The hockey world really doesn’t need this – yet another story of
appalling parent behaviour towards on-ice officials took place in Ottawa
and is being investigated by the OWHA.
Clearly some parents in our hockey world still have not got the memo; there are still some parents whose level of maturity disintegrates to the level of a two-year old who’s just been told that they can’t have a cookie.
I do believe that these asinine parents are a small party of hockey but sadly a big part of giving it a bad reputation. Just so the message is clear, here’s what you as a hockey parent have the right to say to a referee officiating your child’s game:
Zero, zilch, nil, nought … nothing.
You have no right to talk to the officials about anything before, during or after the game unless you’re the coach. As a hockey parent, you agreed to abide by this when you signed the Fair Play Code for Parents (or equivalent) or your child’s hockey association:
I will never question the official's judgment or honesty in public. I recognize officials are being developed in the same manner as players.
Does that really require further explanation?
You know the referees have undergone training, right?
You know they know what an offside is, right?
You know they are well aware what is tripping and what is not, right?
You know they’re paid about $20 to work this game, or they’re volunteers, right?
You know that you really don’t get to expect the level of experience of an NHL official at your child’s Peewee game, right?
For puck’s sake, get your head out of the bleachers, people and shut up. If you chose to berate or insult an official there will be consequences. You will be told to go in your time-out corner and think about what you’ve done, young man (or young lady). You chose to act like a two-year old; you will be treated like a two-year old. Only because you’re not a two-year old but a supposedly mature adult, your time-out could be much more severe. Your team may be levied a two-minute minor but you may also be expelled from the arena. You may also be expelled by your association. You may also be expelled from all hockey arenas all over.
Have you done enough thinking yet?
I heard that 75% referees quit after their first year citing verbal abuse from parents as the primary reason. Is it any wonder? At a time when hockey enrollment at many levels is either stagnating or declining, this hideous side of hockey must fade into the deep, dark, recesses of your dirty hockey van – and certainly from your behaviour
If you’re that upset about the officiating during a game, speak to your child’s coach. And only the coach.
You can’t hide behind your coffee cup forever. And as far as I’m concerned, you’re taking up valuable space until the only functioning heater in the arena. Grow up or go home. Hockey doesn’t need you. It doesn’t take long for everyone in the arena to realize what an idiot you are – and only a fraction of time longer for your kid to realize it.
There are 32,000 referees registered with Hockey Canada. We need every single one of them to feel appreciated. So now that I think of it, there is one thing that is entirely acceptable to say to a ref at the end of the game:
Three cheers for all the officials in minor hockey – may they get the respect they deserve!
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