Speed skating would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of volunteer officials, both on and off the ice. Learn more about the training and certification program officials must follow to ensure a safe and fair environment for our skaters.
BECOME AN OFFICIAL
There are many different types of officials needed to run a successful and fair competition, including positions that are on-ice and off-ice. Officiating careers often begin at the club level, but with the right skills and proper training, officials could go on to represent Canada on the international stage, including at the Olympic Games.
Types of Officials
Read about the different types of officials to learn what each of them do during a speed skating competition.
The Referee is the Chief Executive Officer of the competition and is responsible for dealing with all points of dispute and infringements of the rules. Previous experience in another officiating role or as a skater, along with leadership skills, are all valuable assets for a Referee.
The Starter is the individual who ensures each race of a competition gets off to a fair and equal start, using the commands “go to the start” and “ready” to cue the skaters before firing the gun to begin the race. Starters must remain calm and deliver consistent start instructions throughout the entire competition.
The Meet Coordinator is responsible for the organization of the meet, which includes verifying entries, setting the program of events and distributing the results. Meet Coordinators are extremely detail oriented and must have a good understanding of competition timing and flow.
The Recorder/Competitor Steward– under the direction of the Meet Coordinator –prepares the various rounds of racing throughout the competition, ensuring that the right skaters are assigned to the right race. Accuracy, speed and remaining calm under pressure are all assets for a Recorder/Competitor Steward.
The role of the Timer is to accurately time the skaters participating in a race, using a manual timer or stopwatch. This information is used to determine the advancement of skaters in the competition. For competitions with an electronic timing system in place, these manual times are used as backups.
The Finish Line Judge determines the order in which skaters cross the finish line in a race. Skaters are often bunched closely together at the finish line, so this task requires undivided attention. For competitions with an electronic timing system in place, the Finish Line Judge’s determination is used as a backup.
The Announcer provides those in attendance – including athletes, coaches, spectators and other officials – with important program details and updates. They may also provide spectators with play-by-play style commentary during the races. An Announcer should have a good speaking voice and an outgoing personality to get the crowd engaged.
The Lap Recorder informs the skaters and officials of the number of laps left to be skated in a race and rings a bell when there is only one lap to go. They are tasked with tracking each skater or relay team, including any lapped skater(s), to ensure everyone completes the correct number of laps for a given distance.
A Track Steward is an on-ice official responsible for replacing missing blocks on the corners of the track and any other duties as directed by the Referee. Between races, this often includes fixing imperfections on the ice and squeegeeing water onto the track.
The Heat Box Steward, a role specific to short track, is responsible for ensuring that the proper skaters (based on names and numbers) are ready for their upcoming race. They have great influence on the orderly and smooth running of a competition.
The Clerk of the Course, a role specific to long track, is responsible for ensuring that the proper skaters (based on names) are ready for their upcoming race and are wearing the correct armband. They have great influence on the orderly and smooth running of a competition.
Our comprehensive Officials’ Certification Program is designed to produce uniformity in officiating across the country. The program outlines the various certification levels each type of official can earn – five levels for Referees and Starters and three levels for all other officials – and what they must do to become certified at a given level.
At each level, candidates must complete a specific technical course, gather practical knowledge and competition experience under the supervision of senior officials, and meet certain performance requirements, such as satisfactory evaluations, before earning their certification.
Learn more about the Officials Pathway
Upon completion of the requirements for a given level, officials can request an upgrade to Speed Skating Canada. The request is reviewed and, upon verification of having met the requirements outlined in the Officials Pathway, the official is certified at the new level.
Apply for an Officials Upgrade
We are committed to the continued training and development of our officials both on and off the ice, which is accomplished through clinics, professional development and educational opportunities, as well as national recognition initiatives.
Speed Skating Canada, along with our provincial and territorial organizations and the International Skating Union, coordinates ongoing training opportunities for officials. These clinics allow officials to hone their skills, remain up-to-date with the newest rule changes and stay informed of evolving officiating techniques.
- Level 1 clinics are organized by PTSOs
- Level 2 clinics are organized by PTSOs
- Level 3 clinics are organized by SSC, or by PTSOs if there is enough regional interest
- ISU International Level clinics are jointly organized by the ISU and SSC
- ISU Level clinics are jointly organized by the ISU and SSC
Find an officiating clinic near you
Officials are encouraged (and in some cases required) to complete a variety of online e-learning modules and courses as professional development and continuing education. This ensures that they can contribute to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for participants at all levels of our sport.
Officials certified at Level 3 or higher are required to complete safe sport training and Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders meets this requirement. This online course helps educate officials to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD).
This course is highly recommended for officials at all levels and some form of safe sport training is required for officials certified at Level 3 or higher.
Complete Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders
This e-learning module on Safe Sport, developed by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), will help anyone involved in sport – including officials – to promote physical, psychological and social health, in line with the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport.
This course is highly recommended for officials at all levels and some form of safe sport training is required for officials certified at Level 3 or higher. You will need an NCCP number – which can be created for free through The Locker – to access this module.
Complete Safe Sport Training
Officials certified at Level 3 or higher are required to complete Making Head Way in Speed Skating. This e-learning module on concussion awareness, developed by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), will help officials gain the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of participants.
This course is highly recommended for officials at all levels and is required for officials certified at Level 3 or higher. You will need an NCCP number – which can be created for free through The Locker – to access this module.
Complete Making Head Way in Speed Skating
We have various programs in place to recognize the contributions and efforts made by our officials, who volunteer their time both on and off the ice to ensure a safe and fair competition environment for all participants.
Speed Skating Canada has two annual awards that are given out to deserving officials nominated by members of the Canadian speed skating community.
- The René Marleau Award for Official of the Year is presented to an official who has displayed sustained leadership within the officiating environment and demonstrated meaningful, long-term involvement at the club, regional, provincial or national level.
- The Guy Marcoux Officials Award of Excellence is awarded to those who have made meaningful contributions to the sport of speed skating in the role of official.
Learn more about SSC’s Officials Awards
The Officials Recognition Pin Program acknowledges the long-term contributions and efforts of our officials, honouring them for their distinguished service. Officials Recognition Pins are distributed by local clubs and PTSOs for years of service as an active official.
Order your Officials Recognition Pins
Canadian speed skating officials can access relevant and up-to-date documents and tools through our Resource Library, which includes:
- Officiating Manuals
- Officiating Forms
- Evaluation Forms
- Upgrade Forms
- Officials Assignments
- Red Book
In addition to Speed Skating Canada resources, officials can access more information and training tools through our partners’ websites:
Officials can also access a variety of speed skating videos on Speed Skating Canada’ YouTube channel, including competition footage, athlete profiles and the Up to Speed series, which provides tips on how to master technical skills. You’ll also find educational videos listed on our channel from partners such as the International Skating Union.
If you are looking for a resource that is not available in the Resource Library, or if you have questions about officiating, please reach out to us.