Some of you have already been effected by cancelled House League and Rep playoff games because there are no Referees willing to Ref and I can't blame them.
and if you can't or find yourself getting so emotional then just leave, you will be doing yourself a favour, your fellow parents, all of Minor Hockey and most importantly your own child's embarrassment at how their parents are behaving!
The GMHA has over 60 teams between HL and Rep, but we only have 37 Ref's left, that's it and they are all very tired and blocking out their availability to take games! I spent several hours this week personally calling Ref's to ask them to please take some games and get us through the season and we will try and come up with something to fix this problem.
There is no shortage of teenage Ref's at all but they are VERY limited in the games they are allowed to Ref. It's Ref's over 25 years old that are Level 2 or more that are in extremely short demand. To be able to Ref our highest level teams requires hundreds if not thousands of dollars invested by the Ref's, many weekends of courses and skates and 4 years of Reffing experience all the while being evaluated in the stands by OMHA Supervisors. None of us are perfect including Ref's and I can guarantee what you think should or is a penalty if we surveyed all the people in the stands there would be a great deal disagree with you.
Coaches need to come up not only with a strategy depending on what team they are playing against but also one depending on how the Ref(s) are calling the game. Some will call everything, some will call nothing, some will call just what they think is worthy and it might not be what you think but that is not their job as a Coach nor yours as a fan or parent. You cannot win an argument with a Ref, its a simple basic fact.
As for the "fans" and "parents" many think its acceptable to stand up in the stands and yell and scream at Referees, call them names, make fun of them, threaten them and in some instances including this year physically assault them.
If you behaved like this towards another person at work there would be serious consequences and would likely get you fired or even charged. If our kids behaved like this at school they would reprimanded or even suspended and yet it seems that many somehow think it's OK or acceptable to do this in a hockey arena. Well its not and we are going to move forward with a zero tolerance policy and if anyone is asked to leave the arena (and that is leave the entire building and even the property not just the ice area) by anyone including a fellow GMHA parent and doesn't, there is an agreement with Georgina Minor Hockey Association, the Town of Georgina and York Regional Police that those people will automatically be charged with Trespassing and everyone that enters the arena is on camera so don't think that even if they don't know you or your name that the Police won't easily find out who you are.
So unless you want charges on your record potentially effecting your current job or future positions and have to spend all the time and money dealing with a lawyer and a judge and going to court trying to explain your case as to why you were misbehaving at a child's hockey game then I suggest you come out and just cheer
Being on the bench with so many of these kids I can assure you that is exactly what your kids are feeling.
Every single person in the GMHA and Minor Hockey as a whole needs to stand up to this, sitting there rolling your eyes at a fellow parent/fan, complaining to other parents, walking away or going somewhere where you don't have to listen to them is just as bad as doing it yourself. You are just empowering them to continue to do it and the situation continues to get worse and it’s now effecting you and your child and this great sport we all love.
The volunteers on your Board dedicate enough time keeping hockey going and enjoy going to watch many of our team’s games, but they shouldn't have to attend games just to babysit other parents. I had to do that this week as a team was complaining about parents from another center and yet when I went to the game I was much more embarrassed by our parents than the other centers'.
Folks we all have to wake up!! I'm so sick of people using the excuse that other people (or centers) are doing it...as my Mother used to tell me whenever I tried that excuse "If another kid was going to jump off a cliff would that make it OK for you?" This is no different, you want our kids to be respectful; you want our kids to be sportsmanlike...not a chance if you can't be yourself.
So everyone PLEASE stand up and fix this epidemic, don't just sit back and expect everyone else to do it for you or hope that it will go away, it will not go away until these people are made to realize that it is not acceptable by the vast majority of their peers. So please, respectfully and politely go up and ask them to please refrain this type of behavior or if it continues or is serious enough and the person is so worked up ask them to leave on behalf of the GMHA. You will be supported by your volunteers on the Board, as I'd personally much rather have a few parents that may or may not really have deserved to be kicked out being asked to leave then having to kick all parents out completely and just drop their kids off at the door and leave as is happening in some other centers in Canada already. Please just let the person know if they are the only guardian there for their child that you will let the Coaching Staff know who will make sure the player will meet you at the entrance to the property and if so will escort the player there with another parent or Coaching staff member to keep with the 2 deep rule.
And please don't get me wrong that it’s just us in Georgina (although the shortage of Ref's is worse here than in most other centres), I must say overall we have seen an improvement in the last couple of years and haven't had a lot of MAJOR incidents but there is still this disrespectful behaviour towards Ref's happening at almost every game that has to stop completely. OMHA also just sent out a note regarding this and Hockey Canada and OMHA are requiring one parent for every registered player to take an on-line Parent Respect in Sports Course before you can register your child for the upcoming season, so this is a widespread problem that has to stop.
So let's not be everyone else, let's do like we would like our kids to do and lead by example, be the better person, be sportsmanlike and everyone can then go to the arena and just have fun and not be a source of stress as it seems to be all too often including for our kids because of what is going on in the stands and with parents! There are enough other things going on in all our lives to stress about, so let's fix this one that we can fix together for our kids and future kids’ sake, the value of the sport of hockey to kids is worth it!
Thanks for your help and good luck with all our HL and Rep teams who are all in the middle of playoffs.