Skokie LEVEL 1 ONLY Seminar added

SKOKIE Level 1 ZOOM Seminar:

September 14 & 15…6pm-9pm


September 19…1135am-105pm

***ARRIVE 45minutes early for check-in and if you need to change into proper on-ice attire. 

Level 1 officials need:

    1. Wear loose comfortable clothing (sweats/warm-ups) You may NOT wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts on the ice (Referee attire is not required though.)
    2. Hockey skates (no goalie skates)
    3. A hockey helmet with a VISOR (half shield)(NO HALF CAGES!)
    4. Bring your PDF Form that you should have printed after you completed the IHOA registration.

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!!

FIRST: Register with USA Hockey on-line

*You must first be registered with USA Hockey as an official before you may register with IHOA.*

SECOND: Register on-line for an IHOA SEMINAR



Space at all Seminars is LIMITED! Admittance at all Seminars will require pre-registration and pre-payment.

ALL Level 1 officials under the age of 18 by July 1 of the current year will be required to have a parent or guardian attend a short session at the beginning of the seminar. This meeting will outline how to become an official, how to get games, what to do if you have a problem with fans, and the responsibilities of the on-ice official.


If you have any other questions about seminars, that are not found on the FAQs page, or the registration process (name changes, registration account mistake, etc…) please contact the IHOA Registrar for the State of Illinois: Dave Zednik



2021-22 IHOA Seminars **UPDATED 7/8/21**

FIRSTRegister with USA Hockey on-line

*You must first be registered with USA Hockey as an official before you may register with IHOA.*

SECONDRegister on-line for an IHOA SEMINAR


If you have any other questions about seminars,

that are not found on the FAQs page, or the registration process

(name changes, registration account mistake, etc…)

please contact the IHOA Registrar for the State of Illinois:

Dave Zednik



Seminar Information **UPDATED 7/5/21**

**2021-22 Registration**

USA Hockey has various requirements for each certification level. Please visit for information.

To be completely registered, you must meet both IHOA and USA Hockey requirements.

**UPDATED 7/5/21: Minimum age for IHOA membership: 12 years old as of December 31 of the current year. **



FIRST: Register with USA Hockey on-line

*You must first be registered with USA Hockey as an official before you may register with IHOA.*

SECOND: Register on-line for an IHOA SEMINAR

***Registration will open Wednesday, July 7, 2021 @ 8:00 AM***




Space at all Seminars is LIMITED! Admittance at all Seminars will require pre-registration and pre-payment.

ALL Level 1 officials under the age of 18 by July 1 of the current year will be required to have a parent or guardian attend a short session at the beginning of the seminar. This meeting will outline how to become an official, how to get games, what to do if you have a problem with fans, and the responsibilities of the on-ice official.

FIRST: Register with USA Hockey on-line

*You must first be registered with USA Hockey as an official before you may register with IHOA.*

SECOND: Register on-line for an IHOA SEMINAR

***Registration will open Wednesday, July 7, 2021 @ 8:00 AM***


If you have any other questions about seminars, that are not found on the FAQs page, or the registration process (name changes, registration account mistake, etc…) please contact the IHOA Registrar for the State of Illinois: Dave Zednik

2021-22 Hockey Season Registration

The 2021-2022 hockey season is fast approaching and when the hockey season begins it is anticipated that youth and adult games

will be USAH and sanctioned with no Illinois Department of Public Health restrictions.

The only way to work sanctioned games is to be completely registered.

USA Hockey registration opened June 1st

IHOA registration will begin on July 6th

Seminars will be starting soon after that.

Level 1 seminar: A hybrid of virtual and on-ice with ALL safety practices in place

Levels 2, 3, & 4 seminars: All via Zoom

It will be in your best interest to have your seminars and USA Hockey requirements completed as soon as possible

When competitive play begins, you will be ready to hit the ice skating.

Let us look forward to a healthy and great hockey season.

