FAQ & Getting Games

*Frequently Asked Questions*

Please thoroughly read this page for a list of commonly asked questions and the answers regarding seminars and the registration process. If you still have questions, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

**UPDATE 07/21/21: New officials must be 12 years old by December 31 of the current year to register with IHOA for the upcoming season.**


How do I get games to officiate?

Once you have become a certified USA Hockey official in the State of Illinois through seminar attendance, registration, SafeSport training (17 and older as of Dec 31 of current season), and screening (18 and older), you should go to: Assigning Website and request a password.

Once You Are Registered, you can:

  • View available games to officiate on line
  • Fill out game reports for game misconducts, etc.
  • Fill out incident reports
  • Rate the team’s conduct and coaches
  • Review your own evaluations
  • View your referee schedule
  • See who your partner and their contact information before your game
  • Modify your personal information, e-mail, and telephone info

Contacting a scheduler by email or phone call is the best way to get started officiating. AHAI Assigner is responsible for scheduling the Metro High School league, the Chicago Catholic League, many Tier 2 travel organizations, various NWHL House League Clubs, and all AAA hockey. If you are new to officiating, please be patient as well as persistent. There are over 400 new officials each year attempting to referee youth hockey games. Most of our younger officials are also players with busy schedules. Coordinating playing schedules and refereeing schedules takes some time and effort. Your refereeing credentials last from the day you become certified until November 30th of the following year.

Have a safe and successful season, but most importantly, have FUN!

I would like to become a hockey referee. How do I join USA Hockey and IHOA?

Thank you for your interest in joining the Illinois Hockey Officials Association. Seminar dates and locations are posted at www.ihoa.com. The website contains a detailed description of the registration process plus much other information. UPDATE 07/21/21: To become an official, you must be 12 years old before December 31st of the current year. 

The first step in becoming an official is to join USA Hockey as an Official (different registration than a player or coach). After registering with USA Hockey then you can join IHOA. The USA Hockey member registration can be completed at https://membership.usahockey.com/, the requirements can be found here: USAH rules and policies for registration. All officials must be registered as an official with USA hockey.

The IHOA registration can be completed at www.ihoa.com. The fee to join IHOA and attend the seminar varies by age and level. Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR.

I went to a USA Hockey seminar out-of-state. How can I referee in Illinois? Why do I have to pay the IHOA fee?

You must join IHOA to referee in Illinois. Our annual fee represents your membership dues and not simply a seminar admission fee. Click here to register here with IHOA. Make a credit card payment for the IHOA dues amount. At the seminar selection page, select “OUT OF STATE DUES ONLY: NO SEMINAR PROVIDED” for your appropriate level.

My seminar is not for a few weeks, what should I be doing?

While waiting to attend your seminar, access your USA Hockey profile and complete other required portions of your registration process. While you can complete requirements in any order, the recommended order is: background screen (if required), online video modules, open book exam, and SafeSport (if applicable).

How do I complete the online portion of my IHOA seminar?

FIRST– You need to register with USA Hockey prior to registering for a local seminar. SECOND– register for an IHOA seminar (Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR). Shortly after you complete your online registration, an email will be sent directly to you. This email will include all the information about the seminar location. Please print it out and bring it with you to the seminar.

**USA Hockey also has online seminar education which needs to be completed for a “Complete” status for this season.

How do I check my USA Hockey Registration status or test scores?

Your USA Hockey status can be checked anytime after you register, online at www.usahockey.com/refereelogin and follow the instructions. Once a profile is created you will be able to view all registration requirements when you log in to your profile.

I am a new Level 1 official. What do I need to bring to the seminar?

Level 1 officials need:

  1. Bring your PDF Form that you should have printed after you completed the IHOA registration.
  2. Hockey skates (no goalie skates)
  3. A hockey helmet with a VISOR (half shield)(NO HALF CAGES!)
  4. Bring a pen/pencil and paper for taking notes.
  5. Wear loose comfortable clothing such as sweats or warm-ups so you can easily change into your gear for the ice session. You may NOT wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts on the ice. (Referee attire is not required though.)

Pads are not required, but you are welcome to wear them. Level 1 officials will receive whistles at the seminar.  After you register with USA Hockey, you will receive your rule book and test.

Remember, NO ONE is allowed to enter a seminar LATE. Show up Early!!

If the seminar I signed up for is at a hotel, how will I get to and from the rink?

