Field Hockey Canada > Paula Parks retires after decorated 25-year officiating career

Celebrating the career of the accomplished Canadian international official

As Paula Parks bids farewell to her illustrious career in international field hockey officiating, the Canadian field hockey community thanks her for her amazing contributions spanning 25 years. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Parks embarked on her journey in 1998, appointed as a Judge at the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. This was just the beginning of a remarkable tenure that would see her be a staple at international competitions for two decades to come.

Throughout her officiating career, Parks worked at numerous top-level events, including four Commonwealth Games, four Pan American Cups, and a Pan American Games. Perhaps the pinnacle of her career came in 2012 when she graced the tech-tables of the London Olympic Games, an experience she cherishes to this day.

READ: Paula Parks Olympic Reflections

Reflecting on her journey, Parks emphasizes that it was the people and the places that enriched her experience. She fondly recalls the camaraderie shared with colleagues from across every continent, many of whom have become lifelong friends.

“I’ve met such a wonderful array of hockey people from all over the world. These are colleagues that have become friends,” Parks said. “We build friendships and camaraderie over many events in different places. It’s fun and rewarding being a part of a different kind of team at international events.”

Parks credits Canadian trailblazers like Suzanne Nicholson and Janet Ellis for inspiring and mentoring her along the way, paving the path for her success.

It was a major highlight for me, getting to work with Janet [Ellis] at the Olympic Games in 2012, in London,” she said. “There were a lot of great Canadian officials that came before me, and I appreciated everything they did for me.”

Having once been player for Team Manitoba and briefly, the Canadian National Team, Parks found a new avenue to stay connected with elite-level hockey through officiating. Her journey took her to destinations like Mendoza, Barbados, England, Melbourne, and Rio (among many more places), instilling in her a deep appreciation for the global reach of the sport.

As she hangs up her whistle, Parks urges young hockey players to consider umpiring and technical officiating as viable pathways to international representation. Beyond the thrill of the game, she believes it’s a chance to give back to the hockey community while embarking on a journey of personal and professional growth and contribution.

“Honestly, it’s just a great way to keep going after playing and have the opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage,” Parks said. “People always see the possible pathway as an athlete, but there’s a pathway as an official as well. You meet amazing people, stay involved and can travel all over the world.”

Even in retirement, Parks remains an active member of the Field Hockey Canada Officials Committee, continuing to serve her community at various levels of competition, from grassroots to the national stage. Her legacy will live-on as an inspiration to future generations of Canadian field hockey officials.


  • 1998 – Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur, Malasysia  (Judge)
  • 1999 – Pan American Games, Winnipeg, Canada  (TO)
  • 2001 – Pan American Cup, Kingston, Jamaica  (Judge)
  • 2002 – Champions Challenge, Randburg, South Africa  (Judge)
  • 2002 – Commonwealth Games, Manchester, England  (TO)
  • 2004 – Pan American Cup, Bridgetown, Barbados  (TD)
  • 2004 – Champions Trophy, Rosario, Argentina  (Judge)
  • 2004 – 4 Nations, Cordoba, Argentina  (TD)
  • 2006 – Commonwealth Games, Melbourne, Australia  (TO)
  • 2008 – Jr. Pan American Championships, Mexico City, Mexico  (TD)
  • 2010 – South American Championships (M & W), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  (TD)
  • 2011 – World Indoor Cup, Poznan, Poland  (TD)
  • 2012 – Olympic Qualifier, Antwerp, Belgium  (TD)
  • 2012 – Olympic Games, London, England  (Judge)
  • 2013 – Pan Am Cup, Mendoza, Argentina  (TD)
  • 2014 – Champions Challenge I, Glasgow, Scotland  (TD)
  • 2016 – World League Round 1 (M & W), Salamanca, Mexico (TD)
  • 2017 – Pan Am Cup (M & W), Lancaster, PA, USA (TD)
  • 2018 – Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia (TD)
  • 2019 – Pro League, Lancaster, PA, USA (Match Manager)
  •  2022 – Odesur Games, Asuncion, Paraguay (TD)
  • 2022 – Nations Cup, Valencia, Spain (TD)