What guidelines does USA Hockey have in regards to which officiating system should be used at the various levels of play?
Each of the various officiating systems approved by USA Hockey have their place for use. Rule Reference 501(a).
For the youngest levels of play where non-competitive cross- ice games take pace, the Cross-Ice Officiating Manual outlines the system to be used and the procedures to be followed.
Lower level full-ice games calls for the two official system and this provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate a Mentor or Shadow Program where newer officials are supported by more experienced officials.
Ideally, the three-official system (one referee-two linesman) should be incorporated at the 12 & under age classifications and above. This system provides the best environment for development and is a logical next step for those newer officials who have gained the necessary experience in the two-official system.
The four-official (two referees – two linesman) may be used at the competitive levels of 16 & under and older where the pace and intensity of play calls for an additional referee on the ice to best officiate the game.
In each instance, officiating development and opportunity, along with providing quality officiating for the games being played, should be the primary consideration in choosing the system to be used. This determination should be made without a significant increase in cost to the youth hockey associations simply because an additional official is assigned on the ice.
Why does USA Hockey endorse only one system for three Officials?
From an education perspective, it is most effective to select one system and establish a training program for one system. Rule Reference 501(a).
It is widely recognized, world-wide, that the one referee two linesman system is the best three-official system for total on- ice coverage and for the development of officials. USA Hockey’s officiating program closely monitors all officiating systems that are used by the various governing bodies for practical inclusion in our programs. At this time, the approved systems recognized in this rule are the only officiating systems allowed for use in USA Hockey sanctioned full-ice games.
An On-Ice Official arrives at the game only to realize that he forgot his helmet. Is he allowed to officiate in this instance without a helmet?
No. Rule Reference 501(c).
All On-Ice Officials must wear a hockey helmet when officiating. Under no circumstances should an official be allowed to participate without this required piece of protective equipment.
What considerations should be applied when purchasing a visor to be worn while officiating?
All on-ice game officials are required to wear a half-face shield attached to their helmets. This half-shield must be designed for ice hockey use, be clear in color (non-tinted) and attached and worn in the manner recommended by the commercial manufacturer. The half- shield is not required to be HECC approved. Safety glasses, goggles or any similar items are not permitted as substitutes for the half-face shield requirement, but may be worn in addition to the half-face shield. Rule Reference 501(c).
When should an On-Ice Official wear the USA Hockey crest on his sweater? In all USA Hockey sanctioned games. Rule Reference 501(c).
The crest should never be worn when officiating non-USA Hockey sanctioned games.
What is the proper procedure for Officials to follow if a regularly scheduled On-Ice Official either does not show up for a game or becomes incapacitated and cannot finish the game?
Arrangements should be made, whenever possible, to be able to start or continue the game in a reasonable time frame while following the guidelines outlined in the rule. Rule Reference 501(d).
The first step is to attempt to locate USA Hockey registered officials who are either in the arena, or live close by, that may be able to step in and work the game.
Ideally, identifying two registered officials who can work would allow the game to be played using the two official system. However, the game could be played, or continue, provided there is one registered official present and both coaches have agreed to play the game under these circumstances.
The alternative is for each coach to agree to appoint a Referee and then appoint one player from each team to serve as linesman.
If an official is injured after the game has started and cannot continue, the game will continue under the same guidelines outlined above or by procedures mandated by the local governing body of the teams involved. This may include continuing the game with one referee and one linesman.
An official is cut during play and once play is stopped, is able to quickly stop the bleeding and can continue. However, he notices he has considerable blood on his uniform. What procedure must be followed?
The uniform must be decontaminated or exchanged. Rule Reference 501(e Note).
If the uniform can be quickly decontaminated, then a brief delay can take place to do so. If the proper decontaminate is not readily available, the official should exchange the bloody portion of the uniform as quickly as possible to allow play to continue. Under these circumstances, it would be acceptable for the official to continue using any clothing that is contrasting colors to the teams involved.