HISTORY

In the early 1960s, at the start of every hockey season two people from each province would meet to discuss rule changes and interpretations. Often the people would disagree and leave these yearly meetings with different versions and opinions on rules and procedures. This brought about inconsistencies and confusion among officials. It was time for a national program. In 1972, the first National Referee Planning Seminar was held. The participants were tasked to return in a year with guidelines for a national program. And so, in the fall of 1973, the National Referees’ Certification Program began. The Level system, Level I – VI, is still the foundation for the training and development of amateur hockey officials across Canada.

The objectives of the HCOP within hockey are:

to standardize the methods and techniques of officiating in both the two and three man systems.;

to acquire uniformity throughout the country with respect to rule interpretation.;

to offer participants national recognition for their achievements.

 

CERTIFICATION

 

Level I is designed to introduce the novice official to the role of the referee in hockey. Upon completion of Level 1 the beginning official should be ready to serve his apprenticeship in the non-competitive sector (house leagues) of minor hockey.

Beginning with Level III of the program, certification will be a two-part process.

Part I – consists of attendance at an official clinic and successful completion of a National Evaluation. Minimum requirements for the evaluation have been set for each level.

Part II – involves a practical assessment of the participant by his branch supervisor or his designate. This practical assessment will be the major determinant in recommending certification of a candidate above Level II. The candidate’s ability to skate with the play, control the game, and consistently exercise good judgement will be taken into consideration in this assessment.

Successful participants will be given a HCOP card indicating that they have met both the clinic and practical requirements for a particular level of the program.

 

STRUCTURE OF THE HCOP

 

The Program is structured in Six levels and is designed to serve every level of official from the newcomer to the experienced veteran.

With each level a referee is supplied more advanced materials on officiating. As most of the games in the lower levels of minor hockey are officiated by two men, the main emphasis in Level I is on the two-man system. In subsequent levels, the candidates are introduced to the linesmen’s responsibilities in the three-man system, followed by the referee’s duties. These progressions are consistent with the steps a young official would follow in learning to become a qualified official in minor or adult hockey.

Following are the HCOP Level definitions along with the necessary requirements:

 

Level I

Purpose: to prepare a young or new official to officiate Minor Hockey.

Certification: an individual is certified at Level I with attendance and completion of a Level I clinic.• completion of a national examination, to be marked and returned prior to the completion of the clinic.

Delivery: minimum of seven (7) hours of instruction.• may be presented over two evenings, or on a Saturday or Sunday.

Note: Upon completion of the Level I requirements, the official should receive a certificate and card.

 

Level II

Purpose: to further enhance the training and skills of Minor Hockey officials.

Certification: a person must be a minimum of sixteen (16) years of age to obtain a Level II status.• must attend and participate in all sessions of the Level II clinic.• must obtain a minimum of 70% on a written national examination, to be marked and returned prior to the completion of the clinic.

Delivery: minimum of seven (7) hours of instruction.• may be presented over two evenings, or on a Saturday or Sunday.

Note: 1. A novice official, seventeen (17) years of age or older, may attain Level I and II certification in one year based on ability. This is the only opportunity within the HCOP to accomplish two levels in one year. This is designed to encourage persons with playing or coaching experience to consider officiating.2. Upon successful completion of the clinic and examination, the official should receive a Level II sticker (to be affixed to the certificate received with Level I) and certification card.

 

Level III

Purpose: to prepare officials capable of refereeing Minor Hockey Play-offs, Minor Hockey Regional Play-offs and Female National Championships, or being linesmen in Junior B, C, D, Senior and Bantam or Midget Regional Championships.

Certification: must be fully certified at Level II and referee one year at that Level.• must attend and participate in all sessions at a Level III clinic.• must obtain a minimum of 80% on a written national examination, to be marked and returned prior to the completion of the clinic.• must be judged capable of refereeing in Minor Hockey Play-offs.• must pass a practical, on-ice evaluation, performed by a qualified Branch CHOP supervisor.

Delivery: minimum of eight (8) hours of instruction.• an official at Level III will have a thorough knowledge of the playing rules and the role of an official.• similar delivery options as in Level II although the Level II is usually presented in one day.

Note: Upon successful completion of Level III, the official should receive a Level III sticker and certification card.

 

Level IV

Purpose: to prepare hockey officials capable of refereeing Senior, Junior A, B, C, D, Minor Hockey Regional and National Championships, Female Hockey National Championships and designated Minor Hockey IIHF competition, or being a linesman in Major Junior, Junior A, Senior, CIS, CCAA, Inter-Branch and IIHF competition.

Certification: must be fully certified at Level III and referee one year at that Level.• attendance at Level IV will be by Branch invitation only. Certification at Level III does not automatically make one eligible for Level IV.• must attend and participate in all sessions of a Level IV clinic.• must obtain a minimum of 80% on a written national examination.• must pass a practical, on-ice evaluation, performed by a qualified Branch CHOP supervisor.• must be capable of officiating in any one of the categories as listed under “purpose”

Delivery: minimum of fourteen (14) hours of instruction. Usually is presented over a weekend, starting Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday until approximately 2:00 p.m.

Note: Upon successful completion of Level IV, the official should receive a Level IV sticker and certification card.

 

Level V

Purpose: to prepare competent officials to referee Major Junior, Junior A, Senior, CIS, CCAA, Inter-Branch play-offs, Minor Hockey Regional or National Championships.

Certification: must be fully certified at Level IV and referee one year at that Level.• attendance at Level V will be by Branch invitation only.• must attend and participate in all sessions of the Level V clinic.• must obtain a minimum of 90% on a written national examination.• must pass a practical on-ice examination, performed by a qualified Branch supervisor.• must pass a fitness and skating test.• must be capable of officiating in any one of the categories as listed under “purpose”.

Delivery: minimum of fourteen (14) hours of instruction. Usually is presented over an entire weekend. The topic areas for a Level V clinic are outlined by the CHA Referee’s Committee. Branches are encouraged to contact the National Office for assistance in staging a Level V clinic.

Note: 1. All officials reaching Level V are required to pass an annual written national examination and fitness test to qualify for Inter-Branch assignments.2. Upon successful completion of Level V, the official should receive a Level V sticker and certificate card.

 

Level VI

Purpose: to prepare competent officials capable of officiating at National Championship finals and designated IIHF competition (i.e. Memorial Cup, Centennial Cup, Allan Cup, Hardy Cup, CIS finals, CCAA finals, World championships, Olympics, FISU Games).

Certification: Branch nominations are submitted to the National Office and are reviewed by the CHA’s Referees’ Committee.• must be fully certified at Level V (including fitness tests) and referee one year at that Level.• must attend and participate in all sessions of a Level VI clinic.• must obtain 90% on a written national examination.• must pass a practical on-ice evaluation, performed by a national examiner.• must complete a written assignment assigned by the CHA Referees’ Committee.

Delivery: Level VI clinics are held based on national need for Level VI’s. The CHA Referees’ Committee is responsible for the organization of the site and program, establishing criteria and review of the candidates’ qualifications.• minimum of four (4) days of instruction.• attempts are made to stage the clinic in conjunction with a major training program so officials are able to work scrimmages.

Note:  All officials reaching Level VI are required to pass an annual written national examination and fitness test to qualify for Inter-Branch assignments.

 

Level I to Level III clinics are run by the NOHA. Level IV and Level V clinics are run by the Branch usually on a yearly basis. The Level VI clinic is run by the Hockey Canada every two years.

 

For further information contact your District Council Director or the NOHA office.