
- An online training program through Hockey University
- Completion of an in-person certification clinic, including obtaining a passing grade on the national certification exam
When you are ready to sign up for your in-person clinic please take the following points into consideration:
- New Officials must complete the Hockey University program before they can register for an in-person clinic. New Officials must start their certification at Level I or Level II. A new official who is over the age of 16 may go directly to Level II at their discretion. It is worth noting that your level of certification will not play a factor in the amount or level of assignments you receive.
- New officials must register for an in-person clinic marked for ‘*Official - New Youth Referee Clinics’. The information provided at this clinic is specific to officials who are new. In subsequent years, an official may register for a normal re-certification clinic.
For more information regarding the different levels within the Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP) please visit the Certifications page. For further information about the clinic schedule and registration process please visit the clinic schedule page.
Once you have completed the entire certification process, you should inform your local RIC and he/she will be able to provide you with instructions on how to get your first set of assignments.