Dave Zednik- IHOA Registrar

Mark Gore Memorial Golf Outing 2021

Friday, July 23rd, Bloomingdale Golf Club 8:00 AM- Shotgun Start.

Cost: $55 a golfer, prefer prior arranged groups.

$45 goes to Bloomingdale Golf Club $10 goes to the committee.

All proceeds will be donated in Mark’s name to “Puck Cancer”

Patio deck will be open after the outing!

If you would like to contribute a Raffle prize please fill out the appropriate section.

****We do need 60 to run the outing**** 15 groups of 4 so please register ASAP


2020-21 AHAI | IHOA Advanced Development Program


Advanced Development Program

The AHAI | IHOA Advanced Development Program plans on restarting in the near future via virtual Zoom meetings. The dates for the program are still being determined; however, anyone interested in the Advanced Development Program should contact Brad Baumruck at

USAH Facemask Guideline – May 2020

Posted on Player Safety:

As USA Hockey continues adapting to the coronavirus situation, the safety of participants always remains our top priority.

FACEMASK QUESTIONS: USA Hockey has been asked about the effectiveness of a full clear shield on helmets in mitigation of COVID-19 and also about whether masks should be worn to cover the mouth and nose under helmets while practicing/playing. See below for guidance and/or click here for information.

As together we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Hockey has been asked if wearing a helmet with a full clear shield is better than a visor (half shield) or cage. In addition, many are asking about players wearing a face mask to cover their mouth/nose while practicing or in games. Below is information that we hope is helpful.


There is no scientific proof that a full clear shield on a hockey helmet provides better protection against infectious diseases compared to a visor (half shield) or cage. That being said, a full clear shield is likely better than a visor (half shield) or cage, as it:

1. Can act as a barrier in case someone in close proximity coughs or sneezes,

2. May be a deterrent to decrease touching of the face (vs. cages where players stick their fingers through the cage),

3. Likely to prevent spitting on the ice/bench (should be enforced regardless).

It should be noted that a full clear shield will not prevent the inhalation of aerosolized droplets, and it is important that, regardless of what kind of mask a player wears, it be cleaned thoroughly after each use.


As for face masks to cover your mouth and nose, the CDC does not currently recommend those be used during physical activity.

*NEW* USA Hockey Screening Program

Effective April 1, 2020, all Screening will be conducted exclusively by the new USA Hockey Screening Program. This will be a National Screening Program that has been mandated by the United States Congress to all National Governing Bodies (NGBs). The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is the NGB that directly oversees USA Hockey.


This new USA Hockey screening is good for a 2 year period, after which a re-screening must be done every two years. It will cost $30.00 per screening. The link for this new USAH Screening on the USA Hockey website: on the Member Registration page, beginning April 1st. This new USAH Screening can be completed entirely online from the USAH website.

**Be aware, as part of this online registration process, this account will prompt you to upload a digital image/copy of your ID (driver’s license, passport or non-driver state ID). Please have a .jpg, .pdf, .bmp, .gif, .tiff, or .png file (less than 4MB) available on your computer prior to beginning your registration. **


The AHAI Screening Program has been discontinued. Anyone that has already been entered/PAID to be Screened by their club Registrar prior to this date must have their fingerprints taken and processed by ISP/FBI and results BACK to AHAI before March 22, 2020. Anyone that has been Screened by AHAI in the 2019-20 season will be valid through the 2020-21 season and will not need a new Screening until 2021-22 season.

Anyone that has previously been Screened through the AHAI Screening Program prior to March 31, 2019 must now be Screened through the new USA Hockey Screening Program by the start of the 2020/21 season September 1st 2020.


Correspondence sent from USAH:

As we hope you are all aware, in order to comply with new requirements from the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (“USOPC”), USA Hockey will be implementing a national level background screening policy. Beginning on April 1, 2020, background screening will be conducted by our national background screen vendor, NCSI, and information on background screening will be included following your registration.  This letter is also to notify you of other important dates and information regarding background screening.

