How Do I Become an Ice Hockey Official?

Tony Mariconda, the former Atlantic District Referee-in-Chief who passed away in September 2011, wrote this letter to all people interested in becoming ice hockey officials in New Jersey, Delaware, and Eastern Pennsylvania.

What Tony said back in 2002 is still excellent advice today. We continue to publish it with minimal changes, in his memory.

If you are interested in taking the first step toward becoming an official, read on for more information.

Dear Potential Officials:

Thank you for interest in the USA Hockey Officiating Program.

Everyone must attend a USA Hockey Seminar each year (both veterans and new officials) in order to be a registered official. The program is usually a 7 to 8 hour day on Saturday or Sunday, with breaks and lunch on your own. The Seminar includes both classroom and on-ice training.

We usually run our Referee Seminars from mid-August to late October or early November. Choose the seminar you want to attend from our list of seminars starting in early July. All officials must register on-line with USA Hockey before they will be allowed to register for a seminar. Registration is on a "first come, first served basis" and registration for each seminar will be closed when the seminar reaches capacity. Please note that these seminars often fill up quickly.

There is no charge to attend a seminar, but you must register with USA Hockey and with the Atlantic District as a Referee (even if you are already registered as a Player and/or a Coach). This involves a fee of $35.00 to register with USA Hockey and a $25.00 fee to register with the Atlantic District. You can register with USA Hockey on-line at starting on August 1.

After you register with USA Hockey, you will receive a USA Hockey Rule Book and access to the Open Book Test. You need to complete the Open Book Test on-line. USA Hockey will process all of your information. If you successfully complete all aspects of the program, they will send you a Referee's Card along with a crest for your Referee's sweater.

There are many Local Assignors in our District and we maintain a list of Officiating Assignors for Youth Hockey Programs in the Atlantic District on the AAHArefs website. Information about Local Assignors is also provided at Officiating Seminars.

You will have to book games on your own. Attendance at a USA Hockey Seminar is no guarantee of assignments. Officials make progress at their own pace, based on ability and availability.

We hope to see you at the rink!

Tony Mariconda
USA Hockey
Atlantic District Referee-in-Chief, 1999-2011

For more information about the officiating program, please contact Jim Doyle, the current Atlantic District Referee-in-Chief, or one of the senior staff members listed on the AAHA Officiating Program Staff page.

Jim Doyle
jdoyle [at]

1 Comment

Is there a date for referee seminars for interested kids who are 12?

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