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NHL® 17 – Be A Ref Mode Deep Dive

Posted April 1st at 4:00pm.

NHL®17 – Be A Ref Mode Deep Dive

After years of development, the EA SPORTS NHL team is proud to present the brand new Be A Ref mode in NHL® 17.

The highly-requested mode will allow you to become the ref in all NHL®17 game modes and adds in a brand new Be A Ref Career Mode. Control the game from the ice by deciding when to call penalties, stop the game, and more. Be A Ref will allow you to learn the key essentials to managing the game as an official on the ice.


With the Be A Ref being added to the game, there needed to be a new way to measure your officiating abilities.

The all-new REFutation Engine will keep track of every action you make on the ice and hold you accountable. If you are too biased toward a team, a player, the fans, or even a league; the REFutation Engine will cause them to react accordingly. There are three key components to the REFutation Engine:

  • FAIRNESS – Being overly biased towards a team, player, fan base or league could lead to consequences.
  • GAME FLOW – Causing too many stoppages in play could either anger or please players, teams, fans and the league. Managing the game to ensure all parties remain happy with the pace of play is vital to a referee’s success.
  • ABILITY – From how smoothly you drop the puck to your ability to penalties behind the play, the REFutation Engine will monitor your overall performance. Being aware of all areas of the ice and not impeding the play of the players are a key contributor to improving your REFutation.

Make sure to manage all of these correctly or else you could face consequences such as fines, suspensions, reduced games, or even injuries.


In the all-new Be A Ref Career Mode, your goal is to earn a high career salary. Your REFutation is more important than ever in Be A Ref Career Mode as it could lead to you getting a higher salary, more games, or even All-Star Games!

You can also hone your skills through training games, such as Puck Dropping practice, strength training, conditioning and situational awareness to increase your ref’s attributes. Throughout your refereeing career, you will be faced with many difficult off-ice decisions that could have a significant impact on your officiating career.

As your career progresses, you will see how you rank up against other officials in the Ref Rankings. Work your way to become the top ref in the world and earn yourself a spot in the Referee Hall of Fame.


A key component to the Be A Ref Mode are the online Be A Ref leaderboards. After every online game, players will submit a report card that will work alongside the REFutation Engine to give you a grade in your officiating abilities.

Work your way to the top of the Be A Ref leaderboards for the opportunity to officiate more games and unlock the ability to officiating in more high-profile games, such as HUT Competitive Seasons and EASHL Playoffs.

Oh, and happy April Fools Day! (Sorry, the "Be a Ref" feature will not be coming to NHL®17.)

NHL®17 is in stores now – pick up your copy today.

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