USA Hockey and the Coaching Education Program require both certification and registration to be eligible to coach. Registration is done online on a yearly basis. Certification is also required. The basic steps to meet these requirements are as follows:
USA Hockey Requirements (Must be completed before participating in any team activities)
Coaching Education Program Requirements (Must be completed by Dec. 31)
This page serves as the start for all things related to USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program. Click on any of the menu items to the left to find out more information about that subject.
(1) Required Coaching Education Program Levels for Ice Hockey
USA Hockey requires that all affiliates and/or districts shall establish the following requirements without modifications for all coaches (head and assistant).
All coaches must have the required certification level by January 1 of the current season.
(a) All coaches must enter USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program at Level 1, and must continue their education with a coaching clinic each year until, at a minimum, they achieve Level 3. EXCEPTION: Coaches of 8U or younger players may remain at Level 1 or their current level. A coach may attend only one (1) certification clinic per year (not including age-specific requirements). Coaches who do not coach in continuous years must re-enter the program at the next level when they resume coaching responsibilities. Once Level 3 is achieved, periodic renewal [as outlined in Paragraph (c) below] is required for coaches who have not achieved Level 4. Coaches of national tournament bound teams (Tier I 14U, 16U and 18/19U and Tier II 16U and 18/19U) must complete Level 4 in their fourth season of coaching. Coaches who attain Level 4 certification are not required to attend any further certification clinics but must adhere to the age-specific requirement as outlined in Paragraph (b) below.
(b) In addition to the training in paragraph (a) above, coaches must also complete online age-specific training modules specific to the level of play they are coaching, if they have not already taken that module. This requirement applies to all coaches at all levels, 1 through 5. Coaches may complete more than one age-specific module in any given season.
(c) Coaching certification at Level 3 is valid for two (2) seasons, as indicated by the expiration date.
A coach whose Level 3 is due to expire must take the online Level 3 Recertification Track 1 curriculum or they may move up to Level 4. Level 3 Track 1 Recertification is valid for two (2) seasons.
A coach whose Track 1 Level 3 recertification is due to expire must take the online Level 3 Recertification Track 2 curriculum or move up to Level 4. Level 3 Track 2 Recertification is valid for two (2) seasons.
Coaches whose Track 2 Level 3 Recertification is due to expire must attend a Level 4 clinic prior to the expiration of their Level 3 Recertification.
Coaches must complete the online recertification program in order to recertify their Level 3 certifications. Attending a clinic or workshop is no longer valid for recertifying any certification level.
(d) Grandfather Clause
For coaches who enrolled in the Coaching Education Program prior to May 1, 2011, their entry into the above program will be at their current certification level. Level 1 and 2 coaches must adhere to paragraphs (a) and (b) above, effective May 1, 2011. Current Level 3 coaches must adhere to paragraph (b) and (c) above; effective with the season their Level 3 expires.
This chart outlines the progression for a new coach. Coaches with pre-existing certifications will enter the new program at their current certification level and must adhere to paragraphs 1. (a) and (b) above.
(1) Student Coach
A player age 13 through 17 who is currently properly registered with USA Hockey may serve as a Student Coach.