For the youth level classes, we will provide transportation from the seminar location to the rink and back. Parents should drop off and pick up at the same location; this location will be found on the IHOA registration paperwork.

I am a Level 3 official who just moved to Illinois from out of state. Why can I register only for a Level 1 seminar?

Since you are new to our area, our system does not know that you are eligible for Level 3. 

Please contact the registrar at registrar@ihoa.com and we will manually put you into the Level 3 seminar of your choice. Also, be sure to notify USA Hockey that you have transferred to the Central District. They will switch your record over, and we will then get your correct eligibility in the next download from Colorado. Contact Helen Fenlon at USA Hockey at HelenF@USAHockey.org and advise the particulars. You can use this link: www.usahockey.com/refereelogin.

I registered last season and took the seminar and test. Do I have to do it again this year?

You must register with USA Hockey and IHOA each year and attend a seminar. You must also pay USA Hockey and IHOA’s annual membership fees (varies depending on age and level). The seminars include a closed book test for Levels 2, 3, & 4.

I took a few years off. Do I have to start at Level 1 again?

We are always happy to have officials return to the USA Hockey Officiating Program after some time away from the program. Because of your past experience with our program, you may be able to register at a higher level than Level 1, depending upon the level at which you were last registered. As a general rule, officials may take one season off (unregistered or incomplete) without forfeiting their current status, except for Level 4. If, however, an official is off (not registered or incomplete) for the previous seasons, they must apply for registration one level lower (except Level 1) than that of the last season completely registered. To apply for a higher level, contact the Central District Referee in Chief (RIC) Tim Richter (Centraldistrictric@gmail.com).

I went to a seminar already. When will I get the open book test?

IHOA does not issue the open book exams. You have to register with USA Hockey to receive the open book test and complete your registration. You will pay a separate fee to USA Hockey, which varies depending on the level.

I missed my seminar. Can I get my money back?

Because you took a seat at the seminar that someone else could have used, we will not refund your money. Our strict policy is that we do not refund registration fees for no-shows that do not advise us well in advance. You may change to a future available seminar by accessing the registration site, click “Change my Seminar,” at the bottom of the page; a $10.00 credit card payment is required.

I can’t make it to the seminar I signed up for. How can I change to another seminar?

You may change to a future available seminar by accessing the “Change my Seminar” section of the registration site. Follow the directions and you should get to the “Seminar Selection page after making a credit card payment of $10.00.

I have tryouts on the day of my seminar (or I have practice, a birthday party to attend, a bar/bat mitzvah, a funeral, etc.). Can I leave early?

No. Everyone must stay for the entire seminar. We do not make any exceptions to this rule. Please change to another seminar that you are certain you can attend the entire day. If your hockey schedule prevents you from attending a seminar, chances are that it will prevent you from officiating as well. Note: Seminars have different start and end times, check carefully!

I missed the last seminar of the season. Can I apply my dues to next year?

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do for you at this point. We do not refund registration fees for no-shows that do not advise us well in advance. You will have to register again for next year and pay the prevailing dues at that time.

I just got my card and crest. How do I get games?

To search games on-line, you will have to sign up with Officiating Services. Log on and click the”Request a Password” link, and follow the instructions about how to get a password. There you will find the contact information of all assigners allowed to schedule USA Hockey sanctioned games. Contact the ones who assign games at the rinks where you want to work. Let them know that you are a new Level 1 and if possible you would like to work with a mentor for the first few games till you get your feet wet. Remember if you are 13 years of age you must work your first games with a mentor.  Good luck!

Can I get a new rulebook or other USA Hockey publication?

Electronic copies of all manuals, the combined rulebook/casebook, and the rulebook are available at USAH Officiating Resources. Hard copies are not be given at any seminar. However, all new officials, upon registering with USA Hockey, will receive one. In rule change years, all officials will receive a new rulebook after registering with USA Hockey.

I've completed the process and a member of IHOA and USA Hockey. Does IHOA have apparel for its members to represent the association?

***THIS IS NOT REGARDING THE ON-ICE GEAR THAT ALL OFFICIALS WEAR. You can find the pants, sweaters, pads, and such in pro-shops or online. This FAQ is specifically answering about warm-ups, t-shirts, hats, etc. ***    At this time, IHOA is looking for a new vendor to bring specific branded IHOA apparel (warm-up jackets, t-shirts, hats, etc) to our community. Keep an eye open for those announcements on ihoa.com! If you still have questions, please contact us through “CONTACT US” form: Contact Us

Still have questions??

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