As of March 22, 2020, applicants will no longer be able to submit new USA Hockey background screens through Affiliate vendors, and will not be able to submit new screens through NCSI until April 1, 2020.

If you were screened after April 1, 2019 for the 2019-20 season, your screen is valid for the 2020-21 season, and you will not need to be screened under the new system until prior to the 2021-22 season. If your most recent screen is from prior to April 1, 2019, you will need to be screened under the new system, after April 1, 2020, in order to participate in the upcoming season.

All new screens submitted through the new NCSI national screening program after April 1, 2020 will be valid for two seasons.  For example, a screen submitted and approved on April 15, 2020 will be valid through the end of the 2021-22 season, which is August 31, 2022.

Background screens through NCSI under the national program will cost $30 for all domestic screens. For international screens (members who have lived outside of the US for six consecutive months in any one county during the past 7 years) the flat rate fee in $150. If that country is solely Canada, the flat rate fee is $75.

Please note that all coaches, officials, board members, employees, volunteers, billets, and anyone else who will have regular contact with, or authority over, minor athletes are required to submit to a background screen before any such contact with minor athletes.

Thank you,

Casey Jorgensen

Clarification: USAH Rule 601(e)3


To: All District Referees-in-Chief, volunteer support staff and USA Hockey officials
From: USA Hockey Officiating Education Program
Date: November 26, 2019
Re: USA Hockey Playing Rule 601(e)3


On October 30, 2019, USA Hockey President Jim Smith issued a directive that immediately changed any violation of Playing Rule 601(e)3 to a match penalty. This memo is being sent to all
officials in an effort to clarify some ambiguity with the interpretation of Rule 601(e)3. It is important to start with the history of this playing rule. The rule began in 1997 when the USA
Hockey Board of Directors passed a change to Rule 601 that required the assessment of a game misconduct penalty to any player or team official who directed a racial or ethnic slur at an
opponent or game official.

After 20 seasons, the USA Hockey Board of Directors recognized that the language of Rule 601 was too narrow in scope. While the spirit and intent of the “racial and ethnic slur” rule was meant
to cover all remarks that are demeaning and dehumanizing on a personal level, it was clear that the language of the rule needed to be broadened to accommodate all types of discrimination.
These include (but are not limited to) ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicaps, social or economic status, etc. Therefore, in 2017 the Board of Directors
passed an amendment to Rule 601(e) to update it to the following:

(e) A game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player or team official who is guilty of
the following actions:
(3) Uses language that is offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature anywhere in the
rink before, during or after the game.

When developing the new language of Rule 601(e), it was intentionally broad-based and all-inclusive. However, the risk of using broad language in a playing rule is that it becomes open to
liberal interpretation which might lead to misapplication during games. The first point we must make is “chirping” and “trash-talk” are not a part of the game. Similar to fighting, they are the product of emotional competition and unfortunately will sometimes occur between opponents. However, “trash-talking” is not a skill or a strategy, and no player is entitled
to shout abusive and derogatory remarks toward an opponent or game official. USA Hockey Playing Rule 601 addresses disrespectful behavior and game officials must apply the rule as
directed by the rulebook and its interpretations. With that point in mind, we must clarify that Rule 601(e)3 was never intended to cover derogatory or disrespectful remarks similar to below:

• An opposing player’s or team’s performance during a game:

o “You f—–g suck!”
o “You’re the worst player in this league!”
o “You a—-h—!”

• A game official’s performance during a game:

o “You’re an f—–g embarrassment to the game!”
o “That was a bull—t call!”

