Hockey Officials

Officials & Referees

In ice hockey, the officials control all. In a pro NHL game, here is the complete list of the types of officials:

  1. The Referees
  2. The Linesmen
  3. The Official Scorer
  4. The Goal Judge
  5. The Game Timekeeper
  6. The Penalty Timekeeper
  7. The Real Time Scorers
  8. The Video Goal Judge

Each official is responsible for interpreting the rulebook for a different part of an ice hockey game. However, the referee always has final say in a ruling if there is a disagreement.

As an ice hockey fan, don't worry about what each of the officials do. If you're curious we will look to cover them in future ice hockey tutorials.

Referee's Crease

The referee's crease is part of the ice hockey rink we have already learned about. It's where game officials gather to discuss penalties and challenges. During play, referees skate with the flow of the game, but this is where they typically gather after a stoppage in play that needs a review.

Hockey Referee Crease

Official Signals

An official will raise a hand and blow his whistle to signal a penalty if a rule was broken immediately if the offending player is in control of the puck.

Sometimes a referee will signal a delayed penalty by only raising his hand and not blowing his whistle. Like when calling offsides in ice hockey, officials may wait to stop play and only signal delayed offside. We'll learn more about offsides and delayed offsides next.

If player is not in control of puck, the referee raises his arm to signal a delayed penalty, but will not stop play. Once the offending player's team touches the puck, the referee will stop play and impose a penalty.

Once an official stops play, the referee will announce to everyone the reasoning behind why the penalty was called. During this announcement, the referee will make a signal with his hands to define the penalty.

Coach's Challenge

The manager of an ice hockey team has the ability to challenge the ruling on the previous play. We will learn about challenge flags next.

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