The OMHA is holding a contest for players to submit an essay on why they love hockey. I have a few personal insights myself on this topic.
As a referee and parent of two hockey players, I have seen the best and worst of what minor hockey has to offer. This past weekend showed me its worst.
I was asked, along with another long time referee from our town, to officiate an atom playoff game in Shallow Lake on Sunday against Norwood.
It is an honour to be picked for these assignments as they require neutral referees and you enjoy the competition of these games because an 'All Ontario' title is at stake.
The game was very intense and with kids playing their hardest and chasing every loose puck, there were bound to be many collisions.
I don’t know what penalty applies when two players want one puck and collide with each other to get it. There is body contact but which player gets the penalty? The answer is easy if you think about it, the 'other' team.
Parents were literally going wild about calls and non-calls. Before the game was over, one coach was ejected as well as one fan. A case could have easily been made for many more!
Things didn’t get any better and my partner and I rushed back to Port Elgin to do the 'Pee Wee AE' game against Huntsville.
I hate to say it but ... we were treated terribly by both teams' fans, I guess to be expected. There were numerous penalty calls, and apparently everyone of them was wrong.
My daughter attended the game so she got to hear all of the "nice" things said about her dad. It didn’t stop when the game was over, we had people waiting for us as we left the ice to curse and swear at our efforts.
Even one player from the home team threw me an 'F- bomb'. This matter was taken care of by Coach Andy Bernard when he was made aware of it. Thank you Andy. The point I am trying to make in all of this is that referees deserve a lot more respect.