In some cases the language and words used in the example above or similar might be foul and offensive, but USAH Rule 601(a), (b), (c) and (d) manage these types of unsportsmanlike
remarks that reflect performance during a game and not the personal traits of the recipient. Rule 601(e)3 specifically addresses discriminatory and hateful remarks that regard the personal
traits of a human being (race, ethnicity, gender, etc.). These types of comments are personally offensive, dehumanizing and often have a lasting impact on the mental well-being of the recipient
or someone in the vicinity of the offending participant when the comment is made. Given the fact that Rule 601(e)3 has now been elevated to a match penalty, which requires immediate suspension from all USA Hockey activity (games, practices, team meetings, etc.) pending a hearing by the local Affiliate disciplinary board or junior league, it is imperative that game officials apply the correct playing rule to the circumstances.

Due to the wide range of personal traits of all humans, it would be impossible to develop a list of words, comments or topics that are unacceptable. In short, there is no simple formula to
determine what exactly deserves a match penalty. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the game officials to use sound judgment and weigh comments to determine what is poor sportsmanship
and penalized under 601 (a-d) vs. what is discriminatory language that falls under 601(e)3. If a match penalty is assessed, the game officials must report the penalty through the USA Hockey online game reporting system within a reasonable time frame (48 hours), and the comment must be included verbatim in the comments section of the game report.

If an unacceptable comment is reported to the game officials by a player, coach or off-ice official, but is not heard by an on-ice official, the penalty cannot be assessed. However, the game officials
must warn the offending team and submit the incident through the USA Hockey game reporting system (entering “other incident report” for penalty assessed and rule reference). This ensures all
local Affiliates are getting reports regarding the behavior of their teams. Again, the exact comment that was reported to the game official must be included in the report.

If you have any questions regarding USA Hockey Rule 601(e)3 or the guidance of this memo, please feel free to reach out to your District Referee-in-Chief, their support staff or contact the
USA Hockey national office.

Thank you for your dedication to our game, and best wishes for a safe and successful season.


To all IHOA members,

Below is a directive from the USA Hockey President, Jim Smith. Please read this carefully. It also serves as a reminder to enforce the Zero Tolerance policy. Please remember, if you assess this penalty: 5 goes up on the board, 10 on the sheet, player removed; per Rule 405a (see rule below).

October 30, 2019

Dear USA Hockey member –

As the hockey season begins in full, we continue to receive reports of disturbing incidents involving racial and other derogatory slurs, behavior which is reprehensible and has absolutely no place in our game, especially around our children.

As you are all aware, USA Hockey has long had a Zero Tolerance Policy towards any type of abusive conduct, specifically under Rule 601 (e.3), which states that anyone who uses language that is offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game, shall be assessed a game misconduct penalty. For reasons which I cannot explain or understand, this penalty does not seem to be enough of a deterrent to stop this conduct.

I am issuing a directive effective immediately that anyone assessed a penalty under Rule 601 (e.3) will now receive an automatic Match Penalty, in lieu of the game misconduct penalty that currently exists, and shall be immediately suspended until a hearing is conducted by the governing USA Hockey Affiliate or junior league. The applicable Affiliate or junior league is required to conduct a hearing within 30 days of the incident and the individual may be subject to further discipline.

Further, our on-ice officials have protocols in place that address situations where a player is accused of saying something that violates Rule 601 (e. 3) but is not heard by the officials. While the officials cannot assess a penalty in that circumstance, they are instructed to notify the coach of the offending team and it is critical that the coach take immediate and appropriate action. Officials must also report the incident through the game reporting system, and Affiliates must review all incidents, whether penalized or unpenalized, to ensure proper application of the rules.

We also receive reports of racial harassment and discrimination among teammates; this behavior must be addressed through submitting appropriate reports through our SafeSport Program.

Parents and coaches, please take the time to address these issues with your kids. Helping educate them on these topics is an important part of our overall effort to eliminate any type of discriminatory language or behavior from our sport.

While the vast majority of our hockey games are conducted in the spirit for which they were intended, we must remove offensive, hateful or discriminatory language or behavior from our game. Please join me in stamping it out and ensuring we have an environment that is free from discrimination of any kind.

