Competitiveness in hockey has always been something that can be encouraged, developed and honed - whether we’re talking about a fun, House League environment, or more competitive representative hockey (Rep) season.
Every participant in our league strives to improve, compete, and perform at their highest level - and we want to help and assist in this development journey. This includes our players, our coaches and team officials, as well as our referees and timekeepers. Everyone is looking to participate in a game we love and improve every time they come to the rink.
Sometimes, emotions can get the better of us. Sometimes, we make mistakes. When a player makes a mistake in practice - they get back in line and give the drill another try. When a player makes a mistake in a game - they return to the bench and have an opportunity to have their coach or teammates support them so they learn and improve. When a referee or timekeeper make a mistake - too often they hear all about it in the form of yelling from the stands, comments from the benches, and exasperation from the players on the ice. There’s no break to re-group, no coach to offer advice mid-game, and often not enough understanding that sometimes mistakes happen.
As parents and team officials - we need to be very careful about how we approach the competitiveness of our kids game. We need to be gracious in understanding that mistakes happen, and that OUR opinion of what a certain call was - or a “lop-sided” game - may not be in fact what took place under the rule book, or in the eyes of our officials or timekeepers. It is our responsibility to teach our kids to also be fair - deal with adversity with grace - not show them that yelling, screaming, and complaining is the way to behave. Take a moment at the next game you attend - there should not be ANY yelling directed towards our referees or timekeepers from the stands. There is nothing to be gained, but plenty to lose.
If you have concerns about something that takes place - please remember the 24 hour rule. Step back from the game or practice situation - wait 24 hours before you write that email. If you still would like to discuss your point of view, please reach out so we can work together towards a solution.
Come to the rink and support our kids! Cheer when they succeed! Support them when they don’t! Support your volunteer coaches, support your on-ice officials and timekeepers!
- These are kids
- This is a game
- Coaches are volunteers
- Referees are human
- This is not the Stanley Cup Finals
- Respect the game- and HAVE FUN!
Some interesting Resources:
OMHA Referee Article (was written for last years’ playdowns, but appropriate every day):
OMHA Code of Conduct: