The Official Site of the ODHA / ODHMA Officiating Program




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)


I have never officiated before but I am interested in becoming an official.  How do I do this?

The first step is to contact the minor hockey Referee-In-Chief (RIC) in your area to express your interest in becoming an official. 

The RIC must approve all new officials because in most cases, there are more individuals interested in becoming a referee than there are spaces available.  For this reason, some districts (particularly those in Metro Ottawa) have a selection process in place that may not be described here.  Therefore it is important that you gain the RIC’s consent to join the officiating program BEFORE signing up for a certification clinic.

Should your RIC give you permission to join their association, you must then register for a certification clinic.  Only those officials approved by an ODMHA RIC will be allowed to certify.
** All certification clinics that are NOT being held at the Hockey Office which include a level 1 and/or level 2 class will include a new officials class even though it may not listed on the website.

** New officials taking a clinic at the Hockey Office MUST register for a ‘NEW OFFICIALS’ clinic, regardless of level or age.


What materials will I receive at the clinic?

At the clinic your instructor will be providing you with the following materials:

  • Hockey Canada Rulebook/Casebook
  • Hockey Canada Procedures Manual
  • Crests for your jersey (ODMHA Branch Crest, Hockey Canada Crest, ODHA Number Crest)
  • Clinic workbooks or handouts

Note: Participants will only need a pen and paper.  Unless otherwise specified, on-ice equipment is not needed at the clinic.  Dress casually for the clinic.

What equipment do I need?  Is it provided?

Officials must supply their own jersey, black pants, a CSA certified helmet and visor, as well as a whistle.  The cost of new equipment can be significant, and this should be taken into consideration before deciding to officiate hockey.

Many former officials sell equipment through internet classified listings, second-hand sports stores and the local referee associations.  Some districts have an equipment lending/rental program in place so make sure you talk to your RIC before you go out and buy anything.
The RIC can also provide you with tips about the best brand names and stores.

Note: The NHL/AHL/CHL style of officiating jersey with the black mesh under the arm is not approved for use in amateur hockey.
Note 2: The Acme Thunder is strongly recommended.  The FOX 40 pealess whistle is not the appropriate pitch for indoor ice hockey.
Note 3: No, you cannot just wear a player’s face-mask – You won’t be able to blow your whistle!

When can I start officiating?

Once you complete your certification clinic, you will be able to go on the ice and officiate.  Once you complete your clinic, you should contact your RIC and let him/her know that you have completed your clinic and are now ready to accept some assignments.  The RIC will explain how the games are assigned in your area.



How do I register for a clinic?

Visit http://www.odharefs.com/clinics/clinic_schedule.jsp .  Find the clinic that is best suited for you and click the ‘register’ button.  Fill out all of your contact information.  If you have an active ODHA number, your previous information should automatically fill in. 

Please double check all of your contact information before submitting your registration form.

I registered, but I didn’t get a confirmation.  What should I do?

You should email the contact person for the clinic you registered for and ask them if they received your registration form.

Do I have to attend the clinic that is being held in my district?

No you don’t.  All ODHA/ODMHA officials are free to take any clinic within the ODHA/ODMHA, so pick the one that best suits your schedule.  If you do end up taking an out-of-town clinic, you should email your RIC and let him/her know so they can keep track of where you certified.
I took a clinic last year, do I have to attend one again this year?

Hockey Canada requires all officials to re-certify each season.  Only certified and registered officials can participate in games sanctioned by Hockey Canada, the ODHA/ODMHA, and its member associations.  By requiring officials to attend a clinic, Hockey Canada can ensure that all officials receive instruction in new rules and rule changes, while at the same time, refreshing officials’ knowledge of positioning and procedures. This also ensures that Hockey Canada can provide insurance coverage to its participants in all sanctioned games.

What level should I register for?





To prepare a young or new official to officiate minor hockey

  • New OR returning officials under 16 years old should register as a level 1.
  • New officials who are at least 17 years old (adults) can register for either level 1 or level 2, but if attempting the higher level, they should be prepared to pass the level 2 exam.
  • Must obtain a mark of 70% on written exam.


To further enhance the training and skills of minor hockey officials

  • Must be 16 years of age.
  • New officials who are at least 17 years old (adults) can register for level 2 in their first season, but should be prepared to pass the level 2 exam.
  • Must obtain a mark of 70% on written exam.


To prepare officials capable of officiating competitive minor hockey and minor hockey playoffs

  • Officials who were level 3 last season should register for the same level this season.
  • Officials who were level 2 last season must register for the same level 2 this season.  Upgrades from level 2 to level 3 can only occur later on (See below)
  • Must obtain a mark of 80% on written exam.


