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Try Officiating

NAHL Officiating Apply Now - Try Officiating

About Try Officiating

The Try Officiating For Free initiative is designed to provide hockey players aged 18 years and older, who have a passion for the game, a chance to experience officiating for the first time in a no cost, low pressure environment. The event is designed to provide EDUCATION, EXPOSURE and EXPERIENCE to current and former hockey players who have interest in this career path but would like to learn more before making the commitment to register as an official.

EDUCATION — A welcome classroom session will be held to introduce participants to the world of officiating, the benefits of becoming an ice hockey official and provide an overview of potential career paths. At the conclusion of the event, a Q & A session will also be held to answer final questions and provide next steps for those who are interested in registering to officiate for the current season with USA Hockey

EXPOSURE — Participants will be introduced to and have an opportunity to interact with and learn from current, experienced officials who will serve as Officiating Coaches. Officiating Coaches have a variety of experience ranging from local youth and adult, junior, collegiate, professional and international

EXPERIENCE — An on-ice skills session will be held to introduce participants to fundamental officiating skills and positioning. Participants will have a chance to gain in-game officiating experience by rotating as a Referee and Linesperson in the 4-Official System while being shadowed by an Officiating Coach. When not working, participants will have an opportunity to sit with an Officiating Coach off the ice to observe the game and ask questions in a live setting

Upcoming Events

Questions? Please contact Kendall Hanley, NAHL Manager, Officiating.

Cost & Benefits

  • FREE, there is no cost if selected to participate
  • No officiating membership is required to participate
  • Gain experience as a Referee and Linesperson
  • Exposure to and feedback from current, experienced Officiating Coaches
  • If you decide officiating is for you and would like to get started this season:
    • Support navigating the USA Hockey Officiating Program registration and certification process
    • Support becoming set up and established within a local officiating association


  • The initiative is open to current or former hockey players who are new to officiating and are 18 years of age or older
    • To further clarify age requirements, applicants must turn 18 the day prior to the start of the program

Are you a CURRENT official and interested in officiating in the North American Hockey League? Complete our online NAHL Officiating Show of Interest form.

What Should Participants Bring?

  • Helmet with visor and face-cage
  • Player skates
  • Shin guards
  • Elbow Pads
  • Sweats, a wind suit or full player bottoms
  • Long undershirt
  • Open mind & questions!

What the NAHL Provides

  • Whistles
  • Referee & Linesperson Sweaters

Application Process & Timeline

  • Space is limited. The online application for the Try Officiating For Free initiative will close Friday, August 2, at 11:59 PM CT
  • Applications will be reviewed by the NAHL Officiating Department and participants who are selected to attend will receive additional information on the registration process and other relevant information on or before August 6, 2024
  • Please note, this is an introductory program and USA Hockey certification is not obtained by participating

Apply Now

Click Here to Apply

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