ref school

Referee in Chief Chuck Hainsworth 306-370-6208

60 Plus Hockey Referees Guide


We in 60 plus hockey are about camaraderie, sportsmanship, and safe play. With respect to that, we as a league, have decided to referee our own games. A request is made of each player to referee at least once throughout the year. There is no expectation of high-level officiating, only participation. Please consider giving back to the league you enjoy playing in.

To add consistency to the way we referee, please use the following as a guide when you are refereeing. Each person refereeing will bring his own style to the game. How you call and what you call will ultimately be a personal thing; however, we do encourage our referees to call the infractions they see, as we are trying to make the same calls [ example–. icing, penalties, shift length] consistently from game to game. Safety is a prime concern, and our officials are asked to manage the game with this in mind.

Do the best you can

Know, that you will make mistakes. But, when you make a call, be firm. Call the game as you see it and blow the whistle hard. Even if it’s late. If you show any uncertainty, you are more likely to be challenged. On any delayed calls make sure you are being heard. eg: icing or offside. If you don’t have a referee jersey and wear the bibs, try not to wear red or white underneath. You tend to blend in more that way and may find yourself getting the odd pass.

We don’t want to dictate the game but we should do our best to control it. And, don’t fall into the trap of watching the game as a fan. If, at any time, you feel a player has become even a little abusive, let me know. I will speak with them.

General Information

  • There are referee bibs and helmets available for the officials.
  • There are some hand-held whistles available but they are sometimes hard to hear.
  • We strongly suggest-bring your own whistle that you blow.
  • There are frozen pucks in the freezer in the dressing room. Take 2 out for the game. Please keep them separate from the warm-up pucks at game’s end.
  • When you volunteer to ref, if you have not done so before, or are feeling apprehensive, pair yourself with an experienced official.


  • Games are 75 minutes long. Be sure you start the clock on time as we and the Schroh Arena Staff have a schedule to maintain.
  • Please start the clock on time even though the players/goalies are not ready.
  • How to set the clock? (click here)

Use a two-man system:

Lead official precedes the play, watching for off-side, and the activities of the puck carrier and checker of the puck carrier. Take a position between the goal line and lowest face-off dot once the play is in the offensive end.

Trail official follows the play, watching the remaining 8 skaters for infractions. Set up near the blue line in the offensive end.

Upon the reversal of play, the responsibilities reverse. The Trail official becomes the Lead and precedes the play to the opposite end. Do not stop at the blue line. Continue into the offensive end and set up between the goal line and lowest face-off dot.


It’s important, to better see the game, but also, to keep yourself safe. Often, you’re wearing less equipment and we don’t want anybody getting hurt.

  • With 2 officials, you should have a lead official and a trail official.

1 on each side, covering from opposite bluelines to the far goal line.

  • If you are officiating alone, cover at least from blueline to blueline. If the speed of the game allows, try to get a bit lower on each end but not so deep that you can’t catch up to the play.
  • Try to read the play to help with your position. If you can see the play coming out of the zone stay ahead of it. This is easier with 2 officials as the trail official can cover the blue line you vacate.
  • Try not to stray too far from the boards but, as I said, reading the play will help with this. If you have to move to stay out of the way, then do it. That being said, don’t hug the boards. We all know how frustrating it is to ring the puck around the boards only to have it hit an official’s skate.
  • Keep your head on a swivel so that you know where all the players are. Generally, everybody is in front of you but from time to time you can get tangled up in the play. When this happens, look around, if you can, to get yourself out of the way, wherever that takes you.

Unique to our 60+ Hockey league:

Whistle Games:

these occur from time to time when the 3rd line is involved.

  • One referee usually calls the line change.
  • Try to have continuous play 75 to 90 seconds. Off-sides, penalties and goals may contribute to a slightly longer shift, at the discretion of the official.
  • Two quick whistles are sounded to indicate line change.
  • line changes (once the whistle blows, leave as quickly as possible, so play can resume). The team with the puck may advance the puck, unchallenged until the first member of the advancing team crosses the red line.

Penalty Enforcement for Whistle Games

  • Upon an infraction(penalty), play is stopped immediately, the offending player is to leave the ice to the player’s bench, missing the rest of that shift and one more.
  • If a player is CUT by a High Stick for example—the offending player is issued a Major Penalty and is to leave the ice immediately; missing the rest of that shift and two more.
  • EXCEPTIONS: Last 3 minutes of the game, or if the infraction occurs on a break- away…result: Penalty shot.
  • If the player is Cut severely and can’t continue playing that game; the offending player has to leave the game as well.
  • The non-offending team is to have the puck each time. They are to have clear passage until the first of their players crosses the red line.

Change-On-The-Fly Games:

these mainly occurs when 1st line plays 1st line or 2nd line plays 2nd line or a mix of 1st and 2nd lines.

  • These are not whistle games
  • These games are Change-on -the fly-continuous play

Penalty Enforcement for Change-On-The-Fly Games

  • Penalties are 3 minutes since we’re not playing stop time. The referees will give the offending player the time when they can return to play.
  • EXCEPTIONS: Last 3 minutes of the game, or if the infraction occurs on a break- away…result: Penalty shot.
  • If a player is CUT by a High Stick for example—the offending player is issued a 7-Minute Major Penalty and is to leave the ice immediately. This Major Penalty is a full 7 minutes even though a goal or more maybe scored. If the player is Cut severely and can’t continue playing that game; the offending player has to leave the game immediately as well.