Thanks for doing your part and I hope this will be the best and brightest hockey season for you and your family.

Yours in hockey,

Jim Smith, President


Rule 405 Match Penalties

(a) A “MATCH” penalty involves the immediate removal of a player or Team Official for the balance of the game and a five minute time penalty shall be assessed. (Note) For all “MATCH” penalties, regardless of when imposed, or prescribed additional penalties, a total of 10 minutes shall be charged in the records against the offending player or Team Official.

(For all Youth, High School and Girls’ Age Classifications): Unless immediate substitution is permitted under the
coincidental major penalty Rule 403(c), the penalized team shall immediately place a substitute player on the penalty bench and such player shall not be changed.

(For Adult Classifications) Unless immediate substitution is permitted under the coincidental major penalty Rule
403(c), the penalized team shall place a substitute player on the penalty bench before the penalty expires. No other
replacement for the penalized player shall be permitted to enter the game except from the penalty bench upon
expiration of the penalty. For violation of this rule a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution shall be imposed.

Use of Goal Pegs for AHAI Games

Effective immediately, there shall be no peg use to anchor nets during games involving teams aged 10U and younger.

This rule is effective immediately and will carry through all games, including Illinois state playoffs.

Declaration of Player Safety, Fair Play, & Respect video


USA Hockey is committed to creating a safe and fair environment for all participants. Respect for the game, opponents, coaches, and officials is a critical part of that environment and it covers several different aspects of sportsmanship and fair play. This Declaration of Safety, Fair Play and Respect will guide a change in culture as to what is considered to be acceptable/unacceptable body checking and competitive contact at all levels of play.

USAH Directive: Banging the Boards (Rule 601(b) 1&5)



A bench minor penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior shall be assessed to any team whose player(s) or team officials bang the boards with a stick or any other object, including skates or arms, at any time, including after a body check regardless as to whether the check was penalized or not.

The spirit and intent of this rule is to eliminate unsportsmanlike behavior that is designed to “taunt” or “intimidate” an opponent through the celebration of an unnecessary or illegal body check.  Simply banging the stick, or other object, against the boards while on the player’s bench is not a penalty.  However, it is deemed to be unsportsmanlike conduct and should be penalized when done as a means of escalating dangerous and/or unnecessary physical play where there is no intent to legally gain possession of the puck.

The correct procedure to apply this interpretation is to first warn the offending team once after the first violationAny further violation of this policy by the same team should be penalized by assessing a bench minor to the team under Rule 601(b)1 & 5.  This bench minor is to be served by a player on the ice at the time of the infraction.  Once this bench minor has been served, any further violations by the same team shall be penalized by assessing a bench minor penalty.

**If a bench minor penalty for a violation of this policy is being served and before that bench minor expires another violation by the same team occurs that teams head coach shall be assessed a game misconduct under Rule601(e)1.



USA Hockey SafeSport Program (NEW POLICY)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Dear USA Hockey official,

You recently received a summary of several significant changes to the USA Hockey SafeSport Program. This note includes additional specific information pertinent to officials, including related to SafeSport Training requirements, mandatory reporting, and the Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policies. Thank you for your dedication to USA Hockey programs and efforts to keep our participants safe and our programs free from misconduct or abuse.

SafeSport Training

All officials who are or will be seventeen (17) years old or older as of December 31 of that registration season must complete the SafeSport Training program as a condition of completing their certification requirements every season.

Beginning this season, the training must now be completed every year prior to participation each season (however, anyone who completed training in the most recent season (2018-19) will retain valid training status for 2019-20, and will complete training annually beginning in 2020-21). The training is provided by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and each official must first complete the “Core Center for SafeSport Training,” which is completed online and takes approximately 90 – 120 minutes to complete. In subsequent seasons, officials will need to complete the Center for SafeSport’s “Refresher Course,” which is also online and takes 30 minutes or less to complete. There is no cost to complete either training course.

