Click to Display

In order to comply with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 149, Sections 54 – 105, all officials must reach the age of 14 prior to being allowed to officiate USA Hockey games within the Massachusetts District.  In addition, all officials age 14 to 17 must submit the proper documentation to the league(s) they work for prior to being assigned any games. M.G.L. Chapter 149 also restricts officials age 14 to 17 on the number of hours they can work in a day and the times of day they are allowed to officiate.


The 2021-25 USA Hockey Playing Rule change process was concluded on June 12, 2021 during the Board of Directors Meeting at Annual Congress. You will find a summary of all accepted rule changes below, in addition to updates to the USA Hockey Points of Emphasis and Standard of Play, and an explanation of the new Standardization of Discipline regarding Match Penalties.

The 2021-25 USA Hockey Playing Rules will take effect starting September 1, 2021.

2021-25 Playing Rule Change Summary

2021-25 Playing Rules Points of Emphasis and Standard of Play

2021-25 Standardization of Discipline with Match Penalties

We have published the first round of seminars to the USA Hockey Website –

Please note that you MUST be registered with USA Hockey PRIOR to registering for a seminar (

Confirmed Dates and locations are as follows;

8/5 – Level 3 Zoom
8/18 – Level 3 Zoom
9/14 – Level 3 Zoom

8/22 – L1/L2/L3 Agawam. 
9/11 – L1/L2 – Andover

9/28 – Level 4 Zoom

10/12 – Level 3 Zoom

10/16 – Level 1 / Level 2 – Shrewsbury

Hello Officials,

I hope you are doing well and staying safe. I need to cover a few things with you all.

  1. GAME REPORTS — I thank you all for doing the reports. All Game reports have to have –
    • DATE & TIME
    • RINK
    • LEAGUE — EXP. (south shore conf, EHF, Valley League) this field is required – Ask you assigner
    • AGE Classification

All game reports must be submitted within 48 of the game – again ALL GAME REPORTS. If you cannot find a player or coach in the USA system you must email me the game sheet and the information that you are looking for- JUST writing that information in the bottom of the report does not work.
Last thing on game reports — the only game report that matters is the USA report – If an assigner is telling you only do it in HORIZON that is not true – you only need to do it in the USA system.

  1. FACE MASK— All officials are required to wear face mask- THIS IS FROM THE STATE OF MA (GOVERNOR’s office) – Please make sure you have your mask on –

ELECTRONIC whistles are the only whistle allowed in MA.
Again Please follow all state guidelines.

LAST – Any player that takes a faceoff is REQUIRED to wear a face mask- Again this is a STATE of MA guideline – MA HOCKEY has now put a new policy in place —

  1. The first time the player taking a face off does not have a face mask it is a warning to the team.
  2. After that it is now a 10 Min misconduct – to any player that tries to take a face off without a MASK

Please see the attached PDF for additional guidelines from MA Hockey.



As USA Hockey continues adapting to the coronavirus situation, the safety of participants always remains our top priority. Thank you to all players, parents, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers for your continued passion and support for hockey in the United States and we’re all looking forward to returning to more normal times as soon as possible. In the meantime, all updates related to the coronavirus situation can be found here.

Massachusetts Hockey Covid-19 Information is available here

This site and video provide a brief overview into joining a meeting, and adjusting and troubleshooting audio and video on your devices.

CLICK HERE to view

We are all missing the game! Here is your opportunity to connect with leaders in officiating to discuss their path, connect with others and see how we can all support each other. Attendees are encouraged to ask our panelists questions. Plus, each panelist has a Massachusetts connection! Submit questions before the webinar by email to

Chris Rooney (current NHL official) will be joins Ryan Daisy(current NHL Official), Kevin Donovan (USA Hockey Referee-in-Chief), Katie Guay (first female official for a D1 NCAA Men’s game, Olympic official & one of four women to officiate at the NHL level), Brian Murphy (retired NHL official & new Hockey East Supervisor of Men’s officials) & Scott Zelkin (USAH Manager of Junior Officiating Development Program).

Hello WEB

Apologies for the second email, we realized the link was not correct in the last email. The correct link for registration is;

Click to Register!


Written By Brad Lohmeier – posted on Facebook.

To the hockey parents I’ve witnessed,

You may not realize it but the “worst referee ever” and the ref who “sucks” just happens to belong to the person standing beside you. He’s my son.

The “crappy” ref is 13 years old and has officiated over 50 games. He has taken on everything from Atom House to Championship games in Pee Wee Rep tournaments.

He would rather be sleeping in but because of his passion for the game, he gets up at 4:45am to ref your child at their 6:15am game on a Saturday morning.

He can often hear your voice, he knows what is being said….yet he does his job in a responsible, professional manner and somehow manages to not take it personally.

