Airdrie Referee Association Powered by Goalline Sports Administration Software

Becoming a Referee

Want To Be A Hockey Official?Want to start officiating, but have no idea what to do?

Step 1 – Contact the Referee In Chief, Corey Halford, at or 403-618-9026.
Don’t put it off; make contact with the RIC immediately. When you are able to make contact explain to him , 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.

Step 2 – 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.

During the clinic you will be required to take a closed book exam. To best prepare yourself for the exam feel free to ask plenty of questions – the only dumb question is the one not asked.

If this is your first referee clinic, you will be required to attend an on-ice session that will last one hour. 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 3 – Ask about equipment
As a novice official you will find yourself working many low-level games, so there’s no need to go out and purchase something that you won’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 4 – 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. 

Step 5 – Don’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 – each game is important to those kids.

As an official, you will need to develop the ability to block out the negative criticism. If you’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 don’t be afraid to ask more experienced official’s 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 6 – 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.

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