Ice Hockey Officials of Northern California
Plain Text Web Site for Primitive Browsers
|Step One: USA Hockey Training|
In order to become a USA Hockey certified referee, you must:
Once all of these things are successfully completed, USA Hockey will mail
you an official crest, to be attached to your referee sweater, and a
referee certification card. You are now a certified referee -- but CTHOA
won't assign you to work any games until you also register with CTHOA.
This is easy and there's no fee; just fill out the
CTHOA Registration Form.
- Apply for certification. You can do this online at
The fee depends on your level of officiating; for first-year officials, it
- Attend a USA Hockey Officiating seminar. These seminars are
held in August and September each year. They are a full day,
with both classroom and on-ice portions. Registration for these
seminars is required. Click here to
see the schedule and to register.
- Complete a written test. When you apply for certification (see above),
USA Hockey will mail you a rulebook and a short written test. This is an open
book test. You complete the test and mail it back.
There are several things to do while waiting until your seminar date:
- Work on your skating.
Even the most experienced officials work
to improve their skating. You should think twice about officiating if
you are not comfortable skating on rockered hockey skates. (Goalie
skates are not acceptable for a referee.) In addition to general
skating proficiency, focus on backwards as well as forwards skating,
stops and starts, tight turns both directions, and especially being
able to skate while looking in any direction and while making signals
with your arms.
- Learn the rules.
Study the rulebook, and the playing rules
handbook. (These can be found in the Rules menu on this site.)
Rule knowledge is absolutely essential for an official.
(Note: you're probably better off ignoring the league-specific
rule exceptions for our local leagues until after you've taken the
- Play the game.
Referees do not have to also be players --
but the better ones are. The more you can understand the mindset of
a player, the better official you can be.
- Get your equipment and insurance (see below).
|Step Two: Get Your Equipment|
Officials must have the following equipment, at a minimum:
Recommended protective equipment includes:
- black hockey helmet with half-shield visor
- striped official's sweater with removable orange armbands and nameplate (no pro style sweaters allowed)
- black official's pants
- black hockey skates with white laces
- padded girdle
- cup or pelvic protector
- shin guards and knee pads
- elbow pads
CTHOA also has a Flea Market for used
|Step Three: Get Your Insurance|
CTHOA strongly recommends that you have additional insurance covering you when you officiate. Your current USA Hockey certification does provide you with insurance for games in USA Hockey sanctioned leagues. CTHOA recommends purchasing the additional insurance coverage available through the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). The coverage NASO provides has higher limits than USA Hockey's coverage, and is not restricted to USA Hockey sanctioned league games.
|Step Four: Sign Up with CTHOA|
When you've taken care of all of these things, and you're ready to start
working games for CTHOA, fill out our Registration Form.
Good Luck! We look forward to working with you.