Stricter Rules for Hockey Parents

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Stricter Rules for Hockey Parents

The sport of hockey has a long proud history of being one of the best sports in the

world. Great excitement for the fans and great fun for the players, but lately there has

been too much emphasis on winning in the lower levels. It is very hard for children now

days to play hockey for the fun of the game.

It is not the children themselves, or even the coaches that put this pressure to win

on them. It is the parents of the children who create this pressure. Hockey parents have

made winning so important that they sometimes lose sight of the reason that they are

there in the first place. Hockey may be a fast paced, high adrenaline sport (you see more

fights in hockey than any other team sport), but parents should leave the body contact to

the players.

Fortunately, physical abuse is still not very common in arenas but every year there

are more reports of enraged parents assaulting referees or other players due to mishaps

that took place during the game. Winning is not the only reason that some parents

become upset. There has also been a growing dilemma with parents becoming outraged

with coaches for factors as small as the amount of ice time their child receives during a

game. There is a growing ambition among parents for their child to succeed in hockey

and become a professional even before the child reaches adolescence.

Although very serious, physical abuse is still not a common sight in arenas, but it

is a serious problem which needs to be corrected. Verbal abuse however, is very

common in arenas all over Ontario. Names and threats can be heard coming from the

stands at any caliber of hockey at any age. This is also a significant problem which needs

to be stopped.

The best defense against this kind of behaviour would be to create stricter

penalties for anyone parents who get out of control. Anyone who is verbally abusive to

officials or coaches should be given fines which increase for each infraction. If the abuse

continues after three fines then the person should be banned from arenas for a specified

amount of time depending on the severity and the frequency of the instances. If not

abuse persists even after the ban the parent should be banned from all minor hockey

games for life.

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