An article for all spectators, coaches and players to read. As spectators we have all seen the Respect Hockey signs on the walls of our arena. These are Kids,
This is just a Game,
Coaches are Volunteers,
Referees are Human,
This is not the Stanley Cup Finals
Respect the GameAnd Have Fun
Since these signs have appeared, there has been a decline in the amount of spectators lashing out at players and coaches. People, for the most part, have come to realize coaches are volunteering their time and no one wants to hear their child spoken about negativity, so they don’t say anything about others. It's line 4 of the poster, where people seem to have stopped reading. Referee’s are human, however the way they are being treated is becoming less and less humane. We all want our team to win and when something doesn’t go our way, we want someone to blame. We have learned that these are just kids and coaches are volunteers, but just because a referee gets paid doesn’t give us the right to insult, scream obscenities and throw objects at them. A referees only agenda in a hockey game, is to ensure the rules are followed and that players are safe. This year is especially difficult for referees as there is a province and Canada-wide shortage due to the pandemic (see CBC Article
Referees are asked to do more games and at times as a two man team when normally a 3 man system would be used. If referees become frustrated with the way they are being treated and quit, the fall-out is not a pleasant one. The next time we file into the arena to watch a game, let's read the whole poster and remember, without referees, we do not have hockey!