FAQ & Getting Games

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 contact the IHOA Registrar:

(Jameson Gronert registrar@ihoa.com).





**New officials must be 14 years old by December 31 of the current year to register with IHOA for the upcoming season.**

If your question is not answered here. Contact us and we will be happy to help.

Click Here for a complete list of Rinks and Assigners.



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, and screening (over 18), you should go to: Assigning Website and request a password and register yourself.

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 IHOA?

Thank you for your interest in joining the Illinois Hockey Officials Association. Seminar dates and locations are posted at ihoa.com. Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR. Registration opens August 1 of the current year, coinciding with USA Hockey’s registration opening date.

To become an official you must be 14 years old by December 31 of the current year. The first step in becoming an official is to attend a local USA Hockey Seminar administered by IHOA. The fee to join IHOA and attend the seminar varies by age and level. Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR.

Online registration is also required with USA hockey. All officials must be registered as an official with USA hockey. This registration can be completed at usahockey.com

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

Shortly after you complete your online registration (Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR), 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.

It is highly recommended to register with USA hockey and complete the on-line video portions prior to attending the local seminar.

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 . 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 hockey skates (no goalie skates) and hockey helmet with a VISOR attached. Bring a pen/pencil and paper for taking notes. Referee attire is not required. 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. Pads are not required but you are welcome to wear them. Level 1 officials will receive whistles at the seminar, and after you register with USA hockey, you will receive your rule book and test.

Bring your PDF Form that you should have printed after you completed the IHOA registration. 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 (Jameson Gronert) at registrar@ihoa.com . We will manually put you into the Level 3 seminar of your choice.

Also, notify USA Hockey that you have transferred to the Central District. They will switch you 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 her of the particulars.

I would like to become a hockey referee. How old do I need to be? Will you make an exception?

To become an official you must be 14 years old before December 31 of the current year. This is a strict rule and we do not make exceptions regardless of your previous hockey experience. The cutoff date was selected and voted by IHOA Board of Directors.

I just got my card and crest from USA Hockey but the IHOA database says I am “incomplete.” What gives?

The IHOA database is updated whenever we receive a download from USA Hockey. Sometimes the cards and crests arrive in the mail before the database is updated. You will be shown as “Complete” when we get the next download. This could take up to two weeks.

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

You must register separately with IHOA each year and attend a seminar. Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR. You must also pay IHOA annual dues (varies depending on age and level). The seminars include a closed book test for Levels 2, 3, & 4. In addition, you must register separately with USA Hockey. You must submit a separate application and fee (varies depending on level) to USA Hockey to receive the open book test (on-line) and complete your registration.

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 R-I-C Sjoujke Brown (Centraldistrictric@gmail.com)

I forgot my password. How can I log on to the website?

To access the IHOA Members Only Area:
Your username: your last name
Your password: your USA Hockey REFEREE ID number (or SSN).
To access Officiating Services:
Log on to www.ahai2.org/officials and click the “New?” link.
Follow the instructions about how to get a password.

I don’t want to use a credit card. How do I get an application to join IHOA?

You can register partially on-line by entering your personal info and then send a check payable to IHOA; write the student’s name on the “MEMO” line. However, you may not get your first choice. Click here to register for an IHOA SEMINAR.


PO Box 2192

440 W. Colfax Street

Palatine, IL 60067

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 must also pay a separate fee to USA Hockey which varies depending on level.

Returning members’ registration will expire on NOVEMBER 30th and you will not be eligible to continue officiating until you complete your registration and all of the USA hockey requirements.

I didn’t get in to the seminar I want. Can I try to walk in? Can you squeeze me in? Can you put me on a waiting list?

IF there is space available, walk in’s will be allowed. BUT, if you have an general idea of which seminar you’d like to attend, please plan accordingly, as space is limited.

Questions? Contact the IHOA Registrar (Jameson Gronert).

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 website, go to the “Change my Seminar” section at the bottom of the registration site; 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 website, go to the “Change my Seminar” section at the bottom of the registration site; a $10.00 credit card payment is required.

I have tryouts on the day of my seminar (or I have practice, a birthday party to attend, a bar mitzvah, or 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 time, 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?

Take a look at “Local Supervisor List by Organization” link on the IHOA website. It is a comprehensive list of the schedulers who assign games for various clubs. 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. To search games on-line, you will have to sign up with Officiating Services, who operate the online assignment system. Good luck!

Can I get a new manual and situation handbook? How about a rulebook?

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

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?

This question is asked mainly from those who attend school outside Illinois and come home during breaks and officiate. 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.

Questions? Contact the IHOA Registrar (Jameson Gronert).