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Membership Rules & Policies

2024-25 REGISTRATION RULES & POLICIES

Submission of USA Hockey Officiating Membership applications for the 2024-25 Season begins on June 3, 2024 and ends after October 31, 2024.

All 2024-25 Officiating Memberships must be completed by December 31, 2024. No referee cards and sweater crests will be issued after this date. 

USA Hockey Officiating Membership is valid for the entire current season in any district or state in the United States, and membership within any local officials association or local hockey league is not required for USA Hockey Officiating Program membership.


Minimum/Maximum Ages

USA Hockey has no minimum or maximum ages for officials. It is highly recommended that, regardless of level attained, officials not work games of their own age classification or higher. Generally, officials can successfully officiate as young as age 10. However, some individual states do have restrictive child labor laws that do not exempt amateur sport officials. It is the obligation of the parent who registers a minor to determine the specific labor laws in their respective state prior to registering with USA Hockey.


New Officials (Never Been Registered)

All persons who have never registered with USA Hockey as an Ice Hockey Official must register at Level 1 for the first season. All registration requirements must be completed, and you must have your Card and Crest in hand before you may accept assignments.


Returning Officials

Returning officials may apply for one membership level higher than their completed membership level the previous season.

Once completely registered, an official who is under the age of 16 years-old may remain at Level 1.

An official who is 16 years-old (or older) and has 2 (or more) years of completed officiating membership, must advance to Level 2.

USA Hockey has instituted a "Welcome Back" program to assist experienced officials in returning to USA Hockey membership. This program offers a two-year amnesty to officials to return to the level they last left. If an official has been away for a period ranging from three (3) to ten (10) seasons, they may return at Level 2. If the official has been away for a period ranging from three (3) to ten (10) seasons but has been officiating under another governing body (NFHS, NCAA, etc.), they should submit a letter a letter of request to the USA Hockey National Office and they may be allowed to return at the level they last completed membership at. If the official has not been a USA Hockey member for longer than ten (10) seasons, they should contact their District Referee-in-Chief for level recommendation.

Once the online Membership Registration application has been submitted, an official cannot change the registration level they have applied for.


ANNUAL OFFICIATING MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

More information pertaining to these steps is posted below.

LEVEL 1 REFEREE REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must submit online membership application
  • Must submit Officiating Membership fee ($55.00)
  • Must attend and complete a Level 1 officiating classroom seminar sanctioned by USA Hockey
  • Must complete SafeSport training (if 2007 Birth Year, or older)
  • Must complete and maintain a USA Hockey sanctioned NCSI Background Screen if 18(+) years old on June 1, 2024.

 

LEVEL 2 REFEREE REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must have complete Level 1 membership within the last two seasons
  • Must submit online Level 2 membership application
  • Must submit Officiating membership fee ($110.00)
  • Must attend and complete a Level 2 officiating classroom seminar sanctioned by USA Hockey
  • Must complete SafeSport training (if 2007 Birth Year, or older)
  • Must complete and maintain a USA Hockey sanctioned NCSI Background Screen if 18(+) years old on June 1, 2024.

 

LEVEL 3 REFEREE REQUIREMENTS:  

  • Must have complete Level 2 (or higher) membership during previous season
  • Must submit Level 3 online membership application
  • Must submit Officiating membership fee ($110.00)
  • Must attend and complete a Level 3 officiating classroom seminar sanctioned by USA Hockey
  • Must complete SafeSport training (if 2007 Birth Year, or older)
  • Must complete and maintain a USA Hockey sanctioned NCSI Background Screen if 18(+) years old on June 1, 2024.

 

LEVEL 4 REFEREE REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Must have complete Level 3 or Level 4 membership last season
  • Must submit Level 4 online membership application  
  • Must submit Officiating membership fee ($110.00) 
  • Must attend and complete a Level 4 officiating classroom seminar sanctioned by USA Hockey
  • Must complete SafeSport training (if 2007 Birth Year, or older).
  • Must complete and maintain a USA Hockey sanctioned NCSI Background Screen if 18(+) years old on June 1, 2024.

 

AFFILIATED (NON-SKATING) MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must submit online membership application
  • Must submit Officiating membership fee ($45.00)
  • Must complete SafeSport training (if 2007 Birth Year, or older)
  • Must complete and maintain a USA Hockey sanctioned NCSI Background Screen if 18(+) years old on June 1, 2024.

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • An official may not change their membership level to a higher level once their online membership application is submitted.
  • "Complete" membership registration means that an official has completed all steps at the level for which they have applied.
  • "Incomplete" means that an official has submitted a membership application but has not completed all the necessary steps to be complete at any level.
  • A new incomplete official may not officiate any USA Hockey sanctioned games until they are completely registered and receive their current season referee card and crest.
  • Once complete, a membership is valid through November 30 of the following season (e.g. a 2022-23 membership is valid through November 30 2023). If the member does not complete their current season membership prior to November 30, their membership expires and they become ineligible to work USA Hockey sanctioned games until they complete their current season membership registration.
  • To be eligible to officiate in any State, District or National Tournaments, an official must be completely registered on or before December 31 of the current season.

USA Hockey Playing Rules Exercise

(For the 2024-25 Season) There will be no Playing Rule Exercise requirements for any membership levels outside of classroom seminar curriculum.


Classroom Seminar Attendance

Attendance at a sanctioned USA Hockey Officiating Classroom Seminar is required for all applicants, regardless of level.

Classroom seminar sessions will be offered in a online classroom (via Zoom Meetings). Please make sure you read the seminar schedule carefully regarding what membership level seminar is being offered.

The attendance roster will be submitted to the USA Hockey National Office for credit within 24 - 48 hours after the conclusion of the seminar.

NOTE: An official is not required to attend a seminar in their respective state or USA Hockey District. An official may attend any sanctioned seminar in any district and receive credit toward membership.

All questions regarding classroom seminar schedules and logisitcs should be directed to the seminar facilitator using the link at the seminar's logistics page in the USA Hockey Courses system.

Level 4 Official applicants must attend a Level 4 specific seminar for proper credit.


Online Education Modules

(For the 2024-25 Season) There will be no Online Education Module requirements for any membership levels outside of classroom seminar curriculum.


USA Hockey SafeSport Education Program

As part of USA Hockey's continued effort to create a safe playing environment for all participants, those officials who are a 2007 Birth Year or older at the beginning of the registration season are required to complete the online U.S. Center for SafeSport education program.

The online program is free of charge and is hosted on the U.S. Center for SafeSport web platform.

Per United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and U.S. Center for SafeSport policy, all returning officials must renew SafeSport training within 12-months of the previous season's training (e.g. if you completed training on September 15, 2023, you must renew your training by September 15, 2024). An official that does not maintain annual training within 12 months will become ineligible to work any USA Hockey sanctioned game.

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN TRAINING


USA Hockey Background Screen

All officials who are 18(+) years-old or older by June 1 of the current year, must submit to a USA Hockey coordinated Criminal Background Screen. More information about screening can be found at this page.

Background screens are valid for two seasons, and no background screen performed by an outside entity or governing body will be accepted.


Scheduling of Games

Registration with the USA Hockey Officiating Program does not guarantee any official any game assignments.

Officials are responsible to obtain their own game assignments from Local Game Schedulers as designated in each District. Any game scheduler who assigns incompletely registered officials for games is subject to serious liability as he/she jeopardizes the insurance coverage of the officials and both teams involved. Whenever possible, only level-qualified officials should be assigned to games. Updated listings of currently registered officials are available from the District Referee-in-Chief on a regular basis.