Proposed GIHOA By-Laws and Standard Operating Procedures

It is long-overdue and time to revamp the GIHOA By-Laws and Standard Operating Procedures to bring us into the 21st Century. Please review these prior to the May 13th meeting and forward any comments or concerns to .

Proposed GIHOA By-Laws

Proposed Standard Operating Procedures

I wanna be a ref...

...Are you crazy? Why on earth would you want to be a referee in any sport?.  Have you listened to the radio and TV commentators criticize EVERY CALL that the official makes? You have to be insane.
Don’t get me wrong because I love the game of ice hockey and officiating in this sport can be a very rewarding career or avocation. The bottom line is that I am glad that I made the decision to begin my officiating career more than 30 years ago.   It has made me a better person, a better employee, a better instructor and facilitator.  It has helped me maintain a very active and healthy lifestyle and allowed me to build a group of friends that I can count on to help if needed.  
Now that I have you all excited to begin your officiating career, I want you to understand that the majority of people who make that decision to join the ranks of registered USA Hockey officials never make it through the first year and return for a second season. The demand for quality officiating services is growing steadily but I want you to start this process with a realistic assessment of your chances of success.

The economics of officiating

USA Hockey’s 2016-17 Registration Report says that there are 25,768 registered officials.  In Georgia, there are close to 200 registered officials and within the Georgia Ice Hockey Officials Association (GIHOA), 25% of their members work less than 10 games a year.  
Think about it? Ten (10) games officiated at the cross-ice, mite, or Squirt levels will not recoup the investment required to complete registration and be ready to step on the ice with the proper uniform and gear.  And, that doesn’t take into consideration your time and transportation cost.  You will have to invest between $200 - $300 dollars, not including skates, just to “get ready” to step on the ice.  
USA Hockey does NOT restrict the age at which someone can register as an official, but GIHOA cannot schedule anyone below the age of 16. We do however have a few members who are below that age and will grandfather their status as members in good standing as long as they continue to maintain their membership and USA Hockey registration status.

Who gets the most games?

The officials who work the most games are those who have become what I like to call a “low maintenance official.”  The low maintenance official is someone who has the knowledge, experience, and skill (both mental and physical) to create a fair, fun and safe environment on the ice.  These are officials who are available to work when and where the most games are being played.  The low maintenance official is not ego driven or feels that they are entitled to games just because they completed registration or attained a high certification level.  They are the ones that have learned to manage a tough game and enjoy the ride.  These officials willing to work at all levels including cross-ice mites.
Since most of the games occur during travel weekends, be aware that if you are a travel hockey and/or High School hockey player and only become available in April, your chances of getting games are very low and, It will be nearly impossible to recoup your investment.   

Are you ready to join the ranks as a USA Hockey official?  

I did and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Just be aware the barriers to entry are steep and your chances of success are slim.  If you choose to proceed, I look forward to seeing you on the ice or at the rink.  

To Your Success,
Jim Hogan
GIHOA Board Member, Secretary
USA Hockey Official since 1983

In House and Intercity House Games Curfew

1, Be ready to take the ice at your start time. Warm-ups are 2 minutes.
2, At the conclusion of the game, the Zamboni doors will open. Players should immediately exit the ice.
3, ALL INTERCITY GAMES CURFEW IS 60 MINUTES. All games must be completed in one hour. If your game is running long you will need to go to run the time in the 3rd period. The timekeeper should inform the referees who will then notify the benches.
4, You need to estimate 2 minutes of real time for every minute of game time remaining. 5, ALL INTERCITY HOUSE GAMES WILL BE: Periods 2-13 minute stop time period, 3rd-period runtime with the amount of time left in the hour -2 minutes for the handshake
6, 1:30 MIN. MINOR PENALTIES.  (major penalty is 5 MIN and 10 MIN MISCONDUCT)
(if the clock needs to be stopped for a second to post the penalty, that is ok. it should start as soon as the puck drop, just make it work the best you can)
7, Ice cuts will be done prior to the start of each game.
8, All games are EXHIBITION games

Officials need to be on the ice before the Zam is off. Get nets ready and start clock if needed. The officials are the people to keep the game moving and on time.