If you (or your son or daughter) are under 18 at the time of training, USA Hockey is required to obtain parental consent for the official to complete training. If you registered on or after May 28, 2019, then the consent was incorporated into your registration; if you registered prior to May 28, USA Hockey will be contacting you soon to obtain the consent of the parents for a minor age official to complete the SafeSport Training.

Mandatory Reporting

If you are an adult-aged official, then according to federal law you are considered a mandatory reporter of child abuse, including sexual abuse. In the event of any actual or suspected sexual misconduct or child abuse, you must report such information to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and, when appropriate, to applicable law enforcement.

Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policies

The Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policies (“MAAPP Policies”) were mandated by federal law to be put into effect by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and are included in the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook with specific information for hockey programs. The MAAPP Policies are prevention policies to prohibit and/or avoid situations where risks of misconduct can occur, including:

• One-on-One Interactions. This policy prohibits one-on-one interactions between adult members of USA Hockey or those authorized by a USA Hockey program to have regular contact with or authority over minors, unless they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult. There are exceptions for emergency circumstances. The policy specifically addresses situations where these types of interactions might occur, including in meetings with a player, in individual training sessions and in settings outside the hockey program.

• Locker Rooms. USA Hockey’s existing Locker Room Policy was updated, and includes specific locker room provisions for officials to address situations when officials of different genders share a locker room and to avoid situations where an adult official and a minor are alone in a locker room. Please review the new locker room policies in the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook.

• Travel. Travel is a high risk time for misconduct to occur, including when officials travel together. USA Hockey’s travel policy has been updated for both “local travel” (transportation and travel to and from local games and events) and “organization/team travel” (travel away from the home area and may include overnight stays in a hotel for games or tournaments). Except in the case of emergency, an adult official may not ride in a vehicle alone, travel alone with or share a hotel or sleeping arrangement with an unrelated minor participant.

• Athletic Training Modalities. Although officials generally do not receive treatment at the rink, from trainers or medical personnel, this policy ensures that any type of athletic training, including massages, rubdowns, taping, etc., occurs in an open and interruptible location.

• Social Media and Electronic Communications. This policy has been updated. All electronic communication from an adult official, supervisor, assignor or other person of authority to a minor-aged participant must be professional in nature. Absent emergency circumstances, if an adult official, supervisor, assignor or other person of authority needs to communicate directly with a minor-aged participant via electronic communications (including social media), the minor’s parent must be copied.

A revised copy of the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook can be found at the USA Hockey website at Please refer to the SafeSport Handbook for details of these and other policies affecting USA Hockey programs. You can also reach out to your Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator or to USA Hockey if you have questions or need assistance.

Thank you again for all of your efforts in support of the safety of participants in USA Hockey programs.

Central District RIC Sjoukje Brown stepping down

July 14, 2021 Colleagues and Fellow Zebras in the Central District-

As you know, I have had the honor of serving USA Hockey’s Central District as the District Referee-in-Chief since 2015. This is a role that I never imagined myself taking when I first started officiating, and I have had to follow in some amazing footsteps (Chet Stewart, Bill Spohn, Dave LaBuda, Bob Cunningham). Life takes unexpected turns and twists, and I was in the right place at the right time to assume this role and lead this district with the passion it deserves. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Central District Affiliate Presidents, in selecting me, selected the first female District Referee-in-Chief in USA Hockey history. What an incredible honor! In my tenure we have developed a district plan encompassing communication, recruitment, education, development, evaluation, retention, and fiscal responsibility. We have sent so many officials to National tournaments and camps, where they work championship games repeatedly. We celebrated the success of our IIHF certified officials as they officiated the Olympic Games, World Championships, and many other tournaments. We participated in rewriting curriculum for seminars and “reimaged” the Central District camp structure. Annually we hold a Summer Summit for all Central District Officiating Program Staff, bringing all of our affiliate officiating groups (IHOA, MIHOA, WIHOA, and Midwest) together for a weekend of strategic planning around our six areas of concentration and to network with each other for solutions to issues we face. Each of our affiliates is so unique that these summit opportunities have been welcome as a way to exchange information and to work together to reinforce our standing as a district at the forefront of the officiating community. In short, we have done much “heavy lifting”.

