Once you have registered you will be certified to begin officiating games. Before you officiate your first game there is some equipment you need to obtain: skates, a helmet equipped with a CSA certified half visor, an officials jersey with the Hockey Alberta crest stitched on the left breast and a Hockey Canada Crest on the left upper arm, black pants and a finger mounted whistle. Listed below is an example of some of the equipment you should be looking for:
*Skates - Any type of hockey skates other than goalie skates will work just fine. Please ensure that your skates are laced with clean, bright, white laces.
*Black Helmet - A black CSA helmet is required for officiating. Before purchasing a helmet check with the sales representative to ensure that a half visor will properly fit on it, it is preferable if it is free from hockey team stickers or similar apparel stickers.
*Half Visor - A CSA half visor is required for officiating. It’s often easiest to ask the salesman at the sports store you are purchasing the visor from to install it. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge. If you are just purchasing a visor it is a wise choice to bring your helmet with you to the store just to ensure it will fit properly.
*Officials Jersey - There are many officials jerseys out there, CCM & Force just to name a couple of brands. Pictured here are the linesperson and referee jerseys. Most officials jerseys have snaps on the arms, this way you can purchase "snap-on" red arm bands for when you are doing 2 official or refereeing in the 3 or 4 official system. The "snap-on" red bands are very functional and professional looking.
*Officials Crest & Patch - Crests and Patches are to be sewn on the officials jersey in the manner pictured. Hockey Alberta crest slightly above the left breast and the Hockey Canada patch on the bicep area of the left arm. Crests & Patches are available at select retailers. Click here for details.
*Black Pants - If you are unsure about officiating and you don’t want to buy officials pants just yet a clean pair of black pants will work. However if you are interested in getting the best looking and most functional pant for officiating you need to seriously look at officials pants. CCM, Force & PG are quality officials pants makers. Try on the pants in the store before you buy them. When hemming make sure to remember that when on skates you may want to leave the pants a little bit longer.
*Finger Mounted Whistle - There are a few of different whistle manufacturers out there, Acme and Fox40 to name a couple. A quality finger mounted whistle usually sell for around $25 each and buying 2 so you have a backup in your bag is always a good idea.
Jock/Jill Strap - Although not required, a highly recommended piece of equipment, the puck is hard and travels quickly and as hard as we try you can’t always get out of the way.
Elbow Pads - You can wear normal player soft covered elbow pads or officials elbow pads, you’ll be thankful to have them on when you fall....eventually.
Shin Pads - You can wear normal "player" shin pads however you should be aware that there are special shin pads made especially for referees. The advantage of referee shin pads is they are more flexible and they have a lower profile when you compare them to players shin pads. If you do choose to wear your player shin pads you may find a difficulty in fitting them underneath your officials pants.
Black Shin Tights - Shin Tights can serve a couple of purposes, they can be used to keep your shin pads tightly in place and they can be used to keep your tendon guard on your skates from appearing over the cuff of your pants at the back, helping create a more professional cleaner look.
Officials Bag - When just starting out a duffel bag will probably work just fine to carry your equipment around. However as you can see there is a decent amount of equipment that you will need to carry and officials bags are designed specifically to carry that equipment. They also tend to last longer than you’re average duffel bag. The bag pictured above is a very good bag and in addition it comes with wheels, which is a really nice feature.