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Next Shift

Are you ready to take your Next Shift?

The Next Shift initiative is a collaborative effort between the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the USA Hockey Officiating Program to recruit, develop, and advance new on-ice officials. The initiative is being implemented to target former hockey players who have a passion for the game and incentivize them to take their next shift as an on-ice official.

Application Process & Timeline

The application is closed for the 2022 - 2023 initiative.

Are you a CURRENT official and interested in officiating in the North American Hockey League? Complete our online NAHL Officiating Show of Interest form.

About the Next Shift Initiative

The Next Shift initiative is operated by the NAHL Officiating Department and is carefully designed to provide education, exposure and experience to new officials who are starting their officiating career and who ultimately aspire to advance into higher levels of amateur hockey, junior hockey and beyond.

  • EDUCATION - Next Shift officials will participate in a monthly continuing education webinar series with the first session dedicated to an overview of the USA Hockey Officiating Program registration and certification process. Additional webinar sessions will provide a comprehensive discussion on a variety of officiating specific topics that individuals must master in order to develop into a successful game manager. Officials will also participate in a monthly rules quiz continuing education series which will feature a variety of formats and cover a range of topics. Both continuing education series will reinforce and complement the materials provided by the USA Hockey Officiating Education Program.
  • EXPOSURE - Next Shift officials will be introduced to and have an opportunity to interact with and learn from current officials who have advanced into the junior, collegiate, professional and international levels of hockey. These interactions will provide officials with an overview of the variety of opportunities available in officiating as well as the different developmental pathways which can be taken to reach an individual's officiating goals. Officials will be partnered with a Next Shift Mentor Official who will provide support with the USA Hockey Officiating Program certification process in addition to being a resource and support system for the official in his or her first season and beyond.
  • EXPERIENCE - Next Shift officials will be guided and supported in getting set up and established within their local officiating association. In-season opportunities to be 'fast-tracked' into the NAHL family of leagues exist but will be offered on a case-by-case basis with consideration to an individual's officiating skill set and where they are within their officiating development. We want to set each official up for success not only in the short-term, but also the long-term. Next Shift officials who participate in a NAHL Officiating Exposure Camp (Spring 2023), will also gain experience working in both the Three- and Four- Official Systems and will have the opportunity to officiate in front of representatives from USA Hockey's Officiating Development Program.

Next Shift Benefits

  • Support navigating the USA Hockey Officiating Program registration and certification process
  • Support becoming set up and established within your local officiating association
  • Whistle Talk!, a six-part monthly webinar continuing education series dedicated to a variety of officiating specific topics
  • You Make the Call!, a six-part monthly rules quiz continuing education series featuring a variety of formats (multiple choice, video review with written response etc.) and covering a variety of officiating topics (rule based, position, judgement, odd situations etc.)
  • Opportunity to be 'fast-tracked' into NAHL family of leagues opportunities*
    • Potential exposure to and feedback from NAHL Officiating Coaches
  • Next Shift Mentor Program
  • Next Shift Sign-Up Bonus** of up to $750.00 USD

* Selection to participate in the Next Shift initiative does not guarantee assignment to officiate in the NAPHL, NA3HL, NAHL or other NAHL family of leagues properties.

**Terms & Conditions Apply. For full details, please see the Next Shift Sign-Up Bonus Policy.

Next Shift Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older as of June 1, 2022
  • Must have played hockey recently at the Youth 18U/Girls' 19U, Junior, Collegiate or Professional levels.
  • Must become a fully registered USA Hockey Level 1 official for the 2022 - 2023 season by November 1, 2022 (ALL requirements completed)
  • Must become established and involved in your local officiating association
  • Must attend six Whistle Talk! - Continuing Education Series monthly webinar sessions
    • First online session will be held Wednesday, July 6 at 7 PM CST
  • Must complete six You Make the Call! - Continuing Education Series quizzes
    • First quiz will be released on Thursday, July 7 at 7 PM CST
  • Must review and agree to the Next Shift Code of Conduct & Social Media Policy
  • Must review and agree to the Next Shift Sign-Up Bonus Policy
  • Anticipated participation in a NAHL Officiating Exposure Camp (Spring 2023) or an NAHL Officiating Department approved partner officiating development camp.
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