The “ref who shouldn’t be out there” has spent hours studying, writing tests, going to classroom and on ice sessions to be certified by Hockey Canada. He has been recognized by his local hockey association and has worked hard to earn the right to be on the ice. He’s had multiple coaches from other towns compliment him for doing a great job. He most likely knows the rules of the game better than you.

Yet, he SUCKS!

He’s had parents “boo” at him as he walks to the change room after a game. He’s even been followed into the change room by a pissed off coach. Yet he keeps officiating.

So….if the referees decided not to show up because of the abuse from the parents and coaches – then what? Do you have the courage to jump on the ice? I guess you just cancel the game and go home. How does that sound?

Parents, coaches, players and everyone in that rink must answer to the ref. He didn’t make the rules, he is simply enforcing them. If anyone in that rink is out of line….that 13 yr old has the power to throw them out of the rink. Guess what?….he has thrown out a coach who was in his 40’s because the coach took it too far. Could you do that? Perhaps, but perhaps not.

They call the game as best as they can and it’s truly remarkable how few mistakes they make.

When your player clearly tripped a kid then scored, you were fine with that. Turn the tables and now it’s a different story.

Who do I cheer for? The black and white stripes. They keep the game fair and they keep the players safe.

I’m beyond proud of my “worst ref ever.” He takes on more than you will ever know….and he loves every second.

As for me, I feel sorry for what your kid must go through on the ride home after the game. Hockey is supposed to be fun….I’m guessing for your kid it’s not.

And for the penalty that was called at 3:25 in the third period – it was too many men, and you probably didn’t notice….but the ref did.

108 – Signal And Timing Devices

A face-off occurs with ten seconds remaining in the period. As play begins, one of the On-Ice Officials notices that the clock has not started. Should the Official stop play immediately to remedy the situation.

No. Rule Reference 108(b).

As soon as the Official notices that the clock has not started, he must begin counting down the remaining seconds in his head. If he counts down to 0:00 and the period should have ended but didn’t, he must stop play to end the period.

If the Official properly counts down to 0:00 in the above situation, but does not stop the play for whatever reason, any goal that has been scored after he counts down to 0:00 shall be disallowed.

404 – Misconduct Penalties

Is it possible for a player to be assessed more than one game misconduct penalty in the same game?

Yes. Rule Reference 404(b).

There are several scenarios where a player could put themselves in a position to be assessed multiple game misconduct penalties (e.g. Major plus game for a high stick that causes injury and then is first to intervene in an altercation). In all instances, the appropriate penalties must be assessed to hold the player accountable for their actions.

Standard Of Play

A player delivers a check without taking the two fast strides, but instead accelerates through the check and delivers just as much force as if he had taken two fast strides. Could this be considered charging?

Yes. By accelerating through the check and maximizing the force used, the player is no longer simply separating the opponent from the puck and instead is attempting to intimidate or punish the opponent. Under the Body Checking Standard of Play, this must be penalized under the charging rule.

Your Turn

Have you had an odd situation, or a question that you’d like answered? Click reply, and let us know.

Points of Emphasis

You’re either part of the change or part of the problem.

The full text and video can be found at:

However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via:

603 – Boarding

A player is skating behind an opponent as they head towards the end boards. At the bottom of end zone face-off circle, the trailing player trips the opponent and causes him to lose control and crash into the end boards. May a boarding penalty be called in this instance?

Yes. Rule Reference 603(a).

The boarding rule covers all potential illegal actions that causes an opponent to dangerously contact the boards. Even though a tripping penalty may also be appropriate, the boarding call is preferred to draw attention to the more aggressive infraction.

621 – Face Off Locations

A stoppage of play in the Defending Zone was caused by a defending player and the Official assessed the defending team a penalty. Subsequently, during the same stoppage of play, an attacking player is assessed a penalty. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At the nearest Neutral Zone face-off spot. Rule Reference 612(c).

The stoppage of play was not caused by the actions of players from both teams for the purpose of establishing a last play face-off. The penalty by the attacking player causes the face- off to occur at the nearest Neutral Zone face-off spot.

616 – Fouled From Behind

What criteria must be met in order for a penalty shot to be assessed when a player on a breakaway is fouled from behind by an opponent?
1) The fouled player has possession and control of the puck.
2) The fouled player is beyond his Defending Zone.
3) The fouled player has no opponent to pass except the goalkeeper.
4) The fouled player is fouled from behind (beyond his peripheral vision).
5) The fouled player has been denied a reasonable scoring opportunity. This includes situations where the foul committed has denied the fouled player the ability to make a reasonable attempt to score.

Rule References 616(Note 1 & Note 2).

All of these criteria need to be met in order to award a penalty shot. If one or more are not met, then the appropriate penalty shall be assessed in the normal manner.

Your Turn

Have you had an odd situation, or a question that you’d like answered? Click reply, and let us know.

Points of Emphasis

You’re either part of the change or part of the problem.

The full text and video can be found at:

However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via: