No, off-ice officials are truly “off-ice”. (*Penalty Box personnel do have to make a short walk on the ice from the bench to the penalty box before each period.)
Will I be able to watch the games?
This is a tough one. The various OiO tasks are balanced across the entire crew and each is responsible for tracking certain pieces of the data we report. Therefore, while you’ll “see” most of the game, it’s not like just sitting back and watching.
What does it cost to be an OiO?
Nothing. Our registration and background check fees are covered by other organizations for whom we provide OiO services.
Is there a uniform?
Hats are provided for new OiOs and then once the OiO is trained and seasoned, OiO jackets are provided. For OiOs not wearing a hat or jacket, security tags are provided and are required. Otherwise, something respectable that does not include any specific team logos (e.g. if you are working an Ice Wolves game, your Ice Wolves logo hat would not be acceptable) - we are unbiased in our OiOing.
What about the cold?
Certain positions are colder than others. A light jacket is all that is necessary for the Shot Spotters. The OiO jackets are lightweight and sized for layering which is strongly recommended along with a stocking cap, gloves, and insulated pants or heavy jeans for all the other positions.
Do I have to be a hockey expert?
If you are a fan of hockey you likely know enough to get started as an off-ice official. We will train you for each off-ice position as the season progresses.
How are game assignments determined?
Our website has a feature which allows each OiO to indicate personal availability for scheduled games. The scheduler is then presented who can work each game when creating crew assignments for each game.
Is there a minimum number of games required?
Availability and dependability are required attributes for successful OiOs. All OiOs have lives and work outside of their off-ice officiating. And, we know that maintaining competency for each OiO role requires a degree of frequency. So, while we do not have a hard minimum number of games required, we do expect OiOs to volunteer for as many games as is reasonably possible which allows us to balance the workload effectively and maintain competency for all OiOs.
Will I just be thrown into a game or is there training?
NM OiO requires that each OiO complete a two-game training process for each OiO job before being scheduled to work in that job on your own. The first game is focused on an experienced OiO explaining and showing you the job. Then, the second training game will involve the same OiO trainer supervising as you carry out the job. We try to also move each OiO into the trainer role once they have a few games under their belt.
Can I just pick what OiO job I want to do?
Our training process is a progression, taking new OiOs, even experienced hockey players and enthusiasts, through from what we consider to be the easiest of OiO jobs and progressing to the more complex of jobs. At each step a qualified flag is added to your nmoio.org user profile so you become available for scheduling at that crew position. Be sure to tell an OiO coordinator which OiO jobs interest you the most, or if there are ones that seem too intense for your preferences.