So you're getting ready to start refereeing hockey and still not quite sure what you need to get ready for your first game? We've compiled an informative list of what you need to get started on the right foot.
Always be sure to carry your rulebook in your officiating bag so that you can check rule references after games because when you're first starting out there will be a lot to take in! It's also best practice to print out your schedule and a list of your partners/assigners phone numbers just in case there is an issue before during or after the game.
Mandatory hockey referee gear items include:
1. Referee Bag (preferably solid black) - When just starting out it's totally ok to start off with your old gym bag or blank hockey bag but it's important to avoid anything with team insignias or logos so that you maintain an impartial appearance walking into the rink. As you gain experience or if you don't already have something a solid referee equipment bag is a great investment.
2. Referee Whistle (Carrying a back-up whistle in your pocket is also recommended in case of mid-game malfunction. Typically this only happens in very cold rinks where the whistle may freeze.)
3. Hockey Referee Sweater (Jersey) - your league crest should also be properly affixed to the front left chest of your referee sweater.
4. Black Hockey Referee Pants - Recommended for starting out but if it is just your first few games you can always use your solid black warm up pants (without a logo on them) or a nice pair of black sweat pants. Once you've decided to continue taking officiating more seriously or if you would like to start off more professionally it's best to upgrade to a nice pair of officials pants. At the lower levels a padded pant isn't necessary but once you start getting to the Bantam, HS and Midget levels it's recommended to make an upgrade for more protection.
5. Black Hockey Helmet (including protective visor properly affixed)
6. Hockey Skates (Goalie skates or figure skates are not allowed) - Make sure to have white laces in your skates to maintain a professional appearance.
7. Some extra cut up skate laces so that you can repair the nets before the game if upon your inspection you find holes that could cause the puck to go through.
Highly recommended items include:
1. Shin Guards - It's never fun getting hit by an errant pass or wreck-less centermen's stick during a face-off. If you fall down or something unexpected comes your way having hockey referee shin-guards will keep you safe during your games.
2. Elbow Pads - You never know when you will hit a rut in the ice and fall backwards or bump into the boards. It's best to keep your elbows protected for when the unexpected happens.
3. Jock Shorts/Girdle - Cups are highly recommended for obvious reasons.
4. Shin Tights - This is a lesser known product to new officials but are super helpful to officials personal appearance. They help to hold your shin pads in place similar to clear tape for a hockey player and you can also tuck your skate laces/tendon guards underneath your referee Shin Tights so that your pants do not get caught in your skates.
5. Skate Socks - It's always nice to have a couple pairs of skate socks so that you can keep your feet dry and comfy. Some days as officials be pretty long skating multiple games in a row.
Other nice to have items include:
1. Hockey Helmet Repair Kit
2. Sewing Kit
4. Padded Shirts - For extra protection of your body while on the ice.
5. Visor spray/microfiber towel - To keep your visor clear and see through so you don't miss the important plays.
We're always happy to help so if you have any questions please feel free to reach out at any time!