As I said earlier, life takes unexpected turns and twists. Recently I made the decision to move to the Austin, TX area so that my daughter could grow up near family (we have a large extended family here), and so that I could assist my mother as she ages. Though I can attribute many of my positive life experiences to hockey, the best one thus far is being “Mommy” to my daughter, Tenley. I LOVE officiating, and thank God each night for what being a zebra has brought to my life. I have a lifelong hockey family and have had SO many opportunities to skate amazing levels of men’s and women’s hockey across the country. I will always cherish my hockey life. That being said, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided that due to distance and life’s demands, it is time for me to step away from my role as Central District RIC. Sometimes we officials have to make tough calls, and though this call is the toughest I’ve had to make, it is also the best one.

I will continue to work with the Central District to assist Tim Richter as he transitions into the District Referee-in-Chief role, and I will always be available to help. I thank you for your trust in me over the past six years, and I look forward to seeing you in a rink somewhere, someday. My phone number will remain the same, and my personal email address is: Thank you ALL for your dedication to the Central District and to the officiating program. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you.


Yours in hockey,

Sjoukje Brown

USA Hockey Central District Referee-in-Chief


The Passing of Michael Osborn

It is with great sadness to inform the IHOA community of the passing of Michael Osborn.

Mike was involved in an accident last Wednesday and passed away today. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers through this time of great hardship and grief.

When further information is known, IHOA will pass it along.

2021-22 Seminars

Please note that there are TWO different sets of seminars: VIRTUAL and ON-ICE. Please be aware of which one you are registering for and the requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Registrar Dave Zednik.

JULY 27 & 2816P-9P
JULY 2936P-9P
AUG 246P-9P
AUG 3 & 416P-9P
AUG 536P-9P
AUG 926P-9P
AUG 10 & 1116P-9P
AUG 1146P-9P
AUG 1236P-9P
AUG 1626P-9P
AUG 17 & 1816P-9P
AUG 24 & 2516P-9P
SEPT 736P-9P
SEPT 846P-9P
SEPT 926P-9P
SEPT 14 & 1516P-9P
SEPT 1828A-11A
SEPT 1831P-4P
SEPT 21 & 2216P-9P
SEPT 2549A-12P
SEPT 2836P-9P
OCT 626P-9P


***PLEASE be AWARE… The TBD ON-ICE Seminars will be updated when events are confirmed!***

AUG 7 *or* 8TBDTBD
AUG 21 *or* 22TBDTBD
SEPT 18 *or* 19TBDTBD
SEPT 25 *or* 26TBDTBD


May IHOA meeting & Annual Election

This is a friendly reminder that the Annual Meeting and Election of Board Members and Officers will be held on

Monday, May 10th, 2021 @ 7pm (Central time) via a Zoom webinar:

Register in advance for this webinar:

**After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Below are the candidates, in alphabetical order, and their bio’s:

Mark Bialko:

Hi, my name is Mark Bialko. I am currently serving on the IHOA board as a director. I am seeking to be re-elected to the board for a second term. I first started officiating when I was twelve years old. I officiated for seven years at that time. I returned to officiating five years ago because my son Michael was playing and encouraged me to get back into officiating because he saw my love of officiating and the game. At that time, Michael was planning to become an official. Michael is now a third-year official. I wish I would have stayed involved as an official during those years away but at the time I went away to college in Florida and when I returned, I was hired as an aircraft mechanic with United Airlines working the midnight shift. Now as a father, official, and working in cooperate aircraft maintenance now, I have the time and passion to donate my time as a board member. I see the value in seminars, mentoring, and the development of current and new officials. I want to give back to the officiating community that welcomed me back with open arms and I have embraced it. I love helping our members gain the knowledge and experience so they all can be the best possible official they can be.  I can do this by being re-elected to a second term.

