How do I become a referee?
Interested in becoming an on-ice official? Here is what you need to get your officiating career started.
Visit the Nepean Minor Hockey Officiating Program website.
The Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP) offers the opportunity for participants of all ages to be involved in the game beyond playing. By following the levels of development, along with hard work and dedication, officials can find fulfillment in the form of advancement while making the game safe, fair and fun for all participants.
The Officiating Pathway is the foundation for the training, development and advancement for all officials across Canada. Hockey Canada has categorized the hockey played in Canada into five basic streams, each with different priorities. They include:
- High Performance
- Adult Recreational
The Hockey Canada Officiating Pathway has been developed to address the following components of the program at both the Member and national levels:
- Be inclusive and gender neutral.
- Defining a process to allow individuals to join the system at the appropriate level.
- Providing equal opportunities for officials of the same skill level.
- Developing a national standard that is adhered to by Members.
- Building flexibility into a linear system.
For more detail on how to begin your officiating career please reach out to the Assistant Referee-in-Chief for Hockey Eastern Ontario, your District Referee-in-Chief or local hockey association Referee-in-Chief.
All Level 1, 2, and 3 officials must register and attend a Re-Certification clinic within Hockey Eastern Ontario every year. This clinic will be held either in-person or online. Officials in the High Performance Program (formely Level IV and Level V) and the National High Performance Program (formely Level VI) must register each season and will be required to attend a Re-Certification clinic bi-annually in a rule change year. This clinic will either be held in-person or online. More information about the requirements, roles, etc. for each level can be found in the Hockey Canada Officiating Pathway.
By attending the clinic, learning the rule book, gaining experience by actually officiating games, and by learning more about the procedures involved in officiating, along with being coached by senior officials, you should be able to earn a higher level, and also work a higher calibre of hockey. Practical on-ice coaching is a key step in allowing you to learn about the strengths you have as an official, and to know the areas of your game you need to develop before you can advance to the next level.
Certification at all levels (except brand new officials) requires an official complete an online certification program, which needs to be completed before September 30th at 11:59pm.
Once certified, it is essential that an official continue to update and be completely familiar with new rule interpretations and officiating techniques. To maintain one’s present level of certification, an individual must attend a Hockey Canada officiating program clinic and write a national examination every year with appropriate passing mark
An individual will not be eligible to advance more than one level of the Hockey Canada officiating program per season.
Please click the Referee Clinics link in the left side bar to register for a clinic.
These are sample quizzes that officials take while learning and/or enhancing their skills and knowledge of the rules of hockey – (they are a good tool for coaches/parents or volunteers to take to get better aquainted with the rules).
Discipline codes (updated for 2023-2024)
Coaches, managers need to be familiar with this for suspension reporting.