Common Calls:


Call it out and keep your hand up until the zone is cleared. The key thing here is the players, not the puck. All the players must have exited the zone at the same time to wave it off. The puck does not have to come out.A puck carrier does not put himself offside if he proceeds the puck into the zone, however, if he is in an offside position when he receives the puck and then brings it in, it is. If the puck exits the zone and is deflected back in, by any means, ie. either team or the official, it is offside.


  • Icing– (once the defensive player crosses his blue-line with the puck– icing is NOT in effect). When icing is called, the non-offending team is allowed to bring the puck across their blue line- UNCHALLENGED.
  • Delayed off-side (all attacking players are to be clear before any player re-enters the zone). Clear means that they must be outside the blue line or at least make skate contact with the blue-line.

From inside the defensive zone, all the way down the ice. This is the trail officials call but the lead official can call it off if they think it could have been played or was touched. Important for the officials to communicate on the call. Trail official has their hand in the air and if calling it off, the lead official should wave their arms in a safe like motion. Also, be sure to loudly indicate the call. Some of our guys don’t hear so good.

Puck out of play

Fairly straight forward. If the puck goes out of play the faceoff is at the nearest dot in the zone it was shot from. The exception is if an attacking player in the attacking zone causes the puck to go out. In this case the faceoff goes out to the nearest dot in the neutral zone. This also hold true for a puck that ends up on the back of the net.

Crease violation

If an attacking player goes into the blue paint of the crease in the attacking zone, the whistle is blown and the faceoff goes outside the zone. This includes a player who may be going across the front of the net to get past the goalie to shoot on the other side. Whether they contact the goalie or not, they cannot hit the goalie I occasionally will not blow the whistle on this play if the defending team is in control and it appears that they will be able to easily exit their defensive zone. However, if the goaltender is contacted, blow the whistle immediately.

Goalies mask

If the goalie’s mask is hit, either by puck or stick, blow the whistle.

During play

Officials watch for infractions of the rules, with emphasis on controlling ‘stick work’.

  • Tripping and hooking.
  • Slashing-includes downward motion across the shaft of the stick or on the player’s body.
  • Contact of an opponent with the stick above the opponent’s waist, or on the hands, should be penalized.
  • Intentional contact of the puck, with the stick above the shoulders, is a penalty in ‘old timers’ hockey.
  • CHANGE: Contact of the puck by stick above the waist but lower than the shoulder, is an infraction. The play is stopped and the puck awarded to the opposition in the same manner as a line change (clear passage to the red line).

– As well, watch for intentional interference …using the body to impede progress.

NOTE: When the puck strikes the goaltender’s mask, at anytime, the play is IMMEDIATELY stopped. No other play can continue including a goal.

NEW: A player with puck travelling toward the net must avoid contact with the goalie.

If the player is approaching from the side, a ‘cut-back’ action is recommended to help avoid a collision. If deemed a dangerous play or the goalie is contacted; the player receives a penalty. Puck is dropped in the offending team’s zone.

If an offending player is intentionally pushed into the goaltender-both players will be penalized.


  • One of our primary responsibilities is to make sure that the game is being played in a safe manner. With this in mind, a penalty may be called even if it’s borderline but may be an unsafe action. If you see a penalty, unless it’s a breakaway or a golden scoring opportunity, blow the whistle immediately. Use your best judgement on this. You may get a little pushback or questioning about it but just explain this is the way we go about it. Penalties are 3 minutes in duration from drop of the puck. In a game that is not change on the fly, only the line that was penalized plays shorthanded for 1 shift after the penalty. Penalty shots can be given if a player has a clear breakaway and is fouled or if a defending player closes their hand on the puck in their own crease. Penalty shots are also given if there is a penalty in the last 3 minutes of the game as there is not enough time to serve the full time. If a fouled player cannot continue, the penalized player is out as well.

Body Contact

As you are aware, we are a non-contact league. But hockey by its very nature invites situations where contact will occur. We have to determine whether the contact was avoidable. Players cannot push into or rub an opponent out along the boards. Just like we are responsible for our stick, we are equally so with our bodies. We cannot check so aggressively that, if a player changes direction, he runs into us. Also, players cannot set picks so that a teammate gains an advantage. This is interference. From time to time one of us loses control, catches an edge or whatever. If a collision occurs, it’s still a penalty.


We all grew up playing the game where a little hook, chop, or hold, were part of the game. With the exception of the hook some of this is still okay but with limits. The following stick infractions are penalties:

  • Contact with the body above the waist.
  • A stick in the hands.
  • A chopping motion that begins above the waist and comes down contacting a player or their stick anywhere
  • Restricting another player with your stick turned over and the blade tip is turned down
  • Contacting the puck in the air above the shoulder. (Some of the guys have been blowing the play dead without a penalty for contacting the puck between the waist and shoulder)
  • If a high stick cuts the other player, it is 7 minutes.

Contacting the goalie. If the goaltender is contacted in the blue paint

Fighting. If any punches are thrown, it is a game misconduct and it will be investigated.

CARHA Rule Book

  • The Saskatoon 60+ Hockey League mainly follows the Canadian Adult Recreation Hockey Association’s Rule Book.
  • Rules, penalties, infractions, major infractions, suspensions and many other areas are all covered within in their rule book.
  • The CARHA Rules can be found within our 60+ league Constitution which we strongly suggest you read. The link for Rules and Discipline is at the bottom of each web page.
  • Our 60+ Constitution can be found on our Website’

Enjoy Being an Official—have fun, learn and appreciate everyone on the ice and they will appreciate you!

Safety of Everyone is Priority 1.

Play Safe/Stay Healthy!