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New Coaching Requirements for the 2021-22 Season

By USA Hockey, 04/22/21, 2:45PM CDT


Dear USA Hockey Coaches

Beginning this season (2021-22), USA Hockey passed the below new requirements for coaching education.  

All coaches must have the required certification level by January 1 of the current season unless earlier deadlines are established by the district and/or affiliate.  All coaches must complete the online age-specific modules PRIOR to participating with their team.

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 4. Coaches of only 8 and under players should remain at Level 1 until such time as they are coaching any older age level of play.

A coach may attend only one (1) certification clinic per year. Once Level 4 is achieved, coaches will need to complete 5 credit hours of continuing education within each subsequent three-year period [as outlined in Paragraph (c) 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. Effective in the 2021-22 season, coaching certification at Levels 4 and 5 is valid for three (3) seasons, as indicated by the expiration date. Before the expiration of their level, coaches must accumulate 5 credit hours of continuing education by either taking Level 5, or by attending other USA Hockey continuing education clinics. The USA Hockey clinic listings will indicate all continuing education offerings and the credit value of each. The Coaching Education Program retains the responsibility for defining continuing education credit values, including clinic or online course work.

d. Grandfather Clause

For those coaches who received Level 4 or Level 5 PRIOR TO January 1, 2021, only coaches of Tier I and Tier II teams are required to do continuing education as required in (c) above.

e. Previous/Expired Certifications Coaches with any expired certification will retain their previous certification levels provided the certification can be verified. Coaches may re-enter the certification system at that previous level and be subject to the certification guidelines in (a) through (c) above.

In summary, for grandfathered Level 4 and 5 coaches, you could be subjected to the continuing education as explained above. If you coached an approved roster at the Tier I or Tier II classification, for any age level, during the 2020-21 season your CEP expiration has been changed from 12/31/2099 to 12/31/2025.  If changed you are now on the continuing education path needing to earn five credits over the next three seasons. You can view your coaching profile at to see this change.

Currently, courses are being developed that will be available in the 2021-22 season to earn continuing education credits. Credits can be earned by taking specific coaching clinics or learning modules that will be in the e-learning system. Additional information on these courses and how to access will be available in near future.

Yours in hockey,

USA Hockey's Coaching Education Program