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Rule 501 | Appointment of Officials

Rule 501 | Appointment of Officials

(a) Referee Systems – The three-official system (one Referee/two Linesman) and the two-official system (two Referees) are the only approved systems for USA Hockey sanctioned games. When the two official system is used, the duties of the Linesmen will be carried out by both Referees.

However, Districts or Affiliates are authorized to use the four-official system (two Referee/two Linesman) for games involving teams in the Youth and Girls’ 16 & under age classifications and older (including High School and Adults).

(b) For Regional and National Championships, the District Referee-in-Chief or his duly appointed representative shall appoint all on-ice officials. Required off-ice officials shall be assigned by the respective Tournament Officials. 

(c) All On-Ice Officials shall wear black trousers and an official sweater with the current USA Hockey officiating crest on the left chest of the sweater during all games. Any other crest that is worn must be located on either arm of the sweater. The wearing of nameplates shall be regulated by each League. Each official is required to wear a black hockey helmet, with chin strap properly fastened, and a half-shield visor properly attached to their helmets.

(d) If for any reason, the on-ice officials appointed are prevented from appearing, the Managers or Coaches of the two teams shall agree on a Referee and Linesmen (three-official system) or two Referees (two-official system). If unable to agree, they shall appoint a player from each team to serve in this capacity. If the regularly appointed officials appear during the progress of the game, they shall immediately replace the temporary officials.

If one of the officials (three-official system) is unable to participate or finish the game, the Referee has the authority to appoint another official, if he deems necessary. Otherwise, the game shall continue with one Referee and one Linesman or two Referees as mandated by the local governing body. If one of the officials (four-official system) is unable to participate or finish the game, the Referee has the authority to appoint another official, if he deems necessary. Otherwise, the game shall continue with one Referee and two Linesmen.

(e) Should an Official accidentally leave the ice or receive an injury that incapacitates him from discharging his duties while play is in progress, the play shall be immediately stopped by an On-Ice Official.

(Note) If an On-Ice Official is bleeding, the Official shall seek treatment at the next stoppage of play to stop the bleeding and cover the cut or abrasion before continuing. It is required that any affected equipment/uniform be properly decontaminated or exchanged.