So You Want to Be a Hockey Referee?


Tips for Hockey Referees

Rec hockey wouldn’t be possible without skilled and dedicated hockey referees. Which is why we’re so grateful for our CARHA Hockey member referees. But it’s definitely not an easy role—who hasn’t seen a ref get an earful on the ice? If you plan on officiating any games this season, here are 4 tips to help you get informed, stay confident, and have fun.

1. Know the Rules Keep a copy of an up-to-date rulebook handy and review it as often as possible. Refreshing your memory before a game or during a lunch break will help solidify your knowledge and increase your confidence. Here is a copy of the CARHA Hockey Rulebook, for one, which you can easily bookmark or print out.

2. Keep in Shape You may not be playing the game, but refereeing is still a physically demanding role. Make sure your health regimen compliments your hard work and hustle on the ice. Focus on eating a balanced diet, especially before a game, and make time for off-ice cardio and strength training. Staying in shape will improve your speed and focus as a referee, and will also keep you safe from injury.

3. Stay Informed As a ref, you’re going to encounter new challenges every time you hit the ice. Make use of online training materials to develop your knowledge base and prepare yourself for a variety of situations. The CARHA Hockey Referee Training Modules take less than 20 minutes and provide you with the tools needed to navigate the referee world.

4. Remain Calm Most players and fans are incredibly grateful for the role hockey referees play, for without them we would not have hockey. But there are always a select few who will give a ref a hard time. The key to effective refereeing is to stay calm and confident, and not to react to anyone telling you off; as long as you keep up to date on your training and review the rulebooks, then it’s okay to trust your decisions and stand by them.

You can’t please everyone, especially in an emotional game like hockey.

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