Become a Referee

  • The first step to becoming an official is to approach your local officiating governing body, i.e. Canada (Hockey Canada), USA (USA Hockey), or your local league office. This will put you in contact with other officials to set you on your way.

  • The next step is to get out there and “just do it”. Experience is the key to your success. Any game experience is invaluable, regardless of the level of hockey played. Progression to better games comes in time. ANY game is a good game to officiate. You will inevitably draw from all your experiences and grow as a well rounded official.

  • Training is available to you by way of official training schools and camps as well as power skating sessions in both Canada and The USA These are key factors in your development as they will give you the technical skill set needed. Many of the people who instruct, are current or former officials in the NHL, who have been students at these very same training camps and schools.

  • Some of the topics that are emphasized include, on ice positioning, signals, penalty calling, skating skills, and off ice theory sessions to give you a sense of the game

  • Present at these official’s schools are representatives of leagues such as the NHL, AHL, ECHL, Canadian Major Junior Hockey Leagues, and USA Hockey associations. These representatives are there to help develop and encourage young officials to further their careers in officiating.

  • Make no mistake about it, fitness is a key factor in your success as an official, Fitness is measured and monitored closely by the league to ensure the staff are ready and able to do the job, game in and game out.

  • Remember, whether you are a first time official, have some experience, or are looking to officiate after or during a playing career (at any level). The key to your success is you. You need to get out there and just do it

    For more info on how to get started with Hockey Canada, click here:

    For more info on how to get started with USA Hockey, click here:

    Looking for a way to earn a living in the NHL? The NHL is holding every summer an NHL Officiating Exposure Combine for current and former hockey players looking to stay in the game, while learning a different side of hockey. Officiating is a fast-paced, high-energy profession with the best view in the arena for games and is in need of great athletes to serve the game as officials. The Combine’s focus is on high level hockey players with little or no officiating experience. The Combine is accepting ex-college (D1, DII, DIII), University (CIS) and Junior hockey players or with or without any professional experience. Several attendees have been hired by the NHL as officials in the past few years. For more information on this program, please click on the link below.