How old do you have to be to referee hockey?
So you want to become a hockey referee? Not sure how old you need to be to start?
Well in this short article we're going to cover age requirements for both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada.
Under the Hockey Canada level system, newcomer officials begin as a level 1. The minimum age to become a level 1 is set individually by the branches. So for example, this would mean that a Hockey Nova Scotia, or a Hockey Alberta, would be setting the minimum age requirements.
That being said, to become a level 2 in Hockey Canada, a person needs to be a minimum of sixteen years old. So while someone can be younger to start officiating, generally as a level 1 you will be limited in the levels of hockey that can be worked.
Officially, USA Hockey doesn't have a minimum age for officials. It's usually recommended that officials don't work games of their own age or higher.
USA Hockey notes that officials as young as ten years-old have successfully officiated in their program.
The biggest limitation is often not with USA Hockey, but rather with specific Child Labor Laws in whichever State you plan on officiating in. Local associations will be helpful in navigating this situation, and will likely be quite aware of the legal limitations of becoming a referee!