At the elections last week, the following people were elected into these positions effective June 1st:
President - Kurt Totten
Vice President - Brian Cole
Treasurer - Paul Dixon
Secretary - Jim Hogan
Director of Training and Develpment - Ken Radolinski
Director of Personnel - Ryan Bray

Matt Savino decided not to run again for office.  We certainly thank Matt for all of his time and efforts on and off the rink over the last couple of years he held the position.  We are hoping to still see him on the ice.

Ken Radolinski moved to the Atlanta area about a year ago and comes to us with a tremendous amount of experience including being a USA Hockey Level 4 official the last several years, USA Hockey Evaluator and Instructor, Scheduler for Central Florida, and being an ECHL Official for the last few years.  We are extremely excited to have Ken join our board.

Interested In Becoming a Referee?

Interested in Becoming a Referee? All USA Hockey Officials are required to register as an official with USA Hockey, attend a USA Hockey instructional seminar, and pass an open book test every year to remain fully registered as a Referee.    Please contact Ryan Bray at with any questions or for additional information.

ACHA Season is here

Welcome to the 2018-19 American Collegiate Hockey Association ice hockey season. We are all looking forward to another exciting year and fortunate to have you and your officials as part of our ACHA Officiating Program. Thank you for helping. This is a non-rule change year. Although there are no direct rule changes, there is a continued emphasis on head-contact penalties. Please continue to be diligent and enforce the head-contact penalties. Attached you will find the information to get you started for this season. The follow documents are attached to this email.

ACHA welcome letter
2017-18 ACHA exam (same exam as last)
Answer sheet for the ACHA exam

Please visit the ACHA website for additional referee information. There are many valuable training documents on the ACHA website and please view the “Officials” tab of the website. The goal of the exam is not to create a pass or fail situation. This test should be used as a training tool to ensure that your officials take the time to learn the ACHA/NCAA Rules. Use the exam to your advantage and encourage open rules discussions.

When talking about ACHA/NCAA rules, our officials commonly get confused with the enforcement of USA Hockey rules during ACHA/NCAA games. It is imperative that you help our officials understand the differences to our ACHA/NCAA rules compared to the USA Hockey rules. As questions come up though the season, please do not hesitate to contact me. We will be providing additional information thru-out the season. Our ACHA officials are required to be completely registered with USA Hockey at level 3 or higher. In unique circumstances, USA Hockey level 2 officials may be used with approval from the ACHA Referee-in-Chief.

The ACHA believes the 2-Referee, 2-Linesmen system has proven to best fit ACHA competition and this is the recommended system. ACHA teams may also use the 2-Referee, 1-Linesman system or 1-Referee, 2-Linesmen system as described in the attached referee system document. ACHA womans teams may use the 2-referee system. This document is also on the ACHA website under the officials tab.

The ACHA has updated the ACHA crest with a new ACHA design and the new crest is smaller. Please visit for crest details. You will like the new design.

You can also get to the crest ordering document on the officials tab of the ACHA website. We hope this information will help your officials prepare for the upcoming season. Good luck this season and let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you all for your dedication to our sport.
Ed Giacomucci
American Collegiate Hockey Association

NOTE: GIHOA has ordered new crests and will be available for $10 each. We will let you know when we have them available.



Atlanta Area USA Hockey Seminars for 2018-19 Season

Check the Seminars page for a list of locations and dates for upcoming seminars.



Rule Change Summary for 2017-2021 seasons

Click here to see the rule changes that were adopted for the 2017-2021 seasons.

Proposed Rule Changes for USA Hockey

Here is an article that talks about some of the proposed rule changes for USA Hockey for next year as well as some that were submitted and have been dismissed.


GIHOA is now on Facebook

Check out the new GIHOA Facebook page at the link below.

Arbiter Sports Mobile App

ArbiterSports now has a true mobile application. If you go to this link you can select the following:
Mobile application subscription rates:
1 year $7.95, 2 years $6.95, 3 years $5.95.

Arbiter Mobile Access
Get last minute assignments and accept them from anywhere through your smart phone. See game schedules and site addresses, view and accept games, update your availability, see game-day weather forecasts and even find phone numbers and addresses of your contacts, partners and assigners—all from your mobile device.

** Note the application is free to download, the cost is the subscription to Arbiter for the mobile access **



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Updated: 22-Apr-2020 8:46 AM