To prepare officials for Junior, Senior, CIS, IIHF, and Major Junior hockey; Regional and National championships; International assignments

  • By branch invitation only. 
  • Refreshers can attend a level 3 clinic.
  • Must obtain a mark of 80% on written exam (refresher only).


I am interested in becoming a level 3.  How can I do that?

Officials are not permitted to upgrade to their level 3 at a one day re-certification clinic .  Officials who wish to upgrade to level 3 must have officiated at least one full season at level 2, and must then gain the permission of their RIC. 

The official would first re-certify at the one day clinic at their current level (level 2), and then can attend a special level 3 upgrade clinic later on in the fall.


I am interested in getting my level 4 or 5.  How can I do that?

Becoming a level 4 or 5 is my branch invitation only.  Officials who are interested in becoming a level 4 or 5 should contract their district RIC for further information.

I am new to the ODHA/ODHMA but have previously officiated in another branch.  What should I do?

If you are interested in joining the ODHA/ODMHA from another branch you should first obtain a branch transfer form and have it signed by the RIC from your former branch.  You must also contact your local ODMHA district RIC to confirm that they are able to accept you into their district.  Once you have this confirmation from the RIC and a completed branch transfer form, register for a clinic and make sure to bring your branch transfer form with you.

I took a few years off from officiating.  Now what?

Level 1 or 2 officials who have taken a year or more off are free to return to the level they were currently certified at.  Since the level 3 clinic is by invite only, any level 3 official who misses a year of certification will have to return to level 2 and apply for an upgrade.  Any level 4, 5 or 6 official who misses a year of certification will have to return to level 3 and apply for an upgrade.


I didn’t register online, can I still show up?

Due to the high number of officials at each clinic, officials are required to register in advance in order to participate.  Most clinics have a maximum capacity, so officials who are not registered and show up on their own will be asked to leave and attend a different clinic.  Make sure you register online to avoid any problems.

What should I bring to my clinic?’

For your referee clinic you should bring the following supplies:

  • Pens and/or pencils
  • Some paper for taking notes and some scrap work
  • Snacks/Lunch
  • Rulebook (if you have one)
  • Procedures Manual (if you have one)
  • Positive attitude

I pre-registered and now I can’t attend, can I just no-show and go to the next one?

Regardless of location, once you register for a clinic, you are expected to attend.  If you have pre-registered for a clinic and become unable to attend, you should e-mail the contact person for the clinic to let them know that there will be an additional opening.

What time does the clinic start at?

Registration begins at 8:30am and the clinic will begin promptly at 9:00am

What time does the clinic end?

The clinic will be over at 4:00pm.

I have somewhere I need to be by 4:00.

Officials are required to stay the full duration of the clinic.  If a student needs to leave early, they should withdraw from the clinic and take another one.  No exceptions will be made for students leaving early.

What about lunch?

Officials will be given 30 minutes for lunch during the day.  Officials are encouraged to bring some snacks, drinks and a lunch as there may not be sufficient time to leave and get lunch.  Students are required to bring their own lunches.

Do I need to bring my on-ice gear?

Most clinics do not have an on-ice session.  You should confirm with the clinic contact person if there will be an on-ice session for the clinic you registered for.


How do I pay for the clinic?

Officials are required to bring a cheque to the clinic.  Cash will not be accepted.

How much is the clinic?

Please visit the clinic schedule page to find this years clinic rates.



What happens if I wasn’t successful on my exam?

New Officials:

  • New officials will not be tested

Level 1 Officials

  • Level 1 officials are required to score a minimum of 70% (25/35) on their exam.  A level 1 that does not achieve this score, will be required to attend another clinic in order to be considered certified for the up-coming season.

Level 2 Officials

  • Level 2 officials are required to score a minimum of 70% (32/45) on their exam.  A level 2 that does not achieve this score has two options:
    • The official may drop down to level 1 providing they are under the age of 18 and do not wish to take another clinic
    • The official may attend another clinic and re-take the level two course

Level 3 Officials

  • Level 3 officials are required to score a minimum of 80% (44/55) on their exam.  A level 3 that does not achieve this score has two options:
    • The official may drop down to level 2 providing they achieved at least 32/55 on their exam.
    • The official may attend another clinic and re-take the level three course


I wasn’t successful, how does the re-write work?

If you didn’t get the score you were looking for on your first clinic and would like to take a re-write you should obtain a re-write form from your instructor at the end of your first clinic.  From there you should register for another clinic where you must attend the full day.


How much does the re-write cost?

The re-write costs $28.50