Want to start officiating, but have no idea what to do? HockeyRefs.comâ€™s staff has put together a comprehensive guide that will take you through the steps required to become an official.
Step 1 â€“ Contact your hockey association
Once you reach your local minor or youth hockey association, ask them how you can reach their referee-in-chief (RIC) or supervisor of officials. They should be able to provide you with a telephone number of someone involved in the local officiating program.
Step 2 â€“ Contact the RIC
Donâ€™t put it off; make contact with the RIC immediately. When you are able to make contact explain to him or her that, you would like to start officiating in the local association and would like to know when the beginner clinic for the area is held.
You should also ask about any requirements, such as an age restrictions. There may be a law or regulation that limits younger people from officiating.
|Pay careful attention during the clinic and take plenty of notes||You will also need to participate in an ice session where instructors will put you through drills|
Step 3 â€“ Attend the clinic
You will most likely be required to attend an all day beginner clinic where you will learn the basics of officiating both inside a classroom and on the ice. Make sure to come prepared with a pen and notebook along with any other required items such as money for registering or equipment for the on-ice session.
Once at the clinic, you will generally fill out some paperwork such as a registration form or insurance information. If youâ€™re a teenager check with the person in charge to see if you need mom or dad to sign any paperwork for you.
During the clinic, you may be required to take an open or closed book exam. Take your time and feel free to ask plenty of questions â€“ the only dumb question is the one not asked.
As mentioned above you will most likely be required to attend an on-ice session that might last anywhere from a half-hour to two hours. During this session, you will work on basics of skating, on-ice positioning, and procedures. After officiating a few games the skating, positioning, and procedures will become easier and you can work on perfecting them over time.
Step 4 â€“ Ask about equipment
As a novice official you will find yourself working many low-level games, so thereâ€™s no need to go out and purchase something that you wonâ€™t need. So before the clinic is over ask the instructor if he knows of anyone with some used gear for sale, as many experienced officials have collected a wealth of old gear and are looking to get rid of it. Your local association might even have some loaner sweaters or helmets.
Step 5 â€“ Ask about games
Before the clinic is over, ask how you go about getting games in your local area once you are completely registered and certified. Most places require you to attend a scheduling meeting or send your available dates to an assignor or supervisor once a month.
Step 6 â€“ Donâ€™t get discouraged
Remember this is your first season. You might not receive many games and the games you will receive are probably going to be at the lowest levels of hockey. When you work these games remember what it was like to be their age and playing â€“ each game is important to those kids.
As an official, you will need to develop the ability to block out the negative criticism. If youâ€™re looking for a job where people are going to be happy with you each and every game, then you might want to re-consider officiating. Don't expect to go out there and make friends with everyone.
During the season donâ€™t be afraid to ask more experienced officials questions. The best ways to learn and develop as an official is watch and ask those with more experience than you. You should consider helping out at tournament or playoff time as an off-ice official running the clock or keeping score. This is an excellent way to learn from those with more experience than you.
Step 7 â€“ Officiate with ethics
Your duty as a hockey official is to act as an impartial judge and this duty carries with it an obligation for the official to perform with accuracy, consistency, objectivity, and the highest sense of integrity.
In order to preserve and encourage confidence in the professionalism and integrity of officiating, officials must first foster ethical behavior.
The Official's Code of Ethics:
- Place the safety and welfare of the participants above all else
- Accept responsibility for all actions taken
- Be impartial
- Avoid any situation which may lead to a conflict of interest
- Be courteous, respectful and open to discussion and interaction
- Seek continual self improvement through study, performance evaluation, and regular renewing of certifications
- Be a positive role model for both the participants and younger officials in your behavior and personal appearance
- Refrain from any form of personal abuse towards participants
- Refrain from any form of sexual harassment towards participants
- Show concern and caution towards sick and injured participants