Course Information & Registration

This course is offered by, a registered not-for-profit organized in the State of New Jersey.

REGISTRATION: Please CLICK HERE to register for the High-Performance Umpiring & Current Rules course. Membership options for state-by-state chapters coming soon. Some people call umpiring field hockey reffing, or or refer to a field hockey umpire a field hockey ref. In field hockey, the folks with the whistles are umpires not referees and they’re not refereeing, they’re umpiring. If you need umpiring equipment, we have a kit with all you need short of your uniform and rule book. You’ll find it here.

INFORMATION: Course tuition is $39.99 (receipt is provided for your records and reimbursement purposes). Nearly 300 students in the USA and five other countries have enrolled in the course. During the first year, two umpire associations in the USA made the course required training for their new umpires.

Those enrolled in the course enjoy a full year of access to nearly 7 hours of regularly updated course material. The course is updated as needed to address changes in the rules and to make course improvements. Student recommendations for shorter individual episodes was undertaken and released April 8, 2018.

Included in the course are multiple supplemental presentations and videos (such as “Managing Set Plays” and, when released each year, “New Rules”), numerous helpful documents (such as “Rumor Rules” and “Handling Negative Fan Behavior”), course quizzes (covering NFHS, NCAA, and indoor hockey rules), and subscription to the course newsletter. A suitable-for-framing Certificate of Completion is provided free of charge as a PDF to everyone who completes the course requirements and requests their personalized copy. Your instructor is Cris Maloney, author of Field Hockey: The Beginner’s Guide (available in color from Amazon for $21.99 plus shipping and in B&W for $11.99, also from Amazon), Field Hockey: Understanding the Game (available from Amazon for $14.99 plus shipping), JUMP IN: The Beginner’s Guide to Umpiring Field Hockey (available from USA Field Hockey). Mr. Maloney was also the editor for Middle School Field Hockey Rules. The books are also available from


Here are details about each of the episodes offered in the course:

Episode 1 : The Game (two sessions for a total of 45 minutes): Broad overview of the sport; field size and markings; number of umpires, number of players in the game; length of game; player equipment; game equipment and placement; basic responsibilities of umpires, players, coaches, and fans; rules regarding whether a ball is inside or outside the field of play and/or scoring zone

Episode 2 : Umpiring (five sessions for a total of 83 minutes): Broad overview and specifics about umpiring; umpire certifications; presenting yourself professionally; required equipment; game preparation including warming up and site inspection; how the field is divided between umpires; how to whistle; positioning (general play and during penalty corners and penalty strokes); whistling; signals (primary, secondary, and administrative); signaling mechanics; adding flair to your signaling

Episode 3 : Playing Rules (seven sessions for a total of 136 minutes): Broad overview of playing rules; understanding the relative importance of certain areas of the pitch; assessing play for danger (including multiple videos, the “jumping jack space” illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man); legal and illegal use of the stick and hands; details regarding the obstruction rule (body obstruction, stick obstruction, and third-party/shadow obstruction); details regarding the goalkeeper (their equipment special privileges, and restrictions); details about common breaches (stick over opponent’s head, hitting the ball into the air when not shooting on goal, and edge hitting hard on the forehand side); help in judging 5 yards/5 meters; plays governed by the free hit rule and from various locations on the competition surface including those requiring indirect circle entry; managing encroachment and the “poke the yolk” metaphor

Episode 4 : Penalty Plays (two sessions for a total of 61 minutes): Details governing penalty corners and penalty strokes including breaches that warrant penalty corners and those that are worthy of penalty strokes (including multiple videos); umpire positioning; signalling; special substitution governance

Episode 5 : Management (four sessions for a total of 51 minutes): Meeting with captains (importance, proper positions taken up by umpires, process for conducting the meeting); injuries; dealing with appealing, dissent, and emotions (players, coaches, fans, and umpires); personal penalties (cards and suspensions); carding mechanics (how to give a card)

Episode 6 : Indoor Hockey (two sessions for a total of 38 minutes): Special focus on differences between indoor hockey and field hockey including those of pitch/court size, rules differences, penalty corner differences, Indirect Circle Entry differences, warning card differences, goalkeeping differences including goalkeeper substitutions, and special umpiring considerations

Special thanks to the Ocean Atlantic Field Hockey Association (OAFHA) for handling course registrations.