Brian Fisher:

My name is Brian Fisher. I began my officiating career when I was 12 to improve my skating skills, expand my knowledge of the game I love, and to earn a little pocket money. The more I was able to ref, the more I began to appreciate the complexities of the job, which I feel made me a better player in my younger years. With that being said, I have now been an official for 20 plus years and still love it just as much. I am currently a level 4 official and attended the Advanced Officials Symposium in Minneapolis, MN that took place in 2019. This gave me the opportunity to network with officials from all over the United States and share our experiences with one another. I feel the best way to gain insight is from firsthand stories and experiences. I would say that the Symposium most certainly was a melting pot of knowledge and I enjoyed learning and being a part of it.  In recent years, I have also volunteered to be a seminar assistant and supervisor with IHOA. I like helping new referees and those who have been on the ice for as long as I have, continue to learn so that we can provide a fun, positive, and safe environment for the athletes to compete. One of my proudest referee moments was when I was invited to the Red Division High School State Championship game at the United Center in 2015.  Being a hockey player through my college years, skating on the ice at the United Center was an incredible experience.  Along with the Red Division High School State Championship, I have been selected to work at three National Championship tournaments as well. When I am not on the ice, I live with my wife and two children in Oswego.  When the weather and wife allow, you will find me riding my bike or playing in my summer softball league. Thank you for the nomination.

Steven Rickard:

Greetings, my name is Steven Rickard and I have been a USA Hockey Official for 12 years. I participated in the Advanced Development Program for three years. During my involvement with the Development Program, I started to volunteer my time helping out with seminars as an assistant instructor in the classroom and on the ice. I have also mentored first-time officials officiating their first games and evaluated hundreds of officials during my officiating career. I believe giving back to the officiating community is essential to maintaining a strong core of officials. I have been an  IHOA Board Member for three years. I have been the Chairman of the PED committee and, most recently, the President of IHOA.

Carl Sassolino:

My name is Carl Sassolino and I am running for re-election for the IHOA Board of Directors. I have been an official for the last 21 years and on the Board of Directors for the last 12 years. During that time I have been involved on the following committees: Evaluation, Mentoring, Seminar Coordinator, and the Performance Education and Development to name a few. While working on these committees, it has been important to me to reach out and listen to the membership on how we could best help in each of these areas. I am very proud to say that we have made some vast improvements with the ideas of our membership on how we could best help all levels of officials. In the last 2 years, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we had to adjust our seminars to being virtual while still working under the USA guidelines sent to us every year. Regarding IHOA’s Mentoring Program, we have worked hard and became one of the model programs in all of USA Hockey across the country, largely due to the over 90 Mentors who have helped along the way. We were able to help train and mentor over 250 new officials on close to 300 games in the last 3 years. Even though we as a board have made the improvements mentioned above, I don’t believe we are fully where we need to be and, if re-elected, will continue to work making our programs the best in the country and set the standards for all of USA Hockey.

Craig Welker:

I have been an IHOA official for over 25 years, and during this time I have been involved with many IHOA programs and events.  I started the IHOA Advanced Development program back in 2000 and have continued to stay involved with it over the last couple of decades.  As an official, I have worked in many various leagues, including the USHL, CHL, ECHL, WCHA, and the BIG10.  If elected to serve another term, I will continue to work with the development program to help officials get the same opportunities I had during my career.  I will also continue to volunteer in coordinating and assisting with the seminars.  Thanks for the opportunity to serve as a board member for the past many years and I ask for your vote in the upcoming election.