Don't Just Shake Your 
Head And Walk Away!
Say Something!
Editorial by Greg Snyder

Is it the hockey program or just some kid’s parents that make the system so bad? We keep hearing from so many sources that Canada’s Hockey Program needs so much work and we need to change this, and get rid of that. I agree it needs some tweaking but first of all let me tell you about some solutions I’ve heard of or read. For example one that I have discussed with a few parents is Robert Kirwan’s article on bringing fighting back to eliminate the cowards and cheap-shot artist and to instill some respect. I agree totally. If a player gets in his first fight in the game he receives a Major penalty and back in the game, second fight same game Major + Game Misconduct. I bet you’ll see a lot less stick work and chirping at one another. Also starting in minor hockey, why not wear half visors? I guarantee you that you’ll see less stick work and players would have more respect for one another. Extreme concepts perhaps, but I don’t see too many others besides the Kirwan family making suggestions or solutions. I just see finger pointing and unfortunately most of the time it is the same people being pointed at, the officials. Larry Robinson said it perfectly several weeks ago on Hockey Night in Canada when he said “Players have lost total respect for each other on the ice… We’ve put so much equipment of the kids they feel they can swing the sticks anywhere…” I bet if the players had less equipment on like when we were kids playing street hockey they would be more respectful towards each other and be careful with the sticks. When we did played street hockey with no refs, parents, coaches etc we had a few fights now and then, some bruises from getting the frozen ball in the eye but nothing serious and we walked away still friends and had fun.

I said it before extreme measures perhaps but the coach or parent does not have a lot to do with the big decisions at Hockey Canada, but there is something you can do. Now it’s your turn to help.

Some officials go to the rink to watch a hockey game and distant themselves like they have a disease. Not I, I like to get in a spot and listen while I watch. Sometimes I am not sure which is more entertaining, the game or the crazy off the wall things people say in the stands. Unless the comments are very bad I’d normally chuckle to myself and walk away, but why? Is it doing anyone any good? I think it’s about time people in the stands that know what they are talking about start saying something. A few weeks ago I was at the rink watching a Peewee B Rep game and a mother several feet away from me was yelling at the linesmen saying “That’s checking from behind, Ref” and I kind of laughed under my breath, but I’m thinking to myself lady you don’t have a clue who calls the penalties and who calls icings, as long as she was yelling at someone she was happy. FYI - It wasn’t checking from behind but if it was and a linesman cannot report a Minor +Game Misconduct only a Major +Game Misconduct for CFB can be brought to the attention of the referee at the next stoppage of play. I was glad a gentleman was kind enough to point this out to her and she didn’t say much for the remainder of the game. Good for him.  

A while back I was speaking with a lady about officiating and she was kind enough to point out to me that she really didn’t understanding the icing rule but she just yelled at the linesmen because everyone else was. Were you going to join them when they jumped off the bridge as well? This reminds me of something else I seen. A few weeks ago as a linesmen for a Jr “A” game during a stoppage of play one guy stood out in the crowd as he stood up and yelled “You’re a jerk Ref, open your eyes” as soon as he sat down the young boy next to him about 10 years old stood up and yelled the same thing. Monkey see, monkey do.

These are just some of the idiotic things I hear people say, but do parents and coaches just not want to educate themselves so they can continue to use lack of rule knowledge etc as an excuse? Perhaps my most favorite complainer is the Mother or Father that is the loudest in the stands however they cannot skate.

The ball is in your court, I challenge you when you are at the rink next time and someone yells something that is totally out to lunch to say something to that person. I personally think if more people stood up and said something the revolution would stop. I think if more parents were embarrassed in front of one another about their lack of rule knowledge they would take it upon themselves to get educated on the rules. There are so many great web sites like After The Whistle to get information and knowledge about the game of hockey or read someone’s opinion.

The above comments are that of the writer and not that of any association. Comments or suggestions greatly appreciated.



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