Do you enjoy having referees at your kids’ youth hockey games? I know I do. Referees are essential for youth hockey to be successful.
Some parents and coaches are jeopardizing that opportunity by being disrespectful and even hostile towards the referees.
My 14-yr old son quit refereeing before he turned 15 after an intimidating coach aggressively and colorfully told him he was a disgrace to officiating for calling a checking penalty. This was my son’s fourth game officiating. My son won’t make that–or any other–officiating mistake again because he’s done.
As the adults, we MUST be leaders and demonstrate respect for our officials. As a parent or a coach, we set the tone for how the kids respond to the officials.
We have a legitimate crisis due to the poor treatment of our officials. Massachusetts added 254 youth hockey teams in the past three years while losing 325 referees. Referees are fleeing youth hockey rather than subjecting themselves to verbal abuse and physical abuse.
Even the best referees will make mistakes. Cut them some slack, show them respect, or lose them.
A thoughtful article for parents from the Farmington (MN) Youth Hockey Association titled “When to Yell at Referees“. Consistent with the PCA framework thinking that parents’ primary role is to support the player.
Short answer: Never.
Good reminder for us all.
Yes, referees will definitely make mistakes, miss calls, or call the game more loosely / tightly than you might want. For parents there is no reason to speak to the referee. It is best to attend the game and support your team. Remember, these players [and referees] are learning.
The article is here – http://www.farmingtonhockey.org/news_article/show/601041?referrer_id=2024960
John Wenz from West Hartford, CT presented the PCA “Second-Goal” Parent Workshop to a small group of NYH parents at the Newton South Auditorium on December 1. John is passionate about the mission of PCA which emphasizes “Better athletes. Better people.” His presentation was full of pertinent facts and entertaining multi-media clearly demonstrating examples of productive versus unproductive means of parenting a youth athlete.
A key takeaway regarding the Better Athletes, Better People model was a framework to define youth sports roles:
- Youth Sports Leadership – shapes the culture of the organization
- Second-Goal Parent – emphasize teachable moments and help kids absorb the life lessons available through sports. Leave winning to the coaches
- Double-Goal Coach – emphasize both winning and life lessons
- Triple-Impact Competitors – work to better themself, their teammates, and the game
There was clear emphasis on player skills and character development over a win-at-all costs mentality at all levels with the intention of creating lifelong value in favor of a short-term “victory.”
NYH purchased several copies of the PCA book by Jim Thompson titled “Positive Sports Parenting – How ‘Second-Goal’ Parents Raise Winners in Life Through Sports.” It’s an easy read at about 60 pages and full of thought provoking information.
If you would like a copy of the book, please let Tom Dallaire know at TomDall@Verizon.net